The moment we got word of the Alpina B7, fans were begging for some sort of BMW M counterpart. A 7 Series that had some M Division DNA injected into it. It’s not that the Alpina B7 is unwanted, because it’s absolutely fantastic, but a proper M-tuned version of the BMW 7 Series has always been something of a desire for BMW faithful. Fans got their wish yesterday with the announcement of the brand new BMW M760Li xDrive, an M Performance variant of the new G11 7 Series. While it isn’t an actual M car, it’s close enough to satisfy fans. So now, there are two hot 7 Series’ to choose from.
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The Alpina B7 and BMW M760Li are two cars that share many similarities but seem as if they might be marketed for two different customers. The B7 is a luxury-lined missile, with straight-line speed and outright luxury being its main priorities. The Alpina B7 is powered by a tuned version of BMW’s 4.4 liter twin-turbocharged V8 and develops a whopping 600 and 590 lb-ft. Paired with an eight-speed automatic and xDrive all-wheel drive, the Alpina B7 is able to get from 0-60 in 3.6 seconds, making it one of the fastest cars to wear a BMW badge. The B7 also comes with Alpina-tuned suspension, which allows it is able to deliver exceptional levels of comfort while still remaining sporty. It’s always remarkable how Alpina is able to make a suspension feel even better than many BMW setups.
But it isn’t just sheer brute force that makes the Alpina B7 so wonderful. In typical Alpina fashion, the interior is gorgeously appointed, with lovely little Alpina touches all throughout the cabin. With Alpina-exclusive Lavalina leather, Alpina-colored gauges and some blue and green stitching throughout, the B7’s interior takes, what is already a phenomenal 7 Series interior, one step further. The exterior shares the same sort of treatment. With some Alpina-specific touches, like the tasteful lip spoiler and quad exhaust, and those gorgeous 21″ wheels.
On the flip side, though, the BMW M760Li is one of the most desirable big luxury cars we’ve seen in a very long time. While the M760Li isn’t a full-on M car, like an M5 or M6, it’s still got some M Division DNA in it, like the M235i. There’s something wildly seductive about a 7 Series wearing an M badge of any kind. Maybe it’s because it’s something we haven’t ever seen before, but it’s tantalizing. Plus, the properly sporty looking exterior details and aggressive body work make the new 7 Series look downright menacing. This could be the angriest looking luxury car on the market. There’s so much of want for the M760Li.
But it isn’t just looks and badging. The M760Li packs a serious punch, with its monstrous 6.6 liter TwinPower turbocharged V12 engine that develops an identical 600 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. We guess that BMW is only claiming those numbers to not outdo or overshadow what Alpina’s done, as the 6.6 liter twin-turbo V12 is capable of so much more power. And, with BMW’s penchant for underrating its engines, it’s likely that the M760Li does, in fact, make a lot more power. BMW is claiming a 0-60 mph time of 3.9 seconds. Considering that the 750i can do the sprint in 4.3, we’re guess the M760Li will be in the low-mid 3-second range.
But, because this is an M Performance car, the M760Li also packs some very serious dynamic capabilities. Its suspension, steering, active rear-steering and adaptive driving modes have all gotten their tweaks from BMW’s famous M Division. So it should drive as aggressively as it looks. But, because of its standard two-axle air suspension, it won’t lose any ride comfort either.
If a customer is in the market for both cars, as they should be priced relatively similarly (no word on pricing yet for the M760Li, but expect it to be well over $100,000), it will be genuinely difficult to choose between the two. On one hand, the Alpina B7 offers luxury and exclusivity, along with mighty power and performance, that the M760Li cannot match. There’s simply nothing like having a car designed by exclusive manufacturer like Alpina, as the craftsmanship is beyond that of any mass-produced car. However, there’s something wildly tantalizing about the M760Li, with its M Performance DNA and incredibly V12 engine. It’s hard to deny a V12 of any kind, especially when it wears looks like that. It’s a real toss up and I don’t think the customers of either are going to be disappointed with their choice.