The updated second generation BMW ALPINA B7 was unveiled at this year’s historic Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance in Monterey, CA. followed by a hands on press introduction, that presented the opportunity to experience the super high performance luxury sedan both on the road and on the legendary track at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca.
The iconic 2013 sedan is on sale now, with four models from which to choose, starting at $127,600 for the standard wheelbase model (SWB), $130,600 for the Short Wheelbase model with xDrive, $131,500 for the Long Wheelbase version, and $134,500 for the LWB example with xDrive.
The enhancements for this latest iteration ALPINA B7 are in conjunction with the updates made to the 2013 BMW 7 Series sedan that include an increase in power, better performance and heightened efficiency.
There are four models of the BMW 740 Series: a 740i; a 740Li; a 740Li Hybrid; and a 740Li xDrive. All 740s are powered by an inline, twin scroll turbocharged, direct injected six-cylinder engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission – both rear-wheel and xDrive configurations are available. Next up are four BMW 750 Series models, with a 750i; a 750i xDrive; a 750Li; and a 750Li xDrive, all powered by a Direct-injected TwinPower turbo V8 coupled with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Last in the regular 7 Series lineup is the 760Li which draws its motive power from a Direct Injected TwinPower Turbocharged V12 connected to an 8-speed automatic. The V12 generates 536 horsepower and 553 pound feet of torque. The inline six makes 315 horsepower and 332 pound feet of torque, while the V8 pumps out 445 horses along with 480 pound feet of torque.
All 7 Series luxury sedans are incredible driving machines. Note that there are no “M” power models in the lineup – not because there couldn’t be, but because there doesn’t need to be. Why? Enter the super high performance model B7 created by ALPINA. The ALPINA is powered by an N63B44O1 ALPINA 90-degree V8 with MEVD17 2.8 Direct Injection and 2 twin turbo reverse flow “hot V” that produces 540 horsepower in a range from 5,200 to 6,250 rpm, while also generating 538 pound feet of torque from 2,800 to 5,000 rpm. Gear changes are Made by an electronically controlled 8-speed automatic with steering wheel mounted button shifters. The BMW ALPINA B7 gets power to the ground through either the rear wheels or via xDrive, with a total of four models – standard or SWB with or without xDrive and LWB with or without xDrive.
Each of the available versions of the 2013 BMW ALPINA B7 comes with more than 30 new parts that enhance the design and frontal dynamics for more effective cooling to manage the increased power output. Included are: new BMW twin-kidney grilles, updated Xenon Adaptive headlamps, LED front fog lights and updated taillights. Additional features that are now standard are: ceramic secondary controls, engine Automatic Start-Stop and the Active Protection system. The B7 features full LED headlamps, Bang & Olufsen Surround Sound System, new exterior colors along with interior upholstery choices that are in-line with the overall 7 Series enhancements. Special badging and the signature 21-inch ALPINA Classic 20-spoke light alloy wheels, along with the ALPINA Blue metallic exterior finish give the B7 a distinctive and unmistakable identity setting it apart from other 7 Series models. A new matte blue exterior finish is now also available.
The BMW ALPINA B7 will be available as a special order, capacity limited production ensuring its uniqueness and exclusivity. The ALPINA B7 body is manufactured in the BMW 7-Series factory in the Dingolfing, Germany plant, with hand-finishing utilizing special remaining ALPINA components completed at the ALPINA factory in Buchloe, Germany. The hand-finishing sequence increases the production schedule of each vehicle by approximately two weeks. European Delivery will be available at the BMW Welt delivery center.
I was able to first experience the 2013 SWB BMW ALPINA B7 over challenging, twisty backroads around Carmel, California – G16 in particular, which may well be my favorite road in the entire country. The base price of my Gloss blue metallic road test car with ivory leather interior, was set at $127,600 – add the Destination charge and the total came to $128,495.
My next experience came on the track at Laguna Seca, riding shotgun with the lead instructor from BMW’s Performance Center in South Carolina who was driving the car for the first time. This car was done in the matte blue finish and the 540 horsepower, high performance luxury sedan was quickly transformed into an e-ticket ride, handling like a much smaller vehicle at the hands of an expert professional. The electronically controlled 8-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel mounted button shifters was happy in the fully automatic mode or manually coursing though the gears.
The rate of acceleration is incredible for a vehicle with such mass (2 ½ tons), and it is amazing smooth, stable and planted even when driven radically and prodded to near its full potential.
My turn behind the wheel came next on the track with the instructor riding along offering helpful pointers on braking points, apexes and the overall proper line. I was truly astonished at the car’s ability, while registering some disappointment in my own level of performance. The ALPINA B7 potential is definitely beyond the capability of most mere mortals. Admittedly, the majority of B7 buyers will rarely attend track days, but they may be assured of possessing a vehicle that is certainly capable, should the mood strike.
In the final analysis, if you seek an ultimate high- performance luxury sedan, the 2013 BMW ALPINA B7 is worth every penny (that is if you have enough pennies).