The guys from Car and Driver have put a series of 2017 cars through their yearly Lightning Lap challenge and BMW was well represented this year. The German group had no less than four entrants in this year’s event, if we count both the MINI Clubman JCW and the Alpina B7. After all, they are built on BMW-owned assembly lines and therefore should be included here. What we have posted below though is a comparison we’ve been waiting for some time, pitting the Alpina B7 Biturbo against the similarly powered BMW M760Li xDrive.
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Ever since these two cars were unveiled by BMW and Alpina respectively, people have been wondering which one would be faster around a track, even though they haven’t been built for that purpose. The reason why a lot of us were curious lies in the spec sheets of the two. They have the same amount of power and torque going to all four corners of the cars, 600 HP and 800 Nm (590 lb-ft) of torque. To some extent they even use the same gearbox but each car has different settings.
While the BMW M760Li xDrive is geared more towards sportiness, with car being an M Performance model, the Alpina is set up to be as comfortable as possible most of the time. Nonetheless, the biggest difference is the engine under the hood. Even though the specs are the same, down to the acceleration times, while the BMW uses a 6.6-liter V12 shared with Rolls-Royce, the Alpina B7 Biturbo uses a reworked version of the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 from the 750i.
Therefore, what we have here is basically a race between a V8 and a V12, on the track, between two limousines that most likely will never be used in this fashion. The end result might be surprising to some but even so, I know what car I’d rather go home with as you simply can’t beat the smoothness of a V12.