New Model News

South Carolina-built 2021 BMW Alpina XB7 to be the first Alpina SUV sold in the U.S.

A high-performance version fo the BMW X7 is on its way to the U.S.

Photo courtesy of BMW

Alpina has introduced its first SUV for the U.S. market, a superlunary take on the BMW X7. The 2021 BMW Alpina XB7 is slated to be built in South Carolina at the BMW plant alongside the X7.

The SUV has been given the full Alpina treatment from the ground up.

Performance

Photo courtesy of BMW

Powering the model is a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that makes it one of the most powerful SUVs in the world. Alpina's engineering team has upped its power from the 523 horsepower it makes in the X7 to 612 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. Two additional water coolers, an enlarged transmission oil cooler, and a low-temperature cooling system have been installed.

The engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission from ZF, which has ensured that it is capable of handling the extra prowess of the vehicle. The steering wheel features Alpina Switch-Tronic wheel-mounted shift buttons.

The XB7 can get from zero to 60 mph in 4 seconds, down half a second from the X7's time. BMW has electronically limited the speedometer to 180 mph.

Drivers get the option of putting the car in Sport, Sport+, Comfort, and Comfort+ modes as well as Normal.

Photo courtesy of BMW

At the rear is a new, stainless-steel Alpina sport exhaust system. It has active exhaust system flaps to deliver a more restrained sound when the driver has chosen the Comfort drive mode. The sound is more clearly pronounced in Sport mode.

The SUV has standard all-wheel drive with an electronically-variable active limited slip differential on the rear axle that works in conjunction with the Alpina two-axle air suspension. This allows the vehicle to be raised 1.6 inches or lowered up to the same amount depending on the drive mode and terrain.

There's also an Alpina dome-bulkhead strut and reinforced torsion struts to make the SUV's body more rigid.

The SUV rides on standard 21-inch wheels and 285/45R21 front and rear tires. Twenty-three-inch wheels are available with 325/3 ZR23 front and rear tires. There are four-piston fixed Brembo brake calipers

Interior Elegance

Photo courtesy of BMW

The list of features and luxury-level appointments is extensive: Merino leather seats, soft-close doors, heated seats, Alcantara Headliner, multicontour seats, a leather instrument panel, three-part panoramic glass sunroof, and LED interior roof lighting.

The SUV also features luxurious touches that have become highlights of Alpina design. There's a crystal glass iDrive Controller that is laser-etched with the Alpina logo, blue illuminated gear selector switch, Alpina production plaque, illuminated Alpina door sills, and an Alpina sport steering wheel hand-finished in Lavalina leather and featuring trademark blue/green stitching. Buyers can choose between Alpina Myrtle wood, piano lacquer, or natural walnut anthracite trim.

As in the X7, there are three rows of seating in the XB7, accommodating up to seven participants. Second-row captain's chairs feature integrated armrests.

For easy storage maneuvering, the SUV can be lowered up to two inches just by pushing a button in the luggage compartment.

Technology

Photo courtesy of BMW

Between the front row seats is a 12.3-inch touch screen display and a 12.3-inch digital instrument display sits in front of the driver.

Each model comes standard with the Driving Assistance Professional Package, which includes blind spot detection, lane departure warning, rear collision warning, frontal collision warning, pedestrian warning with city collision mitigation, rear cross traffic alert, speed limit information, and active cruise control with stop and go. It also has driving assistance tech that is designed to lessen driver weariness.

The SUVs all come with the Parking Assistant Professional package as well, which uses ultrasonic technology to choose a parking spot and then park the model relatively hands free.

The XB7 will go on sale this autumn. Pricing will be announced closer to the model's on-sale date.

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The Bronze Edition model builds on the XLE trim.

Toyota

The Toyota Highlander entered its fourth generation for the 2020 model year, which brought sleek style, updated tech, and a premium-look interior. A new XSE trim joined the lineup for 2021, and for 2022, Toyota is adding a new hybrid-only Bronze Edition trim.

