Alpina BMW B7
From Alpina press: The BMW 760i – with its 12 cylinders – is unquestionably one of the finest and most comfortable saloons in the luxury segment.
There is a small circle of enthusiasts, people who enjoy getting behind the wheel themselves, who yearn for the sportiness provided in a smaller car, but don’t want to miss out on an automobile in this class. To achieve optimum agility and handling, ALPINA made a point of basing the B7 on the BMW 7 Series with V8 engine. The V8 offers the best jumping-off point in terms of dynamism, with an ideal 50/50 weight balance, also weighing around 150 kg less than the comparable V12 model.
The B7 designation carries with long tradition, and has stood for charged engines at ALPINA since the late 1970s. The heart of the B7 is a 4.4 litre V8 engine that is charged through the use of a radial (Nautilus-type) compressor. The combination of Valvetronic and charging represents a premiere. Through the use of Valvetronic’s complete functionality, the charge is controlled by varying the valve opening depth and the boost pressure. This frees up the engine to a degree and provides better fuel economy at partial engine loads. The radial compressor is driven by a dedicated poly-V-belt, separate from the serpentine belts running other aggregates. At low rpm, a clutch de-couples the compressor from its drive-belt. The compressed air charge reaches the engine via an air-to-air intercooler. The EMITEC metallic catalytic converters are mounted quite close to the engine. In combination with secondary air induction, the EU4 standard is achieved.
This charging helps the ALPINA engine generate impressive performance figures: 368 kW (500 bhp) at 5,500 rpm, and maximum torque of 700 Nm at 4,250 rpm. The result is excellent performance coupled with a saloon‘s unique comfort. The feeling of jet-engine acceleration reaches heights of around 300 kph, with 100 kph flashing by in under 5.5 seconds.
The silhouette of the B7 is markedly more dynamic and graceful through the 21” ALPINA wheels and the rising wedge shape at the rear of the automobile, finishing harmoniously in a rear deck spoiler. With the help of the newly re-shaped ALPINA front valance and spoiler, the B7 achieves a coefficient of drag of only 0.31 in the BMW wind tunnel, helping to ensure stability at the highest speeds.
This sporty elegance carries through to the interior. Directly in the driver’s field of vision are large circular instruments finished in traditional ALPINA blue with red pointers. A warm ambience is communicated by the top-quality ALPINA luxury wood ‘curled maple’ in combination with the finest leather. The B7 is precisely guided using the new ALPINA three-spoke sport steering wheel (385 mm diameter) finished in attractive-to-the-touch LAVALINA leather. SWITCH-TRONIC shift buttons are ergonomically integrated on the reverse side of the steering wheel.
An agile-shifting ZF 6-speed automatic augments the B7‘s already sporty nature. In Drive, it provides the ability to glide along comfortably and effortlessly. In SWITCH-TRONIC, sporty driving is right at one’s fingertips, especially when shifting manually using the buttons at the wheel, much like in Formula 1.
The precise steering of the lowered B7, and its neutral handling, allow one to forget the size of this automobile. A, large, dynamic saloon, it offers great driving pleasure on twisty secondary roads due to its light-footed nature, as well as superior power for the autobahn. The wheel and tyre combination delivers excellent road-holding, with MICHELIN Pilot tyres (255/35 ZR21 front and 295/30 ZR21 rear). And in combination with generously-dimensioned brakes (374 mm front and 370 mm rear), phenomenal braking capability.