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Alpine Electronics’ New Jeep Wrangler Demo Vehicle Debuts at SEMA

The “Hellbender” is the ultimate off-road event vehicle

Torrance, Calif. (Oct. 31, 2017) — Alpine Electronics today unveiled its newest demo vehicle, a 2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited named “Hellbender.”  Hellbender debuted at the SEMA Show, currently being held in Las Vegas today through Nov. 3, 2017. 

This customized Wrangler is ready to take the Alpine infotainment system anywhere, whether on the road or off the beaten track.  Since the Wrangler features several products that can withstand dust, mud, and water, the Hellbender name was chosen as a reference to the large, amphibious hellbender salamander. 

“Our ongoing research with Wrangler owners revealed off-road usage needs that we’ve addressed through new products and features,” said Mike Anderson, vice president and general manager, aftermarket business unit, Alpine Electronics of America, Inc.  “This Wrangler showcases the functional aspect of the Alpine products in a fun and unique way.”

Features for Wrangler Fans

The Hellbender’s Alpine system is centered around the X209-WRA-OR weather resistant Restyle dash system for the 2011-2017 Jeep Wrangler.  The X209-WRA-OR infotainment system includes navigation, Bluetooth® wireless technology, Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™, all controlled through the 9-inch touch screen.  The X209-WRA-OR is IP53 rated for protection against dust with limited ingress and fresh water spray up to 60° vertical, so the Wrangler can be driven with the top off even when Mother Nature has other plans.

The X209-WRA-OR has features favored by adventure-seeking Wrangler owners.  The off-road mode for navigation includes useful features like compass readings, vehicle tilt, tire pressure readings, route tracking on trails, and Points of Interest (POIs) on the way to trailheads.  Wrangler accessories like the light pods and winch can be controlled from the X209-WRA-OR’s touch screen, used with s-POD’s 8-circuit SE system and 300-LSHS accessory interface module along with the Alpine KAC-001 accessory controller.  Status feedback of these accessories is also available through the off-road mode.

No expedition is complete without music, and the Hellbender delivers.  Knowing that Wrangler owners often drive with the top off, the PSS-22WRA sound system is ready for inclement weather.  This 600-watt, weather resistant sound system is Alpine engineered for the 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and includes nine speakers, two compact amplifiers, and an enclosed subwoofer.  The various products have a minimum rating of IP55, so they can withstand rain from off-roading adventures or water from a rinse-off.

First of its Kind Collaborations

Alpine collaborated with Smittybilt, manufacturer of Jeep lifestyle accessories, on specific products for the Hellbender.  Debuting on the Hellbender are Smittybilt’s Apollo front and rear bumpers which seamlessly integrate and protect the Alpine HCE-2600FD4 multi-view front camera and the HCE-2100RD4 multi-view rear camera (cameras sold separately from the bumpers).  The cameras are IP68 rated so they’re protected from dust and water immersion.  The Alpine KCX-C250MC multi-camera selector allows the camera images to be controlled and switched from the X209-WRA-OR’s touch screen.  The Hellbender’s aggressive profile is highlighted by the custom exoskeleton that wraps around the vehicle and integrates with the Smittybilt rockers on the door steps. 

For peace of mind away from home, the X209-WRA-OR works with the Alpine Connect app which links through subscription to Chamberlain Group’s MyQ app.  MyQ offers control and monitoring of home elements including Chamberlain® and LiftMaster® garage door openers, as well as smart lighting and other devices, and its partnership with Alpine is the first of its kind with an aftermarket electronics manufacturer.  This collaboration represents Alpine’s first step into the Internet of Things (IoT).

Other Smittybilt products on the Hellbender include SRC Gen 2 front and rear doors, Apollo fender flares, and the Stingray hood.  Procomp products on the Hellbender include Apex wheels, Xtreme MT2 tires (37x12.50R17), short arm suspension, head lights, and roof lights.

Fun on Arrival

The Hellbender is ready for fun when it arrives at its destination.  Two PWD-CB1 Alpine ICE (In-Cooler Entertainment) sit on a delivery platform that motorizes out from the bed and to the tailgate at a 90° angle, ready to distribute cold drinks.  Music streamed via the Alpine ICE’s Bluetooth connection is played through the cooler’s 180-watt sound system. When used at events, the Hellbender can send souvenirs to the crowd using the t-shirt gun turret installed on the roof.  A Ricoh Theta S 360° view camera is also installed on the roof to capture the crowd’s reaction at events.

The Hellbender was built by Define Customs of Orange, CA.  The vehicle is on display at the SEMA Show in the Smittybilt booth (South Hall, #35061) and will be used at Alpine consumer and retailer events throughout 2018. 

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