April 1 is the wonderful day when PR departments really push themselves to top the zany jokes they came up with the previous year. And it’s not just fast-food chains competing with each other, or breweries announcing they have released stuff like a fermented herring flavored beer: carmakers’ media teams rarely miss out on the opportunity to play a little joke on their audience.
Here are a few of our favorites from this year:
Porsche announced that it’s launching a Mission E tractor, styled to resemble its 1950s tractor models. “With a power output in excess of 700hp, the Mission E Tractor will be the fastest accelerating agricultural vehicle in the world, enabling farmers to harvest crops in record time with the added environmental benefits of zero emissions at source and significantly reduced operating noise.”
Lexus actually jumped the gun, telling us on March 28 that it’s combining cars and drivers using DNA matching. The kicker was that with DNA-matched cars, owners would be able to start their Lexuses by licking the steering wheel.
3) McLaren Automotive
McLaren said it’s boosting efficiency by quite eccentric measures, such as measuring the technology center’s lake and floor tiles daily, and by synchronizing the staff’s tea breaks.
4) BMW Motorrad
BMW’s motorcycle arm is solving parts availability issues in remote locations by offering a 3D printer mounted permanently on the bike’s rack: If you need to replace a broken-off gear lever, you can just print one. “The new system will mean that even very rarely required parts not generally stocked by BMW Motorrad sales partners can be supplied on a just-in-time basis.” BMW even went to the lengths of announcing that the “BMW Motorrad iPart 3D Mobile Printer” was tested on the Antarctic, by erecting a tent whose poles were produced onsite.
Last but not least, Honda UK purportedly cut the roof off a new CR-V, calling it the CR-V Roadster. Tellingly, no convertible top was even offered for the concept, “making it a no-top rather than a drop-top. This innovative design makes it a vehicle purely for sunnier climates and therefore completely useless for the two-day British summer which traditionally occurs in May.”