Earlier this year, BMW has started rolling out a major update to their infotainment system. The new updated was labeled as iDrive 8.5 – for mid and upper class models like the 5, 7 Series and iX, and iDrive 9 for the 2 Series Active Tourer, X1 and now X2. But there were a few models left out of the mix, like the BMW 2 Series, 3 Series and 4 Series, along with M cars. In a conversation with a product manager responsible for user interfaces at BMW, we learned that, for now, there are no plans to roll out iDrive 8.5 to the aforementioned models.

Currently, the roll out will go to the following products:

  • BMW 7 Series, BMW iX, and BMW i4 models built after July 2023 – Factory Standard Upgrade
  • BMW X5, BMW X6, BMW X7, BMW XM, BMW X5 M, and BMW X6 M models built after August 2023 – Factory Standard Upgrade
  • New BMW M Models will get iDrive 8.5 but without the new graphical interface.
  • All BMW 7 Series (after 07/22), iX (after 03/23), and BMW X5, X6, X5 M and X6 M (after 04/23) are eligible for over the air upgrades to the newest iDrive.

So will the BMW 2, 3 and 4 Series ever get the upgrade? There is no timeline apparently, but there are strong indications that at some point in the future, we will see iDrive 8.5 in these models as well. Of course, each one of them will need a new a head unit in order to handle the base code and the capabilities of the updated infotainment system.

iDrive 8.5 in M cars

But what about the M products? As mentioned before, M cars will get the iDrive 8.5, but with a twist: they will feature the new software code from Android Automotive, but without the updated user interface and user experience of iDrive 8.5. In other words, you’re getting a snappier and more capable infotainment system, but things like the new AC controls and QuickSelect won’t be present in this custom iDrive 8.5. The reason? BMW M cars run an even more customized software tailored specifically to a “sportier” on-screen look and feel.

Of course, as we learn more about the roll-out of iDrive 8.5 to other BMWs, we will post an update. In the mean time, you can see the updated iDrive 8.5 in our demo: