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      05-28-2009, 03:38 PM   #1
Jason
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Post Review: Alpina B7 4.4 V8 Switch-tronic 4dr Saloon

As featured on homepage.

What is it?
Itís Alpina new range-topper, in effect a BMW 7-series with a bit of extra grunt, a lot more torque, a bespoke interior and some very natty 21-inch alloy wheels that are no longer wrapped around runflat tyres.

This car is the first chance Alpina has had to tweak BMWís 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 motor, hardly a weakling in its own right. But the revamp is a comprehensive one, even extending to different metals used in the block.

Alpina also remaps the ECU and adds a wide range of extra coolers - including four new ones behind the front valence alone - to keep the engine, intercoolers, hydraulics and transmission in check. Thereís no word on the automatic gearboxís specification, incidentally, but given the tweaked engineís stats - 500bhp and 516lb ft - weíd be astonished if its internals were regular BMW kit.

The B7 weighs over two tonnes, so the brakes are uprated too; the spec is one often fitted to BMWís ultra-heavy armoured vehicles.

What Alpina has really created is a rival for the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG, a car that BMW itself seems reluctant to build. Performance is staggering, with 0-62mph in a claimed 4.7sec and a top speed - restricted, mind - of 174mph.


Whatís it like?
Rapid. Really frighteningly rapid. Okay, so there might be the teeniest delay if you nail the throttle at idle. But by, say 1500rpm, a huge surge of torque is already propelling you way past the UK legal limit and onto speeds that are only of use on autobahns. It feels every bit as quick as the hot Merc - more so, Iíd say, given the huge shove offered by the twin turbos.

Itís still a big car, mind you, so donít think that youíre going to chuck it around like it doesnít weigh two tonnes. The B7 has four chassis set-ups, but the two extremes - comfort and sport plus - feel unduly wafty and uncomfortably tail-happy respectively.

The two middle set-ups are more effective, but while the B7 feels agile, it feels like a big agile car. Donít expect 5-series levels of chuckability. The steering is also a little vague around the straight ahead, although it does weight up nicely when youíre pushing on.

The ride is a triumph, however; sure, road noise is more pronounced from the 21-inch Alpina Classic alloys, but the switch from runflats to bespoke Michelins means that you can trundle around urban roads without much fear of being bounced off your (very comfortable) seat. the B7 is comfortable on worn motorways, too, even at more than 150mph.


Should I buy one?

The B7 exists because America and the Middle East love the concept of a huge, rapid executive limousine - and donít care much about what damage it does to the environment. The new version will only enhance that appeal.

But even though itís a bit more efficient than the outgoing model (an impressive achievement), and even though the ride is better than many a regular 7-series, itís hard to recommend the B7 for British buyers. Itís difficult to think of an area of the British Isles big or empty enough for this car to really stretch its legs, so youíd always feel like you were using around 30 per cent of its performance. And at this price, that would be a sorry waste of pace, and cash. A D7, on the other hand...

That said, Alpinaís first take on the twin-turbo V8 petrol is extremely encouraging, given that this lump will almost certainly end up in the next B5. Bring it on.

Source: http://www.autocar.co.uk/CarReviews/...tronic/240409/


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      05-28-2009, 04:00 PM   #2
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she's a beaut.
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      05-28-2009, 04:21 PM   #3
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i love it.
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      05-28-2009, 04:26 PM   #4
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sweet ridee !

but as stated above, also really eager to see that 760Li hit the road

Ah well, i live in Europe so thx to huge cartaxes i'll never get to buy this anyways. Maybe the D3 in the near future.
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      05-28-2009, 07:04 PM   #5
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sweet.

I'm waiting for the 760 too
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      05-28-2009, 08:41 PM   #6
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Lose the rice. Lose that front and rear bumper.
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      05-29-2009, 03:46 AM   #7
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what about the v12 turbo bmw is putting in the 760 with 522hp? shouldnt they b7 that!? or will that b the M to the 7. I thinkt hey will finally do the m7 being that they are marketing the M badge like crazy... finally x6m and x5m... we might as well have an elite.. just like mercs who put AMG on everything lol
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      05-29-2009, 10:23 AM   #8
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Those have got to be the least aerodynamic wheels on the planet.
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      05-29-2009, 10:27 AM   #9
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having seen it in person i gotta say, super nice car, and just in general i love the new 7 more than any other. even that E38 which everyone likes to remember. This is an awesome car.
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      05-30-2009, 01:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Those have got to be the least aerodynamic wheels on the planet.
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      05-31-2009, 01:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Those have got to be the least aerodynamic wheels on the planet.
the spacing of the spokes is pretty tight, so i'm sure they're not that bad at all, despite the look of them.
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