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William Maley

Cadillac News: Cadillac Escala Concepts Previews the Future of Brand's Design

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The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance has become an auto show of sorts in the past few years with luxury automakers showing off concepts and new models. Cadillac has used the event to show off various concepts such as the Ciel and Elmiraj. Last night, they revealed the Escala concept.

 

“Escala is a concept with two clear objectives. First, Escala is a statement of intent for the next iteration of the Cadillac design language, and also technical concepts in development for future Cadillac models. Secondly, Escala builds Cadillac’s aspirational character, signaling the brand’s return to the pinnacle of premium,” said Johan de Nysschen, president of Cadillac.

 

Escala (Spanish for scale) provides a preview as to Cadillac's future in terms of design and a possible idea to a long-rumored flagship. The overall profile reminds us of the Audi A7 with a coupe-like roofline and liftback. The front end features a new grille design and slimmed down chrome surround. Flanking either side of the grille are slim headlights with organic light emitting diode (OLED) technology.

 

Size-wise, the Escala is 6.5 inches longer, 2.7 inches wider in the front and 2.5 inches in the rear; and rides on a 4.5 inch longer wheelbase when compared to the CT6.

 

The Escala's interior is a feast for the eyes. Cadillac describes it as having a “dual personality”. The front is focused on technology with three curved OLED screens that consolidate the instrument cluster and center stack into one unit. The back is focused on comfort with seating for two and a panaromic sunroof.

 

Under the hood lies a brand new 4.2L twin-turbo V8 with cylinder deactivation. No power figures are given, but we expect to see this engine in the CT6 in the near future.

 

Could we see the Escala as a production model? We'll let de Nysschen answer this.

 

“Escala is a concept car, but one based upon the unrelenting rise of our product substance. Depending on the development of market segment for large luxury sedans, Escala is a potential addition to our existing product plan.”

 

Source: Cadillac

 

 

Press Release is on Page 2


 

Cadillac Unveils Escala Concept, Previewing Future Design Direction

  • Concept showcases future design and technical systems in development
  • Flagship Sedan is a concept for a more expressive, expansive companion to the recently launched CT6
  • Dual-Theme interior includes Curved OLED displays, next-gen connectivity designs, ingenious details

 


The Escala Concept debuts in California tonight, introducing the next evolution of Cadillac design and previewing the craftsmanship and technology being developed for many future models. Following a series of private previews, Escala will be displayed this weekend at the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

 

The Escala Concept previews the design and technical ideas driving the next phase of Cadillac’s ongoing expansion.

 

“Escala is a concept with two clear objectives,” said Johan de Nysschen, president of Global Cadillac. “First, Escala is a statement of intent for the next iteration of the Cadillac design language, and also technical concepts in development for future Cadillac models. Secondly, Escala builds Cadillac’s aspirational character, signaling the brand’s return to the pinnacle of premium.”

 

Cadillac has released a new slate of models bristling with expressive design and exhilarating performance, driver’s cars taking Cadillac into a new chapter of its storied 114-year history.

 

“Escala is a concept car, but one based upon the unrelenting rise of our product substance,” de Nysschen said. “Depending on the development of market segment for large luxury sedans, Escala is a potential addition to our existing product plan.”

 

Escala — Spanish for “scale”— is a concept for a larger, more elite and expressive companion to the recently launched 2016 Cadillac CT6, the brand’s remarkable new range-topping prestige sedan. Escala is also the third in a series of concepts Cadillac has debuted at Pebble Beach in recent years, following the Ciel convertible (2011) and Elmiraj coupe (2013).

 

Escala is designed to be both a driver’s car and an indulgent flagship sedan. The large 4-door sedan features an expansive liftback design emphasizing the car’s considerable scale and versatility. At 210.5 inches in overall length, Escala is roughly 6 inches longer than today’s CT6.

 

Escala features a new and evolved face of Cadillac design that will begin appearing on production models soon. This includes a new expression of Cadillac’s vertical lighting, a brand signature since 1948. Organic light emitting diode (OLED) lighting elements are thinner and set deep within the fascia, creating a sinister look, day and night.

 

The concept’s details invite closer inspection, including a three-dimensional precision pattern in the grille design and 22-inch wheels with two layers of spokes.

 

“This concept shares how Cadillac will bring forward a new experience that is uniquely American, and unmistakably Cadillac,” says Andrew Smith, executive director of Cadillac Global Design. “Escala is an expressive symbol of reward and an exhilarating driving experience. On the interior, we pushed further. It’s about precision and ingenuity in craftsmanship, and the artistic integration of technology.”

 

Escala features a “dual personality” interior crafted with distinctly different zones: The front is about intensely focused modern technology, while the rear delivers relaxation.

 

“My brief to the designers was to create a car you desperately want to drive, and also one in which you want to be driven,” Smith said. “So rather than a single design, this interior consists of two themes. It was an opportunity for our designers to break the rules a little bit, exactly what Cadillac should do from time to time.”

 

An array of three curved OLED screens is a prominent feature in the front of the cabin. The very thin, curved displays are layered in front of the driver, with the back sides wrapped in hand-stitched leather embossed with the Cadillac script. The array of screens consolidate the traditional “cluster” of driving gauges with the “center stack” into one integrated unit.

 

Escala includes new designs for connectivity and control, providing a prototype for the user experience in development for future production models. The system features a central control module that enables the driver to execute tactile commands across the spectrum of connectivity functions, in addition to voice and gesture control technology. Inside the controller sits a new edition of Cadillac’s “flying Goddess” icon, a nod to the brand’s illustrious heritage.

 

Like all Cadillac models today, the interior is assembled using hand cut-and-sewn techniques. However, Escala presents several new and unique touches, blending overt luxury with covert technology. Escala makes broad use of hand-tailored fabric on the door trim and seating areas. Inspired by suiting material used by Cadillac’s partners in the fashion industry, the fabric provides a new level of hand-applied craftsmanship and color, unique in today’s auto interior landscape.

 

The Escala Concept utilizes Cadillac’s new RWD-centric large luxury car architecture, featuring one of the world’s most advanced body structures, which debuted on the new CT6. The mixed-material construction enables unprecedented agility and efficiency.

 

Escala uses a new 4.2-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine, a prototype of a new system in development for future Cadillac models. The advanced engine utilizes Active Fuel Management technology, enabling fuel-saving 4-cylinder operation.


