April Fool's: Automakers once again prove they have sense of humor
Sunday was April Fool’s Day. Since it was also Easter and Passover weekend, you might not have been paying attention to some of the jokes passing around the interwebs. So, here’s a quick roundup of some of the “fake news” flitting around the automotive world this weekend.
Aston Martin “Project Sparta”
Aston Martin has been on a bit of a tear lately with a product onslaught that is unusual for this tiny, hand-crafted automaker. Thus, when it announced that it's unveiling a monster truck program called “Project Sparta,” it gives you pause. Especially when it’s supposed to be based on the upcoming DBX SUV.
The official press release says the monster truck will get the 6.5-liter V-12 engine designed for the Valkyrie AMR Pro, producing 1,100 bhp. The press release goes on to state Project Sparta will compete in all 2019 Monster Jam events.
When I saw this come through the wire, I automatically assumed it was an April Fool’s joke because of the dateline, which was April 1. What makes this even funnier, several news outlets, which will remain nameless, have been reporting it as real news.
Honda Sixth Sense
Living in Chicago, I see signs on sidewalks before an intersection that say “Look Up” to give walking texters a cue to take their eyes off their phones and actually look both ways before crossing the street.
So, Honda Sixth Sense doesn’t seem that farfetched.
The idea is to help people stay alert once they leave their vehicles, and it includes features such as sidewalk departure alert, a 360-collision system and a personal avoidance system.
Ostensibly, this April Fool’s joke is meant to call attention to Honda safety tech that really does exist for vehicles: Honda Sensing.
Lexus Genetic Select
People use genetic testing these days to find everything from ancestors to specific foods they should be eating. So, why not let it help you buy your next car?
Lexus teams up with 23andMe, a DNA genetic testing and analysis company, to produce this futuristic look at car buying.
Spit into a tube, and 48 hours later, you get a car designed for you and you alone – seriously, you have to lick the steering wheel to start it. Other genetically designed features include cup holders sized for your caffeine intake, tinted windows that prevent freckling and a windshield with your eyeglass prescription.
Unlike Aston Martin and Honda, however, Lexus wants to make sure you know they’re kidding with the tagline: Imaginary technology. Funny bones not hereditary.
This one is less an April Fool’s joke and more an example of an automaker making fun of itself.
McLaren is well known in the auto world for its precise craftsmanship and driving ability. So, in a series of tweets, McLaren “shows” what life is like at the company – so precise that the employees measure everything every day and do everything in sync, and when the water levels in the lake drop by 0.01 mm, panic ensues.
Luckily, everything is hashtagged #April1st, so we know that the company doesn’t take itself that seriously after all.
Tesla is Bankrupt
There has been a lot of speculation about whether Tesla will be able to overcome production and cash hurdles, with many speculating how much longer the company will be able to hang on.
So, it’s good to see that founder and CEO Elon Musk can have a sense of humor about his company’s potential demise.
In a series of tweets on April 1, Elon Musk announced that Tesla was bankrupt and has all the chapters of bankruptcy, including Chapter 14 and a half (“the worst one”). Then he posted a photo of himself “passed out” in front of a Model 3 surrounded by “Teslaquilla” bottles.
Clearly, Musk is laughing at the naysayers and encouraging us to do the same. He ends his tweet storm with the phrase: Happy New Month!