Date:31 July 2014
There’s a temptation to grow nostalgic for a time when cars needed regular lubrication instead of app updates. But this misses what cars have become about – connecting people with other people and other places. It’s the same reason we love our phones, computers, and tablets.
Now available in applicable markets – the US, for instance – with a 4G LTE data connection and a wealth of advanced tech, the 2015 Audi A3 takes connecting to a new level by combining the physical and digital worlds better and faster than ever before.
Just be ready to pony up: an A3 with Audi’s full technology suite will cost around at least R400 000 in the consumer-friendly USA. The future has, after all, never been cheap.
Controller wheel (see image 3)
Instead of a separate touchpad like on larger Audis, the one here is integrated into the controller wheel. A separate volume knob doubles as a seek button.
Display (see image 4)
The 100 mm tick pop-up screen is dazzling. Powered by an Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, its 175 mm display is a precise, 3D instrument for monitoring everything about the car or accessing the world’s accumulated knowledge.
Infotainment (see image 5)
This is Audi’s first use of the Modular Infotainment Platform, which houses the hardware in a standard-size box. It’s modular because the entire unit can be swapped out and upgraded without affecting other systems. In other words, the design is future-proof.
Connectivity (see image 6)
Google point-of-interest search is built into the navigation menu. It also uses that connectivity to offer voice-dictation text messages. Finally, a car that implements technology as well as your phone – without the embarrassing selfies.
– John Pearley Huffman