What’s it like?
Alpina has done a spectacular job of upping performance while retaining the overall responsiveness, linearity of delivery and mechanical smoothness of the donor car. With so much accessible torque, there’s serious punch on a loaded throttle in sport mode, and a suitably angry exhaust note, too. The claimed 0-62mph time improves on the X7 M50i by 0.5sec, while top speed, limited by the tyres according to Alpina, is pegged at 180mph.
The pinch comes with average consumption, which is put at just 20.3mpg and gives the new Alpina a CO2 rating of 316g/km.
We drove the XB7 on a circuit, so conclusions on its real world driving characteristics, including its ride quality, will have to wait for now. The steering feels quite a bit sharper than that of the M50i and, with an air suspension that reduces ride height at speed, it also boasts outstanding body control for such a big and heavy SUV.
It is fun to push through a challenging set of corners despite the early onset of roll steer, which more than outright grip, proves its limiting dynamic factor.
Should I buy one?
Not that many prospective owners are ever likely to experience the new Alpina model in full flight. Which is a pity, because it is a even more controlled and engaging drive than the X7 M50i. And predicatably a good deal more expensive as well.
Alpina XB7 specification
Where Bilster Berg, Germany Price £130,000 (estimated) On sale Q4 2020 Engine V8, 4395cc, turbo, petrol Power 613bhp at 5500rpm Torque 590lb ft at 2000-5000rpm Gearbox 8-spd automatic Kerb weight 2655kg Top speed 180mph 0-62mph 4.2sec Fuel economy 20.3mpg CO2 316g/km Rivals Bentley Bentayga W12, BMW X7 M50i, Mercedes-AMG GLS63 4Matic