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Although it will go to 60 in three seconds flat, the big Bimmer also makes its owners look good sitting still.

COURTESY BMW - The 2020 BMW M8 Competition Convertible is striking and goes even faster than it looks, thanks to its 617 hoursepower 4.4-liter V8.Unless you own a racetrack, you will hardly ever come close to testing the limits of the 2020 BMW M8 Competition if you buy one. Even empty country roads are too dangerous for seeing how fast the Competition version of the M8 will go in M2 mode, where the responsiveness, suspension and traqction control system can be set at their most extreme.

Then again, if you're willing to pay more than $180,000 for the convertible version we tested, maybe you don't want to drive it where few people will see you anyway. Maybe you just want to put the top down and cruise slowly along crowded boulevards where pedestrians and other drivers will strain to get a good look at the ridiculously large but gorgeously sleek fantasy machine.

COURTESY BMW - The interior of the 2020 BMW M8 Competition Convertible is comfortable, elegant and loaded with advanced technologies.

Middle age men who buy sports cars are accused of having a midlife crisis. The same men who buy a 2020 BMW M8 Competition — Coupe or Convertible — are thought to be sophisticates, despite being able to indulge is the same need for speed. BMW says it will go from zero to 60 in three seconds flat. We believe it, although we weren't able to time it ourselves.

But of course, in this day an age, a flashy flagship car like the 2020 BMW M8 Competition must do more than simply go fast. It must also be technologically advanced because consumers with that kind of money want to know they've got the newest infotainment and safety systems, even if they'll never completely understand all of them. Needless to say, our M8 also delivered those goods, too, topped off by the optional Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System that helped push the cost more than $25,000 above the base price.

COURTESY BMW - The center console holds the electronc shifter and the dial that cotnrols the infortainment system and the red start button.

Even a week of test drive wasn't long enough to explore all of the car's permutations, not when it can be switched from rear-wheel-drive to several versions of all-wheel-drive, multiple transmission settings, several suspension adjustments, and much more. Frankly, with 617 horsepower on tap from the twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8, our M8 Competition felt powerful enough in the default mode. We suspect most owners will play with the settings for awhile and then be happily leave them alone.

Of course, no car is perfect, not even the 2020 BMW M8 Competition Convertible. For such a large car, the back seat is so small, it is best used for carrying groceries. Likewise, the trunk is compromised by the space needed for convertible top to retract, although it is a marvel of mechanical engineering.

COURTESY BMW - The optional brake package provide all the stopping power needed for the 2020 BMW M8 Competition Convertible.

But we doubt that anyone would refuse to buy a 2020 BMW M8 Competition because it has a small back seat and trunk. Not when the prestige of simply being seen in one is almost as important as its performance.

Several companies make big, fast and luxurious coupes and convertibles these days. But it's hard to top the styling, power and technology of BMW's flagship M8 with the Competition package in either form.

COURTESY BMW - The new iDrive 7.0 infotainment system on all BMW 8-Series vehicles.

2020 BMW M8 Competition Convertible

Base price: $178,250

Price as tested: $180,245

Type: Sports coupe/convertible

Engine: Twin-turbocharged 4.4 V8 (617 hp, 553 ft-lbs)

Transmission: 8-speed automatic

EPA estimated mileage: 15/21

Overall length: 191.2 inches

Curb weight: 4,295 pounds

Final assembly: Dingolfing, German


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