BMW Alpina B6 2.8 (E21) Quick look


This is one of three new cars Alpina introduced at the IAA Frankfurt 1978. The two other cars were based on the 5- and 6-series but this one is based on the 323i, BMW´s top of the line model of the first 3-series generation. The production started in March 1978 and ended in January 1983. In August 1981 the car went through some modifications. A total of 533 cars were built.
As I have already told you, the B6 2,8 is based on the 323i. But the engine isn´t based on the 2,3 litre six. It is based on the 2,8 litre six from 528i. In standard shape that engine delivers 177 bhp which is a lot, especially in the 3-series pretty small and light body. But Alpina wasn´t satisfied with that so they modified the engine to give even more power and to be more frugal too. They fitted forged Mahle-pistons and modified the combustion chambers to increase the compression. They have also fitted a new fuel injection system, made by Zenith-Pierburg-DL. Those are the major changes but there are also some other minor changes that help to increase the power. The engine now produces 200 bhp and has a torque of 248 Nm. The 323i´s original four-speed gearbox is changed to a Getrag five-speed unit. In August 1981 the B6 received a more highly-developed induction system which made the 2,8 litre six produce 218 bhp, exactly the same as BMW´s 3,5 litre engine. That made the car even faster.
The 323i was a fine handling car but it wasn´t made to handle the kind of power that the Alpina engine delivered. To make it handle like a 200 bhp+ car, Alpina fitted new Bilstein spring units at front with gas-pressure shocks and shorter and stiffer springs from Ahle. At rear there are new gas-pressure shocks from Bilstein of course. The 15in Alpina alloy-wheels are 7in wide at rear with 205/50 tires and 6in wide at front with 195/50 tires. The brakes are uprated at front with ventilated, drilled discs but the solid discs at rear are from the standard car.
Inside the car the seats have been replaced to Recaro items with much better support. The steering-wheel is covered with leather and is made by Momo. The instruments have red needles. From outside you can recognize the B6 by it´s deep front spoiler, rear spoiler, the wheels and the Alpina stripes(optional).
The B6 is even by today´s standards a very fast car. Alpina claimed 7,5 seconds from 0-100 km/h. But independent road testers found the time to be closer to 6,9 seconds. The B6 also has a top speed of around 225 km/h. In performance the B6 could compete with much more expensive sports cars. For the 218 bhp B6, Alpina claimed a 0-100 km/h time of only 7 seconds and a top speed of 229 km/h.

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