April Fools 2008

Automotive Design 1 Apr 2008
April Fools 2008

The most extravagant press releases of the 1st of April: the Nintendo wii-controlled Kia concept, the twin-engine powered Smart fortwo, Bmw’s Canine Repellent Alloy Protection and the electro reflective finish by Seat.


A series of "original" news has been released today 1st April:

  • Seat has developed an electro reflective finish which constantly adapts to mimic the car’s surroundings – in the style of the Aston Martin Vanquish used by James Bond in "Die Another Day".
  • RennTech has unveiled a twin-engine Smart fortwo. Each units develops 91 hp at 11,800 rpm and allow for a 0-60 mph sprint in 5.1 seconds. The retail price is $39,990.
  • The Kia Kee_wii concept can be controlled by a portable device that can be used by passengers too.
  • BMW has presented the Canine Repellent Alloy Protection system (C.R.A.P.), which uses a painless electric shock to prevent dogs from fouling against the alloy wheels.

Below we report the "official" press releases: the news are easily recognizable as jokes, but the language is that typical of official product information, which makes the reading quite funny…

Seat Electro Reflective finish

Seat Electro Reflective finishRecent developments such as the liberal use of Candy White paint on eye-catching models like the SEAT Leon Cupra K1, along with chic additions such as black, or white, 17” alloy wheels, ensure SEAT drivers are proudly piloting some of the hottest cars around.

Now the innovative brand is going further still with the debut today, 1st April 1, of its all-new, hi-tech ‘electro reflective’ exterior panel finish.

The unique bodywork has been developed in-house by an elite team of technicians at the Spanish manufacturer’s Martorell HQ, near Barcelona. 

Using complex principles similar to those through which electrochromic (auto dimming) rear view mirrors work, the experts have developed the patented electro reflective finish which constantly adapts to mimic the car’s surroundings.

The hitherto hush-hush project’s lead engineer, Santos Inocentes, explained: ‘We started off just fooling around with paint, but soon discovered that electro reflectivity was the future.

‘The technology has been a jealously guarded secret within SEAT but, now, we feel the time is just right to reveal it to the world.’

Initially appearing on the SEAT Leon ‘mule’ pictured here, it’s possible that electro reflectivity may one day make it through to production models.

A SEAT UK spokesman said of the new development: ‘We’re obviously very excited by this dramatically different exterior design feature, which mixes technology and innovation to deliver undeniably surprising results.

‘Quite what happens when an electro reflective car meets a speed camera, though, is anyone’s guess!’  

Kia KEE_wii concept

Kia Kee_wii ConceptThe latest upgrade to KEE will make sure it is one step ahead of the competition with a new, dynamic and more involving drive system that removes the need for a steering wheel and pedals.

Franz Josef-Hicks, head of the Advanced Propulsion Research Institute and Laboratory at Kia Motors New Zealand, explained; ‘We have taken inspiration from current computer gaming technology to create a completely new steering and pedal system called Dynamic On-Road Kinetics. 

"The traditional driving controls are replaced by a small ‘controller’ which fits comfortably into two hands.  Making steering motions with the small controller will turn the car in whichever direction the driver likes whilst accelerator and brakes are button operated.  It is a very simple and intuitive system." added Mr Josef-Hicks.

Kia believes there is an added advantage – passengers can take the controls and enjoy the dynamic drive of the KEE_wii from any seat in the car.

“This is ultimate flexibility,” enthused Mr Josef-Hicks. “If you are travelling in left or right-hand drive countries you will be able to control the vehicle from the correct seat and if a passenger knows a road particularly well they can take control and make the journey more efficient and faster.  

"We have patented this newly developed wireless system known as Full Orthopaedic Operating Logic.  Okay, so visibility is a minor issue for those in the back seats, but we don’t think this will be a problem as a lot of people don’t really look where they are going when they drive – and we have built in a fail-safe security system called Independent Driver Input Operating Technique that utilises radar to avoid accidents.”

The KEE_wii dynamic control system will be available on new Kia cars a year from today and will then be optional on forthcoming generations of models as they are updated or replaced.

Alongside unveiling the updated KEE_wii, Kia also announced it plans to lobby governments to change driving test regulations.  Mr Josef-Hicks added ‘Every parent is embarrassed at the sharp and speedy computer driving skills of their children – it seems obvious to us that if children as young as eight can drift, rally and race their way to multiple world championships on a games console, then this new driving system will be simple enough for anyone to use.

