Our spies have spotted what appears to be the new BMW X7 testing almost completely covered in camo around the Nurburgring Nordschleife. It is believed this is the hot Alpina XD7 version of the X7 which is going to get a power boost and some styling differences inside and out in the familiar Alpina style.

You may have spotted that it has a “D” in its model designation, so it’s going to be a diesel, definitely based on the most powerful oil burner BMW makes, the M50d unit that kept pinning me to my seat during my road test of the M550d - it’s a torque monster with plenty of top end too.

The engine will be breathed upon by Alpina to make more power, and the suspension will be altered as well - it will be lowered and stiffened for improved handling and grip will be improved through the use of higher performance tires.

Update 08/05/2019: The 2019 Alpina XD7 was caught testing in the wild yet again, this time bearing a little less camo and some miniscule changes. Check out our spy shots section below to see what’s new.

Spy Shots

August 5, 2019: Alpina XD7 – One Step Closer to Production

2020 Alpina XD7
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2020 Alpina XD7
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Compared to the last time we saw the Alpina XD7, this prototype isn’t sporting nearly as much camo, but not a lot has changed otherwise. The last prototype was sporting most of the production-ready design elements, so the front fascia, grille, and even the headlights are still the same. Around back, however, the camo has been dropped from most of the rear hatch, so we get the see the full-width taillights. These obviously aren’t a big surprise, but they could change for the official model. The rear fascia is quite a bit different and almost seems to have reverted backward in terms of design. The twin exhaust outlets now extend out of the fascia, so those rectangular outlets won’t be seen on the production model. For now, it looks like this is a fine representation of the Alpina XD7, but a few things may change between now and the time it makes its debut.

2019 Alpina XD7 Exterior

2020 Alpina XD7 Exterior Spyshots
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Alpina doesn’t usually do too much to the exterior of the vehicles it modifies - the other Alpina SUV on offer now, the XD3 (an uprated X3) has a different front bumper with larger intakes to feed more air into the (larger) intercooler and a slightly different rear bumper with different exhausts.

Alpina doesn’t usually do too much to the exterior of the vehicles it modifies

We expect the same to be true for the XD7 and our spies confirm that the prototype they spotted does indeed have larger bumper intakes, as well as exhausts that are not like the ones the vehicle comes with from the factory.

What will set it apart most from other X7s will be the typical Alpina blue paint job and the trademark Alpina rims that will measure at least 22 inches in diameter, if not more - that’s the size used on the smaller XD3, but the XD7 will be a bigger vehicle so they may go even bigger still.

2019 Alpina XD7 Interior

2019 BMW X7
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The interior of the X7 will be left pretty much untouched in its transition to becoming an Alpina model. All that will be different are the visible BMW badges, which will be swapped out for Alpina badges, and it will also get a numbered plaque to inform which vehicle it is and how many were built.

Alpina does change the leather on some surfaces, with the steering wheel being a prime candidate for that.

Unique metallic door sill plates, with Alpina lettering, will also replace the standard BMW ones. The X7’s digital gauges will also receive a makeover, and they will likely have a blue background and a different font.

2019 Alpina XD7 Drivetrain

2020 Alpina XD7 Exterior Spyshots
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Alpina will increase the output of the M50d, 3.0-liter, quad-turbocharged, diesel engine from the standard 400 metric horsepower (or 396 horsepower) and 760 Nm (or 560 pound-feet). Expect an increase of around 50 horsepower and just as much torque.

In standard form, the X7 M50d can sprint to 100 km/h or 62 mph in a very brisk 5.4 seconds and continue onto a top speed of 250 km/h or 155 mph which is electronically limited.

We don’t expect the Alpina version, even with the power bump, to dip below 5 seconds in terms of sprint time (although it could, but don’t forget it weighs 2.3 tons or over 5,000 pounds). Alpina does, however, usually remove the top end governor, so it could nudge 270 km/h / 168 mph with it removed.

Now the fact that the prototype was spotted around the Nurburgring suggests Alpina is testing in order to improve the handling of the X7, which is a tall order (literally) since it looks as if there’s quite a bit of lean through the corners - it does not look excessive, but you can’t say it corners flat either.

