Fast & Furious
Alpina has been creating exclusive automobiles for a small circle of BMW car connoisseurs for over 50 years.
Alpina is a family owned and operated business in Bavaria. Founder Burkard Bovensiepen along with his sons Andreas and Florian personally oversee production of 1,700 automobiles per year, all modified BMWs with added power and luxury features.
The Alpina B7 xDrive is the third generation of the 750i with pricing starting at $138.800, about $55,500 more than the 750i xDrive, but still comparable to the Mercedes-Benz AMG S63 ($144,700), Audi S8 Plus ($115,900), Maserati Quattroporte GTS ($145,500) and the Jaguar XJR ($118,000).
The exclusivity that comes with the Alpina B7 xDrive is that BMW will sell only about 400 B7s in North America, giving ownership of this powerful edition considerable caché.
Though the B7 is not considered a track car, Alpina made extensive modifications. The BMW 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 is tuned to produce 608 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque, 35 percent more than the engine generates for the 7 Series.
The twin-turbocharged V-8 reacts instantly with a top speed officially deemed to be 193 mph, but it has been reported that it topped out at a significantly higher number. According to Car & Driver, Alpina raised the terminal velocity to 205 mph during testing, putting this supercar ahead of Mercedes-AMG, Porsche and Bentley.
In addition to enhancing the BMW engine by adding larger manifolds and bigger turbochargers, Alpina took advantage of the 7 Series’ new air suspension and active damping system for a ride-height drop of nearly an inch when the car is in Sport+ mode.
This lowers the car’s center of gravity and increases camber, and engages automatically when the B7 travels faster than 143 mph. You can also raise the suspension when climbing a steep hill or driveway.
The exterior color options include the signature Alpina Blue and Alpina Green II as well as the traditional silver or gold trim appliques that have distinguished Alpina models from standard BMWs for more than 50 years. Signature 20-spoke forged-aluminum wheels and a four-tip stainless steel exhaust system complete the custom look.
Interior Design Changes
One of the biggest design changes for 2017 is the enhanced instrument cluster.
The red and blue Alpina logo is emblazoned on the steering wheel, which is wrapped in Lavalina leather and stitched in blue and green, to match the colors of the lighting in the dashboard’s LED instrument panel.
Also new is the cluster which changes color depending on the selected driving mode. In Comfort mode the gauges are entirely blue and in Sport mode, the cluster adds digital speed and gear information.
Alpina’s exclusive Switch-Tronic mechanism has buttons on the back side of the steering wheel designed to give a better grip on the wheel instead of paddles (which are available upon request). Upshifting and downshifting on the console-mounted shifter gives a racecar feel.
The improved 7 Series 8-speed transmission has reprogrammed software for smoother shifts and the lighter exhaust system has a distinctly more pronounced growl than the 750i.
The combination of the B-7’s long wheelbase and Alpina’s enhanced all-wheel steering system turns the rear wheels in the same direction as the front wheels at higher speeds, resulting in unsurpassed cornering and high-speed stability.