ALPINA – a name famous in Europe and the wider world for putting a particular performance accent on BMWs, though not yet so well-known in North America. BMW – a name famous all over the world for motor vehicles of performance, quality, luxury and safety.
The two companies, both at home in the German state of Bavaria, have a long history of working together to produce special BMW automobiles. Burkard Bovensiepen, son of the founder of ALPINA Business Machines and an enthusastic racing driver/engineer, began his automotive career path in 1961 by developing a dual-carburetor setup for the just-introduced BMW 1500 sedan. It was a predictive beginning: to take an already fine-performing BMW (which also just happened to be a practical sedan) and making it perform even better.
By 1964, BMW had officially recognized ALPINA’s contribution to BMW performance. Not long thereafter, Burkard Bovensiepen founded the ALPINA company – ALPINA Burkard Bovensiepen KG – that continues today, creating special versions of BMW automobiles that offer a particular brand of performance for discriminating auto enthusiasts. Yet outside the circle of dedicated BMW enthusiasts, ALPINA has kept a low profile in North America. In addition to racing versions of BMWs, ALPINA has developed a progression of BMW-based cars based on 3, 5, 6, 8, Z4 and Z8 models and offered them on a limited-production basis. ALPINA is located in the small Bavarian city of Buchloe, some 50 miles southwest of Munich, BMW’s headquarters city and the capital of Bavaria.
The B7 is the newest manifestation of the unique BMW-ALPINA synergy – once again based on the BMW 7 Series luxury sedan. Currently, BMW offers ultra-performance models of its 3, 5, 6, X5 and X6 Series developed by BMW M, BMW’s own performance subsidiary. For an ultra-performance version of the 7 Series – a vehicle defined by luxury and generous interior space – something other than “M” performance character was called for.
In recent models, ALPINA has concentrated on delivering very high levels of performance with moderate rpm ranges and automatic transmission. Most appropriately, the new BMW ALPINA B7 applies this philosophy to the newest 7 Series to produce a luxury sedan of stunning performance. “A 7 Series Beyond,” one might say.