The new B7 hits dealerships this fall with more power and better performance

In the world of performance, sport, and luxury, cars are always changing, with facelifts, redesigns, and new models debuting all the time. Today, it’s the all new, 2017 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive – the third generation Alpina based off of the BMW 7 Series. As with all Alpina models, it brings things like luxury, performance, and comfort together in one package.

The new B7 adds to the good looks of the 7 Series with more aerodynamic qualities in the front and rear and brings a new generation, 4.4-liter, twin-turbo V-8 that is sure to pack plenty of horsepower and torque. In addition to those goodies, add in the all-wheel drive system, adjustable suspension, and numerous driving modes, and you have luxurious performance at its finest. That’s what is so great about Alpina. It takes all the good from standard BMW models, and in turn, makes the car that much better. Who can really argue with that?

The new Alpina B7 xDrive is scheduled to hit dealerships in September of this year, but BMW of North America has already released detailed information and a plethora of pictures to go along with it. So, now that the beans have been spilled, let’s dive in and take a look at the new Alpina xDrive.

Updated 03/22/2016: BMW announced that the all-new Alpina B7 xDrive will be making its North American debut at the 2016 New York Auto Show and will arrive in U.S. showrooms in September 2016. Prices will be announced at a later date.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW Alpina B7 xDrive.

  • 2017 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    600 @ 5750
  • Torque @ RPM:
    590 @ 3000
  • Displacement:
    4.4 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.6 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    193 mph
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2017 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive Exterior High Resolution
- image 664484

Naturally, the B7 has the same basic look as the BMW 7 Series. Up front, the only real change is the front spoiler that is integrated with the front fascia as a lower lip. Otherwise, the air dam, fog lights, headlights, iconic kidney grille, and hood are all from the 7 Series. That isn’t a surprise, though, as that tends to be the norm from Alpina. Besides, why fix something if it isn’t broken?

Up front, the only real change is the front spoiler that is integrated with the front fascia as a lower lip.

The B7 rides on 20-inch, Alpina Classic, 20-spoke wheels that are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires measuring 255/40ZR20 in the front and 255/35ZR20 in the rear. Optionally, 21-inch, forged, Alpina Classic wheels with visible wheel bolts are also available. When the B7 is set into Alpina Sport+ driving mode, or at speeds above 140 mph, the two-axle air suspension lowers the body by 0.8 inches, making the car more aerodynamic and improving the overall stance of the car. The lowered body height in combination with the Alpina Classic wheels gives the B7 an intimidating stance and a sporty look.

Around back Alpina got rid of the chrome trim around the twin, dual exhaust pipes, and extended the pipes through the rear fascia. In addition, Alpina also added a small spoiler to the deck lid. And that is the extent of the changes to the exterior. It isn’t much when you think about it, but these little changes were enough to give the B7 the Alpina touch. These changes really aren’t much, but they are just enough to give the car the Alpina touch.

Interior

2017 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive Interior High Resolution
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The inside of the Alpina B7 is filled with fine Lavalina leather and ceramic inserts. The top of the dash is covered in leather, just like the 7 Series, but the bottom of the door trim and the carpets are black. This really adds appear to the beige coloring of the lower dash, seats, center console, and center door trim. The same infotainment screen and gear shifter carry over from the 7 Series. The leather steering wheel has blue and green stitching, and the bottom spoke is color matched to the trim around the buttons on the left and right spokes.

The inside of the Alpina B7 is filled with fine Lavalina leather and ceramic inserts.

The instrument cluster features LED technology, and its display can change depending on what mode the B7 is currently in. For instance, in comfort more, round gauges are displayed that have the same layout as the instrument cluster in the 7 Series. It Sport mode, a different design is presented that has blue and green drag indicators and a centrally positioned digital speed read-out. On top of this, a full-color heads-up display helps to keep eyes on the road, while a backup camera is there to assist reversing maneuvers.

The technology, fine materials, new technology, and comfortable seats bring a passenger cabin that is visually inviting and looks to be quite comfortable as well. If I was going to be a taking a large sedan on a road trip, I think this car would be high on my list of acceptable chariots, just based on the interior alone.

Drivetrain

2017 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive Drivetrain High Resolution
- image 664496

Finally, we make to my favorite part when it comes to Alpina vehicles – the heart of what makes an Alpina an Alpina. The 4.4-liter engine takes advantage of twin turbos, direct injection, and variable valve timing. The turbo system is unique, however, with the turbochargers positioned above the valley and between the heads of the V-8 engine. Specially designed for this unique placement, the turbos also have enlarged inlets and outlets – a package that helps to provide immediate throttle response, fast power build-up and lots of torque available at low engines speeds. To be more specific, the engine puts out 600 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. At 2,000 rpm, the engine is already delivering 494 pound-feet.

All this power is sent to the all-wheel-drive system via an eight-speed automatic transmission with Alpina Switch-Tronic. On automatic driving mode, the transmission offers relaxed, luxurious cruising, while Sport Mode brings shift points that are optimized for performance. Manual mode allows shifting from the Switch-Tronic buttons on the steering wheel. This driving mode allows driver controlled shifting at all times – the transmission will remain in the selected gear until the driver shifts, even with the engine hitting the rev limited. According to Alpina, shift time between gears in manual mode takes about one-tenth of a second.

All of this comes together to push the B7 xDrive to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds on its way to an estimated top speed of 193 mph.

Alpina also went the distance to help cool down the air before it is delivered to the cylinders. The intercooler system was designed without bottlenecks and a large-volume core. In addition, an indirect intercooler system – air to water – is used for short charge-air paths. Mahle pistons and NGK spark plugs are used to ensure optimal performance from the 20 psi of boost pressure generated by the twin turbo system. To cut down exhaust back pressure and weight, the B7 is equipped with an Alpina stainless steel sports exhaust system. The sound of the exhaust changes with driving mode via a number of active exhaust valves.

All of this comes together to push the B7 xDrive to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds on its way to an estimated top speed of 193 mph. For comparison purposes, the current B7 Biturbo Saloon has 540 horsepower, 538 pound-feet of torque and hits the 62 mph dash in 4.5 seconds. That means the new B7 has 60 more ponies, puts out two more pound-feet of torque, and gets to 60 mph 0.8-seconds faster than the current model. Not a bad improvement in the performance department.

Suspension and Steering

2017 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive Exterior High Resolution
- image 664495
The car rides upon a two-axle air suspension system that has dynamic damper control and active comfort drive.

According to Alpina, the Xdrive ”features cutting-edge suspension technology that presents an exceptional range of driving experiences.” The car rides upon a two-axle air suspension system that has dynamic damper control and active comfort drive. Active roll stabilization also helps cut down on body roll during harsher maneuvers. The suspension can be adjusted via the various driving modes. At speeds of up to 20 mph, the suspension can be adjusted to lift the body by 0.8 inches. When in Sport+ mode, the body will lower by 0.8-inches. Likewise, the body will lower automatically any time the vehicle reaches 140 mph to increase the overall aerodynamics of the car. Electronic dampers are able to change the rebound and compression capabilities of the suspension, allowing for a stiffer, sportier ride in sport modes and a soft, comfortable ride in lesser modes.

In addition to this suspension system, The B7 xDrive also features Integral Active Steering. This system allows the wheels in the rear to turn by a maximum of three degrees in either direction at lower speeds. At lower speeds the rear-wheel steering is active to increase handling capabilities and agility. At higher speeds, however, this system is deactivated to supply better stability. I’ve never been a fan of rear wheel steering, but at lower speeds, it does make cornering and mild maneuvers a breeze.

Prices

For now, BMW and Alpina are keeping a tight lid on the pricing of the new B7. In the press release that announced the new B7, it was disclosed that pricing will be announced closer to market launch. So, for now, we just have to guess and wait. We know the current Alpina B7 Biturbo starts out at €147,300 or $164,902 at current exchange rates. A small price hike isn’t out of the question, so expect the new B7 to go for €150,000 or about $168,000.

Competition

Jaguar XJ

2017 Jaguar XJ High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 633895

When it comes to high-dollar, luxury sedans, Alpina has to compete with brands like Audi and Jaguar, which brings me to the new B7’s first competitor – the 2017 Jaguar XJR. Set to go on sale This spring, the XJR has been redesigned and comes in a number of trim levels. The XJR just happens to be the right size and falls into the right category to compete with the B7. The XJR comes with a 5.0-liter, supercharged V-8 that produces 550 horsepower and 680 pound-feet of torque. That might be 50 horsepower shy of the new B7, but it makes up for it in the torque department, offering 90 pound-feet more at just 3,500 rpm. Like the B7, the XJR routes that power to the wheels through and eight-speed automatic transmission. The benefit of going with the XJR is the price. It starts out at $118,000 riding on a standard wheelbase, or $121,000 if you go for the long wheelbase model. That’s a pretty significant discount for an increase in torque and a sacrifice of 50 horsepower.

Read our full review on the Jaguar XJ here.

