M cars like the M5 may cement BMW’s performance potential, but they can be a bit extreme for some. That’s where Alpina’s grand-touring-focused offerings come in. And while its latest models, like the XB7, have price tags that back up their luxuries, used ones are decidedly less dear. This week’s Bring a Trailer bargain is just such a car: a 2013 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive.
The F01 BMW Alpina B7 is the unofficial, extra-luxury M7
Although BMW makes M versions of several passenger cars and SUVs, the 7 Series isn’t one of them. There is an M Performance model, the M760i, but no actual M7. And while the BMW Alpina B7 isn’t really an M7, it is the next best thing, Car and Driver reports.
Like the modern B7, the 2013 BMW Alpina B7 is based on the contemporary 7 Series. In this case, the ‘F01’ 750i and 750Li, Car and Driver reports. And, like the car, it has a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 linked to an eight-speed automatic. However, with 540 hp and 538 lb-ft, the Alpina B7 is more powerful than the base BMW 750i, Autoweek reports. And despite weighing just over 5000 pounds, the AWD B7 xDrive goes 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds, Car and Driver reports.
However, the BMW Alpina B7 isn’t just about more power. It has re-tuned adaptive suspension and steering, as well as larger brakes, MotorTrend reports. Plus, several interior upgrades, including a hand-stitched leather steering wheel and upgraded leather upholstery, Automobile reports. Alpina even tweaked the automatic for B7 duty.
Admittedly, it isn’t as sharp as a ‘real’ M7 would be, Road & Track reports. But as a fast and comfortable long-distance cruiser, it’s excellent. It even rides and handles better than the base 750i, Driving.ca reports. Little wonder Autoblog called the 2013 BMW Alpina B7 “the best big Bimmer going.”
The 2013 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive on Bring a Trailer
The 2013 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive currently listed on Bring a Trailer is a well-equipped example.
Like the contemporary 7 Series, it has lane-keeping assist, top- and side-view cameras, navigation, parking sensors, and blind-spot monitoring, Roadshow reports. This B7 also has the optional Bang & Olufsen stereo as well as the heated and ventilated front seats. Plus, a power sunroof, adaptive LED headlights, illuminated door sills, rear window shades, and an Alcantara headliner. And like all BMW Alpina B7s, it has the tuner’s distinctive aero kit and wheels.
With only 21,000 miles on the clock, this 2013 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive is close to pristine. It also has a zero-accident history. And Bring a Trailer notes that the selling dealer recently flushed the brake fluid, changed the oil, and replaced the battery.
It’s a bargain, but keep maintenance in mind
Used B7s have become “seriously cheap” over the years, R&T reports, and the 2013 car currently listed on Bring a Trailer is no exception. As of this writing, this 2013 Alpina B7 xDrive is at $30,250 with three days left in the auction. That’s a significant discount from the sedan’s original MSRP of $135k. It’s also slightly below the average Bring a Trailer price, which hovers around $40k.
Of course, buying a ridiculously cheap Alpina B7 has its risks, as one Autotrader writer discovered. Though it’s worth pointing out that said B7 had 170,000 miles on the clock and cost $3500. But it’s also worth noting that the F01 7 Series, Alpina included, had some reliability issues. Specifically, surrounding its engine.
The 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 in the F01 7 Series is called the N63 engine. And while technologically advanced, the earliest examples were plagued with problems, eEuroParts reports. Although its design naturally leads to some oil consumption, early N63s burned through their oil faster than expected, BMW Tuning reports. It’s a similar story with the engine’s valve seals. And the problems with stretched timing chains, broken fuel injectors, and cracked oil hoses further added to owner woes.
However, in 2013 BMW introduced the ‘N63TU,’ which resolved many if not all of the noted issues, BMW Tuning reports. And starting in 2014, the automaker created the ‘Customer Care Package’ to service N63s and replace broken parts with better replacement ones. The only real remaining flaw appears to be the battery charging system, which only works when the car is coasting, BMW Tuning reports.
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