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I would agree on the horizontal lights, it gives it a bit of an Impala look and a Cadillac should have vertical lights.  Overall I like this car.  I am not a big fan of lift back rear ends, but it does add to cargo space, so that is a plus.   Few minor issues aside, I think it looks good.

 

The name is stupid, I thought right away of Escalade without the "de" and Spanish for scale?  Why would you name a car scale.   I guess it won't matter because it will be called CT8 if they build it.

Thing is though, this is a small segment that is shrinking.  Many here have said how the S-class has sinking sales, but the S-class outsells the A8, 7-series and Jag XJ combined.

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Not sure the headlamps will be an issue unless some laws are changed. 


The car is interesting and too difficult to judge in photo's. It for sure is a concept and not really close to production outside. But inside the cars is as close as any of the show cars have been. What they have in there is pretty close to possible at a higher price point. 

 

I have seen claims of it looks like an Audi A7, Jag, Aston, Lexus and the hatch hints at Tesla in a odd way. 

I think the car has some real global appeal and the real key is the styling would play well but they must execute top trim materials and features. They need to lead the way on some technologies and not just add Apple play and call it a day. 

While this may be a show car I think there are elements of the future of A&S on the car. I picture this with a more formal roof line and even in a coupe and while I will not pass final judgment till I see it in person I think it is decent. 

The responses on the web have been all over as expected as some of the traditialist are ranting not enough chrome or no bench seat and others appear to like it. One survey had a 75%+ approval which is good. 

This is some of the first work JDN may have had some influence on so this will give us some direction  to where to expect changed. We know he has been very critical on present interiors and this one shows a new direction. 

I feel things will be getting very interesting in 2019 and later. 

While I am not blown away with the photos I am not put off. I expect it will be like the Lacrosse where I was ok with it and then when I saw the first one I was shocked at how well the proportions played out. The wider look really better balanced the car and design. 

 

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The only criticism I have is consistent with everyone else so far - the headlights need to be vertical.  Otherwise, the front end looks a bit too much like a new Mustang.  Everything else seems like Cadillac is tipping the scale in the right direction.

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I have no problems with the car or design, I think big grill is good and can translate to other products.  I do have a problem with Johan saying this :  

“Escala is a concept car, but one based upon the unrelenting rise of our product substance. Depending on the development of market segment for large luxury sedans, Escala is a potential addition to our existing product plan.”

Unrelenting rise of product???  What the CT6 and the $39k XT5?  Not really unrelenting or all that much of a meteoric rise.    The thing for Cadillac fans to worry about though is when he says depending on development of the large sedan segment.  Well the large sedan segment is shrinking, people just want crossovers.  Johan has already built in an excuse why not to build the car.

 

 

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Don't understand the light issues some are having. It's just a concept and those kind of lights will never see production. Overall, I like what I see here and the numbers are a plus. It measures longer than the S class while having way more cargo room. That's a nice start in my book. 

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The grille reminds me of a 1969 Coupe De Ville.  That gives props to the old school design.  I want more details about these new V8s though.  How many will there be and what kind of output will they have?

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Good looking car, but doesn't identify as a Cadillac in the slightest bit. You could replace the badge with Kia, Hyundai, or Audi logo and never no the difference.

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I don't know what to think of it honestly. It seems like there are bits and pieces with vague familiarity to other cars but not sure what is taking priority here, form or function. As well, I feel they do not want to keep A&S stagnant, but some themes like vertical blade lights appear a little to watered down and the rear reminds me of a GT BMW wagon.

 

Given Cadillac's recent history of concept cars, I am alright with it as the nice gesture they seem to do for pebble beach, but outside of that I see the same kind of stagnation and trying to cater to old and new with this design as anywhere else.

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Yeah....

This concept's face looks familiar to me in the form of Elmiraj grille and Aston Martin Lagonda fascia rolled into one.

I like it but like others, I would prefer vertical headlamps like the Elmiraj had.

It did not blow me away like the other concepts, it is pretty, but like Frisky said, it dont feel like a Cadillac.
Im ready to let go of Arts&Science, but only if it is replaced by something that identifies what a Cadillac should look and feel like.I dont know what that is, but this concept's exterior does not have a Cadillac feel to it.

Let me repeat, I like it, and Im sure it will be quite imposing in person, but so far, I aint feeling any Cadillac vibes with it.

 

Interior is simplistic in a very elegant way.

I LOVE THAT.

Im not sure about the suit material effect they chose, its different and its cool, and I think it could work...instead of the usual all around leather that has been the go to luxury material. Suede is leather, but I was never a fan of it either on a jacket or car interior.

I think I might like the expensive personally tailored designer suit look of it all!

 

LOVE THAT TRUNK.

The  way it opens, the volume, the way its designed and the way the interior materials of it gel. It looks expensive..

Who ever thought that a trunk could be so luxurious and beautifully made to look expensive like the rest of a car's interior???!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, oldshurst442 said:

 

 

 

 

I ran out of editing time...

And best of all with that trunk, no need to go SUV with a trunk opening and space like that!!!

 

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Interior is cool, not sure on some of the fine details they did, but hey, it is a concept. Exterior, Hate the coupe look. Been done to death. Rear Sucks, keep a more traditional vertical tail light. Front, over all fine but loose the horizontal head lights like everyone has mentioned and get to a vertical set, a true symbol of Cadillac.

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That awkward moment when the new guy drops his bags on your designers and says "make me a Cadillac A7!  I'm going to turn this new house into a home!"  Also, Cadillac lights simply do not zig like that.  Needs vertical lights without branches, front and rear.  I do like the interior and the engine and the RWD chassis.

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The name reminds me of La Scala, the opera house in Milan.   The fastback roofline reminds of the A7 mixed with the Citroen C6... the front makes me think Mazda mixed w/ current Cadillac styling...I like the dimensions--127 inch wheelbase, 210 long... maybe a preview of a possible CT8? 

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Cadillac La Scala, circa 1973 :

1973-Cadillac-La-Scala-sedan-concept.jpg

 

- - - - -

RE the Escala ~ IMO its very crisp & contemporary, but as with the El Miraj, I find a number of details I don't think are optimum WRT being on a Cadillac. I am digging' the dimensions, but I would love to see the Escala & CT6 next to each other, in person.

