The rebirth of the BMW eight Sequence might nicely have fallen via a 6 Sequence formed entice door, however we discovered the extra upmarket, extra driver centered tackle BMW’s flagship to be a convincing resurrection after we sampled it in Coupe type on the finish of 2018.
Now, touchdown on sale within the UK and costing some £7,000 greater than the arduous prime, is that this: the new BMW eight Sequence Convertible.
BMW believes that the Coupe will outsell its new cabriolet sibling two to at least one, however we predict issues may very well be considerably nearer when curiosity begins pouring in. To start with, a £7k premium on this class is tiny; open-top variations often value fairly a bit extra. The brand new eight Sequence Convertible has a folding cloth roof somewhat than a posh metallic set-up. It opens and closes in simply 15 seconds at speeds of as much as 31mph.
Extra importantly, climbing behind the wheel reveals that BMW’s boffins have executed a implausible job of making certain that the eight Sequence Convertible hasn’t surrendered a lot of the Coupe’s already wonderful dynamic prowess.
The carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic development used on the eight Sequence platform signifies that BMW’s engineers haven’t needed to go all that overboard to retain as a lot of the Coupé’s rigidity as potential. They’ve bolstered the A-pillars, added cross struts and given the automobile some strengthening underneath the ground. And whereas the V8-powered M850i drop-top pushed right here ideas the scales at 125kg greater than the equal Coupe, we’re advised it’s 97 per cent as stiff.
After we took to the roads within the M850i Coupe final yr, we have been impressed by the way in which the upmarket 6 Sequence substitute drove. BMW has tried to discover a slender hole between sports activities automobile and grand tourer – and by and enormous it has succeeded.
It’s a lot the identical deal right here with the Convertible, and the M850i reveals a user-friendly set of sporting traits with greater than acceptable ranges of refinement.
What grabs you instantly is the way in which it feels surprisingly agile for a roofless automobile that weighs greater than two tonnes. Issues are helped partially by a four-wheel-steering system that’s much more pure on this software than it’s within the model’s SUVs. However the cabrio is surefooted and greater than sharp sufficient for a automobile of this sort.
Whereas BMW claims there’s a rear-wheel bias to the xDrive four-wheel-drive system, you’ll wrestle to note it. Grip is the overriding attribute of the set-up, even whenever you ease off the traction management settings. It appears fairly one-dimensional for a BMW with a six-figure price ticket and M-badged efficiency pretensions, however you’ll be able to’t assist being impressed at how tight and controllable the M850i Convertible is at pace alongside a twisting highway.
Dropping the roof doesn’t appear to have had a lot impression on the automobile’s dynamic talents, then. And being uncovered to the weather provides a key new dimension to this automobile’s attraction: you will get nearer to its engine.
The Four.Four-litre V8 revs out with thunderous intent if you need it to. With the automobile in its extra aggressive drive modes and the exhaust valves open, the M850i unleashes a critical volley of crackles and bangs. It’s an thrilling powertrain, and with the xDrive system, it allows Zero-62mph in a claimed three.9 seconds. Make no mistake: it is a very quick automobile, and it leaves you questioning simply how speedy the flagship M8 might be when it will definitely arrives.
It’s pretty snug, too, regardless of using on metal springs, somewhat than the air suspension that’s discovered within the 7 Sequence and new X7. That goes some option to explaining the large BMW’s sensible physique management, however for a grand tourer, the M850i positively errs in direction of the firmer aspect of issues. It’s nonetheless impressively cosseting and you possibly can simply reside with it, however a contact of stiffness within the adaptive set-up at cruising pace reveals there are extra snug vehicles on the market for this type of cash.
There are extra spacious ones, too. The rear seats of the eight Sequence Convertible usually are not as accommodating as those in a Mercedes S-Class Cabriolet, and adults gained’t like being there too lengthy, if in any respect. That shouldn’t come as a lot of a shock, nevertheless, on condition that the BMW’s wheelbase is 123mm shorter than the Merc’s.
At the very least the cabin feels elegant, with an expensive degree of perceived high quality. The supplies mirror this, however whereas the design is neat and tidy, and the iDrive infotainment as sharp as ever, the inside appears to mirror the sports activities automobile aspect of the M850i’s nature, somewhat than the grand tourer. The arrival of a fully-digitalised instrument panel belies the brand new BMW GT’s standing as a driver’s automobile a bit of although, and there are extra convincing and setups on the market.
If this type of factor issues to you, then an S-Class Cabriolet feels extra particular inside and is unquestionably extra tailor-made in direction of luxurious customers. Nonetheless, it will be actually harsh to recommend that the BMW’s cabin isn’t upmarket and nicely completed, as a result of it’s.