8-Se­ries con­tin­ues to im­press, but not ex­cite

Some­thing for the win­ter, Sir? How about a 526bhp, £107k über con­vert­ible?


Wel­come, ev­ery­one, to the in­evitable: the new BMW 8-Se­ries Con­vert­ible: a twin-turbo, con­vert­ible V8 BMW that’s over 100kg heav­ier and twotenths slower to 62mph than its equiv­a­lent twin­turbo, coupe V8 BMW – a car where we’ve come away im­pressed by its abil­ity but un­sure of its spe­cial­ness. Can a fold­ing top tip the bal­ance?

It’s a fold­ing-cloth roof said to of­fer su­perb sound in­su­la­tion and one that “pulls taut over the in­te­rior when closed”. Well, you’d hope so.

In any case, said roof can be opened or closed in 15 sec­onds, at speeds of up to 31mph. There’s a wind de­flec­tor and the op­tion of neck warm­ers; like Mercedes-Benz’s ‘air scarf’, this handy fea­ture blows warm out through vents in the front-seat head re­straints onto your neck. Win­ter is upon us, af­ter all. Changes over the Coupe are few: there are new cross struts and rollover pro­tec­tion – two alu­minium bars be­hind the rear-seat head re­straints. Pray you will never need them.

There are two en­gines be­ing of­fered on launch: a straight-six 3.0-litre diesel that pro­duces as much power as a Honda Civic Type R (316bhp) but con­sid­er­ably more torque. Then there’s the 4.4-litre, twin-turbo V8 with 526bhp. Both cars come with an 8spd auto and 4WD, adap­tive M dampers, ac­tive steer­ing, roll sta­bil­i­sa­tion and many as­sorted driver aids. Prices start from £83,270 for the diesel, and £107,045 for the V8.

BMW con­tin­ues its rep­u­ta­tion for in­no­va­tion – this fea­tures a roof that cov­ers the in­te­rior...

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