While Ruf and AMG grab most of the big tuner headlines from Germany, Alpina quietly and competently produced some of the wildest and best executed BMWs ever made. Simply put, Alpina made already good BMWs better – and arguably still do today. One of the most interesting aspects of the company is the close working relationship they have with the factory; a partnership which results in truly special treatment. Take the Alpina B8 for example; any normal tuner might have simply enlarged the inline-6 under the hood of the already potent M3. Or, in the tradition of the 1980s Alpinas, they could have turbocharged the engine. But instead Alpina asked BMW to make them a special V8. And, somewhat surprisingly, BMW did – a new block was designed for Alpina since the normal 4.0 couldn’t be bored out. The result was a 4.6 liter motor which was fit to the B8 4.6 and B10 as well. The motor was so large in the E36 that a special oil pan had to be designed, and neatly a German camera maker had to be employed to design and build a special oil pump to run it. Yet in true Alpina tradition, the fit and finish was factory and accompanied a host of suspension, interior and aerodynamic tweaks. Capped off by special Alpina paint, these B8s are truly special E36s. While the B8 4.6 is the headline grabber, Alpina built a short run of 5…or perhaps 6….4 liter models that were sold in Japan:
All posts tagged e36
The Dakar Yellow BMW M3 Sedan we featured late last year is back on offer. If you need a bit of practicality with your M car serving, there are few better formulas than the E36 M3 sedan.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 BMW M3 Sedan on eBay
The below post originally appeared on our site November 4, 2014:
Out of the box, the BMW E36 M3 offered almost everything a serious motorist could want. A lusty inline-6, slick manual gearbox and beefed up body cladding to differentiate itself from the lesser models on which it was based. But there’s always customers out there who want just a bit more or prefer to tinker with their ride a bit to stand out from the crowd. This 1997 BMW M3 comes to us from our friends at Sun Valley Auto Club and is equipped with a Hamann body kit and Hamann PG3 wheels, along with Sparco seats and H&R springs. Added in to the mix is a hue of purple that will certainly grab your attention.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 BMW M3 at Sun Valley Auto Club
When enthusiasts of Mercedes-Benz and AMG products think the W124, one car that doesn’t readily come to mind is the E36. Right at the end of the W124 production run and beginning of the in-house AMG marriage to Daimler-Benz, a special car was produced – and amazingly, it wasn’t the 500E. The E36 received typical AMG updates like the wheels, suspension and body-kit; a recipe we’re used to. But under the hood was a 24V inline-6 that was shared with the W202 C36 AMG, good for 270-odd horsepower and it could be mated to a manual transmission. It was also available in 4 versions; sedan, coupe, convertible and – you guessed it, Estate wagon form. They’re exceedingly rare to find, and this isn’t one. But it does have some of the key details – and unlike earlier’s AMG imposter, here’s a W124 AMG replica that pulls off the look perfectly:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 AMG Estate on Classic Driver
Okay, so maybe the Renault 5 isn’t your thing. I get it, it’s not mine either. I like the ideal and audacity of the Turbo models with their mid-engined lunacy, but pricing on good examples is pretty outrageous and if the videos of them driving are to be believed, they’re not the best hatch dynamically. No, I’ve pretty much always been a Golf fan, having owned a few of them now. But I must admit I had a soft spot when the E35/5 hatch popped up for sale. To me, it combined some luxury looks with practical performance. And when I say performance, honestly there wasn’t much available. The M44 engine that was fit to the 318ti was a decent performer, but it had only 138 horsepower, and at the price point you were much better off getting a GTi VR6, which oddly was more luxury oriented than most of the 318tis and offered more performance. However, the base of the 318ti was a good idea; a smart looking, light and nimble hatchback with a manual transmission and rear drive. And, of course, being an E36 platform, it was ripe for engine transplants. Today’s example is one of the more rare M-Sport equipped models, but this one has yanked the M44 in favor of an odd choice – the M52B25: