Written by Karl Peskett
Everyone loves a rollercoaster ride. Being thrown about, lifted high up, dropped, and twisted around can be a lot of fun. But you can’t do it all day. Sometimes, you just want the peace and quiet of the Ferris wheel.
While sports cars are an exhilarating ride, occasionally it’s nice to amble along, being cosseted in luxury. But it’s also nice to know there’s a reserve of torque awaiting your right foot’s command. And that’s exactly how Alpina sees it.
A family-owned business, Alpina has been enhancing BMWs for decades, so much so that it’s now classed as an automotive manufacturer in its own right.
Thus, when the 7 Series was launched, Alpina got busy. The creation you see before you is called the Alpina B7 Bi-Turbo, and it’s a truly individual beast. While the overall shape is similar to the 7 Series, it’s the details which set it apart. Witness the 20-spoke wheels which hide the air valves inside, the hand-finished steering wheel stitched with Alpina colours, the myrtle interior trim, and the LED instruments which change graphics depending on your driving mode.
Because these aren’t mass-produced machines, the options for personalisation are virtually endless. Want a certain leather colour? No problem. An embroidered logo in the headrests? Whatever you like. Paintwork to match a certain shade? Can do.
Under the bonnet you’ll find the familiar 4.4l twin-turbo V8, but enhanced via air intake, cooling system, and internal modifications. It now creates a massive 608bhp and an earth-slowing 800Nm. With a thunderous soundtrack, the B7 Bi-Turbo can hit 100kph from rest in just 4.2 seconds, and rocket down an autobahn at 310kph. But with adaptive air suspension and rear-wheel steering, it’ll corner too.
When you want to get somewhere quickly, the B7 Bi-Turbo satisfies with a simple flex of the ankle. Yet, like a serene fairground ride, it’ll cosset its occupants, too.
Alpina certainly knows how to live life in the fast lane.