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2017 Audi A4's Virtual Cockpit and MMI are sensational (pictures)

The 2017 A4 is available with Audi's excellent new Virtual Cockpit and latest-generation Multi Media Interface system. Here's a quick look at some of these systems' features.

Chris Paukert
Following stints in TV news production and as a record company publicist, Chris spent most of his career in automotive publishing. Mentored by Automobile Magazine founder David E. Davis Jr., Paukert succeeded Davis as editor-in-chief of Winding Road, a pioneering e-mag, before serving as Autoblog's executive editor from 2008 to 2015. Chris is a Webby and Telly award-winning video producer and has served on the jury of the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards. He joined the CNET team in 2015, bringing a small cache of odd, underappreciated cars with him.
Chris Paukert
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The optional Virtual Cockpit is a stunning piece of tech.

This particular screen showing the navigation system using Google Maps topography has the speedometer and tachometer minimized.

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This screen showing the navigation system incorporating Google Maps topography has the speedometer and tachometer maximized for easy viewing.

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When you select the navigation option, the center screen size increases to the 7.3-inch unit seen here. Skimp out, and you'll get a 6-inch screen instead.

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A rearview camera is standard, but Audi's optional 360-degree camera system, known as Top View, is shown here.

Screen resolution is excellent, and dynamic parking lines are helpful when parking. A similar forward-facing view is also available.

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Audi amusingly preloaded the MMI system's hard drive with some throwback Seventies and Eighties rock tunes.

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This is what the FM radio station selection screen looks like. You can rifle through stations using the central MMI control knob.

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It's still possible to scroll through music selections (in this case, radio stations) using the in-cluster display and steering-wheel-mounted thumbwheel.

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Another, arguably less useful view offered by Virtual Cockpit gives an unusual amount of screen real estate to the date and time.

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This is Virtual Cockpit's most traditional screen, with a large tachometer and matching speedometer (note that the latter is displayed in kph, not mph, as the photo car is a European model).

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Note the MMI jog wheel with swipe-gesture touchpad just ahead of the gear selector, as well as the driver-definable global preset buttons sitting in front of the cupholders.

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