I will be driving a BMW X6 M Competition to Monticello Raceway in New York tomorrow to join BMW for its East Coast test fest, where I’ll get to drive the new 4 Series, updated 5 Series, BMW M2 CS and the new Alpina XB7, which I’ve been told I can drive on a track.
If you’ve read my first drive of the BMW Z4 sDrive30i in Palm Springs last year, you’ll remember that BMW sometimes hosts journalists for what it calls BMW Group Test Fest, an event where the company’s latest performance models are made available to drive, some on the track and some on the street. It’s like being given the keys to the best cars at a BMW dealership.
This year, the most interesting car I’ll get to drive is the Alpina XB7, the first-ever production SUV from the German BMW tuner sold in America, based on the BMW X7. Europe has gotten a cool quad-turbo diesel-powered Alpina XD3 for years that we have missed out on.
The XB7 gets a BMW-sourced 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 making 612 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque linked to an 8-speed ZF transmission. Alpina claims its new truck can get from 0 to 60 mph in a claimed 4.0 seconds flat, can hit a 12.6-second quarter-mile time and has a top speed of 180 mph. The car is so big and fast its standard air suspension automatically lowers itself over 100 mph speeds, or up to 1.6 inches lower over 155 mph.
That is all pertinent to the fact that I will have track access in this thing, as a reminder. I wonder if it’s going to be sitting on the optional 23-inch anthracite grey wheels?
The XB7 is the only Alpina built in the U.S. at BMW’s Spartanburg, South Carolina factory alongside the regular X7 SUV. The Alpina starts at $141,300 plus a $995 destination fee, and what do you want to know about it?