Worth

High-end branded car audio systems: Are they worth the money?

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American audio firm McIntosh is partnering with Jeep for the branded audio system in the new Grand Cherokee L.


Jeep

As luxury vehicle manufacturers learn more and more on novel tech and features to move their vehicles, we’ve seen a surge in branded high-end audio systems. You’re probably familiar with a few of them at least: Mark Levinson and Lexus, Meridian and Land Rover, Naim and Bentley, Burmester with Mercedes and Porsche, and now, with the announcement of the very handsome 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee last week, we’re seeing McIntosh launch an automotive partnership once again.

Before its partnership with Jeep, McIntosh worked directly with Harley-Davidson, Subaru and Ford on branded audio systems; the latter is exclusive to the 2005-2006 Ford GT. It also offered very high-end aftermarket car audio systems for a while, and has been around as a company since 1949.

The system in the Jeep Grand

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1983 VW Rabbit GTI Was Worth the Wait

From the November 1982 issue of Car and Driver.

The automotive business may be topsy­-turvy these days, but there’s still no question about where the world’s best drivers’ cars come from. For sheer quantity, you can’t beat the Fatherland: Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and VW turn out more great rides than the rest of the world’s carmakers combined. Even the Japanese still think German cars are magic—and they’re working furiously to close the gap.

So without further ado, allow us to introduce the latest autobahn panzer to grace our roads, the Volkswagen Rabbit GTI, from—wait a minute—Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania? That’s right. Volkswagen of America is now producing a home-grown version of the little hatchback we’ve been waiting for, the GTI—the perennial benchmark of high­-performance European econoboxes. Better still, it works so well, you’d swear it came from Wolfsburg.

If you find this leap of faith … Read More