2016 Audi S8 Plus

2016 Audi S8 Plus High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 639078

The new B7 is bringing some firm competition to the segment, and it should compete well with the S8 plus. The S8 Plus comes with a 4.0-liter, V-8 that delivers 605 horsepower at 6,100 rpm and 517 horsepower at 1,750 rpm. In comparison to the new B7, that is just five horsepower more and 73 pound-feet shy of the B7. With over boost, the S8 Plus makes up some of that deficit with torque increased to 553 pound-feet at 2,500 rpm. Even without overboost, that 517 pound-feet kicks in at 250 rpm less than the B7, which isn’t a bad thing. The S8 Plus can hit the 60 mph sprint in 3.7 seconds, with top speed limited to 155 mph. As an option, that speed limiter can be increased to 190 mph is some markets. As a competitor the S8 Plus is a strong competitor, given the starting price of $114,900 – that’s roughly 50 grand less that the B7.

Read our full review on the 2016 Audi S8 Plus here.

Conclusion

2017 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive Exterior High Resolution
- image 664483

Well, I’ve always been a fan of BMW, so naturally, I am also a fan of Alpina. I still like to think of Alpina as just a tuner, since its models are based so heavily on BMW models. It is important to remember that it is considered a manufacturer by the German Ministry of Transport, though. That said, I love the way Alpina builds on BMW and makes the car just a little bit better than the standard BMW models. Of course, that comes at a premium, but part of that premium pays for the Alpina name as well. When it comes to the new B7, I’m excited about that new, digital instrument cluster and all the work that went into the engine. The car is sleek, sexy and fast, and there is no doubt in my mind it will be highly desired when it hits showrooms later this year. Good job, Alpina. You never cease to amaze me.

  • Leave it
    • I wouldn’t mind seeing more aggressive body styling

Press Release

Today, BMW of North America announced the all-new 2017 BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive, the third generation of ALPINA automobiles based on the BMW 7 Series offered in the US. The all-new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive stands for luxury paired with precision dynamics, effortless performance and comfort at the highest level. The 2017 BMW ALPINA B7 will be available in September 2016 at selected dealerships. Price will be announced closer to market launch.

2017 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive Exterior High Resolution
- image 664481

New generation 4.4 liter V8 engine with twin-turbo charging.

The new 4.4 liter 8-cylinder engine with twin-turbo charging, gasoline direct injection and Valvetronic delivers an impressive output of 600 bHP between 5750 rpm and 6250 rpm, while the maximum torque of 590 lb-ft is available from 3000 rpm. The resulting performance figures are remarkable – the all-new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive accelerates in just 3.6 seconds from 0 to 60 mph, 0.8 seconds faster than its predecessor while reaching a top speed of up to 193 mph (preliminary figure).The power output of this smooth high-tech engine unfolds with impressive emphasis across the entire rpm range. Excellent throttle response and high torque ensure that even at low engine speeds driver inputs are immediately transformed into forward acceleration.

In addition, to ALPINA’s engineering expertise, a number of significant technical details are responsible for this engine’s power output and performance characteristics – particularly the air intake system, the intercooler and turbocharger configuration and the high-performance cooling system. The twin-turbo charging system comprises two specially developed turbochargers positioned in the V of the 8-cylinder engine. These feature twin-scroll turbochargers with enlarged inlet and outlet diameters. This configuration ensures optimal use of exhaust gas energy even at low engine speeds. The result is a fast power build-up and more torque at low engine speeds for overall exceptional engine response. At 2000 rpm the ALPINA’s V8 twin-turbo engine already produces 494 lb-ft of torque ensuring optimal performance .

The overall aim during the development of the components of the ALPINA air intake system - from the air intake ducts to air filter housings and clean air intake manifold - was to achieve maximum airflow. All components of the high-performance cooling system are designed to remove bottlenecks and maximize effectiveness – special large-volume coolers are interconnected by large diameter hosing for maximum throughput. An indirect intercooler system (air to water) facilitates the implementation of short charge-air intake paths. Combined with additional external water coolers and a transmission oil cooler, the system ensures the thermodynamic stability of the V8 twin-turbo engine at all times, even under the highest loads and ambient air temperatures.

2017 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive Exterior High Resolution
- image 664482

Inside the engine special Mahle pistons and NGK spark plugs are designed to deal with the temperatures and loads associated with 20 psi of boost pressure and a compression ratio of 10.0:1.