Edited by balthazar
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Sadly with where the market is today, Cadillac could roll out 10 crossovers and all 10 would outsell a full size sedan.  

It is amazing how similar the La Scala looks to the 1992 Seville, took them a long time to get there.

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Lutz is pretty much right on, Cadillac advertising is doing nothing, and they need crossovers in a bad way.   Too many 5 year plans and lack of consistency to stay on the attack.

I liked the Seville of the 90s and the 98 redesign as well, and the Northstar in the 90s was very competitive, it beat most other V8s in power.  Then they let it rot on the vine like GM often did with products back then.

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On 8/19/2016 at 8:20 PM, Frisky Dingo said:

Good looking car, but doesn't identify as a Cadillac in the slightest bit. You could replace the badge with Kia, Hyundai, or Audi logo and never no the difference.

It's funny, because when i first saw the pictures of this thing, I thought, what the eff is this?

Tesla is the first thing that popped into my head.  Then, it's got some of the Hyundai Genesis going on.  A little bit of an Acura greenhouse even.  Then, Cadillac A7.  And then I am like, there really isn't much traditional Cadillac going on.  Front end is totally bland.

Johan wants to, or thinks he can, or has been told to make Cadillac more global and exclusive.  So it's interpreted as throwing the baby out with the bath water.  Anytime you have a 'new design direction' it's supposed to be a stunning statement.  Think Chrysler's cab forward for example, or the mid 00's new 300.  This really doesn't achieve that sort of statement.  Anything that was maybe positive on the Elmiraj is totally gone also.

It basically is throwing out art and science. Well, it was interesting because while on vacay, in a small bodunk town we visited this wkd sat a brand new ATS coupe in that really stunning red color.  So mad i didn't take a pic.  If i had seen the car in profile first i would have been like 'second ever G6 coupe'.  But all the bling and detailing on the car apart from its being not a spot on the car it was a stunner.  PArt of the reason for that was whatever the residual leftover of the Cadillac A&S cues....the bladed front and rear (albeit moderately expressed) The vertical taillights, the highly detailed and sharp edged grille....the bombastic logo.  And this is with the ATS and CTS that have the mutt styling of A&S and some weak attempt at trying to look German.  (where the ATS fails the wow meter here is it's physical size just isn't large enough to convey wow like a CTS sized car could....not enough width, not enough length and wheelbase).  If this had been a gen 2 CTS coupe with a similar new era eased over styling of the last CTS coupe and with a bit more rakish look I think it would have been more effective.

Cadillac is having so much trouble putting a face on the cars like the CTS and CT6, and finishing the rest of the car too.   

Johan's probably wanting to take a dump on the traditional Cadillac fan base in every way.  Jack up the prices, get rid of the old styling, rather have them be big in other countries.  GM prob thinks Buick will pick up the old fan base with its lower prices, etc.  At the same time, they'll give up on sedans now and stock the house with a bunch of crossovers.

IMO Cadillacs biggest failures of the last 5-8 years is the ATS came out and quite simply is way too small to appeal to any customer base that would even consider Cadillac.  Even those who may be lured by its performance.  The new CTS went up too far in price and really with its ugly front end, wtf rear end, and confusing sides messed with the Cadillac look too much.  The XTS really should have been promoted more to at least get some customers in the showroom (and yes, it's ok to have your XTS at a discount and basically offset cars like the Lexus ES). Many Cadillac customers never even knew what an XTS was, they were told the DTS was dead and nothing to replace it.  The CT6 just arriving may have confused everything even more.  No v8, it's long but not wide, rear lacks length and presence, and pricing is again an issue.  Cadillac hasn't done anything to compete with Tesla and as for gas engines, they really could stand to have a much better 2.0 turbo.  Only just now is Cadillac putting a respectable turbo 6 in their cars.  And then, CUE.

It would be one thing for Cadillac to price their cars way up if the cars they were selling were desirable.  When you miss the mark badly with new and existing customers on styling or size or powertrains or features, and your ad campaigns suck, how are you supposed to build brand equity or expect to get big profits?

^^^^92 Seville, still the total package.  My folks didn't have the STS version, they had the SLS equivalent.  It's fine for Cadillac to have maybe 1 model with the four door coupe / hatch look but i hope they don't turn their whole lineup to these jellybeans.  Cadillacs should have some creases, some blades, edges, angles, etc.  ELR gets big thumbs up for it's styling (it just is limited to electric) and look at it's creases.  Cadillacs didn't ever have hofmeister kinks like this confused thing has.

I don't think Johan is going to work out the way it's been going.

 

 

2016_cadillac_ats_ats-coupe (1).jpeg

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Cadillac has already done the 'a7 fastback / 4 door coupe look'

(this would have made a great badge engineered Saab 9-9 too)

 

84CadillacSeville.jpg

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They could put the Evoq concept into production now and it would be the best looking and most modern looking Cadillac and it was from 1999.  The XLR washed out a lot of the good looks and had weird shape.  The Evoq still looks stunning today.

