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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Be Different: Drive This Rare Alpina B6 2.8

BOLD RIDE

 
 
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If you’re in the market for a sports car or super sedan, you’d be missing out by shrugging off BMW. Precisely engineered, remarkably lithe, and surprisingly potent—it’s no wonder the BMW M3 and M5 have earned such cult status. 
 
But within that family exists an exclusive group—the Alpinas—BMWs by design, but with a DNA all their own. In a world obsessed with normality, these rare birds are a breath of fresh air, and this 1982 Alpina B6 2.8 is no exception. It’s one of just 533 ever built, and it struck its claim in BMW history thanks to one hot tamale of an engine.


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Unleashed upon the world in 1978, the Alpina B6 2.8 was an evolution of the already peppy BMW 323i coupe, the top rung of the E21 3 Series performance ladder. But instead of tinker further with that car’s straight-six, Alpina plucked the 2.8-liter engine from the BMW 528i and dropped it under the hood, mated to a Getrag five-speed manual. Mahle pistons were inserted, Zenith fuel injection equipped, and as a result the B6 roared with 200 horsepower and 183 lb-ft of twist on tap.

This unlocked zero to 60 mph sprints in a hair over seven seconds, as well as a top speed of 140 mph, meaning this Alpina could run with the best of its day. And it only got better. In 1981, the B6 2.8’s intake was revised, which brought forth a healthy 218 horsepower. By comparison, the 1981 323i ended its run with just 140 ponies to play with. This was quite the car.



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It got a thorough reworking inside and out as well. Alpina set the B6 2.8 on Bilstein shocks with shorter springs and bespoke 15-inch alloy wheels. Outside, it’s hard to miss the brand’s calling card stripes, splitter, and spoiler, while inside the Alpina trades its standard seats for a pair of Recaro buckets and its steering wheel for a sleek Momo unit.

All in all, it’s quite a good look, and remarkably this rare purveyor of speed is currently on the market. The car recently surfaced in Bad Bentheim, Germany, with 85,000 miles to its name. Needless to say, it won’t likely come cheap.