BMW is forging ahead with its model offensive in the luxury segment in South Africa with the presentation of an open-top sports car which explores the highest reaches of dynamic flair, emotionality and exclusivity. The new BMW 8 Series Convertible blends ultra-sporty driving properties with distinctive design elegance and offers an extremely exclusive passport to hallmark BMW driving pleasure and a full-blooded open-top driving experience. Dynamically stretched lines and a classic soft-top roof define the distinctive appearance of this open-top four-seater for the luxury class. The powertrain and chassis technology developed for the BMW 8 Series model range and a body structure of extraordinarily rigidity provide an ideal platform for the new BMW 8 Series Convertible’s fusion of thrilling sports performance and sumptuous long-distance motoring. Its progressive character is underscored by cutting-edge driver assistance systems, a latest-generation display and control system and up-to-the-minute connectivity technology including the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant.
The new BMW 8 Series Convertible captures the imagination as much over laid-back cruises over city boulevards as on twisty country roads or race tracks. The 390 kW V8 petrol engine in the BMW M850i xDrive Convertible (fuel consumption combined: 10.0 – 9.9 litres per 100 kilometres, CO2 emissions combined: 229 – 225 grams per kilometre) takes to the stage with characterful power delivery and a soundtrack to match.
Exterior design: powerful design language, distinctive lines.
The BMW brand’s new design language employs precisely drawn lines and muscular surfacing to give the new BMW 8 Series Convertible a distinctive aura defined as much by sporting prowess as outright elegance. With an exterior length of 4,843 millimetres, width of 1,902 millimetres and height of 1,339 millimetres, plus a 2,822-millimetre wheelbase and track widths of 1,619 millimetres (front) and 1,642 millimetres (rear), its dimensions match those of the BMW 8 Series Coupe almost exactly. The body cuts a dynamically stretched figure with the roof down especially.
The protruding front apron lends the front end of the car undeniable athletic presence with its large air intakes. These make an even more dominant impression on the BMW M850i xDrive Convertible (as standard). Adaptive LED Headlights are part of standard specification. Meanwhile, the optional BMW Laserlight with variable road illumination and Selective Beam generates a high-beam range of around 600 metres. The eye-catching surfacing of the car’s flanks is complemented at the transition into the rear end by distinctive contouring around its rear haunches. Horizontal lines, light units extending well into the flanks and a third brake light integrated into the boot lid all contribute to the low-slung, wide impression created by the rear end.
Taut soft-top roof with fully-electric operation.
The new BMW 8 Series Convertible’s folding roof stands out with its weight-minimising design and superb acoustic insulation. It pulls taut over the interior when closed, lending the car a strikingly stepped, coupe-like silhouette. The soft-top, which comes in black as standard but is available in Anthracite Silver effect as an option, opens and closes fully automatically and at the touch of a button in 15 seconds. The extremely hushed roof operation can be activated with the car travelling at up to 50 km/h. When opened, the soft-top stows away under a cover whose surface structure and stitching match those of the instrument panel and interior door/side panel trim, and which features eye-catching domes at the level of the rear seats.
Harmonious design of exterior and interior.
The cohesive harmony between the exterior and interior is revealed particularly effectively when the soft-top is down. The occupants of the four seats are surrounded by the sweeping flow of the instrument panel, the door shoulders, the shoulder area around the rear seats and the soft-top compartment cover. The side window border sits flush with the soft-top compartment surround, underlining the connection between the front and rear of the car.
The entire ambience of the interior conveys dynamism, elegance and distinctive luxury, and the standard ambient lighting emphasises the forward-focused lines inside the car. The new BMW 8 Series Convertible is also furnished with fulled leather trim for the instrument panel and door shoulders, plus electrically adjustable sports seats and Vernasca leather upholstery.
The multifunction seats fitted as standard in the BMW M850i xDrive Convertible are trimmed in Merino leather with extended features. The M leather steering wheel in the BMW M850i xDrive Convertible has multifunction buttons and gearshift paddles.
Wind deflector as standard, neck warmers as an option.
Standard equipment for the new BMW 8 Series Convertible includes a wind deflector which can be set up in the rear-seat area to prevent unwanted air turbulence when driving with the top down. For an even greater feel-good factor when driving with the top down in cooler weather, the new BMW 8 Series Convertible is available with optional neck warmers whose air outlets are integrated into the front-seat head restraints. Other optional extras include climate seats, a Heat Comfort package with a heated steering wheel, and the BMW Display Key. Available as an optional alternative to the standard Harman Kardon Surround Sound System are the high precision and excellent sound quality of the Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System. And customers can also specify glass applications for selected controls and options from the BMW Individual range.
The rear seat bench in the BMW 8 Series Convertible can be split 50 : 50 as standard, with both elements folding separately to offer a through-loading facility. When the roof is closed, load capacity is 350 litres.
