Alpine Electronics at CES today unveiled a new aftermarket CarPlay system with a “hover” design that floats in front of the vehicle’s dashboard instead of being embedded directly into it. The company said that the iLX-F309 “doesn’t require custom installation,” but professional help will still likely be needed to remove existing infotainment systems before installing the iLX-F309.
Alpine’s receiver includes a 9-inch touch screen and will fit in “a variety of vehicles.” The 9-inch screen is slightly larger than the average 6-to-7-inch screen size of many other aftermarket CarPlay systems, and Alpine pointed out that the hover design will bring the larger display into vehicles that were previously restricted to dashboards with smaller form factors.
The system uses a 1-DIN chassis and an adjustable mount to give the hover effect after installation. In its announcement, Alpine Electronics described some of the installation mechanics of the iLX-F309 and how users will be able to adjust its angle:
The 9-inch screen is attached to an adjustable mount connected to a 1-DIN chassis. Once installed, the screen and mount are fixed to the chassis for a sturdy installation. The screen hovers over or in front of the dash while its rear housing tapers off cleanly at the edges for a thin and modern silhouette. At its default position, the screen’s sliding mount is pushed out, sitting at a 90 degree angle and the bottom of the screen is centered with the 1-DIN chassis.
At this point, the screen can be angled at select positions to assist during installation, help with visibility, or move it away from other items on the dashboard. The screen can be positioned 20 millimeters (mm) back from its default position, to move it closer to the dashboard. It can be moved up or down 30mm from its default position and can be tilted up or down at a maximum of 45 degrees, depending on the position of the up/down location.
In addition to CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, the new system is also an AM/FM receiver with video support. The system doesn’t include a CD or DVD slot, but there is a USB port, AUX input, and an HDMI input. The company mentioned that it has Bluetooth technology for audio streaming, but it doesn’t appear to include Wi-Fi or support for wireless CarPlay connectivity, like the company’s iLX-107.
Multiple add-ons are available for the iLX-F309, including a CD/DVD player, a second HDMI input, and rear/side cameras to see behind the vehicle as it’s backing up. Alpine Electronics authorized retailers will begin selling the new system in February for $1,100.