And a top speed of 330 km/h
As we found in our first drive of the 2020 BMW 7 Series, the luxury flagship has received a number of small improvements that make it more comfortable and better to drive. But the version we drove was the ever-practical plug-in hybrid. It was still relatively quick, but it was never designed with performance as a top priority. For that, you’ll want to look at the 2020 Alpina B7.
For those who don’t already know, Alpina is more than a BMW tuning shop. Much like Ruf, the German government considers Alpina its own auto manufacturer. And quality is so high, we actually picked the Alpina over the M in a comparison test a few years ago. Over the last five and a half decades, Alpina has developed such a close relationship with BMW that the press release announcing the new B7 was sent out by BMW’s press department.
For 2020, the B7 gets a twin-turbo V-8 that’s been tuned to make 600 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. That will launch the flagship luxury sedan from 0-60 mph in a claimed 3.5 seconds. It will also sail past the 200-mph (322-km/h) mark, topping out at 205 mph (330 km/h). That makes it ever so slightly quicker to 60 mph and gives it an 11 mph (18 km/h) higher top speed versus the previous B7.
To reliably make that much power and be able to maintain such a high speed, Alpina had to upgrade the 7 Series’ cooling system, tweak the eight-speed transmission, and add a sports exhaust. It also added an air suspension and a Sport+ driving mode that lowers the ride height 0.6 inch for better aerodynamics above 140 mph (225 km/h). Rear-steering and a set of Michelin performance tires also improve handling. Alpina-specific bumpers add to the car’s aero improvements, as well as improving the 7 Series’ appearance.
Unlike BMW’s M cars, Alpina also places a major emphasis on ride comfort. The B7 should be more agile than the 7 Series it’s built on, but its primary focus is high-speed touring. So in addition to a Comfort+ mode, Alpina also added its own sound deadening and thicker glass for a quieter ride. Add in a long list of standard equipment and an Alpina-upgraded interior, and you have a car that’s perfect for cross-country (or cross-continental) road trips.
As you can imagine, a completely reworked, high-performance 7 Series is going to cost you. A lot. The 2020 Alpina B7 starts at $142,695 USD including destination, and with options, that price quickly skyrockets. But if you want that twin-turbo V-8 power and ultimate cruising comfort, deliveries will begin in the third quarter of 2019.