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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
The new chapter in the highly successful story of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) and wagon (F11)

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  #1  
Old 08-19-2011, 04:59 PM
bmw_enthusiasm bmw_enthusiasm is offline
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ceramic controls

I am sure people who have complaints about the idrive had it with
the inaccuracy of the current interface (the plastic knob causes fatigue when you are
preoccupied driving).

I just remembered that when I test-drove the 650...I played with the ceramic controls
and the drive knob.
This thing is SOOOOO different!! its a heck of an interface.
Its heavier, there is great feedback on every click, and it really
sticks on your hand among menus. it has 'momentum' once you are engaged it won't' let go.

I read on a thread that I don't remember anymore,
that its possible to replace it and that 2012 offers this option.
I was wondering, anyone knows the part number on the 650 on this? or on the new 12 F10?

I would recommend for someone to purchase at least the knob module.
(shouldn't be so expensive if the whole package is $600...)
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  #2  
Old 08-19-2011, 05:28 PM
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Stealth.Pilot Stealth.Pilot is offline
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I thought about ordering this package but I don't like the mismatch of silver and ceramic finishes. They should have replaced all the center console trim with ceramic.
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  #3  
Old 08-19-2011, 05:29 PM
bmw_enthusiasm bmw_enthusiasm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth.Pilot View Post
I thought about ordering this package but I don't like the mismatch of silver and ceramic finishes. They should have replaced all the center console trim with ceramic.
If you feel this thing you will forget your color distinction abilities
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  #4  
Old 08-19-2011, 06:02 PM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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The plastic knob causes fatigue.....

uh, what?
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  #5  
Old 08-19-2011, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth.Pilot View Post
I thought about ordering this package but I don't like the mismatch of silver and ceramic finishes. They should have replaced all the center console trim with ceramic.
Ditto. I had the ceramic controls on my order, and when I got to the dealership and saw a 650 with the ceramic controls, and the rest of the interior trim in satin silver finish, I thought that it did not matched. I removed it form my order list and saved $650.00
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  #6  
Old 08-19-2011, 08:38 PM
bmw_enthusiasm bmw_enthusiasm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Needsdecaf View Post
The plastic knob causes fatigue.....

uh, what?
hmm....have you tried full caffeine?

Sometimes while driving you loose the attention because the knob is inaccurate
and you need visual feedback to make sure everything goes where you want to on the menu board. This implies distraction from driving. Especially when in high speed traffic.

On the contrary the ceramic on the 6 was sharp and accurate providing great
'clicky' feeling and the joystick won't turn around the moment you move it.
the result is you don't need to look at it to make sure you are doing it right.

This interruption can make you feel 'dizzy' - especially if you are stuck in a menu,
trying to enter or search a location,
you press the wrong button shifting the whole screen accidentally
and then you just don't know how to get back you are lost..and dizzy
this is what I meant.
Of course you can solve this problem with the programming
keys that will enable you to go back to an initial state. (i.e. full screen navi etc)
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  #7  
Old 08-19-2011, 08:41 PM
bmw_enthusiasm bmw_enthusiasm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alex_c View Post
Ditto. I had the ceramic controls on my order, and when I got to the dealership and saw a 650 with the ceramic controls, and the rest of the interior trim in satin silver finish, I thought that it did not matched. I removed it form my order list and saved $650.00
Its not about the material and the finish,
try it, the underlying mechanism is more robust. you are not paying only for the finish
its a whole different module
What I propose is not to get the entire package, but only the i- drive knob with its base order it from parts (hopefully should be only a portion from the $650)

Last edited by bmw_enthusiasm; 08-19-2011 at 08:44 PM.
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  #8  
Old 08-19-2011, 08:56 PM
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AutoUnion AutoUnion is offline
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I'm confused. What does the ceramic controls do actually?
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  #9  
Old 08-19-2011, 09:02 PM
Sonnie Sonnie is offline
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I might be interested in the iDrive replacement knob myself, if it ain't too badly priced.
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  #10  
Old 08-19-2011, 09:06 PM
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octopump octopump is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoUnion View Post
I'm confused. What does the ceramic controls do actually?

