2020 BMW ALPINA B7

#9
in Sedans
2020 MODEL
$139,350

8.3

Overall Rating

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2020 BMW ALPINA B7 Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide


CARHP Editorial Updated on: November 25, 2019


People often question why an Alpina B7 exists when we already have an M760i. Well, the answer is exclusivity. The folks at Alpina take the engine from a 750i, give it some drugs to bring up the power and give it back to BMW. After finishing the car, BMW hands the car back to Alpina for them to put on some body kit and there you have it - the Alpina B7. The catch is only a very few 750i's are privileged to be done so.

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Pros

Amazing 4.4L, V8 engine tuned by Alpina

Sporty looks with classy proportions

Handling dynamics better than the M760i

Interiors are loaded to the brim with technology

Very comfortable ride quality

Cons

Optional extra are very expensive

Long Wheelbase variant not available in USA

What's New?

The Alpina B7 is based on the 6 th generation of the 7 series and the car has largely been unchanged since it was introduced in 2017. However, with the 7 series due a mid-life facelift next year, the Alpina B7 too will take on the changes from the 7 series in the year 2020


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$139350

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

AWD

engine type

displacement

268 cu.in.

horsepower

591 hp @ 5750 rpm

torque

590 lbs.-ft @ 3000 rpm

transmission

8-speed shiftable automatic

chassis

frame type

Unibody

suspension front

Independent front double wishbone suspension w/active anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspension w/active anti-roll bar

brake rotors (f/r)

63.7/64.8

dimensions

wheelbase

126.4 in.

length

206.7 in.

width

74.9 in.

height

58.7 in.

curb weight

4820 lbs.

ground clearance

5.6 in.

capacity

passenger volume

39.9 cu ft.

cargo volume

18.2 cu ft.

payload capacity

905 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

4.1 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

17/20/25 mpg

highway range

515 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

4 yr. / 50000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

4 yr. / 50000 mi.

powertrain warranty

48 months. / 50000

corrosion warranty

12 yr. / unlimited

roadside assistance

4 yr. / Unlimited



Ratings

Features

7.0

Interior

8.0

8.3

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2020 BMW ALPINA B7 Base

Base

power
591 hp @ 5750 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
20 combined

$139,350


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (4.4L 8cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $139,350 MSRP (17/20/25) 591 hp @ 5750 rpm, 4.4 L, V-8, premium unleaded (required)
8-speed shiftable automatic all wheel drive 5   ALPINA Blue Metallic
  ALPINA Green Metallic
  Almandine Brown Metallic
  Magellan Gray Metallic
  Ruby Black Metallic
  Alpine White

Expert Review

8.3

Overall Rating


Alpina is a boutique tuning house in Germany, particularly known for tuning BMW sedans and have been in the business since the mid-1970s. They are in fact authorized by BMW to do so. The B7 uses the same 4.4L, turbocharged, V8 engine in the 750i, juices it up to produce 591 horsepower and will set you back $139,350 of your hard earned money. Yes, all that for exclusivity.


7.0/10
Features

 
 
 

8.0/10
Interior

 
 
 
 
 

2020 BMW ALPINA B7 Features

7.0/10

The Alpina B7 comes in a single trim only. It’s based on the 750i, in that it takes the 4.4L, V8 engine, tunes it with a whole lot of changes and sends it back to BMW. After the production, BMW sends the car back to Alpina so that they can put on their body kit and make the changes to the interior. The Alpina B7 comes loaded with every gimmick in a single model trim and goes against the equivalent M760i.

Trim

Alpina B7

MSRP

$139,350

Key Features

4.4-liter BMW ALPINA Bi-Turbo V-8

 

Electronic throttle control

 

Air Curtains and Air Breather system

 

Electronically controlled engine cooling (map cooling)

 

Active kidney grille

 

Brake Energy Regeneration

 

Adaptive Drive with ALPINA software and Active Roll Stabilization

 

Dynamic Damper Control with ALPINA software

 

xDrive all-wheel-drive system

 

ALPINA CLASSIC light alloy wheels

 

ALPINA signature exhaust system with quad tailpipes

 

Specially designed ALPINA front apron, rear diffuser and rear spoiler

 

Active front seats with subtle massage action

 

Instrument panel with leather finish; includes Nappa Leather, ALPINA production plate and contrast stitching

 

ALPINA Myrtle Wood trim

 

