Lot 163


2003 BMW Alpina Roadster V8


$229,600 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Miami Beach, Florida



Chassis No.
Serial No.
US Title
  • Single-owner, US-market example
  • Number 547 of 555 produced
  • One of only 450 sold in the United States
  • Powered by a tuned 4.8-liter V-8 engine rated at 375 hp
  • Finished in Schwarz over a two-tone black and cream BMW Individual interior
Addendum: Please note that this vehicle is now offered without reserve. The alternator will need to be replaced; the cost will be covered by the consignor. Please speak to a member of the RM Sotheby’s staff for further information.
Please note the title for this lot is in transit. A 4-6 week delay is expected.

BMW’s relationship with Alpina is more than just friendly neighbors, even if the two companies are a mere hour’s drive apart through bucolic Bavaria—an hour that may go by much quicker in an Alpina-modified BMW. Officially recognized by the German government as a car constructor rather than a tuner, the fastidiousness of Alpina’s BMW-based cars is highly regarded.

When it came time to remake the BMW Z8 in its distinctive style, Alpina chose to balance luxury and performance without diluting the roadster’s retro-inspired looks. After all, the Z8 itself was, arguably, designer Henrik Fisker’s finest creation for the Munich-based automaker. It was more than an homage to the legendary 507, a car that nearly bankrupted BMW and yet cemented the automaker as a producer of fine high-performance cars. With the Z8, Fisker worked with exotic materials to craft a relatively lithe 3,500-pound roadster with the heart of an M5.

Alpina chose not to rework Fisker’s styling. The only visual cues that separate the Alpina Roadster V8 from its Z8 sibling are its wheels and subtle badging. Alpina replaced the 18-inch BMW wheels with 20-inch wheels that fill the car’s fenders perfectly.

Inside, the Alpina Roadster V8 is draped in sumptuous napa hides, while Alpina-branded instrumentation, framed by the three-spoke Alpina-specification steering wheel, serve as a visual reminder to drivers before they push the ignition button. Upon doing so, the tuned 4.8-liter V-8, based on the stock M62 4.6-liter, makes its presence known. The Alpina-massaged engine was rated at 375 horsepower and 383 pounds-feet of torque. The Alpina was intended for high-speed yet relaxed long-distance cruising with effortless power. Accordingly, Alpina fitted an uprated version of the five-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters that it used in its version of the contemporary E39 M5.

The car was as much a play for Alpina as it was for BMW’s North American dealer network, which had heretofore not been able to sell Alpina cars. With the automatic transmission and more accessible power band, the Alpina was uniquely geared toward American drivers. As a result, most of the Alpina Roadster V8 production, 450 of 555 total, was earmarked for American dealers.

This US-market example, finished in the attractive combination of Schwarz over BMW Individual black and cream leather, benefits from single ownership over the course of its life. As such, it has remained largely under the care of two BMW dealerships in the New York metropolitan area for servicing and maintenance at regular intervals over the past 20 years. Additionally, just 22,686 miles showed on the odometer at the time of cataloging, illustrating the car’s limited use.

Prized for their luxury and performance enhanced in equal measure, Alpinas are ever a rarity, especially examples such as this one, based on the exclusive Z8 roadster. With sparing usage and fastidious care from a single conscientious owner, this Alpina Roadster V8 is a truly an uncommon find to be cherished by collectors and marque enthusiasts for decades to come.