2019 BMW M850i XDrive Convertible – Made For Driving
Can you think of anyone who wouldn’t be excited when they receive a notice that they will be delivered a $131,395 BMW M850i xDrive convertible for a week-long test drive? This is a vehicle that checks all the boxes: Sporty, check. Convertible, check. M model, check. Two-door, but four seats so room for kids, check. Turbo-power, check. A true BMW Ultimate Driving Machine, check!
I could actually go on and on with things to love about the new 2019 BMW M850i xDrive. The beautifully sculpted exterior is almost deceptive. Admirers see an elegant sports car, not knowing beneath the metal is a supercar waiting to be unleashed. My family’s smiles increased with the thrill of electronically lowering the top and hearing the growl of its twin-turbo V8 engine. I shared their joy as the car immediately responded to the jolt of a punched accelerator. No, we did not get it up to its top-rated speed (155 mph) but did manage to hit the century mark for a brief second on a freeway, just to prove how rapidly we could do it (the M850i can rocket zero to 60 in 3.8 seconds). The 523 horses under the hood are capable of a neck-snapping 533 lb. ft. of torque, enough to make even a speed demon like myself smile.
The all-new BMW M850i xDrive was introduced less than six months ago and is BMW’s first ever 8 series convertible. Having been a BMW lover for years, I can say it has a different “feel” than the the 760Li, the pinnacle of all vehicles I have ever actually owned. It may share the same DNA, but its also very different from the last BMW I test drove, the 2019 BMW X4.
We were quite lucky in that Mother Nature smiled on us during our week with the M850i convertible. There’s nothing like cruising down the highway with the top down in a sports car that drives well. It was “not too hot, and not too cold,” so we had no need to engage the neck warmers, although I admit we did run the air conditioning. I found the three speed settings great for adjusting the airflow as our vehicle speed changed from side-street to highway.
Thankfully, the underbody of the M850i is almost totally covered and protected. I say this because of our very unique driveway, which will completely destroy an unprotected underbody because of the sharp downward grade from the street to the house. It is not only sexy to be so low-slung and sleek, but this styling along with BMWs famous kidney adjustable grille slats and air curtains and breathers reduce the drag, which helps the vehicle to have its fantastic acceleration.
Those of us in the business world think of networking as something we do with associates and others at social functions we often attend. In the new BMW M850i, it does this by increasing the efficiency of the drive system. Many will be familiar with how the start/stop system on many modern vehicles provides a jerk when the engine turns itself off and again during start up. The entire BMW 8 series allows this function to adapt to suit the specific situation it is in by instantaneously analyzing data supplied by the navigation system as well as by the cameras and radar sensors in the driver assistance system. Inefficient engine shutdown like when stopping briefly at junctions with yield signs can be prevented. The system notes the movement of other vehicles to gauge the ideal moment to start and stop the 850i’s best action.
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.
All in all, the new BMW 850i xDrive combines the sports car world with the luxury driving world in the most unique way possible with a convertible. I can’t think of a better way to enjoy a spring day than taking a drive in this vehicle. And, wouldn’t you know it – it’s just the right size to fit in our garage!