April Fools’ – Volkswagen Isn’t Bringing Back The Harlequin. Sigh

Turns out Volkswagen’s Harlequin teaser campaign was just cueing up a cruel April Fools’ joke
Volkswagen ID.3 Harlequin April Fools' prank
Volkswagen ID.3 Harlequin April Fools' prank

Here’s a tip: if you’re a company that’s going to do something for April Fools’ Day, then save it for April Fools’ Day. Otherwise, you’re going to annoy a lot of people who’d otherwise see it as a harmless joke.

It would have been disappointing enough had Volkswagen revealed its prank for this year, the Electroluminescent ID.3 Harlequin Edition, without a protracted teaser campaign. But the fact that it spent several days building up our hopes for the return of its colourful 1990s special edition, only to reveal that it was a PR stunt, is rather annoying.

To be fair to VW, we’re surprised it’s taken as long as it has to do something like this on 1 April. After all, Harlequin, the colourful character from early Italian comedic theatre from which the cars take their name, was effectively a deceitful trickster. So, yeah, we sort of walked right into that one.

Anyway, in the alternative universe where this isn’t a prank, the Electroluminescent ID.3 Harlequin Edition is (isn’t) a special edition ID.3 with a colour scheme that harks back to the much loved Polo and Golf Harlequins of the ’90s. It features (doesn’t feature) the crazy light-up paint that appeared on a prototype of the ID.7 last year, which Volkswagen says (doesn’t say) will light up and pulse in time with beats from the car’s sound system. It’s available to order from today. Except it’s not, because it’s not real and Volkswagen played us for, well, fools.

In all seriousness, this is ultimately a harmless joke on VW’s part, but equally, there is a large tranche of VW fans out there who’d welcome the real return of the Harlequin edition and are probably busy making their displeasure known at this precise moment. Maybe you should make up for the disappointment and do it for real, VW.

Volkswagen Polo Harlequin
Volkswagen Polo Harlequin

This isn’t the first time in recent years a car company has based an April Fools’ prank around something a lot of people would actually like to see. To mark the incredibly irritating day back in 2019, Hyundai shared an independent designer’s render of a theoretical N-badged two-seater roadster, as if that wasn’t something that enthusiasts would welcome with open arms.

So, car companies, if you’re reading: try not to tease us with April Fools’ PR stunts that people want to see for real. It’s quite annoying.


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