Illuminated door-sill finishers with ALPINA designation

 

Floormats with ALPINA emblem

 

12.3" ALPINA Dynamic Digital Instrument Cluster

2020 BMW ALPINA B7 Engine and Performance

“You'd expect a lot from 600 horsepower, but somehow this sedan still overdelivers. Acceleration is simply bewildering. More impressive, though, is how confidently this large and heavy sedan handles and stops.” - Edmunds

Engine and Transmission

Models

Mercedes-AMG S63

BMW Alpina B7

BMW M760i

Porsche Panamera Turbo

MSRP

$149,550

$139,350

$156,700

$ 161,900

Engine

4.0L, Twin Turbo, V8 engine

4.4L, Bi-Turbo, V8 engine

6.6L, Twin Turbocharged, V12 engine

4.0L, Twin Turbocharged, V8 engine

Transmission

9-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

Horsepower

603 hp

591 hp

601 hp

550 hp

Torque

664 lb-ft

590 lb-ft

590 lb-ft

567 lb-ft

The Alpina B7 uses the 4.4l, V8 engine in the 750i and does its own tuning to produce 591 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque, similar to the V12 engine used in the M760i. Alpina reworks the pistons, the intake system, the intercoolers, and the exhaust system and even fits larger turbochargers to bring out that much power from the 4.4L, V8 engine.

The result is a super responsive engine that never gets tired of delivering more and more power. The experience is dominated by oodles of torque with a really strong mid-range. Put your foot down and it really flies. The engine feels effortless delivering all that performance and it is always up on its toes, waiting for that input on the pedal. The responses are immediate while still being smooth and refined.

The engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox and it’s very smooth and efficient. In the auto mode, it will change gears seamlessly without you ever noticing it. The shifts are instantaneous and in the manual mode, you can rev up to 6,000 rpm before you shift the cogs. You have paddles mounted on the steering wheel as well.

All cars in the competition are powered by a twin turbocharged V8 engines producing round about the same power and are mated to 8-speed gearboxes except for the BMW M760i which uses a 6.6L, twin turbocharged, V12 engine. All cars are very closely matched on paper but the Mercedes-AMG S63 is dominated by the bundles of torque it has. 

Acceleration

Models

Mercedes-AMG S63

BMW Alpina B7

BMW M760i

Porsche Panamera Turbo

0-60 MPH

3.5 sec

3.6 sec

3.6 sec

3.4 sec

Quarter mile

12.0 sec

11.6 sec

11.7 sec

11.3 sec

Engine

4.0L, Twin Turbo, V8 engine

4.4L, Bi-Turbo, V8 engine

6.6L, Twin Turbocharged, V12 engine

4.0L, Twin Turbocharged, V8 Engine

Emission (Tons/yr. of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

8.8

11.0

11.0

8.4

The Alpina B7 sprints from naught to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds. That’s not the fastest in the competition but the Mercedes and the Porsche edge ahead by just a tenth and two-tenths of a seconds respectively. The B7 equals the M760i in acceleration and manages to cross the quarter mile mark just tenth of second quicker than the M760i on account of it being lighter than the M760i.

Well, 3.6 seconds to 60 mph for a luxury limousine is really plenty fast, thanks to a fantastic launch control system. The fastest in this competition is the Porsche Panamera Turbo at just 3.4 seconds in spite of being less powerful than both the Merc and the BMW. That’s Porsche being Porsche, credit to an even better launch control system.

Ride and Handling

The B7 comes with air suspension as standard and like you would expect, the ride is silky smooth. It irons out every bump and pothole on the road like a road roller. Alpina has tuned the air suspension as well which means the B7 actually rides better than the M760i. The latter anyway did not quite have the ride quality we have seen in this class. The B7 certainly comes closure to the S-class in terms of ride quality.

The B7 has five driving modes – Comfort, Comfort+, Eco, Sport and Adaptive. In the Comfort+ mode, the ride quality is sublime, absolutely pristine and silent. Dial up the notches to the Sports mode and the suspension gets stiffer and throttle response and gearshifts become more aggressive. In the Sport mode, the ride is firmer and it can take on corners pretty well. This is really a barge but you can carry more speeds into a corner than you can think of with this car and it will remain planted and come out sailing on the other side. The traction from the AWD system is really amazing and confidence inspiring.

