Automotive infotainment also puts the A3 Sedan at the head of the field, showcasing the full extent of the brand’s expertise.
Infotainment for the A3 Sedan was conceived as a set of modular components. It all starts with the standard Audi radio and four loudspeakers. The first upgrade is to the MMI radio which supplies sound to eight loudspeakers. It also features an electrically telescoping 5.8-inch color monitor and the MMI control panel atop the center console. There is also a connectivity package offering numerous plug-in and playback options. If an A3 Sedan customer purchases an SD card with navigation data down the road – or chooses the navigation package from the very beginning – the MMI radio is transformed into a navigation system.
The top-of-the-line version MMI navigation plus with MMI touch features an internal flash-memory drive with 64 GB of storage capacity as well as a DVD drive, a radio with a triple tuner and eight loudspeakers. This version also boasts two memory-card readers, Audi Music Interface (AMI) and a Bluetooth interface for integration of mobile playback devices and smartphones. Whole-word voice input allows the driver to simply explain his destination – or effortlessly operate the phone, Audi connect services and music playback using his voice. Last but not least, a speed-limit indicator reflects real-time data.
The MMI’s central computer is housed in the glove compartment. It comprises two units: the radio car control unit and the MMX board (MMX = Multi-Media eXtension). One of the plug-in module’s key components is a speedy T-20 graphics processor from market leader Nvidia’s Tegra 2 series. This chip generates complex 3D images and handles all online, voice-input, media, navigation and telephone functions.
When the MMI operating system starts up, its 7-inch color screen automatically emerges from the instrument panel. It provides truly crisp images in vivid colors thanks to its resolution of 800x480 pixels; efficient LEDs supply backlighting. Its layer of glass is united directly with the surface of the TFT screen by means of a special lamination process, which leaves no air gap. Premium smartphones are no different. The high-gloss black housing made of lightweight magnesium underscores its elegant look. Just eleven millimeters thick (0.43 in), it is as thin as a mobile telephone.
Clear and logical: The MMI terminal
The MMI terminal is used to control the numerous functions. The conventional wheel/pushbutton controller has been combined with the MMI touchpad to create the touchwheel. A touch-sensitive screen is atop the touchwheel. The driver writes letters or numbers on the screen with his finger and the system provides acoustic feedback after each character is entered. This, in turn, allows the driver to phone or provides him with navigational information.
A straightforward menu makes everything easy to use from day one. The touchwheel is surrounded by a Main Menu key and a Back key; four softkeys for navigating menus; and two rocker switches for navigation, phone, radio and media. The volume control knob can be used to skip tracks. Buttons, paddles, and rollers on the optional multifunction steering wheel can likewise control many functions.
Yet more appealing infotainment options are available for the Audi A3 Sedan. They include a tuner for digital radio reception (DAB+) and the Audi Phone Box, which conveniently and wirelessly links a smartphone to the vehicle’s antenna. Starting with the MMI Radio package, the Audi sound system is an option. Its six-channel amplifier supplies sound to ten loudspeakers.
A Bang & Olufsen sound system will appeal to discerning audiophiles. Installed beneath the driver’s seat, its amplifier delivers 705 watts of sound via 15 channels to 14 active loudspeakers – among them a center speaker and a subwoofer. The system uses a microphone to analyze unwanted noise in the car’s interior and then adjusts accordingly. In combination with the MMI navigation plus DVD drive, music can also play in 5.1 surround sound.
The Bang & Olufsen sound system is also a feast for the eyes. Along the upper edge of the bass speakers in the front doors, a boomerang-like trim strip made of anodized aluminum bears a laser-etched logo of the Danish hi-fi specialists. Also located between the trim strip and the loudspeaker screen is a narrow light guide that radiates white LED light.
The equipment and data specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.