What Car? says...

BMW supplies its cars to both its motorsport division M Sport and tuning house Alpina, but what results from each organisation is very different.

It’s best to think of M cars as hardcore, track-focused models that are hell-bent on lapping racetracks as quickly as possible. Alpina, on the other hand, is about long-legged performance, long-distance comfort and sumptuous luxury. It’s a tracksuit and trainers versus sports jacket and brogues situation.