TEST DRIVE: 2019 BMW M850i xDrive Convertible

The second member of the brand new BMW Eight Sequence household is now able to enter the market with an beautiful, luxurious and sporty design. The 2019 BMW Eight Sequence Convertible is becoming a member of its coupe brother in a brand new luxurious phase the place BMW goals to be an necessary participant. Regardless that BMW bought the Eight Sequence for nearly ten years, because it ended manufacturing in 1999, a drop-top mannequin was by no means produced. So this new BMW Eight Sequence Convertible is actually the primary of its type. Not solely is the brand new Eight Sequence Convertible the primary of its type however it’s additionally the most effective wanting drop-top BMW because the Z8. To spotlight the choices within the UKL phase – or quick for the higher luxurious class – BMW has invited me to Algarve, Portugal to check drive the brand new M850i xDrive Convertible. Simply the day earlier than I used to be within the new 7 Sequence alongside an identical route, so it’s for sure I used to be excited to place the highest down and expertise probably the most highly effective BMWs obtainable immediately. Earlier than I leap into the overview, let’s check out the high-end phase for cabriolets. Alongside the brand new Eight Sequence Convertible, there are some costlier choices with their very own enchantment. The S-Class Cabriolet from Mercedes-Benz is considered one of them, together with the Bentley Continental GT Roadster and Aston Martin Vanquish S Volante. The 463 HP drop prime from Mercedes-Benz begins at $133,300 and comes with a V8 as properly, the Volante begins at slightly below $200,000, so if you have a look at base worth of the M850i xDrive Convertible, you're feeling such as you acquired a terrific deal – $122,395 together with the vacation spot and dealing with tax. That’s a cool $9,500 greater than the Coupe various, in case you had been questioning. Prospects in Europe do get a greater deal by having the selection of an 840d Convertible which begins at 100,000 euros in Germany. The Design Whereas the usual Eight Sequence Coupe is muscular and sporty wanting, dropping the roof provides a magnificence. Sans roof, the Eight Sequence Convertible is equally gorgeous and splendid, and whereas it’s not as flashy as its opponents, it’s definitely elegant and sporty on the similar time. It may be understated with the highest up, however as quickly as you decrease the roof, its stunning design strains flip many heads. Climbing behind the wheel is sort of a deal with; the convertible welcomes you with a premium cabin which inherits nearly of all its components from the coupe. The Merino leather-based of the entrance seats in Ivory White is great and of the very best high quality, and when paired with the fine-wood trim ‘Fineline’ copper impact high-gloss, the expertise turns into much more premium for the motive force. The tech additionally comes from the coupe-brother, so that you’re getting the identical twin 12.three inch screens, paired with the Glass Software within the M850i, and an M Sports activities steering wheel. Options particular to the M850i Convertible are the neck heaters, for the motive force and entrance passenger, that blow heat air from slightly below the headrest, to permit an open-top expertise even in chilly climate. The material roof is light-weight and may be raised or stowed in simply 15 seconds as much as 50 km/h, however as anticipated, that comes with decreased practicality – the trunk of the M850i Convertible is 150 liters smaller than the Eight Sequence Coupe. But, I used to be nonetheless in a position to retailer a carry-on suitcase and a small backpack. Additionally as a result of extra tapered shoulder across the rear seats, the passengers within the again have barely much less shoulder room. Nonetheless, the rear seats ought to actually solely be used for shorter distances. Prospects may purchase an M Carbon bundle, which provides air consumption bars, mirror covers and a rear diffuser. The Engine The BMW M850i xDrive mannequin is the highest cabriolet within the Eight Sequence household, so that means a four.four liter V8 TwinTurbo underneath the hood which produces 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque — the identical because the M850i xDrive coupe. BMW stated the convertible will do zero t0 60 mph in three.Eight seconds, which is zero.2 seconds slower than the coupe. Each fashions have a prime velocity of 155 mph. In contrast additionally to the outgoing 650i Convertible (445 hp), this can be a important bump in energy and efficiency. The Driving Expertise The convertible weighs round four,740 lbs, which is roughly 260 kilos (117 kg) heavier than the M850i Coupe, so technically, the driving expertise needs to be related. Due to its light-weight building utilizing aluminum, magnesium and carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP), the M850i Convertible can also be 97 % as stiff because the coupe. The stiffness can also be enhanced in the M850i Convertible by an extra thrust panel underneath the entrance axle, stiffer A-pillars and a torsion ring above the rear axle.  