For decades, video game designers have been sneaking hidden messages, features and witty little design jokes into their products, from Star Wars and GTA to NBA Jam Tournament Edition and classic video games like Zelda, which your older siblings or even parents are more likely to remember. These fascinating, hard-to-find bits of code are actually referred to as ‘Easter eggs’ and the car industry can’t resist getting in on the act, too. Read on for the top 5 automotive Easter eggs of modern times.
5. SKODA’s practical touches
Okay, it might not be ‘fun’ as such to discover that the SKODA you’re driving has an ice-scraper stored under the fuel filler cap and also an umbrella hidden inside both front doors, but in the winter and when it’s raining, these very welcome, practical little gems are hard to beat.
4. Nissan’s ripple-effect interior
Inspired by the ripple effect resulting from a raindrop sploshing into a perfectly still pond, Nissan’s designers really did break the mould when they created the inside roof of the Japanese firm’s Cube model. The ‘wave’ concept also influenced the Cube’s glass-panel roof and its cupholders. Some say it creates a tranquil, chilled-out atmosphere inside this funky city car.
3. Jeep and Volvo with their spiders
On the website for their excellent compact 4×4 crossover, the Renegade, Jeep actually makes a big thing about the Easter eggs they’ve dotted around it, both inside and out, from the explorer’s map etched into the front storage shelf and the Willys Jeep image incorporated into the windscreen, to the rear lights inspired by the military ‘Jerry can’ and the little silhouette of Bigfoot added to the back window. One touch I particularly like on the Renegade, though, is the spider found if you lift the fuel filler cap, the cheeky little thing saying ‘Ciao, baby!’ in a speech bubble next to it. Jeep isn’t the only car manufacturer to hide a spider Easter egg in one of its models. Volvo has done it, too, a spider discoverable underneath the lid of the storage compartment right at the back of the car. Apparently it’s there to give the kids something to get excited about on a long journey.
2.Land Rover and Ford with branded puddle-light projections
The car Easter eggs in 5th, 4th and 3rd positions may not impress your mates as much as they bring a smile to your own face, but the beautiful and oh-so-cool feature occupying 2nd place might. All kinds of cars, new and old, cheaper and more expensive, have ‘courtesy lights’ built into their doors, shining light onto the ground to help passengers who are climbing out when it’s dark. Image if a groovy drawing of your car appeared on the floor, enclosed within a spotlight, taking onlookers by amazement. This is what Ford and Land Rover have done, the Mustang logo and the silhouette of the Evoque vividly projecting out, each time a door is opened. Very swish.
1.Tesla’s secret James Bond car
Run by the guy who founded PayPal, the American firm’s all-electric ‘Model S’ car is amazing enough as it is, with loads of cool features like door handles that slide in and out of the bodywork when you approach or walk away. Being code geeks, they’ve hidden a lovely little Easter egg inside the Tesla Model S’ enormous touchscreen control system, though. On models equipped with the brilliant adjustable air suspension, owners just need to press and hold the Tesla logo and enter code 007 on the next screen, to enjoy James Bond mode. It turns the graphical representation of the Tesla in the settings menus into the Lotus Esprit submarine-car from the James Bond film ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’. Additionally, the normal air suspension height settings are replaced by selectable ‘depths’ displayed in ‘leagues under the sea’ measurements, influenced by the Jules Verne novel ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.’