The second-generation system has been completely reworked to incorporate a 12.3in TFT display, 8in touchscreen and eight main buttons located on the car’s centre console. It is said to use the fastest software processor currently available for this type of infotainment, and arrives as Peugeot’s answer to Audi’s Virtual Cockpit.
Ahead of the driver and behind the steering wheel, the TFT display incorporates a similar menu structure to that seen on Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, but the Peugeot gets its own unique graphics (which have been developed in-house) and five customisable displays.
Drivers can use the steering wheel controls to view the system’s standard-fit satellite navigation or driver assist displays, with speed and revs pushed to the screen’s corners, or alternatively, a speedo and rev counter display can be selected for those who prefer a more conventional layout.
The centre console’s touchscreen can also show a variety of displays, including a 3D version of the Tom Tom-based satellite navigation that features live traffic updates and allows users to touch a building to select it as a destination. Driver preferences are also accessed on this screen, allowing custom settings for lighting, seat massage settings and even cockpit fragrance to be saved in up to three profiles.
To make it easier to access these profiles, Peugeot has added a one-touch button to the dash’s centre console. This button, and the seven others next to it, open controls for key features that drivers will want direct access to, including climate control, heated seats and phone connectivity.
Smartphones can be connected to i-Cockpit via Android Auto, Apply CarPlay and MirrorLink, which places certain journey-appropriate apps onto the touchscreen so they can be used without touching a phone.
Peugeot says it’s worked hard to improve the seating position and dash layout of its cars. The new i-Cockpit retains a small diameter steering wheel, but designers have lowered the top of the wheel by 2mm to help improve visibility of the TFT screen behind – an issue many felt was a major flaw in the previous system’s design.
To boost the immersive experience of driving a Peugeot, the car maker says it’s evolved the engine noise amplifier that it introduced to the 308 last year. The resonator plays a digital sound through the car’s speakers to ‘enhance’ engine noise, and while the experience with the previous-gen amplifier left us unconvinced, Peugeot assures us this updated version will sound more genuine.