2011 BMW Alpina B7 Sedan Preview

Jeff Youngs | Dec 31, 2010
  • 4.4-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8 engine
  • Rear-wheel drive with 500 horsepower
  • Upgraded intercooler; larger and stronger pistons
  • Increased turbo boost and compression ratio
  • Specific output of 115 hp/liter


2011 BMW B7 Alpina
  • Second-generation 7 Series Alpina model
  • 100-horsepower increase
  • Upgraded engine components
  • Aerodynamic enhancements
  • Upgraded wheels, tires and suspension
  • Interior cosmetic upgrades


2011 BMW B7 AlpinaAlpina Burkard Bovensiepen GmbH, or simply "Alpina" as it is more widely known in automotive circles, is an automobile manufacturing company in Bavaria, Germany. In 1965, the company began modifying BMW automobiles with engine performance enhancements-mostly upgrades to carburetors and cylinder heads. A major turning point for the small company came in 1970-the year the team's cars won the prestigious Spa 25 hours, German Hillclimb Championship, and European Touring Car Championship.

It wasn't long before the company translated its success in racing into production vehicles designed for the street-all based on BMW's automobile lineup. While BMW has its own in-house performance division (called "M"-as in M3, M5, M6, etc.), Alpina's vehicles differ in that they are all fitted with automatic transmissions and place an emphasis on engine torque and passenger luxury. BMW has embraced the Alpina brand, and the cars are sold from within the BMW dealer network.

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2011 BMW B7 AlpinaThe 2011 Alpina B7 Sedan is based on the BMW 7 Series-the flagship (and largest) sedan in the automaker's lineup. The new model is the second-generation B7 (the first was offered in limited numbers in 2007 and 2008), and it will be offered in both the standard and long-wheelbase configurations.

Setting itself apart from the standard 7 Series, the Alpina B7 is fitted with an enhanced, twin-turbocharged, 4.4-liter V-8 engine rated at 500 horsepower and 516 lb.-ft. of torque. The standard transmission is BMW's 6-speed automatic. According to Alpina, the B7 sprints to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds (nearly on par with the significantly lighter BMW M3).

Other modifications include upgraded Alpina-tuned suspension-with recalibrated springs and driver-tuned Dynamic Damping Control and Active Roll Stabilization-and standard 21-inch aluminum alloy wheels. As is customary, the wheels feature the Alpina classic design (245/35R21 front tires and 285/30R21 rear tires).

The exterior features unique aerodynamic enhancements, including front and rear spoilers that are designed to improve stability and performance at high speeds, says Alpina. In addition, the exhaust tips have been integrated into the rear bumper. A full range of BMW 7 Series colors are available-including the signature Alpina blue metallic paint. The interior features Alpina-blue illuminated door sills, Alpina-enhanced "switch-tronic" steering wheel (hand-stitched leather), and a full complement of cosmetic improvements.


2011 BMW B7 AlpinaTo bump the power in the turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 up a full 100 horsepower, Alpina made several important changes to the powerplant. First, they upgraded the engine's intercooler (tasked with lowering intake temperatures) by enlarging it approximately 35 percent. Second, they fitted larger-and stronger-pistons to the engine that are capable of withstanding the additional engine stress. Lastly, Alpina increased the turbo boost and compression ratio for the engine. The result was a specific output of 115 hp/liter, a benchmark even among established sports cars, says Alpina.

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