2020 BMW 8 Series Convertible
Bavaria’s new flagship, now with extra skyby Jonathan Lopez, on
After nearly two decades on the shelf, the BMW 8 Series is back, and it’s once again looking to head the BMW lineup with sporty grand touring luxury as a replacement for the outgoing 6 Series. Revived in both racing and full production form at the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Bavarians are kicking things off with a hardtop coupe iteration, but this new flagship is sure to receive a fresh drop-top version sooner or later, making for the first-ever convertible 8 Series model.
We can’t wait to get our eyeballs on it, but luckily, we don’t have to, as the fine folks at X-Tomi Design put together a rendering of just such a creation. Read on for our full speculative review on what the upcoming Bimmer will bring to the party.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2020 BMW 8 Series Convertible.
2020 BMW 8 Series Convertible
2020 BMW 8 Series Convertible Exterior Styling
- Same style as the Coupe model
- Electrically retracting fabric soft top
- Wide and low stance
- Polished metal trim throughout
- Redesigned, active kidney grille
- Optional laser headlights
- 20-inch wheels as standard
- Gran Coupe body style added later
- M-version convertible added later
When viewed head on, the first thing to grab you about the 8 Series is its low, wide stance.
From the off, it should be somewhat obvious that the 8 Series Convertible will look more or less the same as the Coupe version, albeit with an electrically retractable soft top made from fabric added as a replacement for the roof. Once again, the style pulls directly from the concept car that debuted in 2017 at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, and we think it looks pretty good with all that extra headroom.
When viewed head-on, the first thing to grab you about the 8 Series is its low, wide stance. The nose comes adorned by the latest BMW kidney grille design, which is ringed by shiny metal trim. The grille also comes equipped with active air flaps, which help to cool the engine when running hard, or smooth the airflow over the nose section when additional mpg is desired.
Below the kidney intake is a large front splitter, while to the sides, there are angular headlight housings. Inside the housings, you’ll find geometric lighting signatures, plus high-intensity LED lighting elements as standard. Laser lighting elements will be optional, while adaptive lighting components will an add extra tech component.
Up top will be a muscular hood design and a long hood line. The profile also reveals a long wheelbase and a set of air vents behind the front wheels. Speaking of the rollers, expect sizing to measure in at 20+ inches in diameter.
While the majority of the body panels will be identical to the Coupe model, the trunk lids will be a bit different accommodate the retractable top.
The rear will also come with a standard diffuser element. And while the majority of the body panels will be identical to the coupe model, the trunk lids will be a bit different, both to accommodate the retractable top, and to help differentiate the convertible model.
It’s also worth noting that BMW will likely introduce a Gran Coupe iteration sometime in the future, as well as an M-branded iteration equipped with performance cues like larger wheels, blue brake calipers, a large-bore exhaust, and sharper body lines.
2020 BMW 8 Series Convertible Interior Design
- Same interior design as the Coupe model
- High-end materials like leather and aluminum
- Contrast stitching and sports seats
- All-digital gauge pod
- Huge raft of technology
- Very small trunk space
The interior will get Bimmer’s fresh new dash and center console, laid out with an emphasis on the horizontal.
Much like the exterior styling, the 8 Series Convertible’s interior design should be more or less identical to that of the standard 8 Series Coupe. That includes Bimmer’s fresh new dash and center console, which is laid out with an emphasis on the horizontal. High-end materials will pervade throughout, such as Merino leather, metal inlays, and aluminum trim. Contrast stitching will add extra visual goodness to the supportive sport seats.
M models will get their own unique touches, such as new pedals and floor mats. High-end audio will come from Harman Kardon as an available option.
Behind the wheel will be a set of digital gauges, with the screen behind the dash measuring in at 12.3 inches. There will also be a 10.25-inch digital infotainment screen mounted high on the center console.
As Bimmer’s flagship model, the 8 Series Convertible will also come with loads and loads of technology, including a bevy of systems and features for both added safety and greater convenience. That means such standards as parking assist, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, steering assist, blind spot monitors, and the like, but we’d also expect to more advanced systems like gesture control, and maybe even wilder tech like augmented reality. We’d also love to see the Convertible offer wind noise cancellation technology to hush the rushing atmosphere when the top is down.
As Bimmer’s flagship model, the 8 Series will come with loads and loads of technology.
In that same vein, it’s likely Bimmer will include some sort of extra climate control system in the seat headrests to keep passengers comfortable when the top is down and the weather is a bit cooler than anticipated.
Finally, expect only a minuscule amount of cargo room in the trunk. While big enough to carry a loaf of bread, don’t expect it to hold much more than that, as it will also need to accommodate the folding roof.
2020 BMW 8 Series Convertible Drivetrain And Performance
- Will carry over the Coupe’s turbo 4.4-liter V-8
- 0 to 60 mph in less than four seconds
- Likely will include the diesel option overseas
- M version will make more than 600 horsepower
- AWD grip, eight-speed automatic transmission
- Adaptive suspension components
- Multiple drive modes for handling and comfort
Properly motivated, the Coupe model can achieve 60 mph in 3.6 seconds, and we’d expect the Convertible to do roughly the same.
