The BMW Alpina B7 is an interesting deviation from what we usually expect from the high-performance variants of standard Bimmer models. Generally, vehicles from BMW's M Division simply tune up the engines to absurd outputs and tighten up the handling to deliver a race-car like feel, but Alpina seems to feel that the executive sedans from the German automaker have a lot more to offer, and we certainly agree. The latest B7 is the epitome of this philosophy, and while it may have access to a whopping 600 horsepower, courtesy of its twin-turbo V8, it's the sheer luxury and comfort of the car that really impresses. The sedan is perfectly engineered for city living; the ride comfort and opulence of the cabin are peerless. But it is still more than capable of being playful when it has space to flex its muscles. So, while these specially tailored BMWs may not be all that prevalent in the US, we wouldn't be surprised to see that change as the already impressive B7 continues to refine its elegance, year after year.
There were several changes to the paint colors, standard features, and optional packages for last year's Alpina B7 but the 2022 model is virtually a carryover, save for remote-controlled parking now being available as a standalone option and Aventurin Red Metallic disappearing from the list of paint colors.
The price of the BMW Alpina B7 slots it in right between the standard 750i and the V12-powered M760i. In its standard guise, it has a base price of $143,200, but you can expect the cost of the BMW Alpina B7 to climb quickly when you start tacking on the optional packages or standalone extras. This is the MSRP price and does not include tax, registration, licensing, or the manufacturer's $995 destination charge.
See trim levels and configurations:
|ALPINA B7 xDrive||
4.4L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
While it may not have an M badge, the Alpina B7 is a dream to drive. In fact, it feels even better than the usual performance models from BMW. Despite all its power, comfort still seems to be the primary concern, as the sedan smooths over bumps and rough roads easily, even in Sport mode. This is thanks to the Dynamic Damper Control and the self-leveling air suspension. Normally, such floaty cars suffer when trying athletic maneuvers, but the Bimmer handles sharp turns remarkably well for its weight.
But while the B7 has the ability to deliver some real thrills, you may be too blissed out by the luxury to even notice. Launching from a stop with 600 hp will normally give you whiplash, but the seats are so soft that you literally melt into them instead. The same is true for those in the back seats, so you won't be distracted by flailing bodies sliding around in the back as you speed around corners.
The only downside worth mentioning is the lack of traditional paddle-shifters. Instead, the Alpina opts for peculiar gear-shift buttons on the steering wheel. However, you'll unlikely ever need to use them, since the automatic transmission does such a great job when left to its own devices.
While it isn't the largest or fastest luxury sedan in the USA, the Alpina B7 is a more than competent rival to the stiff competition presented by Mercedes-Benz and Audi. Since it doesn't fall under the purview of BMW's M Division, it is unlike any other model offered by the automaker.
While there is more than enough power on tap to deliver a few thrills, and the handling dynamics are perfectly tuned to allow even such a hefty vehicle to move with athletic grace, this is not the focus of the B7. Instead, the engineers at Alpina have perfected the sedan for in-town driving, with almost peerless luxury.
If you want style and speed in equal measure, but refuse to compromise on tech and comfort, then the Alpina B7 will feel like it was designed just for you. It is definitely one of the best vehicles on offer today, and it could be argued that it is the zenith of BMW's years of automotive experience to date.
There is only one model to choose from, so that decision is already made for you. However, that doesn't mean you don't have options. Whether or not you want the $5,000 paint job is up to you, or the 21-inch wheels. We'd recommend going for one of the exclusive Alpina colors, since there really is no better way to show off. As for the interior, the Nappa leather is already more than supple enough, but upgrading the rear seats is very tempting. We'd suggest considering the Luxury Rear Seating Package and the Panoramic Sky Lounge LED roof, which combine to create the perfect fine cruising experience for those in the back. And while it may be pricey, the Bowers & Wilkins sound system is basically a must-have. If possible, take various configurations for a test drive to see exactly which one suits you best, but it may very well be impossible to find one that disappoints.
Naturally, there is a lot of similarity here, since the B7 is just a specially tailored variant of the 7 Series. But, that doesn't mean it is the clear winner. It may handily best the base model 750i in terms of performance, and even the M760i can't quite keep up with its large displacement twin-turbo V12. However, it's the interior luxury and supreme ride comfort that really set the B7 apart. It may very well be the most opulent and comfortable Bimmer ever made, if we are being honest. It gets all the best tech available to the 7 Series and seems to make even better use of the available space. With better speed and handling, too, it is hard to justify skipping it just for the growl of a V12. The Alpina is cheaper, faster, more luxurious, and equally practical. There really is no reason not to pick it.
With no new AMG version of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class available yet and no 2022 model Audi S8, there is a comparative dearth of top-performing, spacious, all-wheel-drive full-size sedans from Germany to rival the B7. The current top-dog Mercedes-Benz S580 comes closest with its 496 hp V8 and 4.4-second sprint to 60 mph. It compares best with the B7 in its Executive Line trim, which starts at over $10,000 cheaper than the base B7's price. It offers similarly sumptuous trimmings and lots of executive rear seat options and entertainment, coupled with the svelte new S-Class design and tech-rich interior. It's a better car than the aging 7 Series and unless you absolutely must have the performance advantage, the S580 is probably the one to have. You can option it up and still save on a B7. You could wait for faster AMGs to arrive, but they will almost certainly be more expensive than the B7. The chauffeured plutocrat is probably going to be more than happy with the S580's performance figures, considering its unmatched refinement and class-leading infotainment tech.
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