Series production of the BMW 8 Series Convertible began in the end of November, four months after the start of production of the new 8 Series Coupé at the BMW Group Plant in Dingolfing, Southern Bavaria. The 8 series will be built alongside the BMW 5 and 7 Series.
The new 8 series is the second iteration of the series. The original, launched in 1990, was BMW’s first offering in the Grand Tourer segment and the first road-legal car to be fitted with a V12 engine coupled with a 6-speed manual transmission. The original 8 Series was only available as a two-door coupé. A convertible version was in the final stages of planning when the decision was taken to end production of the Series in 1999. The production of the new 8 Series was announced on June 15, 2018, nearly 20 years after the original 8 Series’ production ended.
The new generation also made its debut as a coupé but has been joined by the convertible variant in quick succession, and the four-door Gran Coupé variant is in the final testing phase.
The new convertible was unveiled in early November, this year, with the market launch expected to take place in March 2019.
It has the same overall size and design lines as the coupé with the exception of the roofline. The other visible addition are the surrounds for the side windows which merge seamlessly with the soft-top lid. The domes and surfacing of the soft-top housing merge with the lines of the door shoulders and complements the interior colour scheme.
The 8 series convertible features a classic multi-layered soft-top roof. It stands out with its weight-minimising design and has exceptional acoustic insulation as one would expect from a BMW. The car comes with a black soft-top as standard, with an Anthracite Silver effect variant available as an option. The soft-top opening and closing mechanism is fully automatic and takes about 15 seconds to fully open or close even at speeds of up to 50 kmph. The passengers are protected from the elements, when the top is down, by the rear pop-up wind deflector and neck warmers integrated into the front head restraints.
At 4,851 mm long and 1,902 mm wide, the convertible has ample room to accommodate four passengers with sufficient legroom. Interior standards include adjustable sports seats with memory function and Vernasca leather with Sun Reflective Technology. Leather also envelopes the instrument panel and door shoulders. The trunk, with its hands-free operation, has a capacity of 350 litres.
The 8 series convertible will offer a choice of two engines when it goes on sale in March 2019. One is the V8 in the M850i xDrive Convertible with era combined fuel consumption of around 10 litres per 100 km. The latest generation of the 4.4-litre eight-cylinder engine has been completely redeveloped to deliver a performance topping out at 530 hp and a torque of 750 Nm.
The other is the diesel engine in the 840d xDrive Convertible with combined fuel consumption of around 6 litres per 100 km. The 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder diesel power unit generates a maximum output of 320 hp and a maximum torque of 680 Nm.
Both engine variants comply with the Euro 6d TEMP emissions standard. Power transmission is achieved through the eight-speed Steptronic sport gearbox and BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive. The M Sport package offers extra-large air intakes, 19-inch M light-alloy wheels, illuminated door sills and interior trim strips in stainless steel mesh among others.