Autos

6 April Fools’ Day Stunts From Car Makers

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Automakers have a tremendous amount of fun around April Fools’ Day, and sometimes will put a significant amount of effort into creating elaborate hoaxes, some of which border on believable (and others, not so much). Who can forget such classics as the BMW M3 pickup or the HondaHair?

This year’s entries seemed somewhat tame, though entertaining nonetheless. Some are actually decent ideas that just need a few tweaks and could potentially make great real-world products (like the Hyundai Veloster Pickup – that thing looks sweet).

BMW is back to making baby accessories, Honda’s back with an exceptionally well-produced pitch for a build-your-own car concept, and Mini somehow made the Cooper more British. All this and more, after the jump. (A hat-tip goes to the guys at Autoblog for compiling the ideas beforehand.)

1. Honda Fit Kit

Honda caught the public’s attention with its HondaHair scheme from April Fools’ Day last year, and showed that up this week with the Honda Fit Kit — a D.I.Y. Honda Fit that arrives at the buyers’ (in this case, a couple of overzealous, hipster do-it-yourselfers) house in numerous boxes, some of which are delivered by drones. The idea is that it offers the hands-on experience of building your own vehicle, rather than the displaced and arm’s-length distance of customizing your options via an online configurator. It’s not a terribly believable premise, but kudos to Honda for an incredibly entertaining and well-made spot.

Nissan370ZLimo

2. Nissan 370Z Limo

A trip to Las Vegas might illustrate that there’s been a limousine version of just about everything, but when it comes from the factory, we’re a little bit dubious. Nissan (NSANY.PK) introduced the 370Z limo on April 1, and while it’s obviously not going to be seeing production, we’re a little bit sad that it isn’t — it actually doesn’t look half bad.

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3. Acura Celebrates 28th Year as Top Luxury Brand

Nothing like some high-quality, self-effacing humor. Acura celebrated 28 years leading the world’s luxury brands on April 1, at least alphabetically, in a brilliantly penned press release poking fun at Acura’s sideline position in the luxury industry.

“At Acura, there are many things we’re proud of, and one of those things is our alphabetic dominance.  I mean, these are the A-B-Cs of marketing, and no one does it better than Acura,” said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president and general manager of Acura. “Audi has been nipping at our heels since the beginning, and then there was that deal with Amati, which never really had a shot. We even toyed with adding another A on the front of the name, but we’re confident that we can maintain our leadership, assuming no one comes along with Abalone or Aardvark or something like that.”

4. BMW Sleeping Machine

BMW seems to have thing for BMW-inspired gear for kids. Remember the BMW pram from last year? Well, BMW New Zealand is back again this year, with the BMW ZZZ Series, or “The Ultimate Sleeping Machine” — if you’re a baby, that is. The ZZZ will rock your baby gently to sleep to the comforting roar of a German V8 on a track circuit, as the cradle’s movements mimic the motion, vibrations, and tilts of a car. On a track. Going really fast. Our only question is, when can we buy a larger version?

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5. Mazda MX-5 Four-Seater

Like the Nissan, Mazda’s celebratory shenanigans involved adding extra length to a car that so doesn’t need it. In this case, it was the MX-5 Miata, arguably one of the greatest driver’s cars for the money. Someone had the idea of slotting a couple of extra seats and doors (you know, fun for the whole family), turning the Miata into the uncomfortable and disproportionate looking creature you see before you.

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6. Mini Cooper T

Few things are arguably less British than a Mini Cooper, despite the brand’s German ownership. But what makes a Mini more English than its already U.K.-rooted, compact self? A Mini that runs on tea, of course. That’s the inspiration behind the Mini Cooper T, an obviously not-real concept unveiled by Mini this week in the name of April Fools’ Day fun. Available in both Chamomile and Earl Grey flavors, the Minis consume only tea, and milk and sugar — depending on how much power you want.