Don’t feel ashamed if you’ve never heard of the BMW Alpina B7; the automaker only sells a few hundred of them a year. But there are a few good reasons for that, not the least of which is its built-to-order, hand-crafted interior.
Alpina is a German performance tuner that has partnered up with BMW to sell hopped-up, more luxurious versions of cars. The latest version of the second-generation Alpina B7 is the company’s newest offering, based on the revised 2013 BMW 7 Series full-size sedan. While it looks almost identical to the sedan on which it’s based, Alpina fortifies it with its own set of goods to make the set the package apart.
From its twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 engine, Alpina has extracted 540 horsepower—95 more than the 2013 BMW 750i’s and just 20 horsepower shy of the M5′s. That’s up some 40 horsepower from the 2012 model. Along with a new Alpina-tuned eight-speed automatic transmission sending power to the wheels, the B7 is capable of hitting 60 mph in 4.3 to 4.4 seconds, depending on wheelbase length and rear- or all-wheel-drive layout, all the way up to a 193 or 194 mph top speed. That’s almost 20 mph higher than the outgoing Alpina B7′s top speed.
BMW says the Alpina B7 comes with 30 new aerodynamic parts for controlling wind travel or ducting to the car’s engine. Added under the skin are auto start-stop technology, LED fog lights, available full-LED headlights, and a new high-end Bang & Olufsen stereo system. As with all other Alpina B7 models, the new version comes with exclusive 21-inch, 20-spoke wheels, a custom, coachbuilt interior assembled by hand, and available Alpina metallic blue paint exclusive to the the B7 in the U.S.
When the 2013 BMW Alpina B7 becomes available, it will carry a starting price of $128,495 for the short-wheelbase version, $131,495 for the short-wheelbase xDrive all-wheel-drive model, $132,395 for the long-wheelbase B7, and $135,495 for the long-wheelbase xDrive, including $895 for destination and handling. If you’re in the market for this niche luxury super sedan, BMW will begin taking orders immediately after it makes its August introduction at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.