Audi has tripled the size of its booth here at CES, and contained within is a mockup of the next A3's interior. Well, half of it. But the functional display was designed to showcase the latest generation of Audi Connect, the automaker's reworked infotainment system that's set to debut on the 2013 Audi A3.
As we exclusively revealed to you last year, Audi is incorporating its touchpad technology (originally fitted to the A7 and A8) directly into its Multi Media Interface (MMI) control knob, negating the need to move one's hand to write individual letters for navigation, point-of-interest and web searches. As expected, the knob has grown in size, but the additional girth isn't a bad thing. Audi has also nixed the traditional buttons flanking the knob and instead replaced them with toggle switches to swap between navigation, telephone, radio and media. From a muscle-memory point-of-view, this should be a good thing.
The other major upgrade is under the dash, with the installation of Audi's first Multi-Media Extension (MMX) board. This new modular board incorporates an NVIDIA Tegra graphics processor that not only displays fantastic images and 3D animations on the ultra-thin seven-inch display, it can be swapped out as chipset technology evolves. Audi has also expanded its Google Earth integration to include Google Street View and a new iPhone cradle in the armrest boosts the phone's signal to keep the data flowing. We were also told that inductive charging could be included in the cradle, but that might be one system that's left on the cutting room floor. Get a sample of it all in our hands-on video after the jump.