Exclusive: \’09 3 Series To Get Updated iDrive

The 2009 model year is shaping up to be a big year for the 3er. We ‘ve known for awhile that the 3 Series would get its mid life-cycle refresh in 2009. Historically at BMW that includes a mildly refreshed exterior and interior along with a host of small mechanical and technology improvements. However one of the bigger changes inside the car (and one that BMW has been able to keep secret until now) will be a substantially updated iDrive system that includes a completely new interface. The new design is closer to Audi ‘s MMI system in that there are a host of small buttons that allow the user to quickly jump to different parts of the system. There ‘s also a possibility that BMW will include the small scroll-wheel on the steering wheel meant allow the user to scroll quickly through long lists of date. This feature has been confirmed for the F01 7er but we haven ‘t anything definitive about it yet for the E90 update.

Looking back at the new interface design pictured, it remains unclear whether or not the knob will still rotate or if the outter ring will. However what we do know is that the new interface as a whole (including that steering wheel thumb scroll) was designed to allow the user fly through data at a much faster pace.

The new system will debut at the Paris Motor Show late this summer in the new 7 Series before bowing in the updated 3.

As previously reported expect several other key changes to the E90. First and foremost the front and rear fascia will be updated. Secondly the interior design as a whole will be slightly tweaked. Mechanically expect the biggest news to come from a new optional DCT (dual clutch transmission) and a special sport model similar to the ZHP package offered on the E46. It ‘s this sport model that could potentially see the debut of an up-rated 3.0L turbo that currently powers the 335i.

The E90 3 Series sedan will be the first of the current generation to receive it ‘s customary mid-cycle refresh. Look for the coupe, convertible (and to a lesser extent M3 since it ‘s exterior design is generally left along) to get the same updates almost a year after the sedan. Look for further information on the E90 update next week.

Related:

+ From SMG to DCT / BimmerFile

+ The E90 Gets its Mid-Cycle Nip and Tuck / BimmerFile

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  • Barry

    I’m glad Idrive is getting an update. That thing is universally accepted as a ”hot mess.”

  • Rich

    What are the chances of seeing this in the 09 E92?

  • Balthazar B

    So do you read this as meaning only the E90 will get DCT and updated iDrive, and that they’ll be available on the E92 and E93 in the 2010 model year, or the whole 3-series will get these enhancements for the 2009 model year?

  • Ryan

    Two questions: 1) Is this just a change with the hardware part of the user interface (the knob and the steering wheel), or is the software going to change significantly too? 2) When is the facelifted e90 expected to be officially unveiled?

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  • http://www.bridger.us/ Gabe

    What are the chances of seeing this in the 09 E92?

    We’re wondering the same thing. Historically 3er coupes are a year behind in terms of the model life-cycle so I wouldn’t expect changes until the 2010 model year.

    So do you read this as meaning only the E90 will get DCT and updated iDrive, and that they’ll be available on the E92 and E93 in the 2010 model year, or the whole 3-series will get these enhancements for the 2009 model year?

    Again recent BMW product planning would tell us the coupes and convertibles will be around a year behind in terms of major changes. However individual components like DCT could conceivably be an exception. We’ll report more as soon as we get it.

    Two questions: 1) Is this just a change with the hardware part of the user interface (the knob and the steering wheel), or is the software going to change significantly too?

    We don’t have specifics on the software changes at this point however we hope to get more shortly.

    2) When is the facelifted e90 expected to be officially unveiled?

    The public debut will most likely happen at the Paris motor show at the end of September.

  • http://www.bimmerpost.com Alex

    This new design is exactly what it should have originally been. This is clean, sleek, sporty and professional at the same time. Goodjob!

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  • Enzo

    Will the e92 have interior updates — like maybe the end of the belt butler and maybe getting the iPod adaptor as part of standard equipment?

    My hope is we get the M-Kit option on the 335 so you can get the M-Steering wheel, M-Shifter and Black trim like the 135i.

    Or, are the changes for 09 e92 going to more subtle?

  • http://bimmerfile.com Michael

    Any LCI for the E92 is going to be a year behind as it was introduced a year after the sedan. The iPod adapter will be an option, since not everyone has them BMW is not going to build it into every car and charge everyone for it. If you review our article on the Tii being produced/ Performance parts you will see that the //M kit in the US is going to be a port installed kit

    http://accessories.bmwusa.com/ItemView.aspx?modelId=222&categoryId=8&productCategoryId=&menuId=0&subItemId=0&productId=707

  • bmwfan

    I think BMW needs to learn a thing or two from Audi’s clean console design. They even have space for two cup holders ;)

    http://www.autoblog.com/photos/beijing-0-and-8-20_-and-and09-au-di-q-5/754051/

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  • Rolf-Dieter

    I just got a 2009 BMW Z4 35i the car does not have the iDrive. My question is can the iDrive System be added to the car?

    Thanks for your time

  • Metcho

    I own a 2006 BMW 320I, my car does not have Idrive . My question is can the idrive system be added to the car which is without Idrive?

    • http://bimmerfile.com Michael

      It can be added but the system is very expensive and requires extensive retrofitting and must be completed by someone knowledgeable. The cheaper route in reality is to sell your current car and buy one with iDrive, as it is a very involved process.