Automotive April Fools' joke roundup [w/videos]Mon, 01 Apr 2013 19:00:00 EST
Some of our favorites this year includes Subaru showing what happens when you combine a bunch of rumors, a Corvette some may have already thought was a joke or Honda providing some in-car innovation circa the late 1980s. Honestly, we're still waiting for official confirmation from Mitsubishi that the recently introduced 2014 Mirage is an elaborate April Fools' joke using a failed design intended for the 1995 Geo Metro. We dug up as much "official" OEM foolishness we could find, as well as some of our other favorites, and posted them all below.
2015 Subaru BRZ Twin-Turbo Convertible AWD Diesel Hybrid
Designed, as it seems, with the typical automotive writer in mind, Subaru has dreamed up a all-wheel-drive, convertible BRZ with a twin-turbocharged diesel hybrid powertrain by combining – and adding in – rumors that have been swirling around its sporty coupe. There will still be plenty of complaints to make about the new car since it will only be offered in noseeum black and will not come with a backup camera.
SUBARU SURRENDERS AND CONFIRMS AWD TURBO CONVERTIBLE TWO-SEATER DIESEL HYBRID BRZ
- Maker Gives in And Admits Everything
Cherry Hill, N.J., - Bowing to continued media and internet speculation, Subaru of America has confirmed that it will launch an AWD Twin-Turbo Convertible two-seater Diesel Hybrid BRZ for sale in 2015. The new model essentially takes all of the media and internet rumors surrounding the highly successful BRZ sports car and delivers them in one fell swoop.
A spokesman for the company said: "Having just launched the current model to widespread critical acclaim, we are tired of fighting off the constant speculation about what's "next" and so we are just giving in and delivering all the speculation in one vehicle."
The new model, which is expected to have a starting price, will however NOT come with a much anticipated rear back-up camera. The spokesman confirmed that after shoehorning two convertible switches (up and down) onto the fascia there just wasn't room for any more instruments. The AWD Turbo Convertible two-seater Diesel Hybrid BRZ will come in a single color, noseeum black and will be hand produced at Subaru's Brigadoon facility.
More denials about future BRZ variants can be found at media.subaru.com
Happy April 1.
2015 Volkswagen LeVanto TDI Hybrid
In a similar vein, Volkswagen announced the 2015 LeVanto TDI Hybrid on its Facebook page. Looking almost identical to Volkswagen's W12 Nardo concepts from more than a decade ago, the LeVanto replaces the W12 engine with a diesel hybrid drivetrain.
HondaVac with HondaHair
Fresh off the introduction of the 2014 Odyssey, Honda is adding onto its innovative HondaVac system with a new accessory. Acting as a mobile Flowbee (the hair-cutting vacuum tool from the '80s), the HondaHair attachment allows parents to give thier kids a quick haircut or tighten up a scraggly beard. Here's a video to watch HondaHair in action:
Mini Connect Us dating app
Cars are an important tool in the dating scene, and Mini is hoping that the Connect Us app can play more of an active role in getting couples together. The in-car app allows the car to act as a matchmaker to connect couples and even locate nearby bars and restaurants.
Feeling frisky? New MINI app Connect Us finds you the perfect partner for a hot date.
The new MINI App Connect Us. (04/2013)
Munich.Now for something a little more romantic. The latest version of the MINI Connected App is playing cupid to make MINI fans' dreams of finding the perfect partner come true. Connect Us is like nothing else out there on planet dating – and can only be used in a MINI. This is not just the world's speediest dating service, it is also the most reliable. Here, at last, is a matchmaker that goes beyond personal interests, favourite activities and how you like to spend your free time – and gets down to the nitty-gritty: driving style. Connect Us compares how drivers like to treat their accelerator, steering wheel and brakes (as deduced by the MINI Driving Excitement Analyser) in the search for a compatible co-driver on the journey of love. Only if it detects a meeting of minds on the matter of driving fun will the app oil the wheels of romance between MINI fans. The Driving Excitement Analyser function of the MINI Connected App has been available for several weeks as a free download from the Apple App Store. But make sure you don't take your eyes off the road just when things are getting interesting; the Connect Us, ahem, "update" can be downloaded on one day only: 1 April 2013.
