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This wide power band coupled with the six-speed sport automatic transmission
gives the driver remarkably high levels of power and capability in every driving
situation. The Alpina SWITCH-TRONIC transmission control offers tailored shift
characteristics for every driver and situation thanks to its Sport and Manual
modes. To manually select the gears of the automatic transmission, the driver
may use buttons found on the back of the Alpina-tailored steering wheel. This
results in shifts which take place in a few hundred milliseconds with minimal
Ending in two polished double-tailpipes, the
stainless-steel Alpina exhaust system offers up that deep and sonorous yet not
intrusive V8 sound that enthusiasts have come to expect from Alpina.
Chassis & Suspension
The BMW Alpina B7 builds on the state-of-the-art
adaptive suspension technologies of the 7 Series, including tuned Dynamic
Damping Control and Active Roll Stabilization, to the demanding requirements of
a high performance sedan. Long gone are the days when a purely "hard and sporty"
ride was a sought-after attribute of suspension set-ups. Striving for truly
neutral handling continues to be the goal, yielding the best of what is
technologically feasible. In pursuit of this goal, shorter and uniquely
calibrated springs reduce front and rear ride height by 15mm and 10mm
respectively. Dynamic Damping Control and Active Roll Stabilization enable the
driver to select from three distinct suspension set-ups: Comfort, Normal and
Sport. These are intentionally calibrated to provide noticeably different
set-ups, influencing the characteristic of the dampers, the Active Roll
Stabilization as well as the parameters of the power steering assist, throttle
response algorithms and load-reversal damping. The Sport-Plus mode automatically
shifts the Dynamic Stability Control system into Dynamic Traction Control (DTC).
This allows noticeably more slip at the driven wheels and delayed intervention
by the traction control system.
Together with the 21" wheel and tire
combination, the suspension is at once sensitive to inputs and direct in its
feel, yet free from the harshness of a purely sports-oriented suspension. The
light-weight 21" wheels, with their new interpretation of the Alpina CLASSIC
wheel design, are shod with a specially selected staggered MICHELIN PS2 tire
set-up: 245/35 R21 front and 285/30 R21 rear.
The result is that the BMW
Alpina B7 captures an agility associated with much smaller sedans, while
preserving the ride quality associated with the BMW 7 Series.
The B7 sedan is finished with Alpina aerodynamic
developments, including front and rear spoilers which not only enhance the
appearance but also improve stability and performance at high speeds. In true
"form-follows-function" fashion, the Alpina front integrates the fresh-air
requirements of the transmission and engine oil coolers, which are separated out
of the main cooler module for improved efficiency. The spoilers reduce lift at
the front by 30% and rear by 15%. The exhaust system's two double tailpipes are
seamlessly integrated into the rear bumper. The newest evolution of the
traditional 20-spoke Alpina CLASSIC wheels gives the B7 a distinctive appearance
and powerful stance.
The interior of the B7 sedan features Alpina blue
illuminated door sill trims, the SWITCH-TRONIC steering wheel in hand-stitched
LAVALINA leather, and the Black-Panel LCD screen instrument cluster branded with
Alpina. Exclusive interior luxury wood trim in the form of Myrtle Burl, a
knotted burl of the Laurel only found on the Pacific Coast of the United States,
provides a warm and traditional ambience. Optional Alpina Piano Lacquer interior
trim with its silver diagonal rhombs, offers a modern alternative.
full complement of BMW 7 Series exterior colors remains available, in addition
to the signature Alpina Blue metallic paint.
Discreet metal Alpina
emblems adorn the upper seatbacks of the standard leather Comfort seats and are
inlayed in the wood trim. An additional Alpina plaque indentifying the car is
mounted on the inner roof panel just ahead of the sunroof. Even the engine bay
carries a subtle signature by tidily presenting itself with a newly-designed
Alpina engine cover.
Alpina and BMW, A History of Synergy
Alpina - a name famous in Europe and the wider world for putting a particular
performance accent on BMWs, though not yet so well-known in North America. BMW -
a name famous all over the world for motor vehicles of performance, quality,
luxury and safety.
The two companies, both at home in the German state of
Bavaria, have a long history of working together to produce special BMW
automobiles. Burkard Bovensiepen, son of the founder of Alpina Business Machines
and an enthusiastic racing driver/engineer, began his automotive career path in
1961 by developing a dual-carburetor setup for the just-introduced BMW 1500
sedan. It was a predictive beginning: to take an already fine-performing BMW
(which also just happened to be a practical sedan) and making it perform even
By 1964, BMW had officially recognized Alpina's contribution to
BMW performance. Not long thereafter, Burkard Bovensiepen founded the Alpina
company - Alpina Burkard Bovensiepen KG - that continues today, creating special
versions of BMW automobiles that offer a particular brand of performance for
discriminating auto enthusiasts. Yet outside the circle of dedicated BMW
enthusiasts, Alpina has kept a low profile in North America. In addition to
racing versions of BMWs, Alpina has developed a progression of BMW-based cars
based on 3, 5, 6, 8, Z4 and Z8 models and offered them on a limited-production
basis. Alpina is located in the small Bavarian city of Buchloe, some 50 miles
southwest of Munich, BMW's headquarters city and the capital of Bavaria.
The B7 is the newest manifestation of the unique BMW-Alpina synergy - once again
based on the BMW 7 Series luxury sedan. Currently, BMW offers ultra-performance
models of its 3, 5, 6, X5 and X6 Series developed by BMW M, BMW's own
performance subsidiary. For an ultra-performance version of the 7 Series - a
vehicle defined by luxury and generous interior space - something other than "M"
performance character was called for.
In recent models, Alpina has
concentrated on delivering very high levels of performance with moderate rpm
ranges and automatic transmission. Most appropriately, the new BMW Alpina B7
applies this philosophy to the newest 7 Series to produce a luxury sedan of
stunning performance. "A 7 Series Beyond," one might say.
BMW Alpina B7: Photo Gallery, Review (1/2) and Specifications