The face-lifted X7 was recently introduced to the world by BMW, and coming in right behind it is the new, hotter Alpina XB7. There are more than just cosmetic changes here. There’s some pretty sweet differences under the hood, as well.
The new car get’s BMW’s next generation 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. All together it produces 630 horsepower. That’s up 18 over the previous model. It also makes a beefy 590 lb-ft of torque from 1,800 rpm all the way up to 5,600 rpm. The engine (dubbed the S58) can launch the massive, nearly 6,000 pound, 7-seater from 0 to 60 mph in a tick under 4 seconds. That’s quite a feat. If you keep your foot in it a bit longer, you’ll have passed the quarter mile in 12.4 seconds. If you stay in it a lot longer, you’ll hit the XB7’s 180 mph top speed.
Alpina has also designed its own engine management and cooling systems to get this rig up to its standards.
As is tradition with Alpinas, the transmission’s gears are controlled by buttons (not paddles) behind the steering wheel. That’s not the only Alpina style change, however. You also get a pretty tidy Alpina body kit with a front splitter, side skirts and a new rear bumper. Because this is a huge SUV, it needs huge wheels, and Alpina answers the call with 23-inch wheels with Alpina’s classic 20 spoke wheels. Those are standard, but if that’s a little bit too much for you, you can select 21-inch wheels as a no-cost option.
Stopping those massive wheels are equally massive brakes: four piston, 15.5-inch rotors up front to be exact. Out back there’s also a rear-wheel steering system that can pivot the rear wheels by up to 2.3 degrees.
The XB7 also includes air suspension, that can raise the car by 1.6 inches at up to 19 mph to clear steeper obstacles. It’ll also lower itself by 0.8 inches when the driver hits the Sport mode button or goes over 100 mph. That’s nothing compared to what happens when you go into Sport Plus or hit 155 mph. That’s when the Alpina drops by a total of 1.6 inches.
Inside there are all sorts of Alpina-specific styling touches. Probably the most noticeable is the blue accents on the center console and gauge cluster (more cars should have blue gauges). There’s even a different steering wheel (with those buttons behind it), illuminated door sills and wood interior trim. However, if you’re a goofus you can get carbon fiber trim as an option. There’s also a rather cool Alpina logo in the traditional BMW iDrive control knob. I like that... mostly because it’s shiny.
Order books are open for the 2023 XB7. It starts at a girthy $145,995, and deliveries are slated to begin early next year.