What really has improved is the steering. The M760i lacked some feedback from the steering and it was too light even at speeds. Alpina reworked the steering as well. It is sharper and more precise than the M760i and it does allow some feedback through the steering. It’s also light and easy at low speeds but this is a rather big car and maneuvering it in and around the city can be quite as task at times.

Braking

Model

Mercedes-Benz S63 Sedan

BMW Alpina B7

BMW M760i

Porsche Panamera Turbo

Brake Front (in.)

15.4

14.7

14.7

16.1

Brake Rear (in.)

14.2

14.5

14.5

15.0

Curb Weight (lbs.)

4564

4820

5128

4630

70-0 MPH (ft.)

156 ft

151 ft

109 ft (60-0)

153 ft

The BMW B7 comes with 14.7 inch brakes at the front and 14.5 inch brakes at the rear. They are not the biggest brakes in the competition but they get the job done pretty well. In fact, they bring this massive car to a stop from 70 mph in just 151 ft which is really impressive for such a car. That is also the best in the competition. The pedal feel is strong and consistent and it maintains its composure well under hard braking as well.

2020 BMW ALPINA B7 Fuel Economy

Model

Mercedes-Benz S63 Sedan

BMW Alpina B7

BMW M760i

Porsche Panamera Turbo

MPG (city)

17

17

13

18

The BMW B7 returns 16 miles to the gallon combined which is an impressive number for such a heavy luxury car and fares equally in the competition as well. While you wouldn’t care much about fuel economy if you are buying a 7 series but its good for you to know that your car is not so much of a gas guzzler.

2020 BMW ALPINA B7 Interior

8.0/10

“ The B7 delivers comfort in spades. The supportive seats have wide adjustability and relaxing massage settings. The suspension and noise insulation protect the interior from most of the outside world. “ - Edmunds

Design

The interiors in the B7 is not much different from that in the regular 7 series. There’s an Alpina badge on the center console, different seat designs and bespoke Alpina wood trims. It carries the same layout and ergonomics of the 7-series. A large 10.1 inch floating infotainment screen takes center stage on the dashboard. The AC vents sit below it and the wood trim nicely carves its way around the AC vents which is a very nice detail. Below the AC vents are two bands of switches for the climate controls and music system and unlike every other manufacturer, BMW obliged to give physical switches for these controls and not screens which are very cumbersome to use.

Still, to satisfy the tech obsessed people, the screens for the climate controls and music controls are haptic touch screens but they feel like regular buttons to use. The center console flows down to make for some cup holders neatly hidden away under a wooden trim and then comes the center console controls with the gear selector, the i-drive rotary wheel and the Alpina badge. All materials used within the cabin are either metal, leather or wood and built quality is sensational with every surface feeling luxurious to touch and feel. The aesthetics are not as pleasing as the S-Class but it’s the best combination of practicality, form, technology and luxuriousness. Characterized by sharp lines all around, the M760i boasts of quite a bold interior. There are ‘Alpina’ badged tread plates as well.

The instrument cluster is all digital but there are physical outlines on the screen for the tachometer and the speedometer which is again a nice little detail. All the screens in the car are themselves high definition with very clear graphics and are very convenient to use as well. In fact, several controls like the gesture control, touch controls and the rotary knob make it very easy to interact with the car.

Seating and Comfort

Model

Mercedes-Benz S63 Sedan

BMW Alpina B7

BMW M760i

Porsche Panamera Turbo

Passenger capacity

4

4

4

4

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

42.1/59.7/41.4

39.9/59.2/41.4

39.9/59.2/41.4

N/A

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

39.2/59.1/43

39.9/57.7/44.4

38.9/57.7/44.4

N/A

The Alpina B7 has one of the best space of all the sedans in the competition. It shares its dimensions with the regular 7-series which means it has the same interior space. The seats themselves are very comfortable. They are heated and cooled and come with several massage functions. The headrests are cushioned and seats are wrapped in Nappa Leather with quilted stitched. They are very well sculpted to hold you well, in utmost comfort.

The rear seats can be had in either a bench option or you could have individual seats as well. When had in the bench seat configuration, you can seat three people comfortably. You also get rear entertainment screen from where you can control almost every function in the car as well. The arm rest folds down to reveal the seat controls and even a pop out tablet from where you can do your massage, set up the ambient light or anything you could fancy really.

