BMW owners have had a love/hate relationship with the iDrive since it first appeared in 2002. Some loved the extra features it added to the cars, and others couldn’t understand how the company who builds the ultimate driving machine could possibly install something so complicated that it distracts from the road. Now in an effort to appease both sides, BMW is introducing a simpler, but still technology-filled, iDrive.
With the launch of the first official images of the facelift M3, BMW also announced that the 2009 M3, M5 and M6 will feature the new generation iDrive control system which will facilitate even easier activation and control of the most important entertainment, communication and navigation features as well as a number of other functions.
The models BMW M5 and BMW M5 Touring, the BMW M6 Coupe and the BMW M6 Convertible are all equipped with the new iDrive control system as standard. It also comes with the BMW M3 in conjunction with an optionally available navigation system.
Press release after the jump.
From the autumn of 2008, BMW M models will also feature the new generation of the iDrive control system which will facilitate even easier activation and control of the most important entertainment, communication and navigation features as well as a number of other functions.
The models BMW M5 and BMW M5 Touring, the BMW M6 Coupe and the BMW M6 Convertible are all equipped with the new iDrive control system as standard. It also comes with the BMW M3 in conjunction with an optionally available navigation system. It encompasses a newly devised controller which includes preference keys on the centre console and - in conjunction with the optional navigation system Professional - an 8.8-inch control display with a four times higher screen resolution (1280 x 480 pixel) for displaying high resolution graphics and a new menu structure.
Flat menu trees and familiar systematic with cascaded main menus derived from computer technology provide improved orientation. Visual control aids which include, for example, an image of the controller displayed on the monitor, provide additional clarity. Town or street names are spelled and telephone numbers entered by means of a circular "speller". The functional range of the tried and tested preference keys situated below the radio control unit have been further optimised. Using these, it is now also possible to store not only radio stations, telephone numbers and destinations, but also all further menu items accessible via iDrive, which can then be retrieved at the push of a button.
In the BMW M3, the new controller and the preference keys arranged in its vicinity are surrounded by a newly designed cover for the centre console. The central control element facilitates the operation of various functions by means of standardised rotary and toggle switches as well as push-buttons, whereby the additional keys can be operated without eye contact due to their individual haptic attributes, offering direct access to the most important menu options. The new iDrive controller is, therefore, now much simpler to use and can be operated intuitively without a long familiarisation period. Consequently, the driver gains additional confidence and can concentrate even more intensively on the job of driving.