Monday, September 16, 2013

2007 BMW Alpina B7

Mac's 07 Alpina B7

Although relatively obscure in North America, Alpina has long been a top BMW tuner in Europe. While the tuner offers potent power packages for 3 and 5 Series Bimmers, BMW won't promote Alpina wares as it would be in direct competition with those of its popular M3 and M5 super screamers. Yet, with no plan to produce an M7, BMW has teamed with Alpina to offer a dealership-sold tuner 7 Series.  The BMW Alpina B7 offers M-like upgrades of power, handling, and style for a car that delivers a huge performance gain while retaining a luxurious ride. 

Similar to the new M5, the B7 delivers a stout 500 horsepower due to an 11.5psi boost delivered from an Alpina-engineered centrifugal supercharger system paired with an intercooler. Unlike most centrifugal superchargers, Alpina's operates in total silence. A special crankshaft, upgraded connecting rods, heavy duty pistons, and unique head gaskets ensure the V-8 engine can withstand repeated high-boost forays. Larger-capacity fuel injectors, special spark plugs, and custom computer calibration maintain the air/fuel mixture according to spec. 

A unique exhaust system employs metallic catalysts (versus traditional ceramic type) to keep the exhaust flowing fast and clean. Alpina's massive 21x9.0-inch front, 21x10.5-inch rear 20-spoke alloy wheels, wearing Pirelli P Zero Nero with 245/35ZR21on the front and on the rear 285/30ZR21 tires, increase ventilation for the European 760i-spec 14.7-inch-diameter brakes fit to the B7

Out back, an Alpina-engineered rear differential incorporates an oil cooler and heavy-duty bearings.  Bodywork upgrades include a unique front bumper and lower chin spoiler, a new rear bumper, a tasteful trunklid spoiler, and Alpina B7 badges. The look is subtle and, best of all, the chin spoiler doesn't rub as is common with many aftermarket spoilers. Inside, a special Alpina-spec instrument cluster, floormats, doorsills, and steering wheel combine with interior components normally offered only in the V-12 760i.

 A stock 7 Series is heavy, and with a cache of aftermarket parts things get porkier. However, despite the lofty 4703-pound curb weight, the blown B7 vaporizes the quarter mile in 12.8 seconds -- which beats a new Porsche Carrera S. The B7's handling isn't radically better, but is noticeably crisper and more predictable when aggressively pushed. Around town, despite wafer-thin 35-series tire sidewalls, the B7 rides astonishingly smoothly. The most noteworthy part of the Alpina B7 package is that it's covered by a full BMW warranty, and you can buy/finance it directly from your local BMW dealer -- just like its other M cars. 

Stock BMW 750i BMW Alpina B7
Power/torque360 hp/360 lb-ft             500 hp/516 lb-ft
0-60 mph5.8 sec4.5 sec
0-100 mph15.5 sec10.4 sec
Quarter mile14.0 sec @ 101.7 mph12.8 sec @ 110.9 mph
Braking, 60-0 mph110 ft111 ft

Read more: