We dig super sedans. You get 94 percent of the performance of a sports car (or there abouts) plus the ability to take a few friends along for the hair-raising ride. Also, cops don't seem to scrutinize big snazzy sleepers as much as they do bright yellow scissor-doored whatchamacall'em-ardos. It should come as no shock then that when we first heard about the new Alpina B7, we were pretty excited. When we then subsequently learned that an all-wheel drive version of BMW's sportiest big sedan was coming to the New York Auto Show, well, our excitement grew.
Then we saw the car in the flesh.
Let's just say we're now triple excited. A few pertinent stats, if we may. The 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 found in a host of BMWs has been significantly improved to 500 horsepower (up by 100 hp over stock) and 516 pound-feet of torque (up by 66 pound-feet). The B7 is also more aerodynamic than your garden variety 7 Series, comes with zillion-spoke wheels (fine, twenty) and can hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. With the Alpina B7 xDrive, you can now toss AWD into that already frothy mix.
But the above stats aren't the crazy parts. It's the details that impress the most. For example, all four of the heavy-duty half shafts come out of the 7 Series High Security. The 60 to 0 mph braking distance is identical to a Porsche Turbo. That last bit is not an April Fools' joke, although it's somewhat mitigated by Alpina's saying, "that's cold braking distance." While not a stat per say, the AWD system is mechanically identical to other BMW xDrive systems, though Alpina has written their own software system, presumably for the better.
One last thing that's actually a little to complicated to explain: take a look at the center of the B7's wheel. You'll see that once you've slid the heraldry over, there's a keyhole. Now, if you zoom out, you'll notice no valve stems anywhere on the wheel. In other words, your tire pressure's locked in and can be adjusted to the tenth of a PSI. Pretty cool, no?
High res gallery below, official press release after the jump.
Photos by Drew Phillips / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.
BMW 335is Coupe and Convertible, X5 SAV and ALPINA B7 xDrive also debut.
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – March 24, 2010... BMW will introduce the most innovative and stylish 5 Series ever to the North American market at the New York International Auto Show. The all-new 5 Series will share the spotlight with the 335is Coupe and Convertible and BMW X5 SAV, which are also making their North American debuts and the BMW Alpina B7 xDrive which is making its World debut. All of the new BMWs will be 2011 models.
The new BMW 5 Series Sedan, which arrives in early summer, marks the epitome of modern design and driving pleasure in the world of premium midsize sedans. Through its athletic and executive looks; driving dynamics typical of BMW, and innovative comfort and safety features, the sixth generation BMW 5 Series reflects the standards upheld by the world's most successful manufacturer of premium cars.
With the longest wheelbase in the segment, a long and sleek hood, short overhangs, and a coupe-like roofline, the new BMW 5 Series Sedan stands out clearly from the competition. The interior offers precise functionality and a fresh ambience that come together in perfect harmony, unmistakable style, and clear orientation to the driver. Highly advanced drivetrain and suspension technologies combine agile handling for the driver and a high standard of riding comfort for passengers.
The new BMW 5 Series Sedan will be available with V-8 and inline-6 gasoline engines. The top-of-the-range BMW 550i arrives with BMW's "reverse-flow" V-8 engine featuring twin turbochargers and High Precision direct injection for maximum output of 400 hp. The new inline-6 of the BMW 535i features a single twin-scroll turbocharger, High Precision direct injection, and combined for the first time with turbocharging, Valvetronic throttle-less intake technology
Substantial enhancements to the 2011 3 Series Coupe and Convertible include outstanding style updates for 328i and 335i models and a new engine for 335i models. The 2011 3 Series Coupe and Convertible models will go on sale in spring 2010.
Fundamentally unchanged are each car's essential attributes of rear-wheel drive (xDrive is available on the Coupe), near-perfect 50-50 weight distribution, remarkably precise steering, and skillfully engineered suspension.
All-new is the engine for the 335i model. Internally designated the "N55," this turbocharged, all-aluminum engine features essentially the same "short block" and 3.0-liter displacement of its predecessor, but benefits from five additional years worth of development and refinement. The result is an engine that is more responsive, more fuel efficient and cleaner-running than its outstanding predecessor, and preserves the previous engine's output and soul: 300 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque, and a 7,000 rpm redline. The 6-speed manual gearbox – beloved by North American enthusiast drivers - remains standard, and the well-known 6-speed Steptronic automatic is optional, now with available "pull-style" shift paddles on the multifunction steering wheel.
This spring, BMW will write the latest chapter in the story of the original Sports Activity Vehicle®, the BMW X5 with new powertrains and updated design for 2011. Innovative new design elements and powertrains are the result of over 4,000 new parts created by BMW designers and engineers. Two of the X5's powertrains will be all-new for 2011, creating the new X5 xDrive50i and X5 xDrive35i, in addition to the familiar BMW Advanced Diesel X5 xDrive35d. All models receive a design update that enhances the brilliant focus and aesthetic appearance of the X5. The gasoline models receive BMW's new 8-speed automatic transmission for better acceleration and fuel efficiency.
The body design of the 2011 BMW X5 is characterized by well-balanced proportions that accentuate the vehicle's powerful presence and agility. A long wheelbase, short front and rear body overhangs, and large light-alloy wheels provide a visual balance between the front and rear of the vehicle. Square-shaped, carefully flared wheel arches hint at the X5's all-wheel drive traction and other-roads capability. The body lines sweep upwards from the front and rear wheels, communicating BMW's near-perfect 50-50 front-rear weight distribution which is so essential to the X5's legendary driving dynamics.
At the Chicago Auto Show, it was announced that the 2011 BMW Alpina B7 sedan will join BMW's North American product range as the most dynamic 7 Series model, and that both standard- and long-wheelbase models will be offered. Now, at the New York International Auto Show, the news gets bigger: the BMW Alpina B7 will also be offered with BMW's xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive.
BMW Alpina B7 with xDrive will again be offered in standard- and long-wheelbase editions, and will enjoy the low-speed traction advantages that only xDrive can provide. 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.