The BMW X7 is a very key model for BMW. The big three row SUV pushes the German luxury car maker into a segment of the SUV market that it once largely ignored especially as it exploded in growth over the past decade. With a laundry list of technology, bold exterior styling, and an extremely high degree of engineering in its flanks, the X7 has alot of the ingredients needed for a successful luxury offering. The one item that has been missing is an infusion of horsepower, but legendary BMW tuner Alpina is aware of this, and has revealed that it will be adding the X7 to its portfolio of custom models.
Dubbed the XB7, the Buchloe based tuner has already launched a dedicated website for the XB7 (first-class-adventures.com) which currently leads to a splash page displaying a countdown clock as well as a picture of what appears to be an Alpina emblazoned version of the same iDrive controller that sees duty in the standard X7. The official debut is slated to take place next Tuesday, May 19th, so the wait is nearly over at this stage of the game.
However, that does not mean that Alpina is spilling the beans too early either, with the company so far being tight lipped about many aspects of the XB7. However, the XB portion of the moniker itself indicates that the model will be powered by a gasoline engine versus a diesel like we have seen in some of its tuned rivals. Look for the gasoline powered version to be based on the X7 850i which is powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.4. liter V8 that produces a very healthy 523 horsepower straight from the factory. Alpina offerings tend to focus on creating a balance between comfort and performance, so while the engine will most likely receive some tweaks, we don’t expect final horsepower to go too far over the 600 mark. Look for pricing to also be a very healthy premium over the $99,600 that BMW charges for the range topping X7 model. though we get to wait until its unveiled to formally find out that particular figure.
Subtlety has also been an Alpina benchmark for many years, and that will be reflected in a body kit that promises to bring some extra levels of authority to its flanks, but without going overboard in the quest to try and be more masculine and brawny. A slick set of Alpina designed 20-inch wheels will also make it easy to identify it out on the road, and chassis, suspension, and brake upgrades are also likely to be added to help the SUV cope with the extra amounts of horsepower that lurks under the hood.
As mentioned, the Alpina XB7 will break cover next week, and if all goes well in terms of production and launch timelines, the first examples could begin rolling out to European showrooms towards the end of the year. At the moment, the United States is not included, but Alpina execs have stated that they would love to include the XB7 in the brand’s North American portfolio, and that could help Alpina snag precious sales in a market that is still hungry for new SUV models.