FOR this weeks blog, let's take a look at Alpina's version of the iconic BMW Z8.
Alpina has been tuning various different BMW's for more than 40 years, and this BMW Alpina Roadster V8 was quite a special model for them.
The original BMW Z8 finished production in the November of 2002, and it featured a 5.0-litre V8 engine from the E39 M5 that developed 298kW (400hp) and 500Nm of torque (369 lb-ft of torque). The car was only available with a manual transmission.
Alpina got hold of the car once production had ended, and they had originally planned to place a V12 up front but unfortunately it wouldn't fit. Instead they went with their own 4.6-litre V8 engine and mounted it to a five-speed automatic transmission, making it a more usable everyday car.
Even so, they increased the torque figures up to 519Nm (383 lb-ft) at 3800rpm.
Along with the smaller engine and the automatic transmission, Alpina also changed the suspension to utilise softer shocks.
Their aim with the Z8 was to provide high-performance cars in a more relaxed way, and I think with these subtle changed they have achieved their goal.
And it's not exactly slow. Alpina claimed their Roadster V8 can launch from 0-100 kilometres per hour in just 5.0 seconds, only a mere 0.3 seconds slower than the BMW Z8.
Also, the electronically limited top speed was raised from 250 kilometres per hour (155 miles per hour) to 259 kilometres per hour (161 miles per hour).
As I stated before, this was quite a special car for Alpina. BMW heard about the car and loved the idea, so they ended up ordering 450 cars to sell through dealerships throughout the USA. This was the first time that Alpina cars were sold in official BMW dealerships.
Out of a total 555 2003 Alpina Roadster V8's built, zero made it to Australian shores due to all of the Z8's being made in left hand drive.
Although there is one standard BMW Z8 in Australia that was for sale back in 2012 for almost $400,000 AUD, so you could expect the rarer Alpina version to sell for a lot more if one is ever imported.
Jesse See is a teenage car enthusiast. His blogs and website can be found at www.jessesee.com
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