Alpina: Making Great BMWs Better

March 28, 2021 by

When you think of a BMW, what phrase immediately comes to mind? “The Ultimate Driving Machine,” of course! Perhaps one of most successful, and long-lived advertising slogans of all time, The Ultimate Driving Machine slogan was spearheaded by longtime Ford, GM, and Chrysler executive Bob Lutz in the 1970s when he worked for BMW.

But BMW fans also know that there are some models far more serious than the standard models. Those that earn the M (for Motorsport) moniker are the highest-performing in their lines. BMW M models get more powerful engines, upgraded brakes and suspension, sportier appearance, bigger wheels, sportier seats, and more. It’s very likely you’ve heard of M, but have you heard of Alpina?

Alpina image

Alpina (formally Alpina Burkard Bovensiepen GmbH & Co. KG) is an automobile manufacturer founded in 1965 that works closely with BMW to upgrade certain models for both performance and comfort. While Alpinas may not have the same at-the-limit performance of the M cars, they are also extremely comfortable, and far more exclusive, with about 1,700 cars produced per year. You can spot a BMW Alpina from a distance by its signature 20-spoke light alloy wheels and different bumper shapes and trim. Inside, they have more luxurious interior materials, Alpinagauges, and Alpina badging.

The company offers a broader model portfolio in Europe, but two models are currently available new to U.S. customers, sold through BMW dealerships –including Holman’s. They are the Alpina B7 and Alpina XB7.

Alpina B7

There is no such thing as an M7 –that would be inappropriate –so there’s a B7 instead. The AlpinaB7, based on the flagship 7-Series sedan, is on its third generation, though it’s actually the sixth generation full-size performance-luxury model from Alpina. Boasting a high-performance twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine, it delivers 600 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque, the B7 enjoys a significant upgrade over the 750i’s 4.4-liter V8, which itself produces 523 hp and 533 lb-ft of torque. On the other side of the showroom, the buttery smooth 6.6-liter V12 in the M760i xDrive sedan produces 601 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque.

With nearly identical power outputs, why would one buy a B7 over an M760i? For one, the V12 model has a curb weight around 400 pounds heavier –nearly all of which is over the front wheels. For another, the Alpina B7 is less expensive than the M760i. The B7’s starting MSRP is $143,200, while the M760i xDrive starts at $157,800. However, going crazy with the online configurator, I was able to spec a B7 over the V12’s starting price. The same lack of discretion on the option sheet allowed me to get to the M760i to $181,075.Perhaps most significantly, the B7 offers exclusivity that a “normal” BMW, even an abnormal one like the M760i that keen observers may only see a handful of times in their lives, does not. The B7 offers optional 21 inch wheels, while the M760i’s only go up to 20 inches. The B7 also boasts exclusive leather seating and Alpina-specific paint colors.

Alpina XB7

If you prefer Sport Activity Vehicles over sedans, you’re surely aware that BMW also does not offer an X7 M, as that would be arguably even less on-mission than an M7 would be. Remember, we’re talking about Ultimate Driving Machines. But there is an X7-based Alpina XB7. Picture the Alpina treatment on an X7 –that means optional 20-spoke up-sized (23 inch!) wheels, gorgeous leather seats, exclusive colors, and a sportier variant of the 4.4-liter twin turbo V8, producing 612 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. With no V12 available in the X7, if you want the fast X7, you need the XB7. As with B7, it’s not just about speed; even the third row of the XB7seats passengers in first-class, not third-class, accommodations. While many manufacturers skimp on the third row materials because they’re the “kid seats,” theXB7’sseats have the same lovely quilted leather, the armrests are leather and not plastic. Pricing of the XB7 is actually a bit under the B7, despite offering essentially the same engine, and more of almost everything else.

Alpina B8Gran Coupe

CoupeNorth American BMW fans will soon have a third Alpina model –the Alpina B8. As you may have guessed from the naming convention used for the other two models, it’s based on the 8-Series Gran Coupe. Interestingly, BMW does offer an M8 Gran Coupe, so a head-to-head comparison is more relevant than others I’ve made. However, since the B8 Gran Coupe is not yet in production, I can’t tell you about its driving experience vs. an M8.