Even from the back seat.  With this new KEE_wii driving system we want governments to consider changing real word driving tests for computer simulations’.

RENNtech Twin-Engine Smart 7.22

RENNtech Twin-Engine Smart 7.22Based on the new Smart ForTwo, the 7.22 is powered by two (2) 1000cc, 3 cyl. Smart engines, each mated to its own 5-speed, automated transmission.

"One engine drives the front wheels, the other drives the rears," explains Hartmut Feyhl, RENNTECH’s president and ex-technical director of AMG North America.

"One of my employees, Jo Borras, previously worked with Mosler to build their dual-engined Cadillac TwinStar, and made the magazine rounds a few years later with his own twin-engined Hyundai Tiburon. It seemed like a good idea to try on the Smart, so we went with it."

Each of the Smart’s drive units exists in its own subframe, complete with its own ECU and electronics, making the process fairly straightforward. Feyhl explained that once the steering mechanism was integrated into the engine’s cradle, the resulting subframe mounted directly to the existing safety cell, using the same mounting points as the original. Feyhl admits "the hardest part was getting the 7.22’s new plastic bodywork ‘right’."

Interestingly, since each engine and transmission assembly is completely isolated, there is no need to synchronize the two. Feyhl informed us that "each engine and ECU finds its job suddenly easier, and simply acts as if it were going downhill or carrying a lighter load."

Never ones to leave well enough alone, however, the crew at RENNTECH set to work on their pint-sized terror … but even putting out a string of 750 hp SLR McLarens and 900 lb-ft bi-turbo AMG cars didn’t prepare them for what happeed next.

The boys at RENNTECH were surprised ("shocked" might be a better word) by what happened when the software engineers cracked the Smart’s Bosch electronics and removed the engine’s rev limiters. "It revved like a liter-bike," says Feyhl, "and none of us expected anything quite like that!"

Using the Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle’s torque curve as a guide, RENNTECH’s software engineers began massaging the Smart’s fuel maps until they achieved a totally unbelievable result: 91 raucous, twitchy horsepower at a stratospheric 11,800 rpm.

That’s right, kiddies. Ninety-one peak horsepower at eleven-thousand, eight-hundred rpm from each of the two Smart 3 cylinders … and the new, RENNTECH-imposed rpm limit? An absolutely SCREAMING 13,200 rpm.

The end result is a twin-engined, 182 hp AWD street machine that zips from zero to sixty in an astonishing (and terrifying!) 5.1 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 138 mph.

Getting all of the RENNTECH Smart 7.22’s newfound power to the ground are a set of specially-designed 17" RENNTECH forged Monolite wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot sport tires. Hard, fade-free stops are made possible by RENNTECH’s 14" 2-piece rotors and Smart-specific 4 piston calipers, while RENNTECH’s new "Go-eco" exhaust system makes use of futuristic technology to ensure that the 7.22’s only emissions are a blend of pure oxygen and a potpourri of fresh lilacs and honeyuckle.

The RENNTECH Smart 7.22 is available today for $39,990. Contact RENNTECH for more (please check today’s date before ordering).

BMW’s Canine Repellent Alloy Protection

Designed to stop dogs fouling against the sparkling alloys of new BMW cars, the innovative Canine Repellent Alloy Protection system (C.R.A.P.) is the latest offering in the BMW EfficientDynamics programme.

Using the EfficientDynamics Brake Energy Regeneration system, energy that would normally have been lost during engine over-run and during braking is harnessed as Rim Impulse Power (R.I.P.) and stored for future use.

Whenever a dog tries to relieve itself on the wheel of a suitably-equipped BMW, a small and relatively painless electric shock is immediately administered to the animal, thus deterring it from future fouling.

Dr Hans Zoff, Head of Automotive Security from BMW AG, said; “Research shows that most BMW customers like to keep their cars clean and dog fouling is a constant irritant. Not only does the Canine Repellent Alloy Protection system support this aim, but it does so using energy created through the EfficientDynamics programme. Beauty through engineering perfection – our philosophy in a wheel nut.”

