Japanese automakers have been shoving all sorts of devices into vehicles, especially kei cars, for years now. We've seen many a wacky concept come out of design studios, and a surprising number of them have actually made it into production. Well, Nissan may have just taken it to a whole 'nother level with their new "Ultimate Smart BBQ Vehicle."
Honestly, when Matt first sent me the link to this (he pinged me via our meeting software, and it was in the middle of the night for me... I had forgotten to put my phone on silent and I was really, really groggy), I thought for sure this was some kind of joke. Japanese advertisements are often over the top in ways American advertisements aren't (different types of "over the top," I suppose) but this was something else again. It reminded me not so much of an actual Japanese advertisement as much as some kind of fake commercial made by CollegeHumor or an SNL digital short.
Oh, no, my friends. This is apparently very, very real. Well, that, or Nissan is punking us... but the idea of pranks (like those we might be used to on April 1st from American companies) aren't really a thing in Japan. Not from major Japanese corporations. No, having reviewed the Japanese... I'm pretty sure this is actually a thing. What's more... It's not a concept. But it's also not a full production vehicle; this insane BBQ vehicle is something I have never heard of before from a major manufacturer. It's crowd funded. Various levels of support will get you various stuff, all the way up to the car itself... eventually.
So just what is in this thing exactly? Well, first you've got the BBQ grill. It's electric, of course (this being a fully electric vehicle), but the BBQ itself is part of a full kitchen with counter top, sink, disposal unit, and storage areas... Okay, so far, so normal.
Then there's the "Mosquito Barrier," which let me tell you, in Japan, is pretty damn useful:
And of course, you will no doubt be using this in summer, so, how about some mist spray, also pretty useful.
But then shit gets weird. Because the other two items this insane, and I do mean insane, BBQ car has are a karaoke machine and an entire drone for the purposes of taking BBQ fun times selfies.
Want to see this ultimate tailgating EV come to a driveway near you? Well, if you're here in Japan, be prepared to front about 500,000円 (円 = ¥, about US$4200) in crowd funding for the chance. America? SORRY, YOU CAN'T HAVE THIS (poor Torchy).
Video and Images via Nissan.