BMW of North America announced the all-new 2017 BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive, the third generation of ALPINA automobiles based on the BMW 7 Series offered in the US.
The B7 Gets A New Heart
The 2017 B7 is powered by a new 4.4 liter eight-cylinder engine with twin-turbo charging, gasoline direct injection and Valvetronic delivers an impressive output of 600 horsepower between 5750 rpm and 6250 rpm, while the maximum torque of 590 lb-ft is available from 3000 rpm. The resulting performance figures are remarkable – the all-new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive accelerates in just 3.6 seconds from 0 to 60 mph, 0.8 seconds faster than its predecessor while reaching a top speed of up to 193 mph (preliminary figure).
A number of significant technical details are responsible for this engine’s power output and performance characteristics – particularly the air intake system, the intercooler and turbocharger configuration and the high-performance cooling system. The twin-turbo charging system comprises two specially developed turbochargers positioned in the V of the 8-cylinder engine. These feature twin-scroll turbochargers with enlarged inlet and outlet diameters. This configuration ensures optimal use of exhaust gas energy even at low engine speeds. The result is a fast power build-up and more torque at low engine speeds for overall exceptional engine response. At 2000 rpm the ALPINA’s V8 twin-turbo engine already produces 494 lb-ft of torque ensuring optimal performance.
All components of the high-performance cooling system are designed to remove bottlenecks and maximize effectiveness – special large-volume coolers are interconnected by large diameter hosing for maximum throughput. An indirect intercooler system (air to water) facilitates the implementation of short charge-air intake paths. Combined with additional external water coolers and a transmission oil cooler, the system ensures the thermodynamic stability of the V8 twin-turbo engine at all times, even under the highest loads and ambient air temperatures.
Inside the engine special Mahle pistons and NGK spark plugs are designed to deal with the temperatures and loads associated with 20 psi of boost pressure and a compression ratio of 10.0:1.
The BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive utilizes a new generation of the excellent 8-Speed Sport Automatic Transmission with ALPINA SWITCH-TRONIC. Further refined and adapted to the performance characteristics of the high-torque V8 twin-turbo in collaboration with ZF, the transmission offers exceptional driving comfort in all situations.Close gear ratios and a total spread of 7.81:1 improve shift comfort and efficiency. In Automatic Mode the combination of eight gears and high engine torque makes for relaxed, luxurious cruising at low engine rpm even when traveling at higher speeds.
In Sport Mode the shift points have been optimized for improved driving performance and are considerably more dynamic with the option to activate the Launch Control function. For maximum dynamic performance, the driver selects the Manual Mode thereby actuating gear changes manually by using the SWITCH-TRONIC buttons on the back of the steering wheel or via the gear selector switch on the center console. In addition to lightning quick gear shifts (approximately a tenth of a second), this mode also holds the selected gear even when the engine hits the rev limiter.
All components of the transmission such as the torque converter with lock-up clutch, the planetary wheel sets and the inner cooling are designed to specifically cope with the high torque output of the V8 twin-turbo engine. This means that no torque reduction is necessary during upshifts when selecting the Launch Control or when using the sportiest configuration of the Manual Mode. This contributes significantly to the striking longitudinal dynamics of the all-new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive and allowing it to sprint from 0 – 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds. The transmission features the latest Comfort and Efficient Dynamics functions such as ConnectedShift (use of navigation data for an anticipatory shift strategy based on traffic routing) and Coasting (decoupling of the engine and transmission when coasting).
The stainless steel ALPINA sports exhaust system is responsible for a reduction in back pressure and weight. Active exhaust valves allow the driver to influence the sound experience by switching the Driving Dynamic Control switch between Comfort and Sport Mode.
The 2-axle air suspension system combined with Dynamic Damper Control and Active Comfort Drive with Road Preview guarantees the very highest level of driving comfort at all times while the Active Roll Stabilization minimizes body roll during cornering. The rear wheel steering of the Integral Active Steering system gives the all-new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive a level of dynamic performance and light-footed handling, typically associated with sports cars. The Driving Dynamics Control switch serves as the central control over which to select the various parameters of all the systems that influence the driving dynamics of the all-new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive. It also features an Individual Mode, which can be used to combine specific settings independently and in accordance to the driver’s preference.
