Refreshing or Revolting: BMW 8 Series Convertible vs. Mercedes S-Class Cabriolet
For a long time, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class was a sales winner, essentially the flagship to end all flagships. This week, BMW introduced a convertible version of its flagship BMW 8 Series that will compete against the big Benz, albeit indirectly. While the two models serve different purposes, they share the same goal of presenting customers with the most luxurious drop-top experience available from their respective brands. And they’re both stunning. But which one is the most visually compelling?
The BMW 8 Series convertible benefits from the automaker’s latest design language. The single-piece frame reinterprets the classic kidney grille design. The grille’s hexagonal frame widens toward the bottom and has a three-dimensional effect. BMW says the model has the slimmest headlights of any of its models to date. The S-Class cabriolet may be slightly older than the 8 Series, and it’s more of a grand tourer than a sports car, but it’s still looking good. It has thicker headlights, which Mercedes offers with optional Swarovski crystal accents. The front end looks quite different based on the trim you choose; AMG models feature vertical lines in the grille and bold lower vents while other models feature a diamond-pin grille and a more subdued overall look.
On the side profiles of both models, you’ll find dramatic character lines. There is a vent just behind the front wheel on the BMW, adding extra visual interest. You may notice the Mercedes is significantly longer; it measures 198.9 inches in length compared to the BMW’s 191.2 inches. The Mercedes is also taller at 56.2 inches compared to 53 inches, and it has a wider wheelbase (115.9 compared to 111.1).
In the rear, the 8 Series has narrow taillights and sharper creases in the sheet metal. Once again, the S-Class looks different depending on whether you opt for the standard or AMG model. A chrome bar connects the taillights.
Peeking inside, both the S-Class and 8 Series feature large digital instrument clusters and a large center touchscreen. In the Mercedes, these units are combined into one huge screen. The BMW feels more cluttered with buttons just below the center screen and near the shifter. The interior of the S-Class adopts a circular theme, from the digital instrument cluster dials to the air vents and shape of the dashboard. Meanwhile, the 8 Series favors rectangular shapes.
Which drop-top would you crown the style winner: the 8 Series or the S-Class? Let us know on Facebook.