updated 05:15 pm EDT, Wed April 15, 2009
Scion redesigns xB stereo
Carmaker and Toyota offshoot Scion announced on Wednesday it is putting in a redesigned base head unit to all 2010 Scion xBs without raising the car's price. Compared to the head unit it replaces, both of which are manufactured by Pioneer, the new stereo has an organic electroluminescent (OEL) display, a USB connection and a subwoofer RCA output. The USB port is located in the center consoler, along with a cable for iPods and an 3.5mm aux-in jack. Pioneer also integrated an Advanced Sound Retriever (ASR) software into the head unit that aims to restore the full range of a compressed digital audio track.
Scion keeps a full-blown iPod interface allows users to control their playlists via the car's interface; it also preserves the system's 160W power rating spread over the six speakers that include two tweeters. The iPod interface charges connected devices and lets users navigate their libraries by searching through them alphabetically. A customized welcome message up to 16 characters long can be programmed into the head unit.
At the same time, Scion said it is offering an optional audio unit from Alpine, rated at 200W of sustained power and sporting a color 4.3-inch TFT touchscreen. The upgraded unit is ready for rear-view cameras and navigation, and supports HD Radio broadcasts, displaying text song, artist and title information on the display. Media Expander technology restores the sound depth in compressed digital music. An optional plug-in navigation module lets users add navigation capabilities to the Alpine head unit.
While no pricing information on the optional Alpine unit has been announced, the standard Pioneer unit does not add any cost to the Scion xB's base price, which, at $15,750, is the same as the 2009 model. [via CNET]