April Fools’ Day always brings about quite a few pranks throughout the automotive industry. We’ve gathered the best of 2011 into one mega-post for your enjoyment.
BMW has always had a joke or two up their sleeves for April Fools’ Day, and this year is no exception. We got the BMW M3 Pickup, and then the M3 Royal Edition. The M3 Pickup was quite a cruel one however, as many people would’ve loved to see a production version.
Kia has done some April Fools’ Day jokes in the past, but this year is probably their best, even if it is a bit obvious. They claimed to be combating bird droppings at their UK dealerships by hiring pigeon fanciers to divert them to parks.
For this joke, Land Rover came out and said that there is new UK legislation, requiring that all drivers display their tax disc at an angle of no more than 10 degrees, as parking attendants have been suffering from Repetitive Neck Strain. So they launched the Self-Levelling Tax Disc Holder, which uses “Contra-Motion” technology to keep the tax disc leveled and “help our [Land Rover’s] customers to park responsibly, thus avoiding any unnecessary fines.” Have a look in the above video.
With recent rumours of the Lancer Evolution’s demise, Mitsubishi decided to pull quite a cruel joke by supposedly previewing the Evo’s successor on their Lancer Evolution Facebook page. The resulting car was a “riced” Mitsubishi i-MiEV called the i-MiEVO, supposedly set to be launched in 2015. While it certainly wasn’t a looker, the stat sheet sounded surprisingly promising, with figures such as 200 km all-electric range, 280 kph top speed, 350 horsepower, and 590 lb-ft of torque all being thrown around. A good bit of news did come out of this however, as Mitsubishi followed up with this statement:
As many have commented and caught on early, the MY2015 Mitsubishi i-MiEVO is indeed just a figment of imagination posted on April Fool’s Day. Apologies to anyone who might surmise that this April Fool’s joke might suggest that we don’t take the story of EVO seriously. The book of Evo is not on its’ final chapter – Rest assured our e…ye is on the ball.
For those who appreciate the fact that a company that builds fun cars also likes to have fun when appropriate.. like April Fools day, then thanks for the countless LOL’s.
Sure we had some fun on this day but it is all business for Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada and our exciting current line-up and more importantly what is to come. And when real concepts and announcements are to be made we may look to you on social media forums like this to not just listen .. but really hear your thoughts and ideas – those comments and your passion for Lancer Evolution rings clear with us, and assists us in defining the new direction, the technologies involved, and corresponding products that will be disclosed in due course.
In fact your comments, tweets, blogs, and wall postings (negative or positive) surrounding the Lancer Evolution are all a great resource for our product planners and while true, as the markets needs and demands change, Mitsubishi is considering to evolve the Lancer Evolution concept to adapt to the new era, it provides us with a different and user generated direction for the Lancer Evolution model to evolve.
Production of the current Lancer Evolution X continues as planned. As for its successor, regulations and market feedback will dictate its engineering package and architecture. Mitsubishi has kept the Lancer Evolution sedan evolving as the brand’s highest performing model in the global market.
Thank you for your passion – exciting things to come! As for the i-MiEVO? …goodbye and Happy #AprilFools.
Sounds like rumours of the Evo’s demise may be exaggerated, which I’m sure will make many gearheads around the world, including ourselves, happy.
For April 1st, Ford decided to release a special weight reduction technology they called MuCell. It injects gas bubbles into plastic during production, reducing the weight without affecting rigidity, and also allowing for a quicker production process. Sounds quite convincing. The giveaway? They say it was inspired by an Aero chocolate bar. The press release is available below.
Ford’s Chocolate Inspired Weight-Saving Technology
- Honeycomb structure MuCell plastic parts save 20 per cent weight, improving fuel economy and emissions, without compromising durability
- Injection of gas during moulding creates a cross-section resembling an Aero chocolate bar on a microscopic level, with the bubbles meaning less plastic is used
- Parts require less energy and time to manufacture, reducing emissions and cost
COLOGNE, Germany, Apr. 01, 2011 – In their never-ending quest to reduce weight and therefore emissions and fuel use, Ford’s engineers have taken inspiration from the Aero chocolate bar to produce lighter plastic parts by injecting gas bubbles during manufacturing.
There are many areas where weight can be saved by changing the type or grade of metal used to a stronger, lighter material to trim kilos from the kerb weight. Plastic parts are an area where it is traditionally difficult to save weight without sacrificing strength, durability or function, but Ford has found a solution. MuCell technology introduces gas bubbles into the plastic as it is moulded, leaving a microscopic honeycomb structure. These tiny spaces save weight by reducing the amount of plastic used, without compromising the integrity of the part.
