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Auid TT Virtual Cockpit

Afternoon TT

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held annually in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, is this year taking place January 6-10.

Amongst the smartphones, cameras and game consoles are a host of innovations in the world of driving and driver assistance technology. Renault made the first ever public demonstration of their 100% electric Formula E model, whilst Kia showcased the various ways in which car and driver might interact in years to come. But the talk of the show, to the extent that they even get a mention on the Wikipedia preview, is apparently Audi.

Admittedly, the Wikipedia entry speaks of the new intelligent LED headlights Audi are developing. That's exciting enough, but more exciting by far is the sneak preview of the interior of the forthcoming new Audi TT.

The New Audi TT

How strange to see the interior of a car before the exterior. But that's exactly what visitors to the 2014 CES were treated to – the exposed interior of the new Audi TT. It's hard to get a sense of space and ambience with no roof or doors to constrict you, so the emphasis here was very much upon the technology, and the ways in which it will enhance the driving experience.

Says Audi Technical Development Manager Prof. Ulrich Hackenberg, “The first Audi TT was the design icon per se, the second generation was even sportier, right through to the TT RS plus with its five-cylinder TFSI and 360PS.

“And with the new Audi TT, the driver will be able to experience the technology to an even greater extent – just as would be expected from a genuine sports car. And it comes with a new generation of electronics and connectivity features.”

What To Expect From The New Audi TT Interior

The interior of the new Audi TT features a fully digital instrument cluster, which removes the need for a central MMI monitor through displaying all relevant information directly in front of the driver. This allowed the designers to slim down the instrument panel architecture in an attempt to visually convey Audi's lightweight construction principal.

The new Audi TT has been completely redesigned from the ground up. Set low and with an undeniable turbine feel, the instrument panel has been designed to resemble the wing of an aircraft from above. A classic TT touch is the round air nozzles, here somewhat bringing to mind jet engines, with the air conditioning controls housed within the vents themselves.

Audi TT Interior

The 12.3” TFT monitor lets you switch between two display modes. Classic view places the speedometer and rev counter in the foreground, whilst Infotainment mode offers more prominence to such functions as the navigation map.

The interior of the new Audi TT is wholly driver focused, with a multifunctional, flat-bottomed steering wheel placing control of almost all functions directly at your fingertips. The infotainment system menu is structured in a manner similar to a smartphone, and can be accessed using the unique MMI touch system. Currently requiring four buttons to control, Audi promise to have this reduced to two “in future”.

Streamlined and simplified, Audi describe the interior of the new Audi TT as a “virtual cockpit”, owing to its MMI interface and fully-digital instrument cluster. People might initially struggle to adapt to and trust an entirely digital display. It might make driving feel a little bit too much like a video game. In time, though, this could become the new normal, with analogue displays becoming the preserve of puritans and collectors.