Alpina B8 vs. Audi RS7 in a direct comparison test
In terms of performance, the Alpina B8 is very close to the M8
The body is limited to the four-door Gran Coupé. Building a classic coupe or even a convertible would not be a problem from a technical point of view. Only adaptation and homologation would have to be completely redesigned. That doesn’t pay off with the small quantities. Perhaps one of the reasons why Alpina is handing over the business to BMW: More and more rules and regulations are making it more difficult for small manufacturers in particular to develop new cars every year – and the effort is basically the same whether you produce 200 or 200,000 cars .
So the decision to go with the Gran Coupé was easy: more sales opportunities and, above all, a more international clientele. In the USA, for example, luxury is much better in this segment than a sleek two-door car. So it is only logical that Alpina is taking the same path with the B4 Gran Coupé that has just been presented.
In terms of performance, you get a sniff of the M8, but without falling into its chubbiness. We know the N63 eight-cylinder from the M550i or the M850i, on which the B8 is based. With the help of two larger paddle wheels and various optimizations in the cooling circuit, the original 530 hp can be surpassed by a whopping 91 horses.
Charging / boost pressure
valves / camshafts
bore x stroke
kW (hp) b. rpm
brakes in front
brake disc material
Wheel size front – rear
Tire size front – rear
Dimensions L / W / H
Standard consumption • CO2
test car price
395 mm internal ventilation / gel
398 mm internal ventilation / gel
245/35R21 / 275/30R21
11.9 l/100 km • 270 g/km
440 mm internal ventilation / gel
370 mm internal ventilation / gel
Hankook Ventus S1 Evo3 (A0)
11.6 l/100 km • 265 g/km
Alpina is only 4 hp below the M8. However, the highest performance values have never been the final goal in Buchloe. Rather, it is about clean drivability, a lot of pressure in the intermediate sprint and simply a basic sovereignty. To achieve this, the engine configuration tends to go in the direction of torque. A smooth 800 Newton meters are available, and they even make the B8 look slightly better than its current opponent in the intermediate sprint values.
Audi not quite as consistently sporty
The design of the Audi is not quite as consistently sporty as it would like to be portrayed on the outside. It is more of a potent everyday glider, even if its sports chassis is designed a few classes heavier than the always velvety substructure of the Allgäu. And if we’re already harping on the subject of everyday life, we come to some characteristics that are atypical SPORTSCARS: Even if the Alpina is superior both in the comfort categories and in longitudinal dynamics, there is noticeably more headroom in the rear and also the larger and much more usable trunk (the rear window swings open) offers the RS 7.
RS 7 to 200 km/h in 11.9 seconds
The sprint measurements, on the other hand, see the Alpina in the lead, even if the quattro all-wheel drive of the RS 7 initially gets the power better on the asphalt. Up to 50 km/h, the Audi sprints a tenth faster, but even at 80 km/h there is a tie. The B8 already decides the prestige sprint to country road speed with 3.2 to 3.4 seconds. Incidentally, the RS 7 values determined at the end of 2019 correspond almost 1:1 to those measured today. 11.9 seconds from 0 to 200 km/h? Exactly the same now as then. Doesn’t help him much against the B8, however, because at 10.7 seconds he takes a whopping 1.2 seconds off the RS 7. The intermediate sprint values also tend to be a few tenths after Buchloe.
The Audi has to make up lost ground during negative acceleration with its optional ceramic brakes, but we had a lot of trouble with them a good two years ago at the Lausitzring. It even went so far that the right front brake caliper caught fire after the fast lap in the pits. Not just smoke – flames…
The 440 disc apparently develops such an immense heat that it wants to be ridden cold with particular care. In doing so, it suffers a fate similar to that of many ceramic systems in terms of the measured values: these things cost a lot of money, but the braking values are not significantly shorter. This is also the case with the RS 7: 33.5 meters warm is good for a 2.1 ton ship, but not outstanding. Especially since the Alpina with steel brakes is one and a half meters earlier and also performs better at twice the speed. But the powerful brake system should then play to its great advantage on the racetrack through its stability.
Alpina is marginally stronger and lighter
What does Guido say? “Drives well, is also fast – but unfortunately doesn’t last.” I find out what he means by that on my own laps. In the first push lap, the system reports an overheated rear axle differential at around the Vmax measuring point. So: cooldown lap and try again. Now the RS 7 already has the same problem at the kart track.
A really fast lap is not possible for me. But at least Guido was able to record 1:37.04 minutes. The Alpina is 39 hundredths slower – but consistently lap after lap. No error message in the system.