An official reveal is coming this year.
Late last year, BMW drew some criticism for its bizarre social media posts that called out critics with phrases like "Ok, boomer." The ads were meant to fend off complaints that the new 2022 BMW iX isn't a "real BMW" by claiming the haters weren't ready to embrace the future. Well, it looks like BMW's marketing team has gone into full Millennial versus Baby Boomer mode with a teaser for a new iDrive infotainment system.
The teaser, which arrived during the all-virtual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2021, looks back on 20 years of iDrive while teasing the latest generation that will debut later this year. BMW is mum on the details for the new iDrive, but the teaser itself is simply beyond words. If you watch one car-related video today, let it be this one.
The video takes place at BMW Welt in Germany and features two employees tasked with parking the new iX on a platform. A 2001 BMW 7 Series (760Li), which was the first car to feature iDrive, needs to be moved out of the way first, but as the two employees leave, the car comes alive like a scene out of Toy Story. The 7 Series acts curmudgeonly towards the iX, calling it a "whippersnapper" and confirming that only cars in production are allowed on the platform. "No toy cars allowed," it says angrily.
The iX then comes alive, calling the 7 Series "grandpa" and saying that "your time is over." There's a bit of back and forth between the two, with some Millennial-inspired digs such as "of course you don't understand, it's impossible to talk to your generation."
The two cars each argue about what their respective iDrive systems can do, and the iX mentions that drivers can give it a name. Unlike the current-generation iDrive, which requires drivers to say "Hey BMW" to activate voice command, this new version will allow for custom names. The 7 Series then jokingly says it would use the name "Tamagotchi."
The teaser ends with the iX acknowledging that the 7 Series is a "true classic" and that without the original iDrive system, the new version would never exist. It's a teaser unlike any we have ever seen, and although it's silly, it truly makes us curious to see a more extensive reveal later in 2021. As evidenced by spy shots, some BMW models may even do away with the familiar rotating knob in favor of new control methods.