Audi brought some interior bits from the upcoming A3 redesign to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. While the console, dash, and other pieces on exhibit don’t give any hints of what the exterior of the redesigned compact will look like, the display makes a dandy way to show some new features coming to Audi Connect.
The touchpad recently introduced on A6 and A7 models that lets drivers navigate through menus and request information with the swipe of a finger is gone. The controls are now integrated into the top of the system’s console-mounted control wheel, eliminating the need for a separate touch pad. Some of the buttons surrounding the knob have also been removed, replaced by toggle switches to scroll through functions in the interest of simplifying things.
A new seven-inch 3D screen provides improved graphics for navigation and other functions, and it displays Google Earth and Street View with actual images of destinations. Addresses, points-of-interest requests, and other commands can be input using voice.
Enhanced head-up display features will include 3D imaging that can position a transparent arrow on the windshield, hovering over the actual intersection as it approaches and growing larger as the turn nears. Navigation will also show the direction the road turns after a blind rise.
Another new available feature will be a cell-phone compartment in the center armrest and known as the Audi Phone Box. Audi says the box will pair with any type of cell phone, and it includes an antenna, signal amplifier, and USB charging port. Contactless charging is coming later on.
Making all these enhancements possible is a new modular chipset that simplifies future upgrades, as well as the integration of the new Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile radio standard. LTE is designed to handle large amounts of data, and Audi says the technology is expected to play a large part in future Vehicle-to-X communication, enabling cars to communicate with each other and the transportation infrastructure.
Expect to see these new Audi Connect features start to appear when the rest of the redesigned A3 arrives in the fall of 2012.