Will the A3 be the next model to get Audi’s ‘Virtual Cockpit’ display?

2016 Audi TT (European model)
The “Virtual Cockpit” display introduced with the current-generation Audi TT represents  a major attempt to literally reshape car dashboards. It moves all of the functions normally performed by a central infotainment screen into the gauge clusters, allowing designers to create a more simplified dash.

Audi plans to offer the Virtual Cockpit on redesigned versions of the A4 and Q7 that will go on sale soon, but it may be considering a third model as well. The A3 is due for a mid-cycle refresh, and the fancy display could be a part of it, reports Australia’s Motoring.

Despite its size, the A3 has always been pitched as a premium model in terms of price and available equipment, and adding the Virtual Cockpit fits that strategy. While fewer A3 customers are expected to choose the system compared to buyers of more expensive models, Audi expects there to be enough takers to justify offering it.

The Virtual Cockpit is supposed to offer numerous advantages compared to traditional infotainment systems. It moves displays closer to the driver’s line of sight, avoiding the need to glance sideways to read them. Removing the center-stack screen also gives interior designers more leeway.

However, the new display hasn’t won everyone over. By concentrating all of the information in the gauge cluster, it doesn’t leave the passenger with anything to look at and leaves out the possible of delegating tasks to the right-seat occupant.

That’s less of an issue in a driver-focused car like the TT, but may prove problematic in the other models in which Audi plans to offer the system.

Audi has, for example, already confirmed the Virtual Cockpit as an option on the 2016 Q7 SUV, and the 2017 A4 sedan and wagon, which will be unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

Beyond that, Audi will reportedly add Virtual Cockpit to the options lists of the next Q5 crossover and A5 coupe. Infotainment plans for Audi’s bigger sedans remain unclear.


Driving Daimler’s 40-ton eCascadia big rig isn’t just fun, it’s electrifying

Daimler Trucks brought its all-electric eCascadia semi-truck to the 2019 CES, and invited us to take the wheel. What does it feel like to drive one? Simply electrifying, of course.

Here’s how to download podcasts and listen to them on Android or iOS

Podcasts have become a cultural staple. Here's how to download podcasts and listen to them on your Android or iOS device, and which apps to use if you're looking to get the most out of the format.

Verizon’s deal could get you a free iPhone XR — but there’s some fine print

Verizon launched a new deal for its smartphones aimed at encouraging customers to open a new line. If you're willing and you want two new phones, you could get a free Samsung Galaxy S9, iPhone XR, or Pixel 3.

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.

Big tech, bigger grille: BMW updates its 7 Series flagship for 2020

The BMW 7 Series will enter the 2020 model year with a host of updates inside, outside, and under the sheet metal. The new-look nose with a jumbo grille hides updated engines, while passengers benefit from smart tech features.

Tesla cuts workforce by 7 percent, ends referral program to trim costs

Tesla has announced plans to trim its workforce by seven percent, and it will end the referral program that rewards customers who help it sell cars. These measures are ways to cut costs and boost profits.

Lyft and Aptiv’s self-driving car program has come a long way (but not far enough)

Many companies talk about self-driving cars, but Lyft and Aptiv are already using a fleet of them to transport paying customers in Las Vegas. Hop in for a close look at the tech of autonomous cars, and the challenges they face.

Worried about commuting in winter weather? Nissan has the answer

The Nissan Altima midsize sedan is now available with all-wheel drive. To advertise that fact, Nissan's Canadian division slapped some tank-like tracks on an Altima to create a one-off show car.
Emerging Tech

Too buzzed to drive? Don’t worry — this autonomous car-bar will drive to you

It might just be the best or worst idea that we've ever heard: A self-driving robot bartender you can summon with an app, which promises to mix you the perfect drink wherever you happen to be.

Michigan OKs digital license plates with Rplate’s connected car platform

The state of Michigan approved the use of digital license plates on motor vehicles registered in the state. Reviver Auto, the manufacturer of the Rplate connected car platform, worked with Michigan's Department of State to pass the bill.

This Chevy Silverado pickup truck is made from more than 300,000 Lego bricks

To promote The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, Lego and Chevrolet teamed up on a life-size replica of the automaker's Silverado pickup truck made from more than 300,000 plastic bricks.

Prices for using Tesla Supercharging just skyrocketed

Tesla is updating their Supercharging pricing based on local electricity rates and customer demand, which has lead to an increase in charging costs by as much as 33 percent in some regions.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Can electric motors finally make three-wheeled cars great?

Every few years, someone tries to sell a three-wheeled vehicle to Americans. Historically, it hasn’t gone very well. We’ve got our suspicions about why people don’t buy trikes, and they boil down to this: a trike is just not a real…