(Source: Seat, Kia, Bmw, Renntech via Autoblog.com)

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April Fools 2008

April Fools 2008

The most extravagant press releases of the 1st of April: the Nintendo wii-controlled Kia concept, the twin-engine powered Smart fortwo, Bmw’s Canine Repellent Alloy Protection and the electro reflective finish by Seat.


A series of "original" news has been released today 1st April:

  • Seat has developed an electro reflective finish which constantly adapts to mimic the car’s surroundings – in the style of the Aston Martin Vanquish used by James Bond in "Die Another Day".
  • RennTech has unveiled a twin-engine Smart fortwo. Each units develops 91 hp at 11,800 rpm and allow for a 0-60 mph sprint in 5.1 seconds. The retail price is $39,990.
  • The Kia Kee_wii concept can be controlled by a portable device that can be used by passengers too.
  • BMW has presented the Canine Repellent Alloy Protection system (C.R.A.P.), which uses a painless electric shock to prevent dogs from fouling against the alloy wheels.

Below we report the "official" press releases: the news are easily recognizable as jokes, but the language is that typical of official product information, which makes the reading quite funny…

Seat Electro Reflective finish

Seat Electro Reflective finishRecent developments such as the liberal use of Candy White paint on eye-catching models like the SEAT Leon Cupra K1, along with chic additions such as black, or white, 17” alloy wheels, ensure SEAT drivers are proudly piloting some of the hottest cars around.

Now the innovative brand is going further still with the debut today, 1st April 1, of its all-new, hi-tech ‘electro reflective’ exterior panel finish.

The unique bodywork has been developed in-house by an elite team of technicians at the Spanish manufacturer’s Martorell HQ, near Barcelona. 

Using complex principles similar to those through which electrochromic (auto dimming) rear view mirrors work, the experts have developed the patented electro reflective finish which constantly adapts to mimic the car’s surroundings.

The hitherto hush-hush project’s lead engineer, Santos Inocentes, explained: ‘We started off just fooling around with paint, but soon discovered that electro reflectivity was the future.

‘The technology has been a jealously guarded secret within SEAT but, now, we feel the time is just right to reveal it to the world.’

Initially appearing on the SEAT Leon ‘mule’ pictured here, it’s possible that electro reflectivity may one day make it through to production models.

A SEAT UK spokesman said of the new development: ‘We’re obviously very excited by this dramatically different exterior design feature, which mixes technology and innovation to deliver undeniably surprising results.

‘Quite what happens when an electro reflective car meets a speed camera, though, is anyone’s guess!’  

Kia KEE_wii concept

Kia Kee_wii ConceptThe latest upgrade to KEE will make sure it is one step ahead of the competition with a new, dynamic and more involving drive system that removes the need for a steering wheel and pedals.

Franz Josef-Hicks, head of the Advanced Propulsion Research Institute and Laboratory at Kia Motors New Zealand, explained; ‘We have taken inspiration from current computer gaming technology to create a completely new steering and pedal system called Dynamic On-Road Kinetics. 

"The traditional driving controls are replaced by a small ‘controller’ which fits comfortably into two hands.  Making steering motions with the small controller will turn the car in whichever direction the driver likes whilst accelerator and brakes are button operated.  It is a very simple and intuitive system." added Mr Josef-Hicks.

Kia believes there is an added advantage – passengers can take the controls and enjoy the dynamic drive of the KEE_wii from any seat in the car.

“This is ultimate flexibility,” enthused Mr Josef-Hicks. “If you are travelling in left or right-hand drive countries you will be able to control the vehicle from the correct seat and if a passenger knows a road particularly well they can take control and make the journey more efficient and faster.  

"We have patented this newly developed wireless system known as Full Orthopaedic Operating Logic.  Okay, so visibility is a minor issue for those in the back seats, but we don’t think this will be a problem as a lot of people don’t really look where they are going when they drive – and we have built in a fail-safe security system called Independent Driver Input Operating Technique that utilises radar to avoid accidents.”

The KEE_wii dynamic control system will be available on new Kia cars a year from today and will then be optional on forthcoming generations of models as they are updated or replaced.

Alongside unveiling the updated KEE_wii, Kia also announced it plans to lobby governments to change driving test regulations.  Mr Josef-Hicks added ‘Every parent is embarrassed at the sharp and speedy computer driving skills of their children – it seems obvious to us that if children as young as eight can drift, rally and race their way to multiple world championships on a games console, then this new driving system will be simple enough for anyone to use.

Even from the back seat.  With this new KEE_wii driving system we want governments to consider changing real word driving tests for computer simulations’.

RENNtech Twin-Engine Smart 7.22

RENNtech Twin-Engine Smart 7.22Based on the new Smart ForTwo, the 7.22 is powered by two (2) 1000cc, 3 cyl. Smart engines, each mated to its own 5-speed, automated transmission.

"One engine drives the front wheels, the other drives the rears," explains Hartmut Feyhl, RENNTECH’s president and ex-technical director of AMG North America.

"One of my employees, Jo Borras, previously worked with Mosler to build their dual-engined Cadillac TwinStar, and made the magazine rounds a few years later with his own twin-engined Hyundai Tiburon. It seemed like a good idea to try on the Smart, so we went with it."

Each of the Smart’s drive units exists in its own subframe, complete with its own ECU and electronics, making the process fairly straightforward. Feyhl explained that once the steering mechanism was integrated into the engine’s cradle, the resulting subframe mounted directly to the existing safety cell, using the same mounting points as the original. Feyhl admits "the hardest part was getting the 7.22’s new plastic bodywork ‘right’."

Interestingly, since each engine and transmission assembly is completely isolated, there is no need to synchronize the two. Feyhl informed us that "each engine and ECU finds its job suddenly easier, and simply acts as if it were going downhill or carrying a lighter load."

Never ones to leave well enough alone, however, the crew at RENNTECH set to work on their pint-sized terror … but even putting out a string of 750 hp SLR McLarens and 900 lb-ft bi-turbo AMG cars didn’t prepare them for what happeed next.

The boys at RENNTECH were surprised ("shocked" might be a better word) by what happened when the software engineers cracked the Smart’s Bosch electronics and removed the engine’s rev limiters. "It revved like a liter-bike," says Feyhl, "and none of us expected anything quite like that!"

Using the Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle’s torque curve as a guide, RENNTECH’s software engineers began massaging the Smart’s fuel maps until they achieved a totally unbelievable result: 91 raucous, twitchy horsepower at a stratospheric 11,800 rpm.

That’s right, kiddies. Ninety-one peak horsepower at eleven-thousand, eight-hundred rpm from each of the two Smart 3 cylinders … and the new, RENNTECH-imposed rpm limit? An absolutely SCREAMING 13,200 rpm.

The end result is a twin-engined, 182 hp AWD street machine that zips from zero to sixty in an astonishing (and terrifying!) 5.1 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 138 mph.

Getting all of the RENNTECH Smart 7.22’s newfound power to the ground are a set of specially-designed 17" RENNTECH forged Monolite wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot sport tires. Hard, fade-free stops are made possible by RENNTECH’s 14" 2-piece rotors and Smart-specific 4 piston calipers, while RENNTECH’s new "Go-eco" exhaust system makes use of futuristic technology to ensure that the 7.22’s only emissions are a blend of pure oxygen and a potpourri of fresh lilacs and honeyuckle.

The RENNTECH Smart 7.22 is available today for $39,990. Contact RENNTECH for more (please check today’s date before ordering).

BMW’s Canine Repellent Alloy Protection

Designed to stop dogs fouling against the sparkling alloys of new BMW cars, the innovative Canine Repellent Alloy Protection system (C.R.A.P.) is the latest offering in the BMW EfficientDynamics programme.

Using the EfficientDynamics Brake Energy Regeneration system, energy that would normally have been lost during engine over-run and during braking is harnessed as Rim Impulse Power (R.I.P.) and stored for future use.

Whenever a dog tries to relieve itself on the wheel of a suitably-equipped BMW, a small and relatively painless electric shock is immediately administered to the animal, thus deterring it from future fouling.

Dr Hans Zoff, Head of Automotive Security from BMW AG, said; “Research shows that most BMW customers like to keep their cars clean and dog fouling is a constant irritant. Not only does the Canine Repellent Alloy Protection system support this aim, but it does so using energy created through the EfficientDynamics programme. Beauty through engineering perfection – our philosophy in a wheel nut.”

