April Fool’s Pranks 2021: From Audi’s honey-powered ‘b-tron’ to ‘Voltswagen’

Volkswagen's US office was understandably flooded with questions by journalists if 'Voltswagen' was an April Fool's gag but the company and the PR agencies stuck with how it wasn't.

By:April 1, 2021 1:57 PM
april fools day auto companies pranks

The 1st of April 2020 went by without a gag because no one was in the mood for anything funny in times when the world is grappling through something very serious. But now, industries are back to working near normal, people are indulging in celebrations and travel, and car companies are back with April Fool’s Day gags and pranks. We’re listing five of the best gags here from when the likes of Audi, BMW, Skoda, Tesla indulged in humour. And also, when this year Volkswagen attempted to be funny but barely succeeded.

Audi ‘b-tron’

The global shift towards electrification of vehicles has begun and anyone who claims to be working on a zero-emission tech gains a lot of attention and applause. So, Audi ‘introduced’ the honey-powered b-tron in 2019, complete with a hexagonal fuel-cap and an on-board toaster. The model, however, wasn’t without problems. As described by Imker Honig, head of Audi’s Komplett Geschminkt (German for “made up entirely”) said that the “early prototypes tended to attract scores of bees, typically around the hexagonal fuel cap. One tester was swarmed by a hive that had settled in the glove compartment.”

BMW ‘Lunar paint’

We’ve read about electric cars that can charge on-the-go using solar power. BMW went a step ahead and said it had developed lunar paint. The paint was embedded with “revolutionary photovoltaic technology,” allowing BMW’s electric and hybrid models to passively recharge at night as they drive under the moonlight.

Skoda ‘noise-cancelling headrest’

Skoda fooled us in 2018 with this little tech that a lot of us would actually welcome quite a bit if health and safety were not a thing. They said that the noise-cancelling headrest for the Skoda Karoq features QuarrelKancel technology which works to drown-out backseat bickering.

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When Tesla went bankrupt

Tesla Model 3 meeting its production milestone continued to make headlines for a long time in 2018 and ’19, raising questions about whether Tesla will soon run out of money. So, Elon Musk tweeted this: “Tesla Goes Bankrupt Palo Alto, California, April 1, 2018 — Despite intense efforts to raise money, including a last-ditch mass sale of Easter Eggs, we are sad to report that Tesla has gone completely and totally bankrupt. So bankrupt, you can’t believe it.”

Voltswagen

Volkswagen takes the crown this year for its Voltswagen gag which didn’t seem to tickle the funny bone at all. So, a couple of days before April Fool’s Day, Volkswagen ‘accidentally’ released the statement about it changing its name to Voltswagen in the US to clarify further its seriousness about electrification.

VW’s US office was understandably flooded with questions by journalists if it was an April Fool’s gag but the company and the PR agencies stuck with how it wasn’t. Names of the company’s social media handles were changed, news spread across media outlets, only to be followed by VW confirming that it was a hoax.

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