Originally Posted by wdimagineer
Physically the controllers are the same dimensions so that at least doesn't prevent a retrofit and also means BMW doesn't have to redesign trim elements. A software upgrade will be required, for certain. On vehicles without touch, coding can probably enable it.
The only thing that might be necessary is additional wiring, but I suspect the existing connector can transmit the touch data. It is only 4 wires (12V, GND, data in, data out) but is fully bi-directional.
Just reviving an old thread
The iDrive with touch pad also add addtl modules to the system and from the first looks/info it won't be a simple retrofit via plug and play / sw update
Also the touch pad itself may not be for everyone as it seems to be fairly slow , you draw one letter and have to wait for it to be processed before you can draw the 2nd etc ...