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New member: is an S worth it?
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dr_rick



Joined: 26 Mar 2016
Posts: 8
Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:23 pm    Post subject: New member: is an S worth it? Reply with quote

Afternoon all, as a member of Piston heads plus a number of other marque specific fora (forums?) I'm a dies in the wool car nut. Previous steeds have included a custom built MGB roadster, a 3.6TDV8 RRS, a D90, a Lotus Elise S and most recently an Audi S4 (B8, 3.0 supercharged). Its this one that I'm not overly bonding with, so I'm back here looking at Alpina, which I initially considered before the Audi but looked past for some reason.

Anyway, the question would a B5S be worth the extra over a B5? I've seen a couple of either out there, but would value opinions of those in the know. And that can include comment on those in the market.
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WINNE1
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Joined: 18 Aug 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No it's just not worth it!
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dr_rick



Joined: 26 Mar 2016
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Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okaaaay, please explain why. I would have thought there was more to it than the headline horsepower / torque lift. Is the rest of the package not worth the effort?
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Jervint
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think what Les means is that the extra power isn't anything to get excited about.

Losing 30 hp on a 500 hp car is like throwing a deckchair off the Titanic...you just aren't going to notice it.

However the real benefits of the S are in the electronic suspension and 20" wheels, coupled with the LSD which comes as standard as opposed to being an option on the B5. All in all, it adds up to a firmer drive, probably slightly more sporty when needed and the faster LCI gearbox goes along with this.

But wait. I haven't driven an S but the B5 is bloody fantastic. It's superb, its magnificent,it's awesome, its amazing, it's a bloody great machine. It's just about the perfect car...for me it is anyway, which is why I drive one. The S makes some nice changes but in the secondhand market they do command a premium, between 3 and 5k usually.

If you can get an S, yes it probably is preferable over a pre LCI (depends on how you drive) but with so few cars on the market colour, history and availability is going to force your hand. You don't want one with a knackered charger or behind on it's maintenance .

I only know of one S for sale, the black one in Essex. He had it up for 25k at the Christmas period. I'd pay that for it.l (although I'd make a cheeky 23500 offer first Wink )

One thing I can say is you aren't going to be disappointed with a B5. They're stunning cars to drive and own and unless you drive both you'll never have a frame of reference anyway.

My experience as an owner is that the B5 handles like a dream, the neutral Alpina setup suits the huge power of the H1 engine and going fast has never been so much fun. There's just no headache to it...in fact it's the kind of car that could cure a hangover. Any car can go fast and any car can be luxurious but the B5's great trick is to do both of these supremely...and AT THE SAME TIME.

It's very reliable, massively tough and over engineered and amazingly frugal on fuel. I love mine....I would not part with it for anything under 35k. It's bloody green for Christ's sake and I'd drive it for the next 10 years no problem!

Anyway happy shopping....hope this helps.


Last edited by Jervint on Mon Apr 11, 2016 8:13 pm; edited 2 times in total
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hap
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's back up nearer 29k

As stated 120 saloons against 428 b5 so is rare in that respect , the touring so even rarer at 59 s models to 119 worldwide

Don't come up often but like the black on is available then I would at least view and drive it along with a b5 so you can see
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dr_rick



Joined: 26 Mar 2016
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Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a blue B5 for sale that was / is Cat D, but I'm yet to hear why.
The black B5S at 28k had a new engine due to a valve issue.
I missed another Black B5S.
And there's the black with grey B5 going cheap, but I only see nervous posts about the car and not great experiences with the vendor.

Not an ideal landscape really
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Gee.Singh
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would defineatly go for the B5s or B6s
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Cook
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:28 pm    Post subject: B5 or B5s Reply with quote

Would urge you to buy on condition and condition alone. As said you really going to be at 10/10ths to feel that 30 hp extra over the B5 std you need for certain to spend time looking at the car as its very easy to get caught up in a short drive with a heavy right foot which will undoubtably impress whichever you decide, would expect to see regular correct servicing evidence at BMW or specialist - condition of the car in general like matching correct tyres with equal wear - alloys and centre caps in good condition ( take them off if viewing to check for corrosion around valves and anti rattle foams in place ) - interior trim such as the leather seat pads as tend to crease due to softness of hide - all the electrics working as e60/61 are an ecu module wonderland ! Go through the gearbox in both std and sport modes to really get a feel for its ability. Find a long steep hill and then feel the torque 😲which reminds me why I drive one every day for work - it really is a vulcan bomber with 4 wheels !!
I spoke to the chap selling the blue saloon ( london car approx 19k) last year when he advertised it with out photos. Been in a front ender and required " spent 3 grand on alpinas parts mate" but .... " only light damage". Hence it didnt work for me.
If you can get an S then why not but I wouldnt get too hung up on waiting about youll enjoy either !

