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Alpina plans 600-horsepower BMW X7

It will arrive when BMW has the necessary production capacity.

Alpina wants to add the X7, BMW's biggest SUV, to its line-up of performance cars. The company has already started testing prototypes, but it's waiting until the right moment to begin production of the model.

"We are thinking about having an X7 in the future but not right now, because BMW has a very high demand for it, and currently the plant is full," explained Alpina CEO Andreas Bovensiepen in an interview with British magazine Autocar.

BMW's production capacity is directly linked to Alpina's ability to sell cars because both brands use the same assembly line. BMW will make Alpina's X7 in Spartanburg, South Carolina, alongside the regular model. His comments suggest we won't see the Alpina-branded X7 until sales of the original model slow down. Bovensiepen didn't give a more specific timeframe.

He also didn't reveal what will power the SUV. However, it's safe to speculate it will receive an evolution of the twin-turbocharged, 4.4-liter V8 that powers the full-fat xDrive50i model. The eight makes about 600 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque under the hood of the updated, 7 Series-based B7, and there's no reason why those figures couldn't be achieved in the X7.

The X7 would work as an Alpina. Unlike BMW M, Alpina doesn't make cars for racing; the company has won many races, but its focus is on making long-distance, high-speed cruisers with a lot of torque. That's why every model it makes has an automatic transmission. The X7 would behave rather clumsily on the Nurburgring, but it would settle nicely into its role as a 170-mph Autobahn stormer.

We'll likely learn additional details about Alpina's X7 during the 2019 Frankfurt auto show opening its doors in September. Sales could begin in late 2020 or early 2021.

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