Sport and Insane. Those are the two drive settings for the new P85D, the dual-motor super-Tesla unveiled last week. This means Tesla has broken yet another auto-industry rule that says every automaker has to take itself super-seriously and can’t inject a little humor into the product. Can you name any other instance of a car company joking with its drivers, even a little bit? Tesla’s “insane” setting is an underappreciated new approach in car building, and will likely inspire similar cheekiness among rivals.
Car companies do have a sense of humor, albeit nothing that affects the user interface of the car. Instead, the humor tends to take the form of press releases or strategic videos — that kind of thing. Some examples:
1. Fiat pranked VW on Google Maps by parking a Fiat outside VW offices when the camera car went by.
2. Ferrari thanks fans with amusing cartoon.
3. Toyota issues April Fools announcement that it will reintroduce the Tercel.
4. Mini says its new Cooper T will run on tea-leaf biofuel composite.
5. Acura says it’s the number one luxury brand — when listed alphabetically.
6. BMW issues the ultimate sleeping machine.
7. Nissan introduces the Limo Z.
8. An online bully tried to say Smart cars are delicate. How delicate? Even a bird plop would total the car. Well, Smart did some homework on that subject before responding.