“To have your cake and eat it, too”. It’s an expression used so often in this industry. It’s most used when referring to giant luxury cars that are also incredibly fast. These cars are usually German and zee Germans know their cake.
We all know the cake formula for the sort of luxury-line Uber-missiles that hail from Germany: Take a full-sized luxury sedan, pump it full of turbocharged power, add all-wheel drive and sticky tires and replace wood trim with carbon fiber. After that formula is complete, you pretty much have every single German luxury missile ever made. BMW M5, Audi S8, Mercedes-AMG S63 — they all fit the formula. However, ALPINA is one of the few companies that is able to do things slightly differently, have their own formula and come away with an even more impressive taste.
Michael Harley, analyst at Kelley Blue Book and contributor to Forbes, just recently spent some time in the brand-new ALPINA B7, coming away quite impressed. The ALPINA B7 isn’t like the other aforementioned performance luxury sedans, as it doesn’t trade a single bit of luxury to attain its monstrous performance. In fact, it actually adds luxury as well as performance.
Drive a Mercedes-AMG S63 and you’ll be blown away. It manages to still ride incredibly well and provide a ton of luxury, all while delivering rocket ship performance. However, it’s not as luxurious or as comfortable as the standard S Class. Drive an ALPINA B7 and you’re mind just may melt, as it delivers simply ridiculous levels of performance, while gaining more sumptuous leather, finer wood trim and even more luxurious details than the standard 7 Series.
At Laguna Seca, Harley was able to match pace with a BMW M2, never once losing its tail. While the M2 was obviously the more nimble car through corners, the B7 used its immense all-wheel drive grip and monstrous 600 hp to fire it out of corners with velocity that the M2 simply cannot hope to match. So ever bit of ground the M2 managed to make over the B7 through corners, it simply lost the instant the track straightened out.
But that’s not to say that the ALPINA B7 is just a straight-line missile with no cornering capability. With an ALPINA-tweaked air suspension, four-wheel steer and all-wheel drive, the B7 might be the best-handling luxo-barge on the market. So it actually manages to impress on the track and not just on the straights.
But at the same time, it’s quiet, smooth and comfortable. It offers even better levels of luxury than the standard BMW 750i and that’s an unbelievable feat. The ride is even more supple, yet still planted and as solid as a granite bank vault, even at triple-digit speeds. The seats are better, the wood is nicer and the design is more upscale.
ALPINA has been able to do the seemingly impossible task of adding both luxury and performance. There are a decent amount of luxury cars that allow you to have your cake and eat it, too. But the ALPINA B7 allows you to have your cake, eat it and also gives you a glass of Veuve Cliquot La Grande Dame 2006.