The high-performance luxury convertible BMW needs to build ASAP!

Rumored for many, many years, the iconic BMW 8 Series is set to return to the market, with a concept car already unveiled in 2017. But, unlike the first-generation model, produced from 1989 to 1999, the new 8 Series will also spawn a high-performance M8 model. And this is more than just silly rumor, as BMW has already released a few photos with a heavily camouflaged car. Since we enjoy speculating on future models, we created a rendering of the M8 Convertible, a vehicle that has yet to be confirmed, but was spotted testing on public roads. So it’s safe to assume that BMW is indeed working on a competitor for the AMG-prepped Mercedes S63 and S65.

Not only would an M8 Convertible arrive as a premiere for the nameplate, it would also be a first for the 8 Series. Although it was produced for a full decade, the first-gen 8 Series remained a coupe only. The German firm did develop a cabrio and built a prototype, but it later decided that it was unlikely to recover its development cost and scrapped. The same happened with the original M8, which was axed in favor of the less powerful, but still M-developed 850CSi. Some two decades later and both ideas are set to merge into a production model for the very first time.

Updated 08/22/2017: BMW took the topless version of the M8 out for a test drive.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW M8 Convertible.

Spy Shots

January 25, 2018 – More testing on public roads

With a release date scheduled for the end of this year, Bimmer is really buckling down to get the new M8 Convertible ready to roll. That means lots of testing, including sessions out on the public roads, and luckily, our spy photographers were on the scene to capture the fresh sports machine going through its paces near BMW’s headquarters in Munich.

Covered in a black camo pattern laced with white stripes, this most recent set of pics gives us a cleaner look at the M8’s fascia, revealing the shape of the headlight housings and their geometric LED daytime running lights, as well as the headlights’ top-portion turn signals. The kidney grille looks to incorporate wider intakes set with vertical slats, while wide side sills and flared fenders add to the drop-top’s aggressive demeanor. In back, we get a look at the lit-up taillights as well. A set of quad exhaust pipes round it off.

August 22, 2017 - BMW M8 Convertible caught testing

2019 BMW M8 Convertible
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2019 BMW M8 Convertible
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Exterior

2019 BMW M8 Convertible Spyshots Exterior High Resolution
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2019 BMW M8 Convertible Spyshots Exterior High Resolution
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Like most convertible versions of existing coupes, the M8 drop-top should be identical to the standard M8 below the waist.

Like most convertible versions of existing coupes, the M8 drop-top should be identical to the standard M8 below the waist. With no photos of the actual M8 around you might say that it’s difficult to draw a picture of the convertible, but we have the official spy shots to look at for hints. So far we can tell that the M8 will be a slightly more mundane version of the 8 Series concept, but with specific M components that add a bit of sportiness.

Specifically, look for the front fascia to be an evolution of the current design with a large kidney grille with rounded edges, slender headlamps with LED, and large intakes in the bumper with a sporty-looking mesh grille. The rear end won’t be as exotic as the concept’s, but expect to see slim taillights, a big spoiler atop the trunklid, and the mandatory quad exhaust pipe configuration and a carbon-fiber diffuser. Onto the sides, look for a smaller opening in the front fender, but similarly muscular rear haunches.

2019 BMW M8 Convertible Computer Renderings and Photoshop Exclusive Renderings Exterior
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The Convertible will stand out just above the waistline, by means of a retractable top and a slightly different windshield.

The Convertible will stand out just above the waistline, by means of a retractable top and a slightly different windshield. A removable roof also means that this M8 will lack the slanted C-pillars and sporty roofline of a traditional grand tourer, but this will only happen when the top is folded in the trunk. If previous Bimmers are any indication, the M8 Convertible’s soft-top should mimic the coupe’s roof in almost every detail, so owners will still be able to admire that sexy shape before switching to "infinite headroom" mode.

All told, the M8 Convertible should look stunning, to say the least!

2019 BMW M8 Convertible Computer Renderings and Photoshop Exterior Exclusive Renderings
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2017 Mercedes S63 4MATIC Cabriolet High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Note: BMW M8 Convertible Rendering vs. Mercedes-AMG S63 Convertible

Interior

2019 BMW M8 Convertible Interior High Resolution
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It's safe to assume that the high-performance grand tourer will be based on the 8 Series concept.

Although BMW had nothing to say about the M8’s interior, it’s safe to assume that the high-performance grand tourer will be based on the 8 Series concept. Look for a similar dashboard with a clean design and a wide center stack with a large infotainment display and modern, clutter-free controls. The large carbon-fiber section between the A/C controls and the gear lever should be carried over in the M8, although it will most likely be optional in the standard 8 Series.

The instrument cluster seen in the concept isn’t exactly relevant since it’s way too simple, but I have a hunch that the M8’s will be based on the 7 Series. This means several display modes, two sporty looking gauges for speed and revs, and a ton of information, including navigation data. Being an M car, the M8 Convertible’s cluster should also have a few special bits for a sportier appearance.

2019 BMW M8 Convertible Interior High Resolution
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Materials-wise, the M8 Convertible will be fitted with the best. Expect fine leathers, hand-polished aluminum, and carbon-fiber inserts.

As much as I like the race-inspired steering wheel of the concept, I have strong doubts that it will be transferred in the production car in this form. Look for a simple unit with revised controls, as well as redesigned side grips and flat bottom. The sporty steering wheel, likely highlighted by an "M" badge, should be joined by aluminum sports pedals.

