Roadshow Video Reviews
BMW Alpina B7 is an insider's secretCooley asks, Why have any 7 Series when you can have an Alpina?
[MUSIC] This is a B7. A what? It's basically a BMW but one that looks down its nose at its cousin. Had it with an m Badge on it and says I know you. Your my uncouth relative. Let's find out what's going on this side of the BMW family with the interesting badgely somewhat different look. As we an Alpina B seven based on a seven series and check the tach. [MUSIC] [NOISE] The question I've had all week from friends and family and even strangers is, what the hell is an alpina. They said it's a BMW 7 series. And it is, it's based on one. But these are handed over to tuning house Alpina in Germany, Which creates this, the B7. You see a different body kit, you see a lot of detail trim, and you see those gorgeous wheels. This has been their hallmark since the 1970s. But what they do is they take the brawn and filter it through a different kind of grace. The interesting comparison on this car is not with an S630 ANG or an Audi S8, but with its cousin. The M760i. [BLANK_AUDIO] Now, it uses a twin turbo V12 instead of our V8. They get the same horse power, the same torque, but notice on the M760i the torque comes on sooner and fatter. Doesn't change zero to 60 much, partly cuz the Alpino weighs quite a bit less. By the way, for what it's worth, the Alpino starts off as kind of a bargain, for what it is. [MUSIC] So underway I put this thing in sport mode. I know it's got amazing amounts of power and torque and I'm underwhelmed. Until I knocked it over in the manual mode, got on the gears myself, and really unlocked the amazing power and torque. So the most important lesson here is that this has its brawn less bubbling at the surface. Less rippling under the suit jacket than an equivalent M series, like the 760i. It's a little more subdued but you can draw it out. And when you do, you draw out a lot of it. Now the idea of V-8 power versus V-12 is very interesting. The M car has a fatter, wider torque curve. This car is a little peakier. But with this much torque on either car You don't notice? There's plenty but it is a little different driving [UNKNOWN] [MUSIC] I also hear a rather [UNKNOWN] exhaust sound, you can hear it there but it's not really [UNKNOWN] [MUSIC] Specifically what Alpina does under the hood is they take an M63 basic BMW engine, 4.4B8 And then they go and redo the pistons, the intake, the turbo-chargers, the intercoolers, a lot of piping in there, and the exhaust, all in pursuit of breathing better. And this goes back to alpina's route, so you can see right here, in their badge today, that's a pair of dual downdraft weathers right next to a revived pint shaft. And that's how they got started, reviving those parts in BMWs. So they would breathe them. [MUSIC] Now underpinning all that power technology is the interesting air suspension. Front and rear, two separate systems that allows it to really be adaptive in turns. But also reach way down and be cushy when it wants to be, that's kinda the grace around the Alpina. And you've also got a variable ratio front steering, that's BMW stuff, as well as up to three degrees of rear steering. So this guy really tucks its big old rump in when you head around a corner. And doesn't feel quite like the oil tanker it looks like. Slot. And that air suspension can also be smart about height. It'll be able to move about an inch or so. At 140 miles an hour it lowers itself 0.8 inches. I didn't get a chance to try that. [MUSIC] Now a B7's got pretty standard, which is pretty impressive, cabin tech from a 7 series. Which has been the flag ship of the industry for about a year and a half now. Check out our full look at the technology in there, but quickly you just gotta know that you've got outstanding voice recognition. The new, very clean, easier to use iDrive and a whole bunch of adaptive drive modes here for whatever kind of driver you are. Zero to 60 in 3.6 seconds for a car that weighs almost 5,000 pounds yet the MPG isn't bad, 16/25. [MUSIC] All the other price by our big Bavarian friend, these guys start at about 140 US, now they don't come spartan, every one of them is pretty high trim with all wheel drive, they are all long wheel base but to really get it road show style you gotta add About another Hyundai's worth of cost to the price list. In sum, I'll be honest, this car kind of puzzles me. It is such a close sibling to the M760I, I kind of wonder why it's on the market. Doesn't mean I don't like it, I love the blend of brute force and [UNKNOWN] grace. Maybe that's why it's on the market. [MUSIC]