BMW Alpina B4 S review

Category: Sports car

Section: Performance & drive

Alpina B4 S
  • Alpina B4 S
  • Alpina B4 S
  • Alpina B4 S
  • Alpina B4 S
  • Alpina B4 S
  • Alpina B4 S
  • Alpina B4 S
  • Alpina B4 S
  • Alpina B4 S
  • Alpina B4 S

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

The B4’s engine is one of the finest in the business. It’s a BMW 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol unit fitted with two turbochargers, which means when you push it hard, it’ll produce a ferocious 434bhp; ask it to pull from low revs and its stout torque means you rarely need to drop a gear in search of more go. It’s a brilliantly smooth engine, too, at any revs, and taking it close to its redline brings a wonderfully raucous straight-six noise from its sports exhaust.

An eight-speed automatic gearbox is standard and feels urgent on the move when left to its own devices or when asked to swap gears using the B4 S’s wheel-mounted button changers. However, at slower speeds in town, the B4 S’s throttle response can feel a little sharp and the gearbox can struggle to keep up when creeping through traffic, even in Comfort driving mode.