The BMW 7 Series is currently the brand’s flagship luxury car and the halo car for the brand’s technology. Being the brand’s flagship, you’d imagine that the Bavarians would pour everything they could into it. And they did, as the 7 Series is one of the most technologically packed and luxurious cars on the market today. Yet, despite BMW’s best efforts, there might be another company that makes a better 7 Series — ALPINA.
ALPINA is a German manufacturer that’s been developing upgraded BMWs, while working alongside the famous Bavarian brand itself, for decades now. One of ALPINA’s most famous vehicles is the B7, a variant of the 7 Series that packs more power, more luxury and, well, more everything. But the ALPINA B7 isn’t just a 7 Series cranked up to ’11’, it’s so well-rounded and so special that it almost feels like a different car. And, sorry BMW, but it might be better.
Everyone that has driven the ALPINA B7 has had only exemplary things to say about it. Its power and performance defy belief, as its lunatic speed is so effortless that it’s hard to believe something so big and luxurious can do such things. But the power isn’t rough, it isn’t manic and it isn’t sports-car like. It’s smooth, silky and luxurious. What’s the old adage? An iron fist in a velvet glove?
That iron fist happens to be a 4.4 liter twin-turbocharged V8, which is largely the same unit as in the BMW 750i. However, after ALPINA’s fettling, the V8 now develops a whopping 600 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. That makes the massive luxury land yacht capable of 0-60 mph in just 3.8 seconds and a top speed of a claimed 205 mph. That’s right, the four-door, four seater, luxury-lined ALPINA B7 has a higher top speed of a mid-engine McLaren 650S (204 mph).
Then there’s the interior, which somehow makes the standard 7 Series seem bland. Sit in a 7er in isolation and you’ll most likely be a very happy person indeed. However, sit in an ALPINA B7 and the 7 Series will seem low-rent.
The ALPINA B7 also manages to be more comfortable than the standard 7 Series, despite havinig more power and performance. Not only is the cabin better, but its ride is sumptuous and rock-solid stable at the same time. ALPINA are masters of chassis and suspension tuning.
Now, it’s possible that BMW can take its 7 Series crown back with the upcoming M760Li xDrive. That car packs a twin-turbocharged V12, ironically developing the same amount of power as the B7, and we all know that the V12 is better than all engines. Nothing beats the silky smoothness of a V12. But until that car starts making its rounds, the ALPINA B7 is the best possible variant of the 7 Series.