Alpina BMW B7 Bi-Turbo, 2010
With the new Alpina BMW B7 Bi-Turbo, Alpina presents its fourth generation of automobiles based on the BMW 7-Series. Prominent predecessors include the BMW Alpina B12 6.0 and B7, which raised the bar in the high-performance luxury saloon segment. Newly interpreted and in every way state-of-the-art, the Alpina BMW B7 Bi-Turbo unites exclusiveness, athleticism and comfort in perfect harmony.
Yielding exquisite levels of torque and power from the charged 4.4 litre V8, and in conjunction with the electronically-adjustable suspension with active roll stabilisation, the Alpina BMW B7 Bi-Turbo promises to offer a spectrum of driving experiences so varied as to be unheard of in this class of automobiles. The evolution of the traditional 20-spoke 21" Alpina CLASSIC wheels underline the fresh design language found throughout the Alpina BMW B7 Bi-Turbo and impart it a distinctive appearance and powerful stance.
POWERTRAIN - FIRST-CLASS IN BOTH PERFORMANCE AND ECONOMY
The Bi-Turbo model designation that now graces this flagship BMW Alpina saloon hints at even more powerful and torque-laden performance over its predecessor, while simultaneously improving upon fuel economy.
The fully-aluminium, 4395 cm3 V8 aggregate yields 507 peak horsepower (373 kW) at a moderate 5500rpm, with a maximum torque of 700 Nm available between 3000-4750 rpm. Two especially for Alpina powerplant constructed turbochargers, one located above each of the V8's two cylinder banks, are responsible for the forced induction. The turbochargers operate in parallel, with generously-dimensioned turbine vanes measuring 44mm in diameter.
Thorough exploitation of the engine's potential was achieved by means of optimising the indirect intercooler (air-water/water-air) with its short intake paths and flow-optimised intercooler tracts. All three intercoolers, the low-temperature intercooler integrated into the radiator package, as well as the two engine-near intercoolers are enlarged by approximately 35%, ensuring very high thermo-dynamic efficiency.
High-performance pistons are at work in the engine, carefully developed to withstand the thermo-dynamic forces created by 9.2:1 compression and a maximum turbo boost of 1.0 bar. The result is a formidable specific output of 115hp (85kW) per litre, with a maximum average compression of 20.1 bar, a benchmark even amongst established sportscars.
Further technical subtleties of this high-tech, EU5-emissions rated powerplant include petrol-direct-injection and Double-VANOS. These contribute in no small measure to the Alpina BMW B7 Bi-Turbo's "Best-in-Class" fuel economy 12.1 l/100km [23.4 Imp. MPG] and a CO2 emissions rating of 282g/km (mixed fuel economy according to ECE norm).
The Alpina BMW B7 Bi-Turbo delivers proof, both in form of its characteristics and its technical data, that high levels of performance and favourable fuel economy are not necessarily a contradiction in terms. Ending in two polished double-tailpipes, the stainless-steel Alpina exhaust system offers up that deep and sonorous yet not intrusive V8 sound that one has come to expect from Alpina.
DRIVETRAIN COMFORT - UNIQUELY SUPERIOR
The Alpina BMW B7 Bi-Turbo is the result of the consistent execution of the Alpina philosophy, in itself the reason why the sharp yet gracious Alpina BMW B7 Bi-Turbo shines so brilliantly in everyday use.
One look at the torque and power diagram is enough to highlight that the Alpina BMW B7 Bi-Turbo will accelerate fiercely yet effortlessly from very low revs. Peak torque is available from an unusually broad range of rpm's, ranging from 3,000 to 4,750 rpm. This wide powerband coupled with the exquisitely geared ZF six-speed automatic sport transmission pampers the occupants with remarkably high levels of smooth drivetrain comfort in every driving situation.
The Alpina SWITCH-TRONIC, which has been programmed to shift exceptionally smooth and comfortable in Automatic mode, offers different shift characteristics for every taste and situation thanks to the additional Sport and Manual modes. Driving the Alpina BMW B7 Bi-Turbo becomes an altogether different experience when using the buttons found on the back of the steering wheel for manually selecting the gears of the automatic transmission. This ensures shifts take place within a few hundred milliseconds and with only minimal interruption to the transmission of power, favourably comparable even to the best twin-clutch transmissions. As a result the Alpina BMW B7 Bi-Turbo sprints from 0-100 km/h in 4.7 seconds, vehemently pressing on to an electronically-limited 280 km/h top speed. Although one rarely finds oneself in need of such haste, the ventilated and generously-proportioned (374 mm dia. front, 370 mm dia rear) high-performance braking system guarantees deceleration values on par with pure-bred sports cars.
THE SUSPENSION - HARMONIOUS, ACCOMPLISHED, IMPRESSIVELY VERSATILE
Long gone are the days when a purely "hard and sporty" ride was a sought-after attribute of suspension set-ups. Striving for truly neutral handling continues to be the intelligent way forward, yielding the best of what is technologically feasible. In pursuit of this goal, marginally shorter and uniquely calibrated springs reduce front and rear ride height by 15mm and 10mm respectively.
Together with the 21" wheel and tyre combination the suspension is at once sensitive to inputs and direct in its feel, yet free from the harshness of a purely sportsoriented suspension, imparting this large saloon with an agility usually only associated with much smaller sports saloons. The light-weight 21" wheels, with their new interpretation of the Alpina CLASSIC wheel design, are shod with an especially selected staggered MICHELIN tyre set-up: 245/35 R21 front and 285/30 R21 rear. Foregoing Run-Flat technology, conventional tyres are used to ensure a supple, comfortable finesse that is rare today.
Alpina have integrated state-of-the-art electronic suspension technologies and skilfully, subtly adjusting them to the demanding requirements of our customers. As part of the Alpina BMW B7 Bi-Turbo standard equipment, the electronic suspension system with Dynamic Damping Control and Dynamic Drive (active roll stabilisation) enable the driver to select from three distinct suspension set-ups: Comfort, Normal and Sport. These are intentionally calibrated to provide noticeably different set-ups, influencing the characteristic of the dampers, the active roll stabilisation as well as the parameters of the power steering assist, throttle response algorithms and load-reversal damping. The Alpina BMW B7 Bi-Turbo offers the driver unheard-of versatility, delivering on long-distance comfort just as readily as on back-road pace, always with a maximum of enjoyment and safety.
Seasoned drivers are not kept from pushing the Alpina BMW B7 Bi-Turbo hard at the limit: the Sport plus mode automatically shifts the traction control systems into Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), an extension of DSC. This allows noticeably more slip at the driven wheels and delayed intervention by the traction control system.
DESIGN & INTERIOR - EVOLUTIONARY STYLING, DOWN TO THE LAST DETAIL
At once dynamic, graceful and potent - the silhouette of the Alpina BMW B7 Bi-Turbo is significantly influenced by the evolutionary new design of the 21" Alpina CLASSIC wheels. A turbine-like three-dimensional curve guides each of the 20 spokes from the centre of the wheel to the rim, at which point they have a milled surface. Depending on the angle of the viewer, the rotational speed of the wheels and the light, the appearance of these classic wheels is constantly changing. Of course they continue to possess the refined tyre air valves, safely and attractively hidden away behind the lockable wheel covers.
In true "form-follows-function" fashion, the typical Alpina front integrates the fresh-air requirements of the transmission and engine oil coolers, which are separated out of the main cooler module for improved efficiency. The design of the front and rear spoiler follows clearly aerodynamically-oriented interests, reducing lift at the front and rear by 30% and 15% respectively. Left and right, the exhaust system's two double tailpipes are seamlessly integrated into the rear valance and are witness to the Alpina BMW B7 Bi-Turbo's potency.
When climbing into the Alpina BMW B7 Bi-Turbo, one immediately takes note of the Alpina door sill trims which are finely illuminated in blue. The SWITCH-TRONIC steering wheel, 385mm in diameter, is gloved and hand-stitched in the finest, most comfortable LAVALINA leather. In the driver's line of sight, red pointers over a field of blue dials grace the instrument cluster, where a Black-Panel LCD screen is responsible for communicating driver-important information. Exclusive interior luxury wood trim in the form of Myrtle Burl, a knotted burl of the Laurel only found on the Pacific Coast of the United States, provides a warm and traditional ambience. Optional Alpina Piano Lacquer interior trim with its silver diagonal rhombs, offers a modern and just as exclusive alternative.
Discreet metal Alpina emblems adorn the upper seatbacks of the standard leather Comfort seats, as much a part of the comprehensive standard equipment as metallic paint or a navigation system with Bluetooth telephone preparation.