Alpina vehicles are not "BMW cars modified by Alpina", while other companies like AC Schnitzer, Hartge, Racing Dynamics, Hamann, and Dinan are tuners that modify cars. This is a quite important matter when buying an Alpina and importing it from Germany. They are built as new cars branded "Alpina", therefore all owner privileges through BMW are maintained. Alpina is a stand-alone car manufacturer in close cooperation with BMW, therefore an Alpina can be bought and serviced at your local BMW dealership, and covered if there is a warranty issue.
A distinctive feature of Alpina vehicles is 20-spoke alloy wheels, "Alpina Blue" patented metallic paint, in addition to expensive interior materials used to fabricate the exclusive interior appointments. A typical Blue and green pattern (same as in the logo) is often used on interior parts such as stitchings on leather and different fabrics used in the upholstery. Also, a thin, almost pinstripe-like outside body decor set in gold or silver is another trademark of Alpina cars. An Alpina metal plate inside also proves the heritage and the serial number of the car.
Most recently Alpina have produced a version of the current BMW E60 5 Series called the B5, which rivals the BMW M5. The B5 offers a different take on performance and how to get it: unlike the V-10 M5, the Alpina B5 uses a supercharged V8 which produces similar power but has far greater torque.