HERNDON, Virginia — Audi and AT&T announced on Tuesday that most 2016 Audi vehicles will offer AT&T 4G LTE or 3G coverage, a move that is expected to please drivers who demand connectivity with faster download speeds.
"We just announced the next-gen R8 as a 2017 model due in early 2016 at the Geneva motor show," Stertz wrote in response to a query. "That will include 4G LTE among other advanced features."
The 2017 Q7 will have 4G LTE as well. It is due in showrooms in early 2016.
The AT&T deal means Audi drivers will have high-speed access to the Internet, along with navigation and streaming.
Audi said AT&T has the most reliable 4G LTE network in the U.S. and "our product strategy is aimed toward more 4G LTE connectivity in the future."
It added: "This will allow further cloud-based services for the car."
Stertz said Audi Connect comes included with navigation and that feature price "varies depending on trim packages."
Wireless is free for a six-month trial period on new Audi Connect-equipped models. Rates after that are $99 for a six-month/5GB plan or $499 up front for a 30-month/30GB plan. An AT&T Mobile Share plan allows users to add a vehicle to an existing mobile plan for $10.
The Audi announcement follows a GM initiative that began last year when the Detroit automaker began offering 4G LTE in many of its models.
"The convenience and added benefit of having Audi Connect services in our vehicles, along with WiFi access for up to eight devices, serves as a competitive advantage for our brand," said Filip Brabec, Audi of America director of product management in a statement. "We have been and intend to remain innovators in this field through partnerships like this with AT&T."
Under the agreement, all 2016 models with Audi Connect will be delivered to customers by Audi dealers with an AT&T SIM card providing connectivity to the AT&T wireless network.
Audi debuted AT&T's 4G LTE service in the 2015 Audi A3 last year.
A customer help line at 1-877-505-2834 has been set up for Audi Connect and other tech questions. This line provides access to Audi and AT&T support staff.
Edmunds says: Audi wants to set the pace as a technology leader. This is a good way to get the attention of connected car shoppers.