April Fools’ Day 2019: the car industry’s best jokes

It’s been a busy few weeks for motoring news, what with the Geneva motor show, the VW Group yearly round-ups, the unveiling of two shock new Ferraris and plenty more taking place in March. 

What better way for automotive PR teams to wind down from the madness than to attempt to wind us up this April Fools day?

We look through the best efforts of the industry’s attempts to explore its mischievous side.

Scot to be a joke…

Land Rover claimed to have installed the UK’s “most remote charging point” on the Isle of Skye, off the coast of Scotland. 

The fast-charging point, 15 miles from the nearest tarmac, was to allow drivers of the firm’s new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport P400e plug-in hybrids to take a “mid-adventure top-up charge” on their off-road jaunt across the island.

Equipped, for a limited time only, as standard on all trim levels, the water-soluble dye would leave a trail of colour behind the car which would dissolve in the next rainfall. 

Dr Gull Abel, MG’s professor of pigment, said: “With these fantastic tyres, we’re taking personalisation to a whole new level and allowing customers to show their true colours”. Find a big enough car park, and you might even be able to play noughts and crosses with your MG-driving friends. 

Lapping it up 

Even motorsport venues were trying to get in on the action, with Wiltshire’s Castle Combe claiming to have formed its own sovereign state. 

Operating as ‘The Kingdom of Castle Combe Circuit’, the 1.85-mile circuit was tipped to host a Formula 1 Grand Prix as early as next year. 

Unfortunately, it wasn’t going to be quite as glamourous as Monaco or San Marino, with spectators and competitors forced to undergo “an airport-style passport control procedure”, and a categoric ban on any vehicles not made in Britain. 

Castle Combe managers have discussed their newfound sovereignty with the Queen, Formula 1 bosses and Jenson Button’s primary school maths teacher, who said “I’ve never met nor heard of Jenson Button, but am sure he’d be very happy with the news”. 

Screen if you want to go faster

Kia’s keeping in touch with the younger generation, and showed off a touchscreen-based vehicle control unit that mirrored the ‘swipe left, swipe right’ mechanism used by popular smartphone apps.

The Automotive Premonition Research Institute Limited’s new Finger Operated Optimum Lever (A+ for effort), allowed drivers to scroll up and down through the gears, operate the horn via a ‘double-tap’ movement, and change direction with one flick of the finger. 

Available on selected models from 1 April, the F.O.O.L “is set to revolutionise driving for the under 30s”, according to a spokesperson for the brand.