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2018 Alpina B6 xDrive Gran Coupe

Alpina bills itself as a company that "creates exclusive automobiles for a small circle of connoisseurs who appreciate the extraordinary." Today, Alpina-built vehicles can be purchased directly from BMW dealers, meaning they're delivered as-new and with a robust warranty that can be honored at any dealership that sells Alpina vehicles.

While customization of a previously purchased vehicle is not available to customers in the United States (whereas it can be done in Europe), normal BMW special-order options, such as EU delivery, are still available.

The Alpina Difference

To build the B6, Alpina starts with a well-equipped BMW 650i xDrive Gran Coupe, then overhauls the powertrain, suspension and aesthetics to create a customized, high-performance package for the buyer who wants a little more ultimate in his or her driving machine.

Under the hood, the 650i's 4.4L, twin-turbocharged V8 has been juiced up to produce 540 horsepower and 540lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy has been rated by the EPA at16 mpg in the city and 24 on the highway.

The modifications don't end with the driveline. The B6 features performance-oriented upgrades to BMW's already-versatile adaptive suspension. It sits slightly lower on shortened springs, but does not give up much in the way of ride comfort. Unique 21" wheels and upgraded tires round out the package.

The B6 is also fitted with a unique aerodynamic kit to improve stability all the way to its top speed of 194 miles per hour (drag-limited). BMW and Alpina claim the B6 will hit 60 miles per hour in just 3.6 seconds.

Standard and Optional Features

Like its foundation, the B6 Gran Coupe comes standard with leather upholstery, a navigation system with a 10.2-inch display, voice command functionality and 20 GB of storage space, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, dynamic cruise control, a rear-view camera, a nine-speaker, 205-watt AM/FM/CD stereo system with HD radio and a USB input, a sunroof, a proximity key, xenon headlights, LED foglights and 18-inch alloy wheels.

Available on the options list of the Gran Coupe are technology items such as a Surround View parking camera system, Parking Assistant, BMW Night Vision with pedestrian recognition, a Lane Departure Warning System and Active Blind Spot Detection along with the BMW Head-Up-Display. The latest incarnation of this system projects vital information onto the windshield in full color. For audiophiles, the Bang & Olufsen High-End Surround Sound System provides what BMW describes as "a feast of aural pleasure seldom experienced inside a car."

The drive mode upgrades, wheels and suspension tuning which would normally also differentiate the 650 line from lesser 6 Series Gran Coupe offerings are all replaced by Alpina-specific equipment.

To this, the Alpina B6 package adds Alpina Blue illuminated door sills, a unique steering wheel, an Alpina-branded LCD screen, Myrtle Burl wood trim or optional Alpina Piano Lacquer pieces with a silver rhombus pattern.

The B6 can also be ordered with most features and options available on the normal 650. See our overview of BMW's large coupe for more information.

Occupant Safety

All Gran Coupes come outfitted with dual front, front side and full-length side curtain airbags in addition to stability and traction control systems and electronic brakeforce distribution.

Also included is Active Protection, which tightens the seatbelts and closes the windows and sunroof if it detects an imminent crash. Afterwards, it automatically applies the brakes to reduce the likelihood of a second collision.

For longer journeys, an Attention Assistant feature evaluates the driver's control inputs and issues an encouragement to rest if it detects signs of fatigue.

Key Competitors

As a so-called four-door-coupe, the 6 Series Gran Coupe faces competition from the sporty Audi S7, the Mercedes-AMG CLS.