Alpina. Performance without all the performance.

PERFORMANCE WITHOUT ALL THE PERFORMANCE. Burkard Bovensiepen, the head of the fitly Bavarian Alpina company, refers to his products as the world's fantont family cars!' Certainly, at first glance, they don't look much like performance cars in the accepted sense. They don't necessitate you crawling itt and out of them.They have four proper seats. They even have sensible-sized boots. And as such, they manage to avoid unwanted attention (particularly if you're in a hurry on a motorway). Unashamedly, an Alpina begins life as a BMW. And in terms of comfort, equipment levels and practicality, a BMW it remains. But, understated as it is, an Alpina isfar from a mere conversion of a BMW Autocar refers to it as 'improving upon what are already excellent cars, without any .tp parent losses:' Each one is built up by hand, with an almost obsessive attention to detail. The su.spension is completely reworked Progressive rats springs have been specially developed to balance perfectly with notated gas-filled Bilstein dampers. Wide, r6' diameter alloy wheels are fitted with ultra low profile Pirelli Pp. The result, in the words of Autocar, is that everyone who drives an Alpina for the first timc comms away with the impression that the cars are hewn out of solid tar And that staggering feel. roadholding and stability is by no means wasted. The 3.5 litre Br° engine, installed in the '5;1' and '7'series body shells, develops a conservanve 260bhp. Traisslated into top speeds, we're talking about x54, :51, and 148mph respectively. The 2.5 intro Ca, installed in the '3' scrics. produces By hhp, and Alms you front o-Eo in an almost Indecent 6.7 second.s. But, impressive as the figures kok on paper, Me re.Ality is once again summed up by Autocar when they remark that 'as with any product in. tended for gourmets, the real enjoytnent should come from the partakinr RiogSyorron 0602 582834 and you're in for a mat.

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