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by Daniel DeGasperi

Car manufacturers both locally and internationally yesterday ran April Fools’ Day advertisements and released press releases about hoax models, technologies and developments.

Mini played its part in the day of hoaxes, revealing a cheeky new feature for its range: an in-car dating service dubbed “Connect Us” (above). As part of the the Mini Connected Drive system, “the world’s speediest dating service” locates other Mini drivers within range, and connects them together. The release, titled ‘Feeling frisky? New Mini app Connect Us finds you the perfect partner for a hot date’, states that it 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.”

BMW launched the limited edition P.R.A.M – or Postnatal Royal Auto Mobile (above). According to the press release, the new model features a Nurse-Assisting Petrol Powered Injection Engine (N.A.P.P.I.E), EfficientDynamics technologies, active aerodynamics, and low rolling-resistance tyres. According to BMW, it is ideal “for those who are ‘too posh to push’” and “rides as smoothly on the polo field as it does down the Mall.” It will (would) be available in Princess Pink and Royal Blue, and features air conditioning, and a “paparazzi-proof hood” as standard.

Locally, meanwhile, BMW Australia ran a half-page advertisement in major Australian daily newspapers informing readers that between 12am and 12pm on April 1, temporary legislation will mean that the right-lane on motorways nationwide will be strictly for the “exclusive use of BMW vehicles”.

“Where we’re going, we don’t need roads,” the advertisement continues, before sending readers to www.abmw.com

Speaking of that phrase, pinched from the Back to the Future movie series, Dick Johnson Racing confirmed that the iconic automobile used in the 1980/90s series, DeLorean, would be the fifth manufacturer to race in the V8 Supercars program (above). Developed to Car of the Future regulations, the Delorean will be driven by Johnson … and McFly.

Volvo played up its reputation for delivering new safety features, announcing the world’s first “external, car-enveloping airbag” on April 1.

Accompanied by a picture of a Volvo V40 hatchback surrounded by airbags (below), the press release says: “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.”

Subaru of America confirmed the company will produce a BRZ convertible two seater with all-wheel-drive, and a twin turbo-diesel engine. “Having just launched the current model to widespread critical acclaim, we are tired of fighting off the constant speculation about what’s “next”,” a spokesperson said. “So we are just giving in and delivering all the speculation in one vehicle.”

The Subaru XV, meanwhile, wasn’t left out. From April 1, it apparently adds a self-cleaning function that uses “Nanogenerators [to] convert mechanical energy available in the environment into electrical energy, activating safe low-voltage electrical currents on the car’s outer body surface. These currents flow in precise, overlapping patterns to disturb and dissolve micro-attachments on the car’s metalwork, such as dirt and dust.”

Other April Fools’ Day pranks include Tesla announcing a computer monitor-sized 17-inch touchscreen for its Tesla Model S; Callaway releasing a trailer called the ‘aerowagonette’; Toyota confirming the HiAce will run in a unique racing championship called the Touring Van Championships (above); and Nissan unveiling its Toast-R (below), a GT-R-based griller with a turbo light that “blasts sandwiches from 0-to-grilled in 2.9 seconds, making it the world’s highest-performance toastie maker.”

“Lunchtime just got a whole lot faster,” the Facebook-based prank release adds.

 




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