Soft-top has hall­marks of a BMW clas­sic

Albany Extra - - Motoring - Ewan Kennedy

The BMW 8 Se­ries con­vert­ible will not be in Aus­tralia un­til the mid­dle of 2019 but al­ready it ap­peals to us be­cause it has a clas­sic soft-top roof.

Fold­ing hard­tops makes sense but the trou­ble is that with the roof closed — which let’s face it is most of the time — they look like a hard­top coupe not a con­vert­ible.

Styling is stun­ning, with large wide-spread kid­ney grilles in­ter­lock­ing, though not touch­ing, the head­lights and a rear end with wide very-Bim­mer lights and large ex­haust out­lets. Top down or top up it looks sleek and pur­pose­ful.

The BMW 8 Se­ries con­vert­ible has a wind de­flec­tor, which can be set up in the rear-seat area to pre­vent un­wanted air turbulence when driv­ing with the top down.

It be­comes a two seater with the de­fec­tor in place, but we have no prob­lem with that.

Op­tional neck warm­ers in­te­grated into the front-seat head re­straints fur­ther im­prove your chances of get­ting that top down in win­ter.

Two pow­er­ful en­gines will ini­tially be of­fered at Euro­pean launch in March 2019. A 4.4-litre 390kW/530 hp V8 petrol engine in the BMW M850i xDrive Con­vert­ible; and a BMW 840d xDrive con­vert­ible in­line six turbo-diesel de­vel­op­ing 235 kW/320 hp.

Both en­gines are mated to an eight-speed Step­tronic Sport trans­mis­sion and BMW xDrive all­wheel-drive sys­tem.

We are as­sured it has, “an ap­pre­cia­bly rear-wheel bias”, which is great news.

BMW sug­gests the M850i con­vert­ible will run the zero to 100 sprint in just un­der four sec­onds, with the turbo-diesel in the low fives. Ac­tive roll sta­bil­i­sa­tion, is avail­able for the new BMW M850i xDrive con­vert­ible as part of the op­tional Adap­tive M sus­pen­sion Pro­fes­sional.

The big, new Ger­man con­vert­ible comes as stan­dard with the BMW Live Cock­pit Pro­fes­sional.

This in­cludes nav­i­ga­tion and mul­ti­me­dia sys­tems. Two sep­a­rate bin­na­cles see a high-res­o­lu­tion in­stru­ment clus­ter be­hind the steer­ing wheel with a screen di­ag­o­nal of 12.3 inches, as well as a Con­trol Dis­play mea­sur­ing 10.25 inches across. The 8 Se­ries con­vert­ible has state-of-the-art driver as­sis­tance sys­tems. col­li­sion warn­ing and pedes­trian warn­ing sys­tem with city brak­ing func­tion, lane de­par­ture warn­ing and lane change warn­ing, speed limit info, rear cross traf­fic alert and rear col­li­sion warn­ing.

Safety is pro­vided by a rollover pro­tec­tion sys­tem, which con­sists of two pro­tec­tive alu­minium bars fit­ted out of sight be­hind the rearseat head re­straints. If the car sense it is likely to roll over, the bars are raised by a py­rotech­nic charge in a frac­tion of a sec­ond.

This in­for­ma­tion comes from BMW’s me­dia of­fice in Ger­many and may dif­fer slightly from what comes to Aus­tralia.

Pic­tures: daniel-kraus.com

The new BMW 8 Se­ries con­vert­ible has a clas­sic soft-top roof.

The cabin has a high-res­o­lu­tion in­stru­ment clus­ter.

There are sleek rear lights and large ex­haust out­lets.

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