Audi Connect is the German brand’s integrated infotainment system, the MMI part refers to MultiMedia Interface, or how the driver reacts with the system. This can be done either via the MMI controller, which consists of a scroll wheel and a selection of buttons ahead of the gear lever, a touch screen, or via Audi’s ‘Virtual Cockpit’, a 12.9-inch visual display that replaces the car’s traditional dials. This varies from model to model.
The Connect system exists in one form or another on all Audis, from the A1 supermini right through to the R8 supercar. On smaller models it uses a 6.5-inch fold-out touchscreen, while on larger cars the screen is integrated into the dashboard fascia.
How does Audi Connect work?
As well as standard infotainment functionality, such as audio controls, sat nav and trip computer functions, Audi Connect delivers the brand’s internet services to the car.
Depending on the model, features range from navigation with Google Earth and Google Street View to traffic information online and the ability to search for free parking spaces, as well as Audi Connect Safety and Service – a concierge service that can also assist drivers and passengers in the event of an emergency.
The Audi Connect services are displayed on the screen in the car (in the MMI or the Audi virtual cockpit), and they are operated from the multifunction rotary/push-button control, by MMI touch response or by voice command. The driver can also have most information read aloud, such as e-mails, text messages and information from social network portals such as Twitter. This, claims Audi, lets drivers continue to devote their full attention to what is happening on the road.
Users can also download the Audi MMI Connect App, which offers other functions such as downloading your smartphone calendar to the screen in the car. The driver can import an appointment location directly from the smartphone for use as a navigation destination and can transfer the phone number of a contact person as a contact entry. The system reads out the place, time and purpose of an appointment.
Customers can download the Audi MMI connect app free-of-charge at the Google Play Store or in the App Store. Registration at myAudi is then required. At myAudi, the driver can manage individual connect services, schedule service appointments or obtain information on the car.
In e-tron models, the current charge state and remaining electric driving range can also be called up using the app. The system is compatible with most smartphones, using the Android or Apple platforms.
How much does Audi Connect cost?
At present, all Audi models supplied with Audi Connect come with a fixed term subscription as part of the purchase price of the car, and onward pricing hasn’t been announced. However, there are options – either a permanent SIM which you then renew with Audi (rumoured to be the most affordable future price plan) or the choice of using a Pay As You Go SIM of your own.
How will MMI Connect evolve?
The very latest MMI system will debut in the all-new A8, which is about to go on sale. It has the most comprehensive version of the Connect system yet. Improvements to the system are being rolled out all the time, and can be downloaded as updates via the car’s integrated system, depending on model and type of Connect package fitted.
How does Audi Connect MMI compare against rivals? Check out the 5 top infotainment systems and find out.