ercedes-Benz with the launch of the ‘Class B’ firmly embraces iPod. A sophisticated connection system with the on-board audio of the digital music player is in fact among the most prestigious and most publicized media accessories presented a few weeks ago.
With a slight delay compared to other markets, such as the American one, even the Italian branch of the Stuttgart-based company announced the availability of a particularly interesting kit for the features it offers in terms of integration.
On the 'Class B' the iPod, as in other solutions (such as that of BMW) s connected to the on-board system with a connection located in the dashboard drawer and controlled by a steering wheel control system, but beyond to this its screen 'reproduced' in the display and on-board computer, in the center of the dashboard.
Thus the driver navigates with the buttons on the steering wheel in the list of tracks, switches to the upper menu level, adjusts the volume, switches to the next or previous song, skips or repeats a title while the dashboard screen provides information on the music and on the interpreter as well as the playback mode of the MP3 player (shuffle or playlist).
The Kit is compatible with all available Mercedes audio system models for "Class B": Audio 5, Audio 20 CD, Audio 50 APS and COMAND.
Once introduced in Europe on the B-Class, Mercedes-Benz plans to integrate the iPod interface kit, starting in July, also on current models of the Class A, Class C, Class E and M-Class as well as the CLK-Class series. Class CLS and Class SLK.
The kit compatible with all currently available Apple MP3 players, such as the iPod (starting from the third generation), the iPod mini, the iPod photo and the iPod U2. The accessory can also recharge the player's battery via the on-board network as soon as the connection is established. However, the current is only supplied if the motor is running.
At the moment the price of the kit has not been officially announced; in Germany for 183 Euros, excluding installation costs.