2018 BMW ALPINA B7

#3
in Sedans
2018 MODEL

8.7

Overall Rating

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Detailed Review

Founded in Germany in 1965, Alpina has close ties with BMW, like a tuner or an aftermarket service provider. The reputation of Alpina is such, that even the German government recognizes Alpina as a legitimate manufacturer. Their latest offering, the 2018 Alpina B7, is causing quite a stir in the market.

The 2018 BMW Alpina B7 is based on the BMW 7-series luxury saloon platform. It is a limousine car, long, heavy, and extremely comfy. But the Alpina is a bit different than the other 7-series models. Instead of a production-spec engine, the B7 gets a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 that churns out 600 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. The engine is hand-assembled by Alpina in their factory.

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Pros

Rear-wheel steering enhances car stability

Technology like Road Preview Drive and Active comfort drive

Cons

Extra weight lowers the fuel economy

Minimal steering feedback

What's New?

No major changes


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$138800

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

top speed

193 mph

drivetrain

AWD

engine type

displacement

268 cu. in.

horsepower

600 hp @ 5750 rpm

torque

590 lb.-ft. @ 3000 rpm

transmission

8-speed automatic

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

14.5 in. ventilated disc brakes/15.5 in. ventilated disc brakes

dimensions

wheelbase

126.4 in.

length

206.7 in.

width

74.9 in.

height

58.7 in.

curb weight

4820 lbs.

ground clearance

5.3 in.

capacity

cargo volume

18.2 cu ft.

performance

zero to 60 mph

3.4 sec.

zero to 100 mph

7.8 sec.

rolling start (5-60 mph)

4.3 sec.

standing ¼-mile

11.6 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

151 ft.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

16/19/25 mpg

highway range

515 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

4 years/50000 miles

drivetrain warranty

4 years/50000 miles

corrosion warranty

12 years/unlimited

roadside assistance

yes


Pictures & Videos


Ratings

Features

9.6

Engine

9.9

Fuel Economy

6.1

Interior

6.6

Exterior

9.9

8.7

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2018 BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive

xDrive

power
600 hp @ 5750 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
19 combined

$138,800


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (4.4L 8cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $138,800 MSRP (16/19/25) 600 hp @ 5750 rpm, 4.4 L, V8, premium unleaded (required)
See Full Specs
8-speed automatic all wheel drive 5

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Expert Review


CARHP Editorial September 21, 2018

8.7

Overall Rating


9.6/10
Features

 

9.9/10
Engine

 

6.1/10
Fuel Economy

 

6.6/10
Interior

 

9.9/10
Exterior

 
 
 
 

In the United States, Alpina cars are sold with full warranties through BMW dealers, which means good and reliable service at all times. The Alpina is a great car for you to consider in this segment.

2018 BMW ALPINA B7 Features

9.6/10

The Alpina B7 is available in only a single trim, which costs $139,350 and has 600 Horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque coming out of a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 powertrain. The engine in the B7 is just as powerful as the V12 in the top of the range BMW M760i. For the price, you get a lot of features, such as Adaptive suspension, Rearview camera, Heads up display, and other such features.

Trim Name XDrive
MSRP $139,350
Key Features Adaptive Air Suspension
  Active Comfort Drive with Road Preview System
  LED headlights with auto high beams
  Heated and power-folding side mirrors
  Soft-close doors
  Parking sensors
  Rearview camera
  20-way power-adjustable front seats
  Premium leather upholstery
  Heated rear seats
  BMW's iDrive interface with a 10.2-inch display
  Head-up display
  Adjustable ambiance lighting
  Four-zone climate control
  Panoramic sunroof
  16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system
  A one-year subscription to Apple CarPlay support
  Wireless phone charging
  Wi-Fi hotspot
  Key fob with an LCD touchscreen
  Surround-view parking camera system
  Automated parallel and perpendicular parking

 

We recommend

There is no choice of trim, just one feature filled, loaded to the brim with luxury. The rear seat comfort is unparalleled. The ride quality of the Alpina model is also much smoother and much suppler than the standard 7-series sedan.

