We regret to inform you that, from our staff, there will be no April Fools Day jokes. There will be no rebirth of the Saturn brand. There will be no second-generation Shogun hatchback based on the Kia Rio with a turbocharged four-cylinder shoved into it. We’re spoilsports this year, but then again, April Fools has been played out for the past few years in the auto journalism realm, and we’re better than plastering you with the most unbelievable of faux stories because we like to laugh at our own jokes.
But there are still plenty of April fools to be had, and most decided to start a week early this year. Over the past week as we’ve begun ramping up for the New York International Auto Show, news has spilled about indiscretions, improprieties, and idiocy. And we’re all the better for it. Sit back and we’ll recap this past week’s top stories.
Monday, March 26
BMW usually doesn’t have many recalls. But its philosophy for its latest one must have been “Go big or go home.” The German automaker has recalled 1.3 million 2003 to 2010 BMW 5 Series sedans and 6 Series coupes and convertibles around the world. The cause? A loose battery cover in the cars’ trunks, potentially causing the cars to stall or even catch fire in worst-case situations. As recalls go, it’s nothing major. But Germans often take anything less than perfection as a life’s work amounting to failure. You can bet there were more mental breakdowns in Bavaria than there have been car breakdowns.
Tuesday, March 27
For track-day raceabouts, nothing has been able to touch the Ford Mustang Boss 302 for the money. Chevy said to Ford “Pull my finger” and decided to deliver a worthy adversary in the form of the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE. It retains the Camaro SS’ 426-horsepower, 6.2-liter V-8. But it gets much of the computerized trick suspension tech used in the $60,000 Camaro ZL1. Despite weighing a bit more, the Camaro should be able to keep up with the Mustang for a price around $40,000. It’s a good time to be in the market for a new muscle car.
Wednesday, March 28
Shelby American, the iconic brand responsible for five decades of hopped-up Mustangs and sports cars, introduced the 950-horsepower Ford Mustang Shelby 1000 this week. But it thought it could get in an early prank by photoshopping its press pictures—badly, might we add—and trying to pass them off. “Beyond embarrassed” were the words from Shelby’s PR people, but the tuner brand got a lot of press about its new $200,000 Mustang. So who’s really playing the fool?
Thursday, March 29
For the past month, Nissan has been practically harassing the media with seconds-long YouTube videos showing off its new 2013 Altima sedan. We’ve taken the bait on every one of them, too. We’re happy to inform you that the last of five clips has finally hit the tubes that are the internet until the car’s official reveal next week. That didn’t keep us from imagining the meetings that must have gone down to create such an asinine advertising campaign. It appears only Chrysler has edged ahead of the Japanese automaker for worst online tease.
Friday, March 30
Ah, yeah, there’s an auto show going on next week. It’s in New York. And by all indications we have, it should be one of the best ones of the year. We’ve chronicled the cars that will be displayed at the 2012 New York International Auto Show—expected to be more than 40 in total—and we’ll keep updating our lists through next Wednesday and Thursday with the latest information on all the new cars. We’ll be there, checking out the cars, the sights, the sounds, and, heck, maybe even the new Tim Tebow-themed sandwich at the Carnegie Deli. Keep your eyes peeled at Automotive.com for all the news that’s fit to blog or tweet.