What make of audio system did the McLaren F1 come with? It’s a good pub quiz question for sure, but with the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) currently showcasing technology’s future in Las Vegas, also a topical one.
The approved stereo for the F1 in 1991 had a fraction the number of buttons and weighed half as much as the other contenders in the running to provide music in the world’s greatest supercar, a spec that quickly convinced F1 creator Gordon Murray. The name on the 10-disc autochanger? Kenwood.
A quarter of a century on, the collaboration between Kenwood (now JVC Kenwood) and McLaren continues, at least on the racetrack where the multinational electronics giant supplies all the McLaren F1 team’s comms equipment, and has done since 1991.
Not so the road cars – they tend to come with Meridian or Bowers & Wilkins audio systems these days – but that hasn’t stopped JVC Kenwood showing just what it can do in the cockpit of a 675 LT. And the result is… well, it’s the future probably. All digital inside obviously, but also rather sexy, as the concept at CES in Vegas this week shows.
Out, for starters, has gone the centre stack and air-con, along with the instrument binnacle. You think McLarens are minimalist on the inside already? Just take a look at this one. Information for the driver is relayed entirely by a head-up display, part of JVC Kenwood’s CarOptronics system. The head-up display is positioned using buttons that replace the IPAS and DRS toggles on the new steering wheel – yep, the wheel comes from the McLaren P1 GTR.
Digital cameras replace both wing mirrors and the rear-view mirror – they are lighter and more aerodynamic – providing high-resolution images of whatever car it is the 205mph McLaren has just overtaken. As well as reducing blindspots.
The mirrors are the only change on the outside, apart from the addition of familiar JVC Kenwood silver racing stripes. Inside, new materials include black Nappa leather and a reflection-free grained-finish technical fabric, along with lots of flashes of good old McLaren orange.
There’s no word on what stereo the car uses… but overall, a car that’s lighter of weight and has fewer buttons? As Gordon Murray would probably say, it’s the future.
Images courtesy of McLaren