This week has nothing but spectacular for us at BMWBLOG with two full days on track and driving over 10 different BMWs, MINIs and Rolls Royce. The test drive reports will continue to flow in as we advanced into the week and more to come by the end of this month. (First Drive: 2011 BMW 5 Series). Expect to see the most amazing photos we have ever published, along with plenty of interviews and video footage.
Overall, by the end of May, we would test drive over 12 BMWs, a new landmark for us and any automotive magazine.
But today’s topic revolves around another exciting model we had a chance to race on track: the ALPINA B7. While the full review is still in works, let’s recap some of the main key points of this exciting model based on the BMW 7 Series.
At 5 units per day, the ALPINA B7 is far from a production volume seller and this is where it starts to differentiates itself from the high-end 760 models. The customer base is also quite different. While the 760Li and 760i models represent luxury, comfort and straightline performance, the B7 has a different core base, a customer that is looking for the ultimate customization in their car, uniqueness as some may call it, but also looking to enjoy one of the sportiest ultra-luxurious sedans and to overtake the curvy roads with a full confidence given by the dynamic and performance of the B7.
The B7 production process starts on the BMW assembly line at Dingolfing, but it gets transferred to ALPINA at some point in the process. The ALPINA designers and engineers are involved in the development process from its inception and despite the parts sharing between the two companies, some design elements and software are custom built by ALPINA, rather than improved or modified.
B7 is powered by a 4.4 liter V8 twin-turbocharged engine, a powerplant based on the one found in the 750 models which has gone through an ALPINA treatment. From the custom software to the different turbos (the two turbochargers operate in parallel, with generously-dimensioned turbine vanes measuring 44mm in diameter), the B7 engine is an art within itself and it offers a performance that many of us only get to dream of: 500 (373kW) horsepower and 516 lb-ft (700Nm) of torque. At 115hp (85kW) per liter and with a maximum average compression of 20.1 bar, the B7’s engineers have truly sets a benchmark even amongst established sports cars.
This rear-wheel drive performance/luxury Sedan achieves 0-60 mph in 4.5 sec and ALPINA claims even less on a perfect track with a great driver. With maximum torque available across an unusually broad engine range, from 3,000 to 4,750 rpm, the B7 accelerates effortlessly from virtually any speed up to the electronically limited maximum speed of 174mph.
The six-speed sport automatic ALPINA SWITCH-TRONIC transmission offers several settings for all the different drivers out there, from Sport, Sport+ to Manual model.
To cope with its enhanced power and to achieve the perfect 50-50 balance, the car keep “its nose” closer to the ground, due to the larger tires at the rear and the different suspensions.
Keeping all that power at normal temperature levels is achieved through several cooling solutions implemented across the front-end, especially through the two air openings integrated into the front-bumper. The low-temperature intercooler integrates into the radiator package.
The B7 on track is what you expected and more, and when you also have the privilege to race along with one of the best German race drivers, then things get even more exciting.
More on that in the next few days!
[Photos by our friend Greg Jarem ]