Overview & Reviews
Most BMW sedans get a thorough "M" treatment from the company's iconic Motorsport division, but the full-size BMW 7 Series is the exception. There has never been an M7, as the engineers have always felt that the 7 Series just doesn't fit the mold. Instead, BMW asked Alpina, a German aftermarket tuner, to whip the 7 Series into shape. The result, known as the BMW Alpina B7, is essentially a 7 series with big wheels, better brakes, firmer suspension settings and -- oh yeah -- a wickedly powerful engine.
There have been two generations of the limited-production Alpina B7. The first, based on the previous-generation 7 Series, featured a supercharged V8, while today's B7 is based on the current 7 Series with its twin-turbo V8. These cars aren't as uncompromising as an M7 would be, but that makes sense given the 7 Series' refined character. Rather, the B7 adds civilized helpings of speed and style to what is already a very accomplished luxury sedan.
Current BMW Alpina B7
The current Alpina B7 is offered in standard-wheelbase 750i or long-wheelbase 750Li trim, with BMW's "xDrive" all-wheel drive optional on both. Power comes from a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that's been massaged to produce 540 horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque. Running through an eight-speed automatic transmission, this powerhouse vaults the B7 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds, according to BMW.
The B7's other standard features are similarly impressive, including distinctive 21-inch Alpina wheels, a lowered suspension, a unique front airdam, a rear spoiler, unique interior wood accents, blue gauges with red needles, quad-zone automatic climate control, heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, front and rear parking sensors, the iDrive electronics interface with navigation and a Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system. A dual-screen rear entertainment system is optional, and the long-wheelbase model offers a Luxury Rear Seating package with twin power-adjustable massaging rear seats.
During our seat time in the current BMW Alpina B7, we've quickly warmed to its split personality. On long highway drives, the B7 is as comfortable and refined as any 7 Series, insulating passengers from the outside world and delivering them relaxed and refreshed at their destination. But when the mood strikes on a curvy back road, the B7's phenomenal V8 thrust and sharp chassis provide one of the greatest thrill rides possible in a large luxury sedan. Judged purely on performance, the Alpina isn't quite the top dog in this class, but buyers should also factor in the exclusivity guaranteed by its minuscule production numbers. If you've got the bankroll, the B7 is bound to make you smile.
Used BMW Alpina B7 Models
The current, second-generation Alpina B7 debuted for the 2011 model year. Unlike its rear-drive, short-wheelbase predecessor, it could be had in either long- or short-wheelbase form with rear- or all-wheel drive. The transmission was initially a six-speed automatic, while the twin-turbo V8 was rated at 500 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque -- same as the previous supercharged V8. The eight-speed automatic and current output levels were introduced for 2013, as were modest styling tweaks, a few additional options and the latest iDrive interface.
The first-generation BMW Alpina B7 was produced for the 2007-'08 model years. It was based on the short-wheelbase version of the fourth-generation 7 Series. Standard features included 21-inch wheels, upgraded brakes, a body kit with integrated rear spoiler, steering-wheel-mounted shift buttons, an early version of iDrive and a few aesthetic upgrades in the cabin. Other standard equipment was identical with that on the ultra-luxurious 760Li, which means it had just about every feature in BMW's bag of tricks.
Under the hood, a radial supercharger -- the first of its kind in any production car -- bumped the output of BMW's 4.4-liter V8 to 500 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, a huge increase from the stock 325 hp and 330 lb-ft. The sole available transmission was a six-speed automatic that sent power to the rear wheels. Although the B7 wasn't the swiftest car in its segment (a distinction that belonged to the mind-numbingly rapid Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG), its estimated 0-60 mph sprint of 5.0 seconds still put it in very special company, as did its top speed of 186 mph. Our editors were also impressed with Alpina's suspension tweaks, which helped the original B7 feel responsive and composed in virtually every situation.
Used first-generation BMW Alpina B7s are few and far between. Interested parties should keep in mind that there were no changes made during its short life.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 14.00
Best Luxury Tuner - 2008 BMW Alpina B7
By Alpina - November 15 - 5:56 am
I love this car, as those who know about it understand it and those that don't know just pass right by. There are few on the road and the ride, performance and looks make this car worth it.