When you have opted for the individual seats, you get a fixed center console with the pop out tablet, heated/cooled cup holders, executive seats which can be configured in several ways, rear foldable tray tables and even a refrigerator to keep your champagne chilled. There’s also a panoramic sunroof that adds further to the premium-ness of the cabin. Stretch out your seats, pull out your champagne bottles, pour out your drink and enjoy a sky full of stars under your panoramic roof as the world passes by.

Infotainment System

BMWs i-drive system is certainly the best infotainment system in the entire car industry. With multiple ways of interacting with the system, it’s very convenient on the go and the system itself is very intuitive and responsive. The Alpina B7 is loaded with every technology you can think of. The screens have crystal clear graphics and the interface itself is very smart.

The 10.3 inch screen can be used as a touch screen or you can use the rotary knob on the center console. The coolest party trick is the gesture control by which you can change volume or configure it do some specific function. The digital instrument cluster is quite configurable too and is operated by buttons on the steering wheel.

Cargo

Model

Mercedes-Benz S63 Sedan

BMW Alpina B7

BMW M760i

Porsche Panamera Turbo

Cargo Volume (ft. 3 )

18

18

18.2

17.4

The Alpina B7 has 18 cu.ft of cargo space, just 0.2 cu.ft lesser than the M760i. You could pack all you could ever need for a weekend trip for your entire family and still be left with some space to spare probably.

2020 BMW ALPINA B7 Exterior

“The Alpina limo manages to outshine not only every contemporary M car but every mainstream BMW in this regard. Outrunning all large sedans, boasting exclusive Alpina flourishes, and channeling the core competencies of late BMW M cars.” – Car and Driver

Design

Alpina has put on some mild body kit on the 7-series to differentiate it from the lot but even that’s very subtly done. There’s a distinctive sporty character in the looks and it still manages to have a sense of poise and sophistication you would expect from a luxury sedan.

The face is dominated by the large kidney shaped grille which has grown broader over the years. The grille is flanked by the wrap around headlights right from the edge of the grille and it really gives the 7 series quite an aggressive look. The headlamps have laser technology and the corona rings have nice detailing in them. The bumpers have received a mild update with the addition of a lower lip to the bumper with the ‘Alpina’ script written on it. There’s some chrome garnish on the bumpers as well.

The side profile is very neat, garnished with a band of chrome accent running along the length of the car from the front fenders. At the fenders, the chrome band has been made to look like a hockey stick and it also doubles up as an air vent. What’s most attractive about the side profile is the 21 inch 20-spoke signature Alpina wheels with blue brake calipers which Alpina has been using since ages and boy, they look stunning.

At the rear, there’s another chrome accent band on the boot joining the two LED tail lamps. The tail lamps themselves are quite sleek and there’s also a deck lid spoiler. Some minor changes has been done to the bumpers with some more chrome and finished off with quad exhausts. The entire design is neat but aggressive and with an undertone of classy-ness.

Exterior Dimensions

Model

Mercedes-Benz S63 Sedan

BMW Alpina B7

BMW M760i Sedan

Porsche Panamera Turbo

Curb weight (lbs.)

4630

4820

5128

4630

Length(in)

208.2

206.7

206.6

204.7

Width(in)

75.4

74.9

74.9

76.3

Height(in)

59

58.7

58.2

56.4

Ground clearance (in)

5.0

5.8

5.8

6.4

Wheelbase (in)

124.6

126.4

126.4

122.0

Track width (in) F/R

63/63.2

63.9/63.7

63.5/64.6

65.2/64.5

The BMW Alpina B7 shares almost the same dimensions with the M760i. It’s just tenth of an inch longer, has the same width, half of an inch higher and has the same wheelbase as well. The Alpina B7 is however lighter than the M760i on account of a smaller engine. The Alpina and the M760i are midway between the Mercedes and the Porsche in terms of dimensions. They both are very well proportionate machines.

