UPDATED: Performance 7 series: BMW and Alpina go head to head

Written by: Katie Morley

BMW tuning specialist Alpina unveiled the all new B7 super-saloon in Geneva this week. Alpina has said that the UK will only get limited numbers of the car in right-hand drive and due to engineering constraints they will be rear-wheel drive only. Other markets will get BMW’s xDrive four-wheel drive system.

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At the same time, BMW announced their own M version of the 7 Series which appeared in Geneva as the M760i xDrive. Shortly after the debut, BMW revised its official power and acceleration figures following official homologation tests. The M760Li performed better than the 592BHP and 3.9 second 0-60 time originally quoted.

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A twin-turbocharged 6.6litre V12 hides under the bonnet of the M performance 7, pushing out 600BHP and 590lb ft of torque from 1500RPM. The M760 performs like a supercar, accelerating from 0-60MPH in just 3.7 seconds and reaching an electronically limited top speed of 155MPH. The Alpina develops a healthy 608BHP from a smaller capacity 4.4litre bi-turbo V8 and manages to reach 60MPH in an estimated 3.6 seconds (0-100KPH 3.7secs).

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In BMW’s own version power is transferred to all four wheels through an eight speed steptronic gearbox. It can function as a silky smooth fully automatic or the driver can take control using the steering wheel paddles. M Performance specific tuning delivers sportier changes and includes a launch control system and a rear-wheel bias. Alpina utilises the same systems but includes their own tuning setup.

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Features include 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport Tyres, electronically adjustable anti-roll bars and sports tuned air suspension to allow un-compromised handling and safety in all weather conditions.

A distinctive body kit, exclusive badges and gloss grey accents set the M760 apart from other models in the range and enable it to be easily identified at a quick glance. However, on the more luxurious side of things the car includes LED headlamps, WiFi hotspot, BMW’s gesture control for the infotainment system and a rear mounted Samsung tablet that lets passengers control near enough everything in the car from the radio and in car lighting. The B7 will feature Alpina’s own wheels and bodykit and a bespoke interior.

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The BMW M760i xDrive will be appearing in showrooms around the early months of 2017 around the same time as the Alpina B7, however the pricing has not been confirmed just yet. We will bring you more info on both cars as soon as it is available.

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