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Alpina B5 and BMW M5 in the test: Bayern high-flyers in arm wrestling

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Alpina B5 and BMW M5 in the test
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W o shouldn't that lead there? Sedans produce up to 560 hp and shift up a gear at 300 km /h while they flatter their occupants, who are cared for by the infotainment system, with glove leather.

Honest answer? For fun as hell. Let the others save the world on the recumbent bike. In this case we prefer to stick with the 80s warbler Markus, who was looking for fun in the Maserati at 210. Whereby - our biturbo 5-series Alpina B5 and BMW M5 bob around at 210 km /h with a resting heart rate, so to speak. Everything is possible, nothing is neccesary. Like the first date. And flirt, the BMW brothers can do that.

For types who want to prove it to everyone

The Alpina B5 with the charm of the serene Connoisseurs - Alpina blue, Akrapovic exhaust system, subtly dynamic body, bright leather upholstery, typical badges and emblems and the classic Lavalina steering wheel. One for guys who can but don't have to prove it to anyone. And then the BMW M5: stealth gray matt paint (option), billowing cheeks, massive cooling air nets, completely black inside. A motivating cave for fast drivers with a thick steering wheel rim, gripping option seats and the focus on special instruments including a colorful head-up display in the special M-style. One for guys who want to prove it to everyone. Always.

The engine base is the same for both: 4.4 liters, with direct injection and two turbochargers located in the 90-degree V of the eight-cylinder, which enables streamlined manifolds. All well and good, thinks Alpina, but only with new compressor wheels and housings as well as improved charge air cooling do the reinforced Mahle pistons get enough lining to generate 540 hp and 730 Newton meters of torque.

The BMW M5 has an output of 20 hp more

Hupps - the BMW M5 with its biturbo V8 including Valvetronic creates 20 hp more, albeit 50 Newton meters less, but that is applied earlier. What a coincidence ... But such finely chiseled thoughts clap on the back of the skull as soon as the head dips into the headrest leather while accelerating. Pupils dilate, the stomach tingles, and before the butterflies even know what's going on, the two two-ton trucks are up to 100 km /h - or to 160 in less than ten seconds.

So the readings are confusing so memorable is the reality. For example when the Alpina is a multi-storeyFlushing torque shaft forward. The modified eight-speed automatic converter helps him with this. It skilfully adapts to the driver's wishes, holds high gears even when the pedal is pressed harder, and lets the Alpina B5 surf the torque very coolly.

Alpina B5 with relaxed omnipotence

If the going gets tough, it's her turn immediately, shifts quickly, serves the V8 with high-performance revs, changes gears quickly and smoothly. Depending on the load condition, the injection of individual cylinders is switched off, which shortens the switching times and guarantees virtually seamless forward thrust.

The BMW M5 has less of a seamless character - you know. When driving slowly, it can jerk a little more stubbornly with its seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and buzz with the multi-disc sport differential on the rear axle. On the other hand, it also changes gears in normal operation with servile and no delay.

In contrast to the Alpina B5, whose mode switch conditions the driving parameters together, the M5 pilot can adjust the switching speed, steering servo, accelerator pedal characteristic and damper hardness as well as control thresholds separately - and store their favorite combination on steering wheel buttons.

Some like it hot, and so the BMW M5 delivers lightning-fast, hard gear changes as well as quick responsiveness à la racing engine with individual throttle valves, although its V8 doesn't need them thanks to the infinitely variable intake valve lift. The M5 sprints in the style of a touring car with steady steps, its V8 looks smaller, but more speed-hungry than that of the Alpina B5 with the relaxed omnipotence of a mildly charged six-liter.

Both are only partially suitable for fun on the slopes

Serenity - the Alpina B5 also scores points on country roads , where its chassis digests most of the bumps despite the 20-inch model and takes the sharpness away from the rest. Take sharpness? Yes, where are we going, the BMW M5 paws with its 19-inch wheels. He is not ashamed of the occasional weak traction, and lets the control electronics blink unabashedly on bad slopes and bumps in the highway. The dry-tuned chassis transmits the condition of the road with a firm handshake, and if necessary, a wheel is even in the air.

On the other hand, the BMW M5 literally sticks to the asphalt on the racetrack. Instead of paralyzing understeer at high speed in curves and slipping over all four wheels, like the Alpina B5, it latches directly into the desired line, remains neutral in order to switch to power oversteer at the command of the pedal - a feat with 560 hp

Nevertheless, this two-ton truck is only partially suitable for fun on the slopes, tires and brakes tend to burnout soon. But where would we be if you could even do Bambule on the slopes with 500-plus-horsepower sedans? Where nobody can fool them on the street. Not evenMarkus.

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