While BMW develops a new 8 Series on the Nürburgring, an ultra-rare example of the original is now for sale on James Edition in Marbella, Spain, for 119,990 euros ($140,820 at current exchange rates). This 1991 Alpina B12 was the famous tuner’s effort at making the ultimate grand touring machine out of BMW’s angular coupe, and the company made just 97 of them.
Alpina started with the stock 850i when creating the B12 and were able to massage the 5.0-liter V12 to 345 horsepower (257 kilowatts) and 347 pound-feet (470 Newton-meters) of torque from the stock 296 hp (221 kW) and 332 lb-ft (450 Nm). The company quoted a sprint to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in 6.8 seconds and a top speed above 174 mph (280 kph). The company only offered the B12 with a four-speed automatic with revised tuning for making the most of the additional output.
This example is a light shade of blue. Inside there’s beige leather and blue-tinted carbon fiber trim. The deep-dished multi-spoke Alpina wheels look fantastic. It has 56,110 miles (90,300 kilometers) on it.
While this one is for sale in Spain, Alpina B12s occasionally turn up for sale in the United States. In 2015, one of two examples reportedly in the country was going for $75,000. It featured a Diamant Schwarz Metallic black exterior and matching Nappa leather upholstery.
There’s an even rarer Alpina-tuned 8 Series on the road, too. When BMW installed the larger 5.6-liter V12 into the grand tourer, Alpina built 57 examples of the B12 5.7 (at 5646 cubic centimeters the firm rounded powerplant’s the displacement upward). This version produced 410 hp (306 kW) and 420 lb-ft (570 Nm).
The next 8 Series will arrive next year with styling close to the concept at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. BMW hasn't discussed powertrain specifics, but a spy video suggested a V8 rumble.