The B8’s 4.4-liter V8 will produce 612 horsepower (more than the B7, same as the XB7) and 590-lb-ft. In the M8, the 4.4-liter V8 produces 600 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. The M8 Competition boasts 625 hp at 6,000 rpm, so the B8 is splitting the horsepower difference between the two M models –but what’s notable is where in the engine’s power band the peaks are reached. The B8’s maximum torque is available from2,000 to 5,000 RPM. The M8’s is available from 1,800 to 5,600 RPM. The B8’s higher torque output will probably feel a bit stronger than the M8’s when accelerating from a stop.

BMW interior

The Alpina Experience

Walking up to a low-slung, long-hood flagship luxury sedan like the Alpina B7, clad in large 20-spoke wheels, painted in glistening Alpina Blue Metallic paint, the word that comes to mind is presence. It’s an imposing car to look at –the design is that of a relatively conservative three-box silhouette, but thoughtful details give it an extra spark. According to my phone’s photo library, I last drove an Alpina B7 on September 19, 2012, and it was the previous-generation model. Still, many of the characteristic traits in today’s B7 were present in its ancestor I drove nearly nine years ago. I remember the steering wheel leather being extra soft and feeling more padded than most cars. I remember effortless power (the F01-generation generated 500 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque), a delightful V8 sound, and a near-perfect ride and handling balance. Having driven 1 Series M, M3, M5, M6, X3M, X5M, and X6M models, the Alpina B8 was not nearly as hard-edged (though, to be fair, I rarely want to drive an M car in anything but Sport+ mode).

Alpina owners get the best of both worlds: easy purchase and service from their local BMW store, a car that boasts modern safety, convenience, and comfort, but with superior performance, hand-built engines and visual and comfort upgrades. It’s fair to say that Alpinas are not exactly mass-produced cars, and that those who value something special will continue to seek out these very special BMWs. I know that on the rare occasion I spot one in traffic, it makes my day.

Inquire about the Alpina and other BMW models at one of Holman’s BMW dealerships:

BMW of Fort Lauderdale

Lauderdale BMW of Pembroke Pines

Princeton BMW

BMW of Mt. Laurel

Kuni BMW


More Info

  • The Power and Splendor of the Jaguar F-Pace Walkaround

    The Jaguar F-Pace delivers the sporty Jaguar look and feel that you know and love without sacrificing the details of luxury.

  • Wherever the Journey Takes You, Land Rover Gets You There.

    Where does your road begin? Whether it starts with a drive to the office or a trip up a windy hill for a day of adventure, let Land Rover lead you there.

  • 2022 Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Overview

    Dive into the details of the 2022 Lamborghini Aventador SVJ, a technology-focused super sports car designed for high performance.

  • Prepare Your Vehicle for the 2022 Hurricane Season

    Follow these guidelines to protect your vehicle from the high winds and water of hurricanes.

  • 2022 Porsche 911

    Built for the road that never ends the 2022 Porsche 911- is driving with the highest level of capability possible. Check out the walk-around and discover what makes it so iconic.

  • Summer Car Maintenance Checklist

    Ready to venture off for your summer road trip? Not so fast. When was the last time you performed a thorough check on your vehicle? Use this vehicle summer checklist before you hit the road.

  • A Different Flavor for Bentley

    Bentley introduces a new Continental GT and GTC S focused on driving pleasure.

  • 2022 Cadillac XT4

    Nowhere to go and everywhere to be? Cruise into town in the Cadillac XT4 luxury compact SUV. Stylish and sophisticated and so much more. Let’s check it out.

  • 2022 Ford Maverick

    Don’t pass up the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the 2022 Ford Maverick- it’s the perfect road companion for where ever your adventure takes you.

  • Holman Ranked #18 in the Top 100 Retailers Based Upon Used Vehicle Sales

    Holman achieves over 30,000 used retail unit sales across 30 dealerships in 2021, ranking at #18 in the Top 100 Retailers list.

