Alpina's CEO Explains the History Behind the Historic Logo

Apr 10, 2015 02:00 AM EDT | Jeff Jablansky

BMW maintains a strong presence at most of the world's auto shows, but rarely does affiliate Alpina have a chance to shine.

This year, Alpina was an integral part of the BMW stand at the Javits Center, as the brand's biturbo B6 xDrive Gran Coupe was also BMW's star of the show. Unlike M, BMW's in-house performance division, Alpina is an affiliated brand tuning partner but maintains a separate relationship with the company.

Alpina is based about an hour away from Munich, and was founded by Burkhard Bovensiepen in 1965, and we've always wanted to know more about the company—specifically, about its red-and-blue color scheme and its curious logo.

Luckily, Alpina CEO Andreas Bovensiepen, Burkhard's son, was on hand to answer our query.

"In the beginning of the '60s, turbos were hardly common," Bovensiepen said. "So, if you wanted to make more horsepower, you looked for things to do that allowed the engine to breathe more freely. It was important to have a higher capacity. On the left side of the Alpina logo, in the '60s, it was a carburetor, and on the right side, a crankshaft. The crankshaft [represented] capacity, and the carburetor gives the engine more air."

And now?

"Later, the evolution of this carburetor is the inlet of an injection system," he said.

It's a far cry from the days of the Weber dual-carburetor.

Auto World News was on the ground and covering the 2015 New York International Auto Show. Check out our up-to-the-minute coverage of all the action in New York City, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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