A luxo-barge capable of nearly triple the UK speed limit, you say? Alpina’s got you covered…
Motor shows. Normally the ideal opportunity for a carmaker to drop a stinging ‘shots fired’ moment at its rivals with huge claims of speed, power and prestige. Fittingly for a brand that specialises in under-the-radar, Q-car cool, Alpina’s done something a little different with the new B7 BiTurbo. See, it’s just gone on sale in the UK, and Alpina’s quietly admitted it’s quite a lot faster than they told us it was at the Geneva show.
To recap, Alpina originally stated that their new big bad 7 Series would top out at 311kph, thanks to a, er, BiTurbo 4.4-litre V8, developing 592bhp. We don’t remember anyone storming off their stand complaining either of those numbers was pathetic. That’s pretty much Audi R8 V10 performance.
Still, Alpina’s had a fiddle, done some high-speed testing and the new B7 BiTurbo has arrived in right-hand drive in the UK with 600bhp and a top whack of 330kph. As near as dammit three times the national speed limit in the UK (and Malaysia)! – we think you can call that job done now, guys.
As BMW has no plans to make a true ‘M7’ – the M760Li is as close as you’ll get, and that’s a more relaxed, V12 proposition – Alpina’s B7 is the only BMW-shaped option for AMG-allergists and Panamera-phobes. Its engine has had a thorough workover to improve breathing, there are new pistons, intercoolers and extra radiators, and the eight-speed automatic gearbox has beefed-up gear clusters to cope with the stress.
As a result, it’ll do 0-100kph in 4.0 seconds, which is seriously rapid for a two-tonne canal boat with massaging seats, ambient lighting and rear-wheel drive (the continental version gets AWD, and can do a 3.6sec sprint). It’s even more impressive when you really scrutinise the specs and note the UK is only getting the long-wheelbase B7. All that extra legroom, reclining seats, and it’ll still edge a Porsche 911 Carrera GTS away from the lights. Not that we would encourage merchant bankers to behave like that in the Square Mile, oh no.
That’s a relevant target market because the price is another substantial number: £115,000, or RM643,000. The B7 doesn’t want for equipment, though, and as we have mentioned in passing, it is extremely fast. The less obvious uber saloon of choice, perhaps?