BMW digital LCD gauge cluster

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has had one for a few years, and Jaguar-Land Rover recently fitted units to its all-new XJ and updated Range Rover. Now BMW is getting ready to offer its own fully configurable LCD gauge cluster on the next-generation 5 Series and 7 Series models.

Co-developed in Munich and BMW's Technology Office in Mountain View, CA, the new gauge cluster will display the standard dials for speed, revs, fuel and temp, but can be configured to show additional navigation, telematics and infotainment data depending on the driving mode. Comfort and Sport settings will tailor the display to suit conditions, possibly placing the tachometer front-and-center in Sport mode, along with providing shift lights and other more driver-centric information.

A BMW engineer we spoke with made it clear that BMW doesn't want to rely on digital representations of analog gauges. Instead, the automaker is looking at the display as a blank canvas with which it can display a variety of information in an innovative way. However, while consumer customization will be available, BMW believes that keeping the user-tweakability to a minimum is key for ease-of-use and general readability.

Expect the new dash to appear on the refreshed 5 and 7 Series within the next two years.