2017 BMW Alpina B7

2017 BMW ALPINA B7 Review

Power, technology and exclusivity. The Alpina B7 is a special performance-oriented 7 Series.
by Jonathan Elfalan
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

The exclusivity of the full-size 2017 BMW Alpina B7 sedan might be its most prominent calling card, but Alpina's extensive performance upgrades, discreet exterior enhancements and fine interior details give the B7 special appeal within the segment. Based off the new 7 Series model introduced for 2016, the B7 promises to deliver more of everything: more comfort thanks to an even more advanced suspension and more thrills from a thunderously powerful 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine churning out 600 horsepower — 155 hp more than the next most powerful 7 Series.

Unlike previous versions of the B7 that came in both regular and long-wheelbase models and were available with all- or rear-wheel drive, the 2017 model is currently available with one wheelbase length, just like the new 7 Series, and comes standard with BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system standard.

What's new for 2017

The BMW Alpina B7 is all new for 2017. It's a high-performance version of the standard BMW 7 Series, so it includes various upgrades to the engine and suspension in addition to several exclusive interior changes.

We recommend

The 2017 Alpina B7 only comes in one configuration, so options are limited to packages and stand-alone items. Both the Driver Assistance Plus and Plus II packages bundle a lot of great convenience-adding aids such as Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go and a surround-view camera system, among many other things. Unless you plan to spend a significant amount of time in the backseat or need to impress your passengers, we'd forgo the pricey packages that add things such as rear seat massaging, heat and ventilation, and electric reclining.

Trim levels & features

The all-new 2017 BMW Alpina B7 is currently available in a single trim. Based on the latest 7 Series sedan, which sits on a wheelbase equal to that of the previous generation's long-wheelbase model, the B7 comes powered by a 4.4-liter turbocharged V8 engine (600 horsepower, 590 pound-feet) mated to an eight-speed transmission with xDrive all-wheel drive.

The B7's standard feature list is lengthy even if you don't count the hardware items that have been enhanced by Alpina. The B7 V8 engine receives stronger internal parts to cope with the extra 115 hp it makes over the standard engine in the BMW 750i. The transmission has also been modified so it can perform gear changes under full power without requiring the engine to limit torque between shifts. The air suspension is adaptive, raising or lowering the car for more ground clearance or high-speed stability, and comes with Alpina sport hardware and tuning. The new Active Comfort Drive with Road Preview technology uses a camera to read the road surface ahead and adjust the suspension to best soak up bumps. Also, for the first time, the B7 features BMW's Integral Active Steering, where the rear wheels can steer to deliver more agility through turns and increase stability at high speeds. The B7 features a unique front apron, which extends the lower part of the front bumper, along with a rear bumper diffuser housing Alpina quad tailpipe exhaust tips and a rear spoiler. It also gets 20-inch wheels wrapped in either summer or all-season tires, LED headlights with automatic high beams, LED foglights, heated and power-folding side mirrors, soft-close doors, parking sensors, rearview camera, automatic wipers, hands-free trunk operation, and BMW Shadowline exterior trim.

Inside there are 20-way power-adjustable front seats (four-way lumbar adjustment) with heat, ventilation and massaging functions, Nappa leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, iDrive navigation with a 10.2-inch high-res display (over-the-air map updates quarterly), a 12.3-inch digital instrument display, 200 GB of hard drive storage, BMW Gesture Control technology, a color head-up display, ambiance lighting, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with Switch-tronic shift buttons, four-zone climate control, a panoramic moonroof, power side-window shades, a 16-speaker, 600-watt Harman Kardon sound system, HD and satellite radio (one-year subscription), wireless smartphone charging, a Wi-Fi hot spot (3 GB/three-month trial), and a key fob with an LCD touchscreen.

With as much as the B7 comes with out of the box, you can equip it with more. And we'd recommend the Driver Assistance packages (Plus and Plus II) if you're doing the driving. The Plus package comes with forward collision warning and mitigation, surround-view cameras with 3D view, daytime pedestrian protection, blind-spot monitoring, speed limit info and lane departure warning. The Plus II package adds active cruise control with stop and go and steering assist, which helps keep you in your lane and can avoid a side collision if a vehicle begins veering too close.

If you'll be spending your time in the confines of the backseat, there are two levels of packages to significantly improve the experience. The Luxury Rear Seating package adds heated armrests, along with massaging and ventilation (heat is already included). The Rear Executive Lounge Seating features all the above, plus electric reclining, rear seat entertainment with iDrive control, and an upgraded center console.

The Interior Design package adds wood grab handles and trim, including a wood steering-wheel inlays, and a faux suede headliner. Some of the features above are available as stand-alone options, and there are a few others, including 21-inch Alpina Classic wheels, Apple CarPlay compatibility, an upgraded Bowers & Wilkins sound system, and an infrared night-vision camera with pedestrian detection.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.