Six cool and quirky automotive brand tie-ins

We take a look at some of the most interesting collaborations the car industry has seen in recent years.

Caterham Harrods
Caterham Harrods

Hyundai Tucson Walking Dead Edition

Hyundai Tucson Walking Dead Edition
(Hyundai)

If you watched the early series of The Walking Dead, you might have noticed that the main characters often drove about in a Hyundai Tucson in suspiciously good condition. That’s because the South Korean firm signed a deal with the show to feature the car.

As a result of the collaboration, Hyundai released a Walking Dead-inspired Tucson in 2013. However, instead of sporting modifications perfect for seeing off the undead, it actually has roof rails ‘to help carry more survival gear’, decals for the four factions featured in the series, and was only made in four-wheel-drive ‘to assist drivers when off-roading away from the undead’.

BMW Fanatec steering wheel

BMW Fanatec
(BMW)

The video game scene is booming, and if there’s one segment that’s seen a significant boost recently, it’s sim racing. Car racing games have always been a staple of any console’e line-up, but super-realistic motorsport games such as iRacing became hugely popular in 2020 when they replaced real racing during the pandemic.

Fanatec is one of the biggest hardware makers in sim racing, producing wheel and pedal sets that work in games. However, it blurred the lines between virtual and reality even further last year when it teamed up with BMW to make a wheel that could work both in games and in a real car.

The new BMW M4 GT3 car’s steering wheel can be removed from the real racer and attached to your gaming wheel – and everything will work perfectly. This could become a common theme, as Fanatec has revealed it has been working with Ford on its 2022 World Rally Championship contender…

Caterham Harrods

Caterham Harrods
(Caterham)

Caterham is a car company known less for its luxuriousness and more for being a pure, back-to-basics sports car manufacturer. So it was perhaps a little surprising when it announced a collaboration with high-end shopping store Harrods.

Based on a Caterham Seven 420S, the model cost about £60,000 when new and could be bought in-store. It was painted in Harrods green and had leather upholstery inside, and was designed to show just how much scope for personalisation was available in the Caterham Signature programme.

Fiat (RED) editions

Fiat 500X (RED)
(Fiat)

Quite recently, Fiat has announced a partnership with charity (RED). Founded in 2006 by Bono and Bobby Shriver, (RED) initially helped in the fight against the AIDS pandemic but has more recently been tackling the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and its effect on some of the most vulnerable communities in the world.

The partnership with Fiat has already seen several special edition models based on the 500, 500X and Tipo vehicles. Highlights include a striking red paint colour, a variety of special-edition badges and a revised interior.

Nissan Juke Ministry of Sound

Nissan Juke Ministry of Sound
(Nissan)

Back in 2012, Nissan announced a tie-in with dance music experts Ministry of Sound. This collaboration saw the creation of the Nissan Juke Ministry of Sound edition, which brought a whole host of touches to the then-new first generation Juke.

It got a variety of Ministry of Sound badges and white alloy wheels, while a specially engraved iPod Touch and cradle were also included.

Mini Strip by Paul Smith

Mini Strip by Paul Smith
(Mini)

Paul Smith is one of the biggest names in the fashion business, delivering clothes that have a distinctively British flavour to them. So it was only natural that it teamed up with another British icon – Mini.

The pair combined to create the Mini Strip – a minimalist one-off version of Mini’s Electric hatch that had a real focus on sustainability. Its exterior, for instance, hasn’t got any paint – only a thin film for protection – while recycled perspex has been used for components such as the sunroof.

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