A brand new rollover safety system has been engineered for the convertible to guard as much as 4 occupants, so that provides you the boldness to push the automobile even with no hardtop. The safety system options two aluminum bars behind the rear-seat head restraints. If you happen to’re not acquainted to the explanation why we at all times discover ourselves in Portugal, then permit me to enlighten you. Firstly, nice climate, nearly year-round, which ensures that the weeks-long press drives can proceed with out interruptions. Secondly, some nice driving roads, curvy and enjoyable, with stunning panorama surrounding them, and most significantly, not a lot site visitors. Thirdly, it’s Portugal – persons are pleasant and the meals and wine is nice. In whichever order you favor. In order you might need guessed by now, I rapidly discover myself aboard a Dravit Gray M850i Convertible with an xDrive system. Placing grip to the bottom is a set of 20 inch Bridgestone Potenza S007 efficiency tires wrapped across the 20″ M mild permit wheels Y-spoke type 728 M Bicolour Cerium Gray. To check each eventualities – with or with out the highest – I depart behind the gorgeous Conrad Algarve and heading in direction of Faro by way of the same old backroads. The highest is up for now, but you’re not fully disconnected from the skin atmosphere. The cabin is in fact a bit noisier than the coupe, however that’s not one thing that I thoughts contemplating the wonderful noise from the V8 engine. The wind noise with the highest up can also be insignificant so it gained’t impression your driving expertise even at increased speeds. However since most clients would purchase the M850i Convertible to benefit from the open prime feeling, I now push on the button to retract the delicate canvas. The digital display screen warns me that my velocity is above 50 km /h (31 mph), so I decelerate simply sufficient to finish the method. Fifteen seconds later and the solar shines upon me, however fortunately UV safety has been already utilized. At a primary look, and in Consolation mode, the cabriolet’s dealing with is just like the coupe, counting on the identical confidence stance on the street with easy acceleration to the highest speeds. The steering enter is much less aggressive than within the sportier modes, the suspension reminds us that in the long run this can be a Gran Turismo for snug drives, whereas the fuel pedal has extra journey. The exhaust noise is, in fact, a bit neutered, so the drive is nice even with the highest down and a excessive speeds. The ZF Eight-Pace transmission wants no introduction as properly – it’s the identical gearbox as within the coupe, so you already know that you simply’re getting easy and exact shifts, no matter whether or not you’re utilizing the fully-automatic mode or shifting by way of the paddles behind the wheel. To get the blood flowing, I converted to Sport and later to Sport Plus, which brings a refreshing stage of sportiness. The adaptive M Sport Suspension tightens up, giving the luxurious cabriolet a firmer trip and stance. The steering wheel will get beefier, so I can instantly expertise faster turns round tight corners. There's loads of suggestions to the street, however that rapidly made me surprise if any “common” driver would discover that, or if that’s one thing that solely us, journalists, care about. Even when pushed arduous, the chassis is sort of stiff, the trip is agency, so solely an expert driver would even discover the slight variations between the convertible and the coupe. Being accustomed to the roads, I get a bit extra adventurous by pushing tougher the M850i Convertible into the hairpins. The steering enter is instant and exact, the tires are grippy, whereas the rear solely slides simply sufficient to place a smile on our face – proper earlier than the xDrive system kicks in. There's a little little bit of physique roll and understeer, which I anticipated contemplating the automobile’s dimension and weight, however once more, it’s one thing that the majority homeowners wouldn’t discover. The rear differential is spectacular as at all times, permitting me to have some enjoyable with the automobile, whereas protecting it secure on the street. With the highest down, the V8 engine and its M-tuned exhaust are the icing on the cake, reminding me as soon as once more how a lot better the TwinTurbos sound. In fact, some a part of the sound remains to be artificially enhanced by the Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Encompass Sound System, however that doesn’t take away from the loud growls of the V8.  With the wind deflector up, it’s spectacular how quiet the cabin is, permitting me to not solely have an audible cellphone dialog, but in addition to file some footage off my GoPro. A number of hundred kilometers later and regardless of my objections, it’s time to show within the luxurious cabriolet, however earlier than that, the parents at BMW permit me to fly a drone above it for some extra footage. Conclusion For sure, the 2019 BMW M850i xDrive Convertible is a riot to drive, whereas providing the very best stage of luxurious and craftsmanship present in a BMW immediately. It’s actually a high-end Gran Turismo with the additional benefit of an open-top expertise, and because of the xDrive system, it would discover a dwelling in areas the place the solar sporadically shines. Filled with the most recent and biggest tech and driving help options, the Eight Sequence Convertible turns into a dependable and nice companion throughout lengthy drives, and whereas most automobiles are simply there to get you from level A to B, the M850i Convertible does it in type and with quite a lot of character and confidence. 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