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BMW E28 Five Series - Tuners

BMW E28 Alpina B10

B10 3.5 from Garage du Bac.


Alpina had made some powerful M30 based E12 fives and E24 sixes including the turbo B7. The E28 benefitted from this legacy and there were both normally aspirated and turbocharged E28s. It must be bourne in mind that an Alpina is very much a shopping list of parts, especially in the UK. An owner may take a car and give it the Alpina remanufactured engine but opt not to have the spoilers and decals. I had an E34 B10 with a normal M-Tech body kit and this was by no means unusual.

As with the six series there was a B7 turbo but only in left had drive as the right hand drive steering column got in the way. Introduced in 1984 is was claimed to be the fastest saloon in the wolrd and had 300bhp (320 with a catalyst). It ran 0.7 bar of boost (10psi), had a modified camshaft and lighter pistons. The turbo was a KKK unit. The existing M30 Motronic system was up to the task of managing it all but obviously the fuel map was changed.

BMW E28 Alpina

Sytner were a principal UK Alpina dealer and still are.

Performance was tested as 0-60 in 4.8s and a top speed just under 170mph, amazing for the early 80s. In addition to stiffer Alpina suspension and bigger Girling brakes the car had 16" black centre alloys of 7" front (205/55/16) and 8" rear (225/50/16). Lovely wheels, I had exactly these on my 635CSi.

236 B7s were made without catalytic converters and a further 42 with them towards the end of production. All were left hand drive.

BMW E28 Alpina

Alpina B9 being driven as intended.

The first normally aspirated car was the B9 which brought a 3.5 M30 to the E28, BMW didn't do this until 1985 and the 528i was the fastest early model. The B9 produced 245bhp using the Motronic system from the 635CSi (which had 218 in stock form). The revised engine had jead work, revised camshaft and lightweight Mahle pistons which gave a higher compression ratio. A B9 could sprint from 0-80 in 6.7s and topped out at 150mph.

BMW E28 Alpina

Early 2.8 Alpina.

The later B10 3.5 is rated at 261bhp. These cars had 284mm front discs using Girling components and the same wheel setup as the B7. B10s did 0-60 in 6.4s and a were capable of 156mph.

BMW E28 Alpina

2.8 Alpina with side stripes.

The rare B2.8 version is based on a 528i and I've only heard of them in the UK. I'm not certain what engine modifications (if any) these cars had. Modifications may have been confined to the suspension, brakes and cosmetics. All seem to be 1985 or earlier cars.
BMW E28 AC SChnitzer

AC Schnitzer S5.

AC SChnitzer

The S5 is a hard car to find information on. I've heard it quoted as 245bhp @ 5750 rpm which is a little different from the 240 @ 6000 quoted for the E24 S6, but that could be due to confusion over DIN vs SAE rating. Either way the engine had revised M30 3.5 Motronic engine has a re-profiled camshaft, exhaust headers and revised programming. I've heard from a few sources that it also had lightweight Mahle pistons.

Schnitzer offered larger brakes, suspension upgrades including anti-roll bars and a body kit. The S5 had 16" wheels of 7" front 8" rear.

0-60 took 7s and top speed was 150mph. I'd be keen to hear more.

BMW E28 Hartge H5S

Hartge H5S.


The Hartge H5 was a 3.5 M30 but strangely it seems to have been based on a bored and stroked 2.8, presumably with Jetronic-L injection. Whether this was in fact the case or whether Hartge more sensible fitted a 635CSi M30 is an interesting question. It's not just a case of moving an M30 3.5 into a 528i, you'd need the whole Motronic wiring harness and ECU too. You'd also need a gearbox bell housing with the mounting for the timing sensors, but they may just have been blanked off on a 528i. I'd be very interested to hear more about this from anyone in the know.

In any event the H5 made 240bhp and 242lb/ft of torque. Top speed was listed at 144mph and 0-60 in 6.9s. An H5 would have Hartge spoilers, side and rear under skirts, strut brace, exhaust, wheels and body striping. I have not found information on brake upgrades.

Like the E24 H6S the H5S was based on the M5 and it's 24 valve S38 engine. An H5S upped the power from 286 to an amazing 330bhp, albeit at the expense of a little torque. The Hartge had a revised exhaust and higher lift camshafts. The car was 25mm lower than stock and wore 225/50/16 front and 245/45/16 rear. 0-60 in under 5.5s and top estimated(!) at over 160mph. Quite a beast and possibly the most desirable E28.