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Alpina B7 confirmed for Australia

Tune in: Alpina has confirmed it will apply its unique modifications to the next-gen 5 Series (left) to be revealed at next year’s Geneva motor show.

7 Series-based B7 locked-in for Oz while Alpina works on tweaked next-gen 5 Series

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BMW logo28 Nov 2016

By TUNG NGUYEN

ALPINA Automobiles Australia will bolster its B3 and B4 launch line-up with a 7 Series-based B7 next year and has confirmed work is currently underway on the next-generation BMW 5 Series.

Although no pricetag was revealed at the local B7 unveiling during the Alpina brand launch last week at Melbourne’s Doncaster BMW outlet, the top-of-the-range model will likely cost north of its $312,415 (before on-roads) BMW 750Li donor car.

Powered by the same 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine, the B7 makes 447kW of power and 800Nm of torque, 117kW/150Nm more than the 750Li, making it 0.5 seconds faster from zero to 100km/h than the BMW’s 4.7s sprint time.

With similar suspension, brakes and gearbox tweaks to its B3 and B4 siblings, the B7’s characteristics lean more towards grand touring than blistering performance.

From the outside, the B7 is differentiated by a new Alpina front lip, quad oval exhaust outlets and Alpina badging at the rear.

Inside, the German tuning company has fitted new Alpina-branded LED instrumentation with a blue background and red needles in normal driving mode which switch to “a more dynamic design with blue and green drag indicators” in sport mode.

Alpina embossed seats and a special numbered plaque also adorn the interior and BMW’s full customisation options are available in addition to Alpina’s personalisation touches.

Expanding the Australian Alpina range further could be the introduction of a 5 Series-based model, confirmed to be in the works by Alpina proprietor of sales and marketing – and son of Alpina founder – Andrea Bovensiepen.

Mr Bovensiepen told GoAuto that the company is “of course” working on the new 5 Series – which was revealed globally last month – and to expect a debut at next year’s Geneva motor show.

“This will be a car for next year and we will present at a motor show next March,” he said.

Given Australia’s healthy SUV appetite, the X3-fettled Alpina XD3 Bi-turbo would also make sense to bring to market, but Alpina importer The In Motion Group general manager Patrick Fielding said pricing would not make sense.

“I looked at XD3 pricing with Daniela about a year ago, and the price point that we have to bring the car in wouldn’t be sustainable, given the specification, given the way we could build the car,” he said. “XD3 we couldn’t achieve the level of finish and specification. Not the quality of the car, but the leather dashes and merino leathers etcetera etcetera.

“A car built in Spartanburg (South Carolina) is still built in (Alpina HQ) Buchloe (Germany), so it would have to go from the US to Europe and then here, and as I say, looking at the pricing it didn’t work.” Mr Fielding said all cars built by Alpina would be looked at for the Australian market, but only if it makes sense from a financial perspective.

“As we go forward, we will look at the options at Alpina, and we will look at the market and if we can position the car and sell it then we will,” he said.

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