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2021 BMW Alpina XB7 first drive overview: Doing extra with extra


The BMW X7 continues to be fairly recent available on the market, solely hitting sellers about 18 months in the past, but it surely crammed such an apparent void within the firm’s lineup it feels prefer it’s been right here perpetually. Refined, barely posh and undeniably stately, the X7 is an excellent SUV. It is also, if I am being sincere, the one machine the place BMW’s more and more swollen kidney grille works with out query. 

The X7 can also be moderately fast, in a position to get its 5,661-pound bulk to 60 mph in simply 4.5 seconds in M50i guise. You’d suppose that will be a lot sufficient for anyone, however for these fortunate few who at all times want extra — and who’ve the means — there’s Alpina. 

Meet the Alpina XB7, a giant, three-row SUV that provides a sure layer of extra to BMW’s considerably understated machine. A lot of that begins with what’s beneath the hood, with the X7’s 4.4-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 getting a little bit extra consideration than it sometimes does on the manufacturing facility. Energy goes from the 523 horsepower within the M50i as much as a whopping 612 within the XB7, whereas torque hops from 553 pound-feet to 590. That oomph is balanced by extra airflow within the type of further radiators and an enlarged transmission cooler, with the majority of the warmth venting through a brand new sport exhaust. 

That exhaust’s quad, chromed suggestions poke out by means of a revised bumper, a part of a collection of delicate however efficient visible tweaks that assist proceed the X7’s appreciable silhouette nearer to the bottom. A set of 21-inch wheels comes normal, whereas the Alpina-spec, 23-inch monsters you see in these photographs are non-obligatory. 

I do not find out about you, however whereas I really like the best way these large rollers fill out the look of the automobile, I cringe after I take into consideration how they’re going to deal with the decidedly rural roads in upstate New York. I am pleasantly shocked to report that the XB7 feels each bit as compliant because the common X7, and but on the contact of the button the rig will decrease itself by 1.6 inches. On this Sport Plus mode the automobile is not precisely sprightly, however it’s shockingly poised; the Alpina taste including bespoke dampers, lively antiroll bars and extra chassis bracing. This all leads to a package deal way more responsive than it actually has any proper to be.

Hope you want crystal.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

As spectacular as that’s, the ability supply is much more so. For sure the XB7 has enormous energy and is extremely keen, however the tune of the throttle curve and the best way that energy is delivered makes this SUV remarkably simple to drive easily. That is completely key in any three-row machine, even one with greater than 600 hp, and it is excellent news that this elementary side is maintained right here. 

Dig just a bit deeper into the throttle, although, and the massive XB7 surges ahead with easy competence, as if a Class 5 hurricane have been pushing it alongside. Regardless of all of the turbo plumbing, throttle response is great, and the outright energy is intoxicating, helped by a sport exhaust that’s delicate but partaking in all of the ways in which BMW’s present choices typically usually are not. 

On the within, the inside sees a number of selection upgrades, with open-pore wooden on the sprint now paired with an extra of crystal highlights on the shifter and rotary controller, plus no scarcity of Alpina badges scattered all through. Not even your passengers within the again could have any doubt about whether or not you paid further for this one. 

The look actually works.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

And the way a lot will you be paying? The BMW Alpina XB7 begins at $142,295 after $995 for vacation spot. The mannequin you see right here has a number of selection upgrades — like $1,950 for the Ametrin Metallic paint, $2,600 for the 23-inch wheels and $3,400 for the Bowers & Wilkins sound system — for a complete worth of $156,345. By the use of context, that is roughly twice the price of a base BMW X7 xDrive40i, with its paltry 355 hp. 

Whether or not or not that is sound math is fully as much as you and your funds however, ignoring that monetary premium, the XB7 provides a remarkably cohesive set of upgrades utilized to an already stellar SUV, one that did not really feel prefer it was missing within the first place.

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