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BMW lets its hair down with 8 Series Convertible

Two-variant, soft-top BMW 8 Series unveiled ahead of global launch in March 2019

2 Nov 2018

BMW has lifted the lid on the drop-top convertible version of its flagship 8 Series, with the two-variant, Mercedes S-Class Cabriolet-baiting line-up set for a global release in March next year, ahead of an Australian debut in the first half of 2019.
Like its coupe sibling, the 8 Series soft-op will be offered with two engine variants, including the 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder turbo-diesel 840d and twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 M850i range-topper.
Outputs are identical to the coupe, at 390kW/750Nm for the M850i and 235kW/680Nm for the 840d, with both sending power to all four wheels via a an eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission.
Weighing in at 125kg heavier than the coupe, the M850i Convertible is 0.2 seconds slower from zero to 100km/h, at 3.9s, while the 840d is 0.3s adrift, at 5.2s.
Mixed tyres with adaptive M suspension and four-wheel steering are offered as standard, while the M850i adds an M Sport rear differential, M Sport brakes, exterior features in Cerium Grey, illuminated door sill strips and stainless-steel interior trim. 
Naturally, the Convertible differentiates itself with a folding roof that can open or close in 15 seconds, and can be done so at speeds of up to 50km/h.
Offered in black as standard but with an Anthracite Silver version available as an option, the roof is stowed under a cover that matches its stitching with the instrument panel and door trim.
A wind deflector is offered as standard to help reduce wind turbulence, however it must be placed in the second row of the four-seater, meaning it cannot be used with more than two occupants in the car.
To allow top-down motoring in cooler conditions, neck warmers, ventilated seats and a heat comfort package with a heated steering wheel are all available as optional extras.
When the roof is closed, luggage capacity stands at 350 litres – down 70L on the Coupe – however storage capacity can be increased by folding the 50:50 split-fold rear seats. Roof height is also 7mm lower than the Coupe.
Exterior styling closely mirrors the Coupe with a wide lower front apron and splitter, standard hexagonal adaptive LED headlights and BMW’s signature kidney grille.
Alloy wheels range from 18 inches for the 840d to 20 inches for the M850i, while the M Sport exterior package is standard on the M850i and optional on the 840d.
Justifying its position as BMW’s flagship two-door model, the interior of the 8 Series Convertible is decked out with generous standard specification, including a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a head-up display, an M leather steering wheel, a glass gear selector, a Harman/Kardon sound system, Vernasca or Merino leather seat upholstery and a 10.25-inch infotainment display.
Standard safety equipment includes forward and rear collision warning, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian warning, lane departure and change warning, speed limit info, parking assist, a reversing camera and rear cross-traffic alert.
A high-performance M variant can be expected to bolster the range at some point, while a rear-drive version – possibly sporting the turbo-petrol inline six-cylinder 840i engine – is also slated for an arrival later on in 2019. A four-door Gran Coupe version is also expected to be offered at some point.
Exact local pricing and specification will be revealed closer to the model’s Australian launch, with the Convertible expected to attract a premium over the Coupe.

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