Apple has long been rumored to be working on an Apple Car. But if you live in the United Kingdom, you can buy one. Right now. Today. Kind of.
According to Car Dealer Magazine, Apple is selling off some of its fleet of white Subaru Imprezas which have spent the past year driving around the U.K., collecting mapping data for Apple Maps’ “Look Around” feature.
The publication points to a couple of car dealerships stocking the vehicles. They no longer feature the Apple branding or the mapping tech (which consisted of a LiDAR scanners, high resolution cameras and a Mac for storing the data). The report notes that:
“While the Impreza might seem something of an oddball choice here in the UK, Apple is likely to have selected the model for consistency across the globe: identical Apple Maps-branded Subarus have been seen across Europe, America and Asia over the last year …
Picking the same vehicle worldwide might be more than just a branding exercise … Designing the firm’s bespoke imaging equipment around the exterior and interior dimensions of multiple different cars could have proved challenging.”
Apple Car for sale
Car Dealer says that it appears Apple did not own the cars outright. Instead, it seems to have leased them from leasing company Arval, who are listed as the registered owner with the DVLA driving authorities. It doesn’t reveal exactly how it knows these are ex-Apple stock (other than the strangeness of finding large numbers of this particular model in white all up for sale.) Still, given that this is a magazine aimed at car dealers, it presumably has some sources in the business who have some gossip to feed it.
This isn’t the first time an ex-Apple vehicle of some sort has come up for sale. A few years back, Steve Jobs’ ex-BMW was available to buy. Even more unusually, earlier this year, a replica of the Apple-sponsored 1979 Porsche 935 K3 race car, the only race car Apple ever sponsored, went up for sale.
The Subaru Imprezas Apple used for mapping cost around 15,700 pounds ($21k) each. And, yes, they come with CarPlay.
Source: Car Dealer Magazine