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The M series of BMW's sports sedans are always well-reviewed for power, handling and comfort during normal driving. The top-of-the-line 7 Series, however, does not have one as an option unless you look to the Alpina B7, which is made by a closely-related tuning shop and comes with a factory warranty. Unlike many tuners, Alpina says that it wants to make subtle changes, and it does so with the B7.
The entire 7 Series line was updated for 2013, and that means a more business-like exterior. The B7 does have some minor bodywork changes, but in all, looks much more calm at a standstill than a BMW M3 or M5. Of course, that changes when one puts the gas pedal down.
In spite of it being a full-size sedan, the 0-60 time can drop to just over four seconds and top out over 190 miles per hour for those who want to go on the Autobahn. In spite of the power, the Alpina B7 can get up to 24 MPG on the highway, and is also available with optional xDrive all-wheel-drive for safety during inclement weather.
The handling is another strong suit of this luxury sports sedan. Rather than inducing neck-cracking shifts, it allows a driver to point the Alpina B7 into curves with ease and does not roll much as it hurtles through them. Yet in spite of that, it can go for hours on the highway without fatiguing drivers. Passengers will enjoy the quad-zone automatic climate control and the same heated seats as the front occupants.
As with other top-of-the-line luxury sedans, a navigation system is standard, and BMW's iDrive unit allows for lightning-fast rendering to keep drivers on track. Other competitors include the Porsche Panamera Turbo, Maserati Quattroporte S, Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG and even the BMW 760li. For many owners, however, the combination of features and handling of the BMW Alpina B7 in either trims make it worth the purchase.
The BMW Alpina B7 Base includes the suspension pieces and twin turbo V8 engine that drive it forward unlike many other full-size sedans. However, there are also 21-inch wheels and a tasteful body kid, as well as BMW's iDrive and 10-speaker sound system to go along with a six-disc DVD changer and a number of other comfortable options. All BMW Alpina B7 trims can be bought in long wheelbase form.
It may seem hard to top the standard features, but adding all-wheel drive can make all the difference for people who live in northern climes. The BMW Alpina B7 xDrive is a new addition. It can go from nearly full rear-wheel drive to a 40 percent power split during tight corners or when the system senses the least bit of slippage. However, it also includes the same option packages as the base model, including a rear-entertainment system for the long wheel-base models and two separate screens. It can also be equipped with rear-, top- and side-view cameras for ease of use in lows-speed situations.