Car companies aren’t immune to having a bit of fun with their press announcements on April Fools Day. Here’s some of the best ones.
The Dacia Dustar Launches into Space!
Last year, Dacia announced it was launching the world's first affordable space venture claiming: 'Dustar represents one small step for Dacia and a new dawn of simple, fun and exciting space travel. And presenting the Dustar's initial voyage on 1st April 2021, they even launched a car into space and brought it back down to Earth! Albeit it was a toy model version of a Duster SUV.
At Dustar's secret technical base, Noel Armstrong (as opposed to Neil Armstrong?) said: '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.'
BMW M3 Pickup
BMW went to some lengths to convince people that it was launching the world's fastest pickup - a BMW M3 with 420bhp V8 in the front, and a 450kg carrying capacity in the back. Plus, it was a targa top, so open-air motoring for the driver and passenger, and details included information such as a 50kg weight saving over the convertible, and the ability to carry up to 20 standard 46-inch golf bags.
BMW even went as far to build an actual real-world example, but it soon became clear that would be a one-off when it was premiered on 1st April 2011.
Mazda's Four-Door MX-5 Roadster
On the other hand Mazda resorted to photoshopping to try to prank people into believing it was about to introduce a new four-door, four-seat version of its much-loved little MX-5 roadster in 2014.
The image issued really wasn't that believable though, and it didn't help that it was well known that an all-new version of the best-selling sports car was shortly to be introduced.
Volkswagen Changes its Name to Voltswagen
This one from Volkswagen had quite a few journalists convinced last year, because Volkswagen's claim that it was changing its name to Voltswagen, was a) in order to promote its new range of electric vehicles, and b) the announcement was made before 1st April and when challenged, the company insisted it wasn't a joke. Until they finally admitted on April Fools that it was a joke after all. Or was it?
The i-Kia DIY car
In 2007 Kia claimed to be taking a leaf out of IKEA's book and creating the concept 'i' - hence i-Kia (geddit?). The idea was that customers could save a huge amount of money on their new car, by taking it home in boxes and assembling it themselves! The target price was set at under £4000, and buyers could select the specification, engine and body style before receiving their flat-pack car. The giveaway was that they didn't announce an on-sale date because they had 'no i Kia'.
Alfa Romeo's Instagram-inspired Filter Windows
To appeal to a social media generation, Alfa Romeo claimed it was introducing cutting-edge electrochromic glass that would alter the perception of the outside world, just like filters used in Instagram posts. The Nouva Luce technology could be activated through the infotainment system.
Selecting a filter to be applied to the windows could instantly replace the 'flat light and dreary weather outside with one of five vibrant, life-affirming ambiances.' The craziest thing about this 2021 April Fools, is that it's really not that far-fetched!
Toyota Aygo Instagram Enabled Reversing Camera
An even earlier Instagram-related prank was from Toyota in 2016, when it claimed it would introduce Instagram filters to its reversing camera. Although standing behind a car in reverse gear to get your picture taken would seem to be a bad idea - with or without filters!
Skoda Projectapal LED Reminder System
Another joke release that could actually be a real thing, and possibly quite desirable, is 2019's Skoda Projectapal LED reminder system. Linking up the car's infotainment to your smartphone's diary, the door mirror's puddle-light projectors, could actually present reminders.
So, if you'd forgotten your kid's birthday when you get home, opening the door would remind you. Actually Skoda - you should really offer this feature, it’s useful!
MG to Leave them in their Tracks – Rainbow Tracks!
In a 2019 April 1st Tweet, MG Motors claimed to have introduced road-colouring tyres on its MG3 model following its 'Colour The Road' mantra. The tyres were supposedly coated with a water-soluble dye that would fade shortly afterwards, all in aid of making the UK's roads more colourful. What's more the tyres were standard fit, according to Dr Gull Abel (read that name again), MG's Professor of Pigment.
Watch out for more automotive hoaxes and motoring mischief from car makers on 1st April 2022!