Sporty, elegant and open – The new Audi A3 Cabriolet
Infotainment systems and Audi connect
In its infotainment systems, the new A3 Cabriolet showcases the concentrated expertise of Audi. The base system is the standard Audi radio, which has four loudspeakers and can be folded out from the top of the instrument panel. The next level up is the MMI radio, which drives eight loudspeakers; it comes with an electrically extending 5.8-inch color monitor and the MMI user interface terminal. The connectivity package can be added, which offers many interfacing and playback options. If the customer later buys an SD card with navigation data or chooses the navigation package when ordering the car, the MMI radio serves as a navigation system.
The high-end solution is the MMI navigation plus with MMI touch. It offers an internal flash memory with 64 GB capacity, a DVD drive, a radio with three tuners, two card readers, the Audi music interface (AMI) and a Bluetooth interface. A speed limit display based on navigation data rounds out the program.
The MMI terminal on the console of the center tunnel serves to control the many functions. Its large rotary/push switch, together with the touchwheel, becomes a touchpad – the top of which is a touch-sensitive surface. The driver writes the letters or numbers he or she wishes to input for navigation or a phone call on the touch-sensitive screen pad by fingertip; the system then provides acoustic feedback after each character.
Arranged around the touchwheel are a main menu button and a back button, four softkeys for navigating through the menus and two rocker switches which cover the areas of navigation, telephone, radio and media. The volume control has a skip function for skipping to different titles. Many functions can also be controlled via the optional multifunction steering wheel with its buttons, rocker switches and rollers.
At the system start, the 7-inch color monitor extends electrically from the instrument panel. Its high-gloss black magnesium housing is only 11 millimeters (0.43 in) thick – as thin as a high-end cell phone. With its 800 x 480 pixel resolution, the display delivers razor-sharp images in brilliant colors, while efficient LEDs create its backlighting.
Data transfer via LTE: Audi connect
The MMI navigation plus system becomes even more appealing with the supplemental system Audi connect – a data transmission module that establishes a connection to the Internet. It utilizes the 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) standard whenever possible. Audi is the world’s first manufacturer to implement it in cars.
Passengers in the new A3 Cabriolet can surf and email freely over the WLAN hotspot that comes with the module – with up to eight mobile devices. The system uses LTE to deliver the customized services of Audi connect to the driver – from navigation with Google Earth and Google Street View to Audi music stream web radio and online traffic information. The online community services Facebook and Twitter have also been integrated in a car-friendly way.
Audi connect uses the car’s antenna, which ensures optimal reception. A digital speech processor delivers excellent hands-free call quality, outputting voice signals over the car’s sound system. Encryption via the WPA2 standard makes data transmission secure. All the driver needs to do to use Audi connect is insert a data-capable SIM card. The connection can also be established using the SIM Access Profile of a compatible cell phone. There are no extra charges for this, and the customer does not need to sign a separate contract
Attractive components round out the infotainment options. They include a tuner for digital radio reception (DAB+) and the Audi Phone Box, which conveniently establishes a wireless interface between the cell phone and the car’s antenna. At work in the Audi sound system is a six-channel amplifier with ten loudspeakers.
The top system in the new Audi A3 Cabriolet is the Bang & Olufsen Sound System. Its amplifier, located under the driver’s seat, has 625 watts of acoustic power and 13 channels, and it drives 13 loudspeakers including a center speaker and two kick-bass loudspeakers. The sound processor analyzes noise levels inside the car with a microphone to optimize the sound. In combination with the DVD drive of the MMI navigation plus, the sound is also output in 5.1 surround format.
The Bang & Olufsen Sound System also has a fascinating visual appearance. Running along the upper border of the woofers in the doors is a boomerang-shaped trim strip of anodized aluminum, in which the logo of the Danish hi-fi specialist is laser-engraved. Located between the trim strip and the loudspeaker screen is a narrow light guide that radiates white LED light.