It's April 1, and you know what that means – the car industry is coming up with its weirdest and most 'out there' ideas it can for April Fools Day. What better way for automotive PR teams to wind down from the madness than to attempt to wind us up this April Fools day?
We look through the best efforts of the industry's attempts to explore its mischievous side.
Scot to be a joke…
Land Rover claimed to have installed the UK’s “most remote charging point” on the Isle of Skye, off the coast of Scotland.
The fast-charging point, 15 miles from the nearest tarmac, was to allow drivers of the firm’s new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport P400e plug-in hybrids to take a “mid-adventure top-up charge” on their off-road jaunt across the island.
The conveniently named Max Watts, head of vehicle charging at Land Rover, said the company had “ohm-mitted nothing in [its] quest to ensure that eco-minded Land Rover owners are able to adventure in zero emissions comfort”.
They nearly had us, too, until the environmentally conscious Ted Lightly, CEO of Skye High Club, was quoted as saying “this new charging post is so discreet that it’s almost as if it’s not even there at all”.
'Skoda’s April Fools’ prank was a tongue-in-cheek parody of the overwhelming amount of personalisation options available with new cars.
The new ProjectaPal lighting system was the latest addition to the Czech brand’s ‘Simply Clever’ range of design features, and would allow drivers to use their car as a sort of mobile diary.
High-intensity LED lights fitted to the bottom of the doors would project a chosen image (a bin day or birthday reminder) onto the ground at the start and end of every journey.
Head of Skoda infotainment Ivor Tüchskreen (presumed successor to Agáta Fächsmacheen) said ProjectaPal could also be used to display images of a familiar face.
“Maybe you are missing someone you really love like your dog, your cat, your favourite football player or your wife”, he suggested.
“With ProjectaPal, you can see their faces the moment you open the door.”
Maybe a good idea, but reminders to have a shower could get a touch embarrassing in the office car park.
BMW shot for the stars with its annual prank, claiming to have rolled out a new 'lunar paint' which would use "revolutionary photvoltaic technology" to recharge its i3 and i8 electric cars overnight.
The company even came up with a catchy slogan for the idea - "Sun down. Charge up." It almost makes you wonder why companies aren't pursuing lunar technology. Perhaps there's an easier time of day to generate energy from light sources? We'll look into it.
MG Motor wanted drivers of its 3 hatchback to colour their commute with a new range of dye-coated tyres.
Equipped, for a limited time only, as standard on all trim levels, the water-soluble dye would leave a trail of colour behind the car which would dissolve in the next rainfall.
Dr Gull Abel, MG's professor of pigment, said: "With these fantastic tyres, we're taking personalisation to a whole new level and allowing customers to show their true colours". Find a big enough car park, and you might even be able to play noughts and crosses with your MG-driving friends.
Screen if you want to go faster
Kia Motors is keeping in touch with the younger generation, and showed off a touchscreen-based vehicle control unit that mirrored the 'swipe left, swipe right' mechanism used by popular smartphone apps.
The Automotive Premonition Research Institute Limited's new Finger Operated Optimum Lever (A+ for effort), allowed drivers to scroll up and down through the gears, operate the horn via a 'double-tap' movement, and change direction with one flick of the finger.
Available on selected models from 1 April, the F.O.O.L "is set to revolutionise driving for the under 30s", according to a spokesperson for the brand.
Sniffing out the best deal
Automotive shopping site, CarGurus, has trained a dog that car buyers can borrow to help them ‘sniff’ out the best deal on their new vehicle. Bobo, a six-year-old cocker spaniel, has spent the past six months in intensive training at CarGurus’ Boston headquarters. Working in partnership with the tech company’s in-house data scientists and car buying experts, he has been able to learn the formula for a ‘paw-fect’ deal.
CarGurus says its canine negotiator has received intensive training included Bobo learning CarGurus’ complex Instant Market Value algorithm, using industry-leading augmented reality software coupled with a generous handful of dog treats.
“The saying goes that you should never work with children or animals, but we don’t agree with that when it comes to buying a used car,” said Anna Milexpert, head of K9 research and development at CarGurus. “Bobo has proved to be the perfect sniffer dog when hunting for the best deal. We expect Bobo to be in huge demand with our shoppers but if he’s not available then fear not – prospective buyers can simply log on to CarGurus.co.uk to find great deals from top-rated dealers."
Also read: April Fools' Day 2018
April Fools' Day 2017
April Fools' Day 2016