With the upcoming M2, the M Division will officially have its own version of every BMW car variant, and even a couple of SUVs, except for the 7 Series. The high-performance 7er was always left to, tuning company, ALPINA to figure out.
The ALPINA B7, while a very good and powerful machine, is still not an M car. ALPINA is an automaker based in Buchloe, Germany and makes its own version of many BMWs, including the D3/4/5 (which are high-performance diesel versions of the standard cars) and the B3/4/5/6/7 (which are petrol powered versions).
The B7 is the one is question here, though. Housing a revised version of BMWs familiar 4.4 liter, twin-turbo V8, the B7 makes a healthy 540 hp, fed to all four wheels via an 8-Speed automatic. It also has some fancy interior bits, like Myrtle Burl wood trim and a hand-stitched, Lavalina leather steering wheel. All of this is great, many people love the B7 and ALPINA shouldn’t stop making it.
However, it would be nice if BMW made its own M7.
See, the 7 Series is BMW’s flagship car. It’s the big daddy in BMW’s lineup and it deserves a true M variant. All of BMW’s latest and greatest luxury technology debuts in the 7, so wouldn’t it make sense that an M7 be what M uses to debut its newest performance technology?
Mercedes has its S63/65 AMG, Audi has the S8 and Jaguar has the XJR. But for some reason, BMW “outsources” the high-performance version of its flagship. That just doesn’t seem right.
According to BMW’s Director of Product Planning, Paul Farraiolo, “The ‘M’ adds sort of a track-element to that, and I don’t know if there’s a lot of demand for the 7 Series on the track.”
This is an odd statement to me, as there are M versions of the X5 and X6 SUV, which despite what BMW might say, are no more track cars than a 7 Series is.
An M7 with the same 556 hp, 4.4 liter V8 in every other M car, tauter suspension, bigger brakes and sharper steering would be epic. BMW has all of the pieces, the current 5 Series and M5 are built using the current 7 Series’ platform. So it’s not that BMW is incapable of making one, it just seems like the folks in Munich don’t see a market for one.
But if there’s a market for the B7, wouldn’t there be a market for an M7? AMG seems to be doing pretty well with the S63 and Audi is killing it with the S8.
Maybe ALPINA, itself is the problem. The B7 is great, but maybe that’s why BMW won’t make an M7. What would they do to make an M7 that Alpina hasn’t already done with the B7, besides make the suspension stiffer, which no customer would want? The ALPINA B7 is pretty much the exact recipe for what an M7 would have been.
And of course BMW won’t say that and truth is that there might be a back story that we don’t know about. So instead they’re going to say there isn’t a market for a more track-focused 7 Series, when Mercedes, Audi, Jaguar, and BMW’s own X5M and X6 M prove that theory wrong. I, for one, would love an M7, but the B7 kind of gets in the way.
The only real way I see an M7 existing is if the B7 ceases to exist. And ALPINA doesn’t want that, as they’ve had great success with the B7. BMW and ALPINA also worked well together for decades now, and the partnership seems to be a win-win for everyone.
So what if BMW makes an M7, which is a tauter, faster, more powerful 7 Series, but ALPINA makes a D7, basically a B7 but with a high-performance diesel engine? This way, the M7 would be distinguished enough from the B7, so as to create actual market value, and both BMW and ALPINA could have their cake and eat it too.
Food for thought.