2018 BMW ALPINA B7 Engine

9.9/10

"Flattening the B7’s go pedal is awe-inspiring, like being hurled from an invisible trebuchet, the all-wheel-drive system laying down the prodigious torque as the car rockets away in a furious rush of boost and dust and echoing exhaust."-automobilemag

Engine and transmission

The 2018 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive sedan is powered by a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 that churns out 600 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. It uses an Alpina dual-mode exhaust and up to 20 psi of boost to create its bonkers max power, although there is no urgency to it. The feels relaxed in nature, and there is a lot of torque in the bottom and midrange.

The Engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission and a brilliant 4-wheel drive system. The 4-wheel drive system helps the Alpina have better acceleration and grip when compared to the standard model and the competition. This is especially helpful to keep the insane torque in check.

Models BMW Alpina B7 xDrive Sedan Audi S8 Plus Mercedes-Benz AMG S 63 4MATIC
MSRP $139,350 $115,900 $147,500
Engine 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 4-liter twin-turbocharged V8
Transmission 8-speed automatic 8-speed automatic 9-speed automatic
Power 600hp @ 5750rpm 605hp @ 6100rpm 603hp @ 5500rpm
Torque 590 lb.-ft. @ 590rpm 517 lb.-ft. @ 1750rpm 664 lb.-ft. @ 2750

The direct competition to the BMW Alpina B7 is from the Audi S8 and the Mercedes-Benz S-class. To compete with the Alpina, the Audi and the Mercedes bring out their performance variants too, offering just over 600 horsepower just like the Alpina B7. The Mercedes however, makes the most amount of torque from its AMG mill but does so at relatively higher revs.

Acceleration

BMW Alpina B7 takes 3.6 seconds to reach to 60 mph from a standstill, while it completes the quarter mile run in just a little under 12 seconds. The pedal also feels spongy, with the throttle response somewhat slow. The acceleration times are really impressive, especially considering the weight of the car, but they aren’t class leading, as the competition manages to beat the Alpina in both these regards.

Models BMW Alpina B7 xDrive Audi S8 Plus Mercedes AMG S 63 4MATIC
0-60 MPH 3.6 sec 3.3 sec 3.4 sec
Quarter mile 11.9 sec 11.6 sec 11.6 sec
Engine Displacement 4.4L 4L 4L

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

9.3 9.8 8.8

The Mercedes AMG S63 is surprisingly quick for its size, clocking in at about 3.4 seconds to 60 mph from a standstill, which is even quicker than the BMW Alpina. The Audi S8 is quicker still, managing 3.3 seconds for the same. Quarter mile time is identical for both the Audi and the Mercedes at 11.6 seconds.

Ride and Handling

The Alpina is not a performance sedan, which becomes evident once you pin the throttle to the floor. You aren’t met with the usual, angry exhaust note of a performance V8. Instead, you get a quiet, relatively muted engine sound along with a massive push in a forward direction. There is all-wheel steering available, which is tuned aggressively for better handling. The steering wheel offers little feedback, and so do the brakes.

As for the competition, none of the cars in question are made for the racetrack, although they wouldn’t be the worst choice either. All three can hold their ground against smaller and lighter sports cars in a straight line. Cornering is a different story though, and maneuverability is heavily compromised.

Braking

The Braking department in the BMW Alpina B7 xDrive is handled by 15.5 inch and 14.5-inch disc brakes at the front and rear respectively. The Alpina comes to a halt from 70 mph in 151 feet, which is surprisingly impressive, since the B7 is the heaviest car amongst the competition. Sadly, the brake pedal provides next to no feedback, which hinders the driving feel.

Model BMW Alpina B7 xDrive Audi S8 Plus Mercedes-Benz AMG S63
Brake Front(in) 15.5 15.7 15.4
Brake Rear(in) 14.5 14 14.4
Curb weight (lbs.) 4820 4685 4564
70-0 MPH (ft.) 151 156 157

The competition is slower in the braking department, even though they are much lighter than the BMW Alpina B7. The Audi gives tough competition to the Alpina in terms of steering feedback, with the wheel feeling numb in your hand. The Mercedes is a much better driving car with ample feedback from the steering and brakes.

