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Audi Debuts First 4G LTE Car

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author photo by Lindsay Martell

To say we're addicted to the lickety-split speed of our smartphones is a woeful understatement. We want unlimited cute pet videos/Twitter updates/Facebook push notifications in microseconds. Thanks to 4G LTE and Audi, such connectivity behind the wheel is now a reality.

Those in the market for a new Audi S3 Sportback are about to have their data dreams come true. Audi is the first automaker to debut a 4G car, implementing the same technology that allows your smartphone to watch videos and listen to tunes at a sweet clip into your vehicle's navigation unit and transforming it into a mobile hotspot. This means you can get where you want online super fast and super easily.

LTE stands for Long Term Evolution, and it's essentially the fourth-generation standard for wireless devices -- allowing the exchange of large amounts of data in HD quality. It's already up and running in scores of phones and other wireless devices, such as iPhone 5, but this is the first carmaker to make the tech standard with full integration.

It couldn't be simpler to use. Just slip a SIM card into the appropriate slot in the MMI navigation-plus unit in the Audi S3 Sportback. When the passengers connect their mobile devices to the WLAN hotspot integrated into the vehicle, they can surf away independently of one another. Your friend riding shotgun can video chat while your kid in the back seat snaps a selfie to post to Instagram. It allows Wi-Fi for up to eight devices, meaning every buddy in your caravan can be connected.

Audi's MMI navigation plus uses the blazing-fast connectivity to boost the services of Audi connect -- the vehicle's in-car infotainment system. This includes voice-activated Google Earth and Google Street View, real-time news updates and fuel prices. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter also have been made more vehicle-friendly with a text-to-speech function. You'll also find a dictation function for text messages, to ensure there are no dangerous wayward glances on your next road trip.

Drivers will have to provide their own SIM cards, and Audi hasn't disclosed which wireless providers they are teaming up with. No word yet on what customers might be forking over in data fees, either.

Audi 4G LTE can be ordered on the S3 Sportback now, with other A3 vehicles to follow in November.

Part sport, part cutting-edge wireless hub, that new Sportback you've been eyeing just got a lot cooler.

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Audi Debuts First 4G LTE Car