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Our 7 favorite automotive pranks from April Fool's Day 2016

If any of you fell for any of these, we've got a bridge to sell you.

Nissan has put the NV Cargo Van through over 7,000 quality and durability tests to ensure it’s ready for the toughest of tasks. We’ve even gone as far as letting Bret Michaels smash a guitar on the hood in “Tough Love,” and let Mickey Rourke and Carl Weathers torture test it in the desert in “The Delivery” – so when the opportunity came to showcase our commercial van strength in another extreme situation, we were clearly up for the challenge. Call it test number 7,001, or just pure torture, but we put Formula Drift icon, Chris Forsberg, in an NV Cargo on a brutal obstacle course to prove out our van’s durability. As entertaining as the social video content is, it comes with quite a few warnings. Among them, a warning that modifications made to the van and dramatized testing stunts would completely void America’s Best Commercial Van Warranty.

Automakers had the typical lark once again this year, rolling out some real weird crap for April Fools' Day, which is a holiday that actual, well-paid adult human beings participate in. Not every joke hit the mark, but a handful gave us more than an "internet laugh" (a strong exhale, perhaps joined by a single raised eyebrow).

As always, we'll roll out our favorites in alphabetical order, because we're purely objective human beings who operate free of bias or personal inclinations. April Fools! We're actually overopinionated jerks who can't even spell objectivity, nevertheless adhere to it. Microsoft Word spelled it for us here.

Honda's emoji license plates

You know the best way to appeal to the youths? Emoji, of course! And no, I'm not talking about sending them peaches and eggplants. To better snare younger buyers, Honda decided it would be a good idea to put emoji on license plates.

Could you imagine that exchange at the DMV? "Yes, I'd like my license plate to say poop, woman in red dress dancing, 'cool' box, and poop again."

Honda Civic Type R Emoji Plate

Lexus's V-LCRO seat

Tired of falling out of your seat on the track, despite strong side bolsters? For the adults out there built like 12-year-olds (I'm one of 'em), Lexus has the solution for you -- its Variable Load Coupling Rear Orientation (V-LCRO) seat. It