2018 BMW ALPINA B7 Fuel Economy

6.1/10

When not driving around with a heavy foot, the BMW Alpina B7 can also return a very decent fuel economy. You’d have to choose to drive in the ‘Eco’ mode, which dulls the throttle response and reduces power output. The Alpina can manage to run for 16 miles in the city on a single gallon of gasoline and 25 miles on the highway on the same amount of fuel, thus bringing the total efficiency figure to a surprisingly efficient 20 mpg.

Model BMW Alpina B7 xDrive Audi S8 Plus Mercedes-Benz AMG S63
mpg (city) 16 14 17
mpg (highway) 25 24 26
mpg (combined) 20 18.5 21

All the cars in this segment are big, heavy luxury saloons that were only meant to ferry people around in style. They have no need to be efficient, and yet they still are. The AMG S63 is slightly more efficient than the Alpina, managing a mile more in both the city and the highway. The Audi falls behind in the efficiency figures, although not by much.

2018 BMW ALPINA B7 Interior

6.6/10

"The fundamentals of the B7's interior, from getting inside to getting comfortable to seeing out, are stellar. And while you can get familiar with the bulk of the interior controls, the reliance on touch-sensitive switches and abundance of adjustments can be a source of frequent frustration."-Edmunds

Seating and Comfort

The Alpina scores a win in the interiors department. The beautifully crafted leather interiors are gorgeous in look and touch, with wood inserts on the dash that give it a premium feel. The seats are extremely plush and comfy and coupled with the ride quality, making for a brilliant and comfortable drive.

It can seat 4 people in extreme comfort and If the middle passenger in the back can manage sitting with their feet on either side of the transmission tunnel for the entire duration of the ride, well, then it can seat 5 people in extreme comfort.

Model BMW Alpina B7 Audi S8 Mercedes-Benz AMG S63
Passenger capacity 5 5 5
Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 39.9/61.2/41.4 37.2/59.1/41.4 39.7/59.7/41.4
Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 38.1/57.8/38.7 38.9/61/44.4 39.2/59.1/43

The Audi A8 is an extremely spacious car on its own merits, loses to the competition. It gets bright beige interiors though, which make it feel very roomy.  The Mercedes comes in second, offering great space both in the front and at the rear, along with the AMG black leather interiors, which are very comfortable

Infotainment

The BMW Alpina B7 comes loaded with BMW’s iDrive 6 infotainment system which has a 10.2-inch touchscreen in the front with Apple CarPlay (as an option) but not Android Auto. Standard features include the following

  • Navigation
  • 3D Maps
  • AUX
  • Bluetooth
  • Voice Activation

Optional feature for the Infotainment system include:

  • Rear seat entertainment with two 9.2-inch color touch screens
  • radar cruise control with semi-autonomous driving
  • 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.

Cargo Volume

The BMW disappoints a little when we talk about the cargo space but is still better than its rivals. Being a long luxury limo, it is supposed to be spacious everywhere, but the trunk space is a little cramped for its size. The car offers just 18.2 cubic feet of trunk capacity which is good for weekend luggage of two, holding up to four large bags.

Model BMW Alpina B7 xDrive Audi S8 Mercedes-Benz AMG S63
Volume (ft.3) 18.2 14.2 18

The AMG S63 has nearly the same amount of cargo space as the Alpina, which is disappointing, but adequate. The Audi loses out on space in the rear, which is quite a huge deal. The Audi is able to carry only 3 bags in the trunk, which means weekend getaways need to be planned tightly.

2018 BMW ALPINA B7 Exterior

9.9/10

"The company dressed the 7 Series with eye-popping 20-inch wheels, LED head- and foglights, and custom exhaust. It's imposing yet not overwrought...

...Even if some of these custom treatments might be a bit gaudy, the Alpina Blue paint tempers everything to communicate luxury tastefully. It's always memorable to drive an Alpina."-Autoblog

Dimensions and Weight

The Alpina is a huge car, in terms of both dimensions and weight. It is an extremely long car, over 200 inches. The ground clearance is modest at best, a little over 5 inches, with the wheelbase measuring in at just a smidge over 126 inches. These sorts of dimension make it hard to negotiate tight parking spaces, although driving along the backroads won’t let you feel the size.

After seating two adults, the Alpina weighs in at 4820 pounds, which is extremely heavy for any car. There is a lot of mass to lug around, although thanks to its clever engineering, it’s been masked pretty well. The engine is pushed back behind the front axle, thus making this a front-mid engine car.

