Alpine Electronics is restyling mindsets and vehicle dashboards with the new X009 series Audio/Video/Navigation (AVN) system with a 9-inch screen, which is the largest size in the aftermarket.
The X009-GM, designed for GM trucks and SUVs, is the first model in the series and is now shipping. The X009U for custom applications is also now available.
“Truck and SUV owners lead active lives and depend on their vehicles for work and play,” said Steve Crawford, Vice President and General Manager, aftermarket business unit, Alpine Electronics of America, Inc. “The X009-GM is a revolutionary product with an oversized screen, advanced technology and superior aesthetics that delivers a premium in-vehicle experience.”
Accompanying the launch of the X009 series is the new “Alpine Restyle” product, marketing and sales strategy. After conducting extensive research, the company found that the truck and SUV vehicle platform, along with the lifestyles lived by the owners of these vehicles, provided the best opportunity for innovation with the X009 series. Various external and internal activities are underway to reach these vehicle owners through social media programs, advertising, consumer events and in-store displays. The Alpine Restyle strategy was recently shared with authorized Alpine retailers at a launch event, where attendees learned why and how they should target these consumers.
“The Alpine Restyle focus on trucks and SUVs provides opportunities for our business by forcing us to think less traditionally and giving us the chance to expose our customers to new items that they otherwise might not even know existed,” said Derek Kenney, owner of Sound in Motion in Allston, Massachusetts.
“Alpine’s new Restyle program gives us a 360-degree solution for these unique truck owners. Our shop caters to this customer already, so this makes it easier, more profitable, and it gives us their toys to work on,” said Joe Roberts, owner of Roberts Mobile Electronics in Louisville.
Custom Designed External Keys for Various Trucks and SUVs
Totally unique to the X009 series are external keys that integrate into the factory radio’s outer bezel. The keys are custom designed with ergonomics and the Alpine style in mind, matching the lighting color and style of specific truck and SUV models. The X009-GM consists of the 9-inch AVN system and custom external key set for 2007–2013 GM trucks and 2007-2014 GM SUVs with the low-radio dash style. The X009-GM’s external keys are backlit in the same green hue used on the factory dash. Additional versions of the X009 AVN system packaged with external key sets for other trucks and SUVs will be introduced later this year.
Included iDatalink® Maestro Module
The X009-GM retains many factory vehicle controls through the included iDatalink Maestro module and vehicle specific T-harness. Features that can be retained include: OnStar™ from GM, factory audio amplification, rear seat entertainment system, rearview camera, SiriusXM, and steering wheel controls. Additional vehicle functions that are accessible through the Maestro module include vehicle gauges, tire pressure, “check engine” warnings, and factory parking sensor integration (retained features and customized vehicle information vary by vehicle model). The iDatalink Maestro module is also compatible with the X009U but is sold separately.
TuneIt® 2.0 Sound Tuning and Sharing App
The X009-GM and X009U can be used with TuneIt 2.0, Alpine’s exclusive smartphone app for in-vehicle sound tuning. TuneIt 2.0 also notifies the user of incoming activity on his or her Facebook wall through a pop-up message on the screen, displaying the name and photo of the sender. If the user chooses to accept the notification, TuneIt 2.0 will play the message back via text-to-speech and the user can “Like” the message through the press of a button. When the vehicle is parked, the user can view posted photos and messages on the screen.
The X009-GM and X009U can control various audio sources for a wide range of entertainment choices. Both models have a built-in HD Radio™ receiver and offer Pandora® control from iPhone® and Android™ smartphones. They are “Made for iPod and iPhone” compatible and have rear USB access. They are also compatible with SiriusXM satellite radio when used with the SiriusXM Connect Vehicle Tuner Kit (sold separately, subscription required).
Video, Navigation and Phone Features
The 9-inch screens on the AVN systems are full WVGA high-resolution displays with crisp, detailed picture quality. The Independent Dual Zone feature lets drivers use a source in the dash while the back seat passengers enjoy a separate video on the rear seat screen (optional screen sold separately). The models also have an HDMI input to allow video playback from smartphones or other HDMI-equipped devices.
Navigation features include pre-loaded maps of the United States and Canada, 3D depiction of major landmarks, buildings and terrain details, and free lifetime traffic service. Bluetooth® wireless technology is built-in and includes secure simple pairing (SSP), call waiting, and icons for phone battery and cellular signal level.
Enhanced “My Favorites” Customizable Settings
Both AVN systems have the popular “My Favorites” feature, which lets users customize quick-access screens with up to 80 shortcuts to their most used features. Two separate users can each design up to 10 Favorites page profiles of eight shortcuts per page. Shortcuts can be created for audio sources, navigation commands and phone settings, and they are easily added through the touch of a button on the corresponding source page. If a front or rearview camera is installed in the vehicle, the camera images can be also manually selected on the My Favorites screen.