From meager beginnings in 1961, revolutionizing BMW carburetors, to formally uniting with BMW to produce legendary race cars by 1971, Alpina evolved into a force in the production of road cars by 1977. By the next year, Alpina introduced the B6, a BMW 3 Series whose standard 4-cylinder was swapped out for a 6-cylinder engine. First to employ computer-managed systems in the automobile, the B6's stable mate, the B7, employed a BMW 5 Series as its performance canvas. The BMW Alpina was soon to emerge to capture the imagination, many trophies, and a devoted following.
The demands of automobile manufacturing forced Alpina to withdraw from its racing pursuits and focus on new BMW Alpina cars by 1988. Building upon the existing BMW foundation of quality, Alpina introduced the B10 in 1989 and the D10 diesel in 1999. By this time, Alpina was involved in many performance aspects in its new cars, including innovative catalytic converters, drive systems, and transmissions.
Existing exclusively in the German market up till now, the US was about to be introduced to Alpina in 2003. Eyeing the BMW Z8, engineers went to work metamorphosizing it into an exclusive breed of luxury road car that could only be described as phenomenal. With 20-inch wheels, a special BMW automatic transmission, and a big BMW V8 engine, the Alpina Roadster V8 was the must have limited edition road car in 2003.
By continuing to refine its assets, the Alpina engineering team has succeeded in forging an automatic transmission whose shift characteristics prevent the need or desire for most drivers to opt for manual shifting. Employing a mechanically activated turbocharger, BMW Alpina's 500hp engine is even classified as fuel efficient. As a tribute to its humble beginnings, the descendants of the Alpina family tree, the B7, and the Roadster have become two of the most successful and widely-recognized sports cars in the world.