Here’s a Look at BMW’s iDrive 8.5 and 9
BMW’s iDrive 8 system is still pretty fresh, having debuted on the iX and i4, and it’s just starting to make its way onto all BMW models. However, the Bavarians are already set to release its successor. BMW just provided a glimpse at what the new system BMW iDrive system will be and it’s based around what BMW calls its new ‘QuickSelect’ design concept. It’s no secret that BMW is focusing more and more on touch and voice controls for its iDrive systems. While the famous, and now-beloved, rotary dial will continue on in some cars, it’s likely to be ditched in many others, so it will vary. Regardless of rotary dial, though, this new BMW iDrive 8.5 will be heavily touchscreen-focused and it’s designed to make using it far simpler than ever before.
“Today, BMW iDrive is more than just a control and operating system—it’s a digital world of experience allowing human and car to interact with one another and exchange information,” said Stephan Durach, Senior Vice President BMW Group Connected Company
Development. “As we said at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 2023, we are continuously enhancing the associated user experience based on the latest available technology.”
The main idea behind iDrive 8.5 and its new QuickSelect functionality is to get rid of submenus. BMW calls it a zero-layer philosophy, so that users can access deeper commands with minimal touches. All major menus will be laid out on the screen in large vertical widgets, which can show all of their various menu functions. Once the user is done with one of those menus, the home screen icon that’s fixed that the lower part of the screen will return to the home screen with a single press. While BMW is still a bit quiet on exact functionality, it claims this new flat menu design will make using iDrive 8.5 easier, faster, and more intuitive.
BMW will begin rolling out iDrive 8.5 on select models, either as they release or via over-the-air updates, starting this summer. Here are the models that will be getting iDrive 8.5:
• BMW 7 Series
• BMW iX
• BMW i4
• BMW X5
• BMW X6
• BMW X7
• BMW XM
As for the new iDrive 9, that will begin rolling out on newer cars, which will use a newer Android-based operating system. However, its user interface will be nearly identical, save for a few small new features that are only available with the Android OS. The first cars to received iDrive 9 will be the Mini Countryman and BMW X1/X2. Then, all Neue Klasse models will be iDrive 9-based as well.