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      Source: BMW


      The First-Ever 2019 BMW 8 Series Convertible.
      BMW M850i xDrive launch model with 523 hp and 553 lb-ft torque. 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds and a limited top speed of 155 mph. Market launch March 2019 M850i xDrive Convertible MSRP $121,400 plus $995 Destination. Woodcliff Lake, NJ – November 1, 2018 …Today, BMW introduced the first-ever BMW 8 Series Convertible, which joins the new BMW 8 Series Coupe in blending ultra-sporting driving dynamics with an emotional and elegant design. The soft-top, four-seat BMW M850i xDrive Convertible combines immense power and torque delivery from its updated 4.4L 8-cylinder turbocharged engine with tenacious grip and peerless poise from the advanced chassis, luxurious comfort and state-of-the-art innovations in technology, driver assistance and connectivity. The result, is a vehicle that delivers an impeccable four-season driving experience, with the charisma of a low-slung, aggressively styled open top sports convertible, inviting the warming rays of the sun and the wind flowing past the cockpit to be your constant driving companions.
      Exterior design: new design language gives sporting appeal a new face.
      The exterior design of the first-ever BMW 8 Series Convertible exudes a very modern form of sporting appeal, beautifully blended, with an air of exclusiveness and sensual allure. Its unique character is the result of BMW’s new styling language focusing on modernity and emotional engagement.
      The car’s already low-slung and elongated silhouette is especially enhanced when the fabric-top is lowered. When raised, the compact fabric roof pulls taught over the interior, reducing wind noise and creating a stepped look, accentuating the deck-like rear visual of the new BMW 8 Series Convertible.
      Classic insulated fabric soft top and rollover protection system
      The fully-electric soft-top design incorporates multiple layers of fabric materials to not only insulate the occupants of the first-ever BMW 8 Series Convertible from outside noise and elements but also helps reduce weight from the very top of the vehicle, thus lowering the center of gravity and improving handling and performance.
      When lowered, the fabric top is stowed under a sophisticated cover with a surface finish and stitching coordinated with those of the instrument panel and interior door and side panel trim. The subtle “double-bubble” contour of the cover behind the two rear seats mimics the design incorporated in the BMW 8 Series Convertible’s roofline.
      The roof can be raised or lowered in 15 seconds at speeds up to 30 mph with the touch of the top control button located on the center console.
      A standard wind deflector can be positioned behind the front seats to further enhance the already serene passenger space. When not in use the wind deflector may be folded up and stored in the trunk.
      Optional neck warmers are available to extend the top down driving experience into cooler temperatures. Air outlets, integrated into front seat head restraints provide a pleasant warming effect. Air flow can be adjusted over three speed settings either manually, via the button on the center console or automatically, which adjusts air flow depending on vehicle speed.
      The BMW 8 Series Convertible features a standard automatically activated rollover protection system. The system activates the moment that data analysed by the central safety electronics indicate a risk of a roll-over. Two high-strength aluminum rollover bars, fitted behind the rear headrests, are extended by a pyrotechnic charge in a fraction of a second to form a survival space for the vehicle occupants in conjunction with the extremely rigid a-pillar windshield surround.
      Sculptured design with signature new headlights.
      The luxury-sport convertible’s promise of performance is visualized in dramatic effect by the prominent, jutting design of the front of the vehicle, with large air intakes creating an imposing appearance on the BMW M850i xDrive Convertible. The BMW kidney grill showcases its increased proportions and features a hexagonal outline that widens towards the bottom and a single-piece surround that encompasses its various elements. The first-ever BMW 8 Series Convertible features standard Icon Adaptive LED Headlights with LaserLight technology that are the slimmest headlights of any BMW model to date. Both light tubes are used to generate the daytime driving lights as well as the low and high beam, thereby creating the signature brand look at all times.
      The rear end is composed of sculptured, emotive surfaces that emphasize the car’s width and low center of gravity. The slender all-LED rear light clusters extend deep into the flanks and add to the effect. The taillights illuminate uniformly in a distinctive ‘L’ shape. Twin, trapezoidal exhaust tailpipes are positioned either side of the rear lower section.
      Precise details optimize aerodynamics and weight.
      An almost fully covered underbody, active air flap control with adjustable kidney grille slats and Air Curtains including Air Breathers help to reduce the aerodynamic drag of the first-ever BMW 8 Series Convertible. Narrow exterior mirror bases, mounted directly on the side window weather strips help smooth the airflow.
      The optional M Carbon Exterior Package, consisting of air intake bars, exterior mirror caps, a and a rear diffuser insert, all made from CFRP, may be fitted to further enhance the already aggressive aura of the BMW M850i xDrive Convertible.
      Driver-focused interior
      The interior has been designed to help the driver focus on the road ahead and enjoy the experience of driving. The car’s wide center console rises up towards the instrument panel at the front, separating the driver and front passenger areas. This center space encompasses the audio control unit and its function buttons, the air conditioning control panel and air vents as well as the freestanding and frameless Control Display, all arranged above each other in a clear, horizontally partitioned structure.
      clear arrangement of the controls helps the driver to focus on what’s happening ahead. Apart from the gear selector and the iDrive Controller, the center console also accommodates the Driving Experience Control switch and the engine start/stop button, all arranged within a newly designed function cluster with active haptic feedback. The control unit for the light functions is new and now consists of buttons positioned at the bottom of the instrument panel between the steering wheel and the driver’s door. A leather M Sport steering wheel with multifunction buttons and shift paddles for manual gear selection is standard.
      Merino Individual Leather upholstery and folding rear seats as standard.
      The newly developed sports seats offer high levels of long-distance comfort and excellent lateral support. The headrests are integrated into the backrests and can be adjusted for both height and fore/aft position. A semi-electric folding function has been included for the front seat backrests, which is activated by using a high-quality leather strap located on each seatback to facilitate convenient entry and exit for the rear passengers.
      The sports seats are upholstered in standard premium Merino Individual leather with extended leather appointments. Decorative stitching in a contrasting color accentuates both the sporting contours and the rear seats’ styling as individual seats.
      There are large door pockets, a roomy glove compartment, two cup-holders under the center console’s trim finisher and a large storage compartment under the armrest’s longitudinally divided covers for stowing travel accessories, beverages and other items.
      The rear backrest in the first-ever BMW 8 Series Convertible has a 50:50 split design. The backrest sections can be folded down either individually or together to further increase cargo capacity. The folding mechanism is released by means of levers inside the cargo compartment. Automatic trunk lid operation is a standard feature on the first-ever BMW 8 Series Convertible, while the Comfort Access option permits hands-free opening and closing of the trunk lid.
      BMW M Performance model with exclusive features.
