Audi Announces It Will Keep Physical Buttons in Future EVs

Audi Automobilwerke, the German automaker owned by the Volkswagen Group, came to be in 1932 when the car companies Horch, DKW, and Wanderer merged. Eventually, it became known as simply Audi, and it strove to be legendary among its rivals. 

But Audi isn’t going all out with some of its newest models, Motor1 reports. What direction is the company really going, and why?

Audi’s legacy of innovation

An Audi logo on a car dealership in Berlin, Germany, in July 2021
The Audi logo | Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images

Audi is known for innovative technology that’s streamlined into all of its vehicles. According to Audi, Quattro, the automaker’s all-wheel-drive system, became a permanent feature in its vehicles over three decades ago.

Over the years, the company tweaked and improved the feature to include torque vectoring technology, excellent road grip for the tires, and even traction maximization for all sorts of weather conditions. 

The automaker also brought a customized experience to car shopping. With several exterior body colors to choose from, consumers can now find one that best suits their personality. To go along with it, buyers can even customize the interior to showcase their style as well. Audi lets them select the leather, fabric, stitching, and wood inlays from the available choices. 

As for infotainment tech, Audi Connect is the brand’s innovative technology that allows users to index several programs into one easy-to-use system. They can search for travel information, fuel prices, nearby restaurants, weather reports, and even utilize its satellite imagery to offer more info on the places drivers want to visit. 

Audi says it will offer physical buttons on its future EVs

Despite all its technological advancements, the automaker isn’t moving toward an all-touch experience, which other automakers have done. Along with all its tech features, Audi still plans to provide physical buttons on some of its devices. 

One example is the climate control system. The automaker plans to continue using physical knobs instead of operating them with touch-sensitive controls.

So, why not follow other companies and do away with the old buttons and knobs of the past? Audi actually has a good reason for keeping them. 

The brand touts itself for its “joy of use” regarding its driving dynamics and tech features. But because touchless interaction often frustrates users, why rely on the touch-sensitive tech that will only distract and irritate drivers? Besides, controlling devices with an actual button or knob brings joy to some Audi owners. 

Current and new electric models in the automaker’s lineup

Audi is working to replace its lineup with electric vehicles by 2030. So far, the automaker has two EV models in production this year. They are the e-tron crossover SUV, which debuted in 2019, and the sportier e-tron Sportback. 

The e-tron crossover starts at almost $73,000, but the automaker claims it gets around 73 MPGe on the highway, which is impressive. 

Audi has several other EVs in the works for the 2022 model year. In the sedan category, the e-tron GT and e-tron GT RS both offer decent performance. And in the SUV segment, the automaker plans to roll out the Q4 e-tron and a Sportback model. The Q5 SUV is also coming out, but we won’t see that until later next year. These are only a few models planned, though.

Audi has plenty of EVs in the design phase for the next couple of years, some of which have already debuted. As the automaker implements more tech features into its designs, it won’t likely budge on some models’ physical knobs and controls. 

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