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BMW's new instrument cluster design looks mighty slick

Say goodbye to physical gauges, folks.

BMW

With its last few debuts, BMW has slowly expanded the portion of its gauge cluster dedicated to screens instead of traditional dials. The next iteration of its instrument cluster ditches physical gauges entirely.

During its Digital Day 2018 event, BMW has offered up a look at the next iteration of its iDrive infotainment system -- specifically, what goes on in the instrument cluster. It's called BMW Operating System 7.0 for now, but what it lacks in name-based originality, it makes up for with fresh aesthetics and an attempt to make everything as distraction-free as possible.

The iconic orange glow of its gauges might be gone, but that color lives on in the design of this new gauge cluster... in Normal mode, at least. Things change for Eco and Sport.

BMW

The style was first previewed on the Concept X7, which went into preproduction in December. BMW's traditional circular gauges have disappeared in favor of two angular gauges on either end of the all-digital gauge cluster screen. There's enough space in the middle for a map or other pertinent information. The left side houses the speedometer, while the right side switches between fuel economy readouts and a tachometer, depending on vehicle mode. Think of it like BMW's spin on Audi's Virtual Cockpit.

The design is said to seamlessly incorporate with the standard infotainment screen, which will live on in the center stack. BMW claims a main menu covered in swappable tiles will allow each user to have a personalized system that puts the most personally pertinent content front and center. In terms of design, it's pretty similar to what's out there right now, albeit with some crisper fonts and images.

Like other modern BMW systems, OS 7.0 won't limit the user to a single input method. It can be manipulated using BMW's iDrive dial, touch, voice and gesture controls.

BMW is going all-in on its focus to provide deep personalization, something we previewed last July alongside the announcement of its Connected+ suite of connected-car services. Your car will know your tastes based on a cloud profile that can be sent to any connected BMW, whether you own it or not. Now, even the gauge cluster will be built to cater to you. 

If you don't like cool colors in your gauge cluster, the answer is simple -- always drive in Sport!

BMW