205 mph top speed. 600 hp. And $141,700. Those are the gaudy numbers that make the headlines. But what you don’t get in those figures is just how much presence the new Alpina flagship has. Rarely has an LCI so changed the look (and character) of a car. In fact we can’t think of any other 7 Series that ever saw this much of a radical change in exterior design for a mid-cycle refresh. However no matter how good looking the new 7 Series is, the Alpina’s version is easily the most impressive.
In talking with Alpina CEO Andy Bovensiepen he was keen to speak about the refinements that the team has made to the engine. While the top speed gets top billing, it’s changes to the engine that make it possible. In this new version the exhaust side of the turbochargers are equipped with a 54 mm (previously 50 mm) diameter impeller. Additionally, the ALPINA-specific intercoolers feature an interconnection to equalize and reduce pressure pulsations between the two cylinder banks of the V8 engine. While HP and torque remain the same in these changes create an even flatter curves. In the previous iteration the twin turbo V8 produced 600 bhp @ 5750-6250 rpm and 590 lb-ft @ 3000-5000 rpm. With revisions the same engine does 600 bhp @ 5500-6500 rpm and 590 lb-ft @ 2000-5000 rpm. While we were just hands-on with our time with the B7, it’s clear that spreading that power out will make for an even more highway crushing car.
The Alpina styling touches have never been more at home on a car with this new 7 Series. The Alpina Green (muted a bit in this new iteration) suits the car extraordinarily well as do the 21″ Alpina Classic wheels.
Inside it’s a mix of the best that BMW hs to offer in terms of leader and material quality along with Alpina’s classic bits and pieces. Nappa leather, multifunctional comfort seats, leather instrument panel, ceramic inserts on control elements and soft close doors are all here as is a revised Alpina version of BMW’s digital display.
The steering wheel itself is beautifully finished in Lavalina leather with blue and green stitching. Alpina uses Piano lacquer finish the interior trim which work well given all of the subtle B7 detailing you find throughout.
Alpina B7 – Our Take
All these engineering changes and beautiful details add up to a presence that’s identifiably Alpina and totally unique in the BMW world. Even without having driven it, you come away fully believing that this is the pinnacle of the 7 Series range. There’s no garish and overly muscular M styling bits here. Alpina has instead always chosen to straddle the line between luxury and hotrod in the most graceful ways. And this new B7 takes that concept to new highs in its look inside and out.