It wasn't that long ago that state of the art technology inside a car meant a built in CD player and central locking. Now the latest luxury vehicles boast more on board facilities than a top spec hi-tech home or super yacht!
Take Chrysler's latest model, the 300C. We test drove this £40,000 machine around the Cambridgeshire countryside last week and were bowled over by its impressive spec. Not only does it boast a 3 litre V6 turbo diesel engine which ensures a smooth and powerful ride (as well as surprisingly good fuel efficiency up to 47.9 miles per gallon), it also features an 8.4 inch touch screen display that serves as the hub for many of the vehicle's advanced features.
Obviously it goes without saying there's a great sound system on board, complete with audio jack input for plugging in your iPod, or other MP3 device. But also fitted as standard is a 9 speaker sound system which can be upgraded to a 19 speaker Harman Kardon 7.1 surround sound set up complete with three subwoofers. Other entertainment features include an SD card reader for MP3 sound files, AM/FM radio tuner a CD/DVD player and an input for USB devices.
In car navigation is becoming increasingly important to help take the stress out of planning your journey and here the Chrysler 300C excels. On board is a Garmin based sat nav system complete which can be controlled safely either via the controls on the steering wheel or handsfree by voice alone so you can tell the car the name of the street you want to go to and it will do the rest.
Uconnect Voice Command with Bluetooth control also lets you manage a Bluetooth compatible phone without having to take your hands off the steering wheel. The first time the phone is synchronised, the phonebook is downloaded to the car's hard drive and numbers can be selected simply by saying the person's name.
When it comes to safety features, the Chrysler really does excel. While reversing into a parking space an image on the touch screen display shows the view from the back of the car provided by an board camera including a representation of the width of the car so you know instantly if the car parking space is big enough.
Another safety feature is Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) which uses radar to automatically modify the Chrysler 300C's speed to keep a safe distance when the car approaches another vehicle in the same lane or even when a vehicle enters from another lane. Similarly Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) uses an ultra broadband radar sensor to search for cars that might be briefly concealed from your view. Icons illuminate in the mirror and an acoustic warning signal sounds if there is a car in the blind spot.
For the ultimate in luxury the touch screen control can also be used to control your individual settings. Not only can the air conditioning be set to different temperatures for the driving and passenger seat, you can also precisely adjust the positioning of the seat, even set your seat to move out of the way of the steering wheel when the car is stationary to make it easier to get out of the car.
Finally, the two front cup holders, cooled as heated and standard, come with LED lighting that glow blue when they're chilled and red when they're hot! What could be better than that! It seems driving really has entered the 21st century at last.
See video below for an explanation about everything that the Chrysler 300C's touch screen display can do:
See images of the new Chrysler 300C below:
Viral video by ebuzzing
The 8.4inch display shows the parking space you are reversing into complete with lines showing the width of the car.