The Race To Excellence
Tradition and an awareness of our roots, are important to us. Take a ride through time with us and delve into the ALPINA story. Discover details of ALPINA as a company, its automotive highlights and its competitive racing history.
Burkard Bovensiepen starts his automotive activities with the development of a Weber dual carburettor for the new BMW 1500.
1964Weber Dual Carburettor
Produced in his father‘s precision components factory by the young business and engineering student, the engines produced with ALPINA dual-carburettors receive praise not only from the automotive press, but also from BMW and its legendary sales boss, Paul G. Hahnemann. BMW certify the exceptional quality of these ALPINA products by awarding BMW vehicles with the ALPINA system the full factory guarantee.
ALPINA Burkard Bovensiepen KG is established on the 1st of January 1965 in Kaufbeuren. The company has eight employees.
The name ALPINA is augmented in its profile by the unmistakable, newly-created company logo – trademark & seal of quality in one.
1968Touring Car Racing
ALPINA engages in Touring Car Motorsport – the beginning of a incomparable success story. Between 1968 and 1973, pilots such as Derek Bell, Harald Ertl, James Hunt, Jacky Ickx, Niki Lauda, Brian Muir and Hans Stuck are found on ALPINA’s payroll.
ALPINA wins the European Touring Car Championship, the classic 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, as well as all major German Championships: Road Course, Hill-Climb and Rallye.
ALPINA convinces BMW that a lightweight version of the BMW 3.0 CS is needed to continue to be successful in Touring Car racing. BMW tasks ALPINA with the project leadership for the lightweight BMW 3.0 CSL Coupé. The ALPINA CLASSIC wheels in 20-spoke design were the visual hallmarks of ALPINA’s participation in a sports machine officially offered by BMW.
Derek Bell, Harald Ertl, Niki Lauda and Brian Muir win the European Touring Car Championship for ALPINA and BMW. Niki Lauda sets an absolute Touring Car record for the six-hour race on the Nurburgring, driving the BMW ALPINA Lightweight Coupé.
The oil crisis rocks the motor industry. ALPINA works through this difficult time without layoffs. Two factors have a hand in this: the good reputation of the company, as well as the flexible reaction to market needs by a team of employees who were, already then, unusually bound to their firm. ALPINA develops engines that run on regular petrol – engines that are at once frugal and powerful.
1975ALPINA Partner in Switzerland / England
Collaborating with selected partners from the BMW dealer network, ALPINA begin the development of an official German dealer network. At the same time, importers in England and Switzerland are established.
1977An Initial End to Racing
Dieter Quester is European Touring Car champion in a BMW ALPINA 3,5 CSL, after exciting battles with the heavily-favoured Jaguar-Coupés. At the end of this successful season, ALPINA steps out of Touring Car racing for a period of ten years, to dedicate all efforts to the development of fascinating road-going automobiles.
ALPINA presents three automobiles, each completely developed at ALPINA. The BMW ALPINA B6 2,8 is a 3 Series BMW with a six-cylinder engine, at a time when BMW only sold 3-Series with four-cylinder engines. The BMW ALPINA B7 Turbo, based on the 5 Series BMW, is the fastest saloon in the world. With 300 horsepower, the B7 Turbo Coupé establishes itself amongst the most powerful Coupés. Each of these new-generation ALPINA engines have a fully-electronic computer ignition, unique at the time in the automotive world.
Burkard Bovensiepen incorporates a new business endeavour, the ALPINA wine importership. In an impressively-short span of time, ALPINA wins over nearly all of Germany’s top restauranteurs as clients, as well as many wine lovers.
ALPINA Partner in Japan
The ALPINA Importer to Japan is established, and a successful partnership begins – in 2001 ALPINA delivered the 2000th BMW ALPINA to Japan.
1981Shell Kilometer Marathon
„auto motor und sport“ organises the Shell Kilometer Marathon, a fuel-saving challenge. The 80mpg-car was not yet a topic, yet a BMW ALPINA 318i wins in class with fuel economy of 105.72miles per Imperial gallon.
1983ALPINA Conferred Manufacturer Status
ALPINA is officially registered as an automobile manufacturer by the German Ministry of Transport, the Kraftfahrtbundesamt.
1985Metal Catalytic Converters
ALPINA converts its entire automotive production to engines with catalytic converters. What’s unique about this is that instead of installing the more commonly used ceramic catalytic converters standard in the automotive industry, ALPINA are the first manufacturer to exclusively install metal catalytic converters, using EMITEC technology. Not until years later will this concept be found in other high-technology automobiles.
1987Racing the DTM
The German Touring Car Championship enjoys great public interest, thanks in part to new rules decisively influenced by Burkard Bovensiepen. Ellen Lohr, Andy Bovensiepen, Fabien Giroix, Peter Oberndorfer and Christian Danner, driving the BMW ALPINA M3 Gruppe A, earn multiple victories, along with many good placings. ALPINA are also pioneers in terms of the environmental impact of racing cars – the metal catalyst debuts in the BMW ALPINA M3 Gruppe A and becomes standard equipment in every DTM race car.
1988An End to Racing
Due to capacity constraints, priorities have to be drawn. The decision is taken in favour of the development and production of new BMW ALPINA automobiles. As a result, ALPINA withdraw at season's end from racing.
1989BMW ALPINA B10 Bi-Turbo
ALPINA create a highlight in presenting the B10 Bi-Turbo. Paul Frère, the well-known journalist and racing driver, writes in Road & Track about this automobile: "For me this is the car … I think this is the best 4-door in the world ".
ALPINA expand. The number of employees has grown in the meantime to 120, necessitating the construction of a new, generously-dimensioned building for administration and production.
With the advent of the BMW ALPINA B12 5,7 Coupé, ALPINA is the first automobile manufacturer to realise an electronic clutch management system termed ALPINA SHIFT-TRONIC. Foregoing use of the clutch is a breeze in light of the six-speed gearbox' dynamic driving characteristics.
ALPINA SWITCH-TRONIC opens a new, sporty automatic driving dimension. The combination of manual gear selection coupled to the traditional ease of driving an automatic convinces many died-in-the-wool stick-shift drivers to make the move to this modern automatic system. One of the merits of ALPINA's SWITCH-TRONIC is the ability to shift the gears using buttons on the back of the steering wheel, much like Formula racing drivers shift their semi-automatic gearboxes.
As found standard on the BMW ALPINA B12 5.7 E-KAT, ALPINA is the first automobile manufacturer to introduce an electrically-heated, metal catalytic converter, the SUPER-CAT, into series production. This joint project with BMW and EMITEC represents the use of a completely new emissions control technology, undercutting the 1996 European emission standard by 80% with regard to HC, NOx and CO, respectively.
1999BMW ALPINA D10 Bi-Turbo
A new era begins: ALPINA present a diesel automobile for the first time in its 35-year history, the BMW ALPINA D10 BITURBO, at the Geneva Salon d'Automobile - the most powerful diesel saloon in the world. The engineering development of the super-diesel is a co-operative project between BMW and ALPINA.
2002BMW ALPINA Roadster V8
Based on the BMW Z8, ALPINA build the BMW ALPINA ROADSTER V8 with SWITCH-TRONIC for friends of luxurious and comfortable open motoring. A limited series of 555 automobiles world-wide, this exclusive model leads ALPINA to officially enter the North American market.
With the advent of the BMW ALPINA B7, ALPINA realise a new engine concept, a mechanically-driven radial compressor – combining for the first time ever charging and VALVETRONIC – this leading to very low fuel consumption on this 500-horsepower automobile.
2005BMW ALPINA B5
The super-charged 4,4ltr ALPINA V8 is now available in the 5 Series range. The BMW ALPINA B5 is seen by many friends of ALPINA as the legitimate successor to the legendary B10 Bi-Turbo. The B5's phenomenal performance places it amongst the best-known sportscars in the world.
2007BMW ALPINA B3 Bi-Turbo
ALPINA continues the 3-Series success story with the 3.0-litre, six-cylinder B3-Bi-Turbo: design and technology combine to form a fascinating mix. In 1978, the legendary BMW ALPINA B6 2,8 began the successful run that continues to this day, with nearly 6,000 3-Series-based automobiles built to date. In fact, each of the B6 2.8's successors have always been at the head of their respective classes.
2008New Engineering, Testing and Development Centre
With a desire to expand technical know-how, ALPINA builds a new centre for engineering, testing and development. It is the largest expansion in the company’s history. The engineering centre will allow ALPINA to bring new products to market more quickly, as well as drive the ALPINA product line-up forward.
After a 20 year time-out ALPINA celebrates its motor sport comeback with the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 in the FIA GT3 European Championship – a young racing series comprising renowned sports cars from twelve manufacturers, including Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche.
ALPINA has developed a thoroughbred race car especially for the GT3 category based on the BMW 6 Series. The B6 GT3, which is available to customers, collectors and race teams, can be seen partaking in the FIA GT3 European Championship, the ADAC GT Masters Series and other long distance endurance races. Many of the drivers piloting the B6 GT3, such as Andreas Wirth, Jens Klingmann, Claudia Hurtgen, Csaba Walter, Chris Mamerow and Maxime Martin, have had considerable success already early on in the season.
2010First ALPINA Diesel in Japan
After more than 30 years in the Japanese market, ALPINA launches the BMW ALPINA D3 Bi-Turbo, the first diesel BMW ALPINA (and also the first BMW diesel) available in Japan. This is a noticeable achievement since the Japanese market has not seen any diesel passenger cars and because homologation requires ultra-low emissions standards.
2011ADAC GT MASTERS Championship
The return to international motor sport culminated in 2011 with ALPINA winning the German GT series. Ex DTM pilot Alexandros Margaritis and GT ace Dino Lunardi battled to take the Driver's Championship in the fiercely competitive ADAC GT Masters with the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 Evo, which had seen continuous engine, aerodynamic, chassis and transmission development during the winter. ALPINA launches a limited edition model on the basis of the BMW ALPINA B3 S Bi-Turbo at the Tokyo Motor Show called the B3 GT3 to celebrate this successful year in motor sports.
With 419 deliveries of the BMW ALPINA B7 in the year 2012, North America and to some extent Canada have become very important markets for ALPINA.
2013The first SUV
For the first time in the company's history, there is an SUV from Buchloe.
The presentation of the BMW ALPINA XD3 is a big and successful surprise at the Geneva Motor Show.