Car makers’ April Fools!

Time 14 years ago


YOU got to love ‘em! Every year manufacturers try their hardest with their April fools jokes and this year is no exception.


BMW, one of the brands most famous for its April pranks came up with a cracker as did SEAT and Kia. Such is the sheer brilliance of the press offices involved we thought we’d use their press releases in full.


First up is BMW’s – just check out the acronym of the new technology and the name of the ‘expert’.


BMW’s Canine Repellent Alloy Protection

The latest innovation to stop foul play on the street


BMW has announced the first details of the new Canine Repellent Alloy Protection system. Designed to stop dogs fouling against the sparkling alloys of new BMW cars, the innovative Canine Repellent Alloy Protection system (C.R.A.P.) is the latest offering in the BMW EfficientDynamics programme.


Using the EfficientDynamics Brake Energy Regeneration system, energy that would normally have been lost during engine over-run and during braking is harnessed as Rim Impulse Power (R.I.P.) and stored for future use.


Whenever a dog tries to relieve itself on the wheel of a suitably-equipped BMW, a small and relatively painless electric shock is immediately administered to the animal, thus deterring it from future fouling.


Dr Hans Zoff, Head of Automotive Security from BMW AG, said: ‘Research shows that most BMW customers like to keep their cars clean and dog fouling is a constant irritant. Not only does the Canine Repellent Alloy Protection system support this aim, but it does so using energy created through the EfficientDynamics programme. Beauty through engineering perfection – our philosophy in a wheel nut.’




And over at Spanish maker SEAT, the press office has come up with an equally great April fool.


Here’s their release:




When it comes to leading the way in the style stakes, few car makers can compete with Spanish outfit SEAT.


Recent developments such as the liberal use of Candy White paint on eye-catching models like the SEAT Leon Cupra K1, along with chic additions such as black, or white, 17” alloy wheels, ensure SEAT drivers are proudly piloting some of the hottest cars around.


Now the innovative brand is going further still with the debut today, April 1, of its all-new, hi-tech ‘electro reflective’ exterior panel finish (see picture at the top of the page).


The unique bodywork has been developed in-house by an elite team of technicians at the Spanish manufacturer’s Martorell HQ, near Barcelona. Using complex principles similar to those through which electrochromic (auto dimming) rear view mirrors work, the experts have developed the patented electro reflective finish which constantly adapts to mimic the car’s surroundings.


The hitherto hush-hush project’s lead engineer, Santos Inocentes, explained: ‘We started off just fooling around with paint, but soon discovered that electro reflectivity was the future.


‘The technology has been a jealously guarded secret within SEAT but, now, we feel the time is just right to reveal it to the world.’


Initially appearing on the SEAT Leon ‘mule’ pictured here, it’s possible that electro reflectivity may one day make it through to production models.


A SEAT UK spokesman said of the new development: ‘We’re obviously very excited by this dramatically different exterior design feature, which mixes technology and innovation to deliver undeniably surprising results.


‘Quite what happens when an electro reflective car meets a speed camera, though, is anyone’s guess!’


And Kia have been getting in on the act too…


Here’s their offering – which we think is rather brilliant!



Kia announces new KEE_wii concept with revolutionary wireless driving system


First seen at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2007, the KEE was a clear indication of the design direction of Kia product. However, the latest upgrade to KEE will make sure it is one step ahead of the competition with a new, dynamic and more involving drive system that removes the need for a steering wheel and pedals.


Franz Josef-Hicks, head of the Advanced Propulsion Research Institute and Laboratory at Kia Motors New Zealand, explained: ‘We have taken inspiration from current computer gaming technology to create a completely new steering and pedal system called Dynamic On-Road Kinetics.


‘The traditional driving controls are replaced by a small ‘controller’ which fits comfortably into two hands. Making steering motions with the small controller will turn the car in whichever direction the driver likes whilst accelerator and brakes are button operated. It is a very simple and intuitive system,’ added Mr Josef-Hicks.

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Kia believes there is an added advantage – passengers can take the controls and enjoy the dynamic drive of the KEE_wii from any seat in the car.


‘Okay, so visibility is a minor issue for those in the back seats, but we don’t think this will be a problem as a lot of people don’t really look where they are going when they drive – and we have built in a fail-safe security system called Independent Driver Input Operating Technique that utilises radar to avoid accidents.”


Just work out the acronym for that last bit of technology – Car Dealer loves a good joke, but don’t you think some people have got too much time on their hands?




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Car Dealer has been covering the motor trade since 2008 as both a print and digital publication. In 2020 the title went fully digital and now provides daily motoring updates on this website for the car industry. A digital magazine is published once a month.

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