Followers of BMW in the media would notice that every April, the German brand reveals some interesting news.
In the United Kingdom and Canada, the luxury car brand often creates an April Fool’s prank as a lighthearted parody of serious motoring news. Since the 1980′s, readers of various newspapers have found themselves with egg on their faces after believing in a spectacular story.
BMW media bosses claim to focus on the outright ridiculous, but not totally unbelievable, hence fooling readers to consider the story to be fact. Here we have compiled five of the most hilarious pranks the brand has pulled.
1 – Dashboard Tire Pressure Control.
What a terrible chore it is to manually check a tire. Drivers will often have to get out of their vehicle, bend over, unscrew the dust-cap and use some form of device to manually inflate or deflate to correct pressure.
On April 1st 1985 though, the future finally arrived. Chief Development Engineer, Herr Brehn, supposedly invented a revolving seal which would counteract the obvious laws of physics. Controlled via the dashboard mounted controls, the invention came as a surprise at a time where a CD player was deemed innovative. Enthusiasm was later dampened and turned into comic relief as BMW revealed their humorous intentions. Of course, you can read more here to browse current tire technology and realize that the game has certainly changed since these times.
2 – Attack of the Far Eastern Clones.
Every buyer’s worst nightmare is to discover they’ve purchased a forgery, particularly when in the market for a premium product. In 1987, BMW ran an article in The Times playing on these exact phobias. Apparently a Far Eastern company was producing forged goods and retailing them in the United Kingdom.
Some immediate tests to determine if your pride and joy was a knock-off was to first of all check the badge to see if the roundels are mounted in the correct manner. The most hilarious though was to perform an engineer style noise test.
Owners were asked to start their engines and sit inside, instruct a friend to stand 10 feet away and shout the words “Esel, Dü bist reingefallen” – German for “Asshole, you have been fooled!” Needless to say, this turned out to be a forgery in its own right.
3 – Self-Cleaning Car.
All but the most OCD of detailers would be thrilled to never wash their car again.
BMW claimed in 2004 to have formulated a plan to rid drivers of this irritating chore once-and-for-all. Microscopic blow holes would deliver a constant stream of warm air, to blast away bugs, dust, water and just about anything else encountered on the road. Whilst this sounded spectacular, stunned readers in Canada were disappointed to realize that the only source of blowing hot air was BMW’s Press Office. Bugger!
4 – Instant Messaging.
It has become an unfortunate stereotype that us BMW drivers are rather aggressive. In 2007, BMW embraced said stereotype with their April Fool’s campaign, by revealing an option to provide pleasant messages to other road users via the windscreen. No longer would drivers need to resort to tailgating and flashing headlights, for they could now communicate civilly via the use of linguistics. Controlled via voice activation, drivers could now use their hands more productively, rendering the use of helpful hand gestures irrelevant. Sadly, their Reactive User Sound Electronic (RUSE) system failed to materialize. Hand gestures will have to continue for the foreseeable future.
5 – Badges with Political Allegiances.
At the best of times, portraying political allegiances can prove divisive. Following the recent European Elections, the idea of a badge colored to suit your political agenda would be none-to-clever. In 2010 though, BMW announced that badges could be specified with the color of your favorite political party.
Labour Party supporters could order a red badge, falsely optimistic Liberal Democrat followers would adorn their BMW with yellow, whilst Conservatives would apparently continue to embellish their vehicle with the blue roundels. Presumably Eurosceptic and nationalist UKIP voters could also opt for white.
The Political Roundel Attachment Tag, with the acronym PRAT, would be transferable should a driver feel the need to switch their political agenda or fit in with a certain crowd. Thankfully, the facts are black and white, with this political accessory also destined as the work of humor and fiction.