By on November 7, 2018

The 8 Series is a car that, given the market’s current direction, probably shouldn’t exist. Low, long, and wide, it’s the polar opposite of the vanilla crossovers that permeate parking lots and power centers. This is precisely what makes it, and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class coupe, magnificent machines.

Just four months after production of the 8 Series coupe ramped up, that model is joined by a droptop version. BMW chooses to call it a “textile” soft top, one that’s able to let the world’s richest extroverts and exhibitionists soak up the sun’s rays in less than fifteen seconds.

The first 8er ragtop has already rolled off the production line in the spellcheck-vexing Dingolfing, where it will be constructed alongside 5- and 7 Series variants on the same assembly line.

In this country, well-heeled sun worshippers will be able to select the M850i xDrive trim, an eight-cylinder unit making 523 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque driven through an eight-speed automatic. The run to 60 mph is yours (or, erm, theirs) in less than four seconds. Specific output is pegged at 119 hp per liter.

Elsewhere on planet Earth, an 840d xDrive will be available with a 3.0-liter inline-six making 320 horses. With diesel power autos in this country currently enjoying the popularity of a turd in the punchbowl, don’t look for that drivetrain to come stateside anytime soon.

The 8 Series interior enjoys more screens than a security office. BMW calls it the Live Cockpit, which we can only assume is better than Dead Cockpit. A high-resolution digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster display resides behind the steering wheel for gauge and nav duties, while a 10.25-inch center display takes care of common commands. All of this is in addition to a head-up display which can be fitted with BMW Night Vision.

By the way, BMW’s press release used the term “first-ever” no fewer than thirty-one times to describe their dandy new convertible. Yes, I counted ‘em. Is anyone else as tired of that overused descriptor as I am?

Keeping an eye on weight, the supporting structures at the front and rear of the car are made of aluminium, as are other components such as the doors and hood. The front axle is also made almost completely from aluminum, while the rear axle features a combination of lightweight steel construction with wheel carriers and forged control arms in aluminum. Its bracing tube for the passenger compartment is made from magnesium.

Price? A mere pittance at $121,400, a sum approximately equal to Beto O’Rourke’s bill at the Whataburger drive thru (not really). Look for the big Beemer on dealer lots before Santa Claus comes to town.

[Image: BMW Group]

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