Brand-name sound systems are nothing new in the automotive world, but Volkswagen may soon have one of the more interesting partnerships. Starting in the 2012 model year, some Volkswagens will be offered with Fender-branded sound systems.
The first will be the Jetta-based GLI in the 2012 model year and available in the spring. Fender sound systems will be available in other Jettas later -- after all, that is VW's most popular U.S. vehicle -- as well as the 2012 Beetle and 2012 midsize sedan.
Though Fender may be better known for its range of guitars and amplifiers, the company has recently jumped into the consumer audio fray. Three years of development in a new lab went into the nine-speaker Fender sound system. Front dual voice coil speakers with extended range and lower inter-modulation distortion and smooth mid-range response help keep the tunes flowing. Fender worked with Panasonic to improve the sound system's quality.
Currently, the 2011 Jetta SEL offers an optional touchscreen sound system with six speakers. VW's partnership with Fender isn't the first time the automaker has made an interesting musical connection: in 2006, anyone who bought a Jetta, GTI, Rabbit, or New Beetle was entitled to a free limited edition First Act Garagemaster electric guitar that could be played through the car's audio system.