If an X7 M never materializes, at least we have Alpina.
The BMW X7 is still pretty hot-off-the-presses after being revealed just a few days ago. Like the smaller X5, the X7 is powered by either a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six producing 335 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque or a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 developing 456 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. Two diesel engines are also available in Europe.
Even with well over 400 hp in its xDrive50i trim, we're waiting to see if BMW will actually build an M version of the X7. We've seen renderings of what an X7 M could look like but its production is far from guaranteed. Luckily, Alpina is working on its own alternative.
Alpina is a German manufacturer that works closely with BMW to produce high-performance models that are also comfortable. We've even argued that Alpina BMWs are even cooler than BMW M models for a certain type of buyer. Even if BMW doesn't do an X7 M, our spy photographers have just snapped pictures of a mysterious camouflaged X7 on the Nurburgring. Since the X7 has already been revealed, it doesn't make much sense for BMW to still hide it. That's because this is actually a prototype for the upcoming Alpina XD7.
It's hard to infer much about the styling because of the camo. The car appears to have intercoolers behind the front air intakes to help cool down the engine. On the standard X7, these intakes are purely aesthetic. Alpina will likely use the 3.0-liter quad-turbo inline-six diesel engine from the X5 and X7 M50d, which produces 400 hp and 556 lb-ft of torque, though it will likely be tuned to produce at least 450 hp. Along with the performance upgrades, the XD7 will be given a unique interior, quad exhaust tips, and the classic Alpina wheels.
Since BMW doesn't sell the M50d in the US, we doubt the Aplina will be sold here either. Unless Alpina also tuned the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8, the XD7 will remain forbidden fruit. Expect the Alpina XD7 to arrive in September 2019 at the Frankfurt Auto Show.