iDrive to have 80GB hard disk

Last month we broke the news to the world that there was a new iDrive on the horizon for most of vehicles in the BMW lineup. This was met with some skepticism. As sources have continued to verify it there is very little doubt that it will indeed happen sooner than later.

What we did not know was the total package. One of our sources indicated that the car would have a hard disk and a system from Harmon Becker but we were unable to confirm this information at that time. Time has rolled on and our good friend, Jonathan Spira, has confirmed some of the same information. He has acquired information that essentially has spilled the beans on much of the up coming iDrive.

We still are a bit puzzled by the hard drive allotment; 10GB for a phone book? All in all this sounds to be a much improved system when you also consider the fact it will also feature the new controller. As we know all too well sources sometimes give you bits and pieces of information and you have to sift through them, we commend this effort and can at least agree that the system will feature a hard disk; we know this from the interior of the F01 7 series as there is only one slot! The details may still not be finalized and changes are happening regularly so the system we will eventually see may be a bit different. Information we have obtained indicates that there will be a multimedia showing of the new iDrive around the launch of the F01/02 on 07.07.08.

According to Jonathan: A completely new infotainment system will replace BMW’s current CCC (Car Communication Computer) system in most but not all BMWs starting possibly as soon as September 2008 production, according to unconfirmed reports we have collected. The CIC will reportedly be installed on new 1er, 3er, 5er, and 6er Series, and possibly the new F01 7er Series, this fall if things fall into place as planned.

The X5 and X6 should receive the new CIC — the acronym apparently stands for Car Infortainment Computer — starting with March 2009 production. The CIC is made by Becker, which currently makes M-ASK (MMI Audio System Kontroller) systems for BMW, used in MOST-bus vehicles without “Professional ” satellite navigation. The system will include a 40-gigabyte (GB)80 GB hard disk drive, reportedly partitioned as follows (hopefully there will be more room for music and less room for names and addresses when we get final specs): System 2GB Music 3GB Entertainment server 8GB Navigation map data 12GB Telephone (name and address) 10GB Reserve 5GB A new higher resolution display, reportedly 1280×480, will be included with the CIC. Favorites buttons, introduced on the E60 5er Series LCI (life cycle impuls, or mid-life refresh), will continue although it is likely we’ll see a new menu structure and improved language support. The new iDrive controller we mentioned last month will be part of the package as well.

Only one DVD drive will be included (the current Professional Navigation system now comes with two, one for music and one for map data; map data will be stored on the hard drive. It’s not clear yet as to whether drivers will still purchase a DVD and transfer it or whether the data will be updated in the dealer’s workshop but we suspect the latter will be the case. On other cars with hard drives for navigation, all have a dealer option to upgrade the navigation data and some also let the owner do it via a disc that is read by the car ‘s lone optical drive.

For the entire article please visit the column Jonathan wrote for the BMWCCA, and do not forget OktoberFest at Watkins Glen!

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  • http://www.bridger.us/ Gabe

    It’s about freakn’ time BMW put an HD in its cars. With impressive competition from both Japanese and American makes, BMW’s CCC was looking a little long in the tooth.

  • http://bimmerfile.com Michael

    Gabe,

    I could not agree more, the BMW concept has always been superior but they have been using antiquated bits… they are seeing the light finally.

  • Dan C.

    Hate to say it, but it sounds like BMW still doesn’t get it. They should be doing what the folks at Dash are doing — a 2-way connected platform that can evolve over time. Otherwise, this will look as ancient in 10 years as the temperature/mileage displays of 1998 cars look to us now.

  • http://sonyrumors.net illegalprelude

    I dont think BMW cares as much of what the used car market is thinking about the 335i in 2013….

  • BCLemans

    Anything other than I-Drive is indeed good news. “..used in MOST-bus vehicles without “Professional” satellite navigation” certainly doesn’t sound state-of-the-art to me”.

    Why can’t BMW subcontract a Japanese company to do the interface? Sony is the #1 consumer electronics brand in Germany and the Japanese folks seems more capable to bring out better interfaces (Lexus, Infiniti…etc). If BMW can make this step, it can certainly win a lot more customers.

  • http://bimmerfile.com Michael
    BCLemans: Anything other than I-Drive is indeed good news. “..used in MOST-bus vehicles without “Professional” satellite navigation” certainly doesn’t sound state-of-the-art to me”. Why can’t BMW subcontract a Japanese company to do the interface? Sony is the #1 consumer electronics brand in Germany and the Japanese folks seems more capable to bring out better interfaces (Lexus, Infiniti…etc). If BMW can make this step, it can certainly win a lot more customers.

    Just because a manufacturer makes a system that is not using the latest technology does not mean that it does not also make other options using the latest technology; ie Sony still makes DVD players but also makes Blu Ray players as well.

    While we welcome opinions and we thank you for your comment I can not agree with having Lexus and Infinity design the system.If you have spent more than 30 minutes with an (non 7 series) iDrive based car it is obvious that it is more intuitive and requires less time with your eyes off the wheel. Just like the first computers had DOS, then Windows and now Linux/OS X things evolve in technology. Touch screens are not as user friendly over time, screen smudging/eyes off the road etc. The issue with iDrive is the speed and layout of the menus, it has improved over time. Using the system regularly becomes second nature and does not require you to glance at the screen for significant periods of time. Voice commands remedy most choices anyways (works like a champ for me). This new generation will have well positioned keys and an improved GUI and menu structure, the processing power will be greatly improved as well to speed up system tasks, all in all this will be a leap in a serious of steps. The main issue with iDrive is that BMW was at the mercy of the supplier and yes they had a hand in design and implementation but they still did not produce the product, Siemens VDO did (notice they did not “win” the job this go around).

  • http://bimmerfile.com Michael
    Dan C. Hate to say it, but it sounds like BMW still doesn’t get it. They should be doing what the folks at Dash are doing — a 2-way connected platform that can evolve over time. Otherwise, this will look as ancient in 10 years as the temperature/mileage displays of 1998 cars look to us now.

    We have indications that BMW will be including two way communication as well hence the reason there is GSM capability. We are trying to confirm certain things at this time and will get that to you as soon as possible.

  • http://www.bridger.us/ Gabe

    Why can’t BMW subcontract a Japanese company to do the interface? Sony is the #1 consumer electronics brand in Germany and the Japanese folks seems more capable to bring out better interfaces (Lexus, Infiniti…etc). If BMW can make this step, it can certainly win a lot more customers.

    Sony is the last company I’d want creating any sort of interface.

  • http://www.smartboxusa.com/chicago GSKChicago

    Wouldn’t mind seeing Apple design an interface. I thikn they’d nail it first time around!

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  • Winfried

    I ordered my new X5 before Xmas and during the configuration of the accessories I was told by the dealers chef technician, that the new CIC should be available in the X5 soon. Yesterday my dealer told me that the new CIC will not be build into the X5 in the foreseable future (as he was told by BMW Munich) as he got the latest update for the X5 Massnahmenkatalog (catalog of measures) . Also no improvements on the motor side, meaning no Euro 5 adaption