At its heart the new 2016 BMW Alpina B6 xDrive Gran Coupe is a highly tuned, highly modified hot rod, but an incredibly regal one at that.
Just like a standard BMW, the new Alpina's top speed is electronically limited. But whereas BMW usually sets the cut-off point at 155mph (250km/h), Alpina is considerably more generous waiting until 200mph (322km/h) before turning off the fun.
This phenomenal top speed is down to the fact that Alpina has taken a 4.4-liter V8 engine and strapped two huge purpose-built turbochargers to it.
Any tuning house can simply stick a big turbo on an engine to make a car faster, but what sets Alpina apart as modification monarchy is that every aspect of the car's powertrain, every aspect of its suspension set up, the transmission, the chassis, brakes and exhaust system have also been suitably modified not just to handle this huge turn of speed, but to accentuate it and to ensure that the result is a car that's just as reliable and long lasting as a standard BMW.
Still, unless you happen to live next to a private runway or in one of the regions of Germany where the Autobahn's top speed is still yet to be limited, most B6 xDrive Gran Coupe owners -- and there will be few as production will be very, very limited -- will never get the chance to push the car to its electronic limit.
Luckily there's plenty of fun on offer at any speed and an astonishing burst of acceleration from standstill -- Alpina's preliminary figures for the car set its 0-60mph time at just 3.6 seconds (that's Ferrari territory) and its maximum output at 600hp, that's a 60hp increase over the outgoing BMW Alpina B6 and makes the car the fastest accelerating in Alpina's history.
But this car isn't simply about power or speed, despite having both in spades, it's about comfort, craftsmanship and exclusivity.
Each B6 starts out as a standard BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe which is then shipped to Alpina's facilities in order to receive two weeks' worth of engine tuning and interior and exterior hand-finishing.
The exterior touches include a revised front spoiler, grille surround and hood and of course Alpina's signature spoked alloy wheels. Inside, pretty much every BMW optional extra is included as standard, as are a Nappa leather wrapped dashboard and seats and a choice of luxury wood trim in Myrtle or Piano lacquer. But of course, each client can specify exactly how his or her Alpina should be dressed and what color it should be painted.
Alpina will be opening the order books in March and aims to deliver the first examples to the US -- its biggest market outside Germany -- in June.