"Get connected, get matched up, get dating" is the name of the game when it comes to using MINI Connected's vast well of possibilities to steer your way to love; indeed, this unique form of in-car infotainment makes the ideal wingman (or wingwoman). By hooking up to the internet via their Apple iPhone, MINI drivers can use the Google Local Search service to find restaurants, bars and popular sights, and then share ratings using foursquare. And they can also keep in touch with friends while on the move via Facebook, download their favourite music from AUPEO! and stay up to speed on issues of their choice with RSS news feeds.
A user's selections say a lot about their personality. But it's only when you get behind the wheel, of course, that people get to know the real you. And that's why the Connect Us function also checks out data collected by the Driving Excitement Analyser to deliver a precise comparison of drivers' sprinting prowess, cornering ability and braking strategy. And only then, if two MINI drivers are on the same wavelength in how they handle their car, will Connect Us invite them to meet up in person. The go-kart feeling which has sparked such affection for MINI models down the years might just act as the catalyst for romantic emotions between their owners as well.
Like all MINI Connected App functions, Connect Us is a doddle to use and intuitive to navigate – in familiar MINI style – by means of the MINI joystick, multifunction steering wheel and onboard monitor. Assuming their car is fitted with the MINI navigation system, all MINI drivers need to do after activating the Connect Us function is specify whether their perfect match should be male or female and how widely they wish to cast the net. Everything else is taken care of by MINI Connected – including, for example, a table booking at a restaurant that is guaranteed to be up both drivers' street. The meeting point is then located by the navigation system; after all, if Connect Us had a motto it would surely be: "The MINI seeks so that its drivers shall find."
Chevrolet Corvette Callaway AeroWagonette
Do you have a family of five, the budget for only one new car and a passion for Corvettes? Well Callaway just might give you something to dream about. After showing off the AeroWagon, a shooting brake version of the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, last month, Callaway is now bringing us the AeroWagonette, a small trailer that can be towed behind the 'Vette and seat three small children. We're fairly sure – or at least we hope – that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would never sign off on something like this.
CALLAWAY AEROWAGONETTE IN THE WILD
The design department at Callaway Cars released an iteration of its recent AeroWagon Concept.
The AeroWagonette unit has been developed in response to the many requests that small children be accommodated into the AeroWagon plans. Designer Paul Deutschman responded with a unique capsule that will allow up to three children to ride along behind their parents in the appropriate amount of isolation. The experience will be particularly effective for children who tend to be bothersome or otherwise inappropriate.
Since the Callaway AeroWagon is capable of speeds in excess of 200 mph, a ' timeout ' in the AeroWagonette should prove terrifying to even the most boisterous of offspring. Callaway Cars founder, Reeves Callaway states: We have several children assigned to the testing role already. Callaway admits that the Scared Straight, or its more aggressive, Scared S**tless technique, can be very effective.
SpacEx founder Elon Musk could be engaged to supply the coupling / de-coupling strategy first used in the docking of the ISS. The AeroWagonette will be self balancing. Segway inventor Dean Kamen and Google founder Sergey Brin will be asked to meld the self-righting technology with the autonomous vehicle routines that will allow the driver to elect a Retrieve or Refuse strategy for re-docking. At the driver's command, the unit can be de-coupled and continue unimpeded, upright, however without directional control. Also at the driver's command will be 14 separate and remotely deployable airbags within the AeroWagonette.
Feedback regarding the AeroWagonette is being collected at callawaycars.com
Orders will be accepted only on April 1, 2013. No price will be announced as early adopters have proclaimed it "Priceless..."
Volvo External Vehicle Protection system
It's always fun when ideas from science fiction movies make it to the automotive world, and Volvo might be showing us the closest thing we can get to what was used in Demolition Man. Instead of using an internal foam like the movie, Volvo's idea uses an external balloon that encompasses the car in the event of an impending collision.
