The humble American state of Alabama is now responsible for manufacturing both the Mercedes-Benz GLS Maybach and the all-new 2021 BMW Alpina XB7 is in South Carolina. Who would have thought the south would become the hub for ultra-luxury crossovers?
For years, many have wondered if Alpina would look to expand. Some hoped it’d be something we haven’t seen before, like an Alpina Z4. But when I met with Andy Bovensiepen at a launch event for the Alpina B7, he made it pretty obvious the X7 SUV made for the most likely and most promising new model, sales-wise, for BMW and Alpina.
The 2021 Alpina XB7 is the first time BMW’s partnered tuner Alpina upgraded beyond the German automaker’s typical sedans and the compact X3 and X4 crossovers in Europe. This is the first Alpina SUV in the U.S., and the company’s first SUV model without a diesel engine.
And while what we got is no Supra-slamming Alpina Z4, it’s still a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8-powered car with 612 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque with an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission. It has a top speed of 180 mph, and gets from 0 to 60 mph in a claimed 4.0 seconds flat, on up to a 12.6-second quarter mile.
It also comes equipped with an electronically-variable active limited slip differential on the rear axle to help manage some of the weight and power of this thing, with standard air suspension. Ride height is automatically adjusted beyond speeds of 100 mph, or can be manually adjusted by up to 1.6-inches (which happens automatically above 155 mph).
All of that science is sitting on top of 21-inch Alpina-style multi-spoke wheels that complete the look, wrapped in performance summer or all-season runflat tires, measuring 285/45R21 square. The darker wheels you see pictured are the optional 23-inch 20-spoke forged wheels in Anthracite.
Ordering opens this month and deliveries begin in September, should everything work out okay with the rest of the world until then, for a price of $141,300 plus a $995 destination fee.
There’s no available mpg figure just yet, but the Alpina B7 sedan with a similar powertrain gets just 20 mpg combined. Looking at the XB7, I’m guessing that number could shrink quite a bit. At least you have a 21-gallon fuel tank for those days when you’re running 180 mph between gas stations.