- Acceleration 0 to 60: 4.3 seconds
- Braking 60 to 0: 104 feet
- Quarter Mile: 12.4 seconds
- Skidpad: 0.89 g
- Slalom: 68.5 mph
Big, fast European sedans are in a huge abundance at the moment, and have been since the late 90s. Though Mercedes and BMW ran the show before that time, with the resurgence of the Audi S8 in the early 2000s and the fast Jaguar XJR even more recent than that, there has been an endless crawl between these four makes to produce the best executive sedan.
Many opinions have risen from several automotive journalists. Most agree that the new Audi S8 is the best option at the moment and currently outclasses all of its competitors (especially the Bimmer) for it is more dynamic, faster and more subtle. I agree with them, the Audi is indeed all of those things, but is that what you really need in a pseudo-sport luxury sedan? I think not. Once a buyer passes up the BMW M5 or Audi S6 and moves on to what I call the “luxe-barge” class (i.e. the Mercedes S-Class, the BMW 7-Series, etc.) they care primarily about comfort, sheer engine size and power, and (most importantly) prestige. The Alpina delivers these in spades for a buyer who wants people to notice him or her going around a corner, versus them noticing (or even caring) about what their car is doing.
First off, the engine. This a 4.4 liter twin-turbo V8 engine making 540 horsepower and 538 pound feet of torque. The Audi makes 520 hp and 481 pound-feet from a 4.0 liter engine. Which is more powerful?
Second, the name. Alpina sounds fancy, because it is. Alpina is a German tuning company founded in 1965 and has been exclusive to BMW since 1970 and is comparable to Mercedes AMG or Audi RS, but it stresses luxury far more than sport. This better suits a car of this caliber (and girth) and makes the car rare and comfortable, but still plenty fast. The Audi S8 doesn’t even belong under the Audi RS umbrella, but it is just another Audi built in the same fashion. Which is more prestigious?
Overall, the BMW possesses the X-Factor that no other sedan of this price-range can match. Unless a customer is caught up on cylinder counts and needs a V12, then perhaps a 760Li or Mercedes S65 AMG will suit better. However, when people see a car that looks the way the B7 does and the bold ALPINA name written on the truck (and subtly on the bottom front bumper) they will notice it. They all will.