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What is your opinion? Think we could try doing something about this? Please comment.

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys & gals,

This is mostly wishful thinking but I'm going to say it anyway. Bear with me...

FYI, I'm an OEM buff and I'd rather have the original ICE than a modern 2-DIN aftermarket radio. I just cannot stand what clearly doesn't belong on the design (personal preference).

I've already expressed my thoughts on this forum that an ICE update from Audi would be extremely unlikely. Porsche Classic has done it with the PCCM and PCCM Plus for their Classic owners (until the 996/986 Gen.) - Porsche Classic Communication Management systems - Porsche AG

Clearly Porsche has a lot of heritage and many cars on the road and as such, a big market for the updated headunits.

However, Audi Tradition (division responsible for the Audi/Auto Union classic models and museum) also provides some services (i.e. factory records) and supplies hard to obtain classic parts.

Lately some individuals within the Audi group (and Audi Tradition) have been appearing on YouTube, somehow widening the reach of the classic Audi department to more people:


They may or may not be responsible for the "future projects" department, but they clearly love taking care of vintage/classic Audi and are exposing what they do within Audi. I don't suggest spamming any of these individuals, but try to follow any valid trail/lead.

An RNS-E update (with modern electronics, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SD card Nav, MP3, etc) would be suitable for most 2000-2015 (roughly) Audi cars, Gen. 1 R8 and facelift, Gallardo pre-LP and LP and probably VW/Seat/Skoda models as well.

Granted this takes some money to develop, now that Porsche has already R&D'ed a unit, it wouldn't take much to design and manufacture a bezel/fascia and software compatible with the Audi/VW bus for an updated RNS-E (I believe only the R8 uses a different fascia with the button layout).

There are also official Audi Tradition contacts and there are at least 2 personnel (mentioned on above videos) we could contact for demonstration of interest as a community/owners club. We could probably reach out for other Audi/Lamborghini forums so that we could widen the reach of said project.

What is your opinion? We see ALOT of people wanting CarPlay, get Bluetooth Music, wondering/venturing aftermarket. I'm sure Audi Tradition would appreciate customers preserving their cars using mostly OEM parts if they really want to put Classic Audi "on the map" (not to mention capitalising on each sold unit).

What's your take?

If anything, at least this was a nice dream!
 

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Excellent idea! It would be fantastic if Audi comes out with a plug and play retrofit module to enable wireless Carplay and Android Auto for the R8.

I too prefer the OEM fascia and would not want to replace mine for a 2 Din player. But it's looking close that we can get Carplay retrofitted for less than a grand with some aftermarket modules like in this thread....


Just waiting for these guys to sort out the install and test the functions before I do the retrofit as well. (y)
 

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I'm a big OEM fan, as well - I intend to keep my R8 100% original, but I'd entertain an upgraded head-unit that was also OEM (keeping my original, of course!).

Aside from the head-unit, I think it's just a good idea for the Audi Tradition folks to hear from R8 owners - I'm sure there will be many services we'll need from these folks in the future... like, I don't know, an endless supply of mag-ride shocks that seem to need regular replacement. :) But all joking aside, I like the idea.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just FYI:

Not so much input as I had hoped or expected.
Either way, I went ahead and managed to get hold of someone in Audi Germany and got a response the very next day (deliberately omitting the signature/name):

Hi Carlos,

thank you very much for your mail.

I will forward this message to some other guys to have a look at it.

Very best regards
Obviously I think the chances would be much bigger if there was a full community behind rather than an individual, even if I tried to portrait it that way (as I've mentioned on my original post).

I wouldn't get very excited but I am thankful for an answer and will make sure to reply-back saying Thanks, no matter what.

Regards,
 

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It's a nice idea, but in reality, I think all of the car manufacturers are all looking ahead to their latest exploits, where the market is pushing everyone to go as the answer to all of our transportation, energy and sustainability issues, NOT! The sheer numbers or lack thereof in our case, will most likely keep everything an aftermarket thing and even then, it's hard for them to capitalize on such a small sector. It's good that there are some enthusiasts here that keep pushing the envelope and keep modifying to find solutions that many of us are looking for.
 

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It's a nice idea, but in reality, I think all of the car manufacturers are all looking ahead to their latest exploits, where the market is pushing everyone to go as the answer to all of our transportation, energy and sustainability issues, NOT! The sheer numbers or lack thereof in our case, will most likely keep everything an aftermarket thing and even then, it's hard for them to capitalize on such a small sector. It's good that there are some enthusiasts here that keep pushing the envelope and keep modifying to find solutions that many of us are looking for.
Charlie, you're probably spot on.

However, I could potentially see the situation changing as Audi starts recognizing the historical significance of the Gen-1 R8, along with the broader market. I've noticed that Audi UK, as an example, seems to be lending out their heritage fleet R8 V8 (same one Jeremy Clarkson drove when the R8 first launched) as of late for journalists to review. You don't typically see manufacturers doing this and looking back on their cars... unless, of course, perhaps in the aforementioned circumstance. I believe Audi went out of their way to buy back this particular R8 and refurbish it, as well.

Now, could they capitalize on it? That's a tough one... and the answer is probably "no" - at least not in a purely direct way. The motivation, I suspect, would never be about directly profiting from the program alone - and that's arguably the case for having a car like the R8 in the line-up. Instead, I think the motivation would need to be about brand loyalty, heritage / legacy, and certainly keeping those well-heeled Audi enthusiasts close to the brand and coming back for more.

It makes me think of programs like Ferrari Classiche. I suspect there's some profit in it, but probably not tremendous. Instead, I think it helps to feed the enthusiasm and brand loyalty, while keeping Ferrari's heritage a thing of folklore... which, of course, is great for current and future sales.

Head unit aside - I think it would be beneficial for Audi to consider its own version of a heritage program, and what better vehicle to form a beachhead for such an endeavor than the R8! Sign me up! :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Nothing more and nothing less than what I've said. Yes, Audi has less iconic cars comparing with Ferrari, Porsche, etc. But that does not detract of the Rally/DTM/Le Mans expertise and Quattro system, which, in it's own right, has some pedigree. Again, guys at Audi Tradition are elevating, step by step, brand awareness and looking forward whilst not forgetting their roots.
 

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Do not forget, it was also much easier for Porsche to develop a new headunit, since all their cars up to 1997 (when 996 generation came) used the same single DIN radio arrangement. So they had to develop just one model to fit literally all their cars made across 40+ years.

It was only last year Porsche Classic developed a second head unit for newer cars (911 models of the 996 generation and Boxster models of the 986 generation).

Audi would have to develop a different head unit for Lambo Gallardo, different one for R8 etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Audi would have to develop a different head unit for Lambo Gallardo, different one for R8 etc.
Not quite. The RNS-E on the Gallardo is the same as every other RNS-E on Audi/VW models. ONLY the R8 has a different facia. The software, buttons are the same AFAIK. Every RNS-E has all the boot logos of all models.
 

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Cmmaia, thanks for posting the video(s). The one produced by the Hoonigan guys was fantastic and a great watch. (Shamefully I don't understand German for the second one) Makes me very proud to know I own a car from such a prestigious company with a brilliant racing history.
 
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