Premium car audio systems from Bose and Mark Levinson are all too commonplace, so it's about time one of the world's leading high-end speaker manufacturers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) joined the fray with its all-new system for Jaguar's gorgeous XF sedan. At a joint press event last week in New York City Jaguar and Bowers & Wilkins showed an advance prototype of the 2008 XF model.
Unlike most car audio/auto manufacturer relationships where the audio supplier is forced to work with the "leftover" spaces to place its speakers and electronics, Bower & Wilkins engineers began their collaboration with Jaguar before the new car was conceived. The engineers were given free reign to place the system's fourteen speakers in acoustically optimized locations. The 7.1 channel array utilizes four metal dome tweeters, nine Kevlar mid/bass drivers, and one subwoofer.
Furthermore, each tweeter, mid/bass driver and the sub is powered by its own amplifier (total power is spec-ed at 440 watts). The system employs digital signal processing to monitor the vehicle's interior ambient noise levels and adjust its sound quality to compensate for changing road conditions.
Unfortunately, the Jag did not have a working audio system, so I stood there ogling the interior, imagining the system's state of the art sonics. I also spent a little time fantasizing about how much all this beauty would cost, but the car and audio system's prices have yet to be determined, the debut is expected by the spring/summer of 2008.