With the Driving Dynamics Control used to select the appropriate mode, the 2-axle air suspension system is primarily responsible for the exceptional level of ride comfort. It also enables ride height to be changed up or down which in combination with the other suspension systems facilitates the choice of a decidedly comfort or sport orientated chassis set-up. Overall, a maximum ride height adjustment range of 1.6 inches is available. At speeds above 140 mph the ride height of the BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive is lowered by 0.8 inches. This operating state, which can be activated manually to be effective regardless of the speed by selecting the special ALPINA Sport+ Mode, results in a lower center of gravity thereby increasing agility and high-speed stability. The lower ride height results in increased front wheel camber for even more direct turn-in when cornering. When needed, the ride height can also be raised by 0.8 inches up to a speed of 20 mph in order to increase ground clearance.
The settings of the Electronic Damper Control, which influences both rebound and compression, are also selected using the Driving Dynamics Control. A broad range of ALPINA damper set-ups are available ranging from Comfort+ Mode for effortless and relaxed cruising to ALPINA Sport+ Mode for maximum dynamic performance.
For the first time, the all-new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive features Integral Active Steering, which in conjunction with the high-performance drivetrain and the all-wheel drive system, offers a dynamic driving experience par excellence. The Integral Active Steering combines a variable ratio electric steering system at the front axle with active steering on the rear axle whereby the wheels can turn a maximum of 3 degrees. Specially attuned to the ALPINA suspension and MICHELIN® performance tires, the rear axle steers opposed to the front axle at low speeds for increased agility and dynamic handling, while steering with the front axle at higher speeds for maximum high-speed directional stability.
The all-new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive is fitted with MICHELIN® Pilot Super Sport tires measuring 255/40 ZR20 at the front and 295/35 ZR20 at the rear, mounted on 8.5 x 20 and 10 x 20 ALPINA CLASSIC wheels. New lightweight 21 inch forged wheels take the traditional 20-spoke ALPINA CLASSIC design into a new minimalistic and technical direction. Forging results in high-density and high-strength aluminum alloy which enables a weight-optimized construction that saves 5.5 lb of unsprung mass per wheel.
The MICHELIN Pilot Super Sport tires are specifically designed to meet the demands of high- performance sports cars. They contribute directly to the precise steering feel and handling of the new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive while foregoing run-flat technology in the interests of improved ride comfort.
Comprising blue painted 4-piston fixed calipers and 15.5 in x 1.41 in discs on the front axle and floating calipers with 14.5 x 0.94 in discs on the rear axle, the high-performance brake system provides outstanding stopping power and deceleration.
ALPINA Specific Design
The ALPINA design and aerodynamic elements emphasize its performance character, with the front and rear spoiler been redesigned compared to the regular 7 Series. The 20 inch ALPINA CLASSIC wheels with twenty spokes and concealed air valves are also specific to the BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive. In the interests of weight reduction and a striking technical appearance, the optional 21 inch ALPINA CLASSIC forged wheels with visible wheel bolts do not feature concealed air valves and wheel caps.
The ALPINA sports exhaust system features two elliptical twin tailpipes. The exclusive paint finishes in ALPINA Blue metallic and ALPINA Green metallic are a hallmark feature reserved solely for BMW ALPINA automobiles. Other BMW and BMW Individual paint finishes are also available for the 2017 BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive.
An extensive range of standard equipment ensures maximum well-being and comfort, including high-end Nappa leather, comfort seats, a leather-covered instrument panel, ceramic inserts on selected control elements and soft close doors.
ALPINA details add exclusivity and individual style to the interior. Hand-finished using exceptionally high-quality LAVALINA leather, the sports steering wheel with blue and green stitching is captivating at the very first touch due to its gentle feel. Timeless Piano lacquer or classic Myrtle Luxury Wood – the ALPINA interior trim, door sills with blue illumination, ALPINA B7 model inscriptions and an individual production plaque are further examples of exclusive equipment features in the new BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive.
Another exclusive ALPINA design is the full-color digital instrument panel in LED technology. In Comfort Mode it offers a classic look featuring round instruments with blue background and red needles. In Sport Mode the display changes to a more dynamic design with blue and green drag indicators and a focus on primary information, such as the centrally positioned permanent digital speed read-out.
The 2017 BMW ALPINA B7 will be available in September 2016 at selected dealerships. Price will be announced closer to market launch.