(Source: Seat, Kia, Bmw, Renntech via Autoblog.com)

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April Fools 2008

April Fools 2008

The most extravagant press releases of the 1st of April: the Nintendo wii-controlled Kia concept, the twin-engine powered Smart fortwo, Bmw’s Canine Repellent Alloy Protection and the electro reflective finish by Seat.


A series of "original" news has been released today 1st April:

  • Seat has developed an electro reflective finish which constantly adapts to mimic the car’s surroundings – in the style of the Aston Martin Vanquish used by James Bond in "Die Another Day".
  • RennTech has unveiled a twin-engine Smart fortwo. Each units develops 91 hp at 11,800 rpm and allow for a 0-60 mph sprint in 5.1 seconds. The retail price is $39,990.
  • The Kia Kee_wii concept can be controlled by a portable device that can be used by passengers too.
  • BMW has presented the Canine Repellent Alloy Protection system (C.R.A.P.), which uses a painless electric shock to prevent dogs from fouling against the alloy wheels.

Below we report the "official" press releases: the news are easily recognizable as jokes, but the language is that typical of official product information, which makes the reading quite funny…

Seat Electro Reflective finish

Seat Electro Reflective finishRecent developments such as the liberal use of Candy White paint on eye-catching models like the SEAT Leon Cupra K1, along with chic additions such as black, or white, 17” alloy wheels, ensure SEAT drivers are proudly piloting some of the hottest cars around.

Now the innovative brand is going further still with the debut today, 1st April 1, of its all-new, hi-tech ‘electro reflective’ exterior panel finish.

The unique bodywork has been developed in-house by an elite team of technicians at the Spanish manufacturer’s Martorell HQ, near Barcelona. 

Using complex principles similar to those through which electrochromic (auto dimming) rear view mirrors work, the experts have developed the patented electro reflective finish which constantly adapts to mimic the car’s surroundings.

The hitherto hush-hush project’s lead engineer, Santos Inocentes, explained: ‘We started off just fooling around with paint, but soon discovered that electro reflectivity was the future.

‘The technology has been a jealously guarded secret within SEAT but, now, we feel the time is just right to reveal it to the world.’

Initially appearing on the SEAT Leon ‘mule’ pictured here, it’s possible that electro reflectivity may one day make it through to production models.

A SEAT UK spokesman said of the new development: ‘We’re obviously very excited by this dramatically different exterior design feature, which mixes technology and innovation to deliver undeniably surprising results.

‘Quite what happens when an electro reflective car meets a speed camera, though, is anyone’s guess!’  

Kia KEE_wii concept

Kia Kee_wii ConceptThe latest upgrade to KEE will make sure it is one step ahead of the competition with a new, dynamic and more involving drive system that removes the need for a steering wheel and pedals.

Franz Josef-Hicks, head of the Advanced Propulsion Research Institute and Laboratory at Kia Motors New Zealand, explained; ‘We have taken inspiration from current computer gaming technology to create a completely new steering and pedal system called Dynamic On-Road Kinetics. 

"The traditional driving controls are replaced by a small ‘controller’ which fits comfortably into two hands.  Making steering motions with the small controller will turn the car in whichever direction the driver likes whilst accelerator and brakes are button operated.  It is a very simple and intuitive system." added Mr Josef-Hicks.

Kia believes there is an added advantage – passengers can take the controls and enjoy the dynamic drive of the KEE_wii from any seat in the car.

“This is ultimate flexibility,” enthused Mr Josef-Hicks. “If you are travelling in left or right-hand drive countries you will be able to control the vehicle from the correct seat and if a passenger knows a road particularly well they can take control and make the journey more efficient and faster.  

"We have patented this newly developed wireless system known as Full Orthopaedic Operating Logic.  Okay, so visibility is a minor issue for those in the back seats, but we don’t think this will be a problem as a lot of people don’t really look where they are going when they drive – and we have built in a fail-safe security system called Independent Driver Input Operating Technique that utilises radar to avoid accidents.”

The KEE_wii dynamic control system will be available on new Kia cars a year from today and will then be optional on forthcoming generations of models as they are updated or replaced.

Alongside unveiling the updated KEE_wii, Kia also announced it plans to lobby governments to change driving test regulations.  Mr Josef-Hicks added ‘Every parent is embarrassed at the sharp and speedy computer driving skills of their children – it seems obvious to us that if children as young as eight can drift, rally and race their way to multiple world championships on a games console, then this new driving system will be simple enough for anyone to use.

