2004 Alpine Mini


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(from Alpine Press Release)  Alpine Electronics of America, Inc. today unveiled its newest show car, an entirely customized Mini Cooper S. This demo car, designed to showcase the technological strengths of the company, as well as the fabrication strength of the installation team, will be Alpine’s main show car for 2004 consumer and industry events.

Built by Steve Brown and Mike Vu of Alpine’s Advanced Application R & D Team, the car took 4,000 man-hours and over seven months to build. Brown & Vu wanted the Mini to be unlike any other in existence and made over-the-top modifications to ensure the uniqueness of the vehicle. First, the roof was cut off and a custom-made windshield was installed, turning the car into a topless “speedster.” The Mini was lowered and a super widebody kit was added, giving the car a more aggressive look. Next, the steering column was moved to create a single-seat, center drive car. Finally, the doors were sealed shut, creating a vehicle that is not accessible through the sides. Instead, an eight-foot “sled” that incorporates a custom-made plexiglass driver’s seat fully motorizes out from the rear of the car. When fully extended, the sled lies five feet out from the rear of the car.

The Mini showcases an array of Alpine’s new 2004 products. The interior of the car was completely gutted, so that the Alpine products could be seamlessly integrated to match the overall look of the car. With an emphasis on creating an A/V showcase, the entire dash was removed. Six TME-M580 5.8-inch monitors are held on criss-crossing fiberglass “arms” and are positioned on the left and right side of the steering wheel. The monitors can display images from the NVE-N852A PowerNAV™ DVD navigation system, the XBox video game console, DVA-5210 DVD player, and the DHA-S680 6-disc DVD changer.

A fiberglass component cluster surrounds the steering wheel and houses the CDA-9835 AM/FM/CD/MP3/WMA/XM Ready head unit and the DVA-5210. A PXA-H701 digital processor supplies Dolby Digital®, Dolby Pro Logic II®, and DTS® technologies. The PXA-H701’s faceplate, the RUX-C701, provides readouts of the processor’s settings and is placed on top of the steering column. A Defi digital gauge is flush mounted in the center of the custom-made steering wheel. Six other Defi driving gauges, provided by EDO Performance, are housed in custom fabricated fiberglass cylinders with chrome accents and are on the left and right of the steering column.

Six amplifiers power this large system. Two MRV-F540 four-channel amps and two MRD-M501 AccuClass-D™ mono amps are installed on the floor of the Mini. These four amps become visible when the sled is fully extended. Two MRD-M1001 AccuClass-D mono amps are installed on the interior sides of the car and flank the sides of the sled.

This tiny car packs a punch with its strategically placed speakers. Three SPX-137R 5.25-inch component two-way speaker sets are placed in the left/center/right front stage, while two more sets are in the left/right rear stage. Four sets of SPX-17MB 6.5-inch mid bass kits are found on both the left and right side of the driver. For unmistakable bass emphasis, two SWX-1242D 12-inch subwoofers are attached to the back of the driver’s seat on the sled. The external rear portion of the sled features a TME-M770 6.5-inch widescreen monitor that can display video from the DVA-5210 or the NVE-N852A navigation system. For additional fun, the monitor can also be used to play games from the XBox video game console, using the MadCatz wireless controllers.

The Alpine components are all connected by Monster Cable wires and power cables. Back-lit Alpine logos are found on the front bumper, side skirts, and external rear of the sled. A custom commissioned airbrush design by Noah flows from the exterior panels to all of the interior surfaces of the car and incorporates paint and clear coat from Coast Airbrush and Tip Top Auto Technologies. Toyo Tires are mounted on custom 20-inch OZ Racing Wheels, while a Nitrous Express kit is installed on each of the side skirts.

“Alpine is always looking for ways to bring cutting-edge technology to the fickled youth market,” said Stephen Witt, Alpine’s vice president of Brand Marketing. “The Mini’s radical look will help us attract new consumers who might not normally be introduced to Alpine technology.”
The Mini will be on display at various dealer and consumer events throughout 2004.