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Tuner Tuesday: 1996 Alpina B8 4.0

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:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Alpina B8 on Bimmerforums

Year: 1996
Model: B8
Engine: 4.0 liter V8
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 62,000km (38,525 mi)
Price: $29,000

-1996 Alpina B8
-62000 km
-4.0 litre V8
-6 speed manual
-310 HP
-300 TQ
– I’m asking 29000.00 OBO
-#3 of 5 in the world

Im selling my 1996 Alpina B8 . It is the ultimate drivers car with a V8 that has 300 ft lbs TQ that is full TQ at 1500 rpm . Never winter driven , paint is original and in amazing condition with zero rust . I used to have a 97 M3 which was a great car but did not compare to my B8 .

Im not the best at describing the car but it really speaks for its self

Amazingly, despite the over half-a-liter shortage compared to the 4.6, there was only about a 25 horsepower difference between the two. 310 horsepower wasn’t much more power than the European M3, but importantly that V8 had massive torque and it was available near idle. The result was that the V8 model was good for instant speed. Inside and out, this was a special car; all Alpinas look special, but as sedate as the modifications are they add up to a massive change in character to the models. Of course, being an Alpina it’s already quite exclusive. I’m not sure that being the much more rare 4.0 versus 4.6 the value is increased; a reported 221 4.6s were made in 4 configurations, and my guess is that the Touring versions probably demand the most money. However, the Alpina Archives document these models very well, and this does appear to be the only B8 of either configuration that’s in North America. Certainly that makes this car quite special, and considering it comes to the market cheaper than a majority of the M3 Lightweight prices we’ve seen I’d view it as a veritable bargain in comparison.



  1. Kelly Bonds
    Kelly Bonds April 21, 2015

    This is a truly special car. I’d buy this over any over valued E30 M3 every time.

  2. Early8q
    Early8q April 21, 2015

    I never crossed over from from the VAG line up as a devout Quattro guy, but long before Quattro, and long before I could support myself, I dreamed of an Alpina. Cars like this one just remind me of of those dreams. The Alpina package is just so appealing to me.

  3. JC
    JC April 22, 2015

    Sub 40,000 miles….

    This is investment grade.

  4. Greg
    Greg April 22, 2015

    I remember reading about these cars in BMW Car and Total BMW Magazine back in the 90s. I don’t know if the ultimate E36 would be one of these or a Euro M3 evo (3.2L 321 hp). Either way I prefer the sedan version to the coupe.

  5. Another Bob
    Another Bob April 22, 2015

    Trade in your 911 SC for this and watch your portfolio continue to grow.

  6. Burton
    Burton April 22, 2015

    I agree that it is awesome, but I would rather have the 4.6, as I think most collectors would. Rarity does not make up for weaker performance.

    It looks very sharp, but why is it still for sale after 10 months! These can be imported and federalized today. Cost is between $5 and $10k.

    Mike mine a 4.6 touring!

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