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Through dusty Death Valley in a BMW soft-top prototype

  • Extreme heat and dust test the soft top
  • Electronic circuits subjected to 50C air
  • Long-distance drives from mountains to sea
HOT TESTING FOR HOT CAR: A prototype BMW 8 Series convertible gets a break in Death Valley. Image: BMW / Newspress
HOT TESTING FOR HOT CAR: A prototype BMW 8 Series convertible gets a break in Death Valley. Image: BMW / Newspress

MUNICH, Germany –  BMW has put its 8 Series convertible through intensive trials and test drives involving Las Vegas and Death Valley in the USA.

The results, the automaker says, provided important information about the functional safety of mechanical and electronic components in temperatures around 50C and extreme dust formation on the edge of the desert, stop/go traffic in Las Vegas, gravel tracks, and long-distance drives between the Pacific coast and the Rocky Mountains.

Comfortable weather for a convertible, BMW says, does not exist in Death Valley. Instead, the heat and extreme dryness of the Mojave Desert national park proved ideal for tests of a special kind.

READ MORE BMW features on Carman’s Corner

An 8 Series convertible was left for hours in the blazing desert sun  then checked for the effect on the car’s electronics, audio system, sensors, and driving assistant systems, connectivity functions, seat adjustment and, finally, automatic aircon.

The camouflaged prototype’s trip to the Hoover Dam was said to have posed an additional challenge to the vehicle’s electronics. ”The exceptionally strong electromagnetic waves from the hydro-power plant’s turbines,” BMW said, ”were an ultimate measure of the car’s sensitive electronic systems to external interference.

”Tracks across the desert and through Death Valley tested dust-proofing of the multi-layer soft-top and the roof mechanism and the hardship suffered by testers and vehicle laid a foundation for a new form of open-air enjoyment in the luxury segment.”


The new BMW 8 Series convertible is said to combine stylish elegance, exclusivity and individuality with cutting-edge driving assistance, operation and networking.

”Moreover,” BMW says, ”the car’s fascinating character is enhanced by high-quality drive and suspension technology which has redefined sporty driving pleasure in the luxury segment.”

Hot-climate testing of the 8 Series convertible is said to have a level of significance similar to the Winter Testing Centre in Arjeplog, Sweden, the BMW Group’s proving ground at Miramas in southern France, and on the Nürburgring test circuits.

”Only when thousands of kilometres have been completed,” BMW says, ”can developers be assured that the open-top 8 Series is a true dream car designed for the luxury segment.”

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