Press Releases, 26.02.2010

Preh supplies the MMI control system and multifunction steering wheel switches for the new Audi A8

Bad Neustadt an der Saale, Germany. Preh GmbH is once again partnering with Audi to provide particularly high-end center stacks in the vehicle interior: Preh is supplying the control system for the multimedia interface (MMI) and the steering wheel multifunction switches for the new Audi A8. The highlights of the MMI control system include genuine aluminum insert-molded menu buttons, as well as rotary knobs with a piano lacquer look that, for the first time, will have corona illumination on their surfaces. Particular attention was given to sophisticated haptic design and the tightest possible tolerances in implementing pushbuttons and rotary controls.

An innovative sealing concept prevents spilled drinks and liquids from entering the system. The “MMI Navigation plus” interior control option includes a first-ever touchpad that the driver can use to intuitively control different functions in a number of submenus. The system also supports character recognition for entering letters and numbers on the touchpad.


In addition to the control system featuring the integrated touchpad, Audi also offers a further version on the A8 in which additional joystick functions were integrated into the push/turn control. 

The joystick function offers eight directions of motion, which are executed by means of an exclusive, luxury-class feature that utilizes lateral translational movements of the push/turn control rather than tilt movements. 


The steering wheel includes gear shift paddles and multifunction switches as standard equipment. The steering wheel multifunction switches have roller controls including a confirmation function to make it easy to select functions. The precision haptic design is made possible by proprietary Preh encoder technology. This technology makes it possible to separate function and haptic design. As in the MMI control system, the most demanding requirements were met with regard to surfaces and nighttime design. 


“The haptics, optics, and functionality of the MMI control system clearly reflect the Audi A8’s status as a luxury vehicle. 

The implementation of Audi’s design specifications and system integration within a tight time frame were made possible by a strong design team in Bad Neustadt,” explained Jochen Ehrenberg, head of product development at Preh. 


“We achieve high product quality in standard production by bundling all of the key manufacturing technologies and processes in-house,” Ehrenberg stressed. Preh’s vertical integration extends from plastic, fiber optic, coating and laser technology to electronics manufacturing and semiautomatic system-supported final assembly.