April Fools Day 2017: the best jokes from the automobile industry

Once again, the car industry has tried its hardest to pull our leg; here’s our rundown of the best efforts this year.

By Jimi Beckwith, Autocar UK calendar 01 Apr 2017 Views icon19410 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

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. Take a read through this year's offerings below. 

McLaren’s feather wrap: 3/5


McLaren had us all a flutter when it revealed its MSO-made Feather Wrap, made up of 10,000 carbon-veined faux feathers. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your lack of taste) it’s just a flight of fancy; an April fools’ joke, which will never spread its wings.

According to McLaren, the finish weighs no more than a coat of paint, and contributes to aerodynamics, by reducing drag.

Verdict: It’d be a great weight-saving measure if it was feasible, and it certainly put a cat amongst the pigeons, but we prefer the 570GT with normal paint, thanks. Note; would have achieved 4/5, had it been a Dacia Duster

Triumph HandleWheel: 2/5


Motorcycle company Triumph tried to fool us with its steering wheel attachment; an attempt to attract more car drivers by attaching a 260mm diameter steering wheel to the handlebars of its motorcycles. We don’t think this one’s a steer in the right direction, and that it’s a wheely bad idea.

Verdict: As if the £300 price tag wasn’t bad enough, the safety implications don’t bear thinking about, and the idea just isn’t as well-rounded as it could be. Two wheels are better than three.

MAN Ice Cream MAN: 4/5


Van company MAN have announced that it has a one-day-only offer on, for customers to buy the Ice Cream MAN; a special-edition ice cream van. The van boasts 99 special build features as well as a smooth drive, says the company. Unfortunately, this scoop seems a little flaky, and its likelihood is quickly melting.

Verdict: It’s tangible, and we’re sure MAN would find custom, but offering it for one day only would make it come to a sticky end.

Hyundai Click to Fly: 4.5/5


Hyundai all but had us fooled with this one; following from the brand’s launch of ‘Click to Buy’ online car buying, Hyundai has brought about ‘Click to Fly’ – a car delivery service carried out by hydrogen-powered drones capable of carrying up to 2,000kg; enough to transport even the largest Hyundais.

Verdict: Can’t see this one getting off the ground, but in theory it’ll have to be grounded for practical reasons.

Lexus Lane Valet: 5/5

Lane-hogging is annoying, we can all agree upon that, but Lexus’ Lane Valet software puts an end to it, for April Fools’. Lane Valet communicates with the lane-hogging car in front, and safely moves it to the appropriate lane, allowing the Lexus to pass. This idea has overtaken all the others as the best April Fools’ we’ve seen this year, although it’s quite a task to undertake.

Verdict: If only! Top marks for using the latest industry trends; connected cars and autonomy, and for coming up with a jolly good, if never to be made, idea.

Honda H-Swipe: 2/5


Honda’s H-Swipe in-car dating app allows drivers to swipe left or right on other users using the car’s windscreen wipers, using the windscreen as a display. It’s a hearty idea, but we don’t love it, although at least Honda ensures the app is only used while the car is stationary.

Verdict: It beats the six points and £200 fine of getting caught using phone-based apps behind the wheel. Just.

Skoda’s Rent-A-Family: 3.5/5


Want to test drive a Kodiaq but don’t have a spouse, 2.4 children and a dog to fill it with? Skoda’s April Fools’ effort this year allows you to rent a family and test its cars to the limits they were designed for. There’s a menu of family members on offer, so choose wisely!

Verdict: As long as there’s a terrible uncle (everyone’s got one) and grumpy grandparent on offer, then maybe; testing cars is Autocar approved, after all. 

BMW dDrive dog basket: 4/5


BMW’s effort into this year’s April Fools’ collection is the dDrive dog basket – which uses BMW’s TwinPower Turbo Fan to give pooches the feeling of driving, without actually having to take them out in the car. And without the danger of dog decapitation.

Verdict: All of the benefits, none of the drawbacks; what’s not to like? Not sure it’ll go with the mahogany bureau in the corner, though.


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