2011 BMW Alpina B7 Returns To U.S.

Automobile Staff
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In case BMW doesn’t offer a 7-series to suit your fancy (and there are already nine different versions to pick from), perhaps the 2011 B7, modified by noted tuner Alpina, will appease your tastes.

Available in both short- and long-wheelbase forms, the 2011 model is the second B7 to be sold in the U.S. Based largely upon the 750(L)i, the B7 starts with BMW’s twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8, but adds new pistons, larger intercoolers, and nearly 14.5 psi of boost. As a result, the V-8 now produces 500 hp and 516 lb.-ft. of torque, and the latter is achieved at 3000 rpm. For those keeping score, that’s 115 hp per liter, and a worthy improvement over the stock 750i, which is rated at 400 hp and 450 lb.-ft.

Alpina claims the new B7 can sprint from 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds, but the tuner really strives to improve the big 7’s handling. Custom springs help lower the car by 0.6 inches in front and 0.4 inches in back, but drivers can dial in their preferred settings via BMW’s Dynamic Damping Control and Active Roll Stabilization systems. New aerodynamic splitters in front and back help to reduce lift by as much as 30 percent, and a revised fascia helps channel air into the new intercoolers. Michelin PS2 tires -- measuring in at 245/35 in front and 285/30 out back -- are wrapped around Alpina’s custom 21-inch wheels.

As usual, Alpina also revised the interior, adding illuminated door sills, hand-stitched leather to the steering wheel, and unique Myrtle Burl wood trim (although a piano-finish material is also available). You’ll find Alpina logos embroidered into the upper seatbacks, displayed on the LCD cluster, and proudly displayed on a plaque mounted on the headliner.

BMW will debut the new B7 at the 2010 Chicago auto show, and it will arrive in showrooms come springtime. Like other Alpina products, the B7 can be sold and serviced by most BMW dealers, and carries a factory warranty.

-Carlos Lago

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