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One of the most im­por­tant new fea­tures of the new TT has got to be its rev­o­lu­tion­ary dash­board and im­proved cock­pit. Dubbed as the Vir­tual Cock­pit by Audi, the dash­board in­stru­ment clus­ter es­chews tra­di­tional ana­log di­als in fa­vor for a full dig­i­tal dis­play. To be spe­cific, the new TT has a 12.3-inch TFT dis­play with a dis­play res­o­lu­tion of 1,440 x 540 pix­els. The dis­play is used to ren­der the ta­chome­ter, speedometer, nav­i­ga­tion, the var­i­ous en­ter­tain­ment modes, and the var­i­ous set­tings menus.

To be sure, dig­i­tal dis­plays are not new in mo­tor­ing, Jaguar and Range Rover have had such dis­plays for the past three or so years now, but none have been done quite in the same way as the Audi TT. The rea­son for this is be­cause the TT’s dis­play is pow­ered by NVIDIA’s Te­gra 3 chip. Though Te­gra 3 is a lit­tle old by to­day’s stan­dards, con­sid­er­ing it was re­leased in late 2011 and NVIDIA has sub­se­quently re­leased Te­gra 4, Te­gra K1 and Te­gra X1 af­ter the Te­gra 3, one must also re­mem­ber how­ever that cars need to un­dergo long testing pro­cesses for suc­cess­ful ho­molo­ga­tion. Nev­er­the­less, the Te­gra 3 is still a pow­er­ful pro­ces­sor by au­to­mo­tive stan­dards and is more than ca­pa­ble of ren­der­ing high-qual­ity in-car graph­ics for the TT’s set­tings menus, en­ter­tain­ment modes and 3D maps.

To match the Vir­tual Cock­pit, Audi has also re­designed the MMI ter­mi­nal (Mul­ti­me­dia in­ter­face) for the TT. The con­trols are more in­tu­itive now since it mimic the user in­ter­faces of smartphones and tablets that we are now so ac­cus­tomed to, al­low­ing for a short learn­ing curve. There are two tog­gle switches that can ac­ti­vate the var­i­ous modes - nav­i­ga­tion, tele­phone, ra­dio and me­dia. Then there is the ro­tary push but­ton that is used to scroll through op­tions and can also be pushed in four di­rec­tions much like a joy­stick. On top of this ro­tary push but­ton is a touch­pad which driv­ers can use to scrib­ble their des­ti­na­tions and even pinch to zoom in on maps. Flank­ing the ro­tary push but­ton are two con­text but­tons which op­er­ate depend­ing on the menu it is in. And fi­nally there are two other but­tons, for call­ing up the main menu and go­ing back.

One of the most com­mon com­plaints lev­eled against per­sonal nav­i­ga­tion de­vices is that for a de­vice that has a spe­cific func­tion to ful­fill, it feels slug­gish to op­er­ate. And although the 3D maps found in per­sonal nav­i­ga­tion de­vices th­ese days are pretty pleas­ant to look at, the fact is that the de­vice of­ten feels un­der­pow­ered to use, es­pe­cially for users who are used to the flu­id­ity and re­sponse of a mod­ern day smart­phone and tablet. The Audi TT, how­ever, does away with all this slug­gish and feels bang up to date and thor­oughly mod­ern and re­spon­sive. To­gether with the newly de­vel­oped MMI ter­mi­nal,

The dis­play is sharp, but more im­por­tantly, the in­ter­face is re­spon­sive and does not suf­fer from the same kind of slug­gish­ness that plagues per­sonal nav­i­ga­tion de­vices.

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