(Better) visual apparence and it woud seem better or superior tactile feedback?


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  #11  
Old 08-19-2011, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v12 View Post
(Better) visual apparence and it woud seem better or superior tactile feedback?


Woah, the blacked-out look looks great
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  #12  
Old 08-19-2011, 11:37 PM
cynerjist cynerjist is offline
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The tactile feedback has more to do with the mechanism inside the idrive knob than the surface material given both controllers are very close in size and shape. Perhaps the ceramic is ultralight in comparison and doesn't have the damped feel of the standard controller.

\Would a subtler finish with some well though laser engravings -- tasteful openings for illumination that also yield a bit of texture for improved tactile recognition/identification of individual buttons without needing to look at main consoles -- have been more sensible approach given the time they put into this?

Improve the base quality of the vehicle, don't give us an avante garde stand alone option or you are limiting the impact of your idea and will not be receiving any credit for it from the auto media unless it is a built-in feature of the car series. They will hand out review cars with this and the reviewer will say, "Yes it is interesting, glossy, and $650" before recommending better ways to spend your option money, Audi's usual mastery of interior material selection and build, or the blogs will make cracks about how BMW is dressing iDrive like a stripper for some cheap love.
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  #13  
Old 08-20-2011, 05:36 AM
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Stealth.Pilot Stealth.Pilot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cynerjist View Post
The tactile feedback has more to do with the mechanism inside the idrive knob than the surface material given both controllers are very close in size and shape. Perhaps the ceramic is ultralight in comparison and doesn't have the damped feel of the standard controller.

\Would a subtler finish with some well though laser engravings -- tasteful openings for illumination that also yield a bit of texture for improved tactile recognition/identification of individual buttons without needing to look at main consoles -- have been more sensible approach given the time they put into this?

Improve the base quality of the vehicle, don't give us an avante garde stand alone option or you are limiting the impact of your idea and will not be receiving any credit for it from the auto media unless it is a built-in feature of the car series. They will hand out review cars with this and the reviewer will say, "Yes it is interesting, glossy, and $650" before recommending better ways to spend your option money, Audi's usual mastery of interior material selection and build, or the blogs will make cracks about how BMW is dressing iDrive like a stripper for some cheap love.
I drove the 650 with and without ceramic controls at the team USA event (they had a base one and they had a loaded one). I couldn't tell the difference other than appearance. Maybe the 650 controller is just more tactile than the 550 one or maybe this is one of the non announced under the skin improvements on 2012 cars. Or maybe the OP is experiencing placebo effect.
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  #14  
Old 08-20-2011, 06:46 AM
tlm999 tlm999 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoUnion View Post
I'm confused. What does the ceramic controls do actually?
Same thing the non-ceramic controls do but for more money.
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  #15  
Old 08-20-2011, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by AutoUnion View Post
I'm confused. What does the ceramic controls do actually?
If you have to ask it's clear you have not been touched by "the Dot."
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  #16  
Old 08-20-2011, 08:11 AM
Sonnie Sonnie is offline
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Hmmm... so I guess touching the Dot is not the same as being touched by the Dot. Cause I admit... I asked the same question about the ceramic controls... but not publicly, so maybe there is the difference. That Dot is doing some strange things to us.
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  #17  
Old 08-20-2011, 09:04 AM
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I think a double-blind test is in order to remove the placebo effect of the $650 ceramic control. Personally, I find nothing wrong or difficult with my standard iDrive interface. I think it's very interesting how they designed the iDrive knob, and other knobs (climate control, etc) how they have a rubberized area at the top and a smooth "metal" surface below. This makes it less likely to have the knob slip. I noticed this immediately the first time I sat in an F10 in the showroom.
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  #18  
Old 08-20-2011, 09:16 AM
bmw_enthusiasm bmw_enthusiasm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth.Pilot View Post
I drove the 650 with and without ceramic controls at the team USA event (they had a base one and they had a loaded one). I couldn't tell the difference other than appearance. Maybe the 650 controller is just more tactile than the 550 one or maybe this is one of the non announced under the skin improvements on 2012 cars. Or maybe the OP is experiencing placebo effect.
Of course it must be the underlying mechanism but I was wondering if it comes as
a single module (whole piece) that can be ordered even if its a 650 part and see if it fits the 550...

