This Alpina B12 may just be the best classic BMW 8 Series money can buy
As the RUF of BMWs, Alpina is a master of balancing performance with luxury, and the 1992–94 B12 is its ultimate flagship. The greatest BMW E31 8 Series ever built may be the stillborn M8 prototype, powered by the 6.1-liter S70/1, the V-12 that was soon developed into McLaren’s S70/2. However, this 1993 Alpina B12 is not far behind in the ranks, thanks to its bored 850 CSi engine that’s connected to the Getrag six-speed manual instead of the Shift-Tronic semi-automatic found in lesser E31s.
While BMW built over 1500 850 CSIs, only 57 Alpina B12s left the Buchloe factory. They all came with S70 V-12s bored to 5.7 liters and fitted with Alpina’s intake, cams, crankshaft, and sports exhaust system. The resulting 412 horsepower was good for nearly 186 mph in 1992, at a time when BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz all agreed to limit their cars to 155 mph. Naturally, Alpina also fitted its E31 evolution with the signature multi-spoke alloy wheels, plus a body kit sporting a carbon-fiber hood with louvres and a central NACA duct.
Offered now as part of the Youngtimer Collection at RM Sotheby’s Paris sale on the 5th of February, this B12 is number 21 of 57, finished in Alpina Blue over a black leather interior made more striking by Alpina’s green and blue stitching.
This car has covered less than 5600 miles since new and RM estimates it to change hands for at least $300,000. As Hagerty’s valuation experts point out, this is hardly surprising; last year, a higher-mileage Alpina B12 (#39, compared to the Alpina Blue #21 in question) triggered a 69-percent premium over a regular 850 CSi in #1 (Concours) condition. We’ve also observed, as of the latest Hagerty Price Guide update, that range-topping E31s are trending up.
However, on the 5th of February, this highly original Alpina B12 is likely to go for more than any classic BMW 8 Series. Stay tuned.