We love Easter eggs here at CarGurus, and not just the ones made from chocolate. Whether it’s in films, computer games or YouTube videos, a few little hidden surprises and insider references are sure to add an extra layer of appreciation for avid viewers. But did you know it happens with cars too?
Below are some of our favourites automotive Easter eggs, plus a few features that are just plain helpful. Let us know your favourites in the comments section below.
You could do a full scale Easter egg hunt with the Jeep Renegade, so packed is it with references to the American brand’s past. Note the little Willys Jeep motto at the base of the windscreen, or the numerous Jerrycan references on the key, dashboard and lights, all intended to provide a link back to the original Jerrycan-equipped Willys Jeep of 1941.
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Tesla has turned automotive Easter eggs into an art form. Note, for example, how the volume control goes to a This is Spinal Tap inspired 11, or how if you tap the Tesla ‘T’ icon at the top of the touchscreen three times a giant sketchpad is revealed. Our favourite, however, occurs when you hold the same Tesla icon for five or so seconds and, when prompted, add the code 007. This turns the graphic on the air suspension control screen from a Tesla to the Lotus Esprit submarine from the James Bond film, the Spy Who Loved Me.
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Mercedes-Benz Vent Lights
Like automatic wipers or a packet of Fruit Gums, ambient lighting is one of those things you never knew you needed in a car until you tried it. Several manufacturers now offer the technology, but few do it as well as Mercedes-Benz. In its latest CLS, for example, the lighting around the interior can not only be set to one of 64 colours, but even appears in the air vents, which change colour when you adjust the climate control.
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Vauxhall might not strike you as an Easter egg kind of car company, but look at the side of the glovebox on any Corsa built between 2006 and 2014 and you’ll see a shark motif. More subtle versions of this are included in the later Vauxhall Adam, this time with the shark chasing two fish. Strange but true.
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Volkswagen Reversing Camera
If your car has a reversing camera you’ll know how annoying it is when the lens gets covered with dirt. One solution is to hide the camera until required, which is precisely what Volkswagen does with cars such as the Golf and Passat CC. When parked or travelling forwards the camera is tucked away behind the VW badge at the rear of the car. Select reverse, however, and the badge pivots to reveal a perfectly clean camera. How clever is that?
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Ford GT Headlight
The Ford GT of 2004 was not only one of the most striking supercars of its time, but a fine way for Ford to celebrate its centenary. Not one to miss an opportunity to sneak in a cool feature, Ford designed the headlights so that the lights in the right-hand unit read ‘100’.
Sometimes Easter eggs are there to be fun, but in other instances such hidden surprises can be genuinely useful. Witness the way Skoda stashes umbrellas into the doors of some of its cars, or slips an ice scraper into the fuel filler cap.
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MINI Personalised Puddle Lights
Puddle lights are great, but not as great as puddle lights that form logos or graphics. Land Rover was among the first to do with when it launched the Range Rover Evoque in 2011, but now MINI has taken things one step further by allowing you to personalise your puddle light. Unlock the doors and a small emblem is projected from the underside of the door mirrors on to the ground – all you need to do is decide what you want it to say.
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Audi took LED lighting signatures to impressive new levels with its 2018 A8 saloon. With 135 LEDs in each rear light, the car is able to perform what Audi describes as a ‘spectacular light show’ when you lock or unlock the car, with the LEDs sweeping in a circle from the middle of the boot outwards. This all happens in two cycles, the first with the LEDs dimmed and the second at full brightness. The technology is predictably mesmerising – and has now been applied to other Audi models such as the latest A6, as can be seen in our video review, above.
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Jaguar E-Pace Cub
Look closely at the windscreen of the Jaguar E-Pace SUV and you’ll spot a graphic of a cub following its mother. It’s a nod to Jaguar’s ambition for the E-Pace to not simply be be see as a smaller version of its hugely successful F-Pace SUV, but a car with a character all of its own. Combined with styling borrowed from its F-Type sports car, details such as the cub are intended to show off Jaguar’s fun side – a point that also comes across when you get behind the wheel of the E-Pace.
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Volvo Seat Belt Buckles
Volvo’s range of SUVs are some of the most desirable on sale, not only for their road presence and practicality, but because they contain numerous neat design features. In the XC90, for example, there is a spider on the underside of the lid for the rear storage trays, there to amuse younger passengers. Even the seat belts don’t escape the designer touch, with buckles engraved with ‘Since 1959’ serving as a reference to when Volvo Cars introduced the three-point seat belt as standard equipment.
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