Actually owned by Honda, this car is part of a joint venture between Wings West and Alpine Electronics. Wings West has dominion over the exterior of the vehicle and Alpine has authority over the interior. The result is a show car that is second to none. The car made its debut at the 2002 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, and has been showcased at SEMA and the Long Beach Grand Prix, and will also show at Hot Import Nights and other events around the country.
Needless to say, the vehicle went through a host of modifications inside and out. The West Wing portion of the venture included the following alterations: Wings West body kit including G5 front air dam with carbon fiber splitter, side skirts, rear lower wrap, extreme fender flairs, hood bonnet, carbon fiber hood and M2 series rear wing, plus Konig two-piece Tantrum 19×8.5 wheels, Toyo Proxes T-1 tires, Wilwood front brakes and rear drill-slotted rotors, Eibach Springs Pro Kit 1-inch drop suspension, Magnaflow dual cat-back stainless steel exhaust system, AEM cold air intake, Optima gelcell battery, Nitrous Express direct port nitrous oxide system, DC Sport oil cap and upper strut bar, Arctic blue pearl paint and blue window tint (supplied by Sundial Window Tinting).
Our friends at Alpine were not going to be outdone. They took control of their territory and did some massive adjustments, too. The interior modifications and the installation of the audio-video components were done by Steve Brown and Chris Yato, application research and development engineers for Alpine Electronics.
The factory dash was removed and only the portion with the instrument cluster was rescued. Instead, a custom dashboard was fabricated with a two-piece look. The bottom of the dash is molded with a dish and the top, where the gauges are located, is a floating piece actually separate from the lower portion. The dash flows into a custom-made center console and into the doors. First, a frame was created for the shape and then cloth was stretched over the frame and fiberglassed. When the fiberglass resin was hardened, fiberglass mat was put on. Body fill came next to smooth out the shape and then the assembly was sanded, prepped and painted. Several colors were used to highlight different areas of the dash.
The factory portion of the center console around the shifter bezel was saved, but the rest of the center console is custom fabricated, too. The console was constructed on the same principle as the dash: a frame was made, cloth was stretched over the frame, and it was fiberglassed with resin and mat. The center console integrates into a three-tier amplifier rack in the rear of the vehicle. Room was obtained by removing the rear seats. Each tier holds one amplifier.
The rack is made of medium density fiberboard and Plexiglas. The fiberboard is on the top and bottom, and the Plexiglas is sandwiched in the middle. The Plexi is edge lit with neon.
Each amplifier is suspended in the middle of its rack on another piece of Plexiglas. The three amp racks are held together by a welded frame that supports the structure from the bottom. A DVD changer and DVD navigation system also reside in this structure. The DVD changer can be seen in the front area of the rack between the front seats. The navigation system is hidden. Trim panels on both sides cover the supports. Each amp rack is air brushed to match the outside of the vehicle.
The doors went through changes, too. Part of the stock door panels were saved to maintain the factory clips in back so that the panels can snap on to the doors like the factory piece. The panels were grounded down and fiberglass was put over the entire top of the panels so that they could be built up to shape to the dash and built out where the speakers were to be located.The factory steering wheel, pedals and shift knob have been replaced with a Momo steering wheel, shift knob and pedal kit. Moreover, Cobra Sidewinder sport seats replaced the factory seats and have been restyled and reupholstered by MotoStyle in black, blue and silver leather to match the design scheme of the car.
Movies, Navigation and Games
The dashboard serves as the mounting location for the Alpine CDA-7995 AM/FM/CD player and two Alpine TME-M760 6.5-inch widescreen monitors–one integrated into the dash above the head unit and one below. These monitors are framed with ABS plastic and integrate into the fiberglass dash. The top monitor shows DVD movies and the video game and the bottom monitor is for navigation only. The CDA-7995 features Bass Engine Plus functions, which include four-channel digital time correction, bass center frequency control, bass width control, treble center frequency control, three-position 12 dB per octave crossover, subwoofer level control, subwoofer phase selector, and MediaXpander(TM). It also includes a 4-volt pre-output and is also capable of playing MP3.
