There was always something magic for me about the Alpina B10 BiTurbo. After all, with 360 hp from a force-fed 3.5 Liter M30, based on the E34 chassis it was the fastest production sedan in the world (181 mph) when it came out in 1989. And it took quite sometime until that mark was surpassed though research shows conflicting results as to what car did it and when it was done.
Now, Alpina, isn’t that a tuning company and not a proper car manufacturer you might argue, and I will forgive you for your ignorance because yes, Alpina cars certainly look suspiciously like jazzed up beamers. And yet, they aren’t. Chassis parts are shipped from Munich to Buchenloe where assembly takes place and Alpina is recognized as an independent manufacturer, complete with its own VIN numbers.
It is one thing to read about the formerly fastest production sedan in the world and another to see one in the flesh. I have seen all kinds of insanely rare cars in Berlin by now, like a Jaguar XJ220 in rush hour traffic, but to be quite honest, I had given up on ever seeing a B10 BiTurbo out in the open more than ten years ago. Sure, pictures existed on the internet, in articles in old car magazines I had bought as a child. But was a B10 BiTurbo really a thing?
A certainly very BMW symbolic 507 of them had been produced until 1994, but I was growing increasingly suspicious that they were all stored away in airconditioned private earthquake proof sub-basement garages in Japan where mechanics kidnapped from Germany had to undergo 5 years of vigorous training until they were allowed to maintain them on a 24 hour special care schedule, handpolishing them while playing soft Mozart into the exhaust pipes from a Bose sound system carefully calibrated by a Shinto monk.
And then there it was. Once again on one of my lunch hour strolls through bourgeois Berlin Wilmersdorf. On a sunny autumn afternoon. Sure, the wheels weren’t orginal, but haven’t we all seen enough twenty spoke Alpina wheels by now and to not enough BBS sixteen spokes?
Have you seen one of those fantasy cars from the early nineties out in the open, ever? Please comment and let us know!