Alpina has produced its own version of the 7 Series since 1977 – but no longer
By PH Staff / Tuesday, 27 September 2022 / Loading comments
Just last week, Alpina was telling us all about the (very minor) revisions it had made to the XB7, a 2.7-tonne SUV it headlined as: ‘The Force of Emotions’. Well, the emotions keep on coming. Just a few days later it has confirmed that production of the Alpina B7 – the firm’s flagship saloon – has been wound up.
This is doubly sad. For one thing, it marks the end of six generations of an Alpina-badged 7 Series. Company founder, Burkard Bovensiepen, is said to have recognised the flagship BMW’s potential the moment the E23 launched in 1977. And while the resulting model has appeared under different names over the years, there has always been a beast-like, super-fast 7 Series at the apex of the Alpina lineup. The outgoing G11/12, with its 616hp V8, was absolutely no different.
Alpina itself acknowledged the model’s obvious synergy with brand values. “For me, the BMW Alpina B7 in its final stage of development marks a high point in Alpina’s 7 Series model history. Everything that Alpina and the 7 stands for at BMW culminates in this model,” says Florian Bovensiepen, one Alpina’s two Managing Director. Unfortunately, he said that as he took delivery of one of the last cars off the Dingolfing production line.
The wider point, of course, is that the B7’s demise is symptomatic of the fact that Alpina will not continue as it is. The B7 was produced at the same plant as the BMW 7 Series, and is destined now to begin production of the all-new G70 generation – a car that evidently won’t be receiving the Alpina treatment as the company winds up its affairs ahead of BMW’s takeover.
Quite what its new parent has planned for the Buchloe-based tuner is still a mystery, but the fact that the factory produced more than 2,000 examples of the B7 in the last generation alone suggests that the model was not terminated simply for want of customer interest. More likely this is the first place the axe has fallen as Alpina readies itself for life under BMW in 2025.
There’s no word yet on what that means for the more recent B8 Gran Coupe, which presumably means that it gets a stay of execution for now. Accordingly, we’d suggest snapping one up while you still can – because once that’s gone, the not-at-all subtle XB7 will be the only choice for anyone hankering after a very large new BMW with bonafide Alpina lettering on the back.
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