Every year we gather together the best April 1st pranks produced by the car industry, some of which might generate a laugh, while others fall flat because, let’s face it, humour isn’t normally a core competence for PRs.
As usual, BMW lead the way with two dead-pan gags from MINI and BMW cars – while Rolls-Royce retain their stiff upper lip. BMW, has made April 1st a key part of their marketing strategy since the year 2000, and even created a section in their BMW Education website to host all their most popular spoofs.
Most of this year’s gags come from the US, which seems ironic, given its European origin and our continuing belief in the UK that Americans just don’t get irony.
Anyway, for better or worse, here’s the ones which caught our attention.
They said: Ever sat on a night, hungry and needing a snack, but with one snag – it’s got to be in less than 3 seconds? Well, ladies and gentlemen, let Nissan reveal its latest innovation – the GT-R toastie maker! Super hot snacks in double quick time – just watch out for that ‘turbo’ button.
They said: The External Vehicle Protection system consists of a small container built in the roof of the car, which contains a folded-in, vacuum pulled balloon of similar material to existing airbags. In case of an unavoidable collision, whether it is with another car, a roadside object or even when coming into contact with surface water, the balloon unfolds within the blink of an eye around the car. By completely enveloping the car, the External Vehicle Protection system ensures that damage and personal injury as a result of the collision is minimized.
Volvo Cars has a long history of leading automobile safety research and innovation, exemplified by many breakthroughs and world-firsts. With this new, revolutionary External Vehicle Protection solution, Volvo Cars takes this heritage up to the next level. “This new safety feature is the embodiment of the Volvo brand philosophy, Designed Around You. All we did was taking a very literal approach to Designed Around You. Instead of finding new areas inside the car where we could add more airbag-like safety systems, we asked ourselves: why not cover the complete car in an airbag-like solution?”
They said: With a royal baby due this summer, BMW is proud to announce P.R.A.M. (Postnatal Royal Auto Mobile). Fitted with a Nurse-Assisting Petrol Powered Injection Engine (N.A.P.P.I.E) and award-winning EfficientDynamics technologies, including active aerodynamics and low rolling-resistance tyres, for those who are ‘too posh to push’. With a choice of two or four-wheel drive it rides as smoothly on the polo field as it does down the Mall.
Available exclusively in Princess Pink and Royal Blue, this soft-top convertible is the latest innovation from the Forschunges und Narren division. The BMW P.R.A.M comes complete with air conditioning, and paparazzi-proof hood as standard. On sale in showrooms from April 1, 2013, the price is available on request. To book a test drive contact Joe King, Head of Postnatal Innovation, on 0800 0936161 or Joe.King@bmw.co.uk.
They said: The AeroWagonette unit has been developed in response to the many requests that small children be accommodated in the Callaway AeroWagon design plans. unique capsule that will allow up to three children to ride along behind their parents in the appropriate amount of isolation. The experience will be particularly effective for children who tend to be bothersome or otherwise inappropriate.
Since the Callaway AeroWagon is capable of speeds in excess of 200 mph, a ‘ time-out ‘ in the AeroWagonette should prove terrifying to even the most boisterous of offspring. Callaway Cars founder, Reeves Callaway states: We have several children assigned to the testing role already. Callaway admits that the Scared Straight, or its more aggressive, Scared S**tless technique, can be very effective.
SpacEx founder Elon Musk could be engaged to supply the coupling / de-coupling strategy first used in the docking of the ISS. At the driver’s command, the unit can be de-coupled and continue unimpeded, upright, however without directional control. Also at the driver’s command will be 14 separate and remotely deployable air bags within the AeroWagonette.
They said: Weighing in at just 400kg, the Yúrén Wind is built from ultra-tough resin-impregnated recycled paper and cardboard on a lightweight aluminium chassis and powered by a compressed air motor. Unfortunately it has left CAP Automotive’s Code experts baffled, because due to its bizarre construction they’re unable to assign it a classification using 10-character classification system.
CAP’s Martin Ward has been test driving the car and describes the Yúrén Wind as “surprisingly quick and very quiet.”
They said: Honda unveiled the first-ever mobile barbering tool for busy, cost-conscious families. The HondaHAIR will be available as a Honda Genuine Accessory for the 2014 Odyssey Touring Elite’s HondaVAC system. By simply snapping the HondaHAIR into place the powerful suction can fashion the perfect bob, pixie or buzz cut.
Capable of creating any style cut, the HondaHAIR offers affordability and convenience and transforms the cargo space into a virtual salon on wheels—eliminating the need to trek to the stylist or barber.
They said: After an onslaught of media and internet speculation, Subaru of America has confirmed it will launch an AWD Twin-Turbo Convertible two-seater Diesel Hybrid BRZ for sale in 2015. The new model essentially takes all of the media and internet rumours surrounding the highly successful BRZ sports car and delivers them in one fell swoop.
A spokesman for the company said: “Having just launched the current model to widespread critical acclaim, we are tired of fighting off the constant speculation about what’s “next” and so we are just giving in and delivering all the speculation in one vehicle.”
The new model, which is expected to have a starting price, will however NOT come with a much anticipated rear back-up camera. The spokesman confirmed that after shoehorning two convertible switches (up and down) onto the fascia there just wasn’t room for any more instruments. The AWD Turbo Convertible two-seater Diesel Hybrid BRZ will come in a single colour, noseeum black and will be hand produced at Subaru’s Brigadoon facility.
They said: The latest version of the MINI Connected App is playing cupid to make MINI fans’ dreams of finding the perfect partner come true. ‘Connect Us’ – the world’s speediest dating service – compares how drivers like to treat their accelerator, steering wheel and brakes (as deduced by the MINI Driving Excitement Analyser) in the search for a compatible co-driver on the journey of love.
If two MINI drivers are on the same wavelength in how they handle their car, the Connect Us invite them to meet up in person, taking care of a suitable restaurant booking to ‘spice’ up the resulting date.
They said: If it’s got an engine, you can race it. So Toyota has been lining up its new Proace van for a summer of Touring Van racing. Eagle-eyed motorists may have spotted the racing Proace undergoing its intensive test programme. Its handling has been fine tuned through 24-hour lane-switching manoeuvres on the M62, while the sequence of traffic lights along the A4 west of London have helped hone its off-the-line acceleration.
“Volvo raced an estate car back in the ‘90s, so we see it as a natural evolution of touring cars to embrace vans as a holistic, 360-degree engagement with stakeholder behaviours.” said a Toyota spokesman, in between scoffing a BLT sandwich somewhere on the M1. “Toyota has a fine history of truck racing in America – even Kimi Räikkönen has been behind the wheel of a high-speed Tundra pick-up – so the sky’s the limit.”