CES 2021

Profanity-laden video from BMW celebrates (?) just how far iDrive has come

The BMW xDrive system celebrates its 20th birthday this year.

Photo courtesy of BMW

The year was 2001. It was the second year of a new millennium that had gone ahead without much disruption despite all of the concerns about Y2K. It was the advent of modern infotainment systems and BMW was on the cusp of debuting their new iDrive system.

The technology first appeared on the BMW 7 Series, which was ridiculed for a whole host of reasons, with iDrive just another part of what critics thought was wrong with the car.

A new, four-minute video from BMW released to coincide with the beginning of CES celebrates (?) just how far the iDrive system has come in 20 years. Why the question mark? The video is the perfect example of the age old tale of the boy who likes the girl but to hide it he constantly picks on her and shows off in front of his friends, with a smattering of disrespecting your elders.

A story of generations. BMW is a part of CES 2021.www.youtube.com

The entire video takes place in a darkened garage with the 7 Series voiced by an aging male who uses words like "whippersnapper" to ridicule the forthcoming BMW iX, comparing it to a "Tomagachi" and accuses it of being a toy car because it's not in production yet. The iX is voiced by a female who accuses the 7 Series she calls "grandpa" with "sniffing at the gas pumps too long".

The iX accuses the 7 Series of being past its prime, saying that it's impossible to talk to "their generation". The two voices rattle through the various features of their iDrive systems and while the iX's voice goes over that system's, the 7 Series voice replies with a swear word that refers to feces from a male cow.

Then the iX voice explains what infotainment intelligence means to the 7 Series while touting that the iX "knows everything because I'm always online".

BMW iDrive Evolution: BMW ConnectedDrive with navigation (2012)

BMW ConnectedDrive, New generation Navigation system Professional, BMW iDrive Touch (07/2012)

Photo courtesy of BMW

After being thoroughly insulted, the 7 Series drives away and the iX seeks them out saying the popular refrain, "I didn't mean it that way" before explaining that without the original iDrive the iX wouldn't exist.

While amusing, the video clearly fits in with social media posts the company has featured recently where they make fun of older buyers, who are also known as the bread and butter of BMW's audience. It's an interesting sales tactic.

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The IIHS may increase the speeds it uses to test advanced driver aids.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently announced that it is considering changing the speeds it uses to test vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention systems. The agency currently tests the systems at 12 and 25 mph, but says that the speeds don't accurately represent the types of crashes the safety tech is meant to prevent.

Front crash preventionwww.youtube.com

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is designed to notify of a possible collision and help respond with automatic application of braking. Just like a human using the brake pedal, it can stop the car, but higher speeds make it difficult to stop in time. The new tests would be conducted at 35 to 45 mph, which is the range where a large number of rear-end crashes occur. As Automotive News noted, an IIHS study showed 43 percent of rear-end crashes occur at speeds of 45 mph or less, so it's important to have a test that shows how well the tech performs at those levels.

A whopping 85 percent of 2022 vehicles earned a "Superior" rating in the current testing regime, so the IIHS will remove it from 2023 testing and Top Safety Pick award evaluations. Their view is that, since the majority of vehicles meet the criteria, it's no longer an accurate way of evaluating performance. In its place, the agency introduced a night test for automatic emergency braking systems that will begin next year.

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The Supra finally gets a manual transmission for 2023.

Toyota

After an almost nonstop chorus of enthusiasts and journalists asking for a manual transmission in the new Supra, Toyota has gone and done it. The car will get an available six-speed manual transmission that will be available on both variants of the GR Supra 3.0, plus a limited-edition model on the U.S. market next year.

2023 Toyota Supra 3.0 MTToyota had to modify the car's interior for the new gearbox. Toyota

The A91-MT Edition Supra will be limited to 500 units, and gets two exterior colors with an exclusive Cognac leather interior. All 2023 Supras come with a 3.0-liter straight-six engine that makes 382 horsepower and 367 pound-feet of torque. Toyota says the six-speed manual has been specially tuned to work with the car's engine, and notes that it modified an existing transmission housing to come up with the design. The gearbox's final drive ratio is shortened to improve response and take-off.

Toyota had to modify the car's interior to accommodate a gearshift lever, so the iDrive controller and other buttons had to be relocated. The automaker says that it focused on the feeling of shifting, from the weight of the knob to the ergonomics and location of the component.

2023 Toyota Supra 3.0 MTThe limited-edition A91-MT trim gets an exclusive cognac leather interior.Toyota

A Supra with a manual gearbox is reason to celebrate, but availability is limited to the top Supra 3.0. The "base" Supra 2.0 won't get the transmission. Toyota says pricing and other information will be available later this year.

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