The E23 7-series was introduced in 1976. At the time, the top of the line car was the 735i. In order to compete with Mercedes’ 450 SEL and Jaguar’s XJ12, BMW needed a more powerful car. So, in 1981 BMW presented the 745i with a turbocharger and 252 hp. If you wanted a more powerful 7-series before 1981 you would have to go to Alpina.
From 1977 they offered the B8 733i Alpina. It had a 3.2 liter 6-cylinder engine which in standard form produced 197 bhp. Alpina fitted forged higher compression pistons, they modified the combustion chambers and fitted a new camshaft. They also changed the valve timing and fitted a new special exhaust system. The 3.2 liter engine now produced 240 bhp and it was equipped with a 5-speed Getrag gearbox.
The changes made to the suspension were: shorter and stiffer springs and gas-filled Bilstein dampers. The Alpina alloys were 14in high and 7in wide. The brakes were upgraded to ventilated discs all around. The B8 733i Alpina accelerated from 0-100 km/h in 7.8 seconds and had a top speed of 228 km/h.