For BMW fans lamenting the automaker’s decision not to build an M7, take solace in the fact that semi-official tuner Alpina, which has been making BMWs go faster for more than 50 years now, offers up a genuine alternative in the form of the B7 xDrive. Now a new generation of the BMW Alpina B7 xDrive has arrived. The car is set to go on sale in September, as a 2017 model, and we’ll get our first look at it during next month's 2016 Geneva Motor Show.
The current B7 xDrive, with its 540 horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque, is certainly no slouch. However, with Mercedes-AMG’s S63 packing 577 hp and now Audi’s S8 Plus packing as much as 605 hp, Alpina’s engineers knew they needed a proper response. Thankfully, they’ve delivered in full with the latest B7 xDrive. The car shares its twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 with the 750i but instead of a stock 445 hp the Alpina engineers managed to dial things up to 600 hp. Torque is up at 590 lb-ft. Also lifted from the standard 750i is an eight-speed automatic, albeit modified with Alpina’s own shift programs.
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As you may have guessed, the resulting performance figures are remarkable. Alpina claims a 0-60 mph time of just 3.6 seconds, making this luxurious, full-size sedan quicker than most sports cars. The top speed is an estimated 193 mph. The good news is that engine response is excellent throughout the rev range. That’s because the engine, which features Alpina’s own intake, intercooler and turbocharger designs, is already delivering as much as 494 lb-ft below 2,000 rpm.
When it comes to handling, the B7 xDrive benefits from the already impressive air suspension system fitted to the standard 7-Series as well as standard all-wheel drive. The suspension system can be adjusted on demand thanks to a drive modes selector and at high speeds it lowers the car by around 0.8 of an inch. Aiding things further are some Alpina-specific settings for the adjustable dampers as well as a four-wheel-steering system. With the latter, the rear wheels steer in opposite direction to the front at low speeds for increased agility and dynamic handling, and in the same direction at higher speeds for improved stability.
You’ll easily spot the BMW Alpina B7 xDrive by its functional aero enhancements and 20-in wheels complete with Alpina’s signature multi-spoke design (there are 20 spokes in case you were wondering). Alpina also offers a 21-in version of this set. Inside these sit four-piston brake calipers finished in blue. They’re biting 15.5-in discs up front and 14.5-in discs at the rear.
Hop inside and you’ll find the plush design of the standard 7-Series as well as the BMW’s flagship’s latest technologies, including a head-up display and gesture control interface. However, Alpina adds its own leather trim as well as special accents around the dash and on the steering wheel. There are also custom treadplates.
Pricing for the 2017 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive will be announced closer to the market launch this fall.
Stay tuned for the debut at the Geneva Motor Show, which starts March 1. You can learn about some of the other vehicles appearing at the show by visiting our dedicated hub.