Audi’s new digital gauge cluster will be available in at least four models next year as the brand continues updating its feature-dense MMI infotainment system.
The 12.3-inch TFT LCD replaces all physical gauges and deletes the pop-out LCD display on the center stack. The customizable screen will be standard on the 2016 TT and the next-gen R8, with a special performance display specifically for the R8. Audi also told us the next-gen A4 and Q7, which last month were delayed until next year, would offer the mega screen as an option. The refreshed-for-2015 A8 and soon-to-be-updated A6, for the time being, must settle with real needles and numbers.
While similar to reconfigurable clusters in the Cadillac CTS and Mercedes-Benz S-class, Audi’s is able to show full-screen 3D maps, at which time the tachometer and speedometer become very small circles tucked in the corners of the screen. The driver can also scroll through bigger song lists and browse phone contacts with enlarged photos.
Audi is still tweaking the software during the next few weeks before the new TT starts production and arrives at European dealers later this year. While the screen’s extra cost won’t matter to R8 customers, Audi is mulling whether to offer it as a standalone option or with a package for A4 and Q7 buyers. In those two models, Audi will retain the standard MMI screen in the center stack as opposed to the minimalist, driver-centric layout for its sports cars.