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      08-24-2012, 09:27 AM   #1
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Cool Laguna Seca: Alpina B7 Makes U.S. Debut. Alpina History Lesson and Our Track Review

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Laguna Seca: Alpina B7 Makes U.S. Debut. Alpina History Lesson and Our Track Review
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The 2013 Alpina B7, based on the refreshed 2013 7 Series, made its U.S. debut this week at the BMW press launch in Laguna Seca Raceway (along with the 2013 M5 and M6 coupe). This is the closest thing we'll get to an M7 or M Performance 7 Series (for now) and it was a beast on the track!

Our Track Review

It's a wholly physics defying experience accelerating a nearly 5000 pound car from 0-60 in 4.4 seconds, handling corners at speed with little roll, and diving into and coming out of the Laguna Seca corkscrew as if it was a medium sized sedan. This was our experience with refreshed B7 sedan at Laguna Seca. Although I've never driven a train, I'd say this car fulfills the cliche of 'pulling like a train.' As Alpinas are tuned for low end torque, the B7 with its 538lb-ft torque pulled from the pits and out of the corners as strongly as the 2013 M5 and M6, an amazing feat for such a large and heavy car.

With its size and heft, the B7 cannot match the handling of the M5/M6, nor does anyone expect it to, but it was nontheless lively for a car in this segment. Prior to our laps in the B7, we took a ride with Matt Russell of BMWNA, who managed to get the rear end loose for a short drift around turn 1. As with the other experiences described above, this was yet another sensation one does not expect to ever experience in a BMW 7 series.

The B7 shifted slickly with the ZF 8 speed automatic matched to shift buttons on the steering wheel backside, but around Laguna Seca, the older longer geared 6 speed auto may have been a better match. Mostly a moot point however, as most B7 owners will likely never be on a track with this hopped up 7 Series. Judging by our drive, that's a shame as they will be miss out on experiencing the unexpected and incredible limits of their B7.


Tech Specs

The new B7 features 40 additional horsepower (now rated 540 hp) and 22 lb-ft more torque (up to 538 from 516 lb-ft) than the pre-refresh B7, thanks to the addition of BMW’s Valvetronic throttle-less intake technology and a new ALPINA 8-speed high performance transmission. Top speed is now 194 mph (drag-limited, 193 mph with xDrive), up from the previous 175 mph. Acceleration drops into the low-mid-4-second range for all variants (4.3-4.4 seconds).

The 2013 U.S. model year pricing is as follows (includes $895 Destination and Handling):

740i - $74,195
740Li - $78,195
740Li xDrive - $81,195
Activehybrid 7 - $84,895
750i - $87,195
750Li - $90,895
750Li xDrive - $93,895
760Li - $140,200

Alpina B7 - $128,495
Alpina B7 SWB with xDrive - $131,495
Alpina B7 LWB - $132,395
Alpna B7 LWB with xDrive - $135,395

For our official information/media on the 2013 Alpina B7, see Announcing the New 2013 BMW Alpina B7 (LCI Facelift)


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2013 Alpina B7





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Alpina BMW Model Design, Production and Manufacturing Process




Alpina History Lesson



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      08-24-2012, 10:59 AM   #2
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Great info! Nothing about the Alpina V8 roadster? That was a huge milestone as well marking the first Alpina vehicle sold in the US. Even though it was considered blasphemy by any Z8 owner...
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      08-24-2012, 11:04 AM   #3
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This thing sounds amazing, but it's kinda crazy to want that kind of performance on such a big car.
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      08-24-2012, 11:54 AM   #4
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They're basically matching the output of the N74 V12 now. It seems to me that BMW needs to update that engine to make at least 100hp/L like the rest of its lineup is capable of. Of course people buy the 760Li for prestige more than anything else, but still, there's clearly a lot of untapped potential in a turbocharged V12 that only makes 544hp and 553ft-lb. And frankly at that pricepoint, I would be looking at the exclusivity and added performance features of the Alpina.
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      08-24-2012, 12:07 PM   #5
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I completely agree about rather having the exclusivity of an Alpina. It is kind of a tough spot when it comes to cranking up the wick on the N74 though. It doesn't make sense for a non-alpina or M car to make more power than it's "special" counterpart. I find it even more odd that the 760 has a higher MSRP than the Alpina.

