It seems that there are quite a few BMW enthusiasts underwhelmed with the new 8 Series and its Convertible counterpart. Many of them feel that the new 8er is none other than a rebadged 6 Series with a larger price tag. Some of these enthusiasts feel that bringing back the 8 Series name, which is one number higher than the 7 Series, is just a way to sell the 6 Series for more money. BMW would disagree and so would we, honestly. But still, there are a lot of enthusiasts that feel the 8 Series Convertible doesn’t do enough to differentiate itself from the 6 Series that came before it.
When you look at the 6 Series Convertible in profile, you might think that it needs no improving. In solitary, it’s a gorgeous car and one with near perfect proportions. It’s truly a very pretty car, even still today. Yet, next to the 8 Series Convertible, the old 6er looks a bit bland. The 8 Series is prettier, with more flowing lines and muscular curves. It not only looks more elegant but more athletic as well.
At the front, the two cars are very different look and it really comes down to personal taste. The 6 Series has much smaller Kidney Grilles, much smaller headlights and a pointy face, as if the entire front end comes to a point at the middle. While the 8 Series is wider looking, with much larger and wider Kidney Grilles and headlights. The 8er’s hood is far more heavily creased and its air intakes are larger. In fact, everything about it is more aggressive. So if you like aggressive, sporty cars, the 8 Series if probably for you. If you like calmer, more subtle cars, the 6 Series is probably your jam. Personally, I like the 8 Series better but that’s just me.
At the rear, the two are actually quite similar. They both have slim, wide taillights, rectangular exhausts and spoilers built into their rear decklids. The main differences between the two are that the 8 Series Convertible is wider than the 6er and has vertical air vents that flank either side of the rear bumper. Its taillights are also even wider than the 6ers and are slimmer as well.
A big part of what separates the 8 Series from the 6 Series, in terms of price and luxury, is its interior. As you can see here (which we apologize for the in-exact comparison, BMW doesn’t have a ton of stock 6 Series Convertible LCI interior photos), the 8 Series is far more upscale inside. While the 6er’s cabin is still good looking, it’s just not as premium as the 8er’s. The center stack of buttons on the 6 Series Convertible looks like it came from the 3 Series. You might be thinking that the new 3 Series has the same buttons as the 8 Series as well, but in that case it looks like the came from the 8 Series and borrowed by the 3er. Big difference. The 8 Series Convertible features more aluminum on all of its switchgear, more leather and far better technology. Also, fit and finish is significantly better and the 8 Series feels more expensive, which is the most important part.
Overall, the two aren’t drastically dissimilar in design but that doesn’t mean they’re that closely related. The BMW 8 Series Convertible is much more expensive, yes, but you’re getting much more car. It’s far more powerful (these two cars are both the top-of-the-line, non-M variants of each model line), far quicker, much more dynamic and more luxurious.
While the BMW 6 Series Convertible was a great car, the 8 Series Convertible was built from the beginning to compete with cars much more expensive than it. It’s BMW’s flagship GT car, designed to take on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet and even cars like the Aston Martin DB11 Volante. And it does compete with those cars, genuinely, even though it’s significantly cheaper in the case of the Aston. You couldn’t say that about the 6er.