Infotainment System Spotlight: Entry-level vs. High Performance Vehicles
As smartphones continue to grow in size and capability, automakers are forced to stay ahead of the curve or, at the very least, adapt and keep up with change. Some do it better than others like Chrysler Group and its highly-touted Uconnect infotainment system or Audi and its Google-based navigation system. It just so happens that both Chrysler Group and Audi both have supercars in their respective portfolios that are a staple on bedroom walls of kids all over. The Audi R8 and Dodge Viper SRT are on the cutting edge of human ingenuity and both feature on-board tech that's at the top of its class. However, the tech found in both of these cars isn't exclusively for them.
Audi A3 vs. Audi R8
One car dominates 24 Hours of Le Mans in racing form on a regular basis while the other has just recently been introduced to the U.S. market. The Audi R8 has cut its teeth carving up race tracks all over the world while the A3 is a comfortable, competent, entry-level compact luxury car. The difference in starting prices between the two is a cool $86,000 though (A3 starts at $29,900 while the R8 commands at least $115,900). Nevertheless, if you can't or won't spend six figures on a car but still want one of the best navigation systems in the automotive industry, you're in luck, because both the A3 and R8 use Audi's Google-based multi-media interface (MMI).
Dodge Dart vs. Dodge Viper SRT
Like the Audis above, one Dodge is new to market while the other has become one of the most iconic racecars of the last couple of decades. While it doesn't share much with its predecessor, the Dart features Chrysler Group's easy-to-use Uconnect system, which features maps from Garmin. Inputting a destination can be done so quickly and the map display is easy to understand. Syncing a smartphone to Uconnect can be done so in mere seconds - making it one of the fastest systems in the industry. Bluetooth streaming is also quick, easy, and painless. Like the Dart (which starts at $16,495), the Viper also features Uconnect and Garmin navigation but it also brings along a starting price of $84,995. With that price tag though you get a V10 engine rated at 645 horsepower or three and a half times that of the Dart's 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine.
While the chances of someone cross-shopping a Viper and a Dart or an A3 and an R8 are slim-to-none it's still nice to know you can get similar on-board tech. As personal cell phones continue to advance expect to see on-board technology in cars do the same across the board for automakers.
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