BMWs adapted by Alpina authenticate the not-so-subtle differences amid a brand high-hat and a car connoisseur. Whereas Bradley Braggart will barge into a exhibit attractive for the best big-ticket auto with the bigger engine—such as the range-topping, V-12-powered BMW M760i—Monsieur Adept will affably analyze about article bigger and rarer. Article like the 2020 BMW Alpina B7.
At aboriginal blush, the redesigned B7 resembles the BMW 7-series aloft which it’s based. Both allure assumed comments and alongside glances due to their affected accommodation and that chargeless ample branch grille. However, the Alpina has a statelier aesthetic. Combined with its signature 20-spoke auto and beautiful (albeit subtle) anatomy kit, the $153,195 B7 we activated was fabricated added aces by its absolute Alpina Blooming paint. Although anybody who approached us anon accustomed the BMW roundel on the B7’s adenoids and rump, the Alpina book on the dejected anchor calipers and the basal of the advanced bonanza is a abstruseness to non-enthusiasts.
Despite a starting amount of $143,795, the 2020 B7 absolutely costs about $15,000 beneath than an M760i. While demography the abatement agency missing out on the twin-turbo 6.6-liter V-12, this is a case area bigger isn’t necessarily better. Lift the B7’s tabletop-sized awning and catch two arresting turbos peeking out from beneath the artificial awning that hides the Alpina-enhanced 4.4-liter V-8, which produces 600 application and 590 pound-feet of torque. Alpina additionally calibrated the accepted all-wheel-drive arrangement and formed its abracadabra on the eight-speed automated to accord with the engine’s tune.
The aftereffect is crazily quick dispatch for a car that angled our scales at 4940 pounds. The B7 about teleported to 60 mph in aloof 3.2 abnormal and covered the quarter-mile in 11.4 abnormal at 123 mph. (That’s quicker than the aftermost 797-hp Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye we tested.) Meanwhile, the 2020 M760i we activated took 3.7 abnormal to hit 60 mph and clocked 12.0 abnormal collapsed at 119 mph in the quarter-mile. The B7 never surrenders its lead, either. Even its claimed top acceleration of 205 mph betters the M760i’s absolute absolute by 50 mph. To access all that momentum, the Alpina employs massive advanced and rear brakes with rotors that admeasurement 15.6 inches up advanced and 15.7 inches out back. Not alone did the anchor pedal accommodate close and constant feedback, the brakes helped booty the big B7 to a stop from 70 mph in alone 151 feet. That’s 17 beneath than the M760i bare and somehow identical to an M2 Competition we tested.
© Michael Simari – Car and Driver 2020 BMW Alpina B7
Although we accomplished the B7’s ultra-high-speed accord on Germany’s autobahn, traveling at triple-digit speeds is frowned aloft in the United States. But if you appetite to feel like you’ve been attempt off the accouter of the USS Nimitz, that’s as accessible as burying your appropriate foot. For the best butterfly sensation, actuate the Sport Plus drive mode. What follows is a august arrangement that includes an direct downshift, a cavernous acme from the tailpipes, and a tsunami of thrust. While this blazon of adolescent behavior happened a lot back we aboriginal got the keys, we bound apparent addition ancillary of the B7. Perhaps its best side.
Despite 20-inch rims cutting Michelin Pilot Super Sport achievement rubber—sized 255/40 in the advanced and 295/35 at the rear—the B7 offers one of the smoothest rides we can remember. The humble sidewalls somehow acceptable the breakable surfaces of southeast Michigan’s affliction roads, and the Alpina’s air-sprung abeyance and amazing complete insulation about formed a rolling breastwork of solitude. This was abnormally accurate back we called Comfort Plus, which set the dampers to their softest and became our go-to approach already the change of Sport Plus wore off. While there was no acknowledgment from the thick-rimmed council wheel, we did curiosity at how accessible the B7 was to action in bound spaces. Credit this to the sedan’s accepted rear-wheel-steering system, which may not action rear-axle angles absolutely as ample as the new Mercedes-Benz S-class but is still acutely useful. Put it this way: The B7 can impersonate a limo bigger than the M760i can impersonate a sports car.
© Michael Simari – Car and Driver 2020 BMW Alpina B7
There’s no catechism that the B7’s autogenous is beautifully crafted and loaded with comfortable features. It additionally allowances from some different Alpina treatments, such as our tester’s Myrtle affluence copse trim pieces and the hand-finished covering council wheel, which bears the company’s annular logo as able-bodied as dejected and blooming bond central the rim. Still, a car of this ability deserves a little added wow factor. For instance, afraid a 10.3-inch touchscreen on top of the birr works for the Kia Seltos but not so abundant for a flagship BMW. We additionally weren’t afflicted with the aerial advanced seats, which fabricated a lot of babble after affective abundant air. Likewise, the seats’ beating action alloyed with the aforementioned activity as an blah spouse. At atomic the customizable ambient lighting, which traces the dash, doors, and bifold sunroof panels, adds some amphitheater to the proceedings.
Even with these accessory gripes, which absolutely are added BMW problems than Alpina ones, we anticipate the rarest 7-series additionally happens to be bigger than the best big-ticket one. Unfortunately, we’re not afraid that the B7’s specialness is absent on best Americans. Alpina alone expects to advertise about 300 copies in all of North America for the 2020 archetypal year. While the German coachbuilder offers a broader portfolio abroad, the B7 was the sole U.S. alms until the contempo accession of the 2021 XB7. We’re academic that the trendier three-row SUV will kickstart Alpina’s U.S. orders and end up outselling its 7-series stablemate. But to the alcove of aficionados who acknowledge Alpina’s adaptation of the ultimate BMW sedan, the B7 charcoal the archetypal choice.
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