January 20, 2019

BMW M850i xDrive convertible joins 8-series lineup

04 November 2018, 09:06 | Megan Pierce

2019 BMW 8 Series Convertible Loses Its Roof, Still Looks Lovely

Mercedes Benz S Class Cabriolet 1

Topline: Hitting dealerships March 2019 is the drop-top version of BMW's new 8 Series grand tourer.

Initially two turbo engines will be offered: a 3.0-liter in-line V6 diesel with 320 hp and 502 lbft (681 Nm) of torque (for the 840d xDrive variant) and a 4.4-litre V8 petrol motor with 530 hp and 552 lbft (748 Nm) for M850i xDrive.

Those numbers allow this luxurious drop top to reach 62 miles per hour in just 3.9 seconds. That is enough to propel the 2-ton convertible from 0 to 100 kph (62 mph) in just 5.2 seconds.

The 8 Series Convertible - unveiled unofficially on Belgian motoring site Autotijd yesterday - swaps the coupe's hardtop for a fabric roof that tucks into a small compartment behind the back seats when not in use. BMW also made several small tweaks to maintain reliability and efficiency, including using a stronger type of aluminum alloy for the block, wire-arc-sprayed iron coatings on the cylinder walls, Grafal-coated pistons, high-flow intake ports, and a viscous damper on the crankshaft. Power goes to all four wheels through an eight-speed Steptronic autobox and BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system.

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Technology is used to improve the driving experience in the new convertible. Active steering also allows the rear wheels to turn up to 2.5 degrees.

Since the M850i has been created to slot underneath the M8 Convertible, the vehicle has been equipped with an assortment of performance features. The absence of a heavier hard-top roof means that the car's overall centre of gravity is lower than in the coupe, a plus for enhancing performance and handling.

The soft top will require about 15 seconds to open or close and can be operated up until 48 km/h. BMW built air vents into the front seat headrests that act as neck warmers. That's a $9,500 price hike over the M850i Coupe, but for well-heeled buyers who love open-top motoring, it's a small price to pay. A 10.25-inch center screen features the seventh generation of BMW's iDrive system, while a 12.3-inch display sits behind the wheel, replacing a traditional instrument cluster.

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