Privately owned BMW tuner Alpina is rolling out its first performance SUV for the North American market. Based on the X7 M50i, the ’21 BMW Alpina XB7 takes the large SUV’s power, performance and prestige to new heights.
In addition to functional exterior changes to improve powertrain cooling and reduce aerodynamic lift at high speeds, the nearly loaded Alpina XB7’s 3-row cabin is decked out with a crystal glass iDrive infotainment system controller, a bespoke steering wheel design with the tuner company’s signature blue-green stitching, exclusive wood or piano lacquer trim, and more (below).
Buyers can choose between second-row captain’s chairs or a bench seat, and almost everything is standard.
What makes the new ’21 Alpina XB7 special, though, is the SUV’s upgraded specs. Modified to produce 612 hp from 5,500-6,600 rpm and 590 lb.-ft. (800 Nm) of torque between 2,000-5,000 rpm, the twin-turbocharged 4.4L V-8 gains 89 hp and 37 lb.-ft. (50 Nm) compared to the X7 M50i.
Alpina says the 5,860-lb. (2,658-kg) XB7 accelerates to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 4 seconds flat and reaches a top speed of 180 mph (290 km/h).
An overhauled, ZF-sourced, 8-speed sport automatic transmission sends power to the xDrive AWD system. An electronically variable locking rear differential continually adjusts based on wheel speed, steering angle and friction coefficient, and drivers use Alpina’s Switch-tronic steering wheel shift buttons to take manual control of gear changes.
Comfort+, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ driving modes alter the powertrain and other vehicle settings, including a new stainless-steel Alpina active sport exhaust system. The ’21 Alpina XB7 also includes BMW’s Integral Active Steering with ZF-sourced Active Kinematics Control, which allows up to 2.3 degrees of rear-wheel pivot for 4-wheel steering capability.
Full air suspension with Alpina-tuned damper and kinematic settings is standard, and the XB7 boasts increased body rigidity and BMW’s Active Roll Stabilization technology. Below 19 mph (31 km/h), the driver can activate a 1.6-in. (41-mm) lift for added clearance. In Sport mode or at speeds of more than 100 mph (161 km/h), the Alpina XB7 automatically drops 0.8 in. (20 mm). In Sport+ mode or at speeds of more than 155 mph (250 km/h), the SUV drops another 0.8 in. for a total ride height reduction of 1.6 ins. (40 mm). As the suspension lowers, so does the SUV’s center of gravity for greater sure-footedness at speed.
A set of standard 21-in. Alpina Dynamic aluminum alloy wheels front 15.5-in. (39-cm) front and 15.7-in. (40-cm) rear brake discs, clamped by 4-piston fixed front and floating rear Brembo calipers painted Alpina blue. Massive, staggered-width, 23-in. Alpina Classic forged aluminum wheels are optional, wrapped in exclusive Pirelli performance tires and reducing weight 28 lbs. (13 kg).
Order books open this month, with customer deliveries starting in September. The '21 BMW Alpina XB7 is priced from $141,300 (plus $995 for destination charges) and joins the equally plush and capable Alpina B7 sedan in the automaker’s showrooms.