Las Vegas, Nevada - These shots of a lightly-camouflaged 8 Series Convertible undergoing hot-weather testing in the United States give us perhaps the best preview yet of what looks like one of the most stylish GT drop-tops in many years.

While the fabric top looks a little more notched at the rear window than the roof of the 8 Series Coupé, the rear deck is short enough to prevent it looking out of place, and with the top down it’s almost pure ‘barchetta’.

We could perhaps have preferred that rear deck be a little lower, with the waistline forming a continuous line all the way to the top of the tail-lights, but the practical implications are enormous - not least for boot space, always at a premium in convertibles - and the slight rise sits well with the chunky front end, featuring the same larger kidney grille as its tintop sibling.

It’s a pity the test technician’s laptop obscures most of the flightdeck, but from what we can see it looks identical to that of the coupé.

 It’s been confirmed that the Convertible will be offered with the same drivetrain options as the coupé - either a twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 rated at 390kW and 750Nm driving all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission, or a 235kW/680Nm biturbo three-litre straight six.

The coupé will go on sale early next year, along with the four-door 8 Series Gran Coupé, to be followed before the end of 2019 by the M versions of both; no timing has yet been mentioned for the launch of the Convertible, but hopefully it won’t be far behind.

IOL Motoring