BMW 8 Series Convertible: this is it!

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BMW 8 Series Convertible: this is it!

BMW has revealed its 8 Series Convertible ahead of the car's market launch next March. There's a range-topping M850i, powered by a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 developing a meaty 523bhp and 553lb ft of torque.

BMW said the M850i xDrive Convertible will sprint to 60 miles per hour in 3.8 seconds, or about 0.2 seconds slower than the coupe, and both models are said to be capabke of reaching a governed top speed of 155 miles per hour.

A drop-top version of the company's 8 Series Coupe, it uses a full soft-top setup that can be opened and closed in 15 seconds at speeds of up to 31mph. Practicality isn't something normally found in a convertible but here the rear seats have a 50:50 split design, which is handy if you need to carry extra gear.

Along with the folding roof, BMW has also added addition underbody bracing to offset the drop in rigidity, plus a strengthened windscreen and rollover bars - extended by a "pyrotechnic charge" - should the worst happen. It's linked to an eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission with shift paddles, automatic stop-start, and launch control.

The M850i xDrive convertible also got an electronically controlled rear differential lock, which is optional on the 840d xDrive version. Longitudinally oriented lines and surfacing, driver-oriented cockpit and clearly structured arrangement of controls sharpen the focus on the dynamically engaging driving experience.

Boot space is respectable given the car's convertible roof, with 350 litres of load area matching that offered by the Mercedes S-Class Convertible - one of the 8 Series Convertible's key rivals.

Removing a car's roof can also reduce the vehicle's body stiffness, causing it to flex when going around corners, so BMW has strengthened the Convertible's underpinnings with stiffer struts and panels. That means the Adaptive M suspension is standard, as is rear-wheel steering.

The top requires 15 seconds to open and close, and it can operate at up to 30 miles per hour (48 kph). During colder months, you should still be able to drive around with the top down thanks to the neck warmers that are integrated into front headrests. Rounding out the highlights are a head-up display, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and an infotainment system with a 10.25-inch display. In comparison, the hardtop will go on sale in December starting at $111,900 before destination.

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