Another automobile safety world-first from Volvo:
Volvo Car Group launches external, car-enveloping airbag technology
Volvo Car Group (Volvo Cars) is known all around the world as the undisputed car industry leader in terms of automobile safety. Today, the company unveils another world premiere with the External Vehicle Protection (EnVeloP) system. The announcement comes one year after Volvo Cars launched a world-first with the Pedestrian Airbag Technology on the all-new Volvo V40.
The External Vehicle Protection system consists of a small container built in the roof of the car, which contains a folded-in, vacuum pulled balloon of similar material to existing airbags. In case of an unavoidable collision, whether it is with another car, a roadside object or even when coming into contact with surface water, the balloon unfolds within the blink of an eye around the car. By completely enveloping the car, the External Vehicle Protection system ensures that damage and personal injury as a result of the collision is minimized.
Volvo Cars has a long history of leading automobile safety research and innovation, exemplified by many breakthroughs and world-firsts. With this new, revolutionary External Vehicle Protection solution, Volvo Cars takes this heritage up to the next level.
"For years, we have been looking at how to increase safety in our vehicles, and the airbag has played a central role in that journey," says Thomas Broberg, Senior Technical Adviser Safety at the Volvo Cars Safety Centre.
"This new safety feature is the embodiment of the Volvo brand philosophy, Designed Around You. All we did was taking a very literal approach to Designed Around You. Instead of finding new areas inside the car where we could add more airbag-like safety systems, we asked ourselves: why not cover the complete car in an airbag-like solution?"
At this moment the External Vehicle Protection system is still in a testing phase, but Volvo Cars is investigating whether the system can be fitted in future Volvo cars.
BMW Postnatal Royal Auto Mobile (PRAM)
Looking to cash in on some of the attention surrounding this summer's arrival of the first child of the Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge, BMW has come up with the Postnatal Royal Auto Mobile (PRAM). The PRAM is a self-propelled stroller with air conditioning, a "paparazzi-proof hood" and the choice of two- or four-wheel drive.
BMW announces the latest edition to its lifestyle collection – The BMW P.R.A.M.
With a royal baby due this summer, BMW is proud to announce the launch of the limited edition BMW P.R.A.M. (Postnatal Royal Auto Mobile).
Fitted with a Nurse-Assisting Petrol Powered Injection Engine (N.A.P.P.I.E) and award-winning EfficientDynamics technologies, including active aerodynamics and low rolling-resistance tyres, for those who are 'too posh to push'. With a choice of two or four-wheel drive it rides as smoothly on the polo field as it does down the Mall.
Available exclusively in Princess Pink and Royal Blue, this soft-top convertible is the latest innovation from the Forschunges und Narren division. The BMW P.R.A.M comes complete with air conditioning, and paparazzi-proof hood as standard.
On sale in showrooms from April 1, 2013, the price is available on request. To book a test drive contact Joe King, Head of Postnatal Innovation, on 0800 0936161 or Joe.King@bmw.co.uk.
BMW M6 Active Noise Control review – Evo Magazine
Evo magazine gets to test some of the coolest cars on the planet including the all-new BMW M6. As a part of the video review, Evo shows off the car's Active Noise Control feature that allows customizable noises for shifting the car, but it can also drown out all cabin noise completely.
Stage 3 Motorsports Mustang Driver Mod
Stage 3 Motorsports has developed a new option to help make most Ford Mustangs handle better on the racetrack – replace the driver. At just $300,000, the Mustang Driver Mod System is a humanoid life form that comes with everything required to race, only needing the buyer to provide food and lodging.
Think Geek's Batman family car decal set
We've all seen the humor that can be added to a car with those family-style stickers affixed to the rear window, and Think Geek has come up with a sad, but funny, idea for this. Having watched his parents murdered in front of him, these stickers show a sad Batman and two tombstones... but no mention of his butler, Alfred.
By Jeffrey N. Ross
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