BMW’S range of Alpina ultra-luxury, performance-pumped vehicles has gained
another model with the 7 Series-based B7 Bi-Turbo now available Down Under from
$369,720 before on-road costs, representing a $55,000 premium over the model it
is based on.
The new super sedan follows the initial 3 Series and 4 Series-based B3 and B4
models that launched the brand in Australia in November last year, and the
line-up is not done yet with the 5 Series-derived B5 most likely to arrive next.
Like the B3 and B4, the B7 Bi-Turbo starts with a donor model from the
‘regular’ BMW range – in this case the ($314,500) 750Li – and adds a number of
bespoke treatments to increase comfort and performance and is finished in the
company’s classic aesthetics.
With enhanced levels of opulence and some added punch under the loud pedal, the
newest addition to the Australian large luxury sedan market goes head to head
with high-end versions of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Audi’s A8 and the Jaguar
XJ with a competitive package.
On the outside, B7s can be distinguished from the less exclusive 750i with
Alpina’s trademark snowplough front bumper, railway line pinstripes along its
flanks, monstrous 21-inch forged alloy wheels with 20 spokes and unapologetic
quad stainless exhausts housed in a redesigned rear valance.
Conspicuous chrome boot badging and a choice of unique Alpina Blue or Alpina
Green metallic paint completes the exterior look.
When entering the B7 cabin owners are greeted by illuminated Alpina tread
plates, floor-to-ceiling leather, piano black lacquer or Myrtle dash with
subtle Alpina crest and a digital instrument cluster that has been reprogrammed
with Alpina-specific graphics.
Selecting the comfort drive mode turns the digital dials blue with red needles,
Sport mode prompts the gauges to turn Alpina blue and green, while Eco Pro mode
has its own unique design.
The B7’s unique steering wheel is upholstered in Lavalina leather – the same
grade of hide used by Rolls-Royce – with the company’s trademark blue and green
Each B7 has its individual build number displayed on the official Alpina plaque
which is displayed on the transmission tunnel.
In addition to the bespoke Alpina comfort features and standard 750Li
equipment, the B7 also offers a performance boost over the standard car with a
comprehensive tune up.
At its core, Alpina’s engineers have fettled the 4.4-litre twin turbocharged V8
to liberate an extra 117kW and another 150Nm for a final output of 447kW and
The significant boost in grunt has knocked half a second from the zero to
100km/h acceleration with the B7 capable of hitting the benchmark in just 4.2
seconds and can carry on to a top speed of 330km/h.
At speeds beyond 230km/h the B7’s air suspension lowers itself by 20mm for
improved aerodynamics and stability. A full adjustment range of 40mm is
possible according to the Driving Dynamics Control setting.
It also features a five-link rear suspension setup and double-joint front axle,
with Dynamic Damper Control and self-levelling suspension as standard. The
Executive Drive Pro system uses active anti-roll bars to maintain a constant
roll angle in corners while a new Adaptive mode is now available in the Drive
Experience Control settings. Dampers are electro-hydraulic.
The increased engine output has been achieved through a reworked induction and
engine management system which permits a boost pressure of 1.4 bar (relative).
Special Mahle pistons and NGK spark plugs have been fitted to cope with the
extra cylinder pressures and temperature.
Owners can fully appreciate the tuning work when the drive mode is flicked to
the more sporty settings, which controls active exhaust valves for a “sonorous”
and louder note.
Despite the extra performance, combined fuel consumption is rated at 9.6 litres
per 100km compared with the 8.3L/100km figure of the unmodified 7 Series
Power makes its way to the rear wheels via a ZF eight-speed automatic
transmission which has been customised with Alpina Switch-Tronic for “relaxed,
luxurious cruising at low engine rpm even when travelling at speed” as well as
“improved driving performance” when in Sport mode.
Braking is handled by four-piston callipers and 395mm discs on the front axle
and 370mm rotors and floating callipers at the back end, which are coloured
bright blue in all corners.
Customers wanting the ultimate Alpina driving experience can option their B7
with the Drexler Motorsport limited-slip differential for improved traction,
torque distribution and ease of control on the limit.
Carry over driver assistance equipment from the off-the-shelf 750Li includes
full-colour head-up display, reversing camera, BMW navigation, autonomous
braking, active lane-keep, adaptive cruise control and rear-wheel steering for
increased stability at speed and smaller turning circle at lower speeds.
With its extended Li wheelbase, rear B7 passengers are offered increased
comfort with electrically adjustable seats and massage functions, a rear seat
entertainment package which gives each aft occupant a 10-inch screen and access
to the various services through a removable tablet housed in the central
A Sky Lounge panoramic sunroof is also standard fare with electric sun blind,
tilt and slide opening and a LED lighting installation that creates the effect
of a starry sky at night.
Under its skin, the B7 Bi-Turbo hides BMW’s Carbon Core technology, which uses
carbon-fibre in sections of the body as well as aluminium and steel to save up
to 130kg of weight and a total unladen mass of 2110kg.