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Audi unveils new A3 interior at 2012 CES

Wed, 11 Jan 2012

Audi has revealed the interior of the next Audi A3 at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas...

And what should I know about the insides of the new Audi A3?

The interior of the A3 was unveiled at the Consumer Electronic Shows (CES) in Las Vegas, where there was lot of technical talk about plug-in modules and dual-core processors, but what you need to know is that the new A3 ushers in Audi’s next-gen modular infotainment platform.

Which means the A3 finally has Audi’s MMI infotainment system. But it’s also the first to have a ‘touchwheel’, which integrates the MMI rotary dial and the touch pad that features in the A6, A7 and A8. The top of the dial is now touch sensitive, with a handwriting recognition system, so the driver and passenger can scrawl characters rather than twiddling the knob. Rocker switches ahead of the dial operate the telephone/navigation and media/radio functions, and it’s all viewed on a pop-up 7in screen that's just 11mm thick.

Other new tech includes the Audi Phone Box. Pop your mobile into the centre armrest and the A3’s in-built antenna connects up to boost signal. You still have to plug your phone in to charge it, but Audi is working on contactless charging. Other changes to the A3 include a new electromechanical handbrake to free up cabin space, and a freely assignable button on the steering wheel.

The MMI system means the interior of the new A3 is much more minimalist than ever before, and more sporting with TT-inspired circular air vents. The rest of the Audi A3 will be revealed in full at the 2012 Geneva motor show in March, but the exterior of the new 1-series and Golf rival is visible on some of the MMI screen images (right).

Anything else?

Audi also revealed a new head-up display system at the CES. It can project an arrow on the windscreen that becomes larger as you approach a junction, show which way the road will go over a hill, and when the night vision system is active, display warnings when pedestrians are detected, plus show how far they are from the car and which direction they have come from.

By Ben Pulman