BMW M850i Convertible
evo India|May 2019

We drive BMW’s multi-talented grand tourer with its roof lopped off and while supposedly a 4-seater, this car does superbly well with half as many seats filled

Adil Jal Darukhanawala

AMONG ALL THE CARS THAT BMW India has brought to India, both as CKDs and CBUs, I always had a soft spot for the 6 Series Gran Coupe which was just as long as my 525d but had a swoopier shape and looked like Sophia Loren! This was the quintessential car of its time to fly the flag for its maker in the boulevard cruising stakes in the country and now the 6 Series is passé for it is going to be replaced by the 8 Series in not one but three body styles and all of them truly gorgeous to behold in the form of the Coupe which came first last year followed by the delectable Cabrio you see here and to be followed by the four-door Gran Coupe that will hit roads later this year in Europe. I don’t know how many examples of each would come to India, but what I know for sure is that the Cabrio and the couple are perhaps the most handsome cars that have rolled out from Munich in recent years and they also give my favorite automotive hunk of a machine – the Aston Martin – a run for its money in the athletically beautiful way they are conjured up.

Enough of that pie-in-the-sky comparison and on to the task at hand and that is to suss out whether this Sophia Lorenesque beauty has the brains and the brawn to build on its earlier earthy appeal and the short answer is an emphatic yes provided that money is no object! There are two types of customers BMW is trying to target with the new 8 Series, the first of course being the sportier sort that goes for cars like the Porsche 911, the Audi R8 and to a certain extent the Mercedes-AMG GT. However, the luxury end of the spectrum as exemplified by the likes of the Bentley Continental, as well as the Mercedes-Benz S Class Coupe, are also prime rivals and it seems that BMW has taken on a lot to cater to two diverse but highly important categories, comfort on one side and sportiness on the other. And surprisingly, it acquits itself on both counts barring, of course, the fact that it cannot accommodate four people!

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