April Fools’s Day shenanigans have been present for around 500 years or even more and now that social media is a key part of our lives, many companies turning to such stunts for exposure bring the game to the next level to ensure their efforts are noticed. This seems to be the case with American aftermarket developer HRE Wheels, which continues to advertise the coilover suspension wheels it introduced this April 1st.
Amusingly presented as “coilover Spoke Undulation System (SUS)” on the first day of this month, the wheels are missing most of their five spokes. Instead, the center of the rim is attached to the outer circle via five shock absorbers and springs, taking a page from the vehicle suspension book.
We noticed the SUS wheels on HRE’s Instagram page when it was released, had a giggle, and moved on. However, the Californian specialist is now back at it. As such, it has published a series of renderings portraying a Ford Bronco sporting its coilover rolling goodies some hours ago.
The virtual SUV, wheels included, was brought to the 3D world by the digital artist known as Thiago Design. Based in Brazil, the 23-year-old pixel master gifted the 2022 Bronco with overfenders that seem fitting for those SUS wheels, but he didn’t stop there.
The factory bumpers are gone, having been replaced by much slimmer units, while the posterior of the two-door Bronco shows an elevated exhaust setup and a rear spoiler that seem to have “performance” written all over them.
These new images, which have been uploaded to the Instagram accounts of HRE and Thiago Design alike, don’t show how the rolling hardware is attached to the wheel hub assembly.
However, in a post the artist released five days ago, the HRE center caps are replaced with what could be a centerlock system, the kind used by race cars and road specials for quick wheel changes.
Why the April Fools’ rebound (pun intended)?
HRE is scheduled to hold an open house event on June 18, with this being presented on its website, along with a registration form. And the fresh Insta release is most likely a clever way to draw attention to the event, which is mentioned in the post.
These smile-intention actions don’t always pay out, as Volkswagen found out last year. On March 29th, 2021, 3 full days ahead of April Fools, the carmaker announced it would be rebranded as Voltswagen to emphasize its growing range of electric vehicles.
The company kept pushing the shenanigan, which wasn’t exactly ludicrous enough to be considered a joke in the first place, at least in some people’s view. And mainly due to these two reasons, the overall balance of the campain seems to have tipped towards the negative press side, especially after multiple major outlets initially presented the rebranding as a serious move.
However, HRE’s move is different. For starters, it introduces a tech solution that would pose serious challenges, so we can’t really take it seriously. Sure, suspension-gifted wheels are already being used by bicycles and wheelchairs, but the loads are much higher for cars. Besides, even if a proper solution would be engineered, the maintenance of such wheels would be complicated, which hardly makes for a good selling point.
All in all, HRE’s apparent April Fools extension seems like a proper way to build on the concept.