The first day in April is an important day in the calendar for the automotive industry. It's traditionally the day that the most out-there and futuristic concepts are revealed. Here's a roundup.
Conti will finally listen to sportscar drivers everywhere and release a road-legal slick tyre. Jeep's new "Adventure Tire" will turn even normal roads into an offroad course. Suzuki has announced a new driver assistance system – the Flirt Assist, bringing dating to the dashboard of your car. Minis will be available with gullwing doors as an option – why should tuners get all the credit? Mini has also announced the special edition "Mini Hipster". This compact comes with an Instagram windscreen and a retro cassette deck.
Citroën has forged an exclusive deal with Arsenal – the French car manufacturers plan to equip the stadium with a 9,000 m2 soft-top. Apropos equipment – so that man's best friend doesn't get left in the rain, the famed Skoda umbrella-in-the-door will soon be accompanied with a second umbrella for your dog.
Back in 2015 car manufacturers were equally creative, with concepts such as prescription windscreens, self-tanning cars and seven-digit mileage counters.
Suzuki enables driving without glasses
True to its slogan, Suzuki redefined a "way of life". This time, it was the life of spectacle-wearers. Suzuki planned to introduce prescription windscreens, which would correct the poor eyesight of drivers, making the need for glasses whilst driving a thing of the past.
One, two, three or even ten diopters – for a mere 500 euros, Suzuki would replace all standard windows with ones tailored to the visual impairment of the driver. So that the customer knew which glass to go for, Suzuki would also have a team of in-house opticians to aid in the sales process.Self-tanning Seat models
The Seat development department was in crisis mode. As usual, the topic in this male-dominated department was women – how do we attract women to the Seat brand? Seeing as women often find tanned men the most attractive, Seat came up with a new idea – and developed a special paint that contains melanine. That way, the longer the car sits in the sun, the browner it gets.
Toyota's development team was facing another problem. The car giant's cars are just too good. They hardly ever get recalled, and seemingly never die. So, what to do when the mileage counter only goes up to 999,999 km, and then clicks back round to 0? Well, the developers came up with a simple solution. Add another digit. From then on, it was said that all new Toyotas would feature a seven digit mileage counter. Used models could also be updated to feature the seven digit mileage counter.New laws in German Baden-Württemberg
The invincible Toyotas of Baden-Württemberg had only one predator – the evil cyclist. It was thusly announced that the state government had come up with a legal solution – cyclists must maintain a distance of two metres on each side to cars!
The motorsport industry was also on the ball on 1. April, pulling some new innovations out of the bag. One of the sport's innovation leaders is McLaren – just think back to their F duct in 2010. On the 1. April 2015, they revealed a new concept to prevent the pit crew from breaking out in a sweat during F1 races. All McLaren pit crew would from then on wear only a sarong, in order to keep body temperature within an acceptable range at races in hot countries
Other examples of April Fools pranks can be found in our gallery.