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2007 Chicago Auto Show: BMW Alpina B7 - An M7 in all but name

BMW Alpina B7 - Click above for high-res image gallery

They finally brought it out, so we covered it. Actually, we shouldn't sound so aloof. After announcing the BMW Alpina B7 way back in February of 2006, the Bavarians finally decided to show us the production version here in Chicago. And although it wasn't much of a revelation, it WAS a rather impressive vehicle in person. As we just told you last week, it's basically an M7 in all but name. The slightly streamlined 7-series adds the not-so-subtle Alpina classic rims (all 21 inches of them), a revised dash with a unique cluster, and the signature Alpina front and rear aero aids. Oh, and that supercharger underhood helps this particular V8 pump out 500 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Channeled through an Alpine refined version of the 6-speed auto tranny, that's good enough for a 0-60 sprint of 4.8 seconds and a VMAX of 186 mph. All for a starting price of $115,695. That's a full 40 large over a standard run-of-the-mill short wheelbase 7-series, but with only 200 of the B7s coming to these shores, it's likely they won't have any problem moving them. Original press release can be found after the jump.

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[Source: BMW]

BMW ALPINA B7: BMW and ALPINA, Germany's Renowned Performance Specialists, Create a New High Performance 7 Series Model

Woodcliff Lake, NJ - February 16, 2006... Committed to developing the best performing vehicles in the luxury market, BMW with ALPINA has created a special high performance version of BMWís 7 Series luxury sedan. The 2006 BMW ALPINA B7 brings together the luxury, pioneering design, and advanced technology of the 7 Series Sedan with the scintillating performance of a supercharged, 500hp V-8 engine.

To power the BMW ALPINA B7, ALPINA specially developed a higher-performance version of BMWís 4.4-liter, 90-degree V-8 engine and mated it to a 6-speed automatic transmission featuring steering wheel mounted shift controls. The motor produces 500 horsepower at 5,500 rpm along with maximum torque of 516 lbs.-ft. at 4,250 rpm, and propels the B7 from 0-60 mph in a mere 4.8 seconds. ALPINA 21-inch wheels carry Z-rated performance tires, while the sport-tuned suspension includes Active Roll Stabilization. The B7 aerokit includes a rear spoiler to improve stability, handling, and performance at high speeds.

ALPINA was established in 1964 as an official and approved ìennoblerî of BMW automobiles. Their tradition is to take production BMWs and make them even more appealing to connoisseurs of automotive finery.

With this new model, BMW will raise the benchmark for the segment in terms of performance, refinement, technology, and luxury. Approximately 200 US-version cars are planned for the 2006 model year, with a release date in July 2006.

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