Jaguar Land Rover Now Retrofitting Vintage Rides With Modern Infotainment

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
jaguar land rover now retrofitting vintage rides with modern infotainment

Few things look more out of place inside a classic automobile than a period-incorrect head unit. It draws the eye like a pimple on a nose.

Fortunately, Jaguar Land Rover is now offering a new range of infotainment systems that pair modern functionality with “discreet and harmonious styling.” It’s the coolest idea since Porsche’s Classic Radio Navigation System in 2015. Alright, so it’s the exact same idea — but that hasn’t made us any less stoked about it.

Like the Porsche unit, JLR’s handiwork also resulted in something you could inconspicuously slot into your dashboard without it sticking out like a sore thumb. The “Classic Infotainment Systems” come in five distinct flavors, designed to pair well with the interior of any Jaguar or Land Rover sold over the last few decades.

Wholly unnecessary, yet undeniably cool, the systems adds telephone functionality, phonebook transfer via Bluetooth, an internal microphone, auxiliary jack, USB port, satellite navigation and supports pairing with up to four devices. Customers also receive digital radio, as well as the standard FM and AM analog reception.

While the systems are unobtrusive, they aren’t seamless. The 3.5-inch touchscreen that’s integrated between traditional rotary controls and buttons is a dead giveaway that the head unit wasn’t an optional extra from 1987. It works well enough under a cursory examination through the passenger-side window, though.

The units are available through Jaguar Land Rover Classic and retail for about $1,800 in the United States. However, those who aren’t interested in D.I.Y. projects can have them fitted at any authorized Jaguar or Land Rover dealership for a little extra. Obviously, purists will forego even entertaining the idea that an abomination like this dare grace the insides of their future classic. But less pedantic owners will probably find the offer tempting enough to overlook the inauthenticity and price.

The manufacturer says the devices should work on any vehicle using a negative ground system. But they’ve been designed to fit especially well with specific models. For Jaguar, those include the XJ40, XJS, and Series 3 XJ Sedan. Meanwhile, Land Rover optimized them for the Defender 90 and 110, Series 1 Discovery, Series 1 Freelander, and the last batch of Range Rover Classics (93-96).

[Images: Jaguar Land Rover]

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  • Jagboi Jagboi on Sep 12, 2018

    The first photo looks like a Silver Shadow dash. It sure isn't a Jaguar.

  • WallMeerkat WallMeerkat on Sep 12, 2018

    I remember watching Goldeneye and the thing that stuck out about the DB5 in Monaco was the CD player head unit that looked like it was straight out of a ricer hatchback. The type of thing I might have retrofitted to the beater I owned, then have to take the front cover off in case it was stolen. Surely that would ruin James Bonds tux jacket? Of course it was then revealed that it was actually a fax machine. Because 90s. The JLR head unit - how are they going to retrofit DAB (digital radio)? Any third party solutions I looked at in the past involved extra aerials or ugly antenna things that stuck onto the windscreen.

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