The ALPINA steering wheel
The ALPINA leather sports steering wheel is an intrinsic part of every BMW ALPINA automobile’s DNA. Covered with the highest quality leather used in the automotive industry, luxurious comfort can be felt with every touch. With excellent temperature compensation and wonderful softness, LAVALINA leather is valued by drivers worldwide.
Handling this valuable natural material and precisely tailoring it to each steering wheel, requires technical expertise, skilled craftsmanship and a great deal of patience. It takes experienced employees from the ALPINA leather workshop around six hours to cover a steering wheel rim in leather in the customary high ALPINA quality: from extensive quality inspection of the leather all the way through to adapting it to the geometry of the steering wheel with pinpoint precision.
In typical ALPINA style, the seam pattern consists of two parallel lines, with no unpleasant, noticeable transitions at the seam or leather edge – a special requirement of ALPINA founder Burkard Bovensiepen! Already at the beginning of the ALPINA company history, Bovensiepen devoted particular attention to the steering wheel, deeming that it significantly determines the feel for the road and must meet the high aesthetic demands of the ALPINA customer base. The ingenious stitching pattern, developed back then by ALPINA master upholsterer Ulrich Zecke under the auspices of the senior executive, is a hallmark of the company to this day and endures from model generation to model generation.
Blue, green, personalised
The stitching in the ALPINA corporate colours blue and green is an unmistakeable identifier. However, it goes without saying that it is also possible to freely select the stitching colours to match the vehicle paintwork or the stitching of the leather upholstery, for example. Customer may also choose to have a bi-colour steering wheel or have it finished in grippy motorsport Alcantara.
Back in 1993, ALPINA introduced SWITCH-TRONIC, thus making it possible to manually change gears at the push of a button on the steering wheel for even better driver control. Inspired by motor sports, it was an absolute novelty for a series-production vehicle at the time. The SWITCH-TRONIC shift buttons were discreetly integrated into the rear of the steering wheel and have been part of the standard equipment ever since. ALPINA shift paddles in black matt, milled from solid aluminium, can be ordered as an option. Their ergonomic shape allows shifting on the steering wheel over a broad spectrum of grip positions.
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