EXCLUSIVE: Meridian to develop in-car audio systems for Range Rover Evoque
British hi-fi specialist Meridian Audio has been appointed to develop in-car audio systems for the forthcoming Range Rover Evoque, due to be officially unveiled at the Paris Motor Show next week.
The Evoque, a new "baby premium" Range Rover, will go on sale next summer for around £30,000. In an unusual celebrity tie-in, former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham will work as a consultant alongside Land Rover's design chief Gerry McGovern on the project.
But back to the audio system. The in-car systems will match the sound quality of Meridian's high-end home entertainment equipment, says Bob Stuart, Meridian founder and chief technical officer.
"Cars do provide a uniquely challenging environment," says Stuart. "We believe that the hi-fi systems used in the next generation of Range Rovers will set new standards in automotive in-car entertainment."
Meridian's partnership with Range Rover begins with the Evoque, something of a departure from Range Rover's traditional models as it will be sold in front-wheel as well as four-wheel drive versions.
State-of-the-art surround sound
The Evoque will be available with two optional Meridian sound systems. A powerful 380W, 13-speaker arrangement, and a top-of-the-range 825W, 19-speaker unit with full surround sound.
State-of-the-art amplifiers built into the car incorporate Meridian's latest digital processing technology to ensure "perfectly optimised sound quality", and both systems use Meridian branded high-efficiency speakers with lightweight neodymium magnets for "exceptional clarity and dynamics".
Meridian Trifield surround staging technology, along with Dolby Pro-Logic IIx and DTS Neo:6, is also used in the full surround system, along with Audyssey MultEQ XT audio tuning, which digitally corrects any sonic imperfections created by the car's cabin environment.
To complete the in-car entertainment options, the Range Rover Evoque can be specified with digital and satellite TV, a DVD player, a hard drive 'virtual' 10 CD multiplayer and DAB/FM/AM/Sirius tuners.
Eight-inch video screens can be built into the back of the front headrests for rear passengers, along with dedicated touchscreen remote control and infra-red headphones.
Harman Kardon will continue to supply Land Rover with surround sound systems for the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models.