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.


+ From SMG to DCT / BimmerFile

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