One-of-four Alpina B4 S Edition 99 for sale

Alpina as we know it isn't long for this world – good job cars like the Edition 99 already exist…

By Matt Bird / Thursday, March 17, 2022 / Loading comments

For enthusiasts, last week’s announcement of Alpina being sold to BMW was hugely significant. It probably didn’t cause much of a ripple in an automotive world seemingly reinventing itself every month – but if Alpina is sufficiently spooked by the future to bail, what does the next decade or so have in store for other enthusiast focused brands? Moreover, BMW-badged Alpinas from 2026 on aren’t likely to imitate Buchloe’s best from decades past, with their discreet (and discrete) appeal to discerning fans. If that were possible, Alpina would surely continue doing it.

Instead, it’s all to easy to fear the worst. Does it become a luxury EV sub-brand? Is it just a top-of-the-range trim level? Nobody wants to picture an Alpina iX, though it’s hard not to let your imagination run wild; Alpina has set such an impossibly high bar over the years that it’s difficult to see being absorbed into BMW as advantageous for the end product.

But we shall see. And as your mum’s fridge magnet would say, don’t be sad that it’s over – be happy that it’s happened. Or some such nonsense. We can surely expect a few more spectacular Alpinas until the end of 2025, and the back catalogue isn’t short of a belter or two, either…

The Edition 99 was a run-out special for the previous-generation B4, itself a fabulous Alpina thanks to a combination of suave good looks, M4-besting power and finely honed dynamics. In typical Buchloe tradition, too, the 99 was no mere stickers ‘n’ paint special edition. Even though you could have Fire Orange, like Niki Lauda’s Group 2 CSL. It got an Akrapovic exhaust as standard, boosting power to 452hp and taking seven kilos from the standard system, increased torsional stiffness thanks to more body bracing, stiffer springs and dampers, tweaks to the anti-roll bars and more negative camber on the front axle. There was even the option of a Drexler limited-slip diff, reflecting the Edition’s more focused nature. With some gorgeous Clubsport seats inside as well as machined-from-aluminium paddles as the flake and sprinkles on top, the Alpina was undoubtedly a very tasty 99 (apologies.) The reviews backed that up: “The car’s glorious powertrain, benignly neutral chassis balance and, in all probability, unmatched pliancy on rougher surfaces combine to make it very special indeed”, said one.

Of the one-less-than-a-hundred production run, just four Edition 99s were supplied new to the UK market, of which this is one. And while all Alpinas are pretty excellent, this one is extra special; not only does the spec mirror that of Andreas Bovensiepen’s own one – in Ferrari Grigio Media, with the Drexler diff – car number 80 of 99 has hardly been used. First registered in 2019, it’s yet to breach 3,000 miles. So if not exactly nearly new, then extremely fresh, and ready for tens of thousands more miles motoring in style.

Even the price seems reasonable in these extraordinary times. The B4 S Edition 99 went on sale at the end of 2018 for £73,500; now it’s available for £79,500, which doesn’t seem a scandalous premium given its rarity and limited usage. The same money buys a new M4 with similar mileage, for example; good car though it most certainly is, there’s precious little comparison when it comes to desirability. Particularly in light of the recent news. Because should you come to sell it again in three months, three years, or three decades time, the very best Alpinas – cars just like the Edition 99 – are always going to be in demand. We can only hope that continues into the BMW era.

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