Even from the back seat.  With this new KEE_wii driving system we want governments to consider changing real word driving tests for computer simulations’.

RENNtech Twin-Engine Smart 7.22

RENNtech Twin-Engine Smart 7.22Based on the new Smart ForTwo, the 7.22 is powered by two (2) 1000cc, 3 cyl. Smart engines, each mated to its own 5-speed, automated transmission.

"One engine drives the front wheels, the other drives the rears," explains Hartmut Feyhl, RENNTECH’s president and ex-technical director of AMG North America.

"One of my employees, Jo Borras, previously worked with Mosler to build their dual-engined Cadillac TwinStar, and made the magazine rounds a few years later with his own twin-engined Hyundai Tiburon. It seemed like a good idea to try on the Smart, so we went with it."

Each of the Smart’s drive units exists in its own subframe, complete with its own ECU and electronics, making the process fairly straightforward. Feyhl explained that once the steering mechanism was integrated into the engine’s cradle, the resulting subframe mounted directly to the existing safety cell, using the same mounting points as the original. Feyhl admits "the hardest part was getting the 7.22’s new plastic bodywork ‘right’."

Interestingly, since each engine and transmission assembly is completely isolated, there is no need to synchronize the two. Feyhl informed us that "each engine and ECU finds its job suddenly easier, and simply acts as if it were going downhill or carrying a lighter load."

Never ones to leave well enough alone, however, the crew at RENNTECH set to work on their pint-sized terror … but even putting out a string of 750 hp SLR McLarens and 900 lb-ft bi-turbo AMG cars didn’t prepare them for what happeed next.

The boys at RENNTECH were surprised ("shocked" might be a better word) by what happened when the software engineers cracked the Smart’s Bosch electronics and removed the engine’s rev limiters. "It revved like a liter-bike," says Feyhl, "and none of us expected anything quite like that!"

Using the Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle’s torque curve as a guide, RENNTECH’s software engineers began massaging the Smart’s fuel maps until they achieved a totally unbelievable result: 91 raucous, twitchy horsepower at a stratospheric 11,800 rpm.

That’s right, kiddies. Ninety-one peak horsepower at eleven-thousand, eight-hundred rpm from each of the two Smart 3 cylinders … and the new, RENNTECH-imposed rpm limit? An absolutely SCREAMING 13,200 rpm.

The end result is a twin-engined, 182 hp AWD street machine that zips from zero to sixty in an astonishing (and terrifying!) 5.1 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 138 mph.

Getting all of the RENNTECH Smart 7.22’s newfound power to the ground are a set of specially-designed 17" RENNTECH forged Monolite wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot sport tires. Hard, fade-free stops are made possible by RENNTECH’s 14" 2-piece rotors and Smart-specific 4 piston calipers, while RENNTECH’s new "Go-eco" exhaust system makes use of futuristic technology to ensure that the 7.22’s only emissions are a blend of pure oxygen and a potpourri of fresh lilacs and honeyuckle.

The RENNTECH Smart 7.22 is available today for $39,990. Contact RENNTECH for more (please check today’s date before ordering).

BMW’s Canine Repellent Alloy Protection

Designed to stop dogs fouling against the sparkling alloys of new BMW cars, the innovative Canine Repellent Alloy Protection system (C.R.A.P.) is the latest offering in the BMW EfficientDynamics programme.

Using the EfficientDynamics Brake Energy Regeneration system, energy that would normally have been lost during engine over-run and during braking is harnessed as Rim Impulse Power (R.I.P.) and stored for future use.

Whenever a dog tries to relieve itself on the wheel of a suitably-equipped BMW, a small and relatively painless electric shock is immediately administered to the animal, thus deterring it from future fouling.

Dr Hans Zoff, Head of Automotive Security from BMW AG, said; “Research shows that most BMW customers like to keep their cars clean and dog fouling is a constant irritant. Not only does the Canine Repellent Alloy Protection system support this aim, but it does so using energy created through the EfficientDynamics programme. Beauty through engineering perfection – our philosophy in a wheel nut.”

(Source: Seat, Kia, Bmw, Renntech via Autoblog.com)

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April Fools 2008

April Fools 2008

The most extravagant press releases of the 1st of April: the Nintendo wii-controlled Kia concept, the twin-engine powered Smart fortwo, Bmw’s Canine Repellent Alloy Protection and the electro reflective finish by Seat.


A series of "original" news has been released today 1st April:

  • Seat has developed an electro reflective finish which constantly adapts to mimic the car’s surroundings – in the style of the Aston Martin Vanquish used by James Bond in "Die Another Day".
  • RennTech has unveiled a twin-engine Smart fortwo. Each units develops 91 hp at 11,800 rpm and allow for a 0-60 mph sprint in 5.1 seconds. The retail price is $39,990.
  • The Kia Kee_wii concept can be controlled by a portable device that can be used by passengers too.
  • BMW has presented the Canine Repellent Alloy Protection system (C.R.A.P.), which uses a painless electric shock to prevent dogs from fouling against the alloy wheels.

Below we report the "official" press releases: the news are easily recognizable as jokes, but the language is that typical of official product information, which makes the reading quite funny…

Seat Electro Reflective finish

Seat Electro Reflective finishRecent developments such as the liberal use of Candy White paint on eye-catching models like the SEAT Leon Cupra K1, along with chic additions such as black, or white, 17” alloy wheels, ensure SEAT drivers are proudly piloting some of the hottest cars around.

Now the innovative brand is going further still with the debut today, 1st April 1, of its all-new, hi-tech ‘electro reflective’ exterior panel finish.

The unique bodywork has been developed in-house by an elite team of technicians at the Spanish manufacturer’s Martorell HQ, near Barcelona. 

Using complex principles similar to those through which electrochromic (auto dimming) rear view mirrors work, the experts have developed the patented electro reflective finish which constantly adapts to mimic the car’s surroundings.

The hitherto hush-hush project’s lead engineer, Santos Inocentes, explained: ‘We started off just fooling around with paint, but soon discovered that electro reflectivity was the future.

‘The technology has been a jealously guarded secret within SEAT but, now, we feel the time is just right to reveal it to the world.’

Initially appearing on the SEAT Leon ‘mule’ pictured here, it’s possible that electro reflectivity may one day make it through to production models.

A SEAT UK spokesman said of the new development: ‘We’re obviously very excited by this dramatically different exterior design feature, which mixes technology and innovation to deliver undeniably surprising results.

‘Quite what happens when an electro reflective car meets a speed camera, though, is anyone’s guess!’  

Kia KEE_wii concept

Kia Kee_wii ConceptThe latest upgrade to KEE will make sure it is one step ahead of the competition with a new, dynamic and more involving drive system that removes the need for a steering wheel and pedals.

Franz Josef-Hicks, head of the Advanced Propulsion Research Institute and Laboratory at Kia Motors New Zealand, explained; ‘We have taken inspiration from current computer gaming technology to create a completely new steering and pedal system called Dynamic On-Road Kinetics. 

"The traditional driving controls are replaced by a small ‘controller’ which fits comfortably into two hands.  Making steering motions with the small controller will turn the car in whichever direction the driver likes whilst accelerator and brakes are button operated.  It is a very simple and intuitive system." added Mr Josef-Hicks.

Kia believes there is an added advantage – passengers can take the controls and enjoy the dynamic drive of the KEE_wii from any seat in the car.

“This is ultimate flexibility,” enthused Mr Josef-Hicks. “If you are travelling in left or right-hand drive countries you will be able to control the vehicle from the correct seat and if a passenger knows a road particularly well they can take control and make the journey more efficient and faster.  

"We have patented this newly developed wireless system known as Full Orthopaedic Operating Logic.  Okay, so visibility is a minor issue for those in the back seats, but we don’t think this will be a problem as a lot of people don’t really look where they are going when they drive – and we have built in a fail-safe security system called Independent Driver Input Operating Technique that utilises radar to avoid accidents.”

The KEE_wii dynamic control system will be available on new Kia cars a year from today and will then be optional on forthcoming generations of models as they are updated or replaced.

Alongside unveiling the updated KEE_wii, Kia also announced it plans to lobby governments to change driving test regulations.  Mr Josef-Hicks added ‘Every parent is embarrassed at the sharp and speedy computer driving skills of their children – it seems obvious to us that if children as young as eight can drift, rally and race their way to multiple world championships on a games console, then this new driving system will be simple enough for anyone to use.

