In Depth

BMW 8 Series Convertible revealed: UK release date and specs confirmed

German carmaker lifts lid on drop-top grand tourer after images leaked

BMW has revealed a drop-top version its new 8 Series grand tourer, hours after leaked images of the car were posted online. 

The 8 Series Convertible - unveiled unofficially on Belgian motoring site Autotijd yesterday - swaps the coupe’s hardtop for a fabric roof that tucks into a small compartment behind the back seats when not in use. 

According to Auto Express, the German carmaker opted for a cloth roof because a folding metal hard top “would have taken up too much space and added too much weight”.

The roof can be fully lowered in 15 seconds and speeds of up to 31mph, the magazine adds. The fabric comes in black as standard, but buyers can spec a grey version for a fee. 

The Convertible’s revisions over the coupe model extend beyond the roof. 

BMW has kitted out the drop-top with a wind protector, which is positioned over the back seats, along with a heater that blows air around occupants’ necks, says Top Gear

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.

On the negative side, there is less shoulder room for passengers in the back, “owing to the roof mechanism intruding a little into the sides of the rear cabin”, notes Car magazine. 

But the mechanism doesn’t compromise boot space significantly and is deep enough to “carry long items without particular difficulty”, says the magazine.

According to Autocar, orders for the 8 Series Convertible will open next month, with UK deliveries due to kick off in March 2019. 

Pricing has yet to be announced, but the drop-top is expected to cost slightly more than the £76,270 coupe.

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