Audi has introduced an advanced in-car entertainment system that offers easy and intuitive control of iPods, MP3 players and CDs, but actually doesn't need any of them.
With its integral hard drive, the latest Audi Multi Media Interface (MMI) is capable of storing up to 4000 tracks internally - more than enough even for long-haul trans-continental journeys.
When MMI is combined with the optional Audi Music Interface, the driver can remotely control an iPod (or other music storage device) using the central MMI control knob with its built-in `joystick' and the four buttons grouped around it. Full track and title listings are displayed on the sophisticated in-dash screen, and tracks can be scrolled through in much the same way as they are using the iPod itself.
Where available, features also include digital radio reception, analogue and digital TV reception and DVD playback, all through the large in-dash monitor.The new hard drive has a total capacity of 40GB, of which 10GB is devoted to the 4000-song `mobile jukebox' facility that can be loaded using SD memory cards. It also holds satellite navigation data, replacing the outgoing system's DVD-based technology.
The new hard disk dramatically enhances the mapping offered by the Audi Satellite Navigation System Plus, significantly increasing the degree of detail and allowing a new 3D `digital topographical' view. This gives a pictorial depiction of key landmarks to add even greater `context'. Wherever possible, it even provides a choice of three routes to a chosen destination, including one that has been specifically calculated to require the least possible fuel consumption.
The latest generation Multi Media Interface with HDD navigation will be fitted as standard in Europe to A8 models, and will be available as an upgrade for Q7, Q5, A6, A5 and A4 ranges in the near future. The Audi Music Interface enabling iPod connectivity can be added to the system at extra cost. For the optimum listening experience, the new unit can be combined with Bang & Olufsen speaker systems with up to 1000 watts of power.