In-Car Tech

Everything you need to know about Audi's third-gen MIB infotainment system

Audi has introduced the next-generation of its infotainment system.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Audi has announced that the third generation of its infotainment system (MIB 3) will arrive in most 2021 vehicles starting this autumn. The biggest upgrades are to the hardware, which includes a chipset that is 10 times faster than the MIB 2 technology, but there's a significant number of new features users will want to know about.

Verizon has become Audi's wireless internet provider.

If you want to use your car's Wi-Fi hot spot to surf the web, you'll need to have a data plan through Verizon. No other provider is available. If you already have a plan through Verizon, you may be able to amend your plan to include the addition of the vehicle hot spot rather than setting up a separate account.

The new LTE Advanced Pro modem is rated for up to 1 Gbps download speed. 

The new modem allows for gigabit internet. That means that the hardware is capable of transmitting and receiving up to 1 gigabyte (GB) of data every second. Consider that the average portable Verizon Wi-Fi hot spot is capable of speeds of just 600 mbps, that's 60-percent of the capability of the new modem.

MIB 3 runs on a new Linux-based operating system.

Audi MIB 3 infotainment system

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Linux is the foundation for many operating systems. Subaru adopted automotive grade Linux for its 2020 Outback and Legacy, the first models in the company's lineup to feature tablet-style infotainment screens.

Up to eight devices can be connected.

While some early mobile hot spots could connect one, two, three, or four devices, the newest models can link to eight or more. The newest offering from Audi allows for up to eight devices to connect at once. It's important to remember that, like your home modem, that the more devices that are connected at the same time, the more divided up the bandwidth, slowing the connection speed for each device.

A variety of bandwidth options are available.

In-vehicle Wi-Fi hot spots are available to be activated in a variety of bandwidth options. There’s the Care base level, and a mid grade Prime package. The Prime package is optimized for audio streaming and remote working applications, meaning its bandwidth is a percentage of the modem's full capability. Upping to the Plus package allows customers to take advantage of the full bandwidth capability.

It has high-definition voice communication technology.

With the new high-high-definiition voice communication technology, the system is able to understand more nuanced, conversational, and natural speech.

SiriusXM with 360L has been added.

Audi MIB 3 infotainment system

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Ram was the first to debut SiriusXM with 360L but its time as the only automaker with the technology is up. For the 2021 model year, most models will have the tech as available or standard. The new SiriusXM offering expands the listening experience of the SiriusXM satellite radio system, adding more than 10,000 hours of on-demand content including exclusive interviews, live and in-studio concerts and smart "For You" content recommendations.

According to Audi, "'For You' allows listeners to easily discover more content based on their listening habits. For college and professional sports events, SiriusXM with 360L allows the listener to easily find the game he or she may want and, in most cases, choose between home and away broadcasts. Individual vehicle profiles allow multiple drivers and passengers to customize and maintain their own vehicle favorites."

The new MyAudi app has a digital storefront.

Audi has improved the MyAudi app to offer several key improvements. The marketplace now gives owners the ability to purchase in-car features and new, more flexible subscription plans.

The app also allows for a more simplified registration and payment process for Audi connect Care, Prime, and Plus subscriptions.

Function on Demand gives navigation now with plans to add more functionality in the future.

Function on Demand gives Audi owners the ability to purchase vehicle functions through the MyAudi marketplace. Navigation can be purchased for 2020 and 2021 A4 and A5 Premium or Premium Plus models not factory-equipped. Additional features are expected to be announced at a later date.

Maps are updated monthly.

In the previous generation of Audi infotainment systems, the navigation system maps would be updated quarterly. In the MIB3 system, the maps will be updated monthly in Audi models equipped with navigation.

Amazon Alexa is more widely available.

Audi introduced Amazon Alexa in the 2019 Audi E-Tron and has expanded it throughout their SUV and car lineup. The new system will include Amazon Alexa and further expand the technology into the Audi model line.

There's new hybrid digital radio.

Audi MIB 3 infotainment system

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Hybrid digital radio allows listeners to enjoy their favorite terrestrial radio station once they drive out of the signal's

For terrestrial FM or HD FM radio listeners on the go, hybrid digital radio allows them to continue listening to the same channel even after driving outside of the channel's range. Either automatically or by request, once the hybrid radio senses a weak radio signal, it will switch to the online, digital version of the same channel. Conversely, the channel will switch back from a digital to a radio signal when it senses better reception.