  • Holman Ranked #22 in the Top 150 Dealership Groups

    Annually, the nation’s leading automotive industry publication, Automotive News, releases a list of the top 150 Dealership Groups in the United States. This list ranks the largest auto retail groups according to their total new vehicle sales for the year. It is a great pleasure to announce that Holman has ranked #22 in the 2021 Automotive News list,…

  • Holman Aligns Its Seven Business Units Under a Singular Brand

    The organization and its integrated automotive service divisions are now simply Holman MOUNT LAUREL, NJ (March 28, 2022) – Holman Enterprises, a global automotive services organization, announced today the company has unified its various business divisions and companies under a new, singular global brand, Holman. After nearly a century in business, Holman has long been…

  • Holman Toyota Customer Purchases 7 Millionth Certified Pre-Owned Toyota

    Toyota, one of North America’s largest automakers, sells tens of thousands of cars, trucks, and SUVs each year but recently, they marked a significant milestone in their storied history when the company sold its seven millionth certified pre-owned (CPO) Toyota. And much to our surprise, the seven millionth CPO Toyota – a 2019 Toyota Camry…

  • Holman Partners with Artist Aaron Ricketts to Showcase Today’s Hottest Vehicles from His Unique Perspective

    Aaron Ricketts, a celebrated visual artist from Philadelphia, is best known for his surrealist-inspired photography that challenges perception, condition, and context. Traditionally, his work features human subjects juxtaposed against the reality of their environment to create mystifying imagery. But in this truly unique collaboration with Holman, Aaron turns his creative eye towards some of today’s hottest…

  • 2022 Global Semiconductor Update

    Global Semiconductor Update As projected, the microchip and semiconductor shortage that began mid-2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, has made its way into yet another year. Globally, the demand for products that require microchips continues to outpace production, causing a ripple effect of delays, cancellations, and a host of other complications. Within the…

  • Tips to Maximize EV Range this Winter

    You may not be able to stop Jack Frost from nipping at your nose this winter, but you can certainly keep him from nipping at your electric vehicle. When the temperature drops, so does the performance on your EV and you should expect to experience reduced range in the colder weather. Your battery becomes less…

  • MOTIVE Recap: Exotic Experience

      In the words of Peter Nogalo, host of our monthly podcast, MOTIVE, powered by Holman, “Have you ever wondered what it would be like to cruise down Rodeo Drive in a Rolls-Royce or Bentley, race through Monaco in a Bugatti or Lamborghini, or live out your James Bond fantasies in a specially equipped Aston Martin?”…

  • Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter Driving

    Check this list of precautionary tips to prepare yourself and your vehicle for winter driving conditions.

  • Simplify Buying A Car Online With The Holman GO Tool

    When you’re looking to buy a new car, chances are that you’ve considered shopping around at local dealerships. However, did you know that buying a car online can be totally stress-free, save you time, widen your selection range, and is now easier than ever? During the pandemic, many dealerships transitioned to a digital sales environment,…

  • Bugatti Showcase at the Annual Radnor Hunt Concours d’Elegance

    The Event The 24th annual Radnor Hunt Concours d’Elegance weekend kicked off on Friday, September 10th. Founded by a group of automobile enthusiasts, the Concours d’Elegance is a three-day premier event filled with activities, culminating in a showcase and competition of some of the greatest classic and sporting marques in the auto world. Bugatti, Chrysler Imperial,…

  • Distracted Driving Awareness

    According to Distraction.gov, distracted driving is any activity that could take your attention away from the primary task of driving. These activities are not just limited to cellphone calls or texting, but also include eating and drinking, grooming, talking to passengers, adjusting a radio and more. Of all the different activities or devices that may…

  • Kingsley’s Tour of the 2022 Electric MINI Cooper SE Hardtop

    What happens when a four-legged social media star hits the road in the MINI Cooper SE? Through a series of social posts in partnership with Kingsley, his dads, and our friends at New Life Animal Rescue, viewers were given a unique tour of the latest all-electric MINI.

