In what has become a tradition for the car industry, April Fools’ Day has been marked with a wave of fake news stories.
The gags are usually harmless fun and do well to lighten the mood, which is no bad thing in the midst of a global pandemic. However, as you may already have read, a certain German manufacturer took things a little too far in its bid to generate headlines this year...
We’ll get to that later. Here we’ve listed the best (and worst) April Fools’ Day jokes from the car industry of 2021.
Not such a tight squeeze any more
Desperately want to own a lightweight sports car but are just too big to fit in one? Maybe you want to improve your Le Mans-style running starts? Caterham has the perfect accessory: Seven Lube. "Make getting in and out of a Seven easier than ever before," reads the blurb - but it makes no mention of how to remove grease stains from racing suits.
According to what we can only assume is exhaustive research and testing by Caterham's science division, one good-sized dollop of Seven Lube is guaranteed to "get you from standing to the driving seat in less than 1.3 seconds".
Interested Seven owners can contact their local dealer today - just don't expect them to have any in stock.
Cappuccino with your Continental, sir?
One April Fools' joke we would actually like to see become reality is Bentley's clever new option for caffeine addicts. After all, who wouldn't want the eye-catching revolving infotainment system found in the Continental GT and Flying Spur to be stealthily hiding a coffee maker?
The new gadget can "create espresso to macchiato at the touch of a button in just a few seconds," according to the official Bentley Twitter account - although sadly such a function is "not available at any dealer near you".
Prospective Bentley owners with a taste for the black stuff might want to start a petition.
Alfa gets its 'gram on
Bring a flavour of Italy to the dreary streets of suburban Britain with Alfa Romeo's new Nuova Luce filter windows: like Instagram but for your car! The tech is pitched as the perfect alternative to a summer holiday and is apparently exclusive to the Stelvio SUV (sorry, Giulia fans).
The ambient colour temperatures of several iconic Italian destinations have been digitised, with "cutting-edge electrochromic glass" able to replicate the hues at the press of a button. Rome is represented by soft yellows and reds, Torino's peachy pallette "invokes the ancient architecture" and bold, high-contrast colours match those of the Amalfi Coast.
“Nuova Luce is an evolution of the widely available auto-dimming mirror technology,” said Alfa's head of ambient lighting, Phil Terre.
2021: A Space Chodyssey
Dacia announced its intention to launch the world’s first affordable space programme. Called Dacia Dustar, the budget brand claims the “venture represents a new dawn in value-for-money space travel”.
Speaking at Dustar's secret technical base, head of operations Noel Armstrong said: “We're all about delivering best-value-for-money without compromising on quality. We've achieved this on Earth, so launching a car into space is the obvious next step!
“Going to space is a dream for many, but we want to show that you can make a little go a long way and make it a reality. I’m over the moon that we begin by sending our rugged and robust Dacia Duster to seriously new heights today.”
The second-generation Duster SUV is far more likely to take off.
The wrong Octave
Skoda has developed new In Tune software that monitors the cabin for singing and automatically corrects the vocal pitch. The corrected audio is then played back through the car’s speakers in real time, masking singalongs that are out of key.
In Tune is available as a free download and is designed to “come to the rescue of drivers and passengers up and down the country, who suffer in silence next to those who believe they are the next Beyoncé or Rick Astley.”
“The UK’s ongoing lockdown situation is straining families and friendships, and with the prospect of kids back at home for the Easter holidays, tensions are likely to run high,” said Skoda’s head of vehicle audio, Carrie O’Key.
“We know music is good for the soul, but caterwauling certainly is not. This software will hopefully add some much-needed lighthearted fun to every essential car journey.”
Something certainly doesn’t sound right.
On Monday, a leaked press release suggested Volkswagen was on the verge of rebranding as Voltswagen of America in the US, with the aim of drawing attention to its electric vehicles in the market.
The move was initially dismissed as a wind-up until an official statement from Volkswagen confirmed that the rebrand was definitely going ahead.
The ruse lasted a matter of hours, with reports surfacing on Tuesday night that the Voltswagen stunt was exactly that.
It’s still not clear if the whole saga was a joke that got out of hand or a marketing ploy that snowballed, but the fact that Volkswagen has been telling porkies not long after paying out billions in fines for the Dieselgate scandal surely isn't a great look.
ALSO READ: April Fools’ Day 2019
April Fools' Day 2018
April Fools' Day 2017
April Fools' Day 2016