In building the Z4, BMW have provided a vehicle with incomparable driving enjoyment. Outstanding suspension, agile steering and a silky-smooth straight six - why then the BMW ALPINA ROADSTER S based on the Z4?
Quite simply: BMW provided an M-Version of the Z3 that isn't planned for the Z4 - based simply on the number of projects, even a large manufacturer, such as BMW have become, can't serve every single market niche present.
Through the 40-year co-operation with ALPINA, BMW are provided a fine opportunity to lay the development of a model range's top version in trusted and friendly hands. This does create a certain obligation, of course - but we have the appropriate experience.
Based on the BMW Z8, the BMW ALPINA ROADSTER V8 was built as a Limited Edition of 555 automobiles, and sold out quickly due to its special qualities. It is sure to become a collector's car - but in terms of the BMW ALPINA ROADSTER S, we'd like to produce just a few more.
The way forward?
The ROADSTER S will be a maturation of the Z4, decidedly more powerful, and with most agile handling and increased levels of riding comfort. As its qualities become ever more clear, whether due to its exterior presentation, whether driven by its dapper interior - the BMW ALPINA ROADSTER S will offer, in short, a more capable form of luxury in every sense of the word.
Let's talk power: the ROADSTER S contains the ALPINA straight-six cylinder engine with 3,4 litres and 300 bhp, a well-known friend from the 3 Series. It's quite happy to rev to 7200 rpm, but is renowned for its high levels of torque - 362 Nm at 4800 rpm. With this level of power, and a kerb weight of 1320 kg (DIN), the weight-to-power ratio is a scant 4,4 kg/bhp, one of the lowest in the entire BMW and ALPINA programme.
The almost pre-programmed results are exceptional driving pleasure and a purist's dynamic - 0-100 kph in 5,3 s - yet the ROADSTER S is more than capable of relaxed cruising at 60 kph in sixth gear, exhibiting stellar fuel economy across the performance range.
We understand automotive competence to reach beyond the drivetrain. Vehicle dynamics must also be defined in terms of negative acceleration, in other words, the braking system must be, and is, more than up to the task of meeting the ROADSTER S' high-performance challenge.
The ROADSTER S rolls, as did the BMW ALPINA ROADSTER V8, on stunning ALPINA wheels in DYNAMIC design. The 19" wheels are 8,5" wide in the front, and 9,5" wide in the rear. We made a conscious choice not to use Run-Flat but conventional tyre technology, offering better rolling comfort and reducing unsprung weight, this being good for one's driving enjoyment whilst allowing tyre and pavement to better mingle. Instead we've Michelin Pilot Sport tyres - other tyre brands aren't to be found at ALPINA - 235/35 in the front, 265/30 at the rear.
The aerodynamic package of the BMW ALPINA ROADSTER S was especially important to us. At 265 kph - with optional hardtop 270 kph - the ROADSTER S operates at speeds where reduced lift at the front and rear axle become quite noticeable, impacting objective safety and one's subjective sense of comfort. To counteract this phenomenon, we made changes at the front and rear of the automobile, communicating typical ALPINA identity without stepping away from the design language of the Z4
In the interior, you'll find BMW's well-contoured bucket sport seats. Finished in leather and with ample adjustment, these seats offer support and comfort, and not only to those whose image of ideal weight would make Twiggy look portly. This is the secret of long-distance motoring in the ROADSTER S. The tailored suit that is the ROADSTER S envelopes the driver - and the two develop a symbiotic, almost euphoric relationship based in precision and ease. Thus is the true promise of the vehicle communicated.
Other dimensions defining this work of art are the hand-stitched, supple leather that enwraps the steering wheel, the interior surfaces in the door panels, and the dash and console inserts. One may optionally bathe the same surfaces in a luminescent high gloss lacquer finish. The instruments radiate their familiar discreet ALPINA elegance, deep-blue dials faces behind illuminated red pointers
On the one hand, the BMW ALPINA ROADSTER S is an extremely sporty automobile, and on the other hand quite cultivated in its habits. Its intent is to spoil its owner on each and every drive, inducing a feeling of an "infinite lightness of being", - we just couldn't do it any other way!
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