Black panel display in 535GT? [Archive] - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

: Black panel display in 535GT?

05-20-2011, 09:51 AM
Stumbled across an older thread which was discussing the different variants of the "Black Panel" display on the different flavors of the 5-series, and its got me confused about my current order (still tweakable).

Hoping someone can summarize what is the difference between the "Full black panel" display (which everyone agrees is on the 7-series and all 550GT cars, at least) and the "partial" version on most 5-series cars?

Does "full panel" mean the entire background behind the dials is an LCD screen? Or just something about how the physical gauge numbers are lit? Is the difference a big deal?

When I test drove, I actually drove a combination of some GTs and some 5-series, so now I'm confused about what I saw.

Based on older threads, it seemed like the "Full" panel was on:

- All 550GTs
- Some 535GTs after a certain date or if you order the HUD option
- Some 5-series if you order the HUD option

Also a whole lot of confusion about whether the HUD option is full-color or not.

Can anyone with a 535GT w/o HUD confirm what they have? That's my current config, but on the fence about adding HUD (more likely if its full-color and also enhances the instrument cluster in some meaningful way).


05-20-2011, 11:43 AM
My 535GT with sport/nav/camera/convenience's dash is all black when the car is shut off, except for the rings for mph/rpm/etc. When you power it up everything shows up, but I can't tell whether it is LCD or just a backlit permanent display. Day mode the numbers are white, night mode they are red.

Some people like the aesthetics of it, but I can't say it makes a big difference to me. You aren't in the car very long when it is blacked out.

05-21-2011, 08:53 AM
I have a 2011 550GT xDrive, HUD, NAV, etc etc. I don't have 100% LCD. I don't think such a thing exists.

The lower third of the display is full LCD. The upper 2/3 are fixed, though the black is very good and unless the lighting is just so, you can't tell the symbols are actually preprinted against the blackness. Daytime dials illuminate white as night falls they change to orange - concurrent with the Nav display changing from day to night as well.

On the lower third, dial displays will disappear and be replaced with alerts, warnings and information screens as things happen (seat belt, low fuel, door open, remote key not in cabin, etc.).

Hope that helps.

05-21-2011, 10:17 AM
Thanks - I think I have a handle on it now. To summarize (for others who stumble across this thread):

Full Black Panel = Full width lower part of gauges is LCD screen, upper part numbers effectively disappear when car is off, leaving just the rings visible. All 7-series aonend all current GT cars.
Extended Black Panel = Full width lower part of gauges is LCD, upper part is normal (digits visible when off). Later-production 5-series cars, or earlier production with certain options (HUD, etc.)
Standard Black Panel = Right-side & center only of gauges is LCD, remainder is normal dash. Earlier production 5-series.

Not 100% sure of above, but that's what I've pieced together. Thanks for the replies!

05-21-2011, 12:21 PM
I'd say you've got it right!

05-21-2011, 12:45 PM
I noticed today that as soon as I open the door the numbers appear, so it really only seems to be black when the car is empty. Very refrigerator light-like.

05-27-2011, 03:56 PM
I noticed today that as soon as I open the door the numbers appear, so it really only seems to be black when the car is empty. Very refrigerator light-like.

Yup. Kind of neat. And note that when you're running the nav system in guidance mode, the directions also appear in the lower center of the display so you know what turn is coming up, etc. Pretty slick system!