The predecessor of the Alpina B8, which is currently one of the most expensive sedans to wear a BMW or Alpina badge, was the B6. Sold as a performance-oriented version of the BMW 6 Series (F12), it was a large four-door coupe-sedan with a stylish exterior and a powerful 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine. But back in the early 1990s, Alpina had a very different car wearing the same name.
The B6 2.8 was essentially a more hardcore version of the 3 Series (E36), which made its debut during the 1991 Geneva Motor Show. It was based on the BMW 325i and was powered by a modified 2.8-liter inline-six engine. The specialists from Buchloe mounted new camshafts, Mahle pistons, and a performance exhaust system. The result was a more powerful and faster 3 Series before the M3 (E36) arrived later that decade.
Thanks to several other tweaks made to the engine, it was upgraded to deliver a peak output of 240 horsepower and 293 Newton-meters of torque – very respectable figures for a compact sedan even by today’s standards. The power was sent to the rear wheels through a five-speed manual gearbox and there was also an optional five-speed automatic. Bigger and better-ventilated discs at the front provided the stopping power.
But how fast a 1992 Alpina B6 2.8 actually is? There’s a new video from the Petrolhead Number One channel on YouTube, which takes us to unrestricted sections of the Autobahn behind the wheel of a B6 2.8. The car feels very lively on the highway for its age and easily reaches speeds above 124 miles per hour (200 kilometers per hour). The speedometer even shows 155 mph (250 kph) but the maximum GPS-verified velocity registered is around 149 mph (240 kph).
It’s impressive to see that this 30-years-old performance sedan can almost fully achieve its factory performance numbers. The claimed top speed is 155 mph (250 kph) and the sprint from 0 to 62 mph (0-100 kph) is 6.9 seconds. It’s also important to note that this is a relatively rare car as Alpina assembled just 180 sedans and 40 coupes from the B6 2.8 before it was replaced by the more powerful B6 3.0.