In January at CES, Audi showed the interior of the 2015 TT with a concept they call the "virtual cockpit," a new take on their infotainment system. But it appears it actually debuted a month before with the Lamborghini Huracan and absolutely nobody noticed.
At the introduction of the Huracan in Spain, Lamborghini talked about their new 12.3 inch TFT screen that houses a virtual tachometer and speedo and can also show other data, like the phone, navigation, or radio station. It can also, if needed, make the speed and tach secondary to the nav, giving you a large map.
The Audi Virtual Cockpit uses a 12.3 inch TFT screen and also has multiple display modes.
That makes the Lamborghini system basically the same as the Audi, which is interesting, because Audi has nothing to do with Lamborghini.
Wait. I got that wrong. Audi owns Lamborghini. Pardon me.
As you can see, the Lambo has a big TFT screen with a nav and tach. There is no second screen in the car.
Lamborghini has used Audi's telematics and infotainment in the Gallardo and Aventador, so it makes sense that the newest generation would be in the Huracan. Lamborghini didn't say outright that this is the TT's virtual cockpit, but using it and looking at it makes it pretty obvious (seriously, you'd need to be obtuse not to recognize it) that this is, at the very least, an iteration of the next gen system.
This is the system from the 2015 Audi TT. It's basically the same.
So how does it work? Not bad. Not bad at all. Driving the Huracan wasn't really about the gauge cluster since we were on track for a lot of it. In that situation, they looked a lot like instruments, though the tach did seem to be about 500 RPM behind at times (there was a lot of hitting the rev limiter before the tach got close to red line). But yeah, no difference from a regular tach otherwise.
On the road, our car had the cluster in the map and instruments mode, which was intuitive and pretty easy to understand. It was a nice change to just look down for the map instead of turning to the right to see the center screen. We would have put it in the full map mode, but had no clue how to do it. I was the passenger at this point, so I offered to help.
This is where I ran into an issue. This screen is driver focused. That means I had to crane into the driver's area to try and change it. Going into the MMI also totally got rid of the navigation screen at points where we kind of needed to know where we were going.
In an Audi without this all-in-one solution, when you go into the MMI, you can still see the nav instructions on the screen in between the gauges. There is no second screen here.
If you are alone in the car or hate your passengers and don't allow them to touch anything, this solution is fantastic. If you have passengers that are involved with the radio or navigation a lot, it can be a bit frustrating. When I asked Audi USA about how a passenger would change the station a few months ago, the answer I got was an "I don't know."
So unless Audi has some secret tablet up their sleeve for passengers in the future, an update might be needed to at least not remove all pertinent navigation information from the screen when you go to put on some Duran Duran.
Just a thought.