Saturday, May 28, 2011

Alpina BMW B7 Bi-Turbo, 2010

    With the new Alpina BMW B7 Bi-Turbo, Alpina presents its fourth generation of automobiles based on the BMW 7-Series. Prominent predecessors include the BMW Alpina B12 6.0 and B7, which raised the bar in the high-performance luxury saloon segment. Newly interpreted and in every way state-of-the-art, the Alpina BMW B7 Bi-Turbo unites exclusiveness, athleticism and comfort in perfect harmony.


    The fully-aluminium, 4395 cm3 V8 aggregate yields 507 peak horsepower (373 kW) at a moderate 5500rpm, with a maximum torque of 700 Nm available between 3000-4750 rpm. Two especially for Alpina powerplant constructed turbochargers, one located above each of the V8's two cylinder banks, are responsible for the forced induction. The turbochargers operate in parallel, with generously-dimensioned turbine vanes measuring 44mm in diameter.


    The Alpina BMW B7 Bi-Turbo is the result of the consistent execution of the Alpina philosophy, in itself the reason why the sharp yet gracious Alpina BMW B7 Bi-Turbo shines so brilliantly in everyday use.

    One look at the torque and power diagram is enough to highlight that the Alpina BMW B7 Bi-Turbo will accelerate fiercely yet effortlessly from very low revs. Peak torque is available from an unusually broad range of rpm's, ranging from 3,000 to 4,750 rpm. This wide powerband coupled with the exquisitely geared ZF six-speed automatic sport transmission pampers the occupants with remarkably high levels of smooth drivetrain comfort in every driving situation.

    The Alpina SWITCH-TRONIC, which has been programmed to shift exceptionally smooth and comfortable in Automatic mode, offers different shift characteristics for every taste and situation thanks to the additional Sport and Manual modes. Driving the Alpina BMW B7 Bi-Turbo becomes an altogether different experience when using the buttons found on the back of the steering wheel for manually selecting the gears of the automatic transmission. This ensures shifts take place within a few hundred milliseconds and with only minimal interruption to the transmission of power, favourably comparable even to the best twin-clutch transmissions. As a result the Alpina BMW B7 Bi-Turbo sprints from 0-100 km/h in 4.7 seconds, vehemently pressing on to an electronically-limited 280 km/h top speed.


    Long gone are the days when a purely "hard and sporty" ride was a sought-after attribute of suspension set-ups. Striving for truly neutral handling continues to be the intelligent way forward, yielding the best of what is technologically feasible. In pursuit of this goal, marginally shorter and uniquely calibrated springs reduce front and rear ride height by 15mm and 10mm respectively.

    Together with the 21" wheel and tyre combination the suspension is at once sensitive to inputs and direct in its feel, yet free from the harshness of a purely sportsoriented suspension, imparting this large saloon with an agility usually only associated with much smaller sports saloons. The light-weight 21" wheels, with their new interpretation of the Alpina CLASSIC wheel design, are shod with an especially selected staggered MICHELIN tyre set-up: 245/35 R21 front and 285/30 R21 rear. Foregoing Run-Flat technology, conventional tyres are used to ensure a supple, comfortable finesse that is rare today.


    At once dynamic, graceful and potent - the silhouette of the Alpina BMW B7 Bi-Turbo is significantly influenced by the evolutionary new design of the 21" Alpina CLASSIC wheels. A turbine-like three-dimensional curve guides each of the 20 spokes from the centre of the wheel to the rim, at which point they have a milled surface. Depending on the angle of the viewer, the rotational speed of the wheels and the light, the appearance of these classic wheels is constantly changing. Of course they continue to possess the refined tyre air valves, safely and attractively hidden away behind the lockable wheel covers.

    In true "form-follows-function" fashion, the typical Alpina front integrates the fresh-air requirements of the transmission and engine oil coolers, which are separated out of the main cooler module for improved efficiency. The design of the front and rear spoiler follows clearly aerodynamically-oriented interests, reducing lift at the front and rear by 30% and 15% respectively. Left and right, the exhaust system's two double tailpipes are seamlessly integrated into the rear valance and are witness to the Alpina BMW B7 Bi-Turbo's potency.

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Alpina BMW B7 Bi-Turbo, 2010

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