Technically speaking, this is our very first look at the refreshed Alpina XB7. That said, we've already captured prototypes of the standard BMW X7 concealing its forthcoming facelift. Alpina's exterior tweaks to BMW vehicles are generally subtle, so the suave SUVs will likely share identical features when each is revealed.

What makes us think this is an Alpina version? The oval quad-exhaust outlets at the back are a dead giveaway, and while the wheels aren't the usual full-spoke design, we've seen spoked five-star Alpina wheels before. Extremely keen observers will note the number plate on the rear doesn't have the usual OAL designation seen for Alpina vehicles, instead wearing that of a BMW manufacturer plate. It could be due to the transport being full of BMW vehicles, but we're confident this is in fact the snazzy Alpina-tuned SUV.

Gallery: Alpina XB7 Spy Photos

Based on previous sightings, we know this update will put the face in facelift. The headlights are mounted lower, with narrow running lights mounted just below the bonnet in a split design. A previous batch of X7 spy photos confirmed the new look, and renderings suggest it could be a rather controversial refresh when it finally breaks cover. The lighting arrangement means Alpina will have an entirely new fascia to work with, though with this prototype parked very close to another car, sussing out details is nearly impossible.

The same can't be said at the back. Alpina will bolt up a rear fascia with different cutouts for its signature exhaust outlets. A small diffuser is also expected, though it's missing from this prototype. Other BMW-specific changes to the rear hatch should be minimal, likely sticking to taillights and trim add-ons. Inside, larger screens similar to the iX are expected.

The current X7 isn't old, and the Alpina XB7 is younger still. Expect BMW to unveil its updated model either late this year or early next year as a 2023 model. The Alpina XB7 would follow, either as a 2023 model or possibly 2024.