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Best April Fools' Day jokes by car manufacturers

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Words: Maurice Malone - @MaloneMaurice

Published on: April 1, 2017

Words: Maurice Malone - @MaloneMaurice

Published on: April 1, 2017

All the best bits from the Inisbofin Motor Show...

The Inisbofin Motor Show (IBMS) took place this week, although thanks to a huge error of judgement on the part of the organisers, hardly anybody knew that it was taking place. Eschewing the usual methods of advertising through websites, print media and social media channels, the organisers instead relied entirely on flyers with the phrase ‘IBMS on Inisbofin’ printed on them, and no other details. People mistakenly assumed that there was some sort of convention occurring for sufferers of irritable bowel syndrome and stayed away. When questioned on this, a spokesman bristled from inside his cable-knit Aran jumper and admitted that they ‘didn’t really think that whole strategy through’.

Undeterred, CompleteCar.ie was in attendance, and after two trains, a taxi, a bus that hadn’t got the memo to go on strike and a short swim, we arrived. Unfortunately, the show was missing many of Ireland’s best-selling brands, with a Toyota salesman later commenting, “we did not know that this was happening”, before scurrying off to sell another Corolla. Luminaries like Ford, Skoda and Hyundai also stayed away, but some premium manufacturers did turn up, some of whom acknowledged that they were on the way home from the Geneva Motor Show and had gotten ‘quite badly lost’.

BMW debuted the dDrive dog basket, which takes inspiration from the i8 supercar’s shape and is intended to recreate the thrill of the wind on a canine’s face in the comfort of your own home. Trimmed in Nappa leather and customisable to any breed of furry mutt, the dDrive also has a TwinPower Turbo fan made from carbon fibre, with three different speed settings. Jack Russell, BMW’s head of Product Fabrication, said, “bark bark, bark bark bark, bark.” Upon closer investigation, Jack turned out to be an actual dog.

Also on the stand was an all-wheel drive hybrid-powered version of the R 1200 GS travel enduro motorbike. The bike features an electric motor to power the front wheel, which weighs just 880g and pushes out 45hp, boosting the total power output to 170hp. Indeed, a spokesman boasted that the bike had ridden all the way to the North Pole. “We were absolutely amazed at how problem-free and reliable the all-wheel drive worked even at minus 56 degrees. Probably the most thrilling conclusion we can draw from our test runs, is that for the first time we can offer a motorcycle that makes riding a motorcycle a pleasure at snow depths of 1.25 metres.” When questioned further on the legitimacy of these claims, the spokesman coughed repeatedly into our faces until we went away.

On the Honda display, the big news was the launch of the H-Swipe app. Taking inspiration from the likes of Tinder and aimed at millennials, the innovative technology allows the driver to swipe left or right to potential suitors in the area using the windscreen wipers. The function is only available when the car is stationary and is controlled by steering wheel-mounted buttons, although we were asked to ‘get off our stand please’ when we pressed both buttons at once and jammed the wipers together.

Lotus also followed the domestic pet theme with its Lotus Pet Lid designed specifically for cats. Based on the current super-light helmets used in Formula 1, the lids weigh just 25g and can be personalised with your cat’s name and blood group, as well as painted to any desired design. Clark, the Hethel factory cat, is said to have been the inspiration for the move, as he kept wanting to jump in during track tests of the famed lightweight specials. Clark himself was actually on the Lotus stand but spent most of the time sleeping under an Exige, only waking up to hiss at strangers.

A 570GT with an unusual body coating was the star of the McLaren stand. Mimicking our avian friends, the car is covered in 10,000 artificial feathers, each applied by hand. The Woking brand claim a reduction in aerodynamic drag thanks to the feather wrap, and the vibration of the feathers at speed ‘delays the transition from a laminar to turbulent boundary of air.’ Or something. Robin Crane, Biomimicry Specialist and pun enthusiast, stated, “We’re not usually ones to crow about our achievements, but I think we’ve scored a birdie with this one.” Ron Dennis was unavailable for comment.

MG jumped on the millennial bandwagon with technology that displays gigantic emojis on both front and rear windscreens. Entitled MG Inter-Car Emoji (MICE), the use of LEDs infused into the glass allows over 150 different emojis to be displayed depending on the driver’s mood at that particular moment. Professor Hans Frei, director of MICE technology, enthused, “We’re overjoyed to see months of hard work (ish…) come to fruition. MICE will be a real game changer in the marketplace - delivering easy and visual inter-car communication for all MG customers! “. The range of emojis includes smiles, winky faces and the thumbs-up gesture, although it isn’t yet known whether or not it can display a gigantic middle finger salute on the rear windscreen when being tailgated.

Rounding off the show’s offerings, MINI brought a Convertible with what it terms the ‘John Cooker Works’ package. Capitalising on the popularity of pop-up restaurants and trendy food stalls, the John Cooker Works features a solid-oak countertop surface with an induction cooker and fume hood. The rear luggage compartment is slightly compromised due to the associated cooling apparatus for the setup, but only the driver’s seat needs to be folded down to fit the whole rig in preparation for whipping up your own choice of street food. Adam Zapple of MINI stated, “The MINI Convertible is now even more unique than ever before and is the smallest multifunctional food truck in the world”. This car should not be confused with the John Cooper Works Convertible, which offers improved handling and performance over the standard model, but is most definitely not suited for use as a kitchen.