Also... I love that car but, when the hell are they going to put a proper set of brake calipers on one. $125K+, 5000lb car that accelerates like an M3 and still has sliding calipers. Come on. What can I say BMW kind of boggles my mind lately.
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      08-24-2012, 12:26 PM   #6
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sweet!
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      08-24-2012, 12:31 PM   #7
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..would it be so blasphemous to want an evolution of the Alpina Wheel Design?

~Frost
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      08-24-2012, 01:00 PM   #8
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Great read!! No need for an M7 in the states, with this thing available.
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      08-24-2012, 01:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
..would it be so blasphemous to want an evolution of the Alpina Wheel Design?

~Frost
I think that's their trademark. Their wheel will never change, and if it will do, only by a little bit.
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      08-24-2012, 02:00 PM   #10
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Nice
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      08-24-2012, 02:19 PM   #11
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It needs another design for the steering wheel and at least as an option CC brakes!
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      08-24-2012, 02:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATX78703 View Post
Great read!! No need for an M7 in the states, with this thing available.
right
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      08-24-2012, 02:59 PM   #13
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Great history on Alpina. Thanks!
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      08-24-2012, 03:22 PM   #14
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Cool historical documentation.

I feel like I've been seeing these more & more often.

I usually see about 2-3 B7s a day, especially lately. Lots of people over here with them. I drove by two finding a parking spot today in the same parking lot.
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      08-24-2012, 03:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
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..would it be so blasphemous to want an evolution of the Alpina Wheel Design?

~Frost
No it would not.

It is unreal how stuck in the mud they are when it comes to those old ass stripes, as well as the damn overplayed wheels.

AND clearly they are to shy to apply some real brakes in the mix, huge respect to them otherwise.
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      08-24-2012, 03:39 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
..would it be so blasphemous to want an evolution of the Alpina Wheel Design?

~Frost
They actually have evolved over the years.

E60:


F01:
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      08-24-2012, 04:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotrod2448 View Post
I completely agree about rather having the exclusivity of an Alpina. It is kind of a tough spot when it comes to cranking up the wick on the N74 though. It doesn't make sense for a non-alpina or M car to make more power than it's "special" counterpart. I find it even more odd that the 760 has a higher MSRP than the Alpina.

Also... I love that car but, when the hell are they going to put a proper set of brake calipers on one. $125K+, 5000lb car that accelerates like an M3 and still has sliding calipers. Come on. What can I say BMW kind of boggles my mind lately.
What do you expect to gain from "better" brakes on a 7 series? They won't make it stop any quicker, the only benefit of bigger brakes would be increased resistance to fade since the brake disc and caliper mainly function as heat sinks.

I drove an F01 750i very hard through my favorite twisty road back when they first came out and the car's brakes held up just fine, since I doubt a 7 series will ever find its way onto a race track, I'd say the brakes are just fine and bigger ones would add unnecessary weight, get in the way of ride quality, add cost, etc.
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      08-24-2012, 05:04 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Remonster View Post
What do you expect to gain from "better" brakes on a 7 series? They won't make it stop any quicker, the only benefit of bigger brakes would be increased resistance to fade since the brake disc and caliper mainly function as heat sinks.

I drove an F01 750i very hard through my favorite twisty road back when they first came out and the car's brakes held up just fine, since I doubt a 7 series will ever find its way onto a race track, I'd say the brakes are just fine and bigger ones would add unnecessary weight, get in the way of ride quality, add cost, etc.
Actually some decent two piece rotors with aluminum hats and good monoblock aluminum calipers would likely decrease unsprung and rotating weight, along with providing more fade resistance, better brake feel and possibly shorter stopping distances.

Beside that they just don't seem fitting on a car of this caliber. I don't understand why M cars haven't had this (even as a factory option) until recently either.

Last edited by hotrod2448; 08-24-2012 at 05:10 PM.
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      08-24-2012, 08:27 PM   #19
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Jeez too big, I'll take the gorgeous red 1986 333i model.
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      08-24-2012, 09:58 PM   #20
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ahhh the new b7 is so sexy

i love their version of the e92 lci. i saw a picture of one in black with this crazy green lettering on the side that just said "alpina" with a sick design

i would NEVER get a car with writing on the side like that. but this one was so subtle and looked so good i would buy it in an instant
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      08-24-2012, 10:00 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotrod2448 View Post
They actually have evolved over the years.

E60:


F01:
e60 is a 5 series
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      08-25-2012, 05:22 AM   #22
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I currently have the Alpina front spoiler on my car but the LCI version looks much cleaner and flows much better with the rest of the car.
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