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Thanks for posting Gustav! I’ve been enjoying everyone's posts on the board and meaning to share my experiences with everyone. Apologies for the delay!

Having recently moved to the UAE, I'd been eyeing up the rather saucy but understated looking Alpina's in the BMW garage across the road from work. I was rather determined to get something a bit silly - cars, fuel and insurance here make this much more possible than Europe.

This B5s popped up on the local classifieds: mint condition, low mileage (19k KM) and owned by a car obsessed expat who needed a quick sale. It was a steal and frankly I've been worryingly obsessed by the thing ever since I first drove it. (The girlfriend is a little mystified, but even she loves the performance and swears sleeping in the comfort seats is like sleeping in a bed!)

As the other B5s owners will attest, it's an extremely comfortable and refined, day-to-day car - yet, at a moment’s notice, it can turn on lunacy and savagery and equal measure!

Mine is actually an LCI conversion to full B5s spec. It's pretty well spec'd overall with LSD, Merino leather, Logic 7 sound system, comfort seats etc.

You need a solid car in the UAE and this one works rather well here – driving is the only decent transport option. I love the fact it’s so understated and comfortable on a long cruise but it can still out perform pretty much all but the high-end supercars.
Some of the driving here can leave a lot to be desired, with lots of impatient tail-gating by 4x4’s. Out running the crazy drivers is the best form of defence I find! I don’t drive like a lunatic but occasionally it is necessary to school a tail-gater with my right foot. Between 100-160+ it just eats these muppets for breakfast.

It’s more than just speed though; I still don’t think I’ve really explored the limits in the corners. The grip and solidity is very very strong and the LSD makes it more fun – the more you turn in, the more it grips. The handling is balanced, the ride also and the shear amount of torque also means you can waft around beautifully with seemingly little effort.

I’ve had it 8 months with now with no major issues. It did need a new fuel pump and soft close door lock recently, it was just out of warranty and to their credit BMW didn’t charge me for the parts.

The only negative of owning has oddly been the BMW service. BMW here are just awful. It takes a lot of shouting to get results which was not what I was expecting. They’re working on it.

Overall I feel very lucky this car came up at the right moment and I’m just delighted with it. It’s an amazing all-rounder and you can feel the Alpina spirit. It ticks every box with few compromises in any department*.

* As an additional bonus, the valet parking guys at hotels often leave it out front with the Ferrari’s and Lambos ;o)
 

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Totally agreed with you doc on the stealership part.
I was in Dubai for 5 years had a E46 and E60 before I moved to Doha last year. AGMC is helpless.
My experience with the BMW dealer in Doha (Alfardan) is quite different. They have a service workshop open till mid-night. Most of time you don't even need an appointment.
The best deal is, they are willing to extend the warranty+service package to 6 years/110,000 km at a reasonable fee. That to me is critical to owning Alpina. There are only 3 B5/s in Doha.
 

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Totally agreed with you doc on the stealership part.
I was in Dubai for 5 years had a E46 and E60 before I moved to Doha last year. AGMC is helpless.
My experience with the BMW dealer in Doha (Alfardan) is quite different. They have a service workshop open till mid-night. Most of time you don't even need an appointment.
The best deal is, they are willing to extend the warranty+service package to 6 years/110,000 km at a reasonable fee. That to me is critical to owning Alpina. There are only 3 B5/s in Doha.
Yeah, it's shame the service is rubbish.

I heard a rumour that BMW Germany had received so many complaints about the UAE garages (AGMC in Dubai - where my car is from, and Abu Dhabi Motors) that they'd sent in a team of trouble-shooters to sort it out. I hope that's true.

A classic example was me trying to get my car serviced at Abu Dhabi. I live in Abu Dhabi but my car was previously registered with the Dubai garage - The earliest date AD could give me was over 1 month in advance - I phoned up Dubai and they could see me in 3 days! When I told them the story in Dubai they said it happens all the time as Abu Dhabi don't want to touch Dubai cars! Madness...

Gutted about the extended warranty options in Qatar! Wish I could get one. The 3rd party ones in UAE appear to be mostly crap - unless anyone else in UAE knows of any they could recommend?
 

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Thanks for sharing the pics and the write up! Really enjoyed both.

The car is STUUUUNING! Congrats!

Jealous of your gas prices... the greed of gov+corps in our part of the world is mind numbing. I'm researching gassing our B5.

I know exactly what you mean about the comfort seats... I often feel after 1000+ km pan european cruise, that my whole body feels more relaxed and comfortable after the drive! It sounds crazy but... that is how I feel.
 

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Thanks for sharing the pics and the write up! Really enjoyed both.

The car is STUUUUNING! Congrats!

Jealous of your gas prices... the greed of gov+corps in our part of the world is mind numbing. I'm researching gassing our B5.

I know exactly what you mean about the comfort seats... I often feel after 1000+ km pan european cruise, that my whole body feels more relaxed and comfortable after the drive! It sounds crazy but... that is how I feel.
Thanks Kyle. Glad I did a check the seats a while back, not sure if you know but they have bags of fluid that get automatically moved around to subtly move your spine to keep it happy.

Plus I always wondered why the headrests never seemed to be where I left them, turns out it it moves those around automatically as well. I thought I was going a bit mad!

You really don't want to know how much it costs to fill my tank.... Oh, OK.... on average about 16-18 pounds... The only downside is I now only ever want a V8 and it's going to be a bit of a shock if/when I come home!
 

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Thanks Kyle. Glad I did a check the seats a while back, not sure if you know but they have bags of fluid that get automatically moved around to subtly move your spine to keep it happy.

Plus I always wondered why the headrests never seemed to be where I left them, turns out it it moves those around automatically as well. I thought I was going a bit mad!

You really don't want to know how much it costs to fill my tank.... Oh, OK.... on average about 16-18 pounds... The only downside is I now only ever want a V8 and it's going to be a bit of a shock if/when I come home!
When I read those gas prices... lots of *beeps* came out! Jammy bugger! :confused3

Really interesting info about the seats... I didn't know that. Do you have a source so I can read more?
Regarding headrests... are you sure that isn't your Wife screwing with you? I've not noticed that with ours.

Cheers for the share :grinyes:
 

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Shockingly low price isn't it. Going back to Europe is going to painful!

On the seats. This guide talks about the moving headrests: BMW Technology Guide : Comfort seats

Regarding the moving liquid bit - I think I may have got the wrong end of the stick here, it appears the liquid moving is how the massage function works - moving your spine around. It won't do this without pushing the button.
Wikipedia talk about the seat's having a "continuous passive motion" technology - however I can't for the life of me find a decent link on it. It appears to be Wikipedia nonsense. Sorry!
 
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