Exterior Features

  • ALPINA CLASSIC light alloy Icon Adaptive LED Headlights
  • Automatic high beams
  • Power-folding, heated side mirrors
  • Chrome accent finishes (front air intakes, rocker panel strips, rear trunk strip)
  • Choice of non-metallic or Metallic paints, including exclusive ALPINA Blue Metallic and ALPINA Green Metallic
  • ALPINA signature exhaust system with quad tailpipes
  • Specially designed ALPINA front apron, rear diffuser and rear spoiler

2020 BMW ALPINA B7 Safety

  • Adaptive Brakelights
  • BMW's Active Protection System detects imminent accidents, then prepares by automatically pretensioning safety belts, closing windows and moonroof, and activating post-crash braking; includes Fatigue and Focus Alert.
  • Front and rear Head Protection System
  • Active Front Headrests
  • Driver's and passenger's front airbag supplemental restraint system
  • 3-point safety belts with force limiters and head restraints at all seating positions
  • Seat-mounted front side-impact airbags
  • Acoustic safety-belt warning
  • Front safety belts with automatic pretensioners
  • LATCH attachments for child-restraint safety installation
  • Automatic-locking retractors
  • Impact sensor that activates Battery Safety Terminal disconnect of alternator, fuel pump and starter from battery; automatically unlocks doors; and turns on hazard and interior lights
  • Daytime Pedestrian Protection
  • Frontal Collision Warning with City Collision Mitigation
  • Speed Limit Info
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Active Blind Spot Detection
  • Rear CrossTraffic Alert
  • Programmable LED Daytime Running Lights

2020 BMW ALPINA B7 Competition

BMW Alpina B7 vs Mercedes AMG S63

The Mercedes S-class is really the benchmark in the luxury sedan segment. On the performance front, both cars are very similar indeed. The Mercedes is more powerful but the B7 series is lighter, therefore neutralizing each other’s performance. The Alpina is a still a little better to drive but the S-class has the best ride quality in the entire segment.

However, when it comes to luxury, the S-Class still remains unbeatable. The aesthetics of the S-Class and the entire ambience in the cabin is simply unmatched. The B7 is luxurious enough and with the right ergonomics and bold look inside and out, it makes for a very good package but there’s something about the S-class which exudes luxury like no other. On the upside, the B7 is better with its technology and gadgets. The Mercedes is a little more expensive than the B7 and because the B7 series makes for a better package and is also better value for money, it would be our pick of the two.

BMW Alpina B7 vs BMW M760i

The most natural competitor for the B7 is the M760i. One might even wonder why the B7 exists when there is already an M760i which has identical performance. The purpose of the B7 is its exclusivity as there are only a few Alpinas built against numerous 7 series it’s based on. What also differentiates the Alpina from the M760i is its engine. The former is powered by a V8 while the latter by a V12. We do have to admit that the engine in the M760i is sweater and also sounds better.

The M760i also looks better with its M-body kit. On the interior, both cars are mostly the same except for some ‘Alpina’ badges here and there. What really works for the B7 is that it’s much cheaper than the M760i but gives equal performance and is really exclusive for what it is. It makes better value for money and if you can look past the visual appearance, there isn’t much you would miss in the B7 that you get in the M760i. The B7 would be our pick of the two.

BMW Alpina B7 vs Porsche Panamera

The Panamera and the BMW B7 are very different cars. While one takes luxury very seriously, the other is quite performance focused. The Porsche Panamera is the fastest sedan here and being a Porsche, it naturally inherits all that dynamics and handling you would expect from a Porsche. On the down side, it rides quite firm and the feeling is nowhere close to the luxurious ride of the B7. It’s not harsh per se, but it’s significantly stiff for a luxury sedan.

The Porsche Panamera has become better looking over the years and in its present guise, it perhaps looks the most attractive. The interiors are very finely designed and it comes with a lot of technology and screens too. However, it does not feel near as luxurious as a B7 and it does not even intend to. The Panamera is about going fast with four people in an executive sedan with all creature comforts but not luxury overdone. Pricier than the Beemer, a choice between these two is pretty easy. If luxury is all you care about, get the B7. If you like going fast and if you really want to enjoy driving your executive sedan, buy the Panamera. 

2020 BMW ALPINA B7 Final Verdict

The BMW Alpina B7 is a very competent luxury sedan in the face of the M760i and even the S-Class. It looks classy, the interiors are fantastic with right ergonomics, all possible creature comforts and the right amount of technology. The engine is great and it drives fine if not as great as other BMWs, still a better driver’s car than the Mercedes.

On the down side, the ride quality is still not S-Class level and the Mercedes S-Class just has that ambience of luxury which is really unmatched by other manufacturers. That said, the B7 is a more complete package combining the right amount performance, luxury and cool quotient that comes from its exclusivity and makes for a great alternative, perhaps even better than the Mercedes S-Class.