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This BMW Alpina B5 Touring is a remarkable ‘super estate’ presented in pristine order following a recent engine rebuild as well as mechanical and cosmetic restoration. It is powered by a supercharged 493bhp 4.4-litre V8 engine, which produces a substantial 516 lb ft of torque, and is driven through a six-speed ZF ‘Switch-tronic’ automatic transmission. The car has covered 91,000 miles from new, and only 1,000 miles of that since an extensive rebuild was completed.

An original UK-delivery right-hand drive example, this Alpina B5 was first registered in November 2005. The car is understood to be one of only three right-hand drive examples of the B5 Touring in the UK, and the plaque inside confirms it is production number ‘007’.

It has just two previous keepers from new, and has been owned by the vendor for the last seven years. He has enjoyed around 20,000 miles behind the wheel, but has now decided to offer the car for sale so that it can thrill a new owner with its remarkable pace and composure.

The Malachite Green paint colour is from the BMW Individual Collection, and the finish on this B5 Touring is in outstanding condition. It has received a full respray in the original hue, as well as a comprehensive treatment from Topaz Detailing to ensure it presents superbly. The vendor notes that a very light scratch on the bonnet is the only imperfection. As you would expect, the 20-spoke Alpina alloy wheels are also in superb order, having been freshly refurbished by the experts at Lepsons in Kent.

In the cabin, the Caramel leather upholstery perfectly complements the dark green exterior. All of the leather is original. The material finish remains in superb condition throughout, with only some slight wear noticeable on the driver’s seat. Since the leather was otherwise undamaged, the owner elected to retain all of it for originality. The driver’s seat was however re-padded with new foam during the restoration, so it’s now as comfortable and supportive as when it left the factory. Additional trim in dark Poplar wood offsets the leather colour, while the roof pillars and headlining are trimmed in anthracite Alcantara.

The car features all of the creature comforts you could ask for, including dual-zone climate control, heated and ventilated seats, glass sunroof, BMW Professional media system and all-round parking sensors. The vendor notes that the in-built satellite navigation system is currently not functioning, but there are no faults recorded among the other electronics.

Mechanically, this particular B5 Touring is in outstanding condition, benefitting from a total engine rebuild at the Alpina factory in Germany around 3,000 miles ago. A new supercharger was also fitted by the master technicians at Sytner, Alpina’s UK importer.

Following the engine work, the vendor had the car inspected and enhanced by renowned BMW performance specialist, Birds. The suspension was redesigned and adjusted in places with new Bilstein items, bushings and anti-roll bars which maintained the Alpina feel but with notably improved high-speed stability and comfort. There is also a Quaife limited-slip differential and the OEM Sport-mode function has been enabled.

The car was last inspected in August 2019 by Birds in Buckinghamshire. Its last MOT test was in November 2018 at 90,098 miles, which resulted in a clean pass with no advisories. The alloy wheels are shod in a matching set of Michelin Pilot Sport tyres, in size 245/40 ZR19 at the front and 275/35 ZR19 at the rear. The tyres are all in good condition, with plenty of tread depth remaining.

“The B5 pulls off the remarkable feat of being both an immensely relaxing car to drive and a ridiculously quick one,” said Evo magazine on the Alpina in 2005. The verdict continued, “Then there’s the added bonus of its rapturous exhaust note that builds from a silky burble to a howling snarl, never too loud but unmistakable from the cabin all the same; it’s perfectly judged and you’d buy the car on the strength of the noise it makes alone.”

Accompanied by a comprehensive history file, including the original invoice and build specification, this Alpina is also sold with a set of OEM winter wheels and tyres – which have not been refurbished, but are in usable condition – as well as a spare summer wheel and tyre. The car is also fitted with a Tracker. A bespoke Alpina indoor car cover is included, along with a trickle charger.

This BMW Alpina B5 Touring is a remarkably rare V8 estate that offers a special blend of everyday practicality and astonishing performance. It is presented in perfect working condition with discreet modifications by leading BMW specialist Birds that improve on the factory specification. This modern classic would be a great addition to any contemporary BMW collection, but is equally well-suited to life as an unusual and exciting family car.

Bidders should note that the personalised plate shown on the car is not included in the sale. It will be switched back to an age-related registration plate in the event of a successful auction.

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At a glance...

Seller

DANS

Lot Number

00111

Location - Country

United Kingdom

Location of car

London

Chassis/VIN
Vehicle make

BMW

Exterior Colour

Malachite Individual Green S10

Interior Colour

Caramel Merino 8022290

Mileage

91,000 miles

Left/Right hand drive

Right

Transmission

Automatic

Seller Type

Private

    1. Hi Philip,

      Thank you! From the factory the B5 always went better than it steered, it was a bit wallowy and the steering at speed would get fairly vague. So we set out to make it work better at speed which is when the engine really comes to life. The approach we took was to look at three things, firstly physically what needed to be changed, secondly what in the OEM set up hindered better on-road performance and then with that done how the whole thing was set up.

      When BMW were developing the E6x cars they developed an early version of the now ubiquitous sport button, but it was only released on production versions of the pre-LCI E6x in a few markets, not including the UK. The kit was however available and once fitted it sharpens the steering and greatly reduces the assistance, giving more steering feel. It also speeds up gear shifts and in auto holds on to gears for longer. Lastly throttle response is faster. All round the car feels more taught and more responsive to inputs. So we fitted that kit, and then went to work on the suspension.

      Physically Birds fitted a Quaife LSD, they replaced the stock dampers with Bilstein B6 units and added a slightly stronger ant roll bar. Springs stayed stock. We were very keen not to sacrifice the Alpina feel once out on the road, so we didn’t want to change too much.

      The rest of the work went into getting the set up exactly right, lots of road miles went into getting the feel of the car we wanted. As a result it is significantly more stable at speed than it was, the turn in is more positive and the differential means traction is greatly improved. The car is slightly firmer in urban streets, but once moving it has the silky pliancy of an Alpina and handling to match that engine.

    1. Hi,

      It started with a supercharger change, as the old unit had failed and the engine was smoking under load. The old supercharger was dead, but replacing it didn’t cure the issue, so Axel Rimpler at Alpina recommended removing the engine from the car and shipping it back to the factory in Buchloe to be stripped and inspected. To quote Alpina, the engine was totally worn out, their supposition was that the wrong oil filter had been used multiple times (BMW dealers unfamiliar with the car would often use the filter for the BMW version of the same engine which did not have a fine enough mesh to filter out particles which then enter the supercharger and damage it as it spins at 100k RPM, the resulting swarf enters the engine and eventually damages it as well as the supercharger). The engine was consuming oil, had scoring to the bores and oil in a number of ancillary systems including the intake manifold and alternator. In addition there is a known issue with valve seals on some BMW engines. On this engine they were showing some initial wear, so we decided to change them preventatively where required. Below is the list of items that were replaced:
      · New Engine block
      · New Pistons (includes new Rings)
      · New Boost Pressure Controller
      · New Intake manifold
      · New Alternator
      · New Pulley for Radial Compressor
      · New Exhaust and New Inlet Valves as required (some did not need changing)
      · New Timing Chain & Rail
      · New Bearing Shells for Crankshaft and Connecting Rods
      · New Coolant Pump & Thermostat
      · All required Gaskets / Seals / Bolts /Screws etc etc.
      Alpina changed everything they felt showed any sign of wear as is their policy before bench testing the engine and then returning it to Sytner to be re-fitted to the car.
      I hope this answers the question.
      Cheers
      Dan

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