BEST SEDAN/SPORTS CAR - 2007 BMW Alpina B7
By NO - January 3 - 2:33 am
I was blown away with this car- sport car. It continues to be an enjoyment to drive. In the AM on the way to work I get a little blue then I just say well my chariot awaits and off I go with a big smile on my face. It is fast, quite (I can enjoy the classics) handle like a dream. Right after I got the Alpina, I took possession of a Porsche 997 turbo cab sport package. I am sorry I got the Porsche because I am having a blast with the Alpina. The bars are quite high now thanks to Mr. Alpina.
Amazing - 2007 BMW Alpina B7
By Rob - June 11 - 3:23 am
BMW got it right with the Alpina B7. The car drives as good as it looks. This is by far the best sport sedan on the market. Performance as good as the best sport cars and as comfortable as the best luxury sedans. Incredible acceleration whether from 0 to 60 or from 60 to 100 mph when passing on the highway. Superb handling. If you like people staring at your car or running over to ask you about your car, then this car is for you. No one has it and there are only 200 coming into the the US.
Problems - 2011 BMW Alpina B7
By Robert - March 19 - 10:00 am
I purchased my car in July. I owned the previous edition. A major change was the fact that the head rest does not move forward or back. The current head rest resides to far back and definitely places strain on the neck. I have also noticed that at speeds in excess of 80 mph the outside wind noise is far greater than the previous model. Aside from these issues it is a wonderful car.
great car, bad tires - 2014 BMW Alpina B7
By lbny - September 17 - 9:39 pm
great car with excellent pick up & effortless driving. comfortable and luxurious. however horrible set of oem tires. they are high performance summer tires totally unsuitable for cold city roads. they will burst on any pot hole contact. pot holes are almost standard in new york city after any snow storm. the tires are not available at any bmw dealer or tire shop and have to be ordered. bmw does not give a spare tire. beware! this makes the car extremely unreliable as there is no solution or help available
Motoring Marvel - 2007 BMW Alpina B7
By Motoring Marvel - February 28 - 1:46 pm
Just bought this machine July 5th. Enjoyed a great road trip from New Jersey to Texas. The low rumble of the V8 at idle that then transitions to the high speed whine of the supercharged V8 is a thrilling experience. This is by far the finest auto I have ever owned. Even with fast highway speeds we averaged 21 mpg. Lots of looks and invitations to race. Hopefully, the limited sales into the U.S. will help to support the future value on this marvel.
2007 alpina b7 - 2007 BMW Alpina B7
By d - November 18 - 5:40 am
I own a 2002 S600 and this, and man what can I say, this car is the bomb, a beautiful car, and I know lots of ppl complain a lot about the design and all but I'm one of the ppl that actually like what bangle did with the 750. Oh and don't forget the maintenance, at least BMW is confident in their product.
Bad Styling - 2011 BMW Alpina B7
By Bob - September 14 - 5:30 pm
All in All this car is very pleasing to live with. Only complaint is the styling, which is to busy in my opinion. Styling mimicking the regular 7 series would be a big improvement.
It will change your life. - 2007 BMW Alpina B7
By Scott in Overland Pa - July 28 - 9:00 pm
I stumbled on a 2007 B7 while looking for a 745. After some research, I made the trip to Chicago from my home in Overland Park, Kansas to test drive the vehicle. It was difficult to hide my excitement from the salesman who accompanied me. The car is absolutely amazing. It is a finely tuned blend of performance and luxury. The drive is intuitive. For as heavy as the vehicle is, it is responsive in every manner. It's not going to compare with the handling of much lighter vehicles (although few on the road will take it between stop lights), it's easy to forget it will comfortably seat five with two sets of clubs in the trunk. The acceleration will snap your head back.
Be prepared for questions - 2007 BMW Alpina B7
By GCM - May 16 - 2:40 pm
I traded a Corvette Z06 for the Alpina and have yet to miss the Corvette's performance. The build quality of the BMW is amazing. The BMW warranty and service plan cannot be beat, everything from wipers, oil changes,to brake rotors are free. Just an all around awesome large car.