BMW Alpina XB7 debuts as the closest thing you can get to an X7 M

Joe Lorio

Transporting seven (or, optionally, six) people in a serious hurry is the mission of the first Alpina version of the BMW X7. The 2021 BMW Alpina XB7, as it's known, is the first Alpina SUV sold in the United States (an Alpina version of the X3 is available in Europe). The new Alpina XB7 joins the 7 Series-based Alpina B7, and will sit at the top of the X7 lineup.

Accordingly, BMW's 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 has been cranked up to 612 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque, representing hefty increases over the X7 M50i's 523 horses and 553 lb-ft. The extra oomph is sufficient to send this seven-seater from 0 to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds, with a terminal velocity of 180 mph.

The engine features Alpina-specific intercoolers, two supplemental water coolers, a larger transmission fluid cooler, and a unique exhaust system with active flaps that allow the driver to customize the exhaust note. The eight-speed automatic transmission has been fortified for Alpina duty and as per Alpina tradition is controlled via shift buttons on the steering wheel rather than paddles. Hauling the XB7 back down are four-piston Brembo front brake calipers that squeeze 15.5" rotors, while the rear discs are 15.7".

The X7's integral active steering, active anti-roll bars, and air springs are standard here, and the XB7 also features firmer tuning and stiffer bushings. The air springs lower the ride height by 0.8 inch in Sport mode or at speeds above 100 mph, and by 1.6 inches when in Sport+ mode or at speeds above 155 mph. 21" wheels are standard with 23" 20-spoke units optional.

Besides the high-performance hardware, the Alpina XB7 includes luxury touches such as a glass crystal iDrive controller with etched Alpina logo, illuminated Alpina-logo door sills, and an Alpina-specific design for the digital instrument cluster. Among the included options are soft-close doors, an Alcantara headliner, the Driving Assistance Professional package, and the Parking Assistant Professional package.

For all that, the XB7 is priced at $142,295 (including $995 destination), a cool $41,700 over the $100,595 ask for the M50i. Order books open this month, with deliveries of the Spartanburg-built SUV set to begin in September.

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