While BMW hasn’t confirmed any plans for an X7M yet, Alpina is already working on a hotter version for Bavaria’s biggest SUV.
It’s likely called Alpina XD7 and our photographers spotted it on the Nordschleife during a lively test session earlier this week. How do we know it’s an Alpina and not a BMW prototype? Well, the camouflaged X7 carried “OAL” license plates. Those are from the Ostallgäu district of Bavaria where Alpina has its headquarters.
That also explains why the SUV features a full body wrap despite the fact that BMW has already unveiled the X7. However, there aren’t many visual differences compared to the standard model. The air intakes in the front bumper seem to be the only new parts for now. Alpina uses them to feed the intercoolers with fresh air, since the XD7 will definitely feature a powerful engine.
While BMW’s X7 M50d produces 400 PS (394 hp) and 760 Nm (560 lb-ft) of torque, Alpina will add at least 50 more horses. That’s a must if it wants the big SUV to be quicker than the standard M50d. The latter covers the 0 to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) sprint in 5.4 seconds.
Expect Alpina to make some suspension tweaks as well to go along with the souped-up engine. The photos show the XD7 prototype leans in corners less than you would expect from a 2.3-tonne (5,070-lb) SUV.
As usual, Alpina will put its mark on the X7 with its typical multi-spoke wheels, sharper bumpers, and quad exhaust pipes. Chances are the interior will get a more luxurious treatment as well. All these elements will arrive later in the development process.
Alpina should finish tweaking the X7 M50d sometime next year, just in time for a Frankfurt Motor Show world debut in September 2019.