      The standard specification for the new BMW M850i xDrive Convertible contains exclusive design features and options to enhance the driving experience. In addition to multifunction seats and the M leather steering wheel, there are M pedals, M driver’s footrest and special floor mats to imbue the cabin with a distinctly sporty flair. The illuminated door sills and the display in the instrument cluster bear the BMW M Performance Automobile model badge or the M logo respectively.
      Premium options for enhanced luxury.
      The luxurious side of the first-ever BMW 8 Series Convertible’s character is shown with the help of a wide array of distinctive optional extras. Newly designed climate seats for driver and front passenger are available as an upgrade to the standard heated seats. For the first time, the cooled air is drawn in from the interior then guided along the body to the seats’ built-in fans for particularly effective temperature control of the seat cushions and backrests.
      The standard ambient light feature emphasizes the forward-pointing lines inside the car to striking effect. Indirect illumination of the contour lines running along the center console and the door shoulders using precisely positioned LED optical fibers creates an exclusive mood. The color of the light can be changed via the iDrive menu. In addition to this, the Dynamic interior light function emits pulsating light signals in specific situations. These signals appear on the inner panelling of an open door when the engine is running and on the instrument panel in response to an incoming phone call.
      The standard Harman Kardon audio system comprises twelve speakers and a digital amplifier, while the pinnacle of the audio line-up is without doubt the optional Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System. The unrivalled Diamond loudspeaker technology, fully active 12-channel amplifier with an output of 1,375 watts, dynamic equalizing and 12 partly illuminated speakers combine together to deliver a beautifully precise and multifaceted acoustic experience whose pristine quality can be enjoyed in equal measure from all seats in the new BMW 8 Series Convertible.
      The optional glass applications for selected controls add both visual and tactile highlights to the interior design. This exclusive design feature adorns the gear selector, the iDrive Controller, the start/stop button and the volume control for the audio system. An illuminated ‘8’ can be seen through the glass surface of the gear selector.
      Remote Start is available as part of the optional Comfort Seating Package, which also includes front ventilated seats and heated front seat armrests and steering wheel.
      The BMW M Performance model that will be available from launch provides a particularly impressive demonstration of the first-ever BMW 8 Series Convertible’s sporting essence. Under the hood lies a 523 hp BMW TwinPower Turbo V8 engine that has undergone extensive upgrades and refinement. It serves up an intense form of the unmistakable power delivery and acoustics of eight-cylinder units and is every bit as captivating and emotionally thrilling as the car it powers.
      Power is transferred to the wheels via the latest-generation eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission that boasts a wider gear ratio spread, even sportier gear shifts and can be operated by means of shift paddles on the steering wheel. Completing the all-round package for an engaging driving experience is the BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system, which is fitted in a newly improved version that has been tuned for this specific model. The rear-wheel bias of the xDrive system and the rear differential lock fitted as standard on the first-ever BMW M850i xDrive Convertible ensure maximum agility and precision when the car’s sporting capabilities are being put to the test.
      Updated V8 engine with incredible power and acoustics.
      The launch of the first-ever BMW M850i xDrive Convertible also marks the premiere of a new BMW TwinPower Turbo V8 engine. The latest generation of the 4.4-liter eight-cylinder engine has been radically revised with numerous detailed improvements. Two twin-scroll turbochargers with charge air cooling located within the V-shaped space between the cylinder banks, High Precision Injection, VALVETRONIC fully variable valve control and Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing all form part of the M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology, whose extensive overhaul has given a substantial boost to maximum power, torque and efficiency.
      The new V8 engine serves up an enthralling soundtrack, which is enhanced by the standard flap-controlled sports exhaust system. It boasts a wonderfully versatile character that can also adapt itself to effortlessly relaxed cruising. The Driving Experience Control switch can be used to activate both extremely sporty and distinctly comfort-oriented powertrain settings. In the SPORT and SPORT+ modes, accelerator response as well as the V8 engine’s power delivery and acoustics – which take on a particularly distinctive note in the SPORT+ setting – are all configured for an exhilarating driving experience.
      A new aluminium alloy has been used to increase the strength of the engine block. The wire-arc sprayed iron coating for the cylinder walls serves to reduce frictional losses. Reinforced, Grafal-coated pistons and optimized piston rings are designed to endure the stress on the crank drive that comes with the extra output and torque. To enhance engine smoothness, torsional vibration is minimized with the help of a viscous damper on the crankshaft.
      Optimized power delivery, efficiency and emissions performance.
      To achieve rapid combustion, the intake ports have been optimized for higher flow. The enlarged twin-scroll turbochargers and the variable valve and camshaft timing enable throttle losses during the gas-exchange cycle to be eliminated as far as possible and allow effective use of exhaust gas recirculation for lowering fuel consumption.
      Electrically-controlled wastegate actuators are used to ensure an extremely quick build-up of boost pressure, while electric blow-off valves are integrated into the compressor housing to enhance the turbocharger sound during boost pressure release while at the same time as keeping emissions as low as possible in all operating conditions. The air intake manifold has been redesigned and a connection between the air ducts for both cylinder banks ensures even pulsation during gas exchange, resulting in higher torque at lower engine speeds.
      The multi-hole fuel injectors are positioned centrally between the valves and spray fuel at a maximum pressure that has been increased from 2,900 psi to 5,076 psi. This optimizes both the metering of the fuel and the engine’s emissions performance. The BMW TwinPower Turbo V8 engine also takes advantage of a new ignition system and engine management.
      Thermal shielding and the cooling circulation system have both undergone extensive modification. An upstream coolant radiator helps meet the high demands on the engine’s temperature management during extremely spirited driving.
      The new BMW TwinPower Turbo V8 engine now generates 523 hp between 5,500 and 6,000 rpm and 553 lb-ft of torque from 1,800 to 4,600 rpm.
      Eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission with wider ratios and sportier shifts.
      The latest improved version of the Sport automatic transmission features a weight-reducing design, a newly developed controller and a wider gear ratio spread. As a result, it is possible to achieve efficiency gains with reduced engine speeds, particularly when driving in higher gears. At the same time, the eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission now shifts gear more sharply courtesy of optimized hydraulics control. A new generation of torsion dampers that reduce rotational forces within the powertrain help improve both driving comfort and shift smoothness. Integral twin-damper systems for isolating vibrations reduce the degree of slip at the torque converter lock-up clutch.
      Shift paddles on the steering wheel are included as standard for manual gear selection, while a Launch Control function allows for accelerating from a standing start with maximum available traction.
      Intelligent networking increases performance and efficiency.
