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Alpina B5 Touring is the BMW M5 wagon we all want

By Tony O’Kane, 22 Jun 2017 News

Alpina B5 Touring is the BMW M5 wagon we all want

Lovers of fast wagons take note: the new Alpina B5 Touring is an M5-esque cargo carrier that’ll tickle your fancy – but is it for Australia?

There’s something intrinsically cool about fast wagons, so it’s perplexing why BMW has seemingly given up on the idea of offering a cargo friendly version of its M5 super-sedan.

Thankfully, BMW tuner Alpina has stepped into the breach with its new B5 Bi-Turbo family.

Based on the 5-Series and boasting a mega 447kW and 800Nm from a boosted-up version of BMW’s 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8, the B5 Bi-Turbo can also be had in a Labrador-lugging Touring bodystyle. Performance-loving pragmatists take note.

With BMW’s xDrive AWD hardware taking all of that muscle to the pavement via all four wheels, the Alpina B5 Bi-Turbo Touring makes for an enticing alternative to the similarly-powerful Audi RS6 Avant – though the new Mercedes-AMG E63 S Estate monsters it with 450kW and 850Nm.

Supporting mods include a more raucous exhaust than the M550i that is the B5’s basis, plus adaptive suspension with firmer settings and a bigger brake package with rotors measuring 395mm at front and 398mm at rear - with a ceramic rotor option.

How quick is it? Alpina claims just 3.5 seconds is all that’s needed to reach 100km/h for the B5 sedan, with the wagon body just 0.1 seconds slower. For those keeping score, that’s a tenth ahead of the RS6 and just a tenth behind the E63 Estate.

BMW’s own next-gen 2018 M5
is just around the corner with a Frankfurt debut in the calendar for September, but the B5 will beat it to market. Then there’s the wagon factor that’s the Alpina B5’s USP.

Will it come here though? That’s unclear. Alpina’s local operation has been contacted to see if the B5 range will join the B3, B4 and B7 models that are already on sale here. Pending Alpina’s response, our fingers are crossed.