BMW Alpina Intro
BMW is not without its rivals from its native Germany. Where the likes of Mercedes-Benz turn to their subsidiary Mercedes-AMG when they’re looking for customized luxury models, BMW turns to Alpina. There are some who claim that you haven’t truly experienced everything that a BMW can do until you have tried an Alpina model, and we think they may be right. In today’s piece, we’re exploring all things Alpina and learning about what exactly makes them so special in BMW’s already eclectic range.
What’s So Special About Alpina BMW?
Some people may be thinking, “Doesn’t BMW already have a high-end product line? The M series?” While it’s certainly true that the M models are manufactured to a higher specification than the regular BMW Series models, the Alpina ones take it to even higher levels.
The first thing that makes Alpina BMW stand out is its increased focus on everyday use compared to the M Series. It’s luxurious, opulent, and built to perform, but it’s still made with everyday driving in mind, as opposed to the M series which is made for the track.
A further special quality of the Alpina BMW cars is that they are hand-crafted by car experts. Instead of mass-produced stitching, you get the fine handiwork of Alpina’s saddlery. Even the engines are built by hand. Alpina is a brand that stands for true luxury.
Finally, what makes Alpina BMW so special is its synergy of high performance, found in their 600 horsepower engines, and intricate, innovative design. Take the 2021 BMW Alpina B7, for example. Alpina saw a high-performance vehicle and refined it with extra details like the modified front-end air intake system which channels air more effectively to match the increased power rating of the engine.
What is the Difference Between Alpina and BMW?
You should think of the BMW cars like a three-story building. On the ground floor is BMW and their regular numbered Series cars — 3 Series, 4 Series, etc. — and above them on the second floor is the BMW M Series. These are upgraded versions of the regular cars built more to a track/racing specification. At the top level, you’d have Alpina, which takes the BMW to higher performance standards, more intricate design, and even greater opulence.
When it comes to performance, the Alpina outstrips the regular BMW and even the M Series. The 2020 BMW M4, for instance, outputted up to 454hp. The 2020 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive, on the other hand? It went up to 600hp. Alpina works on every part of the car — engines, air suspension, all-wheel-drive system, air intake and cooling, transmission dynamics, and more — to maximize its potential.
You see further differences in the intricacy of design. The Alpina features fine chrome detailing, unique Alpina badging, a new design for the instrument display, as well as innovative build features. We mentioned the augmented air intake design on the B7 as an example above, but you’ll also find improved steering, premier-feel gear-shift buttons mounted on the heated leather steering wheel, stainless steel sports exhaust system, and much more.
Finally, you’ll find a lot of distinction in the craftsmanship of an Alpina. It’s not to say that BMW interiors are of a poor quality — we all know they are not — but Alpina is in its own league of interior design. From the sumptuous hand-stitched leather to the dark-wood finish on the dash and soft-touch materials everywhere you look: not an ounce of cheap nasty plastic in sight. There’s ambient lighting, adjustable ventilated/heated seats in the front and rear, and seemingly endless velvet-lined storage.
You could summarize the difference thusly: BMW promises the ultimate driving machine, but Alpina is the company that makes that promise true.
What is a BMW B7 Alpina?
Put simply, the B7 is a high-performance variation of BMW’s flagship luxury sedan, the BMW 7 Series. Working from their own factory in Buchloe Germany, Alpina took the 7 Series and augmented it to dizzying new heights. The B7 rides on stunning 20-inch wheels and is powered by a mighty 600 hp 4.4L V8 engine delivering an incredible 590 lb-ft of torque. Both the exterior and interior are beautifully crafted, with Alpina liking to remind everyone that the B7 is “Manu-factured,” referring to everything being built by hand rather than by mindless mass-producing robots.
The B7 features an eight-speed automatic transmission that works seamlessly with other features like drive modes —- Automatic, Sport and Manual — which allow the driver to tailor their driving experience to suit themselves and the roads they use. Despite range-topping torque, 0 to 60 mph acceleration in just 3.6 seconds, and a top speed of 205 mph, drivers are treated to a whisper-quiet interior. You’re more likely to hear the seat ventilation or the a/c than you are the engine!
The back seats of the B7 offer a roomy and decadent experience for passengers. There’s optional rear entertainment, individually adjustable heated/ventilated seats, charge points, ample storage, and much more. Outside of the hyper-luxurious world of Rolls-Royce, it might just be one of the most opulent interiors out there.
Can you Buy an Alpina B7 in the US?
Residents of the United States will be delighted to know that yes, you can buy Alpina here in the US. These cars are manufactured in the EU for export and have become popular in a number of countries. While Germany remains the most important market, other countries like the US and Japan have also become popular export destinations. Owners around the world seek out BMW Alpina, and now most specifically the 2021 Alpina B7, to experience the true claimant to the “Ultimate Driving Machine” title.
Typically, the asking price for a new 2021 Alpina B7 starts around $143,000 and ranges further up when you get optional extras. You can purchase the Alpina in the United States via approved BMW dealerships. Inquire with your local dealership to learn more.