With its comprehensive redesign of the 7 Series for 2016, BMW’s flagship sedan elevated benchmarks and is poised to move a step beyond with the new 2017 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive. The third generation Alpina-spec 7 Series to be offered in the U.S., it continues the tradition of BMW’s factory-favored tuner by adding more power, enhanced handling and greater visual distinction from the baseline model -- in this case, the all-wheel drive version of the long-wheelbase BMW 750i.

600 horses, an Alpina attitude

Tucked beneath the hood of the new Alpina B7 is a modified version of BMW’s 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 tweaked to make 600 horsepower from  5,750 to 6,250 rpm and 590 lb-ft of peak torque at 3,000 revs compared to the 445/480 output of the standard engine. Bigger turbos, higher boost pressures, freer-flowing intake/exhaust systems and enhanced internals facilitate those loftier numbers and the engine is backed by a revised version of the ZF 8-speed Sports Automatic transmission that’s been upgraded to cope with the engine’s extra muscle. The autoshifter also gets closer ratios along with Alpina Switch-Tronic circuitry that offers Auto/Sport/Manual modes plus Launch Control. The combo enables the Alpina B7 to streak from 0-60 mph in just 3.6 seconds – 0.7 tick quicker than its predecessor – and carry on to an estimated 193 mph top end. Like the 750i, the Alpina B7’s setup also integrates BMW’s latest econo-enhancing Comfort and Efficient Dynamics modes including Connected Shift and Coasting functions to optimize its economy when cruising.

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To ensure this added power can be fully utilized, the new Alpina B7 xDrive boasts BMW’s Dynamic Damper Control air suspension and intelligent xDrive all-wheel drive systems with specific Alpina calibrations. The remix also includes Integral Active Steering. Optional on the 750i but standard here, it pairs a variable-ratio electric-assist power steering system up front with active steering on the rear axle to enhance agility and reduce the turning radius. In addition to upgraded brakes, the Alpina B7 is fitted with Z-rated 20-inch Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires -- 255/40s up front and 295-35s at the rear -- wrapped around 20-spoke Alpina Classic alloy wheels, although hard-core enthusiasts can opt for a 21-inch upfit with Alpina forged-alloy rims that trim 5.5 pound of unsprung weight off of each corner.

Polished  presence

Exterior changes to the new B7 are subtle but focused and start with two exclusive Alpina colors: Blue Metallic and Green Metallic. The understated front splitter and rear decklid spoiler on this super sedan trim high-speed aero lift to near zero while its twin-paired exhaust outlets tuck nicely into a redrawn lower valance panel.

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The cabin of the Alpina B7 features tasteful, thoughtful enhancements to add more appeal to the already luxurious 7 Series. For starters, hand-finished Lavalina leather upholstery with blue and green stitching is set off with Piano Black or Myrtle Luxury Wood accent bits. The car also features an Alpina full-color digital instrument cluster that changes its look to match the selected driving mode, blue-lit Alpina B7 doorsill plates and an individualized production plaque on the center console.

Set to arrive in BMW showrooms here this September, pricing for the 2017 Alpina B7 xDrive is will be announced closer to the on-sale date. Like other officially-authorized Alpina vehicles, it also carries a full factory warranty.

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