The 8 Series Convertible And The S-Class Cabriolet Are Two Of The Very Best

How can one compare the BMW 8 Series Convertible and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet? This is the furthest you can go with opulence and luxury before actually entering the realm of Aston Martin, Ferrari, or Bentley. It is the outermost edge of the space controlled by what one may call producers of conventional vehicles. But these two aren’t conventional. At all. They are luxurious, fast, opulent, and filled with technology both wonderful and eerie. Be aware, they are not for the timid. Comparing the two of these should give us much the same results as both are actually playing in the same field. However, they are trying to reach slightly different customers.

Exterior

Although coming from different parts of the German car hegemony, the BMW M850i Convertible and the Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet have a lot in common. Well, they are both based around the single premise of a luxury convertible. Yet, the two companies approach design in a slightly different way. Following a long-standing tradition of BMW making sporty cars, and Mercedes being focused on luxury, they expectedly translated these character traits on their most apt convertibles.

Front

left right

The front ends of these machines reveal their true nature. Swept back headlights, a large front grille and swoopy, almost gentle lines of the S63 Cabriolet do say a lot about the focus Mercedes-Benz took when designing it. It is not an uncompromising sports machine. Instead, it will be extremely fast, but also, strikingly comfortable. It shows just that with the curiously unaggressive front end. BMW, on the other hand, took a direct approach toward aggressiveness. Just one look at it reveals that it is not about soft and sensible. It is about eagerness and determination. That’s the difference.

While the chubby S-class Cabriolet still looks fine and, well, awesome actually, the BMW 8 Series Convertible gives us a clear interpretation of athletic proportions.

It is sharp, with clear and concise lines, thin and angry headlights as well as far bigger intakes up front than on the Mercedes-AMG. On the other hand, the large, convex grille with a rich chrome decoration dominates the front of the Mercedes-AMG S 63 Cabriolet. Obviously, both cars took all the traits from their coupe siblings. Only now, one sexed up with a naked cabin.

Side

left right

There is only so much one can do with the sides of a car. Sure, you can go crazy, integrate some rubber bumps as Citroen did with the Cactus, or install large intakes, but that’s about it. The BMW and Mercedes I am writing about here do have a somewhat different muscle composition on the sides. Interestingly enough, both did all they could to respect the design philosophy behind their brands. Surely, one can notice simple, yet distinctive creases on the sides of the Mercedes.

BMW, on the other hand, does follow the piercing design with a knife edge styling cue on the doors and rear fender.

Add to this the perfectly executed soft top and you have yourself a silhouette so dominant it expresses true BMW virtues we all love.

Rear

left right

Moving to the back, both BMW and Mercedes, took a standard form of horizontally positioned tail lights. As you may assume, both really advanced. Mercedes actually has 66 OLED diodes (33 per light), and BMW is also using full LED rear lights. The difference, however, is in the final execution.

While Mercedes rear lights do expose a somewhat “sad” rear end for the S-class Cabriolet, the rear end of the BMW is every bit as angry as its front end.

However, note the vents on the sides of the rear bumper. BMW has bigger ones - all in need of removing the pressure within the wheel wells and for bettering air stream around the brakes.

Actually, BMW probably scanned every single bit of the Mercedes S-class rear end and did the opposite. As I said before, it is not sad, it is angry.

Interior

2020 BMW 8 Series Convertible Interior
- image 803326

Some time ago I attended the presentation of the old Mercedes A-Class, and one of the attendees asked me - what do you think about how the prices of BMW and Mercedes-Benz vehicles differ? It turned out that we had the same answer - they don’t. Well, not by much at least. After all, both companies play in much the same field. That is why both of them have much the same equipment and much the same tech onboard. Of course, the names of the pieces of the equipment are different, the shapes of the cabins are focused on different tasks, but the technology onboard is definitely comparable between the too.

Now, the shape of the cabin, as every other piece on both of these vehicles, feels fundamentally different between the two.
2019 BMW 8 Series Convertible vs 2019 Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet High Resolution Interior
- image 729563

Interestingly enough, the well-executed Mercedes-Benz cabin still feels a tad more modern despite the BMW 8 Series debuting only months ago. However, the BMW 8 Series interior is clearly devoid of luxury pleasures Mercedes-Benz imagined for its drivers. The same way as the Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet interior is devoid of sporty eagerness.