Weight plays a key role in vehicle emissions and reducing the overall mass of the vehicle results in improvements to fuel economy and carbon emissions. Vehicle weights have increased in the last 30 years to allow for much greater levels of equipment and radically improved safety attributes. Ford has targeted reducing weight while still providing class leading levels of equipment and 5-star Euro NCAP safety ratings.
MuCell brings a host of other benefits with lower pressures used to mould the plastic and up to 33 per cent more parts per hour than a conventional process. This increase in speed and efficiency reduces energy consumption, manufacturing emissions and cost for parts produced using the innovative technique.
MuCell technology expert Carsten Starke is excited by the potential of the new process. He says: “The first time I saw this plastic under the microscope I thought to myself it looks like an Aero chocolate bar! The bubbles in the chocolate change the taste, but in our plastics they save weight and making cars lighter reduces emissions and fuel consumption significantly.
“We are saving weight in many ways, not just by using this new plastic, because lighter cars handle better, accelerate faster and stop more quickly. For the customer it is win-win, the plastic is 20 per cent lighter without increasing cost or reducing strength and it will help make their Ford better in almost every aspect.”
The MuCell technology will see its first application in engine covers which will be rolled out over the next few years on vehicles such as Focus, C-MAX and Grand C-MAX, S-MAX, Mondeo and Galaxy. Ford has committed to a minimum of 100kg weight reduction from even its smallest cars and 300kg from larger cars by 2020 as part of its environmental initiatives. This weight-saving initiative, which includes MuCell technology, also features a suite of other materials like high-strength Boron steels which are now used extensively in Ford models.
These new materials join innovations such as the EcoBoost range of engines, which allow the use of more efficient, lower capacity engines even in larger vehicles without sacrificing performance. A range of other measures including automatic stop-start engines, aerodynamic grille shutters and low rolling resistance tyres make Ford’s ECOnetic models amongst the most efficient on sale.
Road and Track/Chevrolet
Road and Track should probably win the prize for the most convincing April Fools’ Day joke, as almost no one realized what was going on. They displayed an “Exclusive First Look” at a convertible variant of the Chevrolet Volt, but the images were actually fake. However, no one suspected anything. Heck, if it weren’t for Jalopnik, even I’d have fallen for it.
Now we were all expecting something from Jalopnik, but this certainly didn’t cross anyone’s mind. They announced that AOL, who run Autoblog, had bought them out and renamed them to Autoblognik. Moreover, Editior-in-Chief Ray Wert announced his resignation, as he believed that this takeover would ruin the website. To make it even more convincing, articles from Autoblog would run on
Jalopnik Autoblognik, and vice versa. While this one wasn’t too hard to guess, they certainly tried very hard to make it convincing, and up until Autoblog fessed up to it, they didn’t give in.
PickupTruck.com decided to announce a Cadillac pickup for April Fools’ Day this year, dubbed the DRW Premium. While their creation wasn’t much of a looker, it sounded quite promising. It would be based on the award-winning GMC Sierra Denali HD, but receive an exclusive power bump to 410 horsepower and 810 lb-ft of torque, making it the most powerful heavy-duty pickup on the market. The engine would be paired to a brand new eight-speed gearbox. Being a Cadillac, it also receive some luxury touches, such as leather upholstery, an integrated iPad, and adaptive cruise control. However, it’s not too hard to guess it’s a prank when your spokewoman’s name is April Fursten.
Autoblog jumped on the fake car bandwagon with the Honda Accord Crosstour Cabriolet. This car was meant to compete with the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet (Which, funnily enough, could pass as an April Fools’ Joke as well), but with slightly lower pricing and more configurability. It was quite a suspicious one however, with just one photo and no press release, and Autoblog later revealed that it was indeed a fake.
MotorAuthority/Environmental Protection Agency
The last prank we have for you is new legislation from the Environmental Protection Agency, as reported by MotorAuthority. The legislation dictates that automakers will be forced to use only round letters in their badges, nameplates, or any other signifiers, to improve aerodynamics and increase fuel efficiency, with the first phase getting rid of Ms, Ws, Ts, and Ls. Gains of 3-5 percent in efficiency were said to be expected. While they made their best effort to cover it up and make it look real, it’s really quite an obvious one. But despite that, at least a few people fell for it.