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Motoring April Fool’s 2009: the best and worst

Wed, 01 Apr 2009

By Tim Pollard

Motoring Issues

01 April 2009 00:01

Those crazy car makers have been letting their hair down to present us with an array of April Fool’s Day fodder. We’ve handily collated all the gags and jokes that’ve landed in our intray today – and you can name and shame the best and worst in our CAR Magazine poll below. So read and weep – and then vote!

Barcelona boffins have invented an over-blown wind turbine for their new Ibiza Ecomotive – and that roof-mounted generator is claimed to contribute 3mpg to the standard car’s 94.1mpg extra urban figure. The Aero Tonto windmill can produce enough electricity to power the car’s headlights – and when it’s not spinning like a top on your roof, the blades fold around the bee-sting aerial so you can drive through car washes. Chief development engineer Santos Inocentes claimed future versions of Aero-Tonto would carry eight blades measuring three feet in length. A bit of a tall order, we think…

Hyundai’s humorists today announced a new i10 model targeted at the world’s political and religious leaders. Aimed at cutting VIPs’ carbon emissions, the i10 Popemobile is powered by an asthmatic 1.2-litre Kappa engine which produces just 119g/km – great for massaging politicians’ green egos, not so good for zooming away from potential hijack situations (especially with the organic bulletproof armour option). The leader can sit or stand in the raised VIP pod, whose seat upholstery is made up ‘of parts of a tapestry woven by monks from the Indian city of Utta Bullacs’. Says it all!

Another take on wind-powered cars immediately struck us as a load of hot air. Kia’s new Aero-Soul concept is claimed to be a new eco tool to cut fuel consumption by harnessing the power of following wind – and it can be fitted to any new or old Kia model. The idea is simple: wind sails deploy from the front or rear of the car, depending on wind strength and direction to boost propulsion, while a rear air brake rises to help in an emergency stop. We never thought we’d see a roadgoing Kia with McLaren’s SLR technology. Kia claims its Air Propulsion and Retardation Installation Line will go on sale on 1 April 2010.

By Tim Pollard