2022 Toyota Highlander Bronze Edition The Bronze Edition adds useful features, such as a hands-free power liftgate.toyota

The new Bronze Edition Highlander builds on the XLE trim with:

  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Digital rearview mirror
  • Ambient interior lighting
  • Memory driver's seat with 10-way power adjustments
  • Hands-free power liftgate

Toyota notes that the Bronze Edition previews features that will show up with the greater 2022 Highlander release. Among them are the new Wind Chill Pearl color, which replaces Blizzard Pearl from the previous model, and height/tilt passenger seat adjustments.

2022 Toyota Highlander Bronze Edition The Highlander is a supremely comfortable SUV with room for the family.Toyota

The Highlander carries on into 2022 with a standard 3.5-liter V6 that makes 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive. A Highlander Hybrid is available, which mates a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with two electric motors. Combined system output is 243 horsepower. With the V6 on board, the Highlander can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

2022 Toyota Highlander Bronze Edition The Bronze Edition is available for Highlander Hybrid models.Toyota

All 2022 Highlander models get Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+, which includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, road sign assist, full-speed adaptive cruise control, lane departure alerts, lane tracing assist, a sway warning system, and automatic high beams. Those features and the Highlander's excellent crash testing scores were good enough for the SUV to earn a Top Safety Pick + designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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Buying guide

How to buy a modified car: Three tips

This is a clean modified truck, but they don't all end up this way.

Bring a Trailer

Modified cars are a mixed bag. Sometimes, they're incredibly well built and better than the original, but too many times they're only partially finished or end up being rushed as their owners get late-project anxiety. Whatever the case, buying a modified car can be a stressful process if you haven't done your homework ahead of time. The good news is that you can get a good deal on a reasonably well sorted project or modified car, but you'll need to be careful. Looking at used Lexus LXs earlier today, it became clear that there are as many modified vehicles for sale as there are clean examples.

This LX got me thinking about the breakdown between buying a rig and building one. The modifications made by this Lexus' seller are almost exactly what I would do if I were building a light overlanding rig. What could go wrong? I'm still on the fence about the Lexus, but the three topics below will help you make the right decision on buying a modified car.

2004 Lexus LX 470 Even if the mods are well done, you'll want to have the vehicle inspected before you buy.Bring a Trailer

Understand your personal taste

I mentioned the LX470 and how the owner's updates were pretty close to what I'd do with the truck. That's an exception to the rule, because 90 percent of the time I walking away from a sales listing because of modifications, rather than the other way around. If you're hoping to find a tastefully modified car that matches your exact tastes, you could be waiting a while. If you're hoping to sell a modified car, the same is true in reverse. Finding a buyer for your extremely personalized project car may not be the easiest thing you've ever done.

2004 Lexus LX 470 It's a good idea to seek out vehicles in solid shape, regardless of mods.Bring a Trailer

Be aware of condition and quality

This Lexus looks to be well maintained and in good shape. It also doesn't hurt that the LX is one of the most reliable vehicles built by one of the world's most quality-conscious automakers. Even so, it's hard to know what you're getting with this, or any other, modified vehicle. There's a little rust in this image, but the lift kit, wheels, and bumper mods all look good. However, even if the truck looked brand-new, you'd want to get a pre-purchase inspection. An independent mechanic can tell you if there are potential issues that are unrelated to mods, and you'll want to be sure that any modifications are installed properly.

2004 Lexus LX 470 Some mods are more useful than others.Bring a Trailer

Keep an eye on the price

Most people are reasonable when it comes to selling their modified cars, but there are hundreds of "I know what I got" memes on the internet for a reason. Some sellers want to recover every penny of the money they spent customizing their cars. They're convinced that the mods drastically increased the car's value and can't understand why the customized car isn't as attractive to you as it is to them. Tread lightly and be careful not to insult the owner, but it's your job to work toward a reasonable, fair price.

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