After you’ve absorbed the sleek exterior, with its flowing profile and taut surfaces, you might expect things to be equally dramatic inside. Instead, you’ll find an agreeable interior that feels a lot like a plusher 5 Series. In terms of visual panache, though, arguably it falls some way behind the Mercedes S-Class Cabriolet and Bentley Continental GT Convertible.
BMW has always focused on restrained visual designs, preferring outright build quality to showiness. It’s here that the 8 Series scores highly, from the precise stitching on its leather dashboard to the numerous brushed chrome trim pieces, everything looks and feels well honed and tactile.
There's good news when it comes to the infotainment system, too: BMW’s latest-generation iDrive, with a 10.3in touchscreen, is currently the best on the market. It's responsive, mostly intuitive and one of the easiest systems to operate on the move, thanks to a rotary controller that supplements the touchscreen. Voice control is standard, and you can add gesture control to operate the infotainment by waving your hand in the air. A year-long subscription for Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring is included, but you can't get Android Auto.
Another 12.3in screen for the digital instrument display is standard across the range, showing maps and media where they're easy to see. Plus, you get a head-up display that projects your speed onto the windscreen.
You feel quite submerged in the 8 Series, thanks to its low seating position and high window line. The seats are comfortable and there's loads of adjustment to allow you to get comfortable, but it can be tricky to see out in all directions. Don't worry, though: you get front and rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera and, for night-time driving, LED headlights as standard.