25 June 2004

BMW's best-known tuners, Alpina, launches its B7 today - a 7-series endowed with enough power and pace to scalp an M3. Like the standard E65-codenamed saloon it is based on, the B7 offers all the space, luxury and refinement of Munich's flagship; it is also capable of a sub-five-second dash to 60mph and more than 190mph flat out.

The covers come off Alpina's express barge at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend. There, car enthusiasts will be able to marvel at BMW's stock 4.4-litre V8 supercharged to produce 500bhp and 516 lb ft of torque - enough to overcome the car's massive two-tonne kerbweight and supply performance on a par with most supercars.

Other features are Alpina's usual outward makeover, including extended valances and sills, a larger boot spoiler, and 21in alloy wheels, plus a six-speed paddleshift gearbox. It is available with a characteristically long list of options, from a starting price of £76,900.

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