BMW is shipping new cars with its infotainment system, like normal, except several models won’t have touchscreen functionality, according to reports. Instead, you’ll have to use BMW’s iDrive control in the center console. The horror!
I joke, but Autoblog got confirmation from BMW on the following:
Certain models are going to lose their touchscreen functionality to save silicon and allow BMW to maintain its current production levels. The news broke on the Bimmerfest forum, but BMW has since confirmed it to both Edmunds and us.
The following models are going to be shipped without touchscreen functionality.
- BMW 3 Series
- BMW 4 Series Coupe, Convertible and Gran Coupe (excluding the i4)
- BMW X5
- BMW X6
- BMW X7
- BMW Z4
Autoblog also says that customers will get a $500 credit instead of the functionality, which really may be a blessing in disguise for everyone involved, given that touchscreens in cars are generally bad and useless, or at least I have never encountered one that wasn’t, if it can be controlled any other way. And I do mean the touchscreen functionality, specifically, given that the screens in modern cars are often sort of far away and small and the touchscreen experience isn’t how you might imagine it. Which is to say that it isn’t at all like using an iPad. It is like using an iPad but 100 times clunkier, even if it looks cool momentarily while the salesperson fiddles around with it at the dealer.
Also, it puts smudges on the screen of your fancy new BMW, and BMW’s iDrive controller is what you will use while driving, anyway. What has actually happened here is that the chip shortage has forced BMW to marginally improve its cars, even if BMW would not agree. You also know that it’s good because it is the opposite direction in which Mercedes is headed. Long live iDrive, I say.