And on another note a friend turned up at the weekend with his new porsche 911 convertible. Cant deny its a beauty even in white but it aint that quick and a run out in the B5 left a wee sour taste for him !! " but. But its an 11 year old estate car ????? "
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dr_rick



Joined: 26 Mar 2016
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Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, just for knowledge and opinion, what does anyone know about B5S #452 that was recently for sale at Bespoke Sports Cars:

http://www.bespokesportscars.co.uk/alpina-b5s.html
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dodgyken
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have driven a B5 Estate and drive a B5S Saloon. (check out my "DK Drives" blog thread)

The B5 felting disappointing - it wallowed, it never felt 500ps quick and I never really gelled with.

The B5S felt "right" first time out - the dampers, the LSD and that slightly more rampant power delivery just works. I have found it highly "adjustable" **cough** if you remove the DSC shackles and yet a wonderfully relaxed cruiser. IMHO the S is what the B5 should have been from day 1 - a car that gives the M5 a Tindell nose!!
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Jervint
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you sure you're not just saying that because you've got an S?
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dodgyken
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jervint wrote:
Are you sure you're not just saying that because you've got an S?


Not at all. Here is what I wrote after driving the B5:
Quote:
Allow the gearbox to work things out for itself and the changes I super smooth, slurred between each shift - and returning the B5 to the super-barge it ultimately it. The B5 is a wonderful mile muncher - I know I would be as fresh at the end of a 1,000km cruise as as the start. This capability ultimately compromises its ability to deliver the thrills on the back roads. You are left wondering how good it could be with the adaptive suspension from the XD3


I highlighted then that I felt the suspension wasn't really up to tackling back roads with verve - it felt slightly sloppy - although the XD3 is quite special.

The B5S felt "right" the moment I hit the sport button for the EDC - tied down more to the road - and with the back end being just that more natural in its responses. When I looked at the S I went in with my original B5 head on expecting for it not to deliver enough above the B5 experience to warrant changing into it. I was surprised how much better it felt - and it convinced me.

IMHO the B5 succeeds in being what it set out to be - subtle styling, massive power, excellent ride. It will cruise effortlessly and munch autobahns for breakfast. My view is that the S adds a second string to that bow - the back road hooligan - capable of delivering a more engaging drive without compromising its primary role.

Whether the S premium is worth paying is an individual choice - for me it was a yes.
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Jervint
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice review but i think maybe the one you drove might have been tired because mine isn't like that.. I'd be surprised if I don't Quaife mine this year although I've not missed an LSD on it...it's just a nice touch.
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dodgyken
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jervint wrote:
Nice review but i think maybe the one you drove might have been tired because mine isn't like that.. I'd be surprised if I don't Quaife mine this year although I've not missed an LSD on it...it's just a nice touch.


Before I test drive a car I make sure I don't re-read reviews of the car I'm driving - I try to go in quite neutral to how a car will drive. My thoughts on the B5 were echoed by the EVO review - the same with the S.

I had a benchmark with the B5 that the S had to exceed - by quite a considerable margin. It needed to be more dynamic - and it was.

None of this means that the B5 isn't a good car - and I suspect some of my thoughts on it came from driving the XD3 beforehand.
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dr_rick



Joined: 26 Mar 2016
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Slight, slight modification. I had a look at an XFR and just couldn't get excited about it.

What I'm left with is the B5S and the ISF.

The Alpina is a dealer car with full history, an extended BMW Warranty but so far unseen as its so far from me. There's something about it that just appeals, if you know what I mean. My wife thinks it'll get stolen, even in Edinburgh. My only concerns are reliability and a lack of occasion.

The ISF is a private sale, full service history, no warranty but could have the Lexus one rebooted. It has a cat back valved exhaust, winter and summer tyres, interior is best described as 'used' (no rips or tears, but its a family car so the odd scuff from kids car seats). This has the reliability for 15k a year on the roads, and certainly has the sense of occasion.

I know they're different classes of car, but given the two cars could be as much as 2k apart, I'm not sure so far. Plus the ISF is twice as much on insurance. Also, I'm not planning on heading to a track, but who knows.

I know posting this on the Alpina forum is likely to lead to an expected conclusion, but I'm interested in WHY. So tell me why B5S?
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