• Tim Schwartz

Alpina B-10 Bi-Turbo: The Most Underrated Car of The 90s


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Recently fetching an astounding price of $77,500 at auction, the Alpina B10 Bi-Turbo is certainly a car to get excited about. In fact, a lot of car enthusiasts consider it the most underrated car of the 90s!


The vehicle certainly had car buyers going hammer and tongs at a recent auction, so what is it about this car that causes so much hysteria? Let’s get under the hood and find out a bit more.


Alpina and their relationship with BMW


Before we delve deeper into the specific surrounding this legendary vehicle, we must give you a little bit of background information.


Alpina is a car manufacturing business that is based in Buchloe, in Bavaria, Germany. They were founded in 1965 by Burkard Bovensiepen, and they are known for selling high-performance versions of BMW vehicles.


The two brands have long worked together to create the pinnacle of the Ultimate Driving Machine. That’s what Alpina cars are all about!


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While they work completely independent of BMW, they are permanently partnered with them, customizing and designing high-performance versions of BMWs.


All of the vehicles are built and branded as Alpina vehicles, with the engine being manufactured by hand in the Alpina facility in Buchloe. This is then sent to the BMW plant where the engine and body are put together. After this, the vehicle is sent back to the Alpina plant for an interior upgrade, utilizing the application of the Alpina designed Switch-Tronic button shifter, optimization of the transmission, and the Alpina’s leathers.


Not only are their vehicles known for higher performance and torque, but unique styling, emphasis on luxury, and other options that are not usually available on BMW vehicles. The Alpina B10 Bi-Turbo epitomizes this.


The Alpina B10 Bi-Turbo


You know a car has elite status when there have only been 507 made, with one selling on Bring A Trailer for a remarkable price of $77,500 in April.


Although this may be considered a steal when you consider that the development cost of the vehicle was $3.2 million, showing you just how much went into the creation of this incredible vehicle.


You can take a look at this vehicle in all of its glory by taking a look at this YouTube video from Super Car Classics:




So, let’s take a look at the Alpina B10 Bi-Turbo in more detail.



History


The car was introduced in March 1989, at the Geneva Motor Show. At the time, it was the fastest production sedan in the world!


When it was released, it had a price tag of 146,800 DM, which was nearly double the price of the BMW it was based on.


Of course, it’s difficult to convert that into a realistic price today, considering inflation and, of course, Germany’s move to using the Euro currency.


Despite this price tag, the car ended up being the best-selling single model in the history of Alpina up to that point.



Production


Production on this vehicle began in 1989, with the vehicle being based on the BMW E34. Production ended five years later, in 1994, with 507 models created.


Production was ceased because BMW discontinued the M30 engine in 1993. The last 50 M30 engine blocks were sent to Alpina for use in their final 50 vehicles.


This means that despite the Alpina B10 Bi-Turbo achieving great commercial success, it is almost twice as rare as the Porsche 918, meaning it is certainly an honor and a rarity to own one of these incredible cars.



Performance


The Alpina B10 Bi-Turbo delivered a 0 - 100 km/h acceleration time of 5.6 seconds, as well as a top speed of more than 290 km/h. In terms of performance, this put it in the same league as the Ferrari Testarossa, a five years older model!


The late Paul Frère, a former racing driver and journalist from Belgium, said the following after trying the vehicle:


"The B10 Biturbo is the best four-door sedan in the world".

Emerald City Motors took this vehicle for a test drive, although we admit you can’t really see the full potential of this vehicle on these roads:





Styling


The styling was a mix of luxury, sophistication, and a dose of aggression. You simply couldn’t miss this vehicle. It was a real head turner then, and it is still one today.


The pinstripes on the body kit created a design that eluded to the power of the vehicle. It created excitement about what was inside.


The interior of the vehicle offers luxury at every turn. Supreme attention to detail and exceptional comfort promises a lavish albeit powerful ride.



Differences between the BMW E34 and Alpina B10 Bi-Turbo


There were a number of key differences between the Alpina B10 Bi-Turbo and the BMW E34. After all, they had to be to justify the doubled price tag! And boy did they do so!


One of the most notable additions was the pair of adjustable Garrett T25 Turbochargers, which took the power to 360bhp with 384Ib-ft of torque.



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Automatic load-leveling Fictel & Sachs at the rear were also added, as well as Bilstein shocks at the front, anti-roll bars, new springs, and bigger breaks. The performance was truly staggering!


The car was also given a more lavish interior, as well as a badass body kit. The decals are eye-catching too, ensuring that this vehicle had its own identity, telling everyone that it was bigger and better than the BMW E34.


The stunning multi-spoke Alpina rims were also a real highlight.



Final Words


So there you have it: an insight into the incredible Alpina B10 Bi-Turbo. Is this the most underrated car of the 90s? We would love to hear your thoughts on this monster of a vehicle! From the lavish interior to the superpower performance, we think you would be hardpressed to find a better car from this era!

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