Selecting a automobile for this function wasn’t only a case of naming the quickest, strongest or most costly factor I drove this yr – though the Alpina B8 Gran Coupé comes near being all of these issues (201mph, 613bhp and £135,000, in the event you’re conserving rating).
No, it earned the highest spot due to how I acquired to expertise it: on a long-distance drive by way of epic surroundings, as its makers meant.
With overseas journey nonetheless banned by our publishers, we eschewed the French Riviera for a two-day tour to the North Pennines, as a result of a sporting grand tourer of this calibre deserved a correct grand tour. The 600-odd miles of there-and-back driving would give us loads of time to check notes on it and the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupé we’d lined up as a rival.
It is perhaps much less in-your-face than the AMG, however the B8 isn’t any shrinking violet. An Alpina of any sort is a uncommon breed, however our Alpina Blue Metallic automobile had solely weeks earlier than it made its UK public debut on the Goodwood Pageant of Pace and was sitting on UK importer Sytner’s ‘S17 NER’ reg plate. To these within the know, it was as recognisable as a Porsche carrying ‘911 HUL’.
And but its extremely refined highway manners provide help to neglect you’re driving one thing rarer than a Lamborghini Huracán. The best way it serenely glides over all surfaces defies your expectations, the Consolation Plus setting delivering easy cruising potential from what’s an undeniably massive and heavy four-door GT.