But where are the signature quad exhausts?

With BMW putting the finishing touches on a Life Cycle Impulse for its flagship 7 Series model, you can rest assured that Alpina is also preparing to give the B7 a nip and tuck. The Buchloe-based company has already kicked off public road testing of their speedy saloon as one partially camouflaged prototype of the 2019 B7 has been caught on camera on the Autobahn.

The alloy wheel design and license plate are telltale signs we are dealing with the B7 rather than the regular 7 Series, but we do wonder what’s with those exhaust finishers. We’re used to seeing Alpina’s models rocking a set of quad round exhaust tips whereas this prototype has angular end pipes in the same vein as those installed on prototypes of the 7 Series facelift. One could assume that with this being a work-in-progress vehicle, it does not have all the final bits and pieces.

Discover the regular 7 Series LCI:

What it does have is the enlarged kidney grille that we’ll be seeing more of with upcoming BMW products. Also noticeable are the revised taillight graphics in the same vein as those of the regular 7 Series LCI.

Your guess is as good as ours whether the mid-cycle refresh will bring more power – not that it lacks in that department. With a twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 engine, the Alpina B7 offers effortless cruising thanks to 600 bhp and 590 lb-ft of torque. The German Autobahn where the prototype was seen is the ideal place to test the full-size saloon’s top speed of 193 mph without risking of losing your driver’s license, but bear in mind there are lots of sections of the highway where with speed restrictions.

BMW is expected to unveil the updated 7 Series either by the end of the year or early 2019, with the Alpina counterpart likely to follow shortly for those yearning for an M7 that BMW won’t build. Of course, there’s the M-infused 760i / 760 Li packing a V12, but that caters a different segment of the market.

Gallery: 2019 Alpina B7 facelift screenshots from spy video