BMW has officially unveiled its new 8 Series Convertible, ahead of a market launch early next year.
After being leaked this morning, the Bavarian manufacturer has detailed its new flagship convertible, which shares just about everything with its hard-topped twin bar the folding fabric roof.
Let's start with that, then. Available in black (standard) or Anthracite Silver (optional), the fully-electric folding fabric roof saves weight and space compared to a metal unit, and is claimed to still offer "superb acoustic insulation".
BMW says the roof can be automatically opened or closed in 15 seconds at the touch of a button, operating at speeds up to 50km/h.
When open, the roof is stowed under a cover trimmed and stitched to match the dashboard and doors. Load capacity is rated at 350L with the roof closed.
The interior itself, meanwhile, is pretty much identical to the 8 Series coupe, which is no bad thing. Headlining features include BMW's new OS7.0 and the standard inclusion of the company's 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.
Like the coupe, the 8 Series Convertible will be available with two powertrains at launch – one petrol one diesel, both turbocharged.
Headlining the range is the M850i xDrive, which utilises a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 putting out a meaty 390kW of power and 750Nm of torque. BMW claims the V8-powered drop-top can sprint to 100km/h in just 3.9 seconds, or 0.2 seconds slower than the coupe.
Meanwhile, the entry-level variant at launch will be the 840d xDrive, powered by a 235kW/680Nm 3.0-litre inline six turbo-diesel. The diesel is no slouch either, hitting 100km/h from a standstill in 5.2 seconds.
Both engines send drive to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission, and both have model-specific sports exhaust systems for theatrical soundtracks when you plant your right foot.
The 8 Series Convertible, like its coupe sibling, will offer a suite of active safety and driver assistance technologies out of the box, including a head-up display, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, speed sign recognition, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear collision warning. A rear-view camera and parking sensors are also standard fit.
Optional features available include adaptive cruise control with stop&go, lane-keep assist, and a Night Vision camera system. While adaptive full-LED headlights are included as standard equipment, BMW's Laserlight units are optional with 'Selective Beam' high-beam assistance.
BMW has scheduled the 8 Series Convertible for an overseas launch (including Europe) from March 2019, with pricing to be announced.
BMW's local division has indicated it's expecting the 8 Series Convertible during the first quarter of 2019, around the same time as the coupe.
Stay tuned to CarAdvice for further details in the lead-up to the Australian launch, and click here for more images.