In-Car Tech

BMW in-car tech receives five big upgrades in July and here's how to get them

BMW is upgrading its infotainment system with a big boost for BMW Map functionality, among other features.

Photo courtesy of BMW

This month, BMW will release a comprehensive vehicle software update with new and improved features. Any BMW leaving the plant from July with Operating System 7 will already have the updated roster.

Here's what you can expect from the upgrade.

BMW Maps

2021 BMW 5 Series

Photo courtesy of BMW

The experience of using BMW Maps will be improved. BMW says that it will be faster, more intuitive, and more accurate. Destinations can be entered more easily and new cloud-based route calculation improves performance.

BMW Maps will now use real-time traffic information in addition to historical and extrapolated data to optimize routing. That data has been collected from over 14 million BMW vehicles. The automaker says that the system, "avoids unnecessary detours through residential areas."

When searching for a destination, BMW Maps lists the search results based on the vehicle's position. The application will now provide contextual information for points of interest including ratings, business hours, and images.

Connected Parking functionality also supports the search for parking spaces with additional services.

Connected Charging

2021 BMW 5 Series

Photo courtesy of BMW

BMW's Connected Charging services are being expanded as part of the update. Customers can now view details of past charging processes in the app and define specific time windows in which the car should be charged. The app can now also send push notifications directly to the customer's smartphone when charging events occur.

Public charging information has been expanded as well, now offering more detailed information on charging stations including opening hours, providers, or authentication options. Users can also see points of interest nearby like cafés or restaurants.

All-electric vehicles now push their projected range to the app, which users can view in the form of a blue circle on the map overview.

If their BMW senses that a driver needs a break, the app will automatically suggest stopover points that include charging destinations.

BMW Digital Key

2021 BMW 5 Series

Photo courtesy of BMW

On the heels of an announcement at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, BMW has confirmed that the innovation is part of the upgrade, not just coming to new products. Click here for more information about this specific feature.

Wireless Android Auto

2021 BMW 5 Series

Photo courtesy of BMW

Many new luxury vehicles are going wireless so it's no surprise that BMW is following the trend - something they announced in December. As part of the new update, Android Auto will become wireless in vehicles already equipped with Android Auto.

Users can access Google Assistant and interact with their smartphone with their voice and see the results on BMW's infotainment screen.

Additionally, the capability allows for adoption of Google Maps turn-by-turn guidance that is displayed on the vehicle's instrument cluster and head up display.

BMW Personal Assistant

2021 BMW 5 Series

Photo courtesy of BMW

The BMW Personal Assistant system is getting a new design. It has been enabled with intelligent functionality as well. This means that the system can now do things like show a graphic on the screen that turns toward the person talking (driver or passenger).

BMW says that the update allows the Personal Assistant to provide "proactive assistance with possible voice commands to improve natural interaction."

Here's how to get the update

Certain BMW vehicles built before July are capable of over-the-air updates. BMW has been enabling remote software upgrades since 2018.

For those vehicles, the update will be pushed to the cars starting in the third quarter of the year. The automaker says that around 20 minutes of installation time is required.

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European sports sedan

Grab this 2000 BMW M5 before someone else does

Classic good looks and a rowdy V8 are the story here.

Bring a Trailer

We could spend all day bemoaning the rise of car auction sites and their impact on prices, but that won't do any good. The damage has been done. Of course, there are exceptions to the sky-high pricing we typically see on auction sites, and some cars are worth the money. This 2000 BMW M5 is one of them, and its current auction bid of just $15,250 makes us think it could go for a decent price.

The E39 M5 is one of the most legendary and sought-aftersports sedans of all time. Its 4.9-liter V8 produced 394 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque when it was new, which isn't all that crazy by today's standards, but an almost 400-horsepower family car was a big deal at the time. That magical engine is paired with a six-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive – an enthusiast's dream recipe.


2000 BMW M5 This car is in great shape for its age.Bring a Trailer


Inside, this car's tan leather upholstery looks great, and matches well with its black exterior. The seller has kept mods to a minimum, with just a set of aftermarket headlights on the list of changes. The car's original navigation system and head unit appear to be in place and the entire package is so well preserved it's amazing that the car hasn't drawn more interest so far.

Where this M5 will end up is anybody's guess. These cars are particularly difficult to find in any condition that could be called drivable, so this car's relatively low $15,000 current bid amount is surprising. Commentors on this auction are just as surprised as we are, and are asking where the love has gone for this M5. Of course, someone could swoop in at the last moment and start a bidding war, and with a full day left on the clock there's plenty of time for some action.


2000 BMW M5 The tan leather is nearly perfect.Bring a Trailer

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Updated crossovers

BMW Announces Updates for 2022 X3 and X4

The X3 and X4 get meaningful updates for 2022.

BMW

European luxury brands have fully embraced the SUV and crossover craze. Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and BMW have all drastically increased their utility vehicle catalogs in recent years, but haven't forgotten fun and drivability along the way. BMW in particular offers several models, each of which can be had in high-performance variants or with performance options packages. Two, the X3 and X4, will receive meaningful updates for the 2022 model year, with new powertrain tech and upgraded standard features.

The standard vehicles will be powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. All X3 and X4 models will get an eight-speed automatic transmission, and most will get standard all-wheel drive. Only the base X3 sDrive model will miss out. Both the X3 and X4 will be available with a Dynamic Handling Package, along with various steering and suspension upgrades. A Performance Control feature will be available for X3 models equipped with the M Sport package and standard for all X4 models, which brings the ability to shift torque to the rear wheels for better traction.


2022 BMW X4 Because of its sloping roof, BMW calls the X4 a coupe.BMW


Both the X3 and X4 will also be available in performance-oriented forms. The M40i models will be powered by a twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six engine that produces 382 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. BMW says the engine is powerful enough to propel the crossovers to 60 mph from a standstill in just 4.4 seconds and on to a stop speed of either 130 or 155 mph, depending on the tire.

BMW's Live Cockpit Plus system is standard for the X3, which includes a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen and a 5.1-inch color display in the center of a traditional gauge cluster. X4 models and upgraded X3 models will get a digital gauge cluster that measures 12.3 inches, along with a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Called Live Cockpit Professional, the system is based on BMW's latest iDrive 7.0 software and can display information such as maps and vehicle data directly in front of the driver. BMW says that iDrive 7.0 allows the vehicles to be updated over-the-air to add new digital services and keep vehicle systems running properly.


2022 BMW X4 Both the X3 and X4 will be available in high-peformance M models.BMW


If you're hoping to get ahold of the new X3 or X4, production will begin in August 2021 at BMW's Spartanburg, SC facility. Pricing will begin at $43,700 for the X3 and $51,800 for the X4. Both vehicles will be subject to a $995 destination charge and taxes.

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