Your car is efficient, but what about its sound system?

As we enter this new, slightly different age of “efficiency as performance” (sounds weird, doesn’t it?), I predict we’ll be seeing a lot more of this “greening” in addition to the rather symbolic changes we’ve been seeing lately. Case in point: a stereo system designed to be lightweight and energy-efficient. Not something I would have thought of, but every pound and watt counts, especially when you’re loading it into a Chevy Volt.

Bose claims its improvements in weight and energy use allow the Volt to add 40 miles to its electric-only range. Damn! What did they have in there before, a Marshall stack?

The new premium sound system will probably cost a bundle, but the Volt isn’t exactly planning on being economical either, at least in that sense. They’ve reduced the size by 30%, the weight by 40%, and the energy consumption by half. Well, I’m actually impressed!

Here’s the press release:

New Bose® Energy Efficient Series Sound System

Premium Sound for the Chevy Volt

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, Bose has announced it will debut its Energy Efficient Series sound system in the 2011 Chevy Volt. Using a proprietary design, the new Bose system is 30% smaller, 40% lighter, and uses 50% less energy than conventional Bose sound systems, while delivering premium, high-quality audio.

The Energy Efficient Series sound system is the result of a Bose research project to address how sound system performance is compromised by the power, weight, and space constraints of today’s more efficient, environmentally responsible vehicles. This engineering achievement maintains Bose standards for clarity, dynamic range and accuracy, and helps the Volt to achieve up to 40 miles of electric-only range.

Bose engineers focused on three areas of technology to design the Energy Efficient Series sound system: switching amplifiers, high motor force speakers and digital signal processing circuitry. Bose switching amplifiers use less energy and generate less heat than conventional linear amplifiers. Small and lightweight, they drive the new, highly efficient high motor force speakers to deliver the acoustic output of heavier conventional speakers. These components combine with Bose proprietary control circuitry to deliver sound reproduction at concert hall volumes, while reducing the system’s total power consumption by half.

“The Energy Efficient Series sound system represents another ‘first’ in the long-standing relationship between Bose and GM,” said Brandon Westley, President of Bose Automotive Systems. “Together, we introduced the industry’s first premium, factory-installed automotive sound system. Today, we’re proud to be selected as the sound system supplier for the Chevy Volt. We believe the Energy Efficient Series offers a combination of efficiency and performance previously unattainable from an automotive sound system.”

Information about Bose automotive sound systems and patented technologies can be found at