No surprise: 2019 BMW M850i xDrive Convertible coming in March

The 2019 BMW M850i xDrive Coupe is on sale now, and the convertible will arrive next March, just in time for spring. It’s nearly identical to its hardtop counterpart, so we’ll just hit the highlights. Check out our breakdown of the coupe’s new features here, almost all of which transfer over to the convertible.

Let’s start with the powertrain. Like the coupe, for now this convertible only comes with a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 making 523 hp (5,500-6,000 rpm) and 553 lb-ft (1,800-4,600 rpm) of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters sends power to the xDrive all-wheel drive system, and the percentage channeled rearward goes through a standard locking rear differential.

All of that plus launch control make the 850 good for a reported 3.8-second sprint to 60 mph.

There are a few trick things to the powertrain. It uses wireless networking and the navigation system to decide what gear to grab, i.e. if you’re approaching a hill it won’t downshift. It also uses the same data to decide when to use stop/start and when to decouple the powertrain and coast.

Also like the convertible, it gets a double wishbone suspension in front and a five-link rear. Adaptive dampers are standard as is rear steering. It also has active antiroll bars, which use an electric motor to tighten or loosen, depending on the situation. All of it, including the engine and transmission and steering, varies with the drive modes.

The multilayer convertible top can be lowered in 15 seconds at speeds of up to 30 mph. A wind deflector cuts down on turbulence and can be stored in the trunk when not in use. Seat warmers are standard; neck warmers and cooled seats are optional. In case of a rollover, two pyrotechnically charged aluminum hoops pop out to protect occupants along with the rigid A-pillar windshield surround.

Active aerodynamics open and close vents for less drag, as does an almost fully enclosed underbody.

Inside, buyers get new sport seats, standard leather seating surfaces, customizable LED lights and a standard 12-speaker system. An upgraded Bowers and Wilkins setup is optional. Remote start is also optional, in the same package as those cooled seats.

Like the coupe and the X5 we recently drove, a glass accent package is optional that dresses up the gear shifter, iDrive and volume control.

The M in front of 850i signifies an M performance model. That’s standard and comes with an M steering wheel, M pedals, M driver’s footrest and special floor mats. The M Sport Braking Package includes four-piston, fixed-(blue)caliper brakes and single piston rears. Twenty-inch light-alloy wheels and 245/35 front and 275/30 rear tires complete the package.

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