BMW is splitting its infotainment tech into two separate iterations as the X1 and 2 Series Active Tourer will switch to iDrive 9 while the bigger models will transition to iDrive 8.5. The compact models will run on the Operating System 9 based on Android Open Source Project software, but only with freshly built X1s from April and 2 Series Active Tourer minivans from November. Additional small vehicles will get the new OS, with the second-generation X2 being an obvious candidate. The F70 1 Series should follow suit in 2024.
In the meantime, a trio of videos provides an official preview of the next iDrive 9 reserved for BMW’s smallest models. As some of you will recall, BMWBLOG has already sampled the new setup in the long-wheelbase X1 for the Chinese market at last month’s Auto Shanghai 2023. The new OS is shown here on an X1 xDrive23i in Utah Orange and it should look virtually the same on the 2 Series Active Tourer and the upcoming 2024 X2.
The biggest novelty brought by iDrive 9 will be the QuickSelect functionality, which will allow users to create shortcuts to their most often-used features on the home screen. Doing so will avoid the hassle of having to go through the submenus as the widget on the left side of the screen will grant quick access by simply swiping and tapping on the desired function – all while still having the navigation map occupying the better part of the screen.
BMW is also providing a look at how the driver can quickly turn on/off the heated or cooled seats along with the heated steering wheel without entering the menu dedicated to the climate settings. More in-depth changes can be made after tapping on the fan symbol to bring up all controls pretraining to temperature, fan speed, and whatnot.
Because iDrive 9 necessitates a new head unit that uses different hardware, it won’t be offered as an over-the-air update to X1s that have already been built. It’ll be the same story with the 2 Series Active Tourer while the X2 should have it from day one since it won’t be going into production until near the end of the year.
On a related note, the iDrive 8.5 we first saw on the i7 M70 is coming to the next-gen 5 Series debuting later this month before arriving in the higher-end X models.