Automotive April Fool’s fun

We joined several automakers and related companies in trying to bring a smile to your day

Hopefully you figured out quickly that, like the McLaren video above, our story Sunday about the new Valiant and its competitors, vehicles being designed for people who don’t want to drive, was our annual April Fool’s Day prank.

Meanwhile, McLaren showed a rare glimpse of whimsy in its otherwise super-efficient corporate personality.

Also doing an extensive video presentation was Lexus, touting its link with DNA-service 23andMe to provide Genetic Select by Lexus:

And, with McLaren and Lexus, we weren’t alone in trying such make you think twice. Some of the world’s automakers also get in on the fun each year. For example, Honda issued a faux news release about launching a CR-X Roadster, which might have been funny had Nissan not actually put into production such an answer to the question nobody had asked with its Murano CrossCabriolet.

Aston Martin suggested that it will expand its motorsports program and promote its new DBX sport-utility vehicle by entering the U.S. Monster Jam series with “Project Sparta,” a Valkyrie AMR mounted above a monster-truck chassis.

Porsche’s electric-powered tractor

Porsche unveiled the newest edition to its Mission E electric-vehicle lineup in the form of the Mission E Tractor, a modern interpretation of historic Porsche diesel tractors of a bygone era.

“This bold vision for 21st Century agriculture blends design cues from Porsche’s original mid-1950s tractors with the same advanced digital connectivity and 800v fast-charging architecture that powers the Mission E,” the company said in its news release.

“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.”

Porsche also suggested that it plans to see what sort of lap the tractor might do around the Nurburgring test circuit. Hopefully, sans plow.

Portable BMW 3D printer

BMW Motorrad (motorcycle division) pointed out how “a worn valve cap in the middle of the Icelandic ice desert, a gear lever broken off in the depths of the Brazilian jungle or a split oil sump in the hamada… often leads to a lengthy interruption, if not the end, of a motorcycle tour or a long-distance trip on two wheels” and that it has developed a solution:

A BMW Motorrad iParts 3D Mobile Printer, connected via the BMW iCloud and carried in a specially designed carbon-fiber container that can be carried as a top- or side-case on a BMW motorcycle.

Also getting into the act, and perhaps with the most practical faked news of the day, was Skoda, the Czech Republic-based automaker now part of the Volkswagen Group. Skoda touted something that every parent will want in their next vehicle:

Horse-drawn Trabant

The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance usually gets into the April 1 act and this year it sent an announcement that an emission scandal had forced cancellation of the concours’ “salute to Trabant” and a special seminar on the former East German vehicles.

The news release was accompanied by two photographs of people who had turned their Trabants into horse-drawn vehicles and news that surplus level of potassium found during the testing of the manure from such horses exceeded allowed limits and thus the emissions scandal.

Aftermarket supplier Banks Power reported that it was in trouble with NASA and Homeland Security because its new Banks iDash 1.8 Super Gauge uses the same supposedly top-secret technology as NASA employs to monitor its missions into space.

However, perhaps the best of the April Fool’s Day jokes was an announcement by Bespoke Road Rallies of The Great British Brexit Rally 2019. In fact, the announcement was so carefully constructed and artistically presented that we’re really not sure if it’s a real deal or an amazingly clever fool’s day prank for which we’ve fallen hook, line and spanner. And since Monday is a holiday in the UK, we can’t get confirmation either way until later in the week.

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