      The eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission’s controller is able to adapt the shift parameters to the current driving situation by means of intelligent networking with the standard Navigation system, enabling it to take the planned route into account. Navigation data is used to downshift early, for example, when approaching an intersection in order to use engine braking to slow the car down. Likewise, the intelligent controller is able to avoid unnecessary gear shifts between two corners that follow in quick succession, making it possible to drive through at a quicker pace.
      Intelligent networking increases the efficiency of the drive system in the first-ever BMW 8 Series Convertible by allowing Auto Start Stop operation to adapt to suit the specific situation based on data supplied by the navigation system as well as by the cameras and radar sensors of the optional driver assistance systems. In this way, inefficient engine shutdown – for example when stopping briefly at junctions with yield signs – can be prevented. The movement of vehicles ahead is registered in order to determine the ideal moment for stopping and starting the engine.
      Intelligent networking also boosts the efficiency-enhancing effect of the coasting function. When travelling at speeds between 9 – 99 mph, it ensures that the powertrain is decoupled as soon as the driver lifts off the accelerator. The vehicle can then simply coast along at idling speed and with minimized fuel consumption. This function is available with the Driving Experience Control switch set to ECO Pro mode. The switch to this “sail” mode only takes place in driving situations in which it appears worthwhile and which doesn’t compromise comfort or performance. If the accelerator is released very suddenly for instance, the powertrain stays connected in order to use the engine’s drag torque to decelerate.
      BMW xDrive with electronically controlled differential lock.
      The BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system has been improved for more efficient operation. With its rapid, precise and fully variable distribution of drive torque between the front and rear wheels, it maximizes traction and handling stability not just when driving in adverse road conditions, but in performance driving situations as well. Power is split in accordance with demands at all times using an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch that is networked with the powertrain and chassis systems. This results in extremely quick and exact response to any change in the driving situation.
      To increase the system’s efficiency, all of the drive torque is directed to the rear wheels in situations when all-wheel drive is not needed. The xDrive system’s rear-biased set-up guarantees a driving experience for which BMW sports cars are renowned. The fact that the all-wheel-drive system has been specifically designed for performance handling is especially noticeable in the SPORT and SPORT+ modes selected via the Driving Experience Control switch.
      Governed by the Driving Stability Control (DSC) system, the locking function for the standard electronically controlled rear differential improves traction and power transmission when driving on road surfaces offering differing levels of grip for the left and right rear wheels by preventing a wheel from spinning when traction is limited. The locking effect produced by the electric motor allows the drive torque to be redirected from the faster turning to the slower turning tire. This combines with the intelligent all-wheel drive and the standard Integral Active Steering to give the car all the right tools for excellent handling and remarkably agility in all driving situations.
      Suspension technology sharpened with racing know-how.
      The suspension technology developed for the first-ever BMW 8 Series Convertible consists of a double-wishbone front axle and a five-link rear axle as well as electromechanical steering and an exceptionally powerful braking system developed exclusively for this new model. The racing know-how of BMW M GmbH was used for detailed modifications and enhancements to the overall suspension set-up. Torsion struts on the front axle and a load-bearing strut incorporated on the rear axle optimize stiffness and the connection of suspension components to the chassis. Independent rubber bearings – which increase camber stiffness – and additional damping plates at the rear axle further enhance the suspension’s baseline set-up. Special wheel hubs and wishbones allow camber values on both axles to be raised as far as possible. This significantly increases the car’s ability to put down power through high-speed corners.
      The design principle of the double-wishbone front suspension makes it possible to separate steering and damper functions. As a result, high lateral acceleration forces are possible without compromising ride comfort. The car’s steering remains largely unaffected by disruptive forces caused by irregularities in the road surface. Thanks to bi-elastic bushings, the five-link rear axle guarantees precise wheel guidance and the highest degree of directional stability. In addition, effective isolation of the powertrain and suspension improves interior acoustic comfort.
      Adaptive M suspension and Integral Active Steering standard.
      Standard on the first-ever BMW 8 Series Convertible is Adaptive M suspension with electronically controlled dampers. Both compression and rebound are adjusted continuously and independently. This facilitates finely tuned spring and damping responses, providing the driver with only relevant information about the road surface. The extremely stiff suspension springs reduce roll tendency and allow the dampers to stabilize the wheels as much as possible, avoiding traction losses caused by bumps and ruts in the road surface. The electronically controlled dampers respond adaptively to road surface conditions and driving style in order to eliminate undesired vehicle movement. Minor road damage is comfortably filtered out and narrow bumps do not induce unwanted pitching movements.
      Damping characteristics can be adjusted via the Driving Experience Control switch. SPORT and SPORT+ modes activate optimal responses for maximum handling. This is noticeably different from the comfort-oriented damper setting in ECO Pro and COMFORT modes.
      The standard Integral Active Steering also reduces the car’s turning circle when maneuvering, increases agility at moderate speeds and optimizes stability when changing lanes and cornering at high speeds. The system combines the electromechanical steering of the front wheels (including Servotronic function for speed-sensitive power assistance) and the variable steering ratio in the rear axle steering.
      In order to achieve maximum precision during performance cornering, the steering of the first-ever BMW 8 Series Convertible becomes more direct with speed. As a result, on winding roads the car feels particularly agile and easy to control. The variable steering ratio also provides additional comfort; allowing the driver to maneuver at low speeds with minimal steering wheel movement and without having to change their grip on the wheel. By contrast, at high speeds, the same steering wheel movement results in decreased steering response, optimizing turn-in precision.
      Active steering of the rear wheels by up to 2.5 degrees – thanks to Integral Active Steering – considerably enhances the cornering ability of the first-ever BMW 8 Series Convertible. The rear wheels are steered in the opposite direction to the front wheels at speeds up to 45 mph. At higher speeds, the steering angle of the rear wheels matches that of the front wheels, ensuring the car adopts the course determined by the driver quicker and more accurately. At the car’s traction limit, it feeds in a stabilizing steering input to complement the triggered braking intervention.
      Activating SPORT or SPORT+ model via the Driving Experience Control switch gives a more direct steering response. At the same time, the maximum speed at which the rear wheels are steered in the opposite direction to the front wheels is increased to 55 mph.
      Active roll stabilization
      Active roll stabilization is optionally available for the first-ever BMW M850i xDrive Convertible and further enhances the car’s sporty handling characteristics. Electric swivel motors on the front and rear anti-roll bars ensure fast and precise compensation for lateral forces during dynamic driving maneuvers. The system is controlled through a constant analysis of vehicle speed, lateral and longitudinal acceleration, steering wheel position, wheel and body acceleration and variation in height levels. In BMW M Performance models, active roll stabilization has an exceptionally sporty set-up and responds adaptively to changing requirements. It optimizes agility and directional stability on turn-in and helps line the car up as neatly as possible for improved acceleration out of corners. The reduced body movement also means that fast evasive maneuvers can be executed with great assurance.
