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Car makers get creative on April fools day

Add a grain of salt: Nissan’s joke GT-R branded Toast-R sandwich toaster was said to have a zero-to-toasted time of just 2.9 seconds.

Manufacturers take us for a ride with cheeky April Fools pranks


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2 Apr 2013

CAR manufacturers from around the world have once again embraced the spirit of April Fools with a host of cheeky gags.

In anticipation of a royal baby arriving later this year, not-so-dour German brand BMW launched its Postnatal Royal Auto Mobile or P.R.A.M.

The heavily styled pusher is powered by a Nurse-Assisting Petrol Powered Injection Engine (N.A.P.P.I.E.) and features air conditioning and hood to block prying Paparazzi lenses.

It’s not the first time BMW has used the date to pull a royally inspired prank. In 2011, the company celebrated the marriage of William and Catherine with a special M3 Royal Edition featuring an inverted M badge which read: Will.

Perhaps their most famous April Fools gag came in the form of a new M3 Ute promised for the Australian market. BMW even went to the trouble of producing a one-off working version to burnish the ruse.

For one day only Mini jokingly offered an update for its Connected App. The ‘Connect Us’ in-car dating application compared driving styles of Mini owners and invited compatible couples to meet in person.

The on-screen information indicated a driving style rating out of 5 and updated the user with other potential match similarities. Suspiciously the “update” was only available on April 1.

Subaru also got in on the fun by releasing a video demonstrating an extra-cost self-cleaning option on the XV crossover. Apparently, at the push of a button a soiled Scooby could instantly become showroom shiny once again.

Subaru claimed the self-wash function used some unusual technology including “nanogenerators and overlapping electrical currents” - but we suspect CGI may have been equally responsible.

Volvo is the only manufacturer to currently offer an airbag for people on the exterior of a vehicle so the notion that they would introduce a “car-enveloping External Protection System” may just have fooled a handful of people.

The mock system was said to deploy a roof-stowed series of airbags which shielded the entire car before impact. A mention of surface water as a hazard implied the bag may even provide buoyancy, but until a demonstration is offered it may just be a lot of hot air.

Even Nissan decided to have a poke, announcing their GT-R branded Toast-R sandwich toaster boasting a zero-to-toasted time of just 2.9 seconds. It even had a ‘turbo’ light resembling the tail light of the GT-R road car.

While all of the pranks are made in the name of humour and publicity, let’s not forget that Mercedes have previously given us an ‘invisible’ B-class courtesy of clever LEDs, Nissan is currently developing a self-cleaning, self-healing paint and Porsche Design offer a range of kitchen knives.

Perhaps some of the suggestions in this years April gags aren’t so preposterous after all.

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