As a car manufacturer in its own right since 1983, ALPINA has partnered with BMW on and off the racing circuit for more than 40 years, collaborating on technological development and producing a steady stream of groundbreaking innovations which are reflected in our automobiles. The BMW ALPINA range is like no other, combining luxury and understated exclusivity with exceptional power and ability. Combining the ALPINA philosophy and engineering with the benefits of BMW engine technology, especially with regards to efficiency and emissions, results in a combination of effortless high-performance, in petrol and diesel form, but not at environmental cost.
The close collaboration between ALPINA and BMW is evident across all stages of the inception of a new model. Working closely with BMW, we begin simultaneous development and testing, long before a new model is launched, ensuring each BMW ALPINA builds upon the virtues of its BMW counterpart. ALPINA provides all necessary technical information and replacement parts to the BMW network, meaning servicing and warranty work is fully integrated and carried out in the normal way - at any BMW dealer.
As the only company to work on engine and chassis development with BMW's official approval, we tailor our range of automobiles to the demands of sports car cognoscenti - highly experienced drivers who combine a love of power and performance with a taste for luxury and quality of life.
Often 'graduating' to ALPINA ownership after a succession of other thrilling cars, this privileged minority - fewer than 2000 ALPINAs are produced annually - have discovered that refinement, comfort, stunning lines and speed can combine with 'real world' practicality.
ALPINA was founded by Burkard Bovensiepen, (b. 1936) who is still the CEO, started in 1965 with the foundation of Burkard Bovensiepen KG at Kaufbeuren in the southern German province of Bavaria. The original name can be traced to Dr. Rudolf Bovensiepen, his father, whose company's purpose was to make office machinery.
ALPINA typewriters were hugely successful, however the original Alpina ceased to exist at the end of the 1960s in their attempt to move into the textile industry. Then, in 1965 Burkard established a BMW tuning business, following his success with investments in the stock market, he started the tuning business in an outbuilding of the original Alpina typewriter factory. He took on the name of his father’s business - ALPINA the legend was born.
By 1967 there were six determined employees the company working on carburetors and now revising cylinder heads. By 1970, with seventy employees and with high demand for ALPINA products, the original facility was too small and changed locations from Kaufbeuren to Buchloe.
Between 1968 and 1977, ALPINA cars did very well in competition. The highlight was in 1970, when ALPINA-developed cars won the European Touring Car Championship, the German hill-climb, rally and track racing championships and the prestigious Spa-Francorchamps 24 hour endurance race.
1973 was the start of the oil crisis and many tuners fell victim to it. At this time Burkard’s foresight was to put emphasis on fuel consumption. ALPINA cars of the time used up no more petrol than the same series of factory BMW cars. In fact the ALPINA B2 3.0S was even lower in consumption than the factory BMW series. Such that through the oil crisis there remained a loyal following to ALPINA, making ALPINA the largest tuning business in 1973 with 85 employees and now was in front as the largest tuning company in Europe, ahead of Abarth of Italy.
Since the late 70's Alpina has been recognized by TÜV as an automobile manufacturer, thus "ALPINA"-built cars are branded and registered as "ALPINA" and not "BMW," although owner privileges through BMW are maintained. ALPINA is a stand alone car manufacturer in close co-operation with BMW, therefore an ALPINA can be bought and serviced at local BMW dealerships, and covered if there is a warranty issue.
Distinctive features of ALPINA vehicles are 20 spoke alloy wheels, "ALPINA Blue" patented metallic paint, in addition to expensive interior materials used to fabricate the exclusive interior appointments. A typical blue and green pattern (same as in the logo) is often used on interior parts such as stitchings on leather and different fabrics used in the upholstery.
Also a thin, almost pinstripe like outside body decor set in gold or silver is also a trademark of ALPINA cars.
An ALPINA metal plate inside also proves the heritage and the serial number of the car.
The ALPINA logo looks heraldic, but it actually displays a crankshaft and a Weber dual-throat carburetor.
back to BMW tuners