Few things look more out of place inside a classic automobile than a period-incorrect head unit. It draws the eye like a pimple on a nose.
Fortunately,Â Jaguar Land Rover is now offering a new range of infotainment systems that pair modern functionality with “discreet and harmonious styling.” It’s the coolest idea since Porsche’s Classic Radio Navigation System in 2015. Alright, so it’s the exact same ideaÂ â€” but that hasn’t made us any less stoked about it.
Like the Porsche unit, JLR’s handiwork also resulted in something you could inconspicuously slot into your dashboard without it sticking out like a sore thumb. TheÂ “Classic Infotainment Systems” come in five distinct flavors, designed to pair well with the interior of anyÂ Jaguar or Land Rover sold over the last few decades.Â
Wholly unnecessary, yet undeniably cool, the systems adds telephone functionality, phonebook transfer via Bluetooth, an internal microphone, auxiliary jack, USB port, satellite navigation and supports pairing with up to four devices. Customers also receiveÂ digital radio, as well as the standard FM and AM analog reception.
While the systems are unobtrusive, they aren’t seamless. The 3.5-inch touchscreen that’s integrated between traditional rotary controls and buttons is a dead giveaway that the head unit wasn’t an optional extra from 1987. It works well enough under a cursory examination through the passenger-side window, though.
The units are available through Jaguar Land Rover Classic and retail for about $1,800 in the United States. However, those who aren’t interested in D.I.Y. projects can have them fittedÂ at any authorized Jaguar or Land Rover dealership for a little extra. Obviously, purists will forego even entertaining the idea that an abomination like this dare grace the insides of their future classic. But less pedantic owners will probably find the offer tempting enough to overlook the inauthenticity and price.
The manufacturer says the devices should work on any vehicle using a negative ground system. But they’ve been designed to fit especially well with specific models. For Jaguar, those include theÂ XJ40, XJS, and Series 3 XJ Sedan. Meanwhile, Land Rover optimized them for the Defender 90 and 110, Series 1 Discovery, Series 1 Freelander, and the last batch ofÂ Range Rover Classics (93-96).
[Images: Jaguar Land Rover]