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Car and Driver: CES Fatigue: Juckenwood and the McLaren 675LT

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McLaren 675LT JVC KENWOOD concept

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There’s an awful lot of polarization in the world these days. On any given subject, one’s bound to find somebody in some corner of the World Wide Web proclaiming something either the worst or best thing ever. But only nuclear holocaust is nuclear holocaust and only motorcycles are motorcycles. Everything else lies somewhere in the middle. However, the Consumer Electronics Show has a way of turning normally thoughtful types into slavering lunatics, prepared to wage Luddite jihad. Even the press release we received on this McLaren 675LT found us weary and rankled.

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McLaren 675LT JVC KENWOOD concept

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The culprit? Juckenwood. The release kept mentioning a company called “Juckenwood,” annoyingly all-caps and featuring a Roman-style “V” in place of the “U” in the company’s name. You know, like “CHVRCHES.” A limp chvurchkit of a corporate affectation if we’d ever seen one. Upon searching for information on these Juckenwood fellows, presuming them to be some sort of Belgian boutique electronics installer, we realized that “Juckenwood” was actually consumer-electronics giant JVC Kenwood. The company’s current logo features a space between the formerly separate entities, but they’ve apparently taken to mashing them together in print when we weren’t paying attention. In a vacuum, this typographic fussiness would only be mildly annoying and perhaps even slightly amusing.

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To truly understand the context of our consternation, you’ll need to take a moment and watch Intel’s Curie band presentation featuring A.R. Rahman. Our stomach actually turned out of embarrassment for all involved. Moments after turning it off, we were confronted with Juckenwood’s McLaren press release, followed shortly thereafter by a photo of tents lining the sidewalk on San Francisco’s Division Street. San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties suddenly seemed like a really bad idea. The Las Vegas Convention Center always seems like a bad idea.

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The 675LT, however, is no bad idea a’tall. McLaren builds a damn fine driver’s car. But because everything needs more technology, JVC Kenwood has installed a suite of things in it to make it more electronical. A HUD replaces the instrument cluster, and cameras stand in for mirrors. The three cameras (two side and one rear) combine forces to provide a wider field of view.

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McLaren 675LT JVC KENWOOD concept

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Other interior upgrades include a steering wheel pilfered from the mighty P1 GTR—which features integrated HUD controls—a carbon-fiber air vent in place of the now-superfluous gauge cluster, Calypso Orange anodized accents, as well as seat bolsters in the same hue. Outside, silver stripes trace the top of the car from front to back.

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It’s a car. It’s a thing. And it arrived after a barrage of press releases for gizmos and software we’ll never hear of again, videos that suck the soul, and VW’s choice of the name “BUDD.e” for their standout concept. The appellation has us flashing back to an airport near-encounter with Pauly Shore a few weeks ago. While we were waiting for a pizza, Random Sacto lunk walks up to Mr. Shore and in awed sincerity proclaims, “Dude. Encino Man’s my jam.” Juckenwood. Grody Intel stuff. We’re gonna go lie down and revisit Encino Man. It can’t be worse, right? Maybe we’ll order some pizza if the queasiness subsides.

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2016 Consumer Electronics Show

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