April Fools’ Day is a special time of year where giant global car manufacturers get a chance to show their human side.
It’s an excuse for the PR teams around the world to come up with daft, but faintly plausible, ideas and come up with the most convincing videos, Photoshops and studio photos they can muster. From new cars to new initiatives, almost everyone has a go — with varying success.
We’re taking a look at some of the funniest for 2018.
Honda’s CR-V Roadster
Who needs a drop-top SUV when you can have a no-top?
Yes, for April 1 2018, Honda has revealed a CR-V that has no roof at all. Exclusively petrol-engined, the CR-V Roadster Concept seems to be the result of an afternoon with too many spare cars, too much wine and at least one too many angle grinders. Honda’s “future opportunity occupational lead” targets an ambitious sales volume of zero cars in 2018, and boasts of the car’s 100% reduction in structural rigidity.
The Sultan of Brunei will probably order five.
Skoda: Noise-Cancelling Headrests
Filed firmly into the “we wish that was real” pile, Skoda’s fake feature is ideal for any parents out there. “QuarrelKancel” technology filters out any noises from squabbling children in the back seat by playing the opposite sound out through speakers in the front seat headrests — without affecting any other sounds.
Fitted to the Skoda Karoq, parents can operate the system with a single button press, or leave it in active mode. We wish.
Porsche Mission E Tractor
Everyone’s hitting electrification hard, but Porsche has gone one step further. Returning to its roots, it’s revealed the Mission E Tractor.
With the same 800V fast-charging as its other Mission E cars, the 700hp Tractor will, Porsche promises, be the fastest accelerating agricultural vehicle in the world. Look out, Top Gear.
Co-developed with the Tractor is Porsche’s FastFarm app. This provides a 24-hour weather update service and a mobile farmers’ forum.
Hyundai’s Hershey Highway
When creating its first ever hot hatch, the i30N, Hyundai came up with a new way to assess the car’s dynamic properties: a high-viscosity surface. This patch of track at the brand’s secret proving ground captures an imprint of the tires as the car passes over, allowing for a detailed analysis.
Created using “a selection of abundant natural and completely biodegradable components”, the Cacao Corner is a mix of cocoa powder, butter and milk…
SEAT Spends a Penny
With recycling in mind, SEAT’s April innovation is the coin-operated car. The Arona Copper Edition is powered by pennies, beating the UK Treasury’s plans to scrap the coins.
A coin slot in the the center console allows drivers to dispose of their loose change. This activates the engine, meaning that the Arona really does cost mere pennies to run.
Winning the spokesperson name game, SEAT’s product manager Rhea Sonible-Price comments that “although coin-driven, there’s no compromise on power, security or the Arona’s impressive driving ability. There really isn’t a better way to spend a penny when it comes to buying a new car.”
McLaren’s Efficiency Drive
McLaren has a bit of a reputation for being a slightly nerdy company. This year it’s announced new ways of improving worker efficiency.
These include making sure that the environment is just right at all times, so new staff will monitor the water level in the lake and the size of the floor tiles in the McLaren Technology Centre on a daily basis. Anything more than 0.01mm out of line is replaced. This part may not actually be a joke, considering the company really did spend a year designing the bricks in its waterfall to ensure proper aeration…
Existing staff meanwhile will be encouraged to stick to a new timetable. That includes walking in step with one another, to ensure movement from place to place is more efficient and collision free. Not only are tea breaks now synchronized, actual tea drinking is too.
MG’s April Fuel: Alpaca Dung
Alternative fuels are a big deal, and MG might have found the most alternative yet: alpaca poop.
MG has chosen alpacas specifically for the properties of their plops. It treats the excreta with bacteria that break it down into pellets. Cars like the MG ZS above can then simply use the poop pellets as fuel.
Although it requires special engine technologies, MG hopes that other manufacturers will follow its lead in dropping diesel for… well, droppings.
Aston Martin: Project Sparta
While other premium manufacturers are going for the SUV market, Aston Martin’s new car is the ultimate off-roader. “Project Sparta” takes the DBX’s SUV body and fits it to a monster truck chassis.
Aston Martin says that Sparta is a commission through its Q branch. The customer in question has also paid for works driver Darren Turner to campaign the truck in the 2019 Monster Jam series. All we can say is… this is madness.