Also destined for the dash is the Alpine PXA-H700 Multimedia Manager. This processor includes integrated Dolby Pro Logic II(R). The unit includes one-third octave equalization, digital crossover and digital time alignment. It also supplies high-performance 5.1 surround multi-channel decoding in both Dolby Digital(R) and DTS(R) formats, Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Pro Logic and DTS multi-channel audio. The piece has been designed to enhance a four-speaker system with Dolby Pro Logic II that creates a phantom center image, offering a recreation of multi-channel sound from any two-channel stereo source.
The support pillar for the amplifier rack is the location for the Alpine DHA-S680 six-disc DVD changer. The unit features Alpine’s AiNET, which allows the head unit to control it. It is Dolby Digital(R) and DTS(R) compatible and plays CD, CD-R, and CD-RW discs. It also includes an optical digital output, video output and two-channel mix-down preout. And it comes with a wireless remote control.The Alpine NVE-N852A DVD navigational system is hidden inside a compartment built into the base of the rack. It includes a 12-channel GPS receiver, speed sensor, gyro sensor for accurate map matching and voice guidance, and it comes with a wireless remote control.
Also hidden in the base of the amplifier rack are one MRD-M500 AccuClass-D mono amplifier, two MRV-F340 four-channel amplifiers, TUA-T020XM XM Satellite Radio tuner module, and Microsoft XBox game console. An MRD-M500 mono amplifier also sits on each tier of the amp rack for a total of four MRD-M500 mono amps. This amplifier supplies 500 watts of power into 2 ohms and 250 watts into 4 ohms at 14.4 volts RMS power; and 400 watts into 2 ohms and 200 watts into 4 ohms at 12 volts RMS power.
Part of Alpine’s V12 AccuClass-D amps, this amplifier has an analog-to-digital converter at the pre-input section and a custom DSP processor. The processor allows full digital control over all Bass Engine (TM) settings such as subwoofer level control, parametric equalizer (bass center and width control) and digital crossover. It also includes a digital control center with LCD display and it is remote bass knob or RACC ready.
The MRV-F340 four-channel amplifier offers 65 watts per channel into 2 ohms and 55 watts into 4 ohms and can be bridged into a two-channel mode to supply 130 watts per channel. All of this at 14.4 volts RMS power. At 12-volt RMS power, it offers 45 watts per channel into 2 ohms and 35 watts into 4 ohms, and when bridged into a two-channel mode will supply 90 watts per channel into 4 ohms. It also includes the DSP processor with the same capabilities as the one in the MRD-M500 mono amp and the Bass Engine feature that includes an independent variable highpass and lowpass crossover and subsonic filter.
An arch that extends left to right on the bottom portion of the hatchback door holds three Alpine TME-M760 6.5-inch widescreen monitors. The arch is made of fiberglass and Plexiglas and is bolted to the frame of the hatch. One monitor shows the DVD movie, one exhibits the video game, and one is used only for navigation.
A subwoofer enclosure is located in the hatch area as well and holds two Alpine 15-inch dual voice coil subwoofers–one in each corner in the rear of the hatch. The enclosure is molded into side panels and a trim panel, which is not a part of the enclosure, is located over the subwoofers. The sealed enclosure is made of medium density fiberboard. The drivers are firing toward the front of the vehicle and are angled about 45 degrees and aimed at a center point. Two MRD-M500 mono amplifiers work each driver–one on each voice coil.
An Alpine 51/4-inch midrange speaker and two tweeters are mounted in the center of the dash and serve as the center channel for the system. Each door holds an Alpine 51/4-inch midrange speaker and tweeter. The doors are painted blue and silver and accented with blue neon and an Alpine logo. An Alpine 51/4-inch midrange speaker and tweeter play from molded trim side panels of the subwoofer enclosure and offer rear fill. Carrying power from the battery to the distribution block is 1/0-gauge cable, while 8-gauge cable carries power from the block to the amplifiers. The installation accessories, including cables, wires, block, etc., were supplied by Phoenix Gold. Quite a mobile theater, don’t you think?