Car companies join April 1 madness

Industry news

While the media had its own April Fools' frenzy (IOL Motoring contributing its Ford Cortina spoof), the car companies were out in fool force with their own 'press releases' designed to elicit a chuckle or ten.

Here's a selection of the best:

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BMW hopes to change the face of motoring with its patented artificial G-force technology.The Mini Cooper T is the first vehicle ever to be powered by a tea-leaf biofuel composite.The Skoda Yeti Ice Special Edition pioneers a radical new faux fur finish that eliminates the need for a heater, even in arctic conditions.Vauxhall/Opel drives road to Rio with new Astra Copacabana.Vauxhall/Opel drives road to Rio with new Astra Copacabana.Citroen C4 Cactus Arsenal Edition.Peugeot drivers will soon be able to personalise their car hooters using state-of-the-art Audio Sonic technology.


BMW Force injection booster - driving slow never felt so fast

BMW looks set to change the face of motoring with the introduction of a patented artificial G-force technology.

The new Force Injection Booster simulates the effects of spirited driving, even when commuting at slower speeds, to create a thrilling ride. When activated at speeds under 32km/h, the Force Injection Booster (FIB) works by extracting kinetic energy from the car's engine and converting it into positive g-forces. These are then channelled directly at the driver and passengers through the air conditioning vents, while a mild electric current is delivered through the front seats, to simulate the same exhilarating feeling of driving at high speed*.

This technology comes complete with the BMW AirNet®, the latest in hair protection technology, to ensure that occupant's don't have to compromise between personal style and driving performance.

Professor Mika Notbetrü, Head of BMW Innovation, describes FIB technology as “Mind-blowingly unbelievable”.

The Force Injection Booster will be available across the BMW range from 1 April, 2014. For more information on this optional feature please email [email protected]

* Face alteration is not permanent


Fancy a Cooper T?

Enhancing the company's sustainability credentials, MINI's scientists, engineers and product designers have unveiled the new Mini Cooper T - the world's first vehicle to be powered by a tea-leaf biofuel composite.

This revolutionary new model, which is available in a variety of colours including Chamomile Yellow, Red Bush and Earl Grey, is expected to cause a real stir in the motor industry when it's served up later this month.

Capable of covering up to 64km on a single cup, Cooper T certainly isn't what you'd call thirsty. It boasts all the standard features you would expect, such as VVT, ABS and DSC, but also benefits from DAT or Dunk Avoidance Technology. This ingenious filtration system stops peckish owners and opportunistic passersby from inserting biscuits into the MINI T's fuel tank in order to moisten their snacks.

Head of Cooper T engineering, Dr. Ivana Kuppa, said, “This particular project has been brewing for years. Our extensive research has shown that the nation's favourite drink is also an ideal biofuel. We already know good things come in small packages, but with Cooper T customers benefitting from up to 40 miles per cup, we are delighted to have the opportunity to bring this car to market.”


Fur Yeti fans everywhere - the Yeti Ice Special Edition

Skoda is celebrating the launch of its new Yeti range with a remarkable new special edition - the Yeti Ice. On sale today, the new model pioneers a radical new faux fur finish that has been developed by Skoda engineers working in the Himalayas.

The Yeti Ice's faux fur has numerous advantages over traditional paint, as its inventor, Dr Yu Ciddingme explains: “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.”

The new model is based on the new Yeti and Yeti Outdoor launched in January and was developed under the code number 010414. All models will be built to order with owners able to choose from a number of personalisation options, including side-partings and fur extensions.

Owners will find that maintaining the Yeti Ice's fur is easy thanks to standard specification that includes a lifetime supply of Skoda-branded shampoo and conditioner, a comb and brush kit to preserve the well-groomed look.

Head of Special Developments, Prof Lukat Thedate said: “Everybody loves the new furry finish. People like to give it a hug and a tickle under the bumper.”


Vauxhall drives road to Rio with new Astra Copacabana

With a Brazilian flag on its roof, palm trees and dancing lines along its doors, the Astra Copacabana is the epitome of pure South American emotion.

What's more, its acceleration will press drivers into their seat-backs, which are upholstered from genuine Rio turf.

A masterpiece of craftsmanship, Vauxhall's interior designers successfully processed original grass from the famous Maracanã Stadium. Every car comes with a certificate confirming the authenticity of the sacred greenery.

Just as authentic are the footwells, which are filled with finest sand from the beach that gave this football-themed model its name. And to make sure that you're really living the dream when you drive the Copacabana, each special edition comes with a handy pair of flip-flops in the glove compartment.

With a choice of Samba or Vuvuzela tones, the Copacabana's hooter provides true stadium atmosphere, as does a beverage vending machine that mixes up ice-cold Caipirinhas during the drive - alcohol-free, of course, because the Cachaça goes directly into the tank as a power-boosting turbo-cocktail.


Gunner get one? Citroën reveals C4 Cactus Arsenal Edition

Limited to just 11 models and kitted out in the red, blue and gold shades of the Gunners' iconic crest, the C4 Cactus Arsenal showcases new technology to help the Club's most dedicated supporters follow their beloved team in comfort and style.

The integrated dashboard console will feature Citroën's new Geo Organised Away-day Location, Information & Entertainment interface, or G.O.A.L.I.E. The touchscreen system is preloaded with all of Arsenal's away fixtures, including directions to the matches, a database of pie and mash vendors and a music playlist of rousing football anthems to sing along to.

Avina Jolie from Citroën France said: “On espère que tout le monde a reconnu que c'est une petite blague de notre part. Sinon, et si vous parlez français ou si vous utilisez un service de traduction, il faut dire que cette histoire n'est pas vrai. On ne produira pas cette voiture.”

The C4 Cactus Arsenal will be available to order from all Citroën showrooms later this year.*

* Except Citroën Tottenham.


Peugeot announces new audio sonic personalization programme for car hooters

The rise of social media and the digital world has resulted in people wanting to express themselves like never before. Now Peugeot is taking this passion for individuality to the next level.

From July 2014 production onwards, brand new Audio Sonic technology will be a standard feature across the entire Peugeot range, allowing customers to personalise their car horns to reflect their taste and character.

Customers will be able to choose from an extensive library of sounds created at Peugeot's new Audio Sonic Personalisation Centre.

For even more self-expression, customers can create and upload their own sounds, so that everyone can enjoy a truly individual horn, which they can change whenever they desire, just like changing a mobile ringtone.

The UK's road environments will lead the world sonically, offering a rainbow of sounds and audio experiences that will be envied the world over.

“Birdsong or Bach, Jazz Trumpet or Dubstep, the only limit will be our customers' imaginations” commented Orvil Pondaiss, Peugeot's New Head of Audio Sonic Personalisation, who tested the technology using sounds including his own four-year-old son laughing.

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