by Michael Butler
BMW doesn't hold back when it comes to building powerful cars, hoarding the horses for it's dedicated M models, but you'll never see an M7 or X7 M. BMWs wearing the number seven are reserved for those who prefer luxury and refinement over that of outright performance and handling prowess, but where there's a demand, so shall there be a supply - enter the 2021 BMW Alpina XB7. This beast is based on the standard BMW X7, but legendary tuning house Alpina has added some spices, resulting in a large family SUV with a power output of 612 horsepower courtesy of a 4.4-liter V8 engine and a top speed of 180 mph. This puts it in the sights of the mighty Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 and Bentley Bentayga. The big question is whether or not this Alpina is worth the additional $40,000 over the standard X7 M50i or the big, less pricey AMG Merc.
Alpina's presence in the USA is not as strong as it is across the pond; we've only had a small taste of what this German tuning house is capable of, thanks to the B6 and B7. Since there isn't much business left in the sedan segment, it was only a matter of time before Alpina launched its first-gen SUV offering. It's called the Alpina XB7, and is built alongside its lesser X7 brothers in BMW's South Carolina plant and is all-new for 2021. Effectively the new flagship of the X7 lineup, the XB7 is the most powerful (612 hp), quickest (0-60 mph in four seconds), and most expensive ($141,300) X7 you can buy. Alpina's unique exterior and interior styling elements set the 2021 BMW Alpina XB7 apart from other X7 models available this year.
See trim levels and configurations:
4.4L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
We live in a world where $100k luxury SUVs have been normalized to the point that your average BMW X5 or X7 becomes invisible. Even a Land Rover Range Rover struggles to draw attention these days. That's why a car like the BMW Alpina XB7 exists. This super SUV lives to bend necks and cash cheques, and while we get the appeal, we wouldn't recommend getting one. The BMW X7 M50i offers the same package for a lot less money and is almost as good in every department. Sure, it's not as fast, but one lap around the parking lot in the M50i, and you'll quickly realize that it has more than enough power. While there is no safety rating review of the 2021 BMW Alpina XB7, you can depend on its BMW reliability, especially with the extra set of Alpina eyes involved. If you really need the seven-seat capacity, we'd recommend skipping both the Alpina and M50i and going for the punchy 40i model, which is quick enough for everyday driving, has a towing capacity of up to 7,500 lbs, and is packed with most of the same tech features.
If we had a few bucks laying around, we'd get one in Tanzanite Blue metallic. On the inside, we'd get the Ivory White and Night Blue upholstery and add extras such as the $750 Panoramic Sky Lounge and 5-zone automatic climate control. The total price for a 2021 BMW Alpina XB7 SUV with this build comes to a cool $147,295, including a destination fee of $995.