BMW just released a news brief with a host of updates for its lineup coming in spring this year. They range from an interior tech refresh for the 4 Series lineup to some extra shiny exterior lights on the big X7.
Starting with the 4 Series and M4, BMW says that in March 2023, these models will be offered with its “Curved Display” running iDrive 8. This necessitates a total change of the center stack and means it will now resemble the refreshed 2023 BMW 3 Series. The new screen layout consists of a 14.9-inch center infotainment display and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster — it will be the standard and only option. Other changes to the 4 Series at this time include making the Shadowline window trim standard and the addition of Aluminum Rhombicle to the interior trim options. Specific to the M4, the instrument panel will be newly available in Sensatec, and a new M design graphic will be optional for the hood and trunk lid.
The BMW X7 is adding a crystal headlight option to its list of available extras. The crystal headlights — initially revealed in the electric BMW i7 (pictured below) and formally called Iconic Glow — consist of Swarovski crystals positioned in the upper section of the lights that are then backlit by LEDs. They have a rather distinctive and intriguing appearance both under direct sun and at night when lit by the LEDs.
Beyond the lighting change, BMW is adding its remote Parking Assistant Professional to the list of options for the X7. This applies to the 7 Series and iX, too. The parking tech allows you to guide your car in and out of parking spaces via the My BMW App with an iPhone. Basically, if you find yourself needing to park in a space so small (like a cramped garage) that opening the door is a hazard, this will allow you to remotely control your car to squeeze in there.
Another notable change for the BMW iX is the addition of a manually activated pre-conditioning function. Instead of needing to set the in-car navigation to a charger, you’ll now be able to simply tell the iX that you’re driving to one via the infotainment system, and the car will initiate battery conditioning to ensure maximum charge speeds are possible when you arrive. This will make life a lot easier for folks who may prefer to use Google Maps (or other smartphone-based maps) for navigation purposes. The last update for the iX is the addition of a Trailer Assistant. When you have a trailer connected, you’ll be able to use the iDrive rotary knob controller to automatically steer the trailer in the direction of travel you want it to go for easier reversing.
If you’re buying an electric BMW, you’ll also be glad to hear that starting this spring, the charge cable that comes with the car is getting an upgrade to support 22 kW AC charging, which is double the speed of the current charge cord that ships with BMW EVs. Of course, you’ll need a charging station setup that supports this high-power charging to take advantage of it.
The final updates detailed concern BMW’s Digital Key tech in that folks with some Samsung phones will now see their cars automatically unlock as they approach. You’ll need a phone running the latest software that is equipped with the Ultra-Wideband chip necessary for the tech to work.