Aerodynamics, weight and safety optimised.
An almost fully sealed underbody, active air flap control, Air Curtains and extremely slender exterior mirror stalks optimise the new BMW 8 Series Convertible’s aerodynamic properties. An intelligent mixture of materials helps to reconcile exacting and conflicting demands when it comes to combining body rigidity with minimised weight. All of which means only a small number of convertible-specific measures have been required. Indeed, these are restricted to additional cross struts and a specifically designed shear panel for the underbody. Another special feature specific to the new BMW 8 Series Convertible is the rollover protection system, which consists of two protective aluminium bars fitted out of sight behind the rear-seat head restraints. If the car is likely to turn over, the bars are extended by a pyrotechnic charge in a fraction of a second.
Characterful V8 petrol engine, silky-smooth six-cylinder diesel engine.
A 4.4-litre eight-cylinder engine from the latest generation infuses the new BMW M850i xDrive Convertible with imposing power delivery, its characterful soundtrack given further impact by the flap-controlled M sports exhaust system. The engine’s M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology includes two twin-scroll turbochargers with charge air cooling nestling in the V between the cylinder banks, High Precision Injection, VALVETRONIC fully variable valve control and Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing. Developing 390 kW and peak torque of 750 Nm, the V8 accelerates the BMW M850i xDrive Convertible from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds.
Eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission, BMW xDrive, M Sport differential.
The new BMW M850i xDrive Convertible channels its power through to the road via an eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission and BMW xDrive. The intelligent all-wheel-drive system is tuned to have an appreciably rear-wheel bias in the new BMW 8 Series Convertible, ensuring it offers the signature driving experience of a BMW sports car. Dynamic performance is further enhanced by the M Sport differential also fitted as standard on the BMW M850i xDrive Coupe. As well as improving traction, the locking effect produced by an electric motor in the rear differential optimises the car’s agility, and is particularly effective in enhancing dynamic acceleration out of corners.
The chassis: know-how from the race track delivers unbeatable dynamics on the road.
The construction principles underpinning the chassis and the deployment of BMW M GmbH racing expertise to optimise its set-up maximise the car’s agility, precision and performance. The new BMW 8 Series Convertible comes as standard with mixed tyres and Adaptive M suspension with electronically controlled dampers. Thanks to finely metered spring and damping responses, the driver is provided with only relevant information on the road surface. The likewise standard Integral Active Steering reduces the car’s turning circle when manoeuvring, increases agility and optimises poise and assurance when changing lanes and cornering at high speeds.
Active roll stabilisation, which is available for the new BMW M850i xDrive Convertible as part of the optional Adaptive M suspension Professional, ensures particularly fast and precise compensation of lateral forces during dynamic driving manoeuvres, enhancing agility and directional stability both into and out of corners. The electric swivel motors also increase comfort in straight-line driving by responding to disruptive forces resulting from road surface imperfections on one side of the car.
Standard specification for the BMW M850i xDrive Convertible also includes an extremely powerful M Sport braking system, 20-inch M light-alloy wheels with high-performance tyres, exclusive exterior features in Cerium Grey, illuminated door sill strips with model badges and interior trim strips in stainless steel mesh design. Further scope for individualisation comes in the form of the Chrome Line Exterior and M Carbon Exterior packages.
State-of-the-art driver assistance systems enhance comfort and safety.
Comfort and safety on board the new BMW 8 Series Convertible are boosted by state-of-the-art driver assistance systems. Standard equipment includes the Head-Up Display, Driving Assist Professional, which comprises the Steering and lane control assist, Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning and Lane Change Warning, Speed Limit Info and Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function. Also standard is the Parking Assist Plus, which includes a rear-view camera and the Reversing Assist. Among the items on the options list are BMW Night Vision with object recognition.
Intuitive operation and flawless connectivity: BMW Operating System 7.0 and the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant.
The new BMW 8 Series Convertible comes as standard with the BMW Live Cockpit Professional. This includes a navigation and multimedia system, a fully digital, high-resolution instrument cluster behind the steering wheel with a screen diagonal of 12.3 inches and a Control Display measuring 10.25 inches across. The new BMW Operating System 7.0 stands out with its cutting-edge, digital functions tailored precisely to the driver’s requirements. When it comes to intuitive operation options, drivers can choose from touchscreen functionality via the Control Display, the iDrive Controller, buttons on the steering wheel and voice control.
Another element of the operating system is the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. Activated by the voice prompt “Hey BMW”, this digital companion assists the driver in operating the car’s functions and gains more skills all the time thanks to seamless updates via the Remote Software Upgrade facility.
Pricing for the new BMW 8 Series Convertible starts from R1,994,300.