BMW’s effort to lift the material and visual appeal of the M8 Competition’s cabin over and above that of the standard 8 Series can be considered a qualified success. The quilted Merino leather that comes as standard is soft to the touch, kind on the eyes and generously applied. Elsewhere, sections of carbonfibre sit tastefully alongside the brushed metal and gloss black trim pieces to provide a telling reminder of the car’s underlying performance intent.

The cabin architecture, meanwhile, is BMW to a tee and the seating position is suitably fast but not so recumbent as to deprive you of any visibility. Adjustability is generous, allowing you to sit low in the cabin, enveloped by the tall window lines, considerable transmission tunnel and driver-focused dashboard fascia. There was a very slight right-hand offset in the steering column of our test car but not one nearly significant enough as to become a source of complaint. For the most part, the driving position and general ergonomics are excellent – just as you’d expect them to be.

Whoever designed the speaker covers for the Bowers & Wilkins stereo must have watched Signs. We like the way they look a lot, particularly when lit up at night.

The result is that those familiar with BMW’s contemporary model offering will no doubt feel right at home in this new performance flagship. But therein lies the rub: next to more effortlessly opulent, visually appealing and materially rich rivals from Mercedes-AMG, Bentley or Aston Martin, the BMW’s overriding familiarity and BMW-typical sense of understatement do conspire to dampen its sense of occasion somewhat. Anyone stepping out of the more lavishly appointed confines of an S63 Coupé, Continental GT or DB11 might be a shade underwhelmed by the BMW’s comparative lack of exotic visual and tangible wow factor.

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On practicality grounds, the M8 Competition Convertible claws back some points. There are numerous storage cubbies dotted around the cabin and the rear seats will accommodate small children or a pair of weekend bags, but only smaller adults with much comfort. But as the boot effectively doubles as storage space for the folding fabric roof, luggage capacity isn’t as great as it would otherwise be. Where the Coupé offers 420 litres of storage space, the Convertible has just 350.

BMW M8 Competition infotainment and sat nav

The M8 Competition comes as standard with BMW’s latest 10.25in Live Cockpit Professional infotainment suite. It’s a system we’re very fond of and the slickness of its graphics and general ease of use are as welcome in the M8 as in BMW’s humbler model offerings.

The standard specification is unsurprisingly strong, with DAB radio, satellite navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay and a wi-fi hotspot all included right out of the box.

The hexagonal digital instrument binnacles that BMW seems intent on fitting to all of its new models are typically clear and easy enough to read, but our testers still agree that their design remains a touch awkward in appearance.

The Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround sound system that comes as part of the £20,000 Ultimate pack provides truly excellent sound quality, even when the roof is down.

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