New 2019 BMW 8 Series Convertible leaked online ahead of official reveal

The new BMW 8 Series Convertible has arrived with a fabric roof, and joins the Coupe in the brand’s flagship range

The all-new BMW 8 Series Convertible has been officially uncovered – and Auto Express was granted a studio sneak peak of the new model three weeks before its reveal. The new model is due to go on sale in April 2019.

Of course, it’s the new roof which is the main focus of interest. Losing the Coupe’s fixed top has made the 8 Series no less elegant – whether the new hood is up or down. Fabric was chosen, because a metal roof of that size would have taken up too much space and added too much weight. It can be lowered in 15 seconds and at speeds of up to 31mph, and is offered in black as standard or dark grey as an option.

• New BMW 8 Series Coupe review

Like the Coupe, the Convertible uses a four-seat layout. There’s slightly less shoulder room than in the Coupe to accommodate for the rollover protection and the seat backs are slightly more upright. Kneeroom remains the same, and headroom is slightly improved thanks to the shape of the roof.

Elsewhere, the Convertible’s interior design is much the same as the Coupe. One useful addition has been introduced for cold top-down driving though: an optional neck warmer is integrated into the driver’s and front passenger’s head restraints, blowing warm air in three different levels of intensity.

The roof’s folding mechanism has harmed boot space. Total volume has dropped to 350 litres with the roof closed (down from the Coupe’s 430 litres), and 280 with the it open. Convertible owners will still benefit from rear seat backs with a 50:50 split – though the through-loading opening has shrunk a little.

The lack of a solid roof has forced BMW to add extra bracing to the chassis to keep the body similarly rigid to that of the Coupe. Extra cross struts and a new underbody panel, plus the mechanism for the roof itself, results in a 125kg weight penalty.

To offset the extra weight, the suspension has been beefed up slightly, so that the driving experience should feel largely the same as the Coupe. That mass is also shifted to the rear slightly – though speak to BMW’s engineers and they admit that the new 48:52 weight distribution makes the convertible even more fun to drive on the limit.

The Convertible’s engine options will match those of the Coupe. That means the range kicks off with the 840d: a twin-turbo 3.0-litre straight-six diesel with a claimed fuel consumption of 45.6mpg and 161g/km of CO2. The 316bhp, 700Nm unit propels the 840d from 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds and on to a limited top speed of 155mph.

The one petrol option from launch will be the M850i. Powered by a 4.4-litre twin turbo V8, it makes 523bhp and 750Nm. The extra weight of the convertible blunts the performance ever so slightly: a 3.9-second 0-62mph time is 0.2 seconds slower than the Coupe. Predictably, the M850i is thirstier than the diesel, returning a claimed 28.5mpg and 225g/km of CO2.

All 8 Series models come with 20-inch alloy wheels, Merino leather trim, a Harman Kardon sound system and adaptive LED headlights as standard. Optional extras include laser lights and a Bowers and Wilkins hi-fi.

The latest version of BMW’s infotainment system is standard. It gets a 12.3-inch touchscreen display with a revised home page layout which allows for customisable icons and widgets. It’s paired with a 10.25-inch digital instrument panel.

Prices for the Convertible start at £83,270 for the 840d XDrive and £107,045 for the M850i – £7,000 more than the Coupe equivalents.

Do you like the look of the new BMW 8 Series Convertible? Let us know your thoughts below…

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