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We've already gotten a sneak peak of what the 2009 BMW 7-series will look like on the outside ahead of its official launch, but the interior – and iDrive in particular – is still veiled in a cloak of secrecy. However, Bimmerfile has supposedly gotten the inside dope on the new multi-function brushed aluminum mole.
According to Bimmerfile, the new iDrive interface will take a cue from one of our favorite in-dash control units – Audi's MMI – with a new interface that has a similar list design and selection system. The screen resolution is higher, which makes the maps and text "more visually appealing" and the submenus are reportedly "more like bookmarks," which should facilitate an easier flow of information.

The new display will also allow show maps in full screen, rather than the split screen in the previous version of iDrive, and radio and CD functions are now available in two separate menus. When playing a CD, the current song will be displayed in a "frame" at the top of the screen, with the list of tracks shown below it.

The major revision, aside from a new phonebook contact list that allows for multiple numbers, is the date, time and radio station bar migrating from the iDrive screen into a central mounted display nestled between the two gauges on the dash. This is one feature that Audi's MMI has had for a few years and is a very welcome addition to the new iDrive. We'll hopefully have official information about the new system in a few days.

[Source: Bimmerfile]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      About freakin time.
      • 7 Years Ago
      BMW has really been taking lots of stick for iDrive

      Why not really redeem the "i" part by sticking a larger and more powerful variation of the iPhone in the dash with a remote controller? I mean, (pretty much) everyone agrees that Apple UIs are intuitive
        • 7 Years Ago
        I wouldn't consider bmw to be lowering to V dubs level if they put the iphone in...that would be an upgrade!

        To think that it took BMW to finally get caught up to the MMI (by imitating it), is funny!
        • 7 Years Ago
        VW's already done it in the Up! concept and given BMW's going to be cloning MMI I don't think they'd want to 'lower' themselves to VW's next gen system.

        It's about damn time, who is it this month with the huge diatribe? motor trend?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I am so glad that this is not the other way 'round.
      • 7 Years Ago
      When BMW first released the iDrive it was a revelation. Afterwards it was copied and improved by both AUDI and MERCEDES. Now the wheels have turned
        • 7 Years Ago
        Mercedes' COMAND system was first introduced in 1998 for the W220 S-Class
        MMI was first presented by Audi as a concept in 2001
        iDrive was introduced a week later with the E65 7 series.

        Given that iDrive was the first system to focus basically one single controller you can say that BMW had the first of the modern infotainment systems you could actually buy, but saying that Mercedes and Audi copied them is a false statement. You can't develop such a complex system in a few months. iDrive and MMI were more or less parallel developments, spawned by the cluttered dashboards of mid-90s executive saloons.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Said it b4 and I'll say it again: Mag editors love to rant about something they can't figure out in an instant. The iDrive IS somewhat complicated; but ask people who use it on a daily basis. When was the last time you heard an ACTUAL iDrive user complain? I never have. Used to sell Bimmers and, although it took alotta parking lot time after the purchase - once the cust was ramped up, they love it.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Believe me it's not just a matter of familiarity. I use iDrive everyday in my '07 5 series and I can attest that it's even worse than the mag editors suggest. Every action takes 3-7 unneeded clicks/presses/turns even just to change focus from nav to radio, a common action. From the looks of things in the new 5 and 7 series spy shots they seem to still have missed the target. It's too much of a mess to go into detail here but that and other ergonomic messes will keep me from a BMW for a while.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I love my idrive
        • 7 Years Ago
        I'm pretty computer fluent, but find iDrive to be a huge pain. Have an '04 530i, I'm not sure if iDrive has been improved since then, but although I know where everything is, it's just an unnecessary hassle if I want to change the ventilation from feet only to full, or skip to the next radio station. The car drives magnificently, with the occasional hint of harshness, occasional rear twitchiness over freeway expansion joints, and as long as there's no snow on the ground. But I just wish it had traditional buttons and dials instead of a watered down mouse.
      • 7 Years Ago
      About time. Audi's MMI system has been superior now for about 5 years. I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery...

      Audi has updated their MMI on the new Q5 which is releasing shortly. It's supposed to be even more improved.
        • 7 Years Ago
        good artists copy, great artists steal
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