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5 AUTO-EXOTICA PLEASURES YOU SHOULDN’T MISS THIS SEASON

By D Magazine |

EVER SINCE THERE HAVE BEEN CARS, there have been luxury car accessories. When the first Rolls-Royce rolled off the lines in 1910, custom options included anything from espresso makers to running water. Almost a century later, our quest for heavenly hedonism hasn’t changed. It’s just gotten a little more technical.-C.N.

K40 RADAR DETECTION SYSTEM

No unsightly wires, no offensive Velcro strips. The K40 Undetectable features two receivers-one mounted behind the front grill and the other behind the rear bumper of your car. Inside, the system appears as two tiny LED lights integrated seamlessly into your car’s control panel. Choose from city or highway driving modes. The K40 comes with a yearlong immunity shot to speeding tickets- sort of. If you get ’em, they’ll pay ’em. Available at Earmark Car Audio. With installation, $ 1,050-$l, 150.

THE ALPINE CVA1000

Slim, high-powered, fun, and full of knowledge, this is one front- seat driver you’ll never want to kick out of the console. The Alpine CVA started turning electronics ^^ enthusiasts’ heads in August, when it hit the shelves in retail stores. On the dashboard surface, it looks like a simple stereo, but hit one button and a 5-inch LCD screen pops up revealing not only radio options but also a CD changer with surround sound and acoustic listening options and a full GPS (that’s global positioning system) navigation system with turn-by-turn direction ability. Type in the addresses you need to visit for the day, and the daily planner will map your route on the screen and then guide you by voice (“turn left on the Toi I way”) to your destinations. The system comes with Texas regional software and retails for $1,300, plus installation. Available at Earmark Car Audio, The Car Stereo Store, and Hawk Electronics.

THE MOTOROLA STARTAC 8600 CELL PHONE

“They’re selling like gangbusters and they’re not even digital,” says a busy sales associate at Carrollton’s Cellular World. He’s talking about the Motorola StarTac 8600, a 3.1 ounce wonder that flies off the store’s shelves despite its $900-with-new-service price tag. The booster kit that mounts into your car for hands-free-on-the-freeway action is l an additional $999 {but that & includes installation). Or get the hands-free headset for $50.

BROOKSTONE’S EZ BOOSTER GABLE

So, you left the car lights on while you were watching The Magic Flute, and now your battery’s dead and you’re in your opera attire. Don’t sweat it. Plug one end of the EZ Booster Cable in your car’s cigarette lighter, find a friend to do the same, and within minutes you ’11 be on your way home-clean, calm, and with an aria in your heart. A stocking stuffer must-have at $30.

THE ON GUARD SECURITY SYSTEM

If you don’t own a Cadillac or another luxury vehicle that features a built-in security tracking system, get one with On Guard. The system works through your car’s cellular phone. If the car is turned on and the correct security code is not punched in, the security company calls back to the car. If you don’t answer and provide the correct password, the company calls the police, shuts down your car, and then electronically tracks its position. Available for $1,795 through Beverly Hills Motoring Accessories, 310-657-4800.

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