Stepping up its game for the coming year, the limited-production 2013 BMW Alpina B7 is scheduled to arrive in showrooms here this summer boasting more of everything that makes this special-order sedan the current king of the 7 Series hill. Set to make its public debut at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in August, the subtle but effective changes make the new Alpina B7 quicker, faster and even more luxurious while retaining all of its hand-crafted character and exclusivity. As with the current B7 lineup, buyers will be able to choose from standard or long-wheelbase model in rear-drive or xDrive AWD configurations.

Like all 2013 BMW 750i models, the Alpina-tweaked 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 in the upcoming B7 has been fitted with BMW's Valvetronic throttle-less intake technology. Here, that enhancement lifts output from 500 to 540 horsepower and pops peak torque from 516 to 538 lb-ft. Backed by a new Alpina-spec Steptronic 8-speed high-performance automatic transmission, the B7 can now charge from 0-60 mph in 4.3-4.4 seconds -- about a tenth of a tick quicker than the 2012 contingent - and sees top speed climb from 175 mph to 194 mph on rear-drive models or 193 mph for xDrive variants.

While BMW has made no mention of specific efficiency gains, the engine also is fitted with the automaker's Automatic Start/Stop technology. That feature, coupled with Valvetronic, is expected to yield a 20-25 percent improvement on the V8 in the baseline 2013 BMW 750i and a similar benefit should be realized here as well.

As always, the adaptive suspension, Dynamic Damping Control and Active Roll Stabilization as well as the xDrive AWD system in the new B7 models all receive Aplina-specific tuning to ensure all of the extra power can be put to best use. Keeping it all tied to terra firma are lightweight 21-inch Alpina-design 20-spoke alloy wheels wrapped in staggered-width (245/35 front/285-30 rear) Michelin PS2 performance tires.

In keeping with endowing its cars with subtle but functional exterior modifications, 2013 BMW Alpina B7 gets a more aero-friendly front fascia design that in addition to improving the flow of cooling air to the engine also incorporates all of the latest 7 Series revamps to the look of the grille inserts, Xenon Adaptive headlights and LED fog lamps. An understated decklid spoiler and restyled taillamp lenses complete the B7's visual remake. Buyers can opt for any color in the standard 7 Series palette or choose the signature Alpina Blue Metallic that's exclusive to this vehicle.

Inside, the 2013 Alpina B7 gets its own primo wood and leather treatments as well as a host of bespoke trim elements. For 2013, the roster of additional standard features has been expanded to include the BMW Active Protection system and ceramic rather than metallic accenting on the secondary controls. The new B7 also will be available with full LED headlights and a premium Bang & Olufsen Surround Sound System.

Pricing for the standard-wheelbase 2013 BMW Alpina B7 will start at $128,465 with the long-wheelbase version opening at $132,395. Standard and long-wheelbase xDrive B7 models will begin at $131,495 and $135,395, respectively.


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