Buchloe, Germany - At this stage BMW hasn’t seen any sense in building a full-blown M version of its full-sized X7, although that’s probably because there isn’t any sense in introducing an X7 M.
But sense isn’t always a consideration at this end of the market (why do you think the G63 AMG exists?) and there will always be those fans wishing for an M version of their preferred BMW. And now Alpina has created a beastly behemoth called the XB7 for those who were praying for that aforementioned X7 M.
Currently announced for the US market only, the Alpina XB7 is based on the X7 M50i, with its 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 modified to produce 456kW and 800Nm, up from the standard car’s 390kW/750Nm, and also coming within a hair of the X5 M’s 460kW tally.
Alpina promises “linear and responsive power delivery across the entire engine speed range”, with maximum torque produced between 2000 and 5000rpm and peak power in the 5500 to 6600rpm range.
“The engine’s character is best described as early, torque-filled urgency followed by a surge of mid-range power and a hard charge to redline,” Alpina says.
Sounds impressive so far, but what does this mean on the street?
According to Alpina, the XB7 will flatten the quarter mile in 12.6 seconds and accelerate from zero to 60mph (96km/h) in four seconds flat. The top speed is limited to 288km/h, when the vehicle is fitted with 21-inch rims.
This conversion involved more than just software tinkering, with Alpina having optimised the turbocharging and cooling systems. Two twin-scroll turbochargers with 2.1 inch turbines allow near-instantaneous conversion of exhaust gas energy into boost pressure, even at low engine speeds, while the cooling system benefits from two additional external water coolers, an enlarged transmission oil cooler and a low-temperature cooling system with Alpina-specific intercoolers.
The vehicle also gets an Alpina sport exhaust system, which promises a wicked soundtrack.
Power goes to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission, with Alpina having modified the electronics and mechatronics of the ZF gearbox.
The Alpina XB7 also features an electronically-controlled active limited slip differential on the rear axle and also gets a modified suspension system, with an Alpina-specific damper and kinematic set-up. Furthermore, an Alpina dome-bulkhead strut and reinforced torsion struts increase body rigidity.
The vehicle rides on 21-inch Alpina Dynamic alloy wheels, but customers can also opt for 23-inch wheels if the standard Alpina option cramps their style.
The Alpina XB7 is also set apart by a range of exterior and interior design enhancements, including an iDrive controller in crystal glass with laser-etched Alpina logo.