Before the big comeback, the Bavarians tested waters with the Z9 concept car which debuted at IAA Frankfurt in autumn 1999. The showcar was penned by the then-recently appointed design director Chris Bangle . The Z9 set a complete change of paradigm from the usual BMW styling featured on the models from the ’90s decade. Utterly futuristic and controversial at the same time, the Z9 previewed many of the design and technological novelties that would arrive on production models in the following years. One of them was the new dashboard architecture, in which the central point was the Intuitive Interaction Conception, which was to become the iDrive beginning with the premiere of the E65/E66 7 Series in 2001.