Internationale Automobil Ausstellung/International Motor Show, FRANKFURT – JBL Professional®, a unit of Harman, the leading audio and infotainment group, has developed a bespoke premium sound system for the new Ferrari 458 Italia Spider. Conceived for the Spider, the powerful 11 speaker system uses stiff, lightweight materials such as carbon fibre, Kevlar® and aluminium to deliver stunning audio performance, whilst achieving rigorous weight targets.

Accounting for the specific acoustic challenges of an open-topped car, JBL’s engineers have developed an alternative architecture to the Berlinetta derivative. By accessing its extensive portfolio of novel, small and lightweight technologies such the 100mm Kevlar speakers, JBL has ensured that both the driver and passenger are immersed in authentic sound.

Powering the array of carefully positioned speakers is a Class D 640 Watt DSP amplifier. Utilising 8 channels, JBL has used all its expertise to extract the highest levels of performance ensuring a premium listening experience for both occupants. Three 80 mm Alumaprene speakers are used in the doors and centre to deliver balanced frequency response. Extremely stiff they are also highly responsive and provide excellent sound stage across the front of the car. The stringent demands for lightweight construction led JBL engineers to specify carbon fibre for the door woofers. Highly stable across temperature ranges experienced in open topped cars and coupled with light Neodymium magnet systems which deliver virtually distortion-free bass performance in the 20 to 200 Hz range, these custom speakers offer dynamic sound reproduction often difficult to achieve in the challenging car environment. Complimenting the Kevlar speakers in the rear are a further pair of 25 mm metal matrix tweeters that deliver brilliant treble tones.

With tenacious attention to the tuning process, JBL engineers created bespoke equalization (or EQ) which compensates for changes in the acoustics whether the roof is open or closed. When the roof is opened, the levels across the frequency range seamlessly and automatically change to maintain the acoustic performance and compensate for the additional external noise entering the cabin.

Rich in detail and harmoniously integrated into the car, this latest sound system continues the successful cooperation between Harman and the Italian sports car manufacturer that was formed in 1997. The Ferrari 458 Italia Spider system extends the JBL Professional offering that is already available in the 458 Italia, California and most recently, the FF.

HARMAN also equips the Ferrari 458 Italia Spider with the latest infotainment and navigation technology; tailored in detail to the stringent requirements of the Italian sports car brand. All Ferrari models feature a HARMAN hard-disk-based GPS navigation system with map and arrow display. The hard disk offers access times which are much quicker than conventional alternatives using data on a DVD. Bird’s-eye perspectives and an automatic intersection zoom feature are included, as are dynamic route and destination calculation and extensive points of interest (POI).
Verbal route guidance is available in a choice of five languages. In all Ferrari models the DVD player is designed to play video DVDs, audio DVDs and CDs in MP3 and WMA format and an integral USB port.