Alpina is no regular BMW tuner. It works as closely with the Munich carmaker as Brabus does with Mercedes-Benz. So, although it was just last weekend that BMW took the wraps off its new G30 5 Series, the guys at Alpina seem to have been given access to the new car before anyone else. Earlier this year, we had seen the Alpina B5 prototype in five-door Touring guise. But today, our spy photographer has snapped the new B5 saloon filling up at a petrol station in Germany.

Although there’s no Alpina badge anywhere, there are several signature Alpina styling elements such as the wide horizontally placed air intake at the front as well as typical Alpina multi-spoke wheels that give it away. It also distinguishes itself from the M5 with those dual exhaust pipes positioned at either end of the rear bumper. They’re usually placed further in on the M5's bumper.

The previous B5 produced a good 500bhp and 700Nm of torque from the twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8. But with the new 5 Series itself squeezing out 462bhp and 650Nm of twist from its twin-turbo V8 in the M550i trim, the B5 is likely to pack much more power. Pair this enhanced output to the lightweight construction of the G30 5 Series, the new B5 is sure to boast considerably better performance figures than before.

Although camouflaged, all the aero bits seem to be ready for the show floor, however, with the BMW 5 Series set to gon on sale early next year, and the M5 after that, the Alpina B5 won’t be officially revealed anytime soon. Look for a debut sometime late in 2017. As always, we’ll keep you posted.