Our Five Favorite April Fool's Day Stories For 2014
The first day of April brings harmless pranks, incredible news stories, and outlandish press releases from automakers. In years past we've heard everything from an in-car hair styling tool (the appropriately named HondaHair) and a Subaru BRZ diesel-hybrid all-wheel-drive convertible, to a BMW M3 pickup truck and claims that the EPA would ban non-round letters on car badges for aerodynamic reasons. This year, car companies were at it again with a full slate of April Fool's day jokes. Here are five of our favorites.
Acura leads the luxury segment -- alphabetically
Acura chose to play on the constant one-upmanship between luxury automakers with a press release proudly proclaiming it the segment's leader, albeit with one small disclaimer. The ranking, Acura said, was, "Based on the ordering of luxury automotive brand names in ascending fashion using the standard Latin Alphabet."
"At Acura, there are many things we're proud of, and one of those things is our alphabetic dominance," Acura senior vice president Mike Accavitti said in a statement. "Audi has been nipping at our heels since the beginning, and then there was that deal with Amati, which never really had a shot. We even toyed with adding another A on the front of the name, but we're confident that we can maintain our leadership, assuming no one comes along with Abalone or Aardvark or something like that."
Nissan 370Z Limo-Z
What better way to take your friends to prom than in a high-performance stretched limo? At least, that was Nissan's implication with the 370Z Limo-Z. The company's sports coupe has been lengthened to accommodate far more passengers than the standard car. There's no word yet on whether the 3.7-liter V-6 engine has been upgraded to account for the car's extra weight.
2015 Honda Fit Kit
Given the popularity of DIY projects, Honda decided to give car enthusiasts a chance to get their hands dirty building a subcompact. As the below video shows, anyone who likes to craft, create, and customize can now order a 2015 Honda Fit in kit form. In the video, self-proclaimed "tinkerers" Caleb and Vanessa take delivery of scores of boxes containing more than 180,000 individual parts that they'll use to assemble a new Fit hatchback. "It's just like our organic produce, just like, a lot more boxes," explains Vanessa. "What better way to have a personal connection with an object than to just build it piece by piece?"
Škoda Yeti Ice
Yes, the Škoda Yeti is a simple European hatchback with available four-wheel drive, but now it is the first car on the market with fur instead of paint. Engineers working in the Himalayas reportedly decided to test a faux-fur exterior treatment, and soon found that it had considerable advantages over normal automotive paint. "The fur is so thick and luxurious that during our tests in the arctic circle, our test drivers didn't need to use the heater," Škoda engineer Dr. Yu Ciddingme said in a statement. He did not, however, explain whether that would require a stronger air conditioner for summer months. And forget waxing and buffing: to keep the Yeti Ice clean, Škoda provides owners with shampoo, conditioner, and a comb to keep the fur in good shape.
After the launch of the 2014 Cooper and Cooper S, Mini announced today a new model called the Cooper T. As the name suggests, it will run exclusively on tea, rather than gasoline, a fuel source that befits the brand's English heritage. A tea leaf biofuel helps the Mini Cooper T travel about 40 miles per cup, and Mini says the T will go on sale shortly. "This particular project has been brewing for years. Our extensive research has shown that the nation's favorite drink is also an ideal biofuel," Mini Cooper T chief engineer Dr. Ivana Kuppa said in a statement. Color choices for the new car include Red Bush, Chamomile Yellow, and Earl Grey.