Convertible-Only Features

2019 BMW 8 Series Convertible vs 2019 Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet Exterior
- image 803291

The differences between the convertible and the coupe version aren’t always as colorful as one would hope. Sure, one doesn’t have a roof at all, but somehow, without any logical reason, I always expect more changes than that. Nevertheless, both the BMW M850i Convertible and the Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet have some specialties that differentiate them from the coupe models they are based on. Let me list some.

BMW M850i Convertible

2020 BMW 8 Series Convertible Exterior
- image 803288

Fifteen seconds is all it takes for the plush roof to fold nicely after the rear seats. It can do the job up to 31 mph. This is the most obvious change compared with the coupe version. But I did not come here to mention the roof alone. See, apart from the structural enhancements on the S-class Cabriolet and the 8 Series Convertible compared with their coupe brothers, both companies do include some special equipment for their convertibles. In case of the BMW, you can expect to get an awesome, foldable wind deflector, optional neck warmers so you can drive even when its colder, and some nice subtle spoilers on top of the windshield that dramatically reduces air turbulence inside the car.

Mercedes-AMG S 63

2018 Mercedes-AMG S63-S65 High Resolution Interior
- image 729568

The Mercedes-AMG S 63 is equally competent as it comes with an integrated wind deflector, Airscarf neck-level heating and a bit different central part of the console with a button for opening and closing the roof. Now, this dance of the soft-top is a bit slower on the Merc. It needs 20 seconds to fold, but you can do it up to 38 mph. This is basically the normal traveling speed in the city. Heck, the car can look awesome folding out its roof while actually cruising quite fast.
In either case, the boot capacity is at 350 liters.

Drivetrain and Performance

2019 BMW 8 Series Convertible vs 2019 Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 729566

BMW M850i

Engine 4.4-litre, V-8, M Performance TwinPower Turbo, 525 horsepower
Driveline xDrive AWD
Transmission Eight-speed Steptronic Sport
Suspension Adaptive M suspension and Integral Active Steering as standard
Drive configurator Driving Experience Control
Exhaust system Standard flap-controlled M sports exhaust system
Brakes M Sport braking system with 395 mm brake discs up front
0-62 mph 3.6 seconds
Top Speed 155 mph

Mercedes-AMG S63 S

Engine 4.0-liter, V-8, biturbo with cylinder deactivation system, 612 horsepower
Driveline 4Matic
Transmission AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9G
Suspension AMG RIDE CONTROL+ suspension with adaptive damping adjustment
Drive configurator AMG Dynamic Select
Exhaust system AMG Performance exhaust
Brakes 390 mm composite brake discs with 6-piston Aluminium fixed calipers at the front axle
AMG ceramic high-performance compound braking system available
0-62 mph 3.5 seconds
Top speed 155 mph (186 mph with options AMG Driver’s Package)

Pricing

2019 BMW 8 Series Convertible vs 2019 Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet High Resolution Exterior
- image 729567
With an MSRP of $180,100, the Mercedes-AMG S 63 S is one of the most expensive machines you can spec out from the Mercedes-Benz catalog.

True, it is not an equal competitor with the BMW M850i. We are waiting for the M8. Nevertheless, the M850i Convertible will be cheaper. Dramatically so. Some suggest an MSRP price of $131,500. Why the 50 grand difference?

Well, this is not a pure M car. It is an M Performance machine. A really good one at that.

Final Thoughts

2019 BMW 8 Series Convertible vs 2019 Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet Exterior
- image 803300

While the M850i Convertible and the AMG S 63 are direct competitors, they did, in fact, approach the market with a completely different agenda. One is a luxury cruiser that can do performance, really, really well. The other is a performance athlete, that can do luxury, really, really well. However, I suspect that the main tasks of these convertibles will be to perfectly cruise on the Cote d’Azur in France or the Strip in Las Vegas.

Yup, they will be the stars along with Aston Martins, Ferraris, and Bentleys. Not in a badge, but in everything else.

Further reading

2019 BMW 8 Series Convertible vs 2019 Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet Exterior
- image 803293

Read our full review on the 2019 BMW 8 Series Convertible.

2019 BMW 8 Series Convertible vs 2019 Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet High Resolution Exterior
- image 729578

Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes-AMG S63 Convertible.

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: