April Fools. It’s a day when people trick, joke and kid one another just for the sheer hell of it. The motoring industry is no different; it loves to try and fool the automotive press with wild concepts and crazy ideas, usually based on some of its existing vehicles.
This year is no different. We’ve seen releases aplenty about ‘new’ cars and in-car tech, all of which are April Fools specials. Here are some of the best we’ve seen today.
Fiat Hawaii edition
There’s lots of hype surrounding this special ‘Inbetweeners’ model of the Fiat Panda, built to celebrate the show’s 10th anniversary. Taking its inspiration from the iconic Cinquecento driven by star of the show Simon Cooper, the Hawaii edition features an authentic, pre-dented red door, a cassette deck, and a free ticket to Thorpe Park for a great day out with your ‘fwends’. The perfect transport for any teenager?
Toyota HiAce PieAce Convertible
In the land down under, they’re big fans of the Toyota HiAce — a commercial vehicle that has just been revealed in its ninth-generation. Now, Toyota Australia has showcased a special version of the van, the HiAce PieAce Convertible. Part of its name is obvious with the introduction of a soft-top roof, but as for the PieAce part? Well, that comes courtesy of a pie-baking oven in the back. Heading into production never…
Land Rover’s remote charging point
Land Rover markets its vehicles as truly ‘go-anywhere’ machines – even the eco-focused Range Rover and Range Rover Sport plug-in hybrids. But it’s difficult to top up your electricity when you’re doing some hardcore off-roading, so the company’s installed a new charging point – 15 miles from the nearest road, and on the remote Scottish Isle of Skye. The company says it’s ‘ideally situated for Range Rover and Range Rover Sport P400e drivers that might need a mid-adventure top-up charge.’
Skoda’s customisable puddle lights
Puddle lights are already included on vast swathes of current cars, and they usually display the manufacturer’s logo, or even a small outline of the vehicle itself on to the floor once the doors are open. However, Skoda has ‘introduced’ a new take on the tech. Called ProjectaPal, it allows drivers to customise the image projected – allowing them to set reminders for the start and end of the journey. It may be a joke, but we almost wish this was something coming to Skoda’s production cars…
BMW’s Lunar paint
BMW already offers a myriad of colour choices on its road cars – you can even get ‘frozen’ effect shades on some of the brand’s sportier models. However, none of them use the power of the moon to recharge an electric car’s batteries, which is exactly what its new ‘Lunar’ paint can do. Its ‘photovoltaic’ technology allows the firm’s i8 hybrid sports car to harness the power of the moon’s light to recharge its electric charge. Sounds good, right? If only it were real.
MG’s road-colouring tyres
Tyres are the most crucial part of any car, after all, they’re the only contact a car has with the road. But arguably, these black bits of rubber are far from exciting. Well MG has stepped in with a new technology that can paint the road a car covers. Available exclusively for the MG3, tyres coated in a water-soluble dye that will leave a streak of colours in its path — although shortly after fading away to leave a fresh canvas for other drivers. If only it was real…
Autoglym multi-bucket wash technique
Even the laziest of car cleaners are familiar with the two-bucket technique – one for soapy water, one for clean water. However, one car cleaning company, Autoglym, think the best course of action is more buckets. Many more.
By the end of the demo video, Autoglym’s valeting expert is using more than 40 buckets in order to valet a single car – the best way to ensure a squeaky-clean result, obviously.
Project Kahn customisable paint
Ever got bored with your car’s colour, and fancied changing it without the hassle of resprays, or even a wrap? That’s where Project Kahn’s ECP (electronically customisable paint) technology comes in.
Using your smartphone, simply select the colour you want – and the car instantly changes. Cool? Yes. Real? No. Again, this is a technology which we think that – were it real – many people would use.
CarGuru’s deal-sniffing dog
Buying a used car can be an uphill struggle, which is why used car website CarGurus has trained a furry friend to make the process easier. Bobo, a six-year old cocker spaniel, has been carefully trained to bark when motorists find the best deal – and then ensure the dealer’s heart is well and truly melted by giving them puppy-dog eyes.