Materials-wise, the M8 Convertible will be fitted with the best. Expect fine leathers to be included in the standard package, alongside hand-polished aluminum and carbon-fiber inserts. As with most M car, the standard upholstery will come in black, but BMW will offer brighter colors for those looking for strong contrasts. Several Individual options be offered in addition to the extra goodies that come with each Bimmer.

Drivetrain

2018 BMW M5 High Resolution Drivetrain
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BMW will most likely use the revamped 4.4-liter V-8 in the new M5 and rate it at around 600 horsepower.

This department is a complete mystery right now, but there are a couple of scenarios to take into consideration. For starters, being a full-fledged M car, the M8 Convertible needs to deliver some serious performance. As a result, a twin-turbo V-8 is a solid candidate for the job. BMW will most likely use the revamped 4.4-liter V-8 in the new M5 and rate it at around 600 horsepower. This should be enough against the Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet, which comes with a 603-horsepower 4.0-liter V-8. xDrive AWD will probably come standard, which should enable the M8 to hit 60 mph from a standing start in around 3.7 seconds. That would be a tenth-second quicker than the Merc. In addition, the AWD system will also include an RWD-only mode, like seen in the recently unveiled BMW M5.

BMW could also consider a V-12 with at least 650 horsepower.

However, BMW could also consider a V-12 drivetrain. After all, the M8 would become the company’s range-topping vehicle and BMW also needs to consider the fact that the first 8 Series had V-12 power too. In this case, the German brand would use the twin-turbo, 6.6-liter V-12 in the M760Li. This unit is rated at 600 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, but it could get more oomph in the M8. Should BMW create two trim levels, one with V-8 power and one with a V-12 engine, the latter could have in excess of 650 horsepower. A V-12 M8 would also be a great competitor for the AMG S65 Cabriolet, which uses a 6.0-liter V-12 rated at 621 horses. The Merc is only RWD in this configuration, so an AWD option for the V-12 M8 would be a great advantage in a market that tends to favor all-wheel-drive performance cars. An AWD-equipped V-12 model with at least 650 horsepower should be able to hit 60 mph from a standing start in 3.5 seconds, making it the fastest option in this niche.

Prices

2019 BMW M8 Convertible Exterior High Resolution
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Because convertibles are usually more expensive than coupes, it’s safe to assume that the M8 Convertible will become the most expensive Bimmer yet. So far, the most expensive M-related vehicle is the M760i xDrive, which retails from $156,700. The M8 shouldn’t be much more expensive than this, but I expect the convertible to fetch in excess of $170,000. Should BMW also produce a V-12 model, I’d venture to say that it will command a $200,000+ sticker.

The Competition

Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet / S65 Cabriolet

2017 Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet High Resolution Exterior
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The Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet is the main reason why BMW desperately needs a convertible version of the upcoming M8. Launched for the 2017 model year, the AMG S63 is essentially the first ever performance variant of the two-door S-class, itself a rare gem the company’s otherwise rich history. Loaded with AMG’s slightly more aggressive body kit, the AMG S63 packs a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 rated at 603 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of twist under the hood. All that power goes to the wheels through a 4Matic AWD system that delivers 67 percent of the oomph to the rear wheels. The S65 AMG is pretty much similar on the outside, but a different beast in terms of output. Motivated by a massive 6.0-liter V-12, also driven by turbochargers, the S65 comes with 630 horsepower and a whopping 737 pound-feet on tap. But even though it’s more powerful, it’s slower to 60 mph due to being a RWD-only vehicle. Pricing-wise, these grand tourers are far from affordable. While the AMG S63 Cabriolet retails from $176,400, the AMG S65 Cabriolet starts from $247,900.

Find out more about the Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet and Mercedes-AMG S65 Cabriolet here and here.

Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible

2016 Bentley Continental GT Convertible High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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2016 Bentley Continental GT Convertible High Resolution Exterior
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The M8’s second competitor comes from Great Britain and it’s pretty much a souped-up Bentley Continental GT. Powered by a 6.0-liter W-12 rated at 626 horsepower and 607 pound-feet of torque and a ZF eight-speed automatic, the GT Speed needs four seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start, which should make it slightly slower than the M8 Convertible. The Bentley wins the top speed battle with its 202 mph versus the AMG’s 186-mph rating and BMW’s sub-190-mph rating. Design-wise, it’s looks classy, but not as aggressive as its German counterparts. Inside the cabin though, it’s loaded with luxury features and the latest technology Bentley can offer. As far as pricing goes, the GT Speed Convertible retails from about $240,000, a sticker that might just make it a bit more affordable than a V-12-powered M8.

Learn more about the Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible here.

Conclusion

2019 BMW M8 Convertible Spyshots Exterior High Resolution
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It’s obviously a bit too early to talk about this car since the coupe isn’t here yet and BMW has yet to confirm a drop-top, but the M8 Convertible is a vehicle that BMW needs to build ASAP. With the AMG S63 and S65 already making big waves and the Conti GT Speed offering more performance than ever, BMW needs to up the ante and come up with a solid grand tourer with the option for infinite headroom. The M8 Convertible might not have any historic background, but it might be crucial for BMW’s future in the two-door luxury market.

  • Leave it
    • * Not yet confirmed for production
    • * Stiff competition
    • * No real legacy

References

2019 BMW M8 Exterior High Resolution
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Read our full speculative review on the BMW M8 Coupe.

2019 BMW 8 Series Exterior High Resolution
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Read our full review on the BMW 8 Series Concept.

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