180 miles per hour would not really feel that quick in an enormous luxurious sedan on an unrestricted part of German autobahn. However when the slow-moving Volkswagen Passat decides to merge into your lane when it clearly should not, 180 mph seems like warp velocity as you are standing on the brakes to keep away from imminent catastrophe.
Fortunately, the 2020 BMW Alpina B7 is a sedan able to not solely comfortably reaching loopy cruising speeds, however bringing them to a halt with out a trace of drama. And what have you learnt, it is a hoot off the freeway, as nicely.
Earlier than I get into the nuts and bolts of this refreshed B7, let’s speak about Alpina and its relationship with BMW. In Germany, Alpina is an independently owned and operated automaker, nevertheless it works solely with BMW. The corporate tunes all the things from the three Collection, 5 Collection and seven Collection sedans to the X3 and X4
SUVs, and sells them with Alpina-specific VINs. It is even received a pleasant facet hustle within the high-end wine distribution enterprise. (If you happen to’re ever in Buchloe, go take a look at the wine cellar.)
Right here within the US, Alpina sells its automobiles by BMW’s community, and along with the B7, just lately provided the 6 Collection Gran Coupe-based B6 sedan. The Alpina B7 will get all the fancy new accoutrements of the up to date 2020 7 Collection sedan, and with the 6 Collection Gran Coupe not within the image, the German tuning home is already trying on the eight Collection coupe for its subsequent US providing.
BMW’s new 7 Collection has been broadly criticized for its 2020 mannequin yr redesign — particularly, that massive ol’ grille. I truly assume these enlarged kidneys look their finest right here on the B7, properly mixing in with the 7’s slimmer headlamps, redesigned decrease fascia and Alpina-spec decrease lip. Round again, you will discover a small decklid spoiler, quad-tip exhausts and a brand new diffuser.
BMW will promote you a B7 in a variety of completely different colours, however you would be loony to not order yours in Alpina-exclusive shades of blue or inexperienced — each of which, by the way in which, are no-cost choices. Fortunately, even in the event you do go off the menu and order a standard-issue BMW colour, each B7 rolls on Alpina’s supercool 20-spoke wheels, obtainable in 20- and 21-inch sizes.
Step inside and the B7 seems like every other absolutely loaded 7 Collection, that means it borders on being downright opulent. Nappa leather-based is commonplace, and you’ll have it quilted for an extra $500. Merino leather-based kicks all of it up a notch (and withdraws $Four,000 out of your checking account), and in the event you’re actually going for that sugar daddy life-style, you’ll want to spec the $5,750 rear government lounge seating package deal, for the reclining seat with footrest, lounge middle console, plush rear buckets and particular person leisure methods. A barely much less fancy model of this pack will be had within the $three,900 luxurious rear seating choice, which does not provide two particular person thrones, however nonetheless ups the back-seat passenger consolation recreation fairly a bit. Oddly, you will should order one in all these rear-seat packages in order for you the heated steering wheel and entrance armrests, too.
B7-specific inside touches are restricted to a placard on the middle console Alpina’s button-style fingertip gear selectors on the steering wheel, which the corporate has at all times fitted rather than standard paddles (and fairly frankly, I hate utilizing them). In any other case, the B7 is as snug and quiet as every other top-shelf 7 Collection, with soft, supportive seats, fantastically crafted supplies and greater than sufficient room for even the tallest, widest passengers.
Cabin tech carries over from the opposite 2020 7 Collection fashions, too, that means the B7 will get BMW’s iDrive 7 multimedia interface is housed on a 10.2-inch touchscreen. Navigation, a Wi-Fi hotspot, wi-fi smartphone charging, Apple CarPlay compatibility and people foolish gesture controls are all a part of the package deal, and the 7’s digital instrument cluster will get an Alpina-style reskin, with a blue-and-green colour scheme and completely different speedometer and tachometer fonts. Go for one of many aforementioned premium rear-seating choices and your riders in again may have a 7-inch iDrive command pill at their disposal, to allow them to override your selection of music, choose their very own ambient lighting colours or change your navigation route to incorporate a cease at Taco Bell as a result of, hey, all of us crave a Crunchwrap once in a while.
