updated 06:35 pm EST, Wed January 6, 2010
Components offer new connectivity options
Pioneer has expanded its line of vehicle products with several new receivers, a navigation system, and three amplifiers. The AVIC-X920BT navigation system features a new interface claimed to offer advanced features while reducing the number of layers required for operation. Users can navigate the menus directly from the 6.1-inch touchscreen, while speech recognition technology enables the system to be controlled without physical interaction.
Along with the standard playback support for CDs and DVDs, the system also integrates 4GB of flash memory and a USB port for connecting an iPod, iPhone, or other compatible devices. Users can install an iTunes plug-in, MusicSphere, that analyzes music and creates playlists based on musical attributes.
The USB port also enables Pandora playback, although the service is currently limited to the iPhone. The iPhone requirement will be in place through 2010, although company executives claimed they are considering other options for the future. Pandora founder Tim Westergren, also present at the Pioneer event, expressed a similar desire to expand the service.
An ECO Driving function analyzes driving characteristics such as acceleration and speed, which are used to create reports estimating environmental impact. Users can view suggestions for improving fuel efficiency, while a Drive Score compares performance between trips on the same route.
Pioneer also introduced new double-DIN receivers, the AVH-P3200DVD, AVH-P3200BT, and AVH-P4200DVD; along with the AVH-P5200DVD and AVH-P5200BT single-DIN models. The devices integrate touchscreen displays ranging in size from 5.8 inches to 7 inches, along with USB connections for attaching iPods and iPhones. Each integrates the company's MOSFET50 50 Watt amplifiers driving four channels.
For further customization, the company has announced three new "GM Digital" Class-D amplifiers including the four-channel GM-D9500F and two monoblock models, the GM-D8500M and GM-D7500M. The 8500 variant produces 75 Watts across four channels, while the monoblock 8500 and 7500 push 300 Watts and 200 Watts, respectively, on a single channel.
The AVIC-X920BT is expected to ship sometime in April for $1200. The AV receivers will be released in March, with prices ranging from $450 to $700. All three amplifiers will be available this month, with pricing starting at $200 and rising to $280 depending on the model.