The stainless steel ALPINA sports exhaust system is responsible for a reduction in back pressure and weight. Active exhaust valves allow the driver to influence the sound experience by switching the Driving Dynamic Control switch between Comfort and Sport Mode. In typical ALPINA fashion: the two twin tailpipes of the exhaust system are integrated elegantly and aesthetically into the rear apron.

Most advanced suspension and chassis technology with characteristic ALPINA dynamics.

The all-new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive features cutting-edge suspension technology, offering its driver an exceptional range of driving experiences. The focus to retain the exceptional long-distance cruising comfort of the predecessor while at the same time significantly sharpening the agility, handling and lateral dynamics commensurate to the power output of the all-new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive.

The 2-axle air suspension system combined with Dynamic Damper Control and Active Comfort Drive with Road Preview guarantees the very highest level of driving comfort at all times while the Active Roll Stabilization minimizes body roll during cornering. The rear wheel steering of the Integral Active Steering system gives the all-new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive a level of dynamic performance and light-footed handling, typically associated with sports cars. The Driving Dynamics Control switch serves as the central control over which to select the various parameters of all the systems that influence the driving dynamics of the all-new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive. It also features an Individual Mode, which can be used to combine specific settings independently and in accordance to the driver’s preference.

2017 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive Exterior High Resolution
- image 664483

With the Driving Dynamics Control used to select the appropriate mode, the 2-axle air suspension system is primarily responsible for the exceptional level of ride comfort. It also enables ride height to be changed up or down which in combination with the other suspension systems facilitates the choice of a decidedly comfort or sport orientated chassis set-up. Overall, a maximum ride height adjustment range of 1.6 inches is available. At speeds above 140 mph the ride height of the BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive is lowered by 0.8 inches. This operating state, which can be activated manually to be effective regardless of the speed by selecting the special ALPINA Sport+ Mode, results in a lower center of gravity thereby increasing agility and high-speed stability. The lower ride height results in increased front wheel camber for even more direct turn-in when cornering. When needed, the ride height can also be raised by 0.8 inches up to a speed of 20 mph in order to increase ground clearance.

The settings of the Electronic Damper Control, which influences both rebound and compression, are also selected using the Driving Dynamics Control. A broad range of ALPINA damper set-ups are available ranging from Comfort+ Mode for effortless and relaxed cruising to ALPINA Sport+ Mode for maximum dynamic performance.

For the first time, the all-new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive features Integral Active Steering, which in conjunction with the high-performance drivetrain and the all-wheel drive system, offers a dynamic driving experience par excellence. The Integral Active Steering combines a variable ratio electric steering system at the front axle with active steering on the rear axle whereby the wheels can turn a maximum of 3 degrees. Specially attuned to the ALPINA suspension and MICHELIN® performance tires, the rear axle steers opposed to the front axle at low speeds for increased agility and dynamic handling, while steering with the front axle at higher speeds for maximum high-speed directional stability.

2017 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive Exterior High Resolution
- image 664484

The all-new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive is fitted with MICHELIN® Pilot Super Sport tires measuring 255/40 ZR20 at the front and 295/35 ZR20 at the rear, mounted on 8.5 x 20 and 10 x 20 ALPINA CLASSIC wheels. New lightweight 21 inch forged wheels take the traditional 20-spoke ALPINA CLASSIC design into a new minimalistic and technical direction. Forging results in high-density and high-strength aluminum alloy which enables a weight-optimized construction that saves 5.5 lb of unsprung mass per wheel. The MICHELIN® Pilot Super Sport tires are specifically designed to meet the demands of high-performance sports cars. They contribute directly to the precise steering feel and handling of the new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive while foregoing run-flat technology in the interests of improved ride comfort.

Comprising blue painted 4-piston fixed calipers and 15.5 in x 1.41 in discs on the front axle and floating calipers with 14.5 x 0.94 in discs on the rear axle, the high-performance brake system provides outstanding stopping power and deceleration.

BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system with ALPINA calibration

The all-wheel drive system builds upon the technical potential of BMW’s xDrive system and its intelligent and dynamic distribution of drive power which continuously and fully variable distributes torque between the front and rear axle within milliseconds for maximum traction and control. The programming of the torque distribution control, which is interconnected with the Dynamic Stability Control and the engine management system, is performance-oriented and it increases driving agility and dynamics markedly – especially under lateral acceleration – while maintaining balanced and neutral handling. Besides allowing optimum traction under acceleration by eliminating slip induced losses, the system continuously monitors a wide range of sensory inputs – for example steering angle, lateral acceleration, yaw angle and speed – to distribute torque so as to achieve maximum safety in challenging conditions or when encountering sudden changes in road surface friction. The DTC Mode of the Dynamic Stability Control offers a more rear wheel drive bias torque distribution for even more dynamic handling.

