Apart from their twin-turbo V8 engine formats and top speeds just a touch north of 200mph, the Ferrari F40 and the new Alpina B5 GT don’t have a lot in common.
For one thing, the German car is far rarer, being limited to just 250 examples, most of which have been ordered in estate form. A mere 21 are UK bound.
But this unlikely pair does share one significant commonality, which concerns timing. The F40 was the final Ferrari brought to fruition during the life of Enzo and the B5 GT plays the same poignant role for Alpina, whose venerated founder Burkard Bovensiepen died in October, two months after the GT was launched at Zandvoort. For this reason alone, it’s a special machine.
Sentimentality aside, the car was pretty special on track at Zandvoort too. Totals of 625bhp and 627lb ft – up 25bhp and 37lb ft on the already ballistic and now retired regular B5 Bi-Turbo – flowed near-seamlessly through a ZF ’box upgraded with parts normally reserved for Rolls-Royce’s Phantom. Traction was massive but so was poise, and the B5 GT shrunk an FIA Grade 1 circuit like no exec saloon with quilted seats and deep-pile mats has any right to.
Six months later, it faces another test, this time on knobbly, wintry UK roads, in do-all Touring form.