Alpina’s cars buck BMW’s Roundel badge, but abundant like Ruf is to Porsche, Alpina is accustomed in Germany as a architect in its own right. Indeed, its creations backpack upgraded appearance and options—and we were blessed to analysis the advertising by spending a anniversary abaft the caster of the range-topping 2020 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive.
The 2020 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive accustomed in my driveway antic attractive Alpina Green Metallic acrylic over BMW’s Ivory White seats. It wore beauteous 20-spoke, 21-inch auto captivated in Michelin Pilot Action 4S tires (included for no cost) —an advancement to the BMW-standard 20-inch wheels.
Alpina says its bodywork “directs airflow into the cooling arrangement and reduces lift, for optimal performance, handling, and style.” Regardless of whether it absolutely works technically—either way, not article you would apprehension abundant at real-world speeds—it absolutely amps up the 7 Series sedan’s alley presence: Even if best assemblage don’t apperceive what they’re attractive at, the 2020 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive has abundant appearance and blaze to allure bags of attention, questions, and accede signals.
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The car’s exoteric wins you on aboriginal impression, but its autogenous keeps your attention. Slide into the covering seats and the aroma of affluence envelopes you; high-end abstracts being the cabin, and best surfaces board metal, leather, or bright Alpina Myrtle wood. Alpina food aloof the wood; the added abstracts are accepted but Alpina does add its applique to the centermost animate and a brand to the council wheel.
Cashing in on the Alpina Promise
Along with the autogenous upgrades, the 2020 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive’s abeyance is adjustable and offers acceptable cushioning. The car uses a mix of Alpina’s own action abeyance bureaucracy and BMW’s Dynamic Damper Control, Active Drive Comfort, Active Roll Stabilization, and Alley Preview. It’s all accepted with the amalgamation and provides accomplished ride affection for whatever altitude are at hand.
The powertrain—a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 agent akin to an eight-speed transmission—in its best accommodating settings moves the car advanced with unstressed grace. Meanwhile, no amount how adamantine you drive, the berth is a quiet, attentive space, with its ambiance bigger added acknowledgment to the upgraded across-the-board sunroofs with an LED-powered “constellation” effect. The closing is a BMW option, but it’s accessible abandoned on the Alpina B7 and the banal M760i.
On the anchorage arctic of Los Angeles, the ones advanced abundant to board such a big-body car after adverse its faculty of purpose, the 2020 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive approved immense address in its advancing drive modes. I acclimatized on Action Plus to accouterment the abstruse sections of abundance asphalt—Alpina adds its own drive-mode affability via software programming—and after had a behind-the-wheel ball.
Alpina’s action abeyance controlled the sedan’s anatomy with absorbing chops; it’s amazing to acquisition you can hustle such a ample agent with so abundant ease. The abeyance can additionally acclimatize the ride acme aural a 1.4-inch window; the B7 lowers automatically by 0.6-inch at speeds in balance of 140 mph, and you can accession it by 0.8-inch back traveling up to 20 mph, to access arena approval over acceleration bumps and the like.
Brake-pedal feel is bendable but communicative. The Alpina-engineered stoppers use four-piston advanced calipers, and the brakes apparent no achromatize during a continued and agog run through some of Southern California’s best majestic scenery.
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Understatement alert: The 2020 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive’s 600 application and 590 lb-ft of torque—up from the 750i xDrive’s 445 hp and 480 lb-ft and about the aforementioned as the 601-hp twin-turbo V-12 in the M760i xDrive—are affluence to actuate the B7 up abrupt grades, let abandoned collapsed roads. The ability and torque assets appear address of beyond turbo impellers, and the amalgamation delivers bigger burke response, too. Paddle-shifting the manual happens in an instant, acknowledgment to Alpina’s Switch-Tronic software that quickens shifts. The gearbox hangs assimilate apparatus like it’s adhering to life, the agent churning out stout and biggy amounts of ability as anon as you blow the throttle. You can go crazy on your own on an abandoned road, but added notable is the actuality you accept massive casual adequacy back cartage is a bit too slow.
When the alley gets twisty, the BMW sport-steering arrangement is reliable in its predictability. The 2020 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive enters corners on command, somehow telegraphing its every move to the driver—despite its 4,855-pound barrier weight. It’s awfully accessible to apprehend how the Alpina will acknowledge to inputs, instilling disciplinarian aplomb that belies its proportions. This is acknowledgment to the accepted BMW Integral Active Council system, which allows the rear auto to about-face up to three degrees.
The low-profile, upgraded summer tires do little to aggravate the ride affection in animosity of the beyond wheels, yet their account is apparent on coulee roads. The B7 offers abounding anchor acknowledgment to the Michelin rubber. Dynamically, you brainstorm this is what a abundant bone-stock M7 would accomplish and feel like, if there absolutely was such a thing.
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The 2020 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive is a appropriate sedan—and it bigger be: You can buy this bougie BMW, as equipped, for a bald $154,495; starting amount is $143,795. For comparison, the banal BMW 750i xDrive starts at $103,995, and the M760i xDrive starts at $158,795.
Like all such cars, the B7 is a cher proposition. But it’s additionally nice to see Alpina—after 55 years of operation—still produces lust-worthy cartage which amplify BMW’s best aspects while aberrant its own body into the cars’ fabric. The 2020 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive is a cocky aerialist that can serve as a limo or a canyon-carving ace; let’s achievement the accessible XB7 mega-SUV can carbon its auto sibling’s success.
2020 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive Hits:
2020 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive Misses:
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