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ALPINA FAQ 1:
What is ALPINA ?

ALPINA is a German automobile manufacturer with close ties to BMW. All ALPINA automobiles are based on BMW models. ALPINA is not a tuner. ALPINA automobiles are fully supported by BMW.

In fact the automobiles themselves are referred to as BMW ALPINAs to signify this fact.

Click here for a more indepth article on the history of ALPINA


Last updated: 8:30 PM, 9th July 2007
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ALPINA FAQ 2:
Who is ALPINA ?

ALPINA is a family owned business officially known a ALPINA Burkard Bovensiepen GmbH + Co. KG

The ALPINA name actually stems from the founder's (Burkard Bovensiepen) father's typewriter company, which itself took it's name from the closely located Alps.



Last updated: 8:31 PM, 9th July 2007
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ALPINA FAQ 3:
Where is ALPINA based ?

Originally ALPINA started business in a section of the ALPINA typewriter factory in a town called Kaufbeuren. In 1965 they relocated to Buchloe, Germany (a small town about an hour west of the Bavarian capital, Munich) where they are still to this day.



Buchloe viewed from Satellite


Last updated: 8:31 PM, 9th July 2007
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ALPINA FAQ 4:
Why ALPINA ?

ALPINA exists to produce cars that are missing from the normal BMW, BMW M and BMW Individual ranges.

Originally the company start after BB started modifying his own BMWs and soon began doing the same for other owners in Germany.


Last updated: 8:33 PM, 9th July 2007
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ALPINA FAQ 5:
Where are BMW ALPINAs built

All BMW ALPINAs are now built at one of BMW's Factories. This follows extensive R&D at ALPINA.



The engines are still all made by hand at ALPINA's factory in Buchloe (* apart from the D3 engine). Each engine is built by one technician and when complete shipped to the relevant BMW factory to be added to the car's chassis. All other parts are specified and sourced by ALPINA and also delivered to the BMW factory.

Once the car is constructed by the BMW factory it is shipped to Buchloe for completion. This at a minimum includes adding the wheels, badges, spoilers and interior details. Options anywhere from ALPINA stripes to fully bespoke leather interiors are also available.

For further information about ALPINA today please refer to this article



Last updated: 8:33 PM, 9th July 2007
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ALPINA FAQ 6:
Where can I buy a BMW ALPINA?

ALPINA is officially represented in the following geographies:

Germany
BMW ALPINA automobiles can be purchased through BMW dealerships throughout Germany.

The full list is -> HERE
UK
In the UK cars are supplied by Sytner group. Any BMW garage can sell a BMW ALPINA, but they order this via Sytner.


ALPINA's UK website


John Clark in Scotland also has a long relationship with ALPINA, but again buys new cars via Sytner.

Click For the full list of UK contact details
Japan
Nicole Automobiles Co., Ltd. has had a long history with ALPINA in Japan.

ALPINA's Japanese website
USA
BMW of North America is now the sole supplier of BMW ALPINA automobiles in the USA. Currently only one model is available the BMW ALPINA B7.

ALPINA's US website
Russia
ALPINA has two representatives in Russia ABTODOM in Moscow and EUROSIB LAHTA in Saint Petersburg.
Middle East
ALPINA has two representatives in the Middle East. Abu Dhabi Motors in Abu Dhabi and Arabian Gulf Mechanical Centre in Dubai.


ALPINA's Middle East website



To check the full list of Worldwide contacts click -> HERE


Last updated: 7:38 AM, 8th July 2007
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ALPINA FAQ 7:
How many BMW ALPINAs ?

All BMW ALPINA automobiles have a unique plaque, highlighting its rarity and exclusivity. The Plaque illustrates the unique number of the vehicle based on worldwide production of a particular model derivation e.g. e39 5 Series based B10 3.3 Saloon or e46 3 Series based B3 S touring.

Both LHD and RHD cars share the same numbering.

As implied above there will be a 001 B3 Bi-turbo Saloon, 001 B3 Bi-turbo Coupe, 001 B3 Bi-Turbo Cabrio and a 001 B3 Bi-turbo Touring.