2017 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive Wallpaper quality Exterior High Resolution
- image 664485

Automatic 8-speed Sports Automatic with ALPINA SWITCH-TRONIC.

The BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive utilizes a new generation of the excellent 8-Speed Sport Automatic Transmission with ALPINA SWITCH-TRONIC. Further refined and adapted to the performance characteristics of the high-torque V8 twin-turbo in collaboration with ZF, the transmission offers exceptional driving comfort in all situations.Close gear ratios and a total spread of 7.81:1 improve shift comfort and efficiency. In Automatic Mode the combination of eight gears and high engine torque makes for relaxed, luxurious cruising at low engine rpm even when travelling at higher speeds.

In Sport Mode the shift points have been optimized for improved driving performance and are considerably more dynamic with the option to activate the Launch Control function. For maximum dynamic performance, the driver selects the Manual Mode thereby actuating gear changes manually by using the SWITCH-TRONIC buttons on the back of the steering wheel or via the gear selector switch on the center console. In addition to lightning quick gear shifts (approximately a tenth of a second), this mode also holds the selected gear even when the engine hits the rev limiter.

All components of the transmission such as the torque converter with lock-up clutch, the planetary wheel sets and the inner cooling are designed to specifically cope with the high torque output of the V8 twin-turbo engine. This means that no torque reduction is necessary during upshifts when selecting the Launch Control or when using the sportiest configuration of the Manual Mode. This contributes significantly to the striking longitudinal dynamics of the all-new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive and allowing it to sprint from 0 – 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds. The transmission features the latest Comfort and Efficient Dynamics functions such as ConnectedShift (use of navigation data for an anticipatory shift strategy based on traffic routing) and Coasting (decoupling of the engine and transmission when coasting).

2017 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive Wallpaper quality Exterior High Resolution
- image 664486

Athletic and elegant design throughout the B7.

The appearance of the all-new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive is defined by athletic flair and elegance. The ALPINA design and aerodynamic elements emphasize its performance character, with the front and rear spoiler striking a harmonious balance and highlighting the powerful presence of the 2017 BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive. The design blends form and function – the aerodynamic components reduce lift on the front and rear axles to almost zero for maximum driving stability at all speeds. Openings at the front of the vehicle allow the precise and effective flow of air to the individual components of the high-performance cooling system. The iconic BMW kidney grille is fitted with an integrated air flap control system that adapts to the BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive’s cooling needs: when closed it further reduces the level of aerodynamic drag.

The 20 inch ALPINA CLASSIC wheels with twenty spokes and concealed air valves give the powerful BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive a touch of elegance and lightness. In the interests of weight reduction and a striking technical appearance, the optional 21 inch ALPINA CLASSIC forged wheels with visible wheel bolts do not feature concealed air valves and wheel caps.

The ALPINA sports exhaust system features two elliptical twin tailpipes that reflect the performance of the all-new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive and its powerful V8 engine. They are precisely integrated in the rear apron and give the rear a smooth, elegant look.

The exclusive paint finishes in ALPINA Blue metallic and ALPINA Green metallic are a hallmark feature reserved solely for BMW ALPINA automobiles. Other BMW and BMW Individual paint finishes are also available for the 2017 BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive.

Interior and Equipment.

2017 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive Wallpaper quality Exterior High Resolution
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An extensive range of standard equipment ensures maximum well-being and comfort, including high-end Nappa leather, comfort seats, a leather-covered instrument panel, ceramic inserts on selected control elements and soft close doors. Equipment features that enhance effortless driving also come as standard in the new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive, such as a full-color Head-Up Display, a rear view camera, the latest BMW navigation and communication and infotainment systems.

ALPINA details add exclusivity and individual style to the interior. Hand-finished using exceptionally high-quality LAVALINA leather, the sports steering wheel with blue and green stitching is captivating at the very first touch due to its gentle feel. Timeless Piano lacquer or classic Myrtle Luxury Wood - the ALPINA interior trim, door sills with blue illumination, ALPINA B7 model inscriptions and an individual production plaque are further examples of exclusive equipment features in the new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive.

Another exclusive ALPINA design is the full-color digital instrument panel in LED technology. In Comfort Mode it offers a classic look featuring round instruments with blue background and red needles. In Sport Mode the display changes to a more dynamic design with blue and green drag indicators and a focus on primary information, such as the centrally positioned permanent digital speed read-out.

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