The new BMW M850i xDrive Coupe killed me. The BMW M850i xDrive Convertible makes me want to live forever.
As both the 2019 model year and calendar year wind down, it’s becoming possible to list out my favorites. And without a single shadow of a doubt, the all-new BMW 8 Series, in all its glory, will feature prominently in any Top Cars of 2019, be it my own or any other car critic’s. I loved the BMW M850i xDrive Coupe but the BMW M850i xDrive Convertible got me emotional.
Now, the few people who know me will say that I am prone to displaying my emotions even when not solicited however even they are moved when exposed to the 8 Series Convertible. Its draw is like that of far more expensive and exotic cars but without the typical fuss and BS associated with these generally fragile automobiles.
The new 2019 BMW M850i xDrive Convertible is the full package.
Be it with the roof up or down, the M850i Convertible is poignantly beautiful. Its stately size comes not at the expense of grace and elegance. Draped in carbon-black metallic paint, which I swear is blue in the sunlight, the car blends stealth and regal-ness like few other cars under a ¼ million dollars can.
With the optional Fiona red and black bi-colour Merino leather, and the top down, the M850i Convertible looks as though it retails for this sum. With a starting price of $131,500, the big drop-top 8 almost seems too affordable.
Aside from the leather, the M850i convertible’s cabin is replete with luxurious touches. The choice materials are one aspect and the included technology is another. Featured prominently in the car are the beautiful 12.3″ instrument cluster and the large 10.25-inch display. Both are extremely user-friendly and premium-looking.
In my tester’s case, it features the chrome accent package which turns out to be a real plus with this colour combination. While 20-inch wheels are standard, the ones on the reviewed car or optional and fabulous. With the Merino leather, Bowers & Wilkins audio and executive package, the final tally is of $143,200.
The roof itself is a thing of beauty. The M850i Convertible is a rare case where the convertible, with the top up, is visually as well sorted as the coupe. Putting the top up or down requires only 15 seconds, and its functionality is fully automated up to 50 km/h.
Parked alongside a new Aston Martin DB11 Volante, you’d never guess that the BMW is over $100,000 less expensive. Never.
A grand touring automobile needs a grand powerplant. The BMW M850i holds what is quite possibly one of the more delectable V8s in the business today. The twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 produces 523-horsepower and 553 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,800-4,600 rpm is as docile as any lazy V8 but it can also turn ferocious in less than a moment. It can effortlessly launch the near 2,200 kg (4,800 lb.) car to 100 km/h in only 4 seconds. The same goes for the standard 8-speed automatic transmission which glide seamlessly from gear to gear or extract serious and vicious speed from the V8.
And this is not even the best part. No, the best part is the ride quality and the car’s maneuverability. Included with the M850i are Adaptive M Suspension with active roll stabilization and M Sport brakes. Together, they manage to make the 850i and rewarding car to drive.
The adaptive dampers cater to comfort, filling in cracks and ruts with plush and controlled damping. In the following moment, they can just as easily keep the convertible steady and flat through a serious pile of lateral Gs while negotiating an on-ramp at speed. This ability is key in making the BMW M850i xDrive Convertible one of the best all-around driving cars.
In relation to the size and the drive, the M850i xDrive is saddled with rear-wheel steering or in BMW-speak, Integral Active Steering. Although the M850i is considerable size-wise, this technology shrinks the car’s girth to beyond manageable no matter the driving circumstance.
The Ultimate Cruiser
If you are privileged enough to purchase one of these cars, be prepared to want to drive. And drive.
The new BMW M850i xDrive, both Coupe and Convertible, is a singular current example of a timeless design. These cars will age gracefully, perhaps even better than the original E31 8 Series from the late 80s and early 90s.
You could shop the Aston Martin and Bentley Continental but you’ll return to BMW. In strange twist, the BMW’s value and credentials are too strong to resist. And best of all, the $100k you save could go towards a new 2020 C8 Chevy Corvette – another car that’ll be more agreeable in many ways than the Brits.