To the average motorist, the Alpina brand may not mean anything, but petrol heads know that they have been turning BMWs into gems for half a century. They’re not going to stop either, as the next one on their list being the X7 full-size SUV.
Expected to be revealed at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, the X7 that currently aims for the Mercedes-Benz GLS and Range Rover SVAutobiography, is an imposing, powerful and luxurious SUV. However, it’s about to up the ante with the arrival of the Alpina XB7, which we saw testing just a couple of weeks ago.
That prototype was partially hidden under (foil) wraps, which Kolesa digitally removed to provide us with looks like a pretty accurate picture of the forthcoming production car. In typical Alpina fashion, the exterior modifications will be subtle and include unique trimmings, bumper aprons, side skirts and their signature multispoke wheels, along with bespoke color offerings such as the ‘Alpina Green’ used on this render.
Similar changes will be performed inside with Alpina-specific upholstery, badging, trim accents and instrument panel readings.
While Alpina hasn’t shared any details about its take on the X7, it’s believed that they are developing two models, the diesel-powered XD7 that will be limited to the European market, and the gasoline-fueled XB7. Both should make use of the respective powertrains of the X7 M50i and M50d where they deliver 530PS (523hp) and 400PS (394hp), massaged, of course, to deliver a lot more power.
In the case of the XB7, that means a 4.4-liter, twin-turbo V8, which we know from the 2020 B7, where it churns out 608 PS (600 hp / 447 kW) and 800 Nm (590 lb-ft) of torque, rocketing the large sedan to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.5 seconds and up to a top speed of 330 km/h (205 mph).
A bespoke suspension tune (and settings) aimed at bettering the ride and handling, along with an upgraded eight-speed automatic transmission and xDrive all-wheel drive and possibly a variable exhaust system, will be part of the package for the three-row SUV.