List: Top Ten April Fools' Pranks Of 2012

By John Beltz Snyder

April 02, 2012

Mini

Mini Cooper Yachtsman: Mini announced it would debut this amphibious vehicle at the New York Auto Show. Features include a body-colored exhaust snorkel, emergency sail, waterproof upholstery with seat-cushion flotation devices, a Marine Chronometer for celestial navigation, room to sleep two, a host of fishing gear, a pirate flag, and an eyepatch.

Mini

Mini Cowley Caravan and Swindon Tent: Another joke from the mischievous Mini brand, it announced the Cowley caravan and Swindon rooftop tent. Those who looked closely would have noticed the “JOKE 2012” and “HOAX 2012” license plates on the pictured vehicles. The Cowley caravan is a small trailer with two sleeping bays, and the Swindon tent pops up on the roof of the car.

Callaway

Callaway HyperVolt: This Callaway-tuned Chevrolet Volt features 10,000 volts of power, a 120,000-rpm redline, and a top speed of just under 400 miles per hour. Owners’ homes can be fitted with a high-voltage charger, charging the HyperVolt in just 10 seconds (with a dramatic drop in current for the rest of the neighborhood.

Google

Google Racing’s Autonomous NASCAR Entry: Perhaps our favorite of this year’s April 1 pranks. Google and NASCAR partnered up to bring self-driving vehicles to the race series. Google even had video of its stock car doing burnouts while the “driver” held his hands out the window. Too bad this is just a joke.

Ford

Ford Mustang Sedan: Road & Track brought us this fine fabrication, when it showed pictures of a four-door Ford Mustang. The very dry write-up is convincing, but R&T later gave up the ruse with a single line: “Update: April Fools.” Follow the link in the text below for more images of the Mustang Sedan that could have been.

Subaru EyeSight TSA Option: Subaru announced a special feature for its upcoming EyeSight anti-collision system debuting in New York. The TSA (Transportation Security Administration) option allows the driver to see what sort of items may be hidden on the body of nearby pedestrians, much like the X-ray scanners used at airports.

Kia’s

Kia’s Lonely Singles Navigation System: From Kia’s Google+ page: “We have developed a new navigation technology that will introduce you to single Kia owners nearby by matching your dating preferences with other Kia owners on the road. The system will show available singles nearby via our new Front Operational Organic Light Emitting Display (FOOLED). The scheduled launch date is set for April 1st 2013.”

Peugeot

Peugeot RCZ With Mood Paint: Peugeot playfully announced a color-changing version of the RCZ coupe. Temperature sensors in the steering wheel gauge the driver’s mood, and change the exterior color of the car accordingly: dark blue for sad, yellow for happy, green for relaxed, etc.

Honda

Honda TERII Anti-Theft Negotiator: This is one we’d love to get. If someone tries to steal your Honda, it begins by reasoning with the thief (“Have you ever been to prison? You will be traded for a pack of cigarettes.”). Then it collects personal data, and begins threatening the offender. While it may not have fooled us, it did get us laughing.

Babies

Babies Love Darth Vader’s TomTom Navigation Voice: TomTom said it would be releasing a version of its GPS navigation system using Star Wars villain Darth Vader’s voice. The company claimed that it had found through extensive research that the evil Sith’s breathy voice soothed child passengers, thus allowing the driver a cabin free from the distraction of crying babies.

Mini Mini Callaway Google Ford Kia’s Peugeot Honda Babies
Every year around the first of April, automotive manufacturers and publications love to unleash April Fools’ pranks on unwitting journalists and readers. Sometimes they’re pretty clever, other times they’re very obvious, but either way, they’re inevitable. 2012 was no different, as many of these jokes rolled out on or in advance of April 1.
 
Here are our 10 favorite pranks from this year.
 
[To see more of Road & Track's Ford Mustang Sedan, click here.]
 
[Google Racing]

[Videos: Peugeot RCZ With Mood Paint, Honda TERII, Darth Vader TomTom]