2021 BMW ALPINA XB7
The BMW X7 resides at the top of the German car company’s SUV lineup, offering the most space within incredibly luxurious surroundings. Now the good folks at ALPINA — the Bavarian auto manufacturer that made a name for itself by reconfiguring high-performance BMW vehicles — have had their way with this big SUV and are introducing the all-new ALPINA XB7. This is the first Sports Activity Vehicle (BMW’s term, not ours) that ALPINA has ever offered in the U.S., and it will join the ALPINA B7 when it arrives this fall. Similar to other ALPINA models, the XB7 adds high levels of luxury and performance to the already impressive BMW X7.
When it comes to exterior styling, ALPINA sticks with subtle updates to the standard BMW X7, although the changes are both attractive and functional. Up front, larger air intakes improve airflow to the engine, and lower bodywork emblazoned with ALPINA lettering reduces lift for improved high-speed stability. At the rear, dual twin tailpipes integrate well with the bumper for some stylistic flair.
The ALPINA XB7 comes with 21-inch ALPINA DYNAMIC wheels as standard equipment; however, the big SUV can also be fitted with optional 23-inch forged alloy wheels that feature a classic 20-spoke ALPINA design. Both come with high performance tires, but the 23 inch wheels get shod with Pirelli P Zero 285/35ZR23 front and 325/3ZR23 rear high-performance tires specifically developed for the ALPINA XB7.
Under the Hood
The ALPINA XB7 is powered by a 4.4-liter biturbo V8 engine delivering 612 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque available from 2000 to 5000 rpm. With that much power and excellent traction, the XB7 can sprint to 60 mph in 4 seconds with an ultimate top speed of 180 mph. The XB7 is bound to make some appreciable noise as well, thanks to an all-new stainless steel ALPINA sport exhaust system.
Given its the ability to reach high speeds quickly, the hefty XB7 requires proper stopping power. Front wheels have Brembo 4-piston fixed brake calipers with 15.5-inch brake discs, while the rears get floating brake calipers and 15.7-inch discs. Brake calipers are finished in ALPINA Blue with the ALPINA logo in white.
All-Wheel Drive, Steering
The standard all-wheel-drive system in the XB7 is based on BMW’s Intelligent xDrive, which variably distributes torque front and rear for excellent traction. Further aiding handling is an Active Kinematics Control System that allows the rear wheels to pivot up to 2.3 degrees in either direction. At low speeds the wheels turn opposite the front steering direction for better maneuverability, while at higher speeds the wheels turn in the same direction as the front steering direction for improved stability.
The BMW ALPINA XB7 features a 2-axle air suspension system that improves both driving dynamics and ride comfort. At speeds — below 19 mph — the vehicle can be raised 1.6 inches to improve ground clearance; at higher speeds the ride height can be lowered either manually or based on speed. At 100 mph the XB7 drops by 0.8 inches, and when it reaches 155 mph it drops a further 0.8 inches. This lowers the center of gravity and changes the suspension geometry for increased handling and road holding ability.
ALPINA models are not simply about performance upgrades — they also upgrade the level of luxury in an already luxurious BMW SUV. The XB7 comes with a long list of standard equipment that includes Merino Leather trim, multicontour seats, soft-close doors, an Alcantara headliner, Myrtlewood trim and a panoramic glass sunroof. Also available is the Panorama Sky Lounge LED Roof, which uses more than 15,000 graphic patterns to simulate a starlit sky at night.
The XB7 can be configured for six or seven occupants — the six-person option puts two individual captain’s chairs in the second row. There’s also plenty of room for luggage in the large cargo area. The vehicle can be lowered by up to 2.0 inches for easier loading.
Other standout items on the 2021 BMW ALPINA XB7 include a unique ALPINA sport steering wheel trimmed in LAVALINA leather with trademark blue/green stitching; illuminated ALPINA door sills; an ALPINA production plaque; and an exclusive ALPINA design on the iDrive controller. A full-color 12.3-inch digital instrument display features ALPINA design elements and a high-resolution 12.3-inch touchscreen display located at the center.
The all-new 2021 BMW ALPINA XB7 has a base price of $141,300 and will be produced at BMW’s assembly plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Orders are being accepted now with deliveries expected to start in September.