Alpina gives the 7 Series More Spokes, More Speed
If you're looking for an ultra-fast executive express
BMW’s M760Li is an impressive piece of machinery. A twelve-cylinder Teutonic missile in a classic business suit. But BMW knows that the car isn’t to everyone’s taste. So they give you options. Like this. The Alpina B7. It gets to 600 hp a different way, and manages to top 320 km/h in the process.
Alpina has been making special BMWs since 1983, though they built go-fast parts for the brand long before that. But that’s when they became recognized as a manufacturer in their own right. Meaning that their cars have an Alpina VIN despite some being sold at BMW dealers. Alpina has put torque and luxury ahead of outright performance like an M-car, though their offerings are hardly sluggish. Like the V8 Roadster that replaced the Z8’s 4.9L V8 and six-speed stick with a smaller 4.8L engine and a five-speed auto for drivers who wanted their luxury car with more ease of use.
The latest B7 puts some Alpina upgrades on the newly refreshed BMW 7 Series. Instead of the big V12, Alpina has started with BMW’s latest 4.4L twin-turbo V8. To that engine, they’ve equipped a pair of large turbochargers. 54mm impellers vs 50. Alpina intercoolers have a connection between the air flows from the two cylinder banks, reducing pressure pulses.
There are new high-volume coolers fitted behind the new 7’s massive grille openings. More water coolers and a transmission oil cooler help keep everything in the right spot on the gauge, no matter how hard you push it.
The result, 600 hp, and 590 lb-ft of torque. That’s 1 hp less than the M760Li and identical torque. That shove of torque is available from 2,000 rpm all the way to 5,000 rpm, for what Alpina calls “significantly improved throttle response.”
The B7 gets BMW’s xDrive all wheel drive, and it uses an eight-speed automatic with Alpine Switch-Tronic. The new software has been reworked for the performance of the V8 and the company says it offers quicker shift times and better driving comfort.
Performance is improved, then. 0-100 km/h in 3.6 seconds, a tenth faster than the last B7. And the top speed is 332 km/h.
The engine doesn’t see the only changes here. Look behind those Alpina-hallmark multi-spoke wheels and you’ll see four-piston fixed callipers up front with 395 mm rotors. The air suspension lowers 15 mm at speeds above 225 km/h, or when you pick Sport+ for improved handling. The electronic dampers have also been tweaked.
The B7 gets new functional air intakes with a new front splitter that wears Alpina lettering. The company says it works with a rear spoiler to “reduce lift to almost zero.” Poking from that rear bumper is a dual-tip sports exhaust system with active valves to help make more noise and more power.
Inside, the B7 gets unique wood and leather trim options. Plus lots of Alpina badges and new graphics for the infotainment system. The interior is loaded with details and finishes to help set it apart from a standard Seven.
If you’re looking for an ultra-fast executive express, but want something a little less showy than the M760Li, then Alpina might have exactly the e-ticket ride you seek.
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