From cattle having the right to graze at Castle Combe to MGs running on Alpaca dung, the automotive industry once again went all out to fool us. Here are our top picks
It may appear as though the car industry has no sense of humour, feverishly reaching sales targets and out-performing each other on as little a budget as possible, but April 1 proves otherwise.
The automotive sector has always gone all out for April Fool’s Day. Almost like an excuse to vent ideas and concepts that logically can never see the light of day, it’s also the perfect way to draw in a crowd with curiosity and laughter, while also toying with reactions for future ideas.
There was plenty unleashed to raise a smile – here are our top picks from an outstanding automotive April Fool’s Day 2018.
Castle Combe vs Medieval Law
Apparently, delving into the history books and land registrar, the owners of Castle Combe’s legendary circuit managed to unearth a series of unknown bylaws from the medieval period.
Drafted around 500AD, the laws stated that local landowners hold the right to graze livestock in the field overlooking the ancient village of Castle Combe itself – an area of land which has since been used to create the South West’s premier motorsport facility.
From the beginning of the 2018 motorsport season onwards, sheep and cattle will graze on the infield circuit, as the Castle Combe organisers remain keen to maintain the track's prominent position within the local community. The move was embraced by local farmers who have waited patiently to see the space put to good use for several years.
‘The safety of both drivers and animals is of paramount importance to Castle Combe's event organisers, and a number of precautions have already been enacted as a result,’ explained a spokesperson.
‘Extra signage can already be found throughout the Castle Combe track, with plans for cattle grids intended to bisect the Quarry corner area drawn up and ready for implementation. All drivers seeking to take to the track must also attend an expanded briefing, which explains how to avoid the animals by dynamic driving, and what to do if you come into contact with them.'
'It's hoped that these alterations will help make Castle Combe safe and enjoyable for all, whether they have cloven hooves or Sparco race boots.’
Honda CR-V roadster concept
Beating other manufacturers to the pip, Honda kicked off the festivities early with the unveiling of a new concept car the company deemed ‘completely undriveable’.
Essentially a butchered CR-V having been deprived of its B and C-pillars alongside the roof, the end result produced a structurally unsound car, hand crafted by an angle grinder. Production was backed by Honda’s PR team – presumably in the wake of the Range Rover Evoque's success...
'This is a bold new direction for the CR-V and opens up an entirely new non-existent market,' said the project’s boss, Eipurirufūru, which translates into April Fool in English.
'Our sales target is somewhat conservative to start with, at zero cars, but we are confident that once the minor glitches are ironed out, such as the lack of roof and the fact it is totally structurally unsound, the car will fly out of showrooms.'
‘Say goodbye to tight parking spaces,’ claimed Audi on April 1.
‘Introducing the Audi downsizing assistant: able to reduce the vehicle's chassis length by up to 15%.’ This is apparently on the market from January 2019 onwards.
We’ll let the video do the talking…
MG on Dung
MG Motor UK announced a new engine development programme to power new MG cars with alpaca waste – creating ‘a world first’.
Jumping on the sustainable energy source bandwagon, alpaca dung has been chosen as it doesn’t need to be aged before it can be transformed into a useable fuel.
'Following our decisions to no longer sell diesel-powered vehicles in the UK market, we wanted to take it one step further and see what was possible using alternative fuels to develop low emission vehicles,' said MG UK’s sales and marketing boss, Daniel Gregorious.
An amazing feat – but the streets would never quite smell the same again…
Statistics show that the average person has £12.70 in loose change at all times, and SEAT is confident that even the keenest penny pinchers will fall for the new Arona’s charms.
Featuring a coin slot in the dashboard to activate the engine, the SEAT Arona Copper Edition has arrived as a direct response to the Treasury’s push to scrap copper coins from circulation. Drivers can now jump in a sporty crossover with just a handful of change.
Should small coins be scrapped, Britain could find itself with over 15 billion redundant 1p and 2p pieces, but rather than see them melted down SEAT has found a way to keep these soon-to-be historical artefacts motoring on for years to come.
Family arguments – sponsored by Skoda
Developed in partnership with sound specialists CANTON, Skoda has created noise-reducing headrests for when the family begin their traditional road trip argument.
‘The speakers are engineered to continuously monitor, measure and react to the in-cabin child decibel level. Once activated, the speakers generate unique sound waves that intelligently block out bickering but still allow parents to hear essential road noises, such as emergency sirens,’ explained Skoda.
‘We know backseat bickering is a serious issue for our customers, the hotline to the Family Relations team is constantly ringing with parents at a loss of how to solve the problem,’ said Lence.
‘This is why we have spent thousands of hours coming up with this stress-busting solution. We’re the first manufacturer to offer an accessory this smart and we think it will change the lives of many parents throughout the UK. We certainly might see fewer grey hairs.’
The noise-cancelling headrests are the latest item in ŠKODA’s range of acclaimed accessories, which already include an inbuilt umbrella holder, integrated ice scraper and virtual boot pedal.
Hyundai road surface
Hyundai Motor UK unwrapped the development secrets behind the i30N hot hatch’s dynamic handling on April 1, with a special film recorded at its top-secret test track.
The film reveals the unique Cacao Corner, featuring a bespoke surface cooked up by Hyundai’s engineers to capture tyre prints for dynamic analysis.
Hats off for Hyundai going for it with a proper video, too. Crafted by smart cookies, after all…