Like the standard 8 Series, the Convertible will likely mount BMW’s new twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 under the hood. Also known as the N63, output for this boosted ‘eight is rated at 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque in the Coupe, and it’s highly likely we’ll see the same numbers in the Convertible.
Properly motivated, the Coupe model can achieve 60 mph in 3.6 seconds, and we’d expect the Convertible to do roughly the same, perhaps with an extra tenth tacked on. Top speed for both models will be electronically limited at 155 mph, per usual.
We’ll also likely see the 8 Coupe’s less-powerful engine option added to the Convertible, which in this case is a twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder burning diesel fuel. An even-fast M8 version might also be introduced sometime later, with output pumped up to more than 600 ponies.
BMW’s xDrive system will put the power to the ground, fed via a standard eight-speed automatic transmission. The AWD system will be rear-biased to help the car achieve the appropriate response in the corners.
Speaking of which, the 8 Series Convertible’s suspension will once again use a double wishbone in front and a five-link for the rear. Multiple drive modes will be onboard to help tweak the throttle response, transmission settings, steering settings, and suspension settings. Adaptive chassis components will keep it feeling lively.
We have to wonder if chopping the top will put a dent in the 8 Series’ cornering performance.
That said, we have to wonder if chopping the top will put a dent in the 8 Series’ cornering performance. The lack of a roof could make it significantly less rigid, not to mention add significant weight to an already relatively hefty vehicle. Luckily, the soft top roof should help shave a few pounds compared to a bulky retractable hardtop, and materials like carbon fiber reinforced plastic are sure to help in that regard as well.
2020 BMW 8 Series Convertible Prices
Pricing for the convertible model is obviously not available at this point, but we already know that the coupe version of the M850i will retail from $111,900 plus $995 for destination and handling in the U.S. This means that the drop-top version is likely to fetch a bit more than $120,000 before options.
Standard equipment for the M850i should be identical to the coupe and include Full LED headlamps with BMW LaserLight technology, BMW Individual Merino Leather upholstery, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, Sport Automatic Transmission, Adaptive M Suspension with Active-Roll Stabilization, M Sport Brakes, Parking Assistant and BMW Live Cockpit Professional with 12.3 inch and 10.25 inch digital displays.
The options list should also be identical to the coupe, sans for the carbon-fiber roof. You will be able to order the Driving Assistant Professional, a 1,400-watt Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound system, Glass Controls for the gear selector, iDrive controller, start/stop button, and the carbon-fiber exterior trim package.
In the United Kingdom, the coupe retails from £76,270 in 840d trim and from £100,045 in M850i spec. Expect the convertible models to start from around £83,000 and £108,000, respectively.
2020 BMW 8 Series Convertible Competition
If you’ve got the funds, the Mercedes-AMG S 63 Cabriolet has some very impressive specs going for it. For starters, it’s got a little over 600 horsepower and 660 pound-feet of torque thanks to a turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 under the hood, all of which is routed through a nine-speed automatic transmission and 4Matic AWD system to yield a 0-to-60 mph time of 3.4 seconds. A soft top roof keeps the elements out up top and is offered in a variety of colors for personalization. Inside is space for up to four passengers, with high-end leather and wood trim added front to back. Rounding it off is an adaptive Airmatic suspension system and AMG composite brake system.
Read our full review of the 2018 Mercedes-AMG S 63 Cabriolet.
While not yet official, word has it Lexus is gearing up to release a drop top iteration of its gorgeous LC 500 Coupe. If the rumors are indeed true, such a model would make for quite the stout competitor in the segment. Outside, the LC 500 Convertible would rock the same gorgeous lines as its hardtop sibling, while the interior would come draped in leather and other fine materials. The dash will be done in a two-tier configuration, with digital gauges behind the steering wheel and a horizontal infotainment screen above the infotainment controls. Power will once again come from a 5.0-liter V-8, which should dole out as much as 467 naturally aspirated horsepower to the rear wheels. Look for a run to 60 mph in the high-4-second range.
Read our full speculative review of the 2019 Lexus LC Convertible.
At this point, a drop top 8 Series is pretty much an inevitability. But the real question is - how fast will it be? What M-branded tricks will Bimmer give it to keep up with its rivals? How big of a hit with performance take when going topless?
If all goes according to plan, this thing is looking mighty impressive all the same. Now we just have to wait for it.
Read our full review on the 2019 BMW 8 Series.
Read our full speculative review on the 2019 BMW M8 Coupe.
Read our full speculative review on the 2019 BMW M8 Convertible.
Read our full review on the 2018 BMW M8 Gran Coupe Concept.
Read our full review on the BMW 8 Series Concept Coupe.
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