In the UK
Some of the earlier UK cars were made under license by TWS and then by Sytner (vs. being imported from Buchloe) these cars have a less clear numbering system.

You can find a breakdown of the UK production numbers since 1993 Here


Last updated: 8:43 PM, 9th July 2007
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ALPINA FAQ 8:
What is the Warranty on a BMW ALPINA ?

All BMW ALPINAs world-wide come with a two-year, unlimited-mileage warranty, as do all BMWs*.

(*)Switzerland and the UK are the only two countries in Europe that BMW offers a three year warranty


Last updated: 8:43 PM, 9th July 2007
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ALPINA FAQ 9:
What is the current BMW ALPINA line up ?

ALPINA currently produces:

ALPINA B7 Saloon
The longest running of the current model line up. Based on the e65 7 Series. Introduced in 2004 the car saw the first appearance of the H1 engine. This 4.4-litre engine utilises an ASA supercharger to increase power to 493bhp and 516lb ft.

ALPINA B6 Coupe and Cabrio
Based on e63/e64 6 Series and also using the H1 engine. Performance is up slightly from the 7 Series thanks to smaller weight. The car also has 4 exhausts as compared to 2 on both the 7 Series and 5 Series.

ALPINA B5 Saloon and Touring
Based on the e60/e61 5 Series and again featuring the H1 engine.

ALPINA D3 Saloon and Touring
Based on the e90/e91 3 Series. The D3 opens up a new segment for ALPINA being their cheapest car ever. The D3 uses a tuned version of the 320d engine. Power rises to 197bhp and torque to 302lb ft.

Coming Soon....

ALPINA B3 Bi-turbo Saloon, Coupe, Cabrio (and Touring)

The new B3 Bi-turbo Saloon debuted at Geneva 2007 and features a tuned version of BMW's 335i petrol engine. Power rises to 355bhp and torque 369lb ft.

The B3 Bi-turbo Coupe made it's world-wide debut at Goodwood Festival of Speed, June 2007.



Last updated: 8:44 PM, 9th July 2007
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ALPINA FAQ 10:
Are BMW ALPINAs Speed restricted?

No

A characteristic of All ALPINA cars is that they have no artificial limiter on their top speed.

In fact the only speed-limited BMW ALPINA was the BMW ALPINA ROADSTER V8, as BB felt putting the aerodynamics needed to reduce rear lift would have been "like a moustache on the Mona Lisa" !

This is unlike all BMWs including M cars which are loosely limited to 155mph like most German cars.



Last updated: 8:46 PM, 9th July 2007
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ALPINA FAQ 11:
What is the rarest BMW ALPINA?

The rarest ALPINA ever was the B8 4.0 which only reached 4 units. All 4 cars went to Japan.

Last updated: 8:46 PM, 9th July 2007
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ALPINA FAQ 12:
What is the H1 ?

H1 is the codename for the engine that powers the current B7 (7 Series), B5 (5 Series) and B6 (6 Series) ALPINAs.

Based on the 4.4-litre (N62B44) BMW Engine it utilises supercharger to produce 493bhp and 516lb ft.

The supercharger is unique and patented. There is, at present, nothing like it in the industry.

It uses what looks nominally like the intake half of a turbo, but is driven through a fixed-ratio planetary gearset off the crank, hence being termed a 'Radial' or 'Nautilus-type compressor'. Using this system, 6,000rpm at the crank changes to 7,000 at the super-charger's bell housing pulley (driven over a poly-V belt), and rises to 105,000rpm at the turbine. As you can imagine that produces quite a bit of air pressure.

The real key is that the radial compressor's geometry is quite efficient. ALPINA talk of parasitic losses of about 20bhp at 6,000rpm. Most Roots-type or Lysholm super-charging systems use over 100bhp just to operate themselves at full song.

That's why the fuel economy is so good. Most Magazines are reporting ALPINA fuel economies in their double-tests of about 30% better than the competition. Another reason for the good mileage of the B7/B6/B5 is the generously-dimensioned, air-to-air inter-cooler. It is of the size and thermal capability usually found in a 7.5-tonnes lorry.

Lastly, and the reason for another patent on the system, there is the throttle switch or throttle plate before 'upstream of' the radial compressor.It feathers just the right amount of air over the turbine vane, sometimes only 3-4 percent of maximum volume, so that when it's disconnected or free wheeling



Last updated: 8:35 PM, 26th March 2007
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ALPINA FAQ 13:
Should my ALPINA have ALPINA roundels

A common question is whether an ALPINA should have ALPINA roundels / Crest Logos instead of BMW ones on the boot and bonnet.

The answer is no they should not. No ALPINA has ever featured such a thing and ALPINA have never made one. The car is known as a BMW ALPINA, as a reflection to the two companies working in close co-operation. As such the car retains it's BMW roundels and gets the ALPINA wording alongside.

ALPINA continue to use every legal means to challenge and stop the makers of ALPINA Crest Logos for the boot and bonnet, since there is, originally, no such thing.


Last updated: 5:12 PM, 1st September 2008
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ALPINA FAQ 14:
What is an ALPINA Plaque

All ALPINA cars have a unique plaque, highlighting it's rarity and exclusivity. The Plaque illustrates the car's unique number of the car based on Worldwide production of a particular model derivation e.g. e39 5 Series based B10 3.3 Saloon or e46 3 Series based B3 S touring.

Both LHD and RHD cars share the same numbering.

As implied above there will be a 001 B3 bi-turbo Saloon, 001 B3 bi-turbo Coupe and a 001 B3 bi-turbo Touring.

In the UK
Some of the earlier UK cars were made under licence by TWS and then by Sytner (vs. being imported from Buchloe) these cars have a less clear numbering system.


Last updated: 9:45 PM, 9th July 2007
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ALPINA FAQ 15:
How can I recognise a BMW ALPINA

You can recognise a BMW ALPINA usually by the following details:
  • Low stright front spoiler.
  • ALPINA 20 spoke wheels either in Classic or more modern Dynamic styles.
  • ALPINA badging on rear of car

    Last updated: 8:32 AM, 8th July 2007
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    ALPINA FAQ 16:
    So whats with ALPINA Wheels

    ALPINA Wheels

    One of the most recognisable aspects of an ALPINA is the wheels.

    CLASSICS
    Only started being called CLASSIC when ALPINA introduced the DYNAMIC wheel.

    They debuted in 1971 on the BMW 3.0 CSL "batmobile", the car ALPINA developed and built for BMW for Touring Car racing.

    Classic Wheels Evolution

    Softlines vs. Hardlines

    DYNAMICS
    Dynamics were introduced in 2002 on the Z8 based Roadster V8. As with the Classic wheel the Dynamic has 20 spokes (5 sets of 4)

    ALPINA wheels are available for purchase seperately and can be bought for all models where there is an ALPINA derivative as well as models that never had an ALPINA version (1 Series, X3, X5, and Mini)



    Last updated: 8:30 AM, 8th July 2007
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    ALPINA FAQ 17:
    Do BMW ALPINA's have more than 1 VIN / Chassis numbers

    Yes

    They have in fact two VINs (Vehicle Identification numbers).

    The original BMW one, which is crossed out (physically with a X, this is done with a laser). This is done in such a way that the VIN is still readable.

    And the ALPINA one. This is the car's real VIN which should appear on the vehicles V5 (in the UK).

    Just to confuse BMW refer to the car using the original VIN on their computers.



    Last updated: 8:56 PM, 9th July 2007
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    ALPINA FAQ 18:
    Is my BMW ALPINA thatcham Cat 1?

    Yes.

    In car entertainment and security are standard BMW items. Therefore the car has a BMW security system that is thatcham Cat 1 approved. Certainly this is the case for all cars 1997 onwards.


    Last updated: 8:56 PM, 9th July 2007
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    ALPINA FAQ 19:
    Is a BMW ALPINA modified or imported

    Despite insurance companies telling you this. A BMW ALPINA is neither imported or modified.

    ALPINA is recognised a car maker in it's own right and their automobiles are brought into the country just like any other makers cars, such as BMW.


    Last updated: 9:01 PM, 9th July 2007
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