Are we starting to see the slow demise of analogue clusters? With the rash of digital gauges being introduced over the past couple of years, it looks like motoring may be going fully digital. Taking it a step further is BMW as they redesigned their instrument panel to chase after Audi's Virtual Cockpit.

BMW goes digital with next-gen instrument cluster

The German automaker is giving the iDrive system a full overhaul as part of the iDrive update. Now dubbed iDrive 7.0, the new operating system is likely to be introduced in the upcoming flagship models, namely the facelifted 7 Series, all-new 8 Series and first-ever X7 to name a few. In fact, spy photos of some BMW vehicles show that the automaker is already shifting into this cluster. Give it a few years and the new look might eventually make its way to models like the 3 Series and 5 Series. 


With this new look, it does away with the round digital dials. Instead, the cluster follows a more angular design with C-shaped edges. Even the orientation of the tachometer is different for the new digital display which appears to sweep counter clockwise. At the center is a display which can show different things such as the map, vehicle status, and an Eco monitor to make a few. The cluster itself can be arranged in three modes, namely Iconic, Iconic Eco and Iconic Sport.

BMW goes digital with next-gen instrument cluster

Besides the cluster, the iDrive menu gets rebooted as well. It features customisable and personalised displays, as well as a flat menu structure to enable fast access to all settings and functions. The infotainment system can be operated via the scroll wheel, touch control, voice control or gesture control. Lastly, BMW is set to introduce 5G mobile connections for faster loading of HD navigation maps, for example, enable the direct exchange of data between vehicles and allow videos to be streamed in HD quality.