Alpina D5 Biturbo in the test

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Alpina D5 Biturbo in the test
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K a story about an Alpina model without a few words about the company itself. Self-employed for almost 50 years, the Bovensiepen family is doing a remarkable balancing act on their property in Buchloe. One that says a lot about their cars. A number of state-of-the-art test rigs are waiting in a newly built hall to track down not only more power, but above all clean exhaust emissions.

Keyword global homologation: Whether in Japan or the USA, the models from BMW Alpina run everywhere. Gone are the days when grumpy engine gurus tackled combustion chambers with milling cutters or turned on cam profiles. On the other hand: With computer nerds including a laptop and a handful of control unit chips you can only score at the teenagers' meeting at the night petrol station. More is needed to lure premium customers away from the regular brand and into their own showroom instead. For example meticulous coordination and an exclusive image.

BMW Alpina D5 Biturbo for an impressive 70,950 euros

To find out the latter, head down to the cellar with company boss Andreas Bovensiepen - more precisely the tasting Wine cellar. With indirect light, eight and a half degrees and a babbling room fountain, the amazed gaze wanders over dusty and sinfully expensive Chateau Petrus pods and other fine wines. Unfortunately, just look, don't try, we want to taste automotive subtleties right away, although the 350 hp and 700 Newton meters of the BMW Alpina D5 Biturbo sound more like brute neck stretching than subtle indulgence.

Alpina delivers it for an impressive 70,950 euros BMW Alpina D5 Biturbo - the Forte version of the BMW 535d with 37 hp and 70 Newton meters extra. And of course the folklore that is typical of the brand, so popular with fans. Don't just think about the traditional stickers with the golden decorative stripes, they can be canceled. Much more important are the 20-inch multi-spoke wheels with the covered tire valve, leather upholstery with Alpina metal emblem, front spoiler and diffuser, the latter can be dispensed with in favor of a trailer hitch. Indispensable, however, are the metal production badge with the type number, the blue instrument dials and the special decorative strips in the BMW Alpina D5 Biturbo. Forget something? Exactly, the steering wheel in particularly grippy Lavalina leather with two-tone decorative stitching.

From zero to 100 km /h in 5.2 seconds

Yesit is much more important what is attached to it. Among other things, a modified chassis with new characteristics of the adaptive dampers, six millimeters shorter springs and increased camber on the front axle as an adaptation to the mixed tires with 255 Michelin Super Sport at the front and 285 at the rear. Together with the optional limited-slip differential, they strive to bring the pressure of the three-liter diesel to the asphalt effectively. What they succeed in: The 1.9-ton BMW Alpina D5 Biturbo punches itself to 100 km /h in 5.2 seconds, and 160 km /h is reached in 12.4 seconds.

The pull-through is even more impressive out. Regardless of the speed, the BMW Alpina D5 Biturbo pushes ahead, rushes off, tries to turn the stomach around the sensitive. Even hardened people register a clear tickling. The engine can be lowered down to 1,000 rpm in order to climb straight up on the pedal, turning it creamy towards 5,000 rpm - neither nastily insulted nor blaring strained. No wonder, the exhaust system partly corresponds to that of the gasoline B5.

Sound converts between gasoline and diesel

What we are right in the middle of Alpina breathing training. Because instead of planting expensive new turbochargers in the series engine, the engineers worked intensively on supplying fresh air and cooling the in-line six. The result was a new intake air duct, combined with a larger charge air cooler under the hood and two water coolers in front of the wheel arches. Manifolds made of a particularly heat-resistant material defy the increased temperature of the exhaust gas before it finally escapes through the system of the gasoline engine B5. The sound of the BMW Alpina D5 Biturbo shifts somewhere between gasoline and diesel without completely denying its working principle.

With the BMW Alpina D5 Biturbo, everyday life is also possible

Together with the eight-speed automatic, which can be shifted manually using the typical Alpina gearshift levers on the steering wheel, he dispenses with hectic speed jumps. In everyday life, 2,000 rpm is enough for him to get around quickly, only in Eco-Pro mode with a speed warning at 130 km /h is the matter very economical. Comfort + always works for this, then the BMW Alpina D5 Biturbo maintains gentle asphalt contact without bothering the occupants with bumps.

In Sport and Sport +, the BMW Alpina D5 Biturbo, which has an equal weight distribution, tightens itself and seems to throw off ballast , while it turns agile and when accelerating out, thanks to more revealing electronics, it can even push the rear slightly. But never without the necessary seriousness. We are finally dealing with a 5 for connoisseurs.


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