Hidden between a supply closet and the toilets at AISIN's Detroit Auto Show stand was a 1:10th-ish scale model of an anonymous pickup with a slanted louver/spoiler setup looking like an Escalade EXT that wandered onto the set of Death Race.
AISIN is not some goofy garage outfit struggling to get a booth at SEMA. They supply OEM parts for Toyota, GM, and Chrysler. The sunroofs in GM's full-sized trucks, transmissions in Chrysler's Rams, and loads of levers and switches in the Toyota Tundra come off AISIN assembly lines.
Which is why it struck me as strange that Al Bernat, their director of body and chassis components, knew very little about this absurd looking aesthetic add-on they had bothered to bring.
"It's an active spoiler, aimed at improving fuel efficiency," he told me. Well, sure it is. He only added that one prototype had been built, for a vehicle he could only describe as "a Japanese truck." Results of testing, or if any had been done, were also undisclosed.
While it was presented as an "aftermarket" accessory, it's not slated to be in a Jeg's catalogue. This would be a box you could tick at a dealership if you wanted to massacre your truck's looks and usability for the sake of letting everyone know you rock just as hard as you did in the '80s.
Bernat's parting remarks he said we might see this part become a blow-molded painted plastic reality by "late 2014, 2015 depending on customer interest." Unless this turns out to do wonders for pickup fuel economy, I'd gauge that interest at "low."