The Alpina B12 is probably the most interesting and most exciting model in the German tuner’s range in the 1990s. Being the first Alpina to use a V12 engine changes everything, as well as the limited production run that makes the B12 a rare find these days. If you’re looking for one, here’s your chance.
One of the few examples of B12 models is currently up for sale at RM Sotheby’s at this time. It now has a bit of $31,000 and interested bidders have a few days to place their bids before the hammer falls on August 4.
Alpina B12s are either based on the 7 Series or the 8 Series depending on the model year. This particular example was based on the E38 of the former; only a total of 202 units were produced. Out of that number, only 59 were long-wheelbase versions, and this unit up for auction is one of them.
Under the hood, of course, is an enlarged version of BMW’s then-newly-introduced M73 V12 mill. With a modified air intake system, new cylinder heads, and higher compression Mahle pistons, the 5.7-liter power plant produces up to 382 horsepower (285 kilowatts) and 413 pound-feet (560 Newton-meters) of torque. This is then mated to a 5-speed ZF automatic transmission with Alpina-exclusive “Switch-Tronic” transmission, among the first in the world to allow manual gear changes via buttons on the steering wheel.
Despite the numbers above, the Alpina B12 wasn’t short of luxury as you can see in the images above. Apart from the leather appointments, it has power front and rear seats, factory stereo trunk-mounted CD changer, rear seat trays, and rear audio and climate controls in the center armrest.
The unit up for auction was imported by the current owner from Japan to Canada, though it has a left-hand-drive configuration. It shows less than 85,6000 kilometers (53,189 miles) on the clock when cataloged by RM Sotheby’s.