  • 8 Back-to-Basics Driving Tips

    School’s restarted, and often teachers kick things off by going back to the basics. What’s the foundation of all we’ve learned, and where do we place our building blocks to ensure strong, growing knowledge? Let’s take that same approach with driver safety. There must be at least 8 basic lessons we learned in Driver’s Ed…

  • Buying a Car 2021 Edition

    Buying a car is a big decision that can feel overwhelming at times. Should you buy new or used? Should I purchase or lease? How big of a car payment can you actually afford? Throw in a pandemic and a global microchip shortage that has caused the supply of cars to dwindle and you’re left…

  • Electric Vehicle Glossary

      A AC – Alternating Current – A charge of electricity that periodically changes direction. It is the source of power that comes from the grid. ACES – Autonomous, Connected, Electrification, and Shared – Refers to innovation and disruption in the automotive industry. AER – All-Electric Range – The range any EV is able to…

  • New Office, New Approach to Your Commute

    As the world continues to rebuild post-pandemic, many people are starting to establish a new, more permanent schedule. For most, that includes a revised work situation that could mean more long-term work-from-home policies. Now that the dust has settled, how does this revised work and travel schedule impact your automotive decisions? It might be time…

  • Evacuation Tips For Safely Escaping Wildfires

    Imagine an area the size of Los Angeles being razed by wildfire. That’s the Bootleg Fire in Oregon – more than 476 square miles, and it remains 75% uncontained. Meanwhile, with more than 70 other wildfires raging in 11 other states, the U.S. is at its highest alert level, with more than 17,000 firefighters and…

  • Plugging Into At-Home Charging Stations

    So you’ve been looking at an electric vehicle (EV) as your next vehicle investment. But the question remains: How will you charge it? The idea of “fueling” your car right in your garage or driveway can seem so distant to many, but innovations in EV technology have made at-home charging more accessible than ever. It…

  • Prep Your Vehicle For Summer – A to Z Tips

    It’s officially summertime, and that means ice cream runs, day trips, long road trips, and vacations! Don’t let vehicle trouble break down your plans for summertime fun. Kick up your flip-flopped feet and read through this A to Z list of smart vehicle prep tips, designed to ensure all you have to remember before hitting the…

  • A Look At The All-Electric Ford F-150 Lightning

    May 2021 was an exciting time for Ford and F-150 lovers everywhere, as the company revealed its highly anticipated F-150 Lightning, an all-electric pick-up that’s powering the country’s drive toward an electrifying future. Ford’s F-150 Lightning is a 563 HP workhorse that takes the F-150 you love and adds the top tech on the market…

  • Behind The Scenes: Mercedes-Benz Van Center

    Holman’s Mercedes-Benz Van Center is an innovative new branch in the Holman brand that provides commercial customers across the area with specialty vehicles that work for them. Located in Maple Shade, New Jersey, the Mercedes-Benz Van Center features an inventory unlike any other in our region, and we’re giving you an exclusive look. The 18,000-square…

  • Prepare Your Vehicle For Hurricane Season

    You cherish your vehicle for the good times it gives you, but you also rely on it to be there for you in times of trouble. That may include the “get the heck out of Dodge” moments that could pop up during this year’s Atlantic hurricane season. The storm season officially starts on June 1…

  • Buying Car Insurance? Let’s Count The Ways.

    Author: Holman Insurance Services Just like there are lots of kinds of insurance, there are lots of ways to buy insurance as well. Here’s a look at the three most popular ways and the unique benefits of each. Exclusive Carrier Agents These are folks who work for the big name insurance companies. They are limited…

  • The 2021 Bronco vs. The 1974 Bronco Restomod

    It’s an understatement to say we’re excited about the return of the Ford Bronco after a quarter century of dormancy. We’re hearing stories of strangers approaching owners of the Bronco Sport (available today!) to ask them about their vehicle. If you want to latch onto that Bronco magic today, head to your Holman Ford store…

  • Our Favorite US License Plates Ranked

    At some point you’ve probably played the license plate game—but have you ever ranked which states’ plates are the best looking? Across The US there are hundreds of plates, each one representing the unique aspects of its own state. Some proudly display their landscapes and national landmarks, such as Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, while others simply,…

  • One Year Living With An EV

    By Chris Haak My wife considers herself an environmentalist. She’s a big-time recycler, she actually looks forward to picking up litter, we never throw away edible food, and we try to generate very little waste. We’re not zero-landfill, but our norm is one bag of garbage per week with a huge quantity of recycling. That…

  • Alpina: Making Great BMWs Better

    Learn more about the exclusive Alpina B7 and Alpina XB7 models sold at select BMW dealerships.