The current Mercedes-Benz S-Class (2013) introduced intricately-perforated and machined speaker grille covers with its Burmeister sound versions. The 2014 C-Class further popularised the look – and now multi-holed speaker grilles are a full-blown trend in premium (and would-be premium) interior door panels.
Opening a few doors on new and nearly-new models in Detroit revealed three upper-end interiors in close and quick succession, all with speaker grille covers that are a design feature in themselves.
BMW opted for a Bowers & Wilkins collaboration in its smart but predictable new 5 Series sedan; the Genesis has the high-end Lexicon brand in its big four-door G90 and even Kia – for its new shiny, sporty and upmarket-leaning Stinger – has teamed up with Harman Kardon to add audio-visual lustre to its cabin.
Kia Stinger/Harman Kardon
All of which suggests that a 2017 premium vehicle interior without a name-checked, name-brand premium stereo, or without feature speakers with machined metal covers (or at least, a finish to similar visual effect) may not continue to feel premium at all. The audio design stakes have been upped.