2018 BMW Alpina B7 review: The de facto M7

    For so long as BMW has constructed the 7 Sequence, it has stated it will not make a full-on M7. However that hasn’t stopped the German automaker from rolling out sporty variations with mammoth oomph, just like the V12-powered M760i. The legendary M7 does exist, nonetheless, slightly below a special identify. BMW tuner Alpina affords a top-thrill 7 Sequence within the type of its B7 sedan.

    Hitting the health club

    “B” may be removed from “M” within the alphabet, however Alpina’s formulation follows the BMW M playbook very intently. With the 750i as the start line, Alpina extensively reworks the Four.Four-liter twin-turbo V8 with a freer flowing air consumption, intercooler, turbochargers, stainless-steel exhaust and cooling system enhancements. Sending energy to all 4 wheels is a ZF-sourced eight-speed computerized transmission with beefed up parts and optimized shift factors in Sport mode that may maintain a gear even when it is bouncing off the rev limiter.

    No M7? No downside as a result of there’s the Alpina B7.

    Nick Miotke/Roadshow

    All of that leads to output of 600 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque — will increase of 155 and 110, respectively, over the bottom 750i. This intently matches the M760i’s 601 ponies and 590 pound-feet, and each vehicles share a three.6-second Zero-60 time. One undeniable fact that B7 homeowners can rub within the face of M760i drivers is that the Alpina could be optioned to succeed in a prime pace of 192 miles per hour, whereas the V12-powered car is restricted to simply 155.

    Not that you will ever come near 155 mph on public roads, despite the fact that the Alpina B7 actually feels prefer it’d don’t have any bother reaching high-triple-digit territory. Dropping the hammer in Sport mode has the speedometer surpassing posted pace limits very quickly with the exhaust giving off an ear-pleasing low growl. Energy is on the market in all places all through the rev vary, although feels past plentiful proper round three,000 rpm.

    Do not feel like rocketing away from each cease? Flip issues to Comfort and every thing simmers down with drivetrain offering easy, gingerly launches, whereas returning an estimated 16 mpg within the metropolis and 25 mpg on the freeway. Not shabby contemplating the automobile’s dimension and capabilities.

    The massaged twin-turbo V8 pushes out 600 horsepower.

    Nick Miotke/Roadshow

    Extra agile

    Alpina improves upon the 7 Sequence’ reflexes by including distinctive suspension geometry, calibrations for the air springs and all-wheel drive system, and 255/40R20 entrance and 295/35R20 rear Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus tires. Mix that with rear-wheel steering and the large sedan hustles via bends and modifications instructions swiftly with spectacular composure.

    You will not really feel the urge to register for the following BMW Membership observe day with the B7, however you should have a descent time storming round again roads and slinging round expressway interchanges. Steering is responsive with crisp turn-in and good suggestions via the wheel. The suspension provides method to slightly lean earlier than taking a set and monitoring via with good grip.

    Positive, the B7 is a sharper handler in comparison with the 750i, however it nonetheless primarily hangs its hat on the truth that it’s a supreme cruiser. Consolation mode yields sensational experience conduct with the suspension gobbling up impacts from all however essentially the most extreme highway imperfections. The cabin stays quiet with wind and tire noise by no means being points.

    A bit further fashion

    Additionally with the B7’s further performance comes particular visible touches to present it some further pizzazz. Most noticeable are the superior Alpina 20-spoke wheels joined by tasteful touches like an unique entrance lip, rear spoiler and diffuser. On the within, there are particular graphics for the instrument cluster, heart console manufacturing plate and an Alpina steering wheel. That steering wheel options Alpina-specific quick-shift buttons as a substitute of paddles for guide gear modifications, and whereas they work simply tremendous, they’re actually small. I want BMW’s commonplace paddle shifters.

    The remainder of the cabin is the usual 7 Sequence setup with each seat coddling passengers with mushy leather-based surfaces and plenty of head- and legroom. Entrance passengers have heated, cooled and massaging seats, whereas the oldsters in again have some critical legroom that I really used to hold 9 instances of Pergo flooring house from Lowe’s. There’s an extra 18.2 cubic-feet of helpful house within the trunk.

    Flagship tech

    Since it is a BMW, the B7 comes with iDrive infotainment, utilizing a 10.2-inch touchscreen with navigation (with over-the-air updates), a incredible 16-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system and an always-handy Wi-Fi hotspot. The iDrive system is strong with an intuitive interface and fast response to instructions, however for patrons preferring handy infotainment controls over their smartphone, it may run Apple CarPlay so long as you’re prepared to pay BMW an additional $300 for the privilege. Android Auto customers are nonetheless out of luck.

    BMW iDrive will run Apple CarPlay, however not Android Auto.

    Nick Miotke/Roadshow

    There is definitely no scarcity of security know-how obtainable, together with options like blind-spot monitoring, ahead collision warning with computerized emergency braking, lane-departure warning with lane-keep help and an amazing adaptive cruise management system with stop-and-go. To assist hold all of the corners of the B7 clear in parking tons, a encompass view digital camera and parking sensors are additionally supplied, although many of those are bundled inside totally different possibility teams.

    How I would spec it

    I often take a conservative method when constructing my preferrred vehicles, however with the B7, I will splurge. In any case, if a automobile already begins at $139,795, what’s a number of thousand bucks extra, proper?

    I’d start with an Alpina Blue Metallic paint job after which add the $900 Driver Help Bundle primarily for the blind-spot monitor and the $700 Parking Help Bundle for the 360-degree digital camera and parking sensors to make conditions in tons much less anxious. Then I would add the $three,400 Bowers & Wilkins audio system as a result of it sounds that good and the $1,050 Alcantara headliner to have my B7 sticker for $145,845, which incorporates $995 vacation spot. That is nonetheless extra affordable than my $153,095 take a look at automobile.

    Alpina’s signature 20-spoke wheels are superior.

    Nick Miotke/Roadshow

    Why purchase?

    In comparison with the M760i which begins at about $159,000, the 2018 BMW Alpina B7 could be checked out as type of a discount. To some, the B7 will not have fairly the cool issue of the M760i with no V12 underneath the hood, however arguably the Alpina affords a extra distinctive look and almost related efficiency.

    As for the competitors, the Mercedes-AMG S63 presents an issue for the B7 and M760i with its Four.Zero-liter twin-turbo V8 outmuscling them with 603 horsepower, 664 pound-feet of torque and faster three.Four-second 60 mph time. The B7 nonetheless does maintain a price benefit over the $148,495 AMG, although.

    In actuality, individuals cross buying a B7, M760i and S63 can be exhausting pressed to be really disillusioned by any of them. However the Alpina remedy makes this automobile appear and feel a bit extra particular. It is not a real M7, however it’s not too far off, both.

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