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Friday, 12 April 2013

Things I Could've Written For April Fools' Day

Toyota ProAce BTVC Entries. Not

I'm back. To be honest, I was planning to be "back" sooner, but, well, I wasn't. That's pretty much how I roll. Anyways, I was going to write a joke article for April Fool's Day, but seeing as that was over a week ago, it would be rather pointless now and you would actually believe me. Car companies had fun, though. Toyota pretended it was entering its Proace van in the new British Touring Van Championship (which I'm sad to report does not exist at all), Subaru pretended to say "fuck it" and build a twin-turbo diesel hybrid convertible BRZ to satisfy the internet, and - get this - Tesla said it actually made a profit for once!! Shockingly, that last one's actually true thanks to the new Model S selling above expectations in spite of recent bad press regarding the car's range.

I could've pretended to do many things - except praise the Toyota Prius C, which I already did - so here are some half-finished and half-baked ideas below:

I Have A Confession To Make
In which I would've come out as the new Stig, confirming and denying rumours thereof.

Chevrolet Decides To Build A Car Just For Jalopnik Readers
In a bold move to attract dozens more in sales, one of the biggest American car companies in the world is planning to release a new luxury sports GT shooting brake. Priced to cannibalise the Camaro and Corvette simultaneously, it will be available with three engines and only one gearbox option. To your six-speed manual transmission you can attach a twin-turbo 3.5-litre inline-six diesel "because they keep begging for a freakin' diesel!", a 6.2-litre naturally-aspirated 'LSX' V8 or a 6.3-litre supercharged 'LS9' unit from the outgoing Corvette ZR1, which has been uprated to produce 700bhp and 675lb/ft, leaving a nice big gap to the 560bhp LSX version. Chevrolet says that this yawning chasm between the two engines allows for "Wrench-it-yourself" tuning packages to be introduced without the performance gains impeding on the top-of-the-range model. "The most expensive one will give it 699bhp and 670lb/ft," adds a project engineer known as Medium Dave. Curiously, despite this consideration for avoiding variant overlap, the diesel actually makes more torque than the LSX, at a thundering 550lb/ft, a 50lb/ft advantage. All variants will be available with either rear- or all-wheel-drive and will weigh just 1000kg (2200lbs) despite being useable as a daily driver, thanks to use of a new material known as Magic Fibre.

Engines aside, a clever function of this new model is that it can be turned into a pickup reminiscent of the El Camino of yesteryear. With the rear bench seat folded flat and all the rear windows rolled down, the roof panel - which has a 33-66 split - drops down onto the flat floor created by the seats to turn the shooting brake into a pickup, with the shorter roof section remaining fixed in place and housing a front bench seat. The tailgate is hinged at the bottom and features a pillarless sliding rear windscreen. A sunroof is a free optional extra and despite there being no centre console, thanks to the bench seat, Chevrolet claims it still managed to fit in a full 12 cupholders, all big enough to hold Starbucks' biggest cup securely. There are no armrests and a "Track Pack" option also deletes the horn and cupholders while adding 25 horsepower and shedding 200lbs of weight by adding carbon fibre doors and lids.

All these features seem like they should make the car hideously expensive, especially considering projected sales figures of around 400-500. Medium Dave recognises this; "Frankly we're going to lose a shit heap of money on this, but if it shuts them up then we're all OK with it here at Chevrolet." The one problem with selling a $40-60k car to internetters is that not all of them have real money. It's estimated that roughly 35% of the 1.2million commenters saying they'll buy a Subaru BRZ have actually bought one. Luckily, pre-registering cars provides a solution. "Because almost nobody else will buy one, it will depreciate like a used bag of shit, so maybe it will reach a price that will make these guys actually go out and buy one instead of just talking about buying one and teasing us. If that doesn't work, we may have to introduce one with a 3.1-litre V4 engine that has a lower starting price, or just release it in Forza 5 and arrange to get royalties every time somebody downloads it."

The name of this car? The Chevrolet Grand Touring Family And Camino (it's likely they'll abbreviate it). Colours include Shiny Primer and Pussy-Magnet Yellow.

I guess snide and/or moaning internet forums have an effect after all.

Designer Admits Ripping Off A Design
"I honestly couldn't think of anything, so I just sorta put two different cars together, styled it out and put our corporate 'face' on it." - Alan A. Designer

Bernie Ecclestone Reportedly Considering Giving Vettel F1 Title In Advance
The F1 owner and serial troll wants to apply an innocent-until-proven-guilty style principle to the world title, saying "well, he won the last three in a row and he's still driving a Newey-designed car under the same rules, so we might as well just cut to the chase." Sources close to the 812-year-old say this definitely has nothing to do with the fact that they are bestest best friends, honest, now get out and ask Sebastian about team orders.

And so it goes on.

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