BMW's $153,000 special edition luxury car known as the Alpina b7 Xdrive is a rather fun drive.
Competing with the high-end Mercedes-Benz S-Class, we found the Alpina nothing short of a stealth rocket ship in several days of road-testing. We say stealth as the Alpina looks very similar to a 7-Series decked out with some fancy badges. But boy, is it anything but a badge job with a heftier price tag. Armed with a twin-turbo V-8 engine, the 4,800 lb Alpina has 600 horsepower and can reach a top speed of 205 mph. We averaged a little over 3.5 seconds in our 0 to 60 mph tests, which is outright impressive given the Alpina's heft. Suffice it to say, we were pinned back in our seat.
As for the interior, it's what we have become accustomed to with this generation of Beemers. Plush leather seating (our tartufo full merino leather package was a $4,000 option) with a helping hand of technological creature comforts. Front and rear massage seats are standard, but a crisp Bowers & Wilkins sound system will set you back a cool $3,400. We highly recommend spending $350 on the ambient air package -- it keeps the car in a constant state of new car smell. Frankly, the various smells we tried were quite addicting.
The million dollar question you are probably wondering: is this too much money for a BMW? We were left with the sense that the value equation is a touch out of whack given that the car visually looks like a 7 Series and the interior doesn't break any new ground. But if one is a fan of BMWs, this is definitely one to consider given the car's raw power and overall sense of luxury. Start saving up now.
Starting price: $137,000
As tested: $153,845
Engine: Twin-turbo V8 that puts out 600 horserpower
0-60 mph: About 3.5 seconds
Top speed: 205 mph
Cool standard options: Wireless charging; run flat tires; heated front armrest
Pricey options: Tartufo full merino leather ($4,000); 21' Alpina wheels ($1,300); Bowers & Wilkins sound system ($3,400);