Metra ElecTrick Civic

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(from Metra Electronics Press Release)  Metra’s newest show vehicle – the ElecTrick Civic – electrified 2006 International CES, attracting media attention that included coverage by CNN and Fox News. Created by Jeremy Carlson, Metra’s in-house customization visionary, the revolutionary ElecTrick drew crowds and created headlines for its convention-defying design and total leap-of-imagination method of control.

As a showpiece for Metra’s mastery of car customization and manufacturing prowess, the ElecTrick delivers beyond the wildest expectations of mere mortals. No longer bearing much resemblance to its original 1994 hatchback self, the ElecTrick lives up to its name since its gas engine has been replaced with a seven horsepower electric motor powered by eight Tsunami batteries.

The ElecTrick incorporates 21 TV screens, including two MFDM20HP 20-inch roof-mount color monitors with a TV tuner mounted from the hatch and fed content from six DVD players and two on-board cameras. Tsunami car sound accessories and Install Bay installation accessories are used throughout. Its powerful 6,000 watt sound system features JBL equipment.

While there are demo cars that have joined the tuner and I.C.E. worlds, the ElecTrick crosses over to appeal to the vast army of video gamers with its one-on-a-kind PSP programmed to control the car’s functions. Aurora Multimedia wrote software using its WACI IP Control System. The WACI interface can be accessed from a 10.4" Touchpanel (Aurora's IBZ-1040W) or from a Sony PSP.

The WACI offers the ability to turn all of the car’s lighting on and off, turning left/right, gas pedal, brakes, horn, opening and closing doors, headlights, blinkers and volume – as well as control the TV screens and their content. The electric motor and some clever wiring even allow the car can be driven remotely via Wi-Fi using the PSP or touch panel.

There’s no steering wheel or pedals – just the PSP, an Aurora IBZ-1040W 10.4" touch panel mounted into the dash, and an analog joystick. Aurora’s Vin Casale performed the inspired programming tasks.

In addition to garnering plenty of ink and video footage from the traditional media, the PSP angle has made the ElecTrick an instant superstar in the gaming world. Widespread coverage on video gaming websites and comments on forums and message boards is taking Metra’s multimedia madness customization to a new level of interest and engagement.