The iDrive 8.5 upgrades continue to be a hot topic in the BMW community. The Bavarians have recently shared a list of vehicles which will get the new Operating System 8.5 but the BMW 2 Series was not on it. So we did some digging around and here is what we found out. According to a BMW dealer, the BMW iDrive 8.5 will be available for the 2024 Model Year 2 Series as an update. The integration level (programming level) of the vehicle will have to be updated via a dealer. The model year change for the 2 Series took place in July 2023. So, if the vehicle was manufactured after July 2023, it will have the proper head unit for the iDrive 8.5 upgrade.

Head Unit High 5 (MGU 22) is needed

BMW’s latest operating system, BMW Operating System 8.5 with QuickSelect, enhances the user experience with upgraded functionality. The system is available exclusively for vehicles equipped with the Head Unit High 5 (MGU 22) that utilizes the Qualcomm Snapdragon chip. Unfortunately, vehicles with the Head Unit High 4 cannot upgrade to OS 8.5, and retrofit options are not available.

So why is the iDrive 8.5 important? For starters, the upgraded infotainment system introduces a range of enhancements, such as repositioning widgets, a revamped climate control interface, changes to seat and steering wheel heating functions, and enhanced information accessibility. The Home Screen concept has been refined, showcasing a heightened sense of elegance. Widgets have been moved to the left side of the screen within the QuickSelect Menu. This enables users to seamlessly adjust the positioning of widgets vertically, granting easy access to extra information without encumbering the main display.

Secondly, a comprehensive revamp has been applied to the Climate Control interface, streamlining its user-friendliness. Additionally, adjustments have been made to the seat and steering wheel heating operations. To activate the well-known three stages of intensity, users can now simply tap the corresponding seat icons on the menu. This action prompts a compact pop-up menu to appear. Crucially, this functionality can be accessed from any menu, expanding its convenience beyond just the climate control settings.

However, iDrive 8.5 is just the beginning. Soon, many BMW Group products will launch with iDrive 9, including the BMW X1, new X2 and a series of MINI products. There’s very little difference between iDrive 8.5 and 9, only a few small functions won’t work on 8.5, due to having an older chipset. Looks wise, though, the two systems will be virtually identical.