Even from the back seat.  With this new KEE_wii driving system we want governments to consider changing real word driving tests for computer simulations’.

RENNtech Twin-Engine Smart 7.22

RENNtech Twin-Engine Smart 7.22Based on the new Smart ForTwo, the 7.22 is powered by two (2) 1000cc, 3 cyl. Smart engines, each mated to its own 5-speed, automated transmission.

"One engine drives the front wheels, the other drives the rears," explains Hartmut Feyhl, RENNTECH’s president and ex-technical director of AMG North America.

"One of my employees, Jo Borras, previously worked with Mosler to build their dual-engined Cadillac TwinStar, and made the magazine rounds a few years later with his own twin-engined Hyundai Tiburon. It seemed like a good idea to try on the Smart, so we went with it."

Each of the Smart’s drive units exists in its own subframe, complete with its own ECU and electronics, making the process fairly straightforward. Feyhl explained that once the steering mechanism was integrated into the engine’s cradle, the resulting subframe mounted directly to the existing safety cell, using the same mounting points as the original. Feyhl admits "the hardest part was getting the 7.22’s new plastic bodywork ‘right’."

Interestingly, since each engine and transmission assembly is completely isolated, there is no need to synchronize the two. Feyhl informed us that "each engine and ECU finds its job suddenly easier, and simply acts as if it were going downhill or carrying a lighter load."

Never ones to leave well enough alone, however, the crew at RENNTECH set to work on their pint-sized terror … but even putting out a string of 750 hp SLR McLarens and 900 lb-ft bi-turbo AMG cars didn’t prepare them for what happeed next.

The boys at RENNTECH were surprised ("shocked" might be a better word) by what happened when the software engineers cracked the Smart’s Bosch electronics and removed the engine’s rev limiters. "It revved like a liter-bike," says Feyhl, "and none of us expected anything quite like that!"

Using the Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle’s torque curve as a guide, RENNTECH’s software engineers began massaging the Smart’s fuel maps until they achieved a totally unbelievable result: 91 raucous, twitchy horsepower at a stratospheric 11,800 rpm.

That’s right, kiddies. Ninety-one peak horsepower at eleven-thousand, eight-hundred rpm from each of the two Smart 3 cylinders … and the new, RENNTECH-imposed rpm limit? An absolutely SCREAMING 13,200 rpm.

The end result is a twin-engined, 182 hp AWD street machine that zips from zero to sixty in an astonishing (and terrifying!) 5.1 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 138 mph.

Getting all of the RENNTECH Smart 7.22’s newfound power to the ground are a set of specially-designed 17" RENNTECH forged Monolite wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot sport tires. Hard, fade-free stops are made possible by RENNTECH’s 14" 2-piece rotors and Smart-specific 4 piston calipers, while RENNTECH’s new "Go-eco" exhaust system makes use of futuristic technology to ensure that the 7.22’s only emissions are a blend of pure oxygen and a potpourri of fresh lilacs and honeyuckle.

The RENNTECH Smart 7.22 is available today for $39,990. Contact RENNTECH for more (please check today’s date before ordering).

BMW’s Canine Repellent Alloy Protection

Designed to stop dogs fouling against the sparkling alloys of new BMW cars, the innovative Canine Repellent Alloy Protection system (C.R.A.P.) is the latest offering in the BMW EfficientDynamics programme.

Using the EfficientDynamics Brake Energy Regeneration system, energy that would normally have been lost during engine over-run and during braking is harnessed as Rim Impulse Power (R.I.P.) and stored for future use.

Whenever a dog tries to relieve itself on the wheel of a suitably-equipped BMW, a small and relatively painless electric shock is immediately administered to the animal, thus deterring it from future fouling.

Dr Hans Zoff, Head of Automotive Security from BMW AG, said; “Research shows that most BMW customers like to keep their cars clean and dog fouling is a constant irritant. Not only does the Canine Repellent Alloy Protection system support this aim, but it does so using energy created through the EfficientDynamics programme. Beauty through engineering perfection – our philosophy in a wheel nut.”

(Source: Seat, Kia, Bmw, Renntech via Autoblog.com)

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