The ALPINA B5 Touring is forbidden fruit for us ‘Merican buyers. Not only do we not get the 5 Series Touring, but ALPINA keeps its B5 model lineup from us as well. Which is a shame because, as far as practical performance wagons go, it’s genuinely hard to beat the ALPINA B5 Touring. So to give any American readers an idea of what it’s like to drive one, a taste of such forbidden fruit, check out this new video from AutoTopNL.
Like all AutoTopNL POV videos, this one puts you in the driver’s seat of the B5 Touring, to give you the closest possible idea of what it’s like to drive. You get to see what the cabin looks like from the driver’s seat, how it responds to inputs, how quickly it gets up to speed, and even what it sounds like. For Americans, this is likely the closest we’ll ever get.
The ALPINA B5 Touring is based on an M550i Touring, not the full-blown M5. However, ALPINA essentially rips its guts out and replaces them with its own. That means the usual BMW N63 engine gets completely torn down and modified, with new pistons, a new intake manifold, new exhaust manifold, bigger turbochargers, and much more. The results are barely noticeably on paper, where its 600 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque aren’t much different. However, the entire character and feel of the engine are different, making it far more engaging and exciting to use. For anyone that hasn’t driven an ALPINA, the difference is real.
In this video, we get to see the ALPINA B5 Touring hit the Autobahn to see how it cruises at triple-digit speed. It also gets to hit a whopping 320 km/h (198 mph), which is astonishing when you consider it’s a massive family wagon with leather seats and a comfy cabin. Even more impressive is how it hits 320 km/h. It’s rock-solid stable and incredible smooth, thanks to ALPINA’s brilliant suspension. If you want an Autobahn cruiser, the ALPINA B5 is hard to beat. It just sucks we can’t get it here.