BMW 7 Series reaches new heights with Alpina B7

Classic performance take on large sedan coming to North America

Published: February 8, 2016, 5:30 PM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 12:57 PM

2017 BMW Alpina B7

BMW has announced plans to offer the all-new Alpina B7, the third generation of Alpina versions of the BMW 7 Series in the US.

2017 BMW Alpina B7 rear

The 2017 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive has for more than four decades been the ultimate driving machine in terms of effortless performance and the highest comfort. On the outside, it looks very much like the current 7 Series but with aerodynamic enhancements to forward the large sedan’s athletic elegance.

Under the skin is where the beauty really comes out. Under the hood sits a twin-turbo 4.4-litre V-8 that makes 600 hp at 5750 rpm (and sustains it to 6250), getting up to that lofty peak with 590 lb-ft of torque available from 3000 rpm (and 84% of it from 2,000). It all results in zero to 100 km/h times of about four seconds (reportedly almost a full second faster than the previous version). Top speed is preliminarily pegged at 310 km/h.

Power is put to the road by an 8-speed sports automatic, through all four wheels with BMW’s xDrive. The transmission features Alpina’s Switch-Tronic, which can be used in fully automatic mode, in Sport (automatic) mode that optimizes shift points and activates Launch mode, and in Manual mode which allows drivers to work the gears via the Switch-Tronic buttons on the back of the steering wheel.

2017 BMW Alpina B7 interior

In the cabin, the Alpina exclusively comes through in the use of Myrtle Luxury Wood trim, and Nappa and Lavalina leather for seats and trim, respectively, accented with the signature Alpina blue and green stitching. Technology upgrades include full-colour LED instrumentation, in addition to 7 Series’ staples such as Head-Up Display, rearview camera and the latest navigation and infotainment systems.

And it all rides on a cutting-edge 2-axle air suspension that features Dynamic Damper Control and Active Comfort Drive with Road Preview, which contributes to light-footed agility unbefitting a large luxury sedan. Integral Active Steering provides a degree of steering to the rear wheels and Driving Dynamics Control allows the ride to be tailored to the drive, or can be programmed to the driver’s preference for an Individual mode.

The air suspension also allows the car to be lowered or raised by 20 mm (just over three quarters of an inch), lowering the car at higher speeds to provide more stability (and improved cornering due to a resultant increase in wheel camber), or raising it to provide better ground clearance in conditions such as snow. Alpina Classic wheels are shod with 255/40 ZR20 Michelin Pilot Super Sport (295/35 ZR20 in the rear), and can be upgraded to forged 21-inch versions.

The Alpina B7 will be in select dealerships in September 2016, with prices announced closer to launch.