Fortunately, Alpina would not nickel-and-dime you on driver-assistance know-how; the 7 Collection’ entire package and caboodle is commonplace. Each B7 comes with adaptive LED lighting, BMW’s adaptive cruise management with Adaptive Driving Assistant, parking help, a head-up show, surround-view digital camera, lane-keeping help and so forth.
Alpina says it tries to create merchandise that fill area of interest gaps in BMW’s portfolio. In different phrases, since BMW would not make a full-fledged M7, Alpina builds the B7. And contemplating how good the B7 is, BMW actually would not want an M7. (I would in all probability want the look of the Alpina, anyway.)
Energy comes from the identical Four.Four-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 that you will discover within the BMW 750i, however with an extra 77 horsepower and 37 pound-feet of torque, for a grand whole of 600 hp and 590 lb-ft. That places the B7’s output simply shy of the V12-powered M760i (600 hp, 627 lb-ft), although curiously, at three.5 seconds, the Alpina is one-tenth of a second faster within the Zero-60 mile-per-hour sprint.
However the B7 is way over only a boosted 7 Collection. This automotive feels prefer it’s completely unstoppable, whether or not gobbling up lengthy stretches of German autobahn or whereas winding alongside backroads by Bavaria’s lush forests.
Alpina touched all of the efficiency that underpins the 7 Collection; the B7’s rear-axle steering, air suspension, dynamic dampers and all-wheel-drive system have been retuned to account for the stiffer chassis, new wheel/tire setup and extra highly effective engine. Greater braking is fitted, too, with four-piston, fastened calipers up entrance, clamping down on 15.5-inch discs. On the rear, floating calipers work with 15.6-inch discs. Alpina deliberately makes use of metal bakes as an alternative of costlier carbon-ceramic stoppers — firm representatives inform me it would not make that massive of a distinction. And after repeated exhausting stops at triple-digit speeds, I can affirm that brake fade is hardly a difficulty.
The B7 reveals plenty of athleticism. Alongside ribbons of clean German pavement, the Alpina is certainly sharper than an equal 750i, and would not really feel as cumbersome because the brutish M760i. The steering has a beautiful weight and directness to its motion, which helps with total agility. In fact, this can be a automotive that is 17 ft lengthy and 6 ft vast and weighs Four,855 kilos, so it is not precisely what I would name nimble. It’s going to take a nook with much less physique roll than a Mercedes-AMG S63, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a handful in tight hairpins.
That stated, get this factor out on lazy, winding roads or open expanses of freeway, and it completely goes like hell. You’ll be able to actually really feel the immense energy below your proper foot, the eight-speed automated transmission easily switching between gears as wanted, with superquick shifts in its extra aggressive Sport and Sport+ modes. I discover the easiest way to drive this automotive is to make use of its Adaptive setting, which adjusts the powertrain and chassis traits to your demeanor. Consolation mode is a bit of too floaty for my tastes, and digging into the 2 Sport applications feels a bit of out of character for what’s, on the finish of the day, a large luxurious barge.
Alpina says the B7 will do 205 mph flat-out, and whereas I solely (solely!) reached 180 mph on my unrestricted run, it is apparent this automotive has much more to offer. The place some luxurious sedans can really feel a bit unhinged on the high finish of their efficiency register, the Alpina virtually feels reserved by comparability. The truth that this automotive so effortlessly cruises at almost 200 mph is a very wonderful feat. No automotive I’ve examined in current reminiscence covers nice distances with such nice velocity as simply and unflappably because the Alpina B7.
The 2020 BMW Alpina B7 begins at $142,800, not together with $995 for vacation spot. And if I am sincere, it is sort of a cut price — comparatively talking, natch. Sure, it is a full $40,150 costlier than a base 750i xDrive, nevertheless it comes with much more commonplace package, to not point out a boatload of energy. Then again, the Alpina B7 is $6,750 lower than a Mercedes-AMG S63, or extra to the purpose, $14,900 lower than BMW’s personal M760i. I suppose I get the attract of getting a V12 engine below your hood, however park the B7 subsequent to an M760i and inform me you would not choose the Alpina each time.
Actually, my solely points with the Alpina B7 are that I do not earn a wage giant sufficient to afford one, and that I haven’t got a delimited stretch of street wherever close to my dwelling. However in the event you can, and in the event you do, the B7 is a hell of a automotive. Simply keep in mind: You completely need it in blue.
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