The Audi A8 L leads the pack when it comes to multimedia. The optional MMI navigation plus system (standard in the W12) provides its data to other technology modules, taking the intelligence of the large sedan to a whole new level. Its operating concept with the MMI touch touchpad is another pioneering solution.
MMI navigation plus is a high-tech system. Numerous components, including the DVD drive, are integrated in the main unit in the center console. A8 L owners can use a third of the 60 GB hard drive to store music files. Two processors ensure that all applications such as navigation, voice control, telephony and audio remain fast and fluid when used simultaneously.
A dedicated graphics processor generates the three-dimensional images in high quality. The map is a highly detailed 3D terrain model, and 3D maps of many cities are also provided. The driver can choose between route guidance using the classic arrows or a new, animated display rich with detailed information. A second grouping of the MMI navigation plus, the radio unit, combines the functions of tuner and sound system.
MMI navigation plus works closely with the assistance and safety systems on board the new Audi A8 L. Its database precisely describes the entire European road system. The navigation system analyzes these data predictively, reading the current course of the sedan but always thinking a bit ahead. The information flows via a data bus to the computers that manage such elements as the Audi adaptive cruise control with stop & go function, the headlights and the eight-speed tiptronic. This enables these systems to precisely adapt their function to conditions in advance.
On the highway, the radar-assisted distance control system can also compute the lanes in curves. On curving country roads the eight-speed tiptronic does not make unnecessary upshift on short straight stretches. And in the city, the junction lights already switch on as the new A8 L approaches the intersection even if the driver does not signal.
Groundbreaking: the MMI touch
The operation of MMI navigation plus, which uses black panel technology, is groundbreakingly new. To enter the destination or phone number you simply trace the letters or numbers on the touch-sensitive panel with your index finger. The same method can be used to navigate with the map.
The new input technology functions intuitively and takes no time at all to get used to. The right hand rests comfortably on the selector lever of the eight-speed tiptronic. The finger traces the letters and numbers as if automatically – and the driver's attention remains focused on the road. The system acknowledges the input after each character with an acoustic feedback signal. If you make a mistake, a stroke is all it takes to delete the wrong character. In contrast to voice control, touchpad input is possible even while speaking or listening to an audio source.
Behind the new technology is a network that has been fed with millions of character samples from all around the world. This allows the MMI touch to be used internationally; it also recognizes symbols in Asian character sets. An additional feature is the black panel technology: Here the pad becomes a control panel containing six freely selectable radio stations.
Along with MMI touch, the new A8 L also offers conventional Audi operation using the MMI rotary pushbutton. The optional voice control understands complete words. Places and roads can now be spoken as commands, and it can even be used to access music data.
Wellness for the ears: the sound systems
A wide range of hi-fi and communication modules are available in the A8 L. The luxury sedan comes standard with the Audi sound system, comprising a 180 watt, six-channel amplifier, ten speakers, a DVD drive, two SD card readers for audio files and a radio tuner.
Audi also offers a DAB dual tuner for digital radio, a digital TV tuner and a DVD changer as options. The Audi music interface (AMI) provides an interface for a portable player or an external video source. It displays the directory structure on the monitor so that MMI can be used to control playback.
The next hi-fi level is the Bose surround sound system (standard in the W12), in which a digital amplifier drives more than 600 watts to 14 speakers, including a subwoofer, with a finely balanced and simultaneously powerful sound backed by strong base. The system can also play stereo recordings in five-channel surround sound.
The top of the line is the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System. It is impressive for its sparkling brilliance, detailed resolution and broad, finely differentiated frequency range. The Danish specialists use a proprietary algorithm to generate sound reflections like those that occur in a concert hall. The music resounds from a splendid virtual stage.
The heart of the Advanced Sound System is a pair of amplifiers with more than 1,400 watts of total power. The amplifiers’ digital output stages, which have been designed in part to be extremely energy efficient, direct this power through 19 channels to 19 speakers. The acoustic lenses to the left and right in the cockpit are visual highlights. The two elegantly styled tweeters are mounted down out of sight and emerge from the dashboard when the system is switched on. The speaker grilles are made of polished aluminum.
Communicative: rear seat entertainment
The optional rear seat entertainment system (standard with the relaxation seat) brings information and communication to the rear seat of the Audi A8 L. Two 10.2-inch displays – an extremely thin 16 millimeters thick – are mounted on the back of the driver and front passenger seats. The inclination of the monitors is adjustable, and they can separately display different content. Sound is supplied via the audio systems or two sets of Bluetooth headphones.
The rear seat entertainment system includes its own DVD drive, a hard drive jukebox, two slots for SD memory cards, and a separate Audi music interface. It also has full access to the onboard radio, the TV tuner, the DVD changer and the navigation system. A separate large MMI controller in the rear center armrest controls the system – another instance of first-class convenience.
Audi offers a Bluetooth hands-free system and the online Bluetooth car phone (standard in the W12) for easy phone calls. Drivers can leave their mobile phone in their jacket pocket; if the mobile phone supports SIM Access Profile, the car phone pulls the data from the SIM card and phone storage via Bluetooth.
The online Bluetooth car phone online uses the car’s antenna, which ensures optimal reception. A digital voice processor delivers excellent hands-free call quality, with voice signals transmitted via the sound system. The system can be optionally expanded to include two wireless handsets for discreet telephony, one mounted up front and the other in the back.
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.