As is customary every year, carmakers and the automotive media had a blast with April Fool’s Day. There were all sorts of jokes and cheeky stories, ranging from those that were instantly recognizable as April 1st-foolery like Subaru’s AWD Convertible Twin-Turbo Diesel BRZ and Callaway’s AeroWagonette trailer for kids, to those that required a little bit of thinking before dismissing them as fictitious.
Take Honda’s prank, for instance. We all know that the 2014 Odyssey recently introduced at the New York International Auto Show features a built-in vacuum cleaner, called HondaVAC. Well, the Japanese carmaker raised the stakes and said it will offer an optional HondaHAIR accessory that allows in-vehicle haircuts. You can watch how it works in the video posted at the end of this article.
Moving on, we have Mini’s “Connect Us” app that promises to find the perfect partner for Mini drivers based on their driving styles. Again, the joke starts from an existing feature, the Driving Excitement Analyser, with the Connect US function using data collected by it to deliver a precise comparison of drivers’ sprinting prowess, cornering ability and braking strategy. Only then, if two Mini drivers handle their car similarly, will Connect Us invite them to meet in person.
Then there’s Volvo and it’s new wraparound airbags that cover the entire exterior of the car and act like a giant cushion in case of an impact. The External Vehicle Protection (EnVeloP) system allegedly 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.
Toyota also made a more obvious April Fool’s joke, claiming the its new Proace van will compete in the non-existent British Touring Van Championship. The release also said Toyota has tested the racing Proace’s handling through 24-hour lane-switching maneuvers on the M62, while off-the-line acceleration has been tuned in the sequence of traffic lights along the A4 west of London.
Another Japanese company with a crude sense of humor was Lexus with its Roadside Assistance Shuttle Service featuring the…LFA: “In the fast-paced world of luxury cars, a Florida Lexus dealer is piloting the use of LFAs as courtesy shuttles. Customer transit times have been cut in half while customer satisfaction levels have doubled.”
VW’s U.S. arm created the 2015 LeVanto. Here’s what the carmaker said on its Facebook page: “We’re excited to announce the new 2015 Volkswagen LeVanto! This revolutionary design will offer the pinnacle of performance with a new TDI Hybrid engine. Would you like to take this car for a test drive?”
BMW did not go as far as building an E90 M3 pickup truck like the one it did for April Fool’s Day in 2009, but it joined in with the limited edition BMW P.R.A.M. (Postnatal Royal Auto Mobile): “New product alert! Any expecting fans out there? Inspired by the soon-to-be royal baby, the BMW P.R.A.M (Postnatal Royal Auto Mobile) is the ultimate in stroller technology. Features A/C, reclining seat, ambient interior lighting, paparazzi-proof canopy, and optional M Sport package.”
Another prank that caught our attention was Automobile Magazine’s report on Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne who “issued an internal memo requiring all Chrysler white-collar employees to wear white collars. And suits and neckties for men. Suits or pantsuits for women.”
As for us, it’s getting harder and harder every year to trick our readers and the competition, especially after our 2007 BMW X6 Concept hoax that had many journalists asking the Bavarian carmaker’s press people about the…non-existent study during the 2007 New York Auto Show. Still, we believe we had some success with today’s joke, which was none other than the leaked brochure and tech stats of the 2014 Camaro V6.
If you know of any other car-related hoaxes not mentioned here, tell us about them in the comments below.
Note: A rascally April Fool’s Day bird told us that Dan Mihalascu and John Halas likely contributed to this report.