Customers who want to get the biggest, most powerful BMW SUV are currently limited to the X7 M50i xDrive.
Thanks to 523 hp (530 PS) and 553 lb-ft (750 Nm) of torque from a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 gasoline engine, the X7 M50i is able to sprint from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 4.5 seconds and reach a limited top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h) when equipped with summer tires.
That’s more than decent performance for a massive three-row SUV like the X7 and it’s all that BMW is willing to offer. The automaker won’t build an X7 M so it’s up to other companies to build a high-performance version.
Germany-based Alpina is the obvious choice, given its close connection to BMW. The manufacturer has been testing a top-dog version of the X7 for quite a while now and a prototype has been spotted on the Nürburgring Nordschleife again these days.
While it sports plenty of camo, there’s less disguising tape compared to our previous sighting. It’s not hard to distinguish typical Alpina design elements such as a front splitter under the front bumper with Alpina lettering, massive multi-spoke wheels (they look like 22-inch rims to us), and bigger brakes. The exhausts haven’t been changed yet though and still feature the stock look.
Judging by the amber sidelights aboce the front wheel arches, this particular prototype is in U.S. specification so we’re likely dealing with the gasoline-powered Alpina XB7 and not the rumored diesel-powered XD7.
The engine has not been confirmed yet but the twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 unit looks like a safe bet, especially since it’s also used in the 2020 Alpina B7. In the super limo, the eight-cylinder engine makes deliver 600 hp (608 PS) and 590 lb-ft (800 Nm) of torque. This impressive amount of power and torque should be enough for the X7 as well.
Alpina is expected to launch the XB7 before the end of this year, possibly at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.