The 2024 BMW 5 Series, and the first ever BMW i5, will make their debut this summer. Alongside a new design, the refreshed G60 5 Series Sedan will bring a series of innovations inside the cabin as well. One of them is the debut of a new operating system – BMW iDrive 8.5. The name certainly implies more of an evolution of the current iDrive 8 system, but in fact, iDrive 8.5 comes with a fully revamped user interface and user experience. Stephan Durach, Senior Vice President of Connected Company Development and Digital Experiences, confirmed the news to BMWBLOG in an interview to at the 2023 CES in Las Vegas.
iDrive 8.5 vs. iDrive 9
So why iDrive 8.5 and not iDrive 9? We’ve already published a breaking story on iDrive 9 arriving this year to selected BMW models. The decision is simply based on the underlining software stack. Some current iDrive 8-powered BMWs, like the 7 Series, use a Linux-based operating system. While the all-new BMW X1, 2 Series Active Tourer, the upcoming X2, and future MINI products, are built on the Android open source software.
Therefore, some BMW models with Linux-based iDrive 8 (a full list coming soon) will get the upgrade to iDrive 8.5, while the Android-based BMW models will go to iDrive 9. But don’t fret. The user of interface of iDrive 8.5 is identical to iDrive 9. The system will also have similar functionalities as iDrive 9, with a few caveats, such as the lack of an Android App Store.
Along with the 2024 BMW 5 Series, the new 7 Series will also get iDrive 8.5 in the next few months, despite the car just being rolled out to customers. BMW won’t go into the full details of iDrive 8.5 and iDrive 9, but we expect to learn more about the new user interface in the next few months. They did share a few details in the Powerpoint slide below: 3D navigation and flexible touch widgets.