BMW has announced a raft of updates in Europe, some more important than others. The implementation of iDrive 9 belongs in the former category and impacts the X1 in all versions, including the fully electric iX1. In addition, the 2 Series Active Tourer is also switching to the latest infotainment technology with QuickSelect functionality. The change will take place with the vehicles manufactured from November.
Based on Android Open Source Project (AOSP) software, the Operating System 9 boasts a redesigned home screen with quicker access to often-used functions. It shows the navigation map or individually configurable graphics all the time while the function icons are arranged vertically on the driver’s side of the screen. Users can go from one function to another by doing a vertical swipe. This direct access means you’ll avoid the hassle of having to navigate through submenus, therefore enabling a more smartphone-like experience.
It’s worth noting that iDrive 9 was developed in-house by BMW and will find its way inside other compact cars. For example, the second-generation X2 debuting before the end of the year will certainly use this infotainment system, and logic tells us it’ll be the same story with the next-gen 1 Series arriving at some point in 2024. The German luxury brand is also developing a new 2 Series Gran Coupe and that one too will get the latest technology.
As for the larger models – 3 Series and up – they’ll probably all eventually transition to iDrive 8.5. Come 2025, the first Neue Klasse models will usher in iDrive 10 with a parallelogram-shaped screen and a dashboard-wide head-up display.
Meanwhile, the X1/iX1 and 2 Series Active Tourer are also getting BMW Digital Premium in November as an option from the BMW ConnectedDrive Store. In Germany, it’ll set you back €9.98 a month, but from mid-2024, it’s also going to be offered for an annual fee of €99. If you want to try it out before deciding whether to buy it or not, there’s a free three-month trial period. The BMW Digital Premium also has additional third-party apps, improved navigation functions, and AirConsole casual games.
To sweeten the pot, BMW Digital Premium comes bundled Expressive Mode, Relax Mode, and Digital Art Mode for My Modes, a new welcome light sequence, and a fresh look for the Intelligent Personal Assistant. You can also use this service to pay parking fees in select parking zones across Europe.