You may remember the press release from earlier this week (linked below) announcing the next-generation navigation system for Audi's non MMI cars including the R8, TT and A3. The old system had less than optimum iPod integration and there was room for more improvement. With the new system comes full iPod connectivity much like that of MMI cars fitted with the Audi Music Interface while even more functionality like real time traffic data has also been added.
No surprise then that many current and future Audi owners wanted more details. When will production start of cars with the new system? Can it be retrofitted with relative ease? We've just gotten off the phone with Audi of America and have a few solid answers.
When does production start of cars fitted with the new system?
For A3 and TT, we're told production will start along with the MY2010 changeover. If it's a 2010 A3 or TT, it should have the new system installed.
For the R8, production will be slightly delayed by about 10 weeks. Officially, R8 production with the new system should begin in week 32. Why the delay? Audi wasn't specific, but we suspect it's got something to do with the R8's different layout. The CD changer in the R8 is mounted behind the seats and this area will likely need to be redesigned to a standard that meets Audi's quality demands in order to replace the changer and make room for iPod docking.
What about retrofits?]
Initial word on retrofits from Ingolstadt is that this is a 2010 thing only. We pointedly asked if you were to swap the unit into an older Navi-equipped car whether it would work and the answer was no. We asked if this was a software issue or a hardware issue (i.e. new or different wiring harnesses etc.) and were told it is probably hardware but that this has not yet been confirmed. In other words, replacement won't be plug and play but we suspect there will still be those who figure out a workaround given the resourcefulness of the online enthusiast community.
One last thing... A3/TT vs. R8 without Navi
This upgrade applies to all R8s as R8s get a screen even if they don't get navigation. That's not so in the case of the TT or the A3. Non navigation TT and A3 models don't get a screen and thus will not get the new level of iPod connectivity offered by these updated units.
Read the press release announcing the new system after the jump.