December 13, 2002
L.A. Auto Show: BMW to show 330i Performance Package, Alpina Roadster V8
Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey – BMW will unveil a new Performance Package for the 2003
330i Sedan and a unique version of the Z8 roadster called the Alpina Roadster V8 at the
Los Angeles International Auto Show on January 2, 2003.
The 330i Performance Package includes modifications to the 3.0-liter in-line six-
cylinder engine which yield a ten horsepower increase to 235. For the first time in a
330i, a six-speed manual transmission with a short-throw shifter will be offered. The
package also includes a shorter final drive ratio.
The 330i with a Performance Package will accelerate from 0 – 60 miles-per-hour in 6
seconds, about half a second faster than a standard 330i. To match the straight-line
performance a new sports suspension, more aggressively tuned than the 330i’s standard
sport suspension, is mated to 18-inch wheels with mixed-size performance tires. In
addition to the wheels and tires the exterior of the 330i Performance Package includes an
Aerodynamic Package, black headlight trim, high gloss shadowline trim and a new exhaust
that not only looks but also sounds more aggressive.
The look and feel of the interior has been refined with cloth and Alcantara sport seats
matching the Alcantara sport steering wheel. An anthracite headliner and Black cube
aluminum trim complete an ambiance tailored to the enthusiast. Silver cube aluminum trim
is optional. The instrumentation includes red needles while the tachometer reflects the
modified engine’s 300 higher rpm limit.
The new BMW Alpina Roadster V8 is a unique Z8 with an automatic transmission powered
not by the BMW M engine, but rather by a specially developed, higher-performance version
of BMW’s “regular” V8 engine. It also has 20-inch wheels and tires in place of the
original model’s 18-inch package.
This new Z8 is modified by Alpina. Located in the Upper Bavarian town of Buchloe,
Alpina was established in 1964 as an official and approved “ennobler” of BMW automobiles –
Alpina’s modifications include cosmetic modifications and powertrain and chassis
The BMW Alpina Roadster V8 replaces the Z8’s BMW M engine (5.0 liters, 394 horsepower,
which has elaborate individual throttles for each of the eight cylinders and many other
racecar-like engineering characteristics) with a performance-developed version of
BMW’s “regular” V-8 engine. Remarkably, the 4.8-liter Alpina engine comes to within 19 hp
of the BMW M unit (375 hp, vs. 394), does so at lower rpm levels, and (this is key) is
thus suited to teaming with an automatic transmission. The 6-speed manual transmission is
replaced by a special BMW Alpina automatic transmission.
The Alpina also includes 20-inch wheels, with Y-rated performance tires of dimensions
255/35R-20 at the front and 285/30R-20 at the rear. Z8 wheels and tires are 18-inchers,
the tires being 245/45 at the front and 275/40 at the rear.
The Alpina adopts a different steering wheel, with three leather-and-metal-finished
spokes in place of the Z8’s “banjo” spokes. An ALPINA logo replaces the BMW emblem on the
steering wheel’s center hub. The cockpit is upholstered in Soft Nappa (distinctive from the Z8’s
Nappa), with special piping and Alpina logos in the upper seatback. Three colour schemes
are offered: Black/Black, Black/Crema and Black/Sport Red.
Alpina will build only 555 models. The price will be U.S.$137,595 .