Audi Virtual Cockpit: What is it and do you want it?

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Audi Virtual Cockpit — Digital Cockpit, as VW calls it — replaces traditional dials for speed, revs and everything else with configurable digital screens — see the gallery above for a better idea. The goal is to bring all of the information you need and put it right below your field of vision. But the bigger question for Audi/VW customers is, should you buy it?

On the 2018 Audi Q5 SUV and S4 sedan, for instance, Virtual Cockpit comes standard on the top Prestige trim; it’s optional on the Premium Plus level with the $2,600 navigation package. As for Volkswagen, the Digital Cockpit is available on the new Atlas, the Tiguan and the e-Golf.

Both versions are customizable, meaning you can check your speed and rpm, obviously, but also add your map and navigation information, playlists, phone calls and anything else you can think of to the real estate normally reserved for analog gauge circles. Neither are touchscreen, but both use either voice commands or steering wheel controls to move things around, and with Audi’s Google Earth-type maps, it looks pretty cool. And isn’t showing off half the fun?

Our friends over at Car Magazine in the U.K. took a deep dive on the Virtual Cockpit gauge cluster, and they give it a thumbs up. After sampling the tech on a few recent VW Group cars, as well as some Audis, we agree.

Check out Car’s piece here for the full list of Virtual Cockpit pros and cons.

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Jake Lingeman


Jake Lingeman

– Jake Lingeman is Road Test Editor at Autoweek, reviewing cars, reporting on car news, car tech and the world at large.

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