New iDrive Controller in the 5

Update It appears that the new controller is in fact making its way into the 2009 models but the new system may not be at this time. We are awaiting screen shots!

Original: Over the last several days we have become more confused at the situation with the 5 (and even 6). While we understand that BMWNA ‘s position has not changed in stating the model will not be included in the upgrade why then are customers picking up cars equipped with the system when the model was not scheduled for the update?

We have received info from several customers stating that their cars have the new system. Both ahead of the November EU date and the unannounced US date.

Also, in the Paris guide we posted yesterday it even states that the 5/6 will receive the updated system, though not US specific. Either someone dropped the ball on this or we are missing something here…. If you do not take our word for it, the photos do not lie….

Our friends over at BMW Blog are posting similar info so this further confirms what we thought all along!

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  • Pat H.

    Can it be confirmed that the photos show a US Spec car? I tried looking in the car iself but nothing stands out to me as US specific in the photos.

  • 5 Rakete

    LOOK AT THE DASH for crying out loud. There’s a DVD slot. Just because there is the new controller doesn’t mean the car has CIC, the new iDrive, instead of CCC. The BMW USA configurator shows CCC equiped NAV/iDrive cars with the new controller. As I understand it the controller motions are the same (effectively) as the old one except that it tilts instead of moving laterally. The buttons are merely pre-programed menu callups just like the original menu button was.

  • Jason P.

    Someone on bimmerfest just picked up their euro-spec and it had the larger 8.8″ screen and hard disk navigation (Navi Professional). The DVD is in addition for playing videos (I guess when the car is in park). After months of conflicting info we may know for sure soon…

  • jon gray

    I’m a bmw tech in england and i pdi’d a e60 yesterday with the new controller but old system.

  • Jon- Thanks for the input! That helps sort some things out.

  • Gragop

    You guys are missing the most important thing in these photos: SOMEONE BOUGHT A MANUAL TRANSMISSION’D 5 SERIES?!

    There’s hope after all!

    Must not be a US-spec car, though my boss drives a 530i with a manual.

  • You guys are missing the most important thing in these photos: SOMEONE BOUGHT A MANUAL TRANSMISSION’D 5 SERIES?!

    BINGO! I thought the same exact thing. It was a very nice thing to see. 🙂

  • Ha! I don’t even think like that since I get in my 6 speed manual E60 sport pack wagon everyday and love it!

  • Ben

    New controller with old system – just so disappointing.

    Mercedes’s 09′ E-Class is also entering its final year of production. Despite that, an updated Navi / interface is introduced (again for the last model year). That is what I call good engineering / customer value.

  • Joe

    I saw the original BMW post to all the dealers with my own eyes. The 5er and 6er will only get the new controller but will keep the same system – for now.

  • Joe

    Thanks what I call good holding of value for your refreshes. Why destroy the residuals on the current platforms. People who buys these cars will rarely make the decision not to buy it just because it has the old Idrive.

  • James Olson

    Gragop, The picture of the bottom 550i is the one I purchased. It is a U.S. spec’ed 550i with a 6 speed manual, I wouldnt have it any other way. I enjoy rowing my own gears. The car was bought through Military Sales in Germany so she will atleast see the Autobahn for a little while.

  • Gragop

    James, my hat goes off to you for getting a proper manual with that big V8. That’s definitely the way to do it. Especially if you’re breaking it in on the Autobahn!

    So this brings the “E60 5er manual transmission count” to 7…with the other 30,000 being steptronic.

    My dad is 65 and he still drives a manual car, I hope to be able to do the same when I’m his age regardless of the car I own.

  • Why is it such a surprise to get a 6-speed standard transmission with the 550i? Esp. with the Sportpaket.

    The alternative (electronic automatic transmission) isn’t pretty, in more ways than one.

  • Gragop

    Jonathan – correct me if I’m wrong but aren’t something around 90+% of all BMW’s sold in the U.S. an automatic? I think it’s surprising to see only because of the typical 5 Series buyer – I just wouldn’t expect many to leave the box for “Steptronic transmission” unchecked. Frankly I’m glad to see that some BMW buyers still have some sense and buy a 4.8L V8 with a manual.

  • You are right that it´s probably close to 90% but I would imagine among enthusiasts, the number of automatics is somewhat lower. I meant my comment to be somewhat tongue in check in any event. My 550i has a nice normal standard transmission.

  • Joe

    I love 6 speed bimmers. I owned a 530i for 4 years and it was the best car I have ever owned. Now in SMG3 for the M5 and its truly an amazing transmission.

  • James Olson

    I’d just like to update everyone. My dealer has confirmed that 5-ers will get the new controller only and the old iDrive system. Not a huge stink for me because I was expecting the whole older system anyway. The new buttons will just make things a few clicks easier. I should be picking her up in Wurzburg before the end of the month if you want I will take more shots of her and the iDrive or whatever you guys want to see.

  • Brett

    Why is it a surprise that the 5 series will get the new controller? I mean, I’d hate to break it to ya but every model will be receiving this update… especially if the new 7 and 3 have it. Bimmerfile, can we post more fascinating information in the BMW World, please?

  • Brett if you have been following along here you would understand why it is a big deal. I mean that in the nicest way possible, it is just too much to explain everything again.

    And you are misinformed to think that all models will receive the update, not all models can even receive it so I think you best check your facts.

    As far as your last statement not sure what you are insinuating there….

  • Edward Heath

    Brett seems woefully uninformed here. The controller (if he had been reading articles in the blogs and esp. Jonathan Spira’s columns) is not terribly relevant as compared to the new iDrive system.

  • Mike S.

    I received some 09 BMW brochures today, one of which was for the 5er, and it seems to confirm this: cars with nav will keep the DVD-based system, but they get the new controller. As for as cars without nav, I haven’t the faintest idea what controller they get.

    The thing that surprised me was that the 3er coupe and convertible brochures made no mention of the Shadowline trim being added to the Sport package.

  • Kemp

    Ordered a 5 series in nov 2008 it has arrived. New controller and new LCD with new system and harddrive. EU car.