GERMAN specialist tuner Alpina has unveiled its latest model, the BMW X7-based XB7 which will serve as an SUV flagship for the niche brand when it lands Down Under in early 2021.
Like the rest of its Alpina stablemates, the XB7 has an emphasis on ride comfort, top-speed performance and luxurious appointments, while also sporting some signature visual changes.
The headline act for the XB7 is its 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 derived from the same mill used in BMW M and M Performance models, with Alpina spanner-turners tuning the big V8 to produce 457kW from 5500-6500rpm, and 800Nm all the way from 2000-5000rpm.
Peak power is only 3kW shy of the 460kW produced in the X5 M Competition – BMW’s most potent engine – while its high torque figure of 800Nm (a signature feature of Alpinas) is 50Nm clear of anything BMW has to offer in V8 guise.
The V8 is mated to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission that has been bolstered to handle the XB7’s extra torque, with power being fed to all four wheels through a rear-biased system based off BMW’s xDrive with help from a limited-slip differential on the rear axle.
With 457kW on tap – the most of any Alpina model – the hefty 2655kg XB7 can launch from standstill to 100km/h in a brisk 4.2 seconds, on the way to a limited top speed of up to 290km/h.
Official combined fuel consumption is rated at 13.9 litres per 100km and CO2 emissions at 316g/km, with an adaptive stainless-steel sports exhaust helping to get the most out of the big bent eight’s engine noise.
Another Alpina hallmark is the suspension used, which in the case of the XB7 is a two-axle air suspension system that is able to adjust ride height by up to 40mm depending on the selected drive mode.
The brand has added extra some components including reinforced torsion struts and a unique dome-bulkhead strut to increase rigidity, while the anti-roll bars and stiffer rear axle bushings help keep the hulking SUV flat around corners.
Like other Alpina’s, Comfort+ mode is offered alongside the usual Comfort, Sport and Sport+ seen in BMWs, which provides an extra-supple suspension calibration and particularly relaxed transmission setting.
Handling is also aided by rear-wheel steering which at lower speeds can help the 5151mm-long XB7 manage tight spaces, by allowing up to 2.3 degrees of movement from the rear wheels.
Stopping power comes courtesy of four-piston fixed Brembo callipers up front gripping 395mm discs, and floating single-pot grabbers at the rear which grab a set of 398mm discs – all the callipers are finished in Alpina Blue.
Visually, the XB7 sports all the hallmarks of an Alpina model, including its signature branded front apron, large air intakes, quad-exit exhaust pipes and 21-inch Alpina Dynamic alloy wheels, which can be optioned up to a massive 23-inches with the classic 20-spoke design.
Inside, XB7 customers can option either three bench seats or two individual lounge chairs for the second row, while in the front an abundance of Alpina-specific kit can be found including the glass iDrive controller, blue illuminated gear selector switch, build plaque and sport steering wheel with Lavalina leather and contrast blue-and-green stitching.
Other standard features include merino leather upholstery, heated comfort seats, soft-close doors, Alcantara headliner, leather instrument panel, Myrtle luxury wood trim, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and panoramic glass sunroof.
A vast range of options including full Lavalina upholstery and different trim options will be available.
More details including local pricing and specification will be made available closer to the vehicle’s local launch in early 2021.