Very approachable. From the click of the starter button to the primary prod of the throttle in Sport mode, the B4 S is a docile beast. Where the M4 awakens with a deep-throated growl, the Alpina, blowing thru its standard-fit Akrapovič exhaust, has a subtler, softer voice.
Leave the drivetrain set to its default Comfort mode and the one trace of its doable efficiency comes with the easy means it shifts the automobile’s 1690kg mass. The engine slightly treads over 2000rpm all over commonplace city using and the gearbox flicks into 7th and 8th strangely continuously.
The advantage of the N55 lump’s Alpina adjustments turns into clearest when it’s set to Sport mode and allowed to spin against the redline. The engine is responsive from low down the rev band and there’s an overly obtrusive kick at 3000rpm that’s accompanied by way of a silky in-line six-tone. On upshifts, there is a hefty shove in ahead thrust.
Even with its extra accelerative powertrain, the Alpina is healthier than the M4 in putting that energy onto the tarmac. Where the M4’s grunt lands in a single explosive strike that just about at all times turns out to triumph over the grip on be offering, the Alpina’s extra elastic motor transmits its energy onto the bottom with a emerging surge. This manner you’ll be able to pressure with extra self assurance than one does within the edgier M4 and it permits you to be extra competitive with the throttle on nook exits.
That’s to not say that the B4 S is quicker than its BMW sibling. The M4, with its hunkered down frame and critical weight benefit, turns and forestalls quicker. But the Alpina’s much less hard-edged suspension irons out creases and cracks within the avenue extra successfully – spectacular for the reason that the automobile sits on large 20in Alpina Classic alloys. It makes keeping up a easy tempo alongside a B-road a lot more straightforward and doesn’t require the wide-eyed focal point of the M4 on a slippery floor.
Combine this with splendidly constant guidance that feels completely weighted to a automobile with this a lot muscle, plus a extremely responsive gearbox that may be managed manually by the use of Alpina’s shift buttons at the again of the wheel, and you’ve got a automobile this is as flattering as it’s rewarding to pressure.
The wonderful thing about the B4 S comes being able to then dial issues again to Comfort and permit the automobile to go with the flow alongside. The dampers loosen their grab at the frame and make allowance for a cushioned trip – a telling representation of the results of the B4 S’s extra virtuous suspension set-up. It additionally emphasises the versatility on be offering from this much less targeted Bavarian coupé.
If there’s something to whinge about from in the back of the wheel, it’s the comparative loss of high-tech infotainment on be offering, which merely can not rival the Virtual Cockpit within the Audi RS5. But whilst the BMW gadget is missing in theatre, within the Alpina its classically styled options and the fitment of conventional dials arguably swimsuit the automobile’s extra conventional luxurious persona.
Alpina B4 S 2017 UK review