Car and Driver
Like BMW’s M-badged performance cars, the Alpina B7 is essentially a higher-output 7-series, but with the emphasis on driving comfort rather than speed and agility. Packing a “muscled-up” 540-hp, twin-turbocharged V-8, this $130,000 car excels at “devouring long highway stretches at high speeds,” providing superb ride quality. But it’s also so “shockingly athletic” for a large vehicle that we find it hard to believe BMW will ever make a better two-and-a-half-ton luxury sedan.
Here’s hoping that’s not true. Yes, the B7 is fast against a stopwatch and delivers an “exceptionally comfortable” ride, but we found the handling “merely decent.” The exterior is only “slightly better looking” than that of the BMW 7-series and the interior less distinguished still. Though “supple leather” wraps nearly every available surface, you expect more for $130,000 than “comfortable and functional.”
Road & Track
Paying for the Alpina touch does get you a new 8-speed automatic transmission, plus “the classic Alpina 20-spoke allow wheels.” Yet the difference-maker is the tuning that’s been done to the 7 Series’s V8 turbo engine. There’s something “both magic and incongruous” about being able to power a vehicle this size from 0 to 60 in just 4.3 seconds. With this big car, “expect to have fun.”