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621hp Alpina XB7 will do 180mph

Subtle, classy, unassuming Alpinas not doing it for you? Welcome the XB7

By Matt Bird / Wednesday, May 20, 2020

While Alpina SUVs are not a new breed - the previous gen XD3 being the first foray - this XB7 represents Buchloe's first take on the big BMW SUVs. Not being the sort to do things by halves, they've skipped X4, X5 and X6, going straight in with the largest of the large - the X7.

Thus we have the Alpina XB7, a "true powerhouse" according to its maker, derived from the M50i flagship. With power from the 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 boosted from 530 to 621hp and 553 to 590lb ft, Alpina reckons the XB7 is capable of 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds, reaching double that figure in less than 15 and going on to reach a 180mph maximum.

That's the "ultra-high performance drivetrain" bit sorted, then; covering off Alpina's claims of "superior driving dynamics" and "unrivalled agility" are a new sport suspension set up for the air springs (dropping it by up to 40mm), increased body rigidity, a "finely balanced" damper set up and a rework of the Active Roll Stabilisation. Oh yes, and the trademark Alpina wheels are now 23-inches (!) in diameter. But forged, and therefore lighter than standard.

Now, typically this is when we might mock a tad, chortle at claims of "experiences ranging from a plus ride comfort to advanced, race-inspired dynamics" and then move on. But while the latter is just plain silly, of all the people to trust with perfecting the ride/handling balance of anything absurdly tall and heavy, Alpina would be high up the list. Maybe miracles can happen, after all...

Keeping the XB7 on the road (or racetrack, given it's been suggested) are enormous brakes; the fronts are 395mm in diameter, the rears even larger at 398mm. Optionally available, and surely very advisable given the 2,665kg weight and enormous speed, is a high performance brake kit with lighter discs and more aggressive pads.

While the XB7 has been treated to the usual array of Alpina aesthetic goodies - the aforementioned wheels, plus new bumpers, exhaust and badges - it would probably be fair to say the X7 won't win itself any new fans with this overhaul. Still, it looks lovely inside - six or seven (depending on spec) will sit in comfort and style at three miles minute, should that be a requirement.

Cost? We're not sure yet, though given a European price of €155,000 we're looking at G63 and Bentayga money, surely. Budget £150,000 to avoid disappointment when the XB7 arrives later this year.

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