The 2023 BMW Alpina XB7 Offers Up Huge Power for Your Three-Row Family Hauler - The Fast Lane Car

2022-09-24 05:51:57 By : Ms. Xia Jason

Yes, of course it offers a twin-turbocharged V-8, this time making more than 600 horsepower

BMW just updated its current flagship X7, and with it now comes the inevitable, tuned up Alpina version. Meet the 2023 Alpina XB7, otherwise known as the “more M than an M” version that sits above the X7 M60i in the German automaker’s range-topping SUV lineup.

To that end, the 2023 Alpina XB7 brings plenty of aesthetic changes from your standard Bavarian family hauler. You get an Alpina-branded front splitter, an updated rear bumper and side skirts to set this car apart as the sporty variant. Speaking of that rear fascia, the quad exhaust pipes and massive 20- or 21-inch wheels (the larger option is available at no extra cost) should clue you in to what this beast of an SUV packs under the hood.

Yes, you get a similar 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 to what you’d get in, say, the X7 M60i. Instead of a measly 523 horsepower, though, the 2023 Alpina XB7 brings 630 horsepower to the table. That’s 18 more horses than the pre-facelift XB7, while you also get 590 lb-ft of torque. For reference, that’s 37 more lb-ft than you’d get in BMW’s top-dog X7. With that sort of grunt, this goliath sprints from 0-60 in an impressive 3.9 seconds, according to BMW. Top speed? You’ll eventually hit 180 mph, which puts it among the quickest in the SUV crowd, if not as ridiculously fast as the more exotic (and more expensive) options out there.

All-wheel drive comes as standard fare, naturally, as does an 8-speed automatic transmission. Unlike most performance SUVs, though, you don’t get massive shift paddles to control the gearbox. Instead, you get Alpina’s “Switch-tronic” shift buttons, which are a bit more subtle. This is still, after all, more of a luxury SUV, even if Alpina’s efforts turn it into more of a barnstormer.

Give a huge 5,986-pound SUV a 630-horsepower engine does require significant updates throughout the powertrain. Fortunately, Alpina made a host of upgrades on that front. The changes include a specific engine management system, as well as a beefier performance cooling system with an integrated transmission cooler. Alpina also incorporates its own intercooling system and cross-sectioned coolant hoses, all in pursuit of optimizing the best performance from that twin-turbo V-8.

As for braking, the 2023 Alpina XB7 uses four-piston brake calipers with 15.5-inch rotors to bring its gigantic mass to heel. The air suspension system is capable of lowering the car by eight-tenths of an inch when the driver selects Sport mode, or when the car’s going at Autobahn-like speeds over 100 mph. It drops by another 0.8 inches (so 1.6 inches total) in Sport+ or above 155 mph to keep the platform as stable as possible. On the flip side, you can raise the XB7 by 1.6 inches at up to 19 mph to clear any tricky obstacles, if needed.

Hop into the 2023 Alpina XB7, and you’ll largely find an interior that mirrors the BMW X7 on which it’s based, apart from the steering wheel badge. The large, curved display houses both the digital instrument cluster and infotainment system, running BMW’s latest iDrive 8. The Active Driving Assistant Plus and Parking Assistant Professional packages offer up a host of driver aids, although this time you also get “Maneuver Assistant” and Trailer Assistant.

While the latter is self-explanatory, the maneuver assistant takes a bit more explaining. It uses GPS data and steering inputs to record and memorize up to ten different maneuvers of up to 200 meters each. When the car arrives back at those GPS points, it can take over all the controls to complete the maneuver on its own. If you have a narrow, curved driveway for example, the car could drive itself through that stretch, so you won’t have to do it every time. Trailer Assistant, for its part, allows you to control an attached trailer through the iDrive control knob, similar to other trailer backup assists on the market. The 2023 Alpina XB7 can tow up to 7,500 pounds with its factory hitch, for what that’s worth to the people considering this as their one-size-fits-all daily driver.

With all that power and technology, you can expect the XB7 to carry a high price tag. You’d be correct there, as the latest in Alpina’s flagship SUVs carries a $146,995 price tag, including a $995 destination fee. Ordering books will open up this month, with the first deliveries slated for early 2023.

To get an idea of how quick this Alpina will be, here’s a look at an admittedly pre-facelift X7 M50i against two of Toyota’s sports cars at Pikes Peak International Raceway: