The horsepower war among high-end German sedans may soon be replaced by an automaker battle to offer the best 1000-plus-watt sound system.
That's what we're noticing with Mercedes-Benz's announcement that a new 1000-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system -- pictured above -- will become a 7021 Euro option (about $9140 U.S.) on the SLS AMG for European customers.
In a car with a cabin as small as the SLS AMG, Mercedes-Benz and Bang & Olufsen have integrated 11 speakers that provide a total of 1000 watts. Thanks to a digital sound processor, driver and passenger can select between a studio or surround sound experience. The interface controlling the sound system is unique to the SLS AMG and, we're told, the illuminated 50-watt tweeters and the two subwoofers are built with style in mind.
The same is surely true with Audi's Bang & Olufsen systems. On the Q7 SUV (at right) and the outgoing A8 sedan in the U.S., a Bang & Olufsen sound system is $6300. For that price, you get an "unrivaled sound system," Audi claims. Well, unrivaled until the completely new A8 L W12 quattro arrives (shown at right). That car will offer a 1400-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system with 19 speakers -- matching the speaker count of the LS 600h L.
Bentley, meanwhile, is set to offer an optional Naim sound system with 20 speakers and 2200 watts of amplification on the 2011 Mulsanne sedan.
Even if you had the money to afford a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG or Audi A8 L W12 quattro, we have to ask: How much money is too much for a high-end sound system?
Source: Mercedes-Benz, Audi