Destined to battle the S-class coupe and Bentley Continental GTC, the new BMW 8-series Cabrio will be the most opulent BMW ever.

The all-new BMW 8-series coupe and its M8 sibling are due to be joined by a soft-top compatriot at the end of next year when BMW launches the 8-series Cabriolet. Destined to be the most opulent BMW yet, the new 8-series Cabriolet will have rivals like the Mercedes-Benz S-class Cabriolet and the upcoming Bentley Continental GTC to battle for the right to top the convertible GT class.

As with the Coupe, the BMW 8-series Cabriolet has been designed by John Buckingham and will adopt some of the styling elements seen on the 8-series Coupe Concept revealed last year. From these spy shots, we can see that the Coupe’s roofline has been cut short by the installation a folding fabric roof, giving the Cabriolet more of a three-box silhouette than the swoopy coupe. Even though it is not a direct replacement for the 6-series Cabriolet, it’s a shame to see the 8-series will ditch that car’s sharks-fin folding roof in favour of a more conventional design.

BMW 8-series concept – The future of BMW design?

Like the pre-production coupe spotted previously, the Cabriolet features what look to be production ready lighting units and bumpers, although the test vehicle seen here is still hiding under a thin layer of body cladding. The small wheels and trapezoidal exhaust outlets suggest this is a non-M model.

Under the bonnet we should see a combination of BMW’s latest in-line six-cylinder and V8 power units, as well as an eventual application of the 4.4-litre V8 twin-turbo in an M8 Cabriolet to rival the S 63 AMG. Also expect the latest in BMW’s autonomous driving functionality, as well as a more opulent cabin also based on the design in the 8-series Concept.

Designed to be more of a GT than sports convertible, the new 8-series will allow BMW to compete in a class where has never really has before. The issue is that established competitors like the S-Class Cabriolet and new offerings such as the upcoming Bentley Continental GTC still make the GT class a difficult one to crack for any newcomer, even one with the BMW roundel on its nose. We expect the new Cabriolet to be revealed at the LA motor show late this year, with our first drive in early 2019.

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