2011 BMW Aplina B7 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Not only will BMW not make an M7, but they even stopped making the incredibly-close-to-an-M Alpina B7 a few years ago. That car could hold its head high against competitors like the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG, Audi S8 and Bentley Flying Spur Speed, with extra horsepower, refined handling and unique looks setting it apart from standard 7 series fare. Sadly, that car was only produced from 2007-2008 and since '09 there's been nothing to fill the void.

Today in Chicago we saw a bright light on the horizon. Just in time to do battle with the upcoming Jaguar XJR, Porsche Panamera Turbo and the like, BMW unveiled the 2011 Alpina B7. Functional front and rear fascias and spoilers, 20-spoke, 21-inch Alpina wheels, hand-stitched "Lavalina" leather and Alpina badges and sills differentiate this from lesser 7s.

Underhood there's a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 with 500 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque – 100 hp and 66 lb-ft better than the 750i, with a 0-60 dash of 4.5 seconds. Available in short wheelbase for $122,875 or extended wheelbase at $126,775, it's a helluva car for helluva lot scratch. Press release after the jump and live gallery below.



Related Gallery2011 BMW Alpina B7

Live photos copyright ©2010 Frank Filipponio/Weblogs, Inc.
[Source: BMW]


PRESS RELEASE

The 2011 BMW ALPINA B7 Sedan

BMW returns legendary ALPINA badge to North America.

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – January 8, 2010... BMW of North America announced today that the 2011 BMW ALPINA B7 sedan will join BMW's North American product range as the most dynamic 7 Series model. The BMW ALPINA B7 represents the second generation of ALPINA automobiles based on the BMW 7 Series to be offered in the US. The first BMW ALPINA B7 was offered as a limited edition for the 2007 and 2008 model years. Newly interpreted and based on the current BMW 7 Series platform, the B7 will again set the benchmark in terms of performance, refinement, technology, luxury and exclusivity.

Yielding exquisite levels of power and torque from the twin-turbocharged 4.4 liter V8, and in conjunction with the electronically-adjustable suspension with active roll stabilization, the new B7 promises to offer a spectrum of driving experiences so broad as to be unheard of in this class of automobiles. The evolution of the traditional 20-spoke 21" ALPINA CLASSIC wheels underline the fresh design language found throughout the B7 and impart it a distinctive appearance and powerful stance.

Both short- and long-wheelbase models will be offered. The BMW ALPINA B7 will make its North American premiere at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show in February, and go on sale at authorized BMW Centers in Spring of 2010. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.

ALPINA and BMW. A history of synergy.

ALPINA – a name famous in Europe and the wider world for putting a particular performance accent on BMWs, though not yet so well-known in North America. BMW – a name famous all over the world for motor vehicles of performance, quality, luxury and safety.

The two companies, both at home in the German state of Bavaria, have a long history of working together to produce special BMW automobiles. Burkard Bovensiepen, son of the founder of ALPINA Business Machines and an enthusastic racing driver/engineer, began his automotive career path in 1961 by developing a dual-carburetor setup for the just-introduced BMW 1500 sedan. It was a predictive beginning: to take an already fine-performing BMW (which also just happened to be a practical sedan) and making it perform even better.

By 1964, BMW had officially recognized ALPINA's contribution to BMW performance. Not long thereafter, Burkard Bovensiepen founded the ALPINA company – ALPINA Burkard Bovensiepen KG – that continues today, creating special versions of BMW automobiles that offer a particular brand of performance for discriminating auto enthusiasts. Yet outside the circle of dedicated BMW enthusiasts, ALPINA has kept a low profile in North America. In addition to racing versions of BMWs, ALPINA has developed a progression of BMW-based cars based on 3, 5, 6, 8, Z4 and Z8 models and offered them on a limited-production basis. ALPINA is located in the small Bavarian city of Buchloe, some 50 miles southwest of Munich, BMW's headquarters