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Just call me ‘Hannibal’! Because I have plans that are getting all A Team and coming together…

For these days, I am launching my ebullient self upon the mainstream car market, too. I am not entirely certain they know quite what to make of me but they are learning. So far, I am getting better in with the whole Harman milieu, who have always been keen on my coverage, even when I was grumpy. (I have such a soft spot for the folks who look after their PR, here. They seem to ‘get’ me!) Which means a startling variety of cars, as well as a wide range of premium audio suppliers, like JBL, B&O and others. I am also nicely in with Audi; my A7 Sportback video sailing through 115,000 views. I am going on the 25th to VAG HQ to have a couple of hours intimacy with a Q7 e-tron. The thick end of seventy grand, (they start at sixty-six) I am of course very keen on the Bang and Olufsen 3D audio system, as well as the full eco-technology going on. This is the sexy face of energy efficiency, as the SUV can do 142mph and has an 800 mile range! Continuity with the same executive is not happening, as he had the temerity to get married and has neatly delegated my handling to a colleague while he is on honeymoon. Awwwwwww…

However, on the morrow, I am popping over to Egham and the Maranello Ferrari and Maserati UK hotspot. There, I have audience with a Ferrari GT4 Lusso. I will also be getting another Bowers & Wilkins system to listen to, in a Quattroporte. This will make me an authority! As I will have had audition of Volvo’s B&W systems in an XC90, a V90XC,(which is a different monocoque, honest!) and a smaller XC60, in a couple of engine variants, all with the lovely B&W audio in them. Thing is, each has a different cabin-specific iteration, of the once NDA-covered Fresh-Air subwoofer. each is crucial and I can check out the weight and majesty. So far, the smallest cabin XC60 was the most impressive as you are simply closer-in with less cubic to excite, in that cabin. A Maserati has impressive soft furnishings, so we shall see. The Lusso just might not be the spec I was initially piqued by, as they have a rear-seat controllability to the Sat Nav, that is unique. However, it has taken some real catchy-monkey to get this lined up, so despite a warning call this morning, to let me know this was likely the case, I will go with delight and take a first look. The steering wheel has nearly as many controls on it as my Volvo. Just being a ‘mensch’ and able to come back in future, to Maranello’s with the Ferrari North Europe executive fellow’s say so, will thus be possible, without needing to swag a window in his day. Anthing that makes a journo simpler to ‘handle’ is good. And my needs are simple.

I am enjoying the speaker group test I have running right now. It’s fun to play with them and suss their design urges out. It is kind of my thing. I had better go get on with it!

Adam Rayner OnLine Editor


Great to see the car producers are finally putting time, effort and much more thought into car entertainment reproduction quality, rather than 'just' dropping a well known name onto their £many upgrades - only for it to sound terrible to anybody with an ear for SQ.