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Digital instruments in the Audi TT: pros and cons

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Digital instruments in the Audi TT
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Sebastian Renz

s appreciates analogue in a digital age

When we were young there were two types of posters, that hung in our boys' rooms. The braver ones - and later more successful in romantic experiences at rural dances - pinned Heather Thomas over the bed (yes, you know them: Jody from 'A Colt For All Occasions'). The rest of us had a Lamborghini Countach or a Ferrari Daytona. What is there today with the boys, a poster from the iPhone 6? Regardless, the sights of ideas that were once shaped. When I drive a sports car, I still conjure up the filigree mechanics that subdue the slurping of a battery of eternally greedy Weber twin carburettors.

Yes, today I swipe on my phone instead of turning a dial instead of plates my music is playing from the MP3 player, and even the most dying have come to terms with the fact that this Internet is not just a temporary phenomenon after all. That’s why I’m looking forward to mechanics today - or at least the appearance of it. Of course, there is no longer any wave whirling towards the speedometer. But a sports car must have analog instruments, with a real needle that brushes a scale. No pixels shimmering across a screen. It's also about real speed and real speed.

And there is a reason why the analog tour counter is still the focus at Porsche today. In the Audi, the speedometer and tachometer now have to share with the infotainment floor, and are even pushed to the edge when the map spreads out. In addition, the tricky operation via steering wheel buttons distracts enormously from what a sports car is about. Not about navigating, telephoning or streaming music, but about driving. Audi fans may object that the Ferrari models also have digitized cockpits. I can reply that it wasn't just this detail that an Audi was missing in a Ferrari.

Jörn Thomas

I like to concentrate on the essentials

When I was writing the first test of the new Jaguar XJ four years ago, a colleague came to visit me. He thought that you shouldn't deal so hard with a car manufacturer willing to modernize, and meant my harsh words about the digital cockpit of the Jaguar. In the notebookThen there was an unchanged critical, but more conciliatory formulated variant.

Well, since then a few years have gone into the digital country. And with them the realization that not everything is bad that can do without a shaft, needle and raised scale. On the contrary, if BMW shows the difference between the permitted and the driven speed in the form of a small tail, it is large. And intuitive. Because that's all it is about: Information should reach us as subconsciously as possible. So that we can concentrate on the essentials. No, not to email and share. Let's go! Really real.

This is what the Audi TT, for example, focuses on consistently. Extra screen in the center console? What for? A few displays are enough for him. That already happened to the strict eyes of Messrs Hackenberg, Stadler and Winterkorn. So: no flickering LSD hell, but an ingenious, serious display instrument.

Can be configured as a sporty central tachometer or in the form of classic round instruments, as desired. Big, glare-free, clear. If you want, you can book information, such as a navigation map or the on-board computer, at the push of a button and the drum is turned. When looking for addresses intensively, the speedometer and rev counter take a back seat. Admittedly, you have to deal with the thing to discover all the possibilities. On the other hand: if you just leave it alone, you will also be well looked after with analogue instruments. Harsh words? Not necessary.


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