APRIL Fools Day is like Marmite: you either love it or you hate it. There’s still enough interest for car makers and other motoring and motor sport organisations to get involved, judging by the efforts below.
Take a look and let us know in the comments if any managed to put a smile on your face or if they all should have been binned at the design stage.
Every so often, a car maker creates an April Fools’ joke car that we’d actually quite like to see put into production. BMW’s prank for 2019 is one such effort; a pure-electric recreation of BMW’s iconic post-war Isetta bubble car. A little bit of us really hopes BMW revisits its ‘i-setta’ retro runabout if cars like the upcoming pure-electric Mini become sales hits. No-one will buy it, mind.
Brands Hatch pit lane speed bumps
On-track action isn’t a problem at Brands Hatch, but how do you spice things up when cars enter the pits? Apparently, a set of speed cushions along the pit lane will do the trick, with low-slung racing cars needing to navigate the humps as they make their way back onto the circuit.
They’re not the only new traffic calming features either, as Brands Hatch has also installed traffic islands, a bicycle lane and double yellow lines outside the pit garages. Apparently.
The coupé utility vehicle (‘ute’) is no more in Australia but car buyers Down Under haven’t given up on versatile cars. Step (roll?) forward Holden’s HatchHutch, which turns the Commodore into a “home away from home”. Given it’s been designed with outdoor excursions in mind, we’re surprised Holden didn’t use the more off-road-focused Commodore Tourer as a base. Maybe this was seen as funnier.
Like BMW, Honda’s North American division has looked to the 20th century for April Fools’ Day inspiration, with this ’90s-inspired trim for its Passport crossover. If buyers were able to opt for the ‘Pastport’ spec, they’d be able make the most of old school gear such as cassette players, lock pins on the doors and a steering wheel that isn’t smothered in buttons. We have to say, this one was a favourite in the Sunday Times office.
Land Rover Isle of Skye charging point
The Isle of Skye isn’t perhaps the most obvious place to install an electric car charging point, and especially one that’s 15 miles away from any paved roads. However, that’s what Land Rover has decided to do, with the aim seemingly being to encourage plug-in hybrid Range Rover drivers to maximise the off-road capabilities of their luxury SUVs while travelling to and from the UK’s most remote charging point. What would Greenpeace say, we wonder.
The pure-electric Porsche Taycan is ushering in a new era for the German sports car maker, so it appropriately also heralds the introduction of a redesigned Porsche badge — a potentially controversial move, but at least it now means no one can confuse the Porsche prancing horse with Ferrari’s more famous black filly.
Skoda’s taken personalisation options to the next level for April Fools’ Day this year, with its ProjectaPal technology. By using an LED lighting array, the system can illuminate a personalised message onto the road when the door door is opened. Image options range from birthday reminders to the portrait of a beloved family member or pet. The thing is, as silly as ProjectaPal is, we reckon this would actually sell. There are dafter customisation options, after all (chrome wraps, anyone?).
Not wanting to be outdone by Holden’s HatchHutch, Toyota Australia has conjured up its own crazy contraption: a convertible van-based people carrier that, if it were to ever reach production, would be available in seven-seater and 12-seater guises. As if making a roofless HiAce wasn’t barmy enough, the “PieAce” earns its unusual name by having a four-rack pie oven tucked away in the boot.
Toyota Yaris Adventure
Thought the premium car makers were the masters of creating new vehicle niches? Think again, as Toyota’s second bite of the April Fools’ 2019 cherry — a rugged Yaris Adventure compact coupé utility vehicle — is a car it admits “answers the question nobody asked”. The joke could be on Toyota, though, as its no sillier than the Subaru Brat or Dacia Logan Pick-Up.
Triumph Rocket Mode Thrusters
Introducing the new Rocket Mode Thrusters accessory!
The latest hybrid technology from Triumph Motorcycles with 1,000hp jet engines now available for the Rocket TFC.
Available April 1st only.
— Triumph Motorcycles (@UKTriumph) 1 April 2019
Not a four-wheeled April Fools’ joke, but a jet-powered motorcycle is simply too cool to leave off this list. If Triumph’s thruster tech existed in real life, it would endow the appropriately-named Rocket bike with the thrust equivalent of 986bhp — which we’d wager is plenty enough for a bike that tips the scales at roughly a third of a tonne.