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German tuner Alpina gets their hand on a BMW X7 and kicks it up a notch, or two
Alpina has a long tradition of taking standard BMWs and giving them a shot in the arm. While they’re rarely ever as crazy as Brabus tuned cars can be, Alpina makes the cars just right and the recipe is simple — more power, more luxury, tuning the suspension and a subtle body kit. The BMW Alpina XB7 is no different. The X7’s V8 produces slightly more power in the XB7, it gets more standard equipment and has an even more imposing face than the standard car. If you see this in your rear-view mirror, just move aside.
We love fast SUVs. They can pin you to your seat, they are imposing on the road, and while they usually aren’t too good off-road, they can certainly handle potholes better than a sportscar. The X7 M50i that serves as the base for the XB7 is no slouch — 0 to 100kmph in 4.5 seconds, thanks to a healthy 515bhp and 750Nm of torque from the 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8. However, Alpina has given that engine a bit more zing. Power is bumped up to 604bhp while torque goes up to 800Nm. With a 0-100kmph time of 4 seconds, the XB7 is faster to 100kmph than the much lighter BMW M2 Competition! The gearbox is an eight-speed ZF automatic and has been tweaked to handle the added power. The XB7 also has rear-wheel steering to aid high speed stability and low speed maneuverability. To help keep the power in check are a set of Brembo brakes, wider tyres — 285/35 ZR23 at the front and 325/30 ZR23 at the rear, if you option the larger 23-inch rims. The standard 21-inch rims are wrapped in 285/45 R21 sized rubber. The air suspension gets active roll stabilisation and retuned dampers. Additionally, the torsion struts have been beefed up and there is a new dome-bulkhead strut, all this should add up to make the XB7 a lot easier to hustle around a corner.
Mechanical upgrades aside, there’s a lot more the Alpina gets over the standard X7. The body kit includes an aggressive front bumper with larger intakes to improve cooling and ‘Alpina’ branding on the lower lip. The rear bumper is reworked too and features quad exhaust pipes sitting proudly, no fakery going on here. On the inside, the BMW logos have been swapped for Alpina ones and there is more kit as standard, including soft close doors, an Alcantara headliner and a panoramic sunroof. If you’d rather see your own customised sky, there is a starlight headliner on offer, no Cullinan necessary.
The BMW Alpina XB7 takes a very good, fast SUV and makes it even better and even faster. At 2658kg, the XB7 is no Superleggera but on a public road it is probably just as fast, and that’s the point of these things. Oodles of power, supple ride to tackle the worst of roads and a seating position that makes you feel like your SUV can eat the hatchback in front of you for lunch. It’s all the car you’ll ever need, and more.