They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but it will take the best spin-doctors to make this headline a virtue for BMW… maybe the inspiration for next year’s April Fools. According to a report in the New York Daily News, BMW’s Martin Birkmann – Head of Motorsport and Product Planning and Strategy Manager for BMW North America, parked the prototype X3 SUV near to the American Museum of Natural History, and went to enjoy a Sunday walk in Central Park – unfortunately he mistakenly left the engine running.

The NYPD Bomb Squad rushed to investigate the idling SUV after a woman walking her dog stopped to look at it. The prototype X3, due for release later this year, was lightly disguised in BMW’s usual psychedelic camouflage but following last week’s failed car bomb in Times Square caused panic for tourists leaving the museum.

The car’s back windshield was shattered during the course of the bomb squad’s investigation and after confirming that it was nothing sinister, Birkmann drove the SUV to the NYPD’s 20th Precinct stationhouse.

The incident lasted 90 minutes, but we’re curious as to whether this was a deliberate mistake or purely accidental. What do you think?

Photo credit: Palbay