Not content to pummel CES show goers with laser lights and self-piloting vehicles, Audi has also pulled the wraps (well, some of the wraps) off the interior of its upcoming next-gen TT. While the car itself wasn’t on hand for us to check out, Audi did mock up the cockpit, complete with its all-new Virtual Cockpit central display and the latest iteration of the company’s Multi Media Interface (MMI).
Virtual Display is Audi’s new brand name for a completely digital reinterpretation of the instrument binnacle, by way of a 12.3-inch TFT screen. Audi tells us that there are two operable modes for Virtual Display: in the standard mode, an average-sized tachometer and speedometer flank a smaller infotainment portion in the center. Infotainment mode, meanwhile, shrinks the gauges to discreet circles and allows the navigation map, audio controls, or whichever system is being operated by the driver, to fill the remaining screen real estate.
This design, says Audi, allowed engineers to slim down the size of the center console as a whole, without reducing function for the driver. We can say that it looks very impressive as a demonstrator, but we will need some time with it in a moving vehicle before we’re convinced it isn’t slightly more distracting that a traditional setup.
MMI has also been made over for introduction on the next TT, with the infotainment system’s current four buttons and one central rotary dial being replace with a more streamlined interface. There are only two lateral buttons in the new system, while the dial receives a touchpad on its top that functions in much the same way as the squarish touchpad found in current, top-line Audi products. Write out a letter or number with the tip of your finger on the touchpad, and the system will recognize and quickly decode it for whichever function you are attempting. (See the video below for a very short demo of the MMI touchpad.)
Of course, even in this static setup, you can tell that the new TT cabin is build well and designed impeccably. The circular air vents house climate control displays in a nifty integration of form and function, while the metal and leather bits feel both substantial and durable. Bring on the full car, we say.
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CES: First impressions of Audi’s next TT interior and Virtual Cockpit [w/video]