At long last, the all-new G14 BMW 8 Series Convertible has finally been unveiled, and it’s the second model to join the revived 8 Series line-up before the Gran Coupe‘s eventual arrival. Two variants are available at launch – the M850i xDrive and 840d xDrive.

The Convertible’s footprint is nearly identical to its coupe sibling, measuring 4,843 mm long, 1,902 mm wide, 1,339 mm tall and with a wheelbase of 2,822 mm. Design-wise, it’s pretty much the same as well, save for the electrically-operated soft-top. The foldable roof features multiple layers of fabric to provide superb acoustic insulation (BMW’s own words), and it’s designed to minimise wind noise when cruising.

When opened, the soft-top is stowed behind the rear seats, hidden under the two subtle domes for that classic “double bubble” sports car look. It takes 15 seconds to open and close fully (operable up to 50 km/h), and this is done via a button located in the centre console. A black top comes as standard, while Anthracite Silver is optional.

From the rear three-quarters, one can tell that the trailing edge appears higher, but it’s deliberate so as to give the convertible a uniformly flat and low look. There’s a built-in wind deflector and optional neck warmers (just like Mercedes-Benz’s Air Scarf) which blows warm air through vents in the front-seat head restraints.

It also features new cross struts and a new underbody shear panel. Two aluminium bars behind the rear seat head restraints provide rollover protection, and the final change is the third brake light (LED) that’s integrated into the boot lid.

Elsewhere, it’s very much the 8 Series we know. However, as with all drop-top variants, the convertible gains a bit of weight over the coupe, tipping the scales at just over 2,000 kg (about 100 kg more).

That means it’s a tad slower in the century sprint – the M850i with the 4.4 litre twin-turbo V8 (530 hp, 750 Nm) gets there in 3.9 seconds, which is two-tenths of a second slower than the equivalent coupe. The 3.0 litre straight-six turbodiesel with 320 hp and 680 Nm goes from zero to 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds, or three-tenths of a second slower. Both variants get BMW’s revered xDrive all-wheel drive system and eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission.

The 8 Series Convertible rides on Adaptive M suspension as standard – the front axle gets a double wishbone setup, whereas the rear is sorted with a five-link architecture. Damping levels vary depending on the current drive mode, and an active steering with speed-sensitive Servotronic system works in tandem with the rear axle steering.

A more advanced Adaptive M suspension Professional can be specified for M850i xDrive owners, and this bundles the active roll stabilisation feature that employs electric swivel motors on the front and rear axles to improve handling and agility.

Externally, the drop-top car gets LED headlights with LED DRLs as standard, whereas BMW Laserlight can be had for a small fee. The M850i xDrive gets an overall sportier look with M-specific bumpers and alloy wheels, whereas items like the kidney grille, mirror caps, Air Breather inlays, exhaust pipe embellishers, M logos and BMW badges are finished in Cerium Grey.

The 840d xDrive features a more pared-down look – albeit dressed in M Sport kit – with pearl-effect chrome finish for the Air Breathers, matte aluminium kidney grille, chromed exhaust tips and dark shadow rear diffuser. The BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line trim can be had separately, which is comprised of black chrome accents and a gloss black kidney grille.

There are seven choices of paint colours to choose from, although Carbon Black metallic and Barcelona Blue metallic are only reserved for the M850i xDrive variant. Those with a penchant for personalisation can opt for more unique colours through BMW Individual, and this includes the matte Frozen Bluestone metallic finish.

Inside, everything from the Coupe has been carried over. The kit list includes the new three-spoke leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, 12.3-inch BMW Live Cockpit Professional digital instrument display, 10.25-inch widescreen infotainment system with gesture control, and the new BMW Operating System 7.0.

Further down you’ll find a new function cluster with active haptic feedback that houses the starter button, iDrive controller and drive mode switches. The electronic gear lever still looks suitably ornamental, featuring an opaque glass crystal in the middle with an illuminated “8” symbol. The accompanying switchgears around it can be had with a glass finish as well.

The seats are upholstered in Vernasca leather as standard, although BMW Individual Merino leather – in a choice of Black, Cognac or Ivory White – can also be had. Darker versions of the leather seats come with sun reflective technology, which reduces surface heating caused by bright sunshine.

In terms of practicality, the 8 Series Convertible has a boot space of 350 litres with the top up, and the rear seats feature a 50:50 split, operable by way of manual levers built into the boot. The tailgate is powered, but hands-free Comfort Access is optional.

To top it all off, a 12-speaker Harman Kardon Surround Sound System comes as standard. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, there’s the 16-speaker Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System with a 16-channel, 1,375 watt amplifier, complete with 12 partly illuminated speaker with stainless steel surrounds.

It’s not short on safety, either. The Driving Assistant adds Lane Departure Warning, Lane Change Warning, Collision Warning with Pedestrian Warning, City Braking, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Rear Collision Warning as standard. There’s also traffic sign recognition and head-up display.

The Driving Assistant Professional offers even more – Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function (works up to 210 km/h), Lane Keeping Assistant with active side collision protection, extended Cross Traffic Alert with Priority Warning and Wrong-way warning systems. Of course, BMW Night Vision with pedestrian and animal detection can also be had.

Parking Assistant is available as an option and now includes the Reversing Assistant that traces the previous completed parking manoeuvre backwards. The Parking Assistant Plus package adds a 360-degree monitor with three-dimensional rendering, plus a Remote 3D View function for smartphones.

The usual BMW Connected features are offered alongside open mobility cloud, allowing access to the car’s features from digital devices such as the iPhone and Apple Watch, Android smartphones and smartwatches, Amazon Alexa and Google Home. There’s also an NFC-enabled Digital Key (launches with selected Samsung smartphones), Remote Software Upgrade as well as Microsoft Office 365 with Skype for Business.