Jaguar Land Rover offers modern infotainment systems for classic cars

If you can’t take a trip down memory lane without bringing a touchscreen along, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has a solution. The British automaker is offering modern infotainment systems that can be retrofitted to classic cars, something already offered by rival Porsche. So you can get Bluetooth in a car that predates the invention of cell phones.

In addition to Bluetooth, Jaguar Land Rover’s Classic Infotainment Systems include navigation (with 2D or 3D maps),  digital radio, and FM and AM analog reception. However, there’s no mention of satellite radio, which is included with Porsche’s system. JLR claims higher-quality sound from the 4 x 45-watt output of the single DIN-sized head unit, but that probably won’t make much difference if the sound is piped through stock speakers.

Everything is controlled from a 3.5-inch touchscreen and a set of analog buttons and knobs. The systems are compatible with cars using older negative-earth electronics. Multiple designs of head unit are available, with retro styling to help them blend in with the dashboards of older cars. Choices include black or chrome finishes for Jaguars, and black or brushed aluminum for Land Rovers.

These head units could offer the best of both worlds for classic-car owners who want a vintage experience, but don’t want to go back to using paper maps. On the other hand, one of the nice things about driving an old car is not having to deal with the modern distractions of being constantly connected.

The systems retail for 1,200 pounds ($1,563) in the U.K., but JLR hasn’t released U.S.-specific pricing. Head units can be ordered online, and certain JLR dealers can perform the installation if desired. The systems can also be added to cars as part of restorations performed at JLR’s U.K. Classic Works.

Modern infotainment systems aren’t the only new tech JLR is installing in vintage cars. The automaker will also offer electric powertrain conversions for the Jaguar E-Type, arguably one of the greatest sports cars in history. A battery pack sits where a stock E-Type’s engine would normally reside. JLR is currently taking reservations from customers for the conversions, which the automaker claims are fully reversible.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Self-balancing skates, tiny tripods, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

Audi is finally taking the wraps off its Tesla-fighting e-tron electric SUV

The 2019 Audi e-tron is an electric SUV aimed at the Tesla Model X, Jaguar I-Pace, and Mercedes-Benz EQC. It's Audi's first mass-market electric car, but will it make a good first impression?
Product Review

Mercedes’ 2019 Sprinter proves vans don’t have to be low-tech

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter boasts infotainment and driver-assist tech from Mercedes’ passenger cars. It’s not something normally seen on big vans, but it makes the Sprinter a much easier vehicle to use.
Cars

Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy electric SUV races coming to Hong Kong, Paris, New York

The Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy is a race series built around the Jaguar I-Pace electric SUV. Up to 20 identical race-prepped I-Paces will race on Formula E circuits beginning late next year.
Cars

An elevator in your garage? Boring Company gets OK to test Loop Lift from tunnel

The Hawthorne (California) City Council gave Elon Musk's Boring Company the go-ahead to construct a Loop Lift prototype. The lift will connect the company's existing underground hyperloop to a residential garage.
Cars

Uber has decided to leave its broadly derided current logo ‘behind’

Rideshare giant Uber has a new brand image. The new wordmark logo replaces Uber's previous brand icon, a circular graphic that was derided as an "asshole" symbol that walked away from a clear brand identifier.
Cars

We get up close with the Vision iNext concept to learn about BMW’s future

Through a massive worldwide campaign that visits various major cities around the world, we get our exclusive opportunity to get up close and personal with BMW’s latest Vision iNEXT Concept to learn about automaker’s future plans.
Cars

Startup inks ‘world’s largest deal’ for driverless grocery deliveries

An increasing number of companies are testing delivery services using autonomous vehicles. Startup Udelv already has experience of running a trial in San Francisco, with Oklahoma City, Oklahoma set to become its next destination.
Product Review

Alfa Romeo delivers the quintessential Italian high-performance SUV

Alfa’s Romeo’s Ferrari-powered sport utility delivers hair-raising straight-line performance, admirable capability in the corners, and head-turning style, but comes up a bit short in a few key areas.
Smart Home

Amazon reportedly will introduce an Alexa-enabled microwave, amp, and more

Amazon's Fall 2018 Alexa device rollout is about to begin, sources say. Look for an Alexa microwave, an amplifier, receiver, and subwoofer, and an Alexa voice-responsive device for your car. Amazon is maximizing its voice-command presence.
Cars

Elon Musk: Tesla is bringing most collision repair in-house, outsiders too slow

Dissatisfied with third-party collision repair shops, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to announce the firm is bring most repair work in-house. The goal is a car as good or better than new with repair completed in under an hour.
Cars

Volkswagen built a 210-mph Jetta, and broke a land-speed record with it

A modified 2019 Volkswagen Jetta just set a land-speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in the G/BGC class. Boasting a 600-horsepower engine, the Jetta hit 210 mph on the salt.
Emerging Tech

Smart sound system will give every car passenger their own wireless audio stream

Can't agree on what to listen to in the car? Imagine if each passenger could get their own way, courtesy of a personal audio stream — no headphones required. Sounds impossible, but it's almost here.
Emerging Tech

No more scraping? Anti-frosting advance could mark end of frozen windshields

Hate frozen windshields in winter? Researchers at Virginia Tech may have found a way to banish them for good, thanks to the world’s first passive anti-frosting surface. Here's how it works.