Sometimes its fun to take a blast into the past, but for today we’re not going too far into the past, but instead let’s have a look at a fast car from the late 90s/early2000s, a souped up version of one of my most favourite, the BMW E39. This is the Alpina B10 V8S based on the E39 BMW 540i.
During its time, the B10 V8S was even more expensive than the E39 BMW M5 but like the approach Alpina took with the latest generation E60 Alpine B5 versus the E60 BMW M5, it delivered its grunt differently. The Alpina B10 V8S was more of a very fast tourer that was still comfortable to ride in, especially with its automatic transmission, as compared to the manual-only E39 M5.
The 540i’s 4.4 litre engine was replaced by a 4.6 litre unit, then later 4.8 litre normally aspirated unit. It produces 375 horsepower at 5,800rpm and an impressive 510Nm of torque at 3,800rpm. This means less horsepower compared to the M5’s 400 horses at 6,600rpm but more torque compared to the M5’s 500Nm at 3,800rpm.
Of course, those higher horses are achieved higher in the rev range so at about 5,800rpm they could be producing nearly the same power. The B10 V8s is only 0.1 seconds slower to the 100km/h mark than the M5 at 5.4 seconds, and this is with an automatic compared to the M5’s manual transmission. It can achieve a top speed of over 284km/h.
As mentioned before, Instead of a manual transmission the Alpina B10 V8S uses a 5-speed transmission derived from the ZF unit in the 540i. Alpina calls it the Switch-Tronic transmission and its transmission ratios, shift patterns, internals and electronics are customised according to Alpina specifications. Steering-wheel mounted shifting is enabled via buttons behind the steering wheel spokes – left for a downshift and right for an upshift.
As for cosmetics, the exterior features the classic Alpina blue paintwork with minor additional styling – a subtle bootlid spoiler, the classic multi-spoke Alpine wheels in white and a small front lip for the facelifted style front bumper.
Look for more photos after the jump.