      At the opposite end of the spectrum, the system increases comfort when driving straight ahead by decoupling the permanent anti-roll bar connection between the wheels of an axle. By stabilizing the wheel that requires it, the system is extremely effective in counteracting disruptive forces resulting from road surface imperfections on one side of the car.
      M Sport braking systems, light-alloy wheels with high-performance tires.
      Powerful braking characteristics, high thermal stability, fast response and excellent feel characterize the braking system developed for the first-ever BMW 8 Series Convertible. Four-piston, fixed-calliper brakes at the front are complemented by single-piston, floating-calliper brakes at the rear. The electronic parking brake – operated by means of a button located on the center console – is integrated into the rear brake callipers. The integration of the braking system and DSC stability control guarantees precise braking response, braking control and brake boosting.
      Inner-vented brake discs and model-specific brake pads are featured both at the front and rear. Directional cooling air ducts help to reduce temperatures. The friction rings of each brake disc are riveted to an aluminum drum. Together with the use of aluminum brake callipers, this BMW-patented construction concept significantly reduces unsprung weight.
      The M Sport braking system is recognizable by blue callipers featuring the M logo.
      The suspension technology featured in the new BMW M850i xDrive Convertible is oriented towards maximum performance and rounded off by 20-inch M light-alloy wheels. The cast aluminum wheels are standard and come in the exclusive color Frozen Cerium Grey metallic with a high-gloss polished finish on the face. They are fitted with 245/35R20 tires at the front and 275/30R20 tires at the rear. The high-performance tires were developed by the manufacturer specifically for the first-ever BMW 8 Series Convertible.
      Ideal overall package for maximum performance.
      The suspension system for the first-ever BMW 8 Series Convertible has been tuned – down to the finest detail – to the powertrain technology. Moreover, all the vehicle dynamics-related systems have been linked up with one another via the high-speed data transfer system called FlexRay to create an overall package geared towards maximum performance.
      Constant measurement of the driving situation data by sensors forms the basis for coordinated system responses. Within a split second, the control unit integrated into the braking system and DSC is able to adapt the powertrain and suspension functions to changing situations, such as varying road surface conditions, sudden braking, spontaneous steering maneuvers and extreme acceleration. Here, the steering, four-wheel-drive system, electronically controlled differential lock and active roll stabilization are all employed to assist the stabilizing effect of brake intervention on individual wheels and adjustment of drive torque. A hierarchical control structure guarantees optimal control of the relevant actuators.
      For example, to optimize directional stability when braking heavily on road surfaces with varying grip levels under the right and left-hand wheels, a steering impulse can be transmitted to inform the driver of the necessity to adjust their line. With carefully judged steering inputs on the rear axle, it is possible to counteract a tendency to oversteer or understeer. Adjustments by the active roll stabilization system will assist in enhancing stability and agility. Precisely controlled anti-roll bar swivel motors can optimize traction in fast bends. Centrally evaluated data on the driving situation optimizes the efficiency of the BMW xDrive system’s responses.
      Optimized weight thanks to intelligent material use.
      BMW EfficientLightweight includes the use of an intelligent material mix to optimize both weight and body/suspension rigidity. In addition to the supporting structures at the front and rear of the car, other components such as the doors, hood and the front firewall of the first-ever BMW 8 Series Convertible are made of aluminum. The bracing tube for the passenger compartment is made from magnesium and the center tunnel is made of CFRP. The front axle is made almost completely from aluminum. The rear axle features a combination of lightweight steel construction with wheel carriers and forged control arms in aluminum.
      BMW Personal Co-Pilot suite of Driver Assist systems
      A particularly wide variety of standard and optionally available driver assistance systems marks the first-ever BMW 8 Series Convertible as an extremely advanced model within its segment. The systems really come into their own when driving longer distances by relieving the strain on the driver in monotonous situations, such as traffic jams or slow-moving traffic. They enhance comfort and safety both in urban traffic and on longer trips by providing targeted assistance in complex traffic situations. The driver assistance systems process camera images as well as the data gathered by ultrasonic and radar sensors to monitor the vehicle’s surroundings, to warn of potential hazards and to minimise the risk of an accident with corrective braking or steering inputs. These integral features of the BMW Personal Co?Pilot represent the latest advances on the road to automated driving.
      The BMW 8 Series Convertible is equipped with standard Collision and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function, the latest version of which alerts the driver when a cyclist is detected. Depending on the situation, the system can bring the vehicle to a halt to either avoid a collision or minimize its consequences.
      The optional Driving Assistant Professional offers comprehensive assistance for comfortable and safe driving. This package includes Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function. It can be used at speeds up to 130 mph and maintains the desired speed while taking not only the traffic situation into account, but also the selected distance to vehicles in front. If required, the system is able to brake the car to a stop then pull away again automatically after being stationary for up to 30 seconds, meaning greater comfort in stop-start traffic. Camera images and data from a front radar system are used for distance control.
      In addition to Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, this complete package also includes the Steering and Lane Control assistant. To allow convenient activation of the two systems, the first-ever BMW 8 Series Convertible is fitted with a special button on the standard multifunction steering wheel for switching on the Active Cruise Control and Steering and lane control assistant simultaneously. A mode button can be pressed to switch to using Active Cruise Control on its own.
      Another component of the Driving Assistant Professional is the Lane Keeping Assistant with Active Side Collision Protection. This is made up of the Lane Departure Warning and Active Blind Spot Detection systems, which are active from 44 – 130 mph and 12 mph up to top speed respectively and help the driver guide the vehicle back onto the correct path with an active turn of the steering. Besides emitting visual warning signals and causing the steering wheel to vibrate, active side collision protection also uses active steering intervention to help avoid a collision. The Driving Assistant Professional also includes the evasion aid, which now also reacts to pedestrians. The Crossing Traffic Warning – which reduces the danger of a collision when maneuvering forwards towards roads that are obstructed from the driver’s view – now also includes brake intervention.
      The latest-generation Head-Up Display.
