IT’S that time of year again when the world’s car makers do their best to pull the wool over our eyes with a barrage of April fools gags that range from the downright ridiculous to the almost believable. Here are our five favourites and one fail.
BMW and Mini have built themselves quite a reputation as a pair of pranksters on April 1 and didn’t disappoint this year.
The British brand presented a John Cooker Works version of its convertible Mini – yes you read that correctly – which allows caterers to convert the passenger compartment into a timber-topped work area for the preparation of food.
In a series of official images, an expert chef is preparing sushi, which is not the only fishy thing about the John Cooker Works. It doesn’t actually appear to have an oven either.
BMW, on the other hand, announced its dDrive dog basket which uses the company’s TwinPower Turbo technology to cosset your pooch with air, creating the same sensation of hanging out of the car window without having to go anywhere at all.
The company has not specified if the canine creation also incorporates technology to stop your dog jumping out if it sees a cat.
Speaking of which, Lotus stuck with the pet theme and offered a skid lid for your cat, allowing owners to take Tiddles to the track. But the feline helmets were only available until midday on April 1. Suspicious?
McLaren wasn’t letting Lotus be the sole British sports car representative and weighed in with a special feathered finish courtesy of its McLaren Special Operations branch. 10,000 carbon-fibre feathers adorn the 570, weighin no more than a coat of paint and actually benefiting aerodynamic drag, it says.
Top marks go to McLaren for creating something Andy Goldsworthy would endorse and a potentially marketable one-off.
But our top car-themed April fool for 2017 has to be Audi’s offering, which proposes a silly but potentially useful concept for a South Australian audience.
Audi fans will delight at the German car maker’s decision to offer a special square drink holder in selected models sold in South Australia, where the favourite drink is Farmers Union flavoured milk – sold in square cartons and not round bottles.
Bonus marks awarded for the local angle and even the production of a short film to add credibility.
Sorry Honda, at the opposite end of the spectrum, you lose points for trying to fool us with a stunt that Nissan pulled last year. According to the car maker, the H-Swipe application uses a digital windscreen to display images of potential suitors as part of an in-car dating application.
The user can either accept or reject the candidates by selecting left or right with special s-wipers (d’ya see what they did there?) operated by steering wheel buttons, which sounds a little like Nissan’s N-Connect application from last year, which notified users if a nearby car was occupied by a single person.
Of course, we may have been reeled in a little further if Honda currently offered any conventional head-up display technology in its cars.