The BMW Alpina XB7 at a glance
A Gallic village in the middle of the Allgäu
We are in the year 2021. The whole car world is in the electric car fever … the whole car world? No! A city populated by indomitable Allgäuers does not stop building cars with internal combustion engines. Anyone who has recognized the modified introduction by Asterix and Obelix will immediately have a picture of the situation in mind. And in fact, Buchloe continues to develop into a Gallic car village. There, at Alpina, they continue to stick to potent gasoline and diesel engines and have just made friends with the new BMW mild hybrid diesel in the XD3 / XD4 and D3 S models (combined fuel consumption: 7.1- 6.7 l / 100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 187-176 g / km²).
As long as BMW is still delivering combustion engines, Alpina wants to keep them on offer. The traditional buyers obviously want it that way and there also seems to have been room in the portfolio for an even more exclusive X7 offshoot. Well, the normal BMW X7 M50i (combined fuel consumption: 12.8-12.3 l / 100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 292-280 g / km²) is not a child of sadness. A lot of luxury paired with at least 530 V8 horses are also available without the Alpina logo. In the absence of a V12 derivative, however, it is up to the XB7 (combined fuel consumption: 13.7 l / 100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 311 g / km²) to satisfy the top hundred interested parties with even more power and, if desired, the finest handwork in the interior.
XB7 with almost inexhaustible power reserves
621 hp and 800 Newton meters of torque in an unoccupied 2.7-ton SUV? At this point one may well ask oneself whether that had to be the case. The succinct answer, however, is: Yes, it can be (really) unreasonable for once. Since the Alpina driver is a connoisseur anyway, because he is a highway hooligan, an XB7 close to the top speed of 290 km / h on the open road is likely to remain a rarity. With 4.2 seconds from zero to 100 km / h and 14.9 seconds from zero to 200 km / h, I complete the factory figures at this point, which would have spoken for true super athletes barely two decades ago.
Anyone who spurs the XB7 dives deep into the leather upholstery, looks slightly at the sky and hears a clear, but never intrusive V8 grumble. The unit measures 4.4 liters, which is ventilated twice by means of an Alpina-specific turbocharger and has an expanded and correspondingly larger cooling system. Meanwhile, the powerhouse is coupled to a specially tuned and always silky ZF 8HP76 transmission. Can you ask about the test consumption at this point? But absolutely! The long-term calculator of the on-board computer showed 15 liters per 100 kilometers ex works, which it honestly also needs to keep the colossus happy. However, if you use the Alpina as a traveling travel lounge, you can get by on the motorway with around 10 liters of Super Plus.
Even at the forefront on the racetrack
At this point it should be mentioned that the first contact with the Alpina XB7 took place last year on the Bilster Berg race track. Yes, you read that right. 2.7 tons, 621 hp and 800 Newton meters on one of the most demanding circuits in Germany. What sounds like pure material murder was not a kindergarten event, especially for the raised Pirellis in 23-inch format (!). Otherwise, it is remarkable with which serenity the luxury SUV, which can be equipped with up to seven seats, mastered the fast cornering.
All-wheel drive, active roll compensation, 2-axle air suspension, a sport differential and integral active steering do everything to keep the 5.15 meter long car on course. So that the load comes to a proper stop again, there is an optional, recommended high-performance brake made of steel – ceramic anchors are no longer required. The steering, which is very direct in Sport mode, is a source of driving pleasure, but in the Comfort Plus mode programmed by Alpina, the valance seems a tad too decoupled from external influences. In general, the most comfortable vehicle setup is more recommended for the super-level autobahn (or the dead straight American highway), on country roads backbenchers quickly complained about a slightly swaying body. The individual sport program with a harder damper setting provides a remedy here.
When it comes to leather, on par with Rolls-Royce
We come to the inner values of the Allgäu-Express, which costs at least 158,900 euros. If you want the high-quality leather that Rolls-Royce also uses, if you want a Cullinan (combined fuel consumption: 15.1-15.0 l / 100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 343-341 g / km²) then you should intrusive (and perhaps too expensive), you can have your Alpina interior covered with fine-grain Lavalina. For the large interior package, they charge an impressive 25,600 euros extra in Buchloe. The test car was content with the extended BMW Merino leather interior. In combination with the Alpina piano lacquer strips, however, the XB7 looked anything but off the shelf in this trim as well.
Although the Buchloer auto manufacturer has an extensive list of surcharges to offer, by definition, an Alpina XB7 does not roll to customers either naked. In addition to the extensive standard equipment of the X7 M50i, there are also the Executive Drive Pro package including rear-axle steering, the extended assistance package Driving Assistant Professional and glass applications for the automatic selector lever and iDrive controller. Alpina even supplies roller blinds for the rear door side windows.
The facelift is rolling towards us in 2022
Anyone who wants to be among the illustrious group of around 700 XB7 owners around the world should be quick. At least if he has come to appreciate the great Bavarian’s current kidney face. In the coming year there is an extensive model revision of the X7 and thus also the XB7. The first Erlkönig photos at least suggest that another optical turning point is about to take place.
It couldn’t be bigger, more comfortable and more exclusive. The BMW Alpina XB7 symbolizes the spearhead in the long-serving car industry, although the high fuel consumption certainly casts doubt on the timeliness. Aside from environmental discussions, there is no other vehicle in the BMW lineup that can currently hold a candle to the XB7. And anyone in the BMW Group who turns to the Rolls-Royce Cullinan – at the latest when there is space available and costs more than twice as much as the basic model.