NEW 2023 BMW Alpina XB7 Arrives With More Power And iDrive 8

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There's no need to wait for that XM.

  • Part of the facelifted first-generation BMW X7/Alpina XB7 lineup
  • Twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 with mild-hybrid assist generates 630 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque
  • Starting MSRP of $145,000

It's been just over five months since BMW revealed its updated X7, the company's flagship SUV. Although it wasn't a new-generation model, the 2023 X7 was updated comprehensively, and one of the main changes was its controversial face with a split design for the headlights. It is a polarizing look but does differentiate the X7 even further from BMW's smaller SUVs. A few days after that reveal, Alpina shared the first picture of its updated XB7, the closest thing that exists to an X7 M. We've had to wait a while longer for the 2023 Alpina XB7's full reveal, but it's finally here. Not only does it come with all the usual Alpina design flourishes, but it's even more powerful than before.

BMW
BMW
BMW

First, let's start with the engine, which is a new-generation twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 dubbed the S68. With a 48-volt starter-generator providing mild hybrid assistance, the powertrain now develops 630 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. The X7 M60i uses this same engine but only manages to produce 523 hp. While the torque figure is the same as the 2022 Alpina XB7, power has jumped by 18 hp. If you want a more powerful BMW SUV, you'll have to wait for the upcoming XM.

The 0-60 mph sprint is now a tenth of a second quicker at 3.9 seconds, the quarter-mile dash takes 12.4 seconds, and the top speed is 180 mph; this is still one of the fastest SUVs in the world despite its curb weight of 5,986 pounds. That top speed does, however, require the no-cost 21-inch wheels with the Performance Tire Package. As usual, Alpina goes all the way and uses its own engine management and intercooler systems.

BMW
BMW
BMW

The uprated V8 is hooked up to an eight-speed automatic transmission that feeds power to all four corners via the xDrive all-wheel-drive system. Torque distribution is managed by an electronically-variable limited-slip differential at the rear axle, giving the wheel with the most grip added torque when required.

The regular X7 is already a comfortable vehicle, but Alpina takes things further with the XB7's specific dampers and two-axle air suspension. At speeds of over 100 mph, the ride height drops by 0.8 inches, or by 1.6 inches in Sport Plus mode at speeds of over 155 mph - obviously, these suspension changes can only be exploited in a controlled environment.

BMW
BMW
BMW

While the XB7 adopts many of the styling changes found on the latest X7, Alpina's own alterations have created an imposing SUV. There are split headlights and an illuminated kidney grille, while a special Alpina front apron heightens the sense of aggression. Alpina script lower down is a reminder that this is no ordinary X7.

It wouldn't be an Alpina without a set of Alpina Classic 20-spoke wheels. While these will be as enjoyable to clean as a raw egg you've dropped on the floor, it's worth it because the 23-inch wheels look fantastic. These wheels are wrapped in Pirelli performance summer tires. Smaller 21-inch Alpina Dynamic wheels make the higher top speed possible and may provide a slightly better ride.

BMW
BMW
BMW

Behind the wheels are Brembo brake calipers with 15.5-inch discs in front and 15.7-inch items at the back, and they are finished in Alpina Blue with the company's distinctive lettering. Not much has changed at the back. From this angle, the XB7 isn't quite as striking, but the four oval tailpipes are another staple of Alpina design.

The interior of the XB7 is as luxurious and high-tech as ever. BMW's latest iDrive 8 operating system brings with it advanced voice controls and the brand's Intelligent Personal Assistant. The larger Curved Display blends the digital gauge cluster and central touchscreen seamlessly, whereas previously, they were physically separated. As before, Alpina graphics are implemented on these displays, with the iconic Alpina Blue dominating the gauge cluster.

BMW
BMW

Special Alpina touches and typically exemplary craftsmanship are everywhere. There is a glass iDrive controller in an Alpina design, a gear selector illuminated in blue, and a Lavalina leather steering wheel with blue/green stitching. Alpina Myrtle Luxury Wood trim can be replaced by Piano lacquer or Natural Walnut Anthracite, and each provides a unique atmosphere.

Being an Alpina model, the standard specification is exceedingly high. Customers won't need to pay extra for a head-up display or the Parking Assistant Professional with its new Maneuver Assistant and Trailer Assistant. Maneuver Assistant memorizes as many as ten different maneuvers commonly visited and can guide the vehicle along these paths automatically, perfect for mansions with snaking driveways.

For the privilege of owning the new Alpina XB7, customers will have to cough up $145,000, an increase of $3,550 over the 2022 model. That's not far off the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 SUV's starting price of $165,100, an even more luxurious SUV but one which is down on power and performance relative to the XB7. Orders will open this month, and the first deliveries will begin early in 2023.

BMW
BMW

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