The BMW 8 Series Convertible has become the latest victim of the internet's sieve-like security as images of it have spilled out ahead of its official unveiling. The pictures - the manufacturer's own - show the plush and potent M850i xDrive version, which uses the same twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 you'd find in the coupe, offering 530hp and 553lb ft of torque.
For now its performance figures remain unknown - although we can expect the M850i convertible to sprint from 0-62mph in around four seconds, which would leave it three tenths behind the coupe. Naturally we're accounting for the weight gain implicit in adding the cabriolet's folding soft-top mechanism, as well as the structural strengthening required in its platform.
Beneath the M850i in the 8 Series coupe engine line-up is a 3.0-litre straight-six diesel; we'd imagine this motor will be offered with the convertible as well, although it's not inconceivable that BMW might opt to keep its open-top version petrol only as sales for oil burners in this segment are considerably lower than those beneath.
Either way, as in the coupe line-up, the M850i convertible will only remain the most potent soft-top version of BMW's luxury two-door until an M8 convertible is launched. That car will use the same basic 4.4-litre motor but with a sizeable increase in output, likely providing something close to 600hp, making the model a rival to the Bentley Continental GT Speed convertible.
Also set for inclusion in the 8 Series line-up will be a mild-hybrid version, a powertain almost certain to be featured in both the coupe and convertible bodyshapes to lower average emissions and maximise sales in the most tightly regulated automotive regions of the world. Additionally, a third bodyshape, a four-door Gran Coupe, is also due to be added to the ranks to appeal to markets where rear passenger space is priority (ahem, China).
More details will be available when BMW officially reveals its new drop-top later this week. We'll update you then.
1 / 8