Model BMW Alpina B7 Audi S8 Mercedes-Benz AMG S63
Curb Weight (lbs.) 4820 4685 4564
Length (in) 206.6 202.6 208.2
Width (in) 74.8 76.7 75.4
Height (in) 58.2 57.4 59
Ground clearance (in) 5.3 4.5 5.5
Wheelbase (in) 126.4 117.9 124.6
Track width (in) F/R 63.7 / 64.8 64.3 / 63.9 63 / 63.2

The competition is both lighter and smaller than the Alpina, which works wonders for them. The Audi is simply the easiest to manage out of the three, both in the city and out on the highway.

Exterior features

There are a lot of design elements that differentiate the B7 from its competition.

  • Horizontal air-scoop design across the front bumper.
  • BMW’s signature kidney grill
  • Quad-pipe exhaust at the rear
  • Chrome lined doors

There are some not-so-unique external features as well, like Daytime running LEDs and body-colored side mirrors.

2018 BMW ALPINA B7 Safety

The Alpina B7 xDrive is one of the most equipped cars when it comes to safety. The best feature of the 2018 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive is the Coded Driveaway Protection which does not allow any other key to start the engine of your car making it even safer from theft. Some more features are listed below:

  • Adaptive Brake lights
  • BMW's Active Protection System detects imminent accidents, then prepares by automatically pre-tensioning safety belts, closing windows and moonroof, and activating post-crash braking; includes Attention Assistant feature
  • Front and rear Head Protection System (HPS)
  • Active Front Headrests
  • Driver's and passenger's front airbag supplemental restraint system (SRS) with advanced technology: dual-threshold, dual-stage deployment; and front-passenger-seat sensors designed to prevent unnecessary airbag deployment
  • 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 pre-tensioners
  • Active Knee Protection
  • LATCH attachment for child-restraint safety installation
  • Automatic-locking retractors (ALR) on all passenger-seat safety belts (for installation of child-restraint seats)
  • 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
  • Active Driving Assistant includes Daytime Pedestrian Protection, Frontal Collision Warning with City Collision Mitigation, Speed Limit Info, Lane Departure Warning, Active Blind Spot Detection, and rear cross-traffic Alert
  • Anti-theft alarm system
  • Programmable LED Daytime Running Lights
  • Coded Driveaway Protection
  • Pathway Lighting feature, programmable via Advanced Vehicle & Key Memory
  • BMW Assist eCall includes Emergency Request (SOS button) and Enhanced Automatic Collision Notification
  • BMW Remote Services includes Stolen Vehicle Recovery, Remote Door Unlock, and BMW Connected App

The IIHS and NHTSA have not crash-tested the 2018 BMW Alpina B7.

2018 BMW ALPINA B7 Competition

BMW Alpina B7 VS Audi S8

The Audi S8 is a very comfortable car, one that provides unparalleled luxury in the back seat. The interiors are great, the ride is excellent, and it also has a very commanding road presence. The S8 was the best luxury saloon in the segment a few years ago, now the competition has evolved, and the Audi is now trying to play catch-up. It's also low on equipment and power, though not by much.

BMW Alpina B7 VS Mercedes-Benz AMG S63

The Mercedes-Benz S-class offers the best luxury experience by Mercedes-Benz. AMG offers the best performance by Mercedes-Benz. The Mercedes-Benz AMG S63, therefore, offers the best luxury and the best performance bundled together in a brilliant package. The Mercedes rivals and sometimes even bests the BMW Alpina B7. If you wish to own the best car in the luxury saloon segment, this is it. But it also more expensive than the BMW, and a little less value for money.

2018 BMW ALPINA B7 Final Verdict

The 2018 BMW Alpina B7 is a brilliant car, built by a great manufacturer and then enhanced by a superb tuner. The overall package is great and it does a lot of things great, although the flaws it has to feel more pronounced next to the Mercedes. The Merc has better performance and rear seat passengers get much more special attention. The Alpina interiors are better though, and it’s also much more exclusive.

If you wish to have the best car that can ferry around passengers in extreme comfort even on the racetrack, then the Mercedes is the better choice. But if you wish to have a unique car with almost the same capabilities, then nothing should stop you from buying the Alpina.