The BMW Alpina B7 is fairly well-liked within the halls of C/D headquarters. Basically a BMW 7-series with more power, more interior dressing, and even better handling, the Alpina-fettled 7 boasts an intoxicating mix of grace and athleticism. And now that the 7-series has been updated for 2013, so has the B7. Before you ask, yes, Alpina managed to extract even more power from BMW’s twin-turbocharged V-8, and, yes, it still rides on gorgeous 21-inch wheels with Alpina’s signature 20-spoke design.
Alpina, for those not in the know, is more or less a semi-independent extension of BMW that churns out tuned versions of that company’s wares—cars like the B3, B5, and B6. The B7 is the only Alpina product offered in the States. It’s based on the 750i / 750Li and is therefore available in short- and long-wheelbase form with either rear- or all-wheel drive. It’s been said more than once that Alpina’s B7 sedan is what an M-badged 7-series would be, given the car’s extensive upgrades; that comparison may become more direct since we’ve learned BMW is interested in building an M7. For now, though, the B7 remains the fastest, most exclusive iteration of the 7 out there.
Just like the 2013 7-series lineup, the 2013 B7 gets slightly massaged front-end styling, a new eight-speed automatic transmission in place of last year’s six-cog unit, and some engine tweaks. The B7’s twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 gets BMW’s Valvetronic variable valve-lift system, which helps boost output by 40 hp and 22 lb-ft of torque over last year’s B7. The new totals are 540 hp and 538 lb-ft. (The regular 7’s V-8 received the same Valvetronic upgrade and gained 45 hp and 30 lb-ft of torque for totals of 445 hp and 480 lb-ft.)
Thanks to: Car and Driver