9 views of the all-digital 'virtual cockpit' in the 2016 Audi TT

A fast car needs fast digital readouts, and that's what you'll get with this superpowered, 60fps display that replaces the traditional instrument cluster on the Audi TT. Check out the views, from from speed and revs to maps and weather.

news 2016 audi tt 28
Credit: Audi
Fast enough for gaming, fast enough for driving

While you look at this 2016 Audi TT, the driver is looking at the 'virtual cockpit, an all-digital instrument cluster powered by an embedded Visual Computing Module (VCM). Nvidia's quad-core Tegra 30 processor brings fast, 60fps response time to the 12.3-inch, 1,440x540-pixel display. That's fast enough to play PC games—but here, that power helps the digital readouts react in real time to how the car is driving.

 It may sound gimmicky to some driving purists, but check out the views on the slides to follow. Everything from the classic tachometer and speedometer to Google Earth 3D maps looks pretty sweet on this display.

2016 audi tt virtual cockpit classic view1
Credit: Audi
The look is classic, but the display is digital

Here's the "classic" view of the virtual cockpit, with the tachometer and speedometer in the forefront. In between, you can see a handy map of your current surroundings, enhanced by Google Earth 3D images. Smaller images for fuel, engine temperature, and other basic information run along the top and bottom.

2016 audi tt virtual cockpit classic view2
Credit: Audi
Audi's MMI infotainment hits the virtual cockpit

The classic view of the virtual cockpit here shows the MMI infotainment interface between the larger tachometer and speedometer. You can control the MMI system using...

2016 audi tt virtual cockpit steering wheel controls close up
Credit: Audi
Virtual cockpit controls on the steering wheel

...the steering-wheel controls on the lefthand side. So you don't even have to glance down to the standard MMI rotary and touchpad controls on the center console, but they're there if you (or your passenger) need them.

2016 audi tt virtual cockpit infotainment view3
Credit: Audi
Infotainment mode deemphasizes driving just a bit

Here's the infotainment view in the 2016 Audi TT's 'virtual cockpit.' The tachometer and speedometer don't go away, but they shrink to cede more space to infotainment. Here you see the MMI interface.

2016 audi tt virtual cockpit infotainment view2
Credit: Audi
Watch the weather fill this virtual cockpit's view

This infotainment view shows how weather and other important data can come forward when you want it. Remember, this is a digital display, so you can change the view whenever you wish.

2016 audi tt virtual cockpit infotainment view4
Credit: Audi
Maps look more vivid, thanks to Google Earth

But what most drivers want in front of them is a map, and this is what it looks like on the 'virtual cockpit' display. The data is from the digital mapping service Here (which was recently purchased by a consortium of automakers, including Audi), but there's a Google Earth visual overlay to make the map more visually accurate and lifelike. 

2016 audi tt virtual cockpit infotainment view1
Credit: Audi
Google Earth can see the road ahead

Here's the most surprising Google Earth view: The open road in front of you, almost like you're looking out the windshield twice. Okay, maybe you don't really need to see what's immediately ahead, but it shows off the quality of the image data available. 

2016 audi tt virtual cockpit unit front
Credit: Melissa Riofrio
The guts of the virtual cockpit, front view

This cross-cut of the 2016 Audi TT's virtual cockpit module (front view) provides a peek at the compuer behind the module, plus the special glare-reducing, 12.3-inch TFT display. Nvidia's Visual Computing Module is shown below.

2016 audi tt virtual cockpit unit back
Credit: Melissa Riofrio
The guts of the virtual cockpit, rear view

This cross-cut of the 2016 Audi TT's virtual cockpit module (rear view) provides a peek at all the computing power behind the 12.3-inch TFT display. Nvidia's Visual Computing Module is shown below.