Autoblog reviews what they call the “M7”, but we like to refer to it as the special ALPINA B7, an automobile that was put through its paces by our own Road Test Editor Shawn Molnar back in May on the race track. (Read our review)
“Want to wake a sleeping giant? Press the accelerator pedal to the floor.
Alpina’s blown 4.4-liter comes to life like a cadet springing out of bed for a drill sergeant’s call. Any thoughts of turbo lag are slammed to the back of the brain (and forgotten) as the B7 takes off.
Yes, it’s big and heavy, but it gets out of its own way with authority. BMW quotes a 0-60 sprint in 4.5 seconds, but it feels quicker (just for grins, we hooked the B7 up to a rather simple Escort G-Timer GT2 and recorded an easy 4.32 seconds). As a sucker for brutal power, we are happy to declare that this Alpina sedan hits all the right nerves. Like a Nissan GT-R, the B7 absolutely begs to show off at stoplights.
Place the B7 on an open highway, and pavement rolls quietly under its chassis mile after mile. However, it’s difficult to finger another five-place full-size luxury sedan that is as adept off the highway on fun two-lane roads.
Alpina’s decades of experience working hand-in-hand with BMW has delivered. The suspension tuning is just about perfect, with very little body roll and nearly fault-free damping on most road surfaces. Directional changes are quick and fluid, with great feedback through the steering wheel. While we didn’t like the tiny shift “buttons” on the back of the steering wheel (nearly useless in the heat of battle), the six-speed auto was competent when the car was set in “Sport-Plus” mode – come to think of it, the B7 could really use one of those trick “M” buttons to personalize performance parameters.
The Alpina B7 is an amazing machine. Defying all logic, the sedan seems to shed pounds as the g-forces increase – the uncanny feedback from the driver’s seat is of a sports car wrapped in a lightweight paper-mâché 7 Series disguise. In a word: fun.
The good news is that the Alpina B7 earns the fur-lined gold crown as the current high-performance king of BMW’s big sedans. And, with the E60 M5 out of production and the F10 M5 still a few months away, it should be able keep its head warm until summer arrives. Don’t forget, with a base price of just $122,000 the B7 also comfortably undercuts the $137,000 twelve-cylinder twin-turbo 760Li.”