Who desires a 612 hp, 0 to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds, with a top speed of 180 mph three-row SUV, in our world it is everyone we know. The BMW Alpina XB7 is described as a ‘Track Ready SUV’- a term used casually to elevated a sporty SUV’s appeal – but in this case, we put that description to the test and we were wowed with the results. We had Alpina’s first Sports Activity Vehicle for the U.S. market, the new BMW ALPINA XB7 on a wet track to test the performance of the ALPINA 4.4-liter V8. The driving agility and handling capabilities of the Alpina’s sport suspension provided great control and kept us on course with ease.
Just like the B7, each detail of the new BMW Alpina XB7 has been finely crafted to provide comfort and trippy sensory delight. Three rows of seats generously accommodate six or seven occupants. Elegant Alpina detail refinements, such as the iDrive Controller in crystal glass with laser-etched Alpina logo, contribute to an exquisite interior ambiance. The exterior design emphasizes power and presence while improving both appearance and aerodynamic properties such as a reduced aerodynamic lift for maximum high-speed stability.
On the track, the state-of-the-art performance power train gave us all kinds of confidence in rain driving. This BMW Alpina XB7, with linear and responsive power delivery across the entire engine speed range, was up to the challenge. The engine has been carefully calibrated to reflect the superior driving experience that has been the signature of the most-powerful Alpina models throughout the company’s 55-year history.
We felt the engine’s early, torque-filled urgency followed by a surge of mid-range power and a hard charge to redline.
The 4.4-liter V8 engine is everything and needs just 4 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph, and completes the ¼ mile sprint in just 12.6 seconds when equipped with the standard 21-inch wheels and performance tires the top speed is limited to 180 mph.
The front bumper with large air intakes and free-floating Alpina lettering is aerodynamically optimized to reduce uplift for maximum high-speed stability. Large air intakes facilitate the effective flow of air to the performance Alpina cooling system. At the rear, the Alpina sport exhaust system, with two twin tailpipes, is beautifully integrated into the design of the Alpina rear bumper. The middle of the rear bumper is accentuated by small diffusor fins. Inside XB7 features three rows of seats as standard. The second row either features a rear bench with three seats or optionally, two individual captain’s chairs with integrated armrests. Depending on the seat configuration, the luggage compartment provides capacity ranging from 48.6 to 90.4 cubic feet. For comfortable loading, the BMW Alpina XB7 can be lowered by up to 2 inches at the push of a button that is located in the luggage compartment.
An extensive range of standard equipment including high-end Merino Leather, Multicontour Seats, Seat Heating, Soft-Close Doors, Alcantara Headliner, and a Leather Instrument Panel ensure maximum comfort and a luxurious ambiance for driver and passengers. The standard three-part panoramic glass sunroof contributes to a light and airy atmosphere in the interior, which emphasizes the generous space. To enhance exclusivity our test SUVs had the optional Panorama Sky Lounge LED Roof, which generates a very special aura when darkness falls. LED light spreading evenly across the glass surfaces to illuminate more than 15,000 graphic patterns and generate a display reminiscent of a starlit sky.
The photos show the expressive presence with each detail of the new BMW Alpina XB7 a standout not just in design but in power.
Track and engine photos By Chris Tedesco
Interior photos By David Lewis Taylor.
The Dark Side