Alpina B6 2.8, based on E21
E30-based Alpina B6 2.8
Talking about BMW automobiles, quite sure the name Alpina will drop.
This little Buchloe-based company, which since 1978 manufactures "exclusive automobiles" under its
own label, started life in 1961 - with a bang!
Burkhard Bovensiepen, a young engineer converts BMW's new 1500ccm engines with a set of
custom designed Weber-twin-carburettors. That way, BMW's "New Class" automobiles gain
attributes of a modern 1960s sports car and great recognition by the press. Even more, all
converted cars retain BMW's full warranties, unheard of until then.
1965 sees the formation of "Alpina Burkard Bovensiepen KG", the famous emblem being
designed in 1967, marking the start of a remarkable story of success.
Since 1968 Alpina competes in national and international motorsport series, attracting
famous drivers like Jacky Ickx, Niki Lauda or Hans (Striezel) Stuck. Competing (and wining,
of course) not only on the race tracks, Alpina also succeeds in Mountain- and
After a suggestion by Burkhard Bovensiepen, BMW in 1971 makes him leading the engineering
of the famous CSL-series, a lightweight variant of the type E9. Did you ever notice the
familiar 20-spoked wheel design Street-CSLs sport?
Continuity, value and a passion for eningeering and pruduction have been
and still are key components of Alpina's success.
In 1978 the first B6 2.8 emerges, a 3-series saloon with an engine which up until then
equipped only upper classes of BMW automobiles. The engines final design performes 218 HP, with
a max. torque of 265 Nm at 5000 rpm. Also in 1978 the supercharged B7 becomes the fastest
saloon in the world. Later followed by the B10 Biturbo, these sports cars are prime examples
still being robust daily drivers.
Following BMW's launch of the M20 powered 3-series, Alpina developed the 170 horse-powered C1 2.3,
based on the M20 B23. Between April 180 and July 1983 462 examples left Buchloe's factory halls.
With the advent of the 325i E30, a C1 2.5 variant sporting 190 HP emerged, however, only in small
In April 1986 Alpina presentd the C2 2.7, featuring 210 HP. When Alpina started equipping its
engines with catalytic converters, performance diminished little down to 204 HP and 265 Nm at
4800 rpm. Still, acceleration and speeds up to 230 km/h made the cars real thoroughbreds.
The B6 3.5 went on sale in 1985. Powered by the legendary M30, the variant sported
impressive 261 HP, little choked down by catalytic convertes to 254 HP. Combined
with the 2.8l-version, 478 examples were bulit.
Alpina B3 2.7 engine
The highlight of E30-based Alpinas was launched in 1987, the B6 3.5s based on the
M3. Production ceased after 62 cars.
Letīs not forget the Z1, of which Alpina bulit 66 own cars named RLE (Roadster
Limited Edition) / Z1 C2/6. The engine was basically a C2/2 with a revised
camshaft, thus performing 200 HP and 261 Nm at 4900 rpm and also eliminating certain
motor vibrations, which were noticable due to the weaker design of the Z1's
A-pillar. If you nowadays give your 2.7l-engine to Alpina for an overhaul,
this will be your new camshaft. The loss in performance in small and
outweighted by the gain in comfort.
But Alpina not only engineers just engines. Features like shift-tronic or
the B12's switch-tronic have been pioneerd by Buchloe. Or for example
heated catalytic convertes or mechanised supercharging, realised with
the B5/B7 series.
Taking your "old" Alpina to Buchloe nowadays, you won't go unheeded. They
still rebuild worn engines with the same passion and help perserving "mobile
tradition". If you're lucky and get a guided tour through the manufactory,
in the end you will surely walk on clud number B6 ...
Alpina B3 2.7
However, quantities of 600 examples per series are memories of the past - the
change of time did not treckless pass Alpina.
Alpina variants and quanitites of E21/E30 based automobiles
|C2 2.7 Kat.
|B3 2.7 Kat
|B6 3.5 Kat.
|B6 3.5 Kat.
|B6 3.5 S Kat.
The "office" of an Alpina B3 2.7