This summer has seen record high temperatures set across the globe, with asphalt buckling in the Pacific Northwest and the mercury reaching 121 degrees in parts of Canada. Given that the literal conflagration of our planet is now a divisive partisan issue, this unprecedented heat wave could well be the new normal, and brands are hustling to take advantage of this exciting new hellscape with some new cars in stock near you.
Jeep recently tapped food industry stalwart Nestle to aid in a new partnership aimed at making lemonade out of the dry, desiccated lemons of today’s climate reality. Combining the automotive know-how of the adventure-ready brand with the expertise of the world’s largest food and beverage company, the pair have announced plans for a new model of a popular 4×4.
The Jeep Solara-kee, unveiled Monday at a promotional event in California’s Death Valley, is not only a fully-equipped version of one of Jeep’s most popular models, it’s also a mobile solar oven that’s been specifically engineered to prepare hot meals on the go. By extending the Jeep’s sunroof to stretch the entire length of the car and using a special convex design, the Solara-kee’s cabin can reach temperatures of up to 375 degrees. The design concentrates the sun’s rays on a small, foil-lined box in the rear passenger seat which, incidentally, is just the right size for Nestle’s own flagship foodstuff: the Hot Pocket.
“Here at Nestle, we’re always looking to the future, and according to our predictions, the future is going to be very, very hot. We thought about trying to address climate change head-on, but the accounting department said it would be cost-prohibitive, so we figured we would just find a way to take advantage of it instead,” says Nestle VP of Bad News Ryan Platz. “Remember, this isn’t the hottest summer of your life. It’s the coolest summer of the REST of your life.”
When exposed to direct sunlight and temperatures above 90 degrees, the Solara-kee will save drivers valuable time on their commute, delivering a piping-hot meal at their fingertips in anywhere from two minutes to six hours, depending on cloud cover. Jeep has also replaced the 4×4’s leather dash with a new Teflon-coated surface, allowing drivers to take “hot enough to fry an egg” from the hyperbolic to the literal.
This innovative approach is sure to grab the attention of chronically late drivers, highway gourmets, and highway patrolmen alike. However, Jeep advises the nascent technology might work a little too well at times and advises customers to read the fine print before making a down payment.
“We do not recommend driving in it on any day when there’s a chance of sunshine or south of the Mason-Dixon line in general. Our legal team was very adamant about this. In fact, if you look at your registration, you’ll see it’s actually classified as an oven, not a motor vehicle,” says Jake Warnock, general counsel at Jeep.
While it has its shortcomings as a means of conveyance, Warnock says the convenience far outweighs the stifling interior temperatures. “We already apply our makeup, check our phone, and do our taxes while driving at 65 mph, so why not one of the most basic functions of human existence,” he says.
As a way to promote the new collaboration, Nestle is introducing a new limited run of Hot Pockets formulated specifically for the Jeep set. While still in the R&D phase, Platz says current staff favorites include Slim Jim compote and Cheez Whiz with a Monster Energy reduction, Buffalo wings with ranch alfredo and an IPA glaze, and a new vegetarian option that’s just an empty shell with a note inside reading “sorry.”