Review: 2011 BMW Alpina B7 – Autoblog

18 Jul 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Review: 2011 BMW Alpina B7 – Autoblog

Review: 2011 BMW Alpina B7

Delivers Its Best Impression Of An M7

BMW Alpina B7 – Click for high-res image gallery

Try as it the BMW M3 Coupe can’t lose the B7. The two of us are an unlikely automotive pair, cat-and-mouse on one long road to deep in the reaches of an unincorporated of the California coastal mountains. The air is and the canyons are mostly quiet.

the sound of two wailing V8s breaks the

We’ve been at this for more than an hour, and of us is willing to raise a white Only the illumination of the low fuel in the smaller coupe has us calling it Want to learn what it to harass an M3 owner?

Photos 2011 Michael Harley / AOL

in Germany, Alpina Burkard GmbH (Alpina) has been its magic on BMW models since the and while most think of as an aftermarket tuner, the company is recognized as an automobile manufacturer. its earliest days, Alpina have been noted for factory-quality engine, suspension and upgrades, and the company is credited offering high-performance street of BMW models even before the own Motorsport M Division jumped the game.

Thirty-five years I’m sitting behind the of an F01 B7 BiTurbo Alpina’s latest based on BMW’s current 7 platform. Mirroring the various and powertrain options offered by the Alpina B7 can be had in standard- or long-wheelbase, and rear- or all-wheel drive The sportiest variant of the four is the rear-wheel-drive model.

That would be the Alpina Metallic model we’re

The heart of every Alpina is the hand-crafted engine, and the B7 is fitted a highly modified version of N63, the all-alloy direct-injected twin-turbo V8 currently fitted to the BMW Craftsmen at Alpina’s facility in Germany are tasked with it up and performing a delicate surgery includes a slew of upgrades and for the entire powertrain.

High-performance are inserted into the block and the heads are reinforced to withstand the stress from a higher ratio. A larger intercooler, a 35-percent increase in surface is fitted to lower intake An additional radiator lowers temperatures, and external coolers are for the engine and transmission oil. The fan is also upgraded to increase through the new high-performance components.

To more oxygen through the larger turbochargers (the measure 44 mm in diameter) are fitted to the whole package running and Alpina engine management increases boost to 14.5 psi and both stability- and traction-control more aggressive settings.

While the 750i’s N63 develops 400 and 450 pound-feet of torque, the modified 4.4-liter V8 in the Alpina B7 jumps to 500 and 516 pound-feet of torque raising output to 115 horsepower per liter.

the power is Alpina’s Switch-Tronic (a modified ZF wet six-speed automatic). leather-covered buttons on the back of the wheel allow manual selection (right side + and side -) and the driveline, from to differential, has also been

The suspension architecture utilizes Dynamic Damping Control and Roll Stabilization, as found on 7 Series models, but Alpina be expected to leave it alone. The increases spring rates by 20 and lowers ride height by half-an-inch overall. From the the driver is able to select three suspension setups: Normal and Sport.

Sport-Plus shifts the Dynamic Stability system into a more Dynamic Traction Control setting, allowing more at the driven wheels and reducing the of the traction control system.

brakes (sourced from the armored 7 Series Protection measure 14.72 inches in up front and 14.57 inches in the The standard wheels are Alpina-designed alloys (the valve is in the center, thanks to a single spoke) wearing 245/35ZR21 up front and 285/30ZR21 tires in the (xDrive and long-wheelbase models are with 245/50ZR18 tires on all corners).

The curb weight of this standard-wheelbase model, according to is 4,564 pounds and opting for the xDrive model causes the weight to balloon to 4,861 Regardless, the standard B7’s distribution is a fairly balanced at front-to-rear.

The exterior of the B7 is distinguished by twin double tailpipes and its front and rear lower Alpina says the latter lift by 30 percent at the front and 15 at the rear, and improve high-speed without adversely affecting the coefficient. We say they look far too

The interior of the Alpina B7 receives its own The cabin is upgraded with seats (covered in special leather), new instrument faces needles over a blue Myrtle wood trim, floor mats, branded door sills, and a hand-stitched steering wheel with the aforementioned button shifters. if someone has somehow missed all of the markings, there is one last plaque mounted on the inner panel just ahead of the

Superfluous branding aside, the of the B7 is one very comfortable place to extended periods of time BMW 7 Series, but with an extra of luxury and amenities). It’s to fault the seat comfort, driving position or overall

With a push of the start the engine spins over and to a muted idle, although there’s nothing noteworthy the exhaust note. Like all 7 sedans, the B7 feels big. up is accomplished with the help of aids, and lane changes a deliberate look over the followed by a second glance in the

While it’s entirely in a metropolitan setting, the full-size simply feels a bit out of place trudging along the boulevard.


to wake a sleeping giant? the accelerator pedal to the floor.

blown 4.4-liter comes to like a cadet springing out of bed for a sergeant’s call. Any thoughts of lag are slammed to the back of the brain forgotten) as the B7 takes off. it’s big and heavy, but it gets out of its own way authority.

BMW quotes a 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, but it feels quicker for grins, we hooked the B7 up to a rather Escort G-Timer GT2 and recorded an 4.32 seconds). As a sucker for power, we are happy to declare this Alpina sedan all the right nerves. Like a GT-R. the B7 absolutely begs to off at stoplights.

Place the B7 on an open and pavement rolls quietly its chassis mile after However, it’s difficult to another five-place full-size sedan that is as adept off the on fun two-lane roads.

Alpina’s decades of experience hand-in-hand with BMW has delivered. The tuning is just about with very little roll and nearly fault-free on most road surfaces. changes are quick and fluid, great feedback through the wheel.

While we didn’t the tiny shift buttons on the of the steering wheel (nearly in the heat of battle), the six-speed was competent when the car was set in Sport-Plus come to think of it, the B7 could use one of those trick M buttons to performance parameters.

The Alpina B7 is an machine. Defying all logic, the seems to shed pounds as the increase the uncanny feedback the driver’s seat is of a sports car in a lightweight paper-mâché 7 Series In a word: fun.

The good is that the Alpina B7 earns the gold crown as the current king of BMW’s big sedans. with the E60 M5 out of production and the F10 M5 still a few away, it should be able its head warm until arrives. Don’t forget, a base price of just the B7 also comfortably undercuts the twelve-cylinder twin-turbo 760Li.

The bad for the Alpina B7, of course, is that Mercedes-Benz has just updated the in its high-performance $138,000 S63 AMG. is the naturally-aspirated 507-horsepower 6.3-liter V8. In its is a new twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V8, rated at 536 and 590 pound-feet of torque (opt for the Performance Package, and those soar to 563 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of

When it comes to powerplants, the new S63 AMG is about as good as they but the S-Class’ overall performance still falls short of the B7. Put way, nobody races an but more than a handful of owners frequent the track hardly a laugh from the gallery.

The M3 Coupe is a better car, but on this particular day and on specific road, the other will never be able to it. Each time he shoots a corner, we follow 20 yards He opens the gap at every apex, but hard on the throttle to close it each exit.

He just win.

If there is any consolation to the M3 it’s the fact that will only be assembling one thousand of its 7 Series sport each year. Less half of those will in the States. This should be a to that special breed of coupe drivers as they seldom ever see an Alpina B7, let be intimidated by one on a lonely canyon

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