What is it?
The Alpina B5 Touring is a rocket-ship executive estate that provides an early indicator of what we can expect of the BMW M5 when it arrives next year. It has a turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 engine (the ubiquitous high-performance BMW unit) tuned to a 500bhp state of mind. That means a 4.7-second 0-62mph sprint and a 191mph top speed.
Why's it here?
Alpina has made alternatively fast versions of BMWs for decades, petrol and diesel, so it's no surprise the company has turned to the 5 Series Touring; it has already shown a B5 version of the saloon - in Goodwood last year - with the same drivetrain including the eight-speed ZF automatic transmission.
Show stopper or floor filler?
Alpina design hasn't changed much over the years, so really there are no surprises here. The 20-inch rims are classic Alpina, as is the body kit - particularly the branded, straight edged front skirt - so this is nothing more than a sales pitch for potential customers.
Read the full Geneva Motor Show report here
Mark Nichol - 3 Mar 2011