2018 BMW ALPINA B7 Review
Edmunds expert review
The world of executive luxury sedans is small, and it gets even smaller when you are shopping the high performance versions. The BMW Alpina B7 fits that criteria and more, however, wrapping a seemingly unending supply of luxury and acceleration in a unique and highly exclusive package.
The B7 starts as a BMW 7 Series. From there, Alpina, a specialty automotive company in Germany that's closely aligned with BMW, applies its own performance upgrades and styling changes. Though sold in the United States as a BMW, the B7 is available through Alpina as the B7 Bi-Turbo in other markets. The exclusivity provided by the name and the subtle exterior modifications, including the 20-spoke Alpina wheels, gives the B7 a distinct appearance versus the standard 7 Series.
While the previous generation of the B7 was available in standard or long-wheelbase variants with either rear- or all-wheel drive, the current B7 only comes in one long-wheelbase model with standard all-wheel drive. Alpina prioritizes refinement versus the all-out performance found in vehicles from BMW's M Division. That doesn't mean the B7 is slow; its turbocharged V8 still cranks out a sweet 600 hp, or 1 hp shy of the output from the M760i's turbo 6.6-liter V12.
In your search for supreme luxury, you'll find a few competitors that offer similar levels of performance and exclusivity, including the Mercedes-AMG S 63 and Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid. There's no way to go wrong with this group, but certainly the 2018 Alpina B7 is a commendable choice.
What's new for 2018
Trim levels & features
The Alpina B7 is a four-door high-performance and equally luxurious sedan that is available in one highly equipped trim level. As in the BMW 7 Series on which it is based, its wheelbase matches that of the previous generation's long-wheelbase variants, providing extra room in the backseat. There's only one engine choice, and it's a good one: a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 (600 hp, 590 lb-ft of torque). An eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive are standard.
As you might expect from, the B7 packs a lot of standard features. Aside from a stronger engine and a transmission calibrated to transfer all that thrust, the B7 also uses an adaptive air suspension that can raise the vehicle for greater ground clearance or lower it for high-speed aerodynamics. Rear-wheel steering is standard, improving both low-speed nimbleness and high-speed stability. Perhaps the most interesting piece of technology is the Active Comfort Drive with Road Preview system, which uses cameras to watch the road ahead and adjusts the suspension in anticipation of bumps.
Alpina-specific exterior features include a specially styled bumpers, quad exhaust finishers, a rear spoiler and 20-inch wheels. Other standard exterior equipment consists of LED headlights with auto high beams, LED foglights, heated and power-folding side mirrors, soft-close doors, parking sensors, a rearview camera, automatic wipers and hands-free trunk operation.
The interior boasts 20-way power-adjustable front seats (with heat, ventilation and massage), premium leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, BMW's iDrive interface with a 10.2-inch display, a head-up display, adjustable ambiance lighting, a power tilt-and-telescope steering wheel, four-zone climate control, a panoramic sunroof and power side-window shades. Other technology features include a 16-speaker Harman Kardon stereo, wireless phone charging, an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot, a large key fob with an LCD touchscreen, a surround-view parking camera system, and automated parallel and perpendicular parking.
BMW offers two levels of active safety features. The Driving Assistance package includes blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning and mitigation, lane departure warning and speed limit information. The Plus variant of this package adds lane departure intervention and adaptive cruise control.
The Luxury Rear Seating package adds extra-plush seats with ventilation and massage function, heated armrests, and a 7-inch tablet to control vehicle functions. The Rear Executive Lounge Seating Package adds a reclining rear seat and footrest, rear-seat entertainment, and a table that folds out from the center console. This package also deletes the rear center seat along with the front-passenger seat massage, side bolster, lumbar and headrest adjustments.
Stand-alone options include Apple CarPlay, an Ambient Air package that infuses the climate control with various scents, a 16-speaker Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround-sound audio system, a system that allows you to park the car using only the key fob, and a night-vision camera.
Noise & vibration9.0
Ease of use6.5
Getting in/getting out8.0
Child safety seat accommodation6.5
Audio & navigation6.5
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.