2021 BMW Alpina XB7 Preview

Christian Wardlaw | May 19, 2020
FAST FACTS
  • New performance-tuned luxury flagship SUV
  • Enhanced twin-turbocharged V-8 engine
  • Modified transmission and drivetrain
  • Sport air suspension and active roll stabilization
  • 4-wheel steering through Active Kinematics Control
  • 21-inch or 23-inch wheels with summer performance tires
  • Oversized brakes with Brembo calipers
  • Stainless-steel active exhaust system
  • Loaded with premium materials, technologies
  • Priced from $141,200 (plus $995 for destination)

Introduction

With the new 2021 BMW Alpina XB7, longtime BMW tuner Alpina works its magic on the full-size X7 SUV.

Based on the X7 M50i, the Alpina XB7 gets a full mechanical modification from the drivetrain and brakes to the steering and suspension. Add nearly all of the equipment offered for the X7 as standard, combined with exclusive Alpina-designed details, and the XB7 is clearly the ultimate-driving SUV in the BMW lineup.

2021 BMW Alpina XB7 Blue front side view

Priced from $141,300 (not including the $995 destination charge), the 2021 BMW Alpina XB7 is available to order starting in May 2020, with deliveries slated for September. It is built in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Exterior Features

Aside from bold ALPINA lettering across the lower portion of the modified front end, the XB7 gets subtle styling changes designed primarily to aid powertrain cooling and ensure maximum aerodynamic downforce at speed. A set of 21-inch aluminum alloy wheels is standard, with 23-inch forged aluminum wheels optional.

2021 BMW Alpina XB7 Blue exterior rear view

Interior Features

Equipped with nearly every feature BMW offers for the X7, the Alpina XB7 is plush inside. Highlights include premium Merino leather, an Alcantara suede headliner, heated multi-contour front seats, soft-closing doors, and a 3-panel panoramic glass sunroof.

2021 BMW Alpina XB7 interior dashboard view

Alpina further sets the XB7 apart with unique piano-black gloss or wood trim, an Alpina steering wheel with the tuner’s classic blue-green stitching, illuminated Alpina doorsill plates, a blue illuminated gear selector, and a crystal glass iDrive controller on the center console.

Buyers choose between a second-row bench seat and captain’s chairs. With the standard third-row seat folded, the Alpina XB7 holds 48.6 cu.-ft. of cargo. Fold the second-row down and the SUV can accept 90.4 cu.-ft. of cargo.

Optional Features

In addition to the huge 23-inch wheels, the BMW Alpina XB7 is available with a Panoramic Sky Lounge LED Roof. So equipped, more than 15,000 individual lighting elements project onto the glass after dark to create the effect of a starry nighttime sky.

Under the Hood

Alpina coaxes an additional 89 horsepower and 37 lb.-ft. of torque out of the X7 M50i’s twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 engine, for a total of 612 hp and 590 lb.-ft. of torque. 

A modified 8-speed sport automatic transmission transfers the power to the xDrive all-wheel-drive system, which gains an electronically-variable locking rear differential that continually adjusts based on how you’re driving and how the SUV is behaving. Alpina-specific manual shifting buttons reside on the XB7’s unique steering wheel.

BMW says the powertrain delivers linear and responsive power across the rev range, and acceleration to 60 mph in four seconds flat. Top speed for the 5,860-pound SUV is 180 mph.

The engine breathes through an active stainless-steel Alpina sport exhaust system, and the XB7 offers multiple driving models including Comfort, Comfort+, Sport, and Sport+. Upgraded powertrain cooling systems include two additional external water coolers, Alpina-specific intercoolers, a larger transmission oil cooler, and an underbody-located aluminum oil sump.

As speed climbs into triple-digit territory, an Alpina-tuned air suspension offers up to a 1.6-inch drop in ride height to reduce the center of gravity and improve stability and roadholding grip. Going in the other direction, at speeds under 19 mph, drivers can raise the SUV 1.6 inches for added clearance when necessary. BMW’s Active Roll Stablization technology is standard.

Lurking behind the oversized wheels, Alpina-blue Brembo brake calipers squeeze 15.5-inch front and 15.7-inch rear discs. The XB7 also has standard Integral Active Steering with Active Kinematics Control, which allows the rear wheels to pivot up to 2.3 degrees in either direction to provide 4-wheel steering.

Safety

Every Alpina XB7 is equipped with a standard BMW Driving Assistant Professional package including all of the advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) available for the SUV.

Selected highlights include traffic jam assistance that makes driving in heavy traffic easier, emergency stop assistance that brings the SUV to a halt if the driver falls asleep or suffers a medical emergency, evasive steering assistance to add stability during sudden steering inputs, and front cross-traffic alert.

An extended version of traffic jam assistance is also standard, providing Level 2 semi-autonomous driving at speeds under 40 mph. The system works only on limited-access highways.

Technology

In the semi-autonomous driving vein, Alpina also equips the XB7 with a Parking Assistance Package that takes full control of the SUV when parking in parallel spaces. This package also includes a drive recorder and a surround-view camera system.

Alpina-designed digital instrumentation is standard, as is gesture control for the infotainment system. Though BMW did not specifically state as much, expect the XB7 to have the same 16-speaker Harman Kardon premium surround sound system that’s found in the X7 M50i.

BMW is the source of the information in this article. It was accurate as of May 19, 2020 but may have changed since that date.

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