Engine: 4.4-liter biturbo V-8 | Power: 600 hp | Zero to 60 mph: 3.6 seconds | Top speed: 193 mph | Starting price: $137,995
Offering luxury without compromising performance.
The German tuner Alpina begins with the latest-generation BMW 7 Series and modifies the 4.4-liter biturbo V-8 so that it cranks out 600 hp, thus creating what Ari Rubenstein proclaimed “the ultimate car for the BMW enthusiast.”
Mike Davis called the four-wheel-drive Alpina B7 a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” and Lisa Clark said, “It’s a shark inside of a whale’s body.” Regardless of one’s preferred wildlife analogy, the car is indeed a different animal from the standard 7 Series. In addition to tuning the engine, Alpina fits the B7 with new front and rear bumpers and gleaming 20-spoke chrome wheels, and it offers a choice of exclusive paint colors that include its signature metallic green or blue.
The B7 is the consummate executive sedan. It can carry three passengers in comfort while entertaining the driver with power and agility. “It offers luxury without compromising performance,” said Adam Simms.
The interior is a step above the 7 Series’s, with hand-finished quilted and perforated leather, blue-and-green stitching on the leather-covered sport steering wheel, and a special instrument cluster that lights up in different colors for each driving mode. The cabin impressed Candy Bhappu, who said, “It’s like driving your living room around.” Ricky Novak noted its unusual spaciousness, especially the rear seating area: “Shaq and LeBron could both fit in the backseat with room to spare.”
“BMW’s big sedans are driver’s cars. The Alpina provenance and rarity makes this 7 Series even better.” —Robert Ross