Bavaria’s flagship drop-top is here: Say hello to the 2019 BMW 8 Series Convertible… Mercedes S-Class Cabriolet, you’ve been warned
This is the 2019 BMW 8 Series Convertible and the twin-turbo luxobarge is the pinnacle of the BMW range. The changes from the V8 coupe aren’t many – apart from the fabric roof and a million kilometres of additional headroom with it retracted, obviously – it’s about 100kg heavier and slower to 100km/h. What this is, is essentially a retort to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet and, to some extent, the drop-top Bentley Continental GT when it arrives next year. Expect the swoopy Gran Coupe to complete the line-up soon thereafter.
Speaking of the roof, it can be opened and closed in about 15 seconds and while BMW styling is becoming more and more divisive, we think this thing looks alright. However, there is a caveat. It looks like a larger 6 Series and, at least to our eyes, does not have that wow-factor that you would associate with a nearly million-dirham car.
The mechanical alterations from the coupe aren’t wholesale either. It gets new cross struts, new shear panel for the underbody and rollover protection in the shape of two aluminium bars aft of the rear-seat head restraints.
Our market will get the 4.4-litre V8, assisted by two turbochargers making 526 horsepower and a gargantuan 750Nm of torque. Expectedly, 0 to 100km/h is achieved in a startling 3.9 seconds – a figure that was, just a decade ago, associated with hypercars like the McLaren SLR and Porsche Carrera GT. So that’s good news. While it is heavy at 2,090kg, it not as portly as it could have been, which, again, is good news.
It gets four-wheel drive as standard and an eight-speed automatic gearbox to transfer the power to the tarmac, while adaptive M dampers ensure you don’t lollop around corners. Other tech trickery includes active steering and a variety of driver aids.
While prices have not been announced yet for the Middle East, but with our dealers bringing in “full options” examples, expect it to be in the vicinity of a million dirhams. This or the Mercedes S-Class Cab?