and the feedback is there you need to play with the navi a little you will see.
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  #19  
Old 08-20-2011, 09:17 AM
Ronsell Ronsell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markl53 View Post
i think a double-blind test is in order to remove the placebo effect of the $650 ceramic control. Personally, i find nothing wrong or difficult with my standard idrive interface. I think it's very interesting how they designed the idrive knob, and other knobs (climate control, etc) how they have a rubberized area at the top and a smooth "metal" surface below. This makes it less likely to have the knob slip. I noticed this immediately the first time i sat in an f10 in the showroom.
+1
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  #20  
Old 08-20-2011, 09:34 AM
bmw_enthusiasm bmw_enthusiasm is offline
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+1
+2

ok so the ceramic felt 'heavy' as well as more 'springy'
you can't be blindfolded because you need to look at the screen
but don't look below that screen then.
let the experiment begin!
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  #21  
Old 08-20-2011, 10:08 AM
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65829206444 and 65829206448 are alternates on F07

65829206444 is metal for $458
65829206448 is ceramic for $633

65829206444 fits F10 so it is likely 65829206448 fits also.

There does not seem to be an option to buy parts of this controller.
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...65&fg=50&hl=27

YMMV
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  #22  
Old 08-20-2011, 10:10 AM
GARBAJ GARBAJ is offline
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I do think that the ceramic controls feel slightly more "substantial" if that is at all possible...
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  #23  
Old 08-20-2011, 10:11 AM
bmw_enthusiasm bmw_enthusiasm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erregend View Post
65829206444 and 65829206448 are alternates on F07

65829206444 is metal for $458
65829206448 is ceramic for $633

65829206444 fits F10 so it is likely 65829206448 fits also.

There does not seem to be an option to buy parts of this controller.
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...65&fg=50&hl=27

YMMV
WOW!
thank you so much for the valuable info.
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  #24  
Old 08-20-2011, 11:34 AM
MBrown1003 MBrown1003 is offline
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My first iDrive was in my 2007 335i. That was a nicely sculpted knob that , and it had haptic feedback -- when you got to the end of a set of options, the knob stopped turning. That was fantastic.

My 2008 M3 has a knob that's really kinda ugly, doesn't feel as solid, and they dropped the haptic feedback (took too much processing power, as I understand it). The feel of the controller in the F10 is nicer...looking forward to getting the [bleep]ing thing back here after my Euro Delivery and reacquaintaing myself with it!!
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  #25  
Old 08-20-2011, 05:23 PM
cynerjist cynerjist is offline
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Originally Posted by MBrown1003 View Post
My first iDrive was in my 2007 335i. That was a nicely sculpted knob that , and it had haptic feedback -- when you got to the end of a set of options, the knob stopped turning. That was fantastic.

My 2008 M3 has a knob that's really kinda ugly, doesn't feel as solid, and they dropped the haptic feedback (took too much processing power, as I understand it). The feel of the controller in the F10 is nicer...looking forward to getting the [bleep]ing thing back here after my Euro Delivery and reacquaintaing myself with it!!
I'm happy to see the term "haptic feedback" used by someone. My graduate research was in this area and most of this work was in the early 2000s and we were collaborating with American and Japanese vehicle manufacturers to make buttons feel "expensive", user studies on early electronic steering systems, and driver assistance technologies via haptic feedback and tactile cues.

This is going off-topic, but I have to say BMW has done a wonderful job with the UI (iDrive). It is funny to me how the Consumer Reports guy calls it "typical BMW overengineering" yet look at how it has been copied. I will say Audi does better with the buttons.
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