There are high performance luxury sedans, and then there are high performance luxury sedans. And this BMW Alpina B7 is clearly on a whole other level than most. This expertly massaged 7 series is strictly for the discerning buyer who accepts no compromises when it comes to performance or luxury. Sounds like just the kind of ride we enjoy here at MotorWeek, and we hope you will too!
How can you not enjoy this 540-horsepower, 48-hundred pound piece of rarified rolling excess that is the 2013 BMW Alpina B7? High luxury and high speeds are what we live for here at MotorWeek, so we wasted little time in getting to the track to see what the B7 is capable of.
Well, if you can find some traction, the B7 wants to jump off the line in a real hurry. Unfortunately our test track was a little cold and very damp, so hooking up was an issue. But, do so and the B7 rewards you with a 4-second flat race from 0 to 60.
The B7 really flies, yet from the driver’s seat, the sense of speed is almost non-existent. More like tooling around at a pleasant but not insane pace, then you hit the end of the quarter mile in only 12.5 seconds at 114 miles-per-hour.
Which is cause for a deep breath, and a brief history of Alpina. Started as a BMW-focused tuning operation in the 60’s, over the years the Bavarian company has gotten more involved with the BMW factory. It now makes a wide variety of re-imagined BMW models that have mostly been available in Europe. The B7 is the only current model to officially come stateside.
The engine is based on BMW’s 4.4-liter, twin-turbo V8. Horsepower is up almost a hundred over the standard 750i however, to 540, mostly due to bigger turbos and additional cooling. Torque takes a huge leap as well, from 480 to 538 lb-ft. It’s a whole lot of motor and it sounds fabulous through a legendary Alpina exhaust.
The 8-speed automatic transmission required some beefing up, and Alpina also adds their shift buttons to the custom steering wheel for managing it. Speaking of which, Alpina also worked their magic on the 7’s chassis including a lowered ride height and custom tuning for Dynamic Damping Control and Active Roll Stabilization. The result is a beefy car that’s downright snappy on turn-ins, with a directness that will surprise even seasoned BMW drivers.
The B7 is available in both regular and long-wheel-base models, in rear or all-wheel drive, with our LWB rear-driver taking up over 17-feet of tarmac.
Exterior changes are subtle; mostly to the front end for air management purposes, for both additional down-force and better cooling flow, but it’s hard not to miss the unique Alpina Blue paint job and their classic look 21-inch wheels.
This is one car that can handle anything. The ride is ultra-composed, and it’s a downright docile drive until the B7 is called upon to excel. As quiet and comfortable as a library after-hours, there is truly no compromise on luxury with outstanding material quality.
But while you’re basking in all the serenity, you’re still stuck with iDrive. Overall though, the control layout is simpler than the M5. The rear seat continues the opulence. Seats are heated of course, with controls to tailor your environment.
And now for the price, how’s $132,395 fit into your budget? Not quite? Well, if you don’t need the rear seat space you can save a few bucks with the standard wheelbase model, which starts at “only” $128,495.
Bottom line, Alpina has made an already exceptional car even more so, and done so without detracting from it in any way. What more could you want in a car? And since BMW has no plans of offering an M7, the 2013 BMW Alpina B7 is the smartest and best option for an ultra- high performance 7-series.
Torque: 538 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 4 seconds
1/4 mile: 12.5 seconds @ 114 mph