Published: Sun, November 04, 2018
IT | By Lester Massey

BMW 8 Series Convertible: A Seductive, $121,000 Open-Air Grand Tourer

BMW 8 Series Convertible: A Seductive, $121,000 Open-Air Grand Tourer

The convertible's styling is almost identical to the coupe, except for the electrically folding soft top. The sprint from 0-60mph is claimed to take 5.0 seconds in the diesel-powered 840d, dropping to 3.7 seconds in the M850i. It could've been because the original 8er had no B-Pillar or because people just want to see convertible versions of everything anyway (we do have convertible SUVs these days, remember?) but who cares. It is connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission and a standard all-wheel drive system. As a result, performance figures for both cars are brisk. That means the Adaptive M suspension is standard, as is rear-wheel steering.

The 8 Series Convertible - unveiled unofficially on Belgian motoring site Autotijd yesterday - swaps the coupe's hardtop for a fabric roof that tucks into a small compartment behind the back seats when not in use. Two oversized connected kidney grilles front a long hood with a short front overhang. BMW paid special attention to the convertible stow cover, giving it a slight double bubble appearance when the top is down.

The four-seater cabriolet has a soft-top roof with fully electric operation, opening and closing at the touch of a button and when traveling at up to 50km/h (31mph). The Convertible is certain to be dearer than the $300,000-plus Coupe. Concerning safety for open-top cars, BMW developed a rollover protection system. BMW built air vents into the front seat headrests that act as neck warmers. Roof up, interior noise levels are nearly as low as the Coupe, according to BMW. A 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster sits right in front of the driver, and a huge, color head-up display projects important information right onto the windshield. The infotainment is controlled by a bezeled turn-dial next to the gear selector. The Coupe, meanwhile, goes for $9,500 less at $111,900. The first examples of these droptops will roll into dealers in the United States in March 2019 at a base price of $121,400, plus an additional $995 destination fee.

The auto begins to enter the market in March next year after the launch of the standard model.

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