BMW Alpina Roadster V8 Origins
Production of the BMW Alpina Roadster V8 began in December 2002, after the last Z8 models were completed in November. In total, BMW and Alpina built 555 BMW Alpina Roadster V8s, with almost all of them being shipped to the U.S. This marks a first for Alpina, as none of its previous vehicles had ever been sold directly by U.S. dealers within the U.S. With the end of production of the BMW Alpina Roadster V8 in 2003, the brand also terminated the BMW Z8 model line.About the BMW Alpina Roadster V8
Alpina is a car manufacturing company based in Bavaria, Germany, that creates cars based on BMW models and works with BMW in the process. As well as making BMW models faster and giving them sportier looks, Alpina aims to turn mass-produced BMW models into high-performance collector cars. Not only does Alpina offer cosmetic modifications to the BMW model, but it makes changes to the powertrain and body shape to enhance the capabilities of the car.
Although the BMW Alpina Roadster V8 is a sports car, the changes made by Alpina cause the look and feel of the car to migrate away from sporty and towards that of a grand tourer. As with all Alpina-modified BMWs, the changes made to the Z8 to create the Alpina Roadster V8 come only from the founder of Alpina. His tastes and preferences are behind all the modifications made to the Z8.BMW Alpina Roadster V8 Features
Instead of being powered by the same BMW M engine in the Z8, the BMW Alpina Roadster V8 contains a modified version of BMW’s V-8 engine. It is a 4.8-liter engine that produces 375 horsepower, which is a slight reduction from the 394 horsepower produced by the M engine found in the Z8. Because Alpina tunes the V-8 to improve performance, it reaches these higher power levels at a lower rpm than the BMW M engine. Unlike the Z8 model, the BMW Alpina Roadster V8 comes equipped with only an automatic transmission. The five-speed Steptronic transmission replaces the Z8’s six-speed manual transmission.
The BMW Alpina Roadster V8 features 20-inch wheels with Y-rated performance tires. The Alpina Roadster V8 has a lower profile than the Z8 and the Y-rated tires are softer than those used on the Z8. While the models handle somewhat differently, the ride within the BMW Alpina Roadster V8 is more comfortable due to the softer tires.
Because the BMW Alpina Roadster V8 does not use run-flat tires, it comes equipped with a BMW mobility system in the trunk, similar to that seen in the BMW M vehicles. In case of a flat tire, it can be used to seal punctures up to a quarter inch deep. The mobility system contains a canister of rapid sealant with an integrated micro-processor and a hose that connects the compressor to the flat tire.
In addition to the technical changes, the BMW Alpina Roadster V8 features cosmetic changes to the interior of the car as well. Both the Z8 and the Alpina Roadster V8 have leather seats, but the leather used in the Alpina Roadster V8 is a softer and suppler grade of Nappa leather. The Alpina logo can be found on the upper back of the seats. The model comes in three color schemes: black/black, black/crème, and black/sport red.
The instrument panel and dash have Alpina gauges, and the model uses a different steering wheel, which has three leather and steel spokes. Alpina chose it to add the shift paddles to the steering wheel because they could not be used with the Z8 steering wheel. An Alpina logo replaces the BMW badge in the center of the steering wheel.