BMW has revealed the first official pictures of its upcoming 8 Series Convertible, with camouflaged photos of the drop-top tourer cutting laps of Death Valley in the USA.
Temperatures nudging 50 degrees celsius, lots of desert dust and a multitude of gravel tracks make the evocatively-named valley the perfect place to put a car through its paces. Those dirt and gravel paths are perfect for testing the soft-top's resistance to dust, and for making sure the mechanism for the folding roof doesn't get blocked up in adverse conditions.
BMW says an 8 Series Convertible was left sitting in the sun for hours, before engineers tested whether the on-board electronics, sound system, semi-autonomous sensors and cameras, and climate control are all operational. Sounds like an edge case, but a successful test ensures the car can handle the worst owners are likely to throw at it and more in the real world.
According to the company, a trip to the Hoover Dam also posed unique challenges, with strong electromagnetic waves from the hydro-based power plant threatening to interfere with the multitude of electric systems on board the 8er drop-top.
In coupe form, the 8 Series was launched with a 4.4-litre twin-turbo petrol V8 engine making 390kW and 750Nm of torque, or a 3.0-litre inline-six turbo-diesel with 235kW and 680Nm. An eight-speed automatic is standard, while the interior is home to the latest BMW OS7.0 infotainment system.
Expect all those things to carry over to the convertible when it launches, potentially at the Paris motor show, or in Geneva next year.