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Which iDrive do I have? (CCC, CIC, NBT)

Which iDrive do I have? (CCC, CIC, NBT)

bmw idrive

This article will help you identify the version of iDrive computer on your car (commonly referred to as “navigation”). This is important when you want to upgrade your iDrive system to get Apple Carplay or Android Auto in your BMW.

BMW iDrive quick overview

The iDrive system was introduced in BMW vehicles starting from the production year 2001 and has been utilized ever since.

Its primary objective is to centralize all cabin control functions into a single system, featuring a central computer often referred to as the 'navigation' system. This central computer oversees various peripherals such as bluetooth modules, video units, and radio tuners. The user interface comprises an LCD display on the dashboard and a joystick-like controller positioned between the front seats. Typically, the main iDrive computer is housed within the dashboard, and its front panel, equipped with several control buttons, is accessible to the user.

The iDrive computer can vary depending on the car model and production year, with common versions including CCC (Car Communication Computer), CIC (Car Information Computer), and Next Best Thing (NBT). Further details regarding these computers will be provided.

bmw idrive dashboard

The iDrive system enables both the driver and front passenger to manage audio, lighting, video, climate control, navigation, and communication features such as Bluetooth calls.2008

Rolls Royce also utilizes the iDrive system, as it falls under the BMW brand umbrella. Additionally, Mini cars, another subsidiary of BMW, incorporate a variant of the iDrive system known as "Connected."

Where do you find the iDrive navigation computer?

With the exception of the initial generation iDrive, which is positioned in the trunk of the vehicle, all subsequent iDrive computers are situated within the dashboard. To remove the unit, it typically involves taking off the trim pieces covering the sides, akin to removing a picture frame, disconnecting some cables, and then it can be removed.

So, there are 2 ways to determine which iDrive system you have:

  • Check the car type, menu style, year of production
  • Check the LVDS connector

CCC (Car Communication Computer)

This is the “CCC” version of iDrive. It was in use until around 2009 (year varies by vehicle model) and was replaced by the “CIC” version. CCC based systems use a map DVD from Navteq in a dedicated DVD drive. CCC iDrive is available on the following cars:

  • 1-Series E81/E82/E87/E88 > 09/ 2008
  • 3-Series E90/E91/E92/E93 > 08/ 2008
  • 5-Series E60/E61 > 08/ 2009
  • 6-Series E63/E64 > 08/ 2009
  • X5 Series E70 > 2010
  • X6 E71

ccc menu

Here are the 3 most common iDrive controllers that come with the CCC navigation.

ccc idriveccc idriveccc idrive

CIC (Car Information Computer)

This is the “CIC” version of iDrive. It was introduced around 2009 (year varies by vehicle model) and replaced the “CCC” version. CIC-based systems use maps from TeleAtlas that are installed on an internal Hard Disk Drive (HDD).

  • 1-Series E81/E82/E87/E88 09/2008 >
  • 3-Series E90/E91/E92/E93 09/2008 >
  • 5-Series E60/E61 09/2008 >
  • 5-Series F07/F10/F11 09/2008 >
  • 6-Series E63/E64 09/2008 >
  • 7-Series F01/F02 09/2008 >
  • X5 E70 09/2009 >

cic menu

Here is the most common iDrive controller that comes with the CIC navigation.

cic idrive

Note: Mind that this controller is also used with the CCC LCI version, but it is typically a CIC controller.

NBT (Next Big Thing)

This is the newest version of iDrive known as “NBT”.  It was introduced for 2013 model cars (year varies by vehicle model) and replaced the “CIC” version shown above. It is very similar in style to the CIC model but has a 3D effect, is more detailed, and has sharper colors. If you’re unsure whether you have CIC or NTB, you can tell by the menu selections. With NBT, the whole line is highighted red while CIC uses a red box outline.

  • 1-Series F20/F21
  • 2-Series F22/F23
  • 3-Series F30/F31/F34/F80
  • 4-Series F32/F33/F36
  • 5-Series F10/F11/F18
  • 6-Series F06/F12/F13
  • 7-Series F01/F02/F03
  • X3 F25
  • X4 F26
  • X5 F15/F85
  • X6 F16/F86
  • i3
  • i8

Here is the most common iDrive controller that comes with the NBT navigation.

nbt idrive

EVO (Next Big Thing Evolution)

This latest version of iDrive known as “NBT EVO”.  It was introduced approx from 06/2016.

  • 1-Series F20/F21
  • 2-Series F22/F23
  • 3-Series F30/F31/F34/F80
  • 4-Series F32/F33/F36
  • 5-Series G30/G31/G38
  • 6-Series F06/F12/F13
  • 7-Series G11/G12/G13
  • X3 F25
  • X3 G01
  • X4 F26
  • X5 F16/F86

NBT EVO ID4 home menu

NBT EVO ID5 home menu

NBT EVO ID6 home menu

Note: They use the same iDrive controller as for NBT.

MGU (Media Graphic Unit)

  • 3-Series G20
  • 8-Series G14/G15
  • X5 G05
  • Z4 G29

Of course, this doesn’t guarantee that you will be able to determine your iDrive version with 100% accuracy, because in some countries the production month can be different. But at least you’ll have some understanding which head unit can be in your BMW.

Check the LVDS connector

For some car types, especially for the car with CIC and made in 2012~2014, the LVDS might be 4 Pin or 6 Pin, we suggest removing the original screen to check the LVDS connector.

Usually, the CIC should have 4 PIN LVDS, but in some special cars, it is 6 PIN LVDS!

Example No.1: BMW 1 Series F20 2014, menu style is CIC, the LVDS is 6 PIN.

Example No.2: BMW 335i xDrive with CIC menu and 6 Pin LVDS.

For these car models, if you order a wrong Carplay module, it can not install to the car (the LVDS connector is different). So, the best way is to remove the dashboard and check the LVDS connector, then it will 100% confirm the car compatibility. 

You can check our full BMW wireless Carplay adapter selection here!

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