The eight-speed automatic transmission of the standard X7 will be retained, but Alpina may play around with the software to make it feel sportier in its sportiest settings.

2019 Alpina XD7 Prices

2020 Alpina XD7 Exterior Spyshots
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BMW wants the equivalent of $111,400 or €98,350 for an X7 M50d, but as you can imagine, the Alpina XD7 will add to that price tag. We estimate that it could cost as much as (or even over) €130,000 which equates to around $150,200.

2019 Alpina XD7 Competition

BMW X7 M50d

2019 BMW X7 Exterior
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Why would you want to spend a whole lot more on an X7 M50d with some fancy badges, rims and a bit more power? The X7 is already extremely luxurious, it handles well enough for what it is and most people will never care to tell the difference between them. And you can apply similar modifications to your X7 without having to resort to Alpina for it, but I guess this argument stands true for all the vehicles they sell and yet there’s still a market for them.

Sure, an Alpina XD7 will feel a bit more special and drive with a bit more verve, but only enthusiasts will know what an Alpina is and enthusiasts aren’t so much into big, top-heavy performance SUVs that beat the tarmac into submission. You’ll probably never get to see an XD7 on the road, but rest assured the regular X7 will prove quite popular.

Read our full review on the 2019 BMW X7 M50d

Audi SQ7

2017 Audi SQ7 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The Audi SQ7 is a bit smaller than the Alpina XD7, but it still offers seating for up to seven and it has a diesel engine with matching power. Its 4.0-liter, V-8 oil burner makes 435 metric horsepower (or 428 horsepower) and 900 Nm (or 663.8 pound-feet) of torque and is able to send the big Audi from naught to 62 mph or 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds and on to the same limited to speed of 155 mph or 250 km/h.

It’s also surprisingly agile around the bends, with remarkably positive and precise steering (especially for an Audi) and great body control. It also looks quite special with the SQ7 body modifications over the regular Q7 and costs from around €84,000 ($95,000), so it actually undercuts the Alpina by a considerable margin and you’re not getting any less luxury or performance.

Read our full review on the 2017 Audi SQ7.

Mercedes GLS400

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class High Resolution Exterior
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Mercedes calls the GLS “the S-Class of SUVs” and even though it doesn’t sell it with a diesel engine even remotely as powerful as the M50d unit, the V8-powered gasoline-burning GLS500 4Matic is definitely a strong rival to the Alpina XD7.

Its engine makes about as much power as the Alpina is expected to make (around 450 horses) and it costs from €98,500 ($111,450), which is exactly the same as what BMW wants for a standard X7 M50d. The Mercedes has been around for a few years now, and even if it has undergone a midlife cycle refresh, the BMW (and inherently the Alpina) looks far more modern both inside and out.

Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes GLS400

Conclusion

2020 Alpina XD7 Exterior Spyshots
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The Alpina XD7 sounds like a cool idea on paper - an even hotter version of the hottest BMW X7 diesel - but it’s realistically not going to be for everybody, not even the buyers of the regular X7. It will be considerably more expensive and for many the modifications made by Alpina will not justify the price premium.

For a select few enthusiasts with cash to burn, buying an XD7 will be a great purchase - maybe they are collectors of Alpina vehicles and want a fast seven-seater SUV to take the family touring. The profile of the XD7 buyer is a bit of a mystery to me, and I don’t think they plan to make too many of these.

It will ultimately come down to bragging rights, because it sounds cooler (and is a conversation starter in and of itself) to say you own an Alpina and not a BMW, and if you also happen to be in the market for a seven-seater SUV, the XD7 will sound like a great idea, if you think the price premium is justified for you.

  • Leave it
    • The price premium
    • Is it different enough to deserve to exist?

Further reading

2019 BMW X7 Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2019 BMW X7.

2020 BMW X7 M Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Read our full speculative review on the 2020 BMW X7 M.

Alpina Works Over the BMW X3 In All the Right Ways! Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Alpina XD3.

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