Upon cycling a vehicle off and on again, the digital radio station will continue to play.

Availability of the Integrated Toll Module has been expanded.

The mirror-based toll payment solution provides accents to select toll road services across the country, eliminating the need for one of the traditional, large toll responder tags to be mounted to the car's license plate holder or windscreen. The technology was first introduced in the 2019 Audi E-Tron and Q7 and is being added to the Q5, Q8, A4, A5, A6, A7 and A8 in 2021.

The list of models expected to receive MIB 3 features includes: Audi A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, Q3 (late arrival), Q5, Q7 and Q8, with other models to be announced at a later date. Pricing and a complete features list will be available at a later date.

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The iX M60 will hit dealers' lots in June 2022.

BMW

BMW's electric vehicle catalog is growing rapidly as the automaker rolls out new electrified cars and SUVs. The latest is the iX M60, a red-hot five-seat SUV with sleek styling and a spectacular list of standard features. BMW announced the new SUV this week, along with pricing and release date details.

The iX M60 is BMW's first performance-oriented electric SUV, though BMW calls it a sports activity vehicle, or SAV. Its powertrain has been massaged to produce up to 610 horsepower and 811 pound-feet of torque. Maximum power delivery is limited to times when the vehicle's launch control is activated, but even the "normal" numbers are impressive: In regular driving situations, the iX puts down 532 horsepower and 749 pound-feet of torque. Acceleration to 60 mph takes 3.6 seconds and the iX M60 can go on to an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph.

2023 BMW iX M60 Though extremely sporty, BMW doesn't shy away from using loads of luxurious finishes and materials. BMW

The iX brings more than performance, as its charging capabilities are quite strong. Using AC power, the vehicle can charge from 0-100 percent in 10.25 hours on its fastest setting. Using its fastest DC power setting, the iX can charge from 10 to 80% in just 35 minutes.

Two electric motors power the SUV, which provide standard all-wheel drive. Dual-axle air suspension is standard, along with electronically-controlled shock absorbers. BMW says that the air suspension is controlled individually at each wheel, so the vehicle can adjust ride height in several ways to maintain stability and remain level in corners.

2023 BMW iX M60 The vehicle can run from 0-60 mph in under four seconds and features standard AWD.BMW

When it goes on sale in June, 2022, the 2023 BMW iX M60 will have a starting price of $106,095, which includes a $995 destination charge. That's a flagship price tag, but the SUV's got the performance and a flagship-level list of standard features. That six-figure dollar amount buys 21-inch wheels, heated and ventilated front seats, wireless phone charging, AC fast charging, a panoramic sunroof, LED headlights, a Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System, four-zone automatic climate controls, and more.

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The EQXX Concept features a crazy driving range.

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz is putting its century-plus of automotive experience into building electric cars, and the results are impressive. The EQS is an electric flagship with great range, and the automaker has unveiled several concepts to show its future plans. The Vision EQXX concept debuted today as an ultra-efficient luxury EV with astonishing range numbers.

Mercedes-Benz EQXX Concept Mercedes focused on efficiency over power with the car. Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes' focus with the EQXX is efficiency over power, as it says the car is its most efficient it has ever made. The EQXX uses less than 10 kWh per 100 kilometers (around 62 miles), which equates to 620 miles on a single charge. The battery was designed with tech and knowledge from Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 team, especially when it comes to size and weight. The EQXX's battery pack is 50 percent smaller by volume and 30 percent lighter than the pack in the EQS, which already featured astonishing efficiency.

The car's impressive range comes at the expense of horsepower, which in this case means just 201 ponies from the EQXX's electric drivetrain. Mercedes says that the system is capable of delivering up to 95 percent energy efficiency - an impressive figure for power delivery to the wheels. Extremely efficient gas powertrains only achieve around 30 percent efficiency and a human long-distance runner can hit around 50 percent.

Mercedes-Benz EQXX Concept The EQXX is impressively slippery, which improves its range.

The EQXX is a slippery car, too, and with a drag coefficient of just 0.17, the car cuts through the air with ease. The typical EV uses up to two-thirds of its battery capacity just to push through the air, so the EQXX's aerodynamics is a big part of its efficiency. The other big part is Mercedes' thermal management system, which uses shutters and cooling plates to maintain an ideal battery and electric drive unit temperature. The plates allow the EQXX to gain about 12 miles of range in its most aerodynamic mode.

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