From Honey-powered Audi To Feather-wrapped McClaren, 7 Times Carmakers Pulled A Fast One On Us
Who said car manufacturers didn’t have a sense of humour?
It is that time of year again when double-checking everything on social media becomes second nature. It is also the time when big corporations and even carmakers, who are not particularly known for their sense of humour, try to get in on the joke. The results though can vary from a marketing masterpiece to a disaster. Today, we’re going to take a look at some of the best pranks pulled by auto companies which ought to give you a giggle at least.
7) Skoda’s Auto-tune software
There’s nothing more annoying than the singing of an out-of-tune co-passenger, while trapped in a moving box. To remedy this, back in 2021, Skoda introduced a new software for its infotainment system, which not only monitors the occupants’ singing but automatically corrects any out-of-tune notes in real-time. Think of autotune, but put to better use.
The Czech company even came up with a statement from the Head of Skoda’s Vehicle Audio Carrie O’Key (karaoke, get it?), who said, “The UK’s ongoing lockdown situation is straining families and friendships, and with the prospect of kids back at home for the Easter holidays tensions are likely to run high.
“We know music is good for the soul but caterwauling certainly is not. This software will hopefully add some much-needed light-hearted fun to every essential car journey.”
6) Honey-powered, Audi B-Tron
With automakers scrambling for alternative fuel resources, engineers at Audi came up with a seemingly ingenious…and delicious solution. As a part of its 2019 April Fool’s Day joke, the brand released a new “honey-powered” car called…the Audi B-Tron.
It came with a hexagonal fuel cap and even an onboard toaster, in case there was any leftover honey from your drive. But the B-Tron wasn’t without its own set of problems.
Speaking about the car, Imker Honig, head of Audi’s Komplett Geschminkt (German for “made up entirely”) said, “early prototypes tended to attract scores of bees, typically around the hexagonal fuel cap. One tester was swarmed by a hive that had settled in the glove compartment.”
5) BMW Lunar Paint
We’ve all heard about solar-powered cars, but what if you wanted to top up your hybrid car during the night? To counter this, BMW came up with a “revolutionary photovoltaic technology,” lunar paint, which as the name implies lets you passively charge your car at night, using the reflection of the moon.
4) McLaren’s Feather Wrap
McLaren took the term “featherweight” to describe its cars quite literally in 2017. The British carmaker came up with a Feather Wrap, consisting of 10,000 artificial, carbon-veined feathers for its McLaren 570GT model. McLaren claims each “feather” was assembled by hand, with the whole endeavour taking more than 300 hours to complete! The company further claimed that the addition of feathers would greatly help with the car’s aerodynamics, while only adding 2.5kg of excessive weight. Let’s just hope it didn’t take off into the air mid-drive, eh?
3) Lexus’s Lane Valet Technology
Filing into things we wish were real, Lexus came up with a technology that promptly dealt with annoyingly slow drivers in front of you. Instead of insistent honking and hand gesturing, the technology called ‘Lane Valet Tech,’ allowed Lexus drivers to move slow motorists ahead of them and into a more appropriate lane. All of this could be achieved via a push of a button.
2) MINI Cooper T
Just when we thought MINI couldn’t get any more British, the company upped the ante set by Audi’s honey-powered car by introducing its own version which ran on an alternative fuel solution. Called the MINI Cooper T, the car reportedly ran…well, on tea. According to MINI, it was capable of covering a distance of 64km on a single cup! It also came with what MINI calls a “Dunk Avoidance Technology” which prevented individuals from lowering biscuits into the fuel tank.
1) Dacia ‘DUSTAR’ Space Program
Elon Musk wasn’t the only one who sent a car into space. Last year, Dacia came up with its own version of a space program called the ‘DUSTAR.’ It was described as “the world’s first (and only) affordable space programme,” offering “a new dawn in value-for-money space travel with its initial voyage confirmed for today.” How did they achieve this? By attaching the Duster to a balloon and launching it into space of course.