      The BMW Head-Up Display, which comes as standard in the first-ever BMW 8 Series Convertible and projects relevant driving information onto the windscreen in the form of graphics, is another factor in the intensely focused driving experience. The latest generation of the system features a larger projection area, optimized graphics and additional content. The BMW Head-Up Display projects information directly into the driver’s field of vision where it can be assimilated without any need for them to divert their eyes from the road. This includes details of vehicle speed, speed limits and overtaking restrictions, Check Control messages, status indicators and warnings from the assistance systems, detailed route guidance and turn instructions, as well as telephone and entertainment lists. When driving with the Driving Experience Control switch in SPORT or SPORT+ mode, the Head-Up Display also indicates engine speed. Plus, there is a digital Optimum Shift Indicator as an aid for the sports-minded driver in the new BMW 8 Series Convertible.
      Another item on the list of optional extras is the BMW Night Vision system comprising pedestrian and animal detection as well as a marker light. It relays a real-time video image to the Control Display showing persons, larger animals and other heat-emitting objects. Any objects detected are additionally illuminated using the headlights’ marker light function.
      Easier parking with Back-Up Assistant
      Drivers of the first-ever BMW 8 Series Convertible receive effective assistance when parking and maneuvering. The standard Park Distance Control (PDC) with sensors at the front and rear is standard and provides visual and acoustic warnings to avoid colliding with obstacles at the sides or rear of the vehicle. The standard Parking Assistant is able to automatically select suitable parallel parking spaces and maneuver into them. The spaces are identified by ultrasonic sensors as the vehicle drives past. Once it has been activated by simply pressing and holding a button on the center console, the system takes care of controlling the accelerator, brakes and steering as well as changing gear.
      The Parking Assistant’s range of functions also includes the Back-Up Assistant, which helps the driver when exiting parking spaces and maneuvering within a confined space. The system assumes the task of steering when backing up by tracing the vehicle’s last forward movements in reverse. All the driver has to do is operate the accelerator and brake pedals and monitor the vehicle’s surroundings. A distance of up to 55 yards can be covered in this way at speeds of up to 6 mph. The system is deactivated if either of these values is exceeded.
      The included standard camera system is designed to afford drivers a clear all-round view through Rear, Top View, Panorama View and 3D View functions. A 360-degree image of the vehicle and its surroundings is shown on the Control Display from different perspectives. The Remote 3D View function additionally gives drivers the ability to call up a three-dimensional live image of their vehicle and its immediate vicinity on their smartphone.
      The first-ever BMW 8 Series Convertible comes standard with the BMW Live Cockpit Professional, which combines a new display and control concept and maximum connectivity into a superb all-round package. The latest-generation display and control concept consists of a high-resolution instrument cluster behind the steering wheel with a screen diagonal of 12.3 inches and a 10.25?inch Control Display.
      Live Cockpit Professional: Seventh generation of BMW’s iDrive Operating System
      The BMW Live Cockpit Professional in the first-ever 2019 BMW 8 Series combines a new display and control concept and the ultimate in connectivity to create a superb all-round package. The latest-generation of the iDrive comprises a high-resolution digital 12.3” instrument cluster display behind the steering wheel and a 10.25” center display diagonally across.
      The system offers many hardware upgrades including new haptic controls on the iDrive controller, an advanced tablet-like touch interface, and stunning visualizations. This latest system perfectly blends the strengths of previous iDrive concepts with the modern ways in which people expect to interface with their popular electronic devices. The multi-modal approach of the iDrive touch controller, large touchscreen center display, cloud based voice control, and gesture control allow users to interact in the way of their choosing.
      The seventh incarnation of iDrive, which runs the latest BMW Operating System, has a cutting-edge, fully digital design and is geared even more closely to the driver’s needs by allowing him or her to customize the system to his or her own preference with customizable widgets of information. This new level of personalization is then stored in the BMW cloud and can follow the customer to other BMW vehicles. Various information from categories such as driving, entertainment, navigation, connectivity, and the vehicle info itself, can be selected in nearly any combination in any of four layouts on the Center Display. Multiple pages can be created and easily accessed with a simple swipe across the screen with your finger.
      To maximize the capabilities of the large 12.3” digital instrument cluster, the traditional circular gauges have been finessed into a new design pushing the speedometer and tachometer gauges to the outer edges of the display as geometric bands. This new design opens space in the middle for routing and navigation. Information from the center display can also be shown within the tachometer. Additionally, your driving mode will determine your visual display style.
      Other elements of the BMW Live Cockpit Professional are the Navigation Professional system, a hard-drive-based multimedia system with 20 GB of memory and two USB ports, plus Bluetooth interfaces. The driver can be automatically detected and personal settings activated either using the traditional vehicle key or by downloading the driver’s personal settings the BMW Cloud.
      Drivers can enjoy the full benefits of the car’s intelligent connectivity capabilities through vehicle apps such as news, weather, office and online search. Other capabilities include Intelligent Emergency Call – which automatically summons swift assistance in an emergency – and regular updates for the navigation system’s maps.
      For the first time, a selection of digital services will be bundled together and offered for the new BMW 8 Series under the guise of the Connected Package Professional. The Connected Package Professional includes Remote Services, Concierge Services, On-street Parking Information, and Real Time Traffic Information and is standard on the first-ever 8 Series for a duration of 4 years. Having this package on the vehicle will allow for easy integration and adaptation of new technology over time. Customers can continue to download various new digital services individually as they become available or renew existing services via the ConnectedDrive Store.
      BMW Connected: digital services for individual mobility.
      BMW Connected is the companion app for BMW drivers. Intelligent connectivity helps users to reach their destination easily and with minimal stress – and not only from within their car; BMW Connected is an all-embracing concept designed to seamlessly connect the driver and their smartphone with their vehicle.
      At the heart of it all is the Open Mobility Cloud, which allows the app to connect the car with the customer’s digital devices. These could include the iPhone and Apple Watch, smartphones and smartwatches running the Android operating system, Alexa-compatible smart devices and Google Home. For instance, the BMW Connected app can import appointments and addresses from the customer’s calendar entries straight into the navigation system to begin route guidance. The system calculates the optimum departure time based on real-time traffic information and notifies the driver with a message on their smartphone when it is time to leave. As the vehicle is linked up via the Open Mobility Cloud, it is able to access the calculated route directly when the navigation system starts up.
      Remote Software Upgrade Capable.
      The first-ever BMW 8 Series Convertible is Remote Software Upgrade capable. This feature keeps the vehicle up to date with the latest software. All updates can be loaded over the air, similar to smartphones. The upgrades can be loaded onto a smartphone via the BMW Connected app when connected to a Wi-Fi network or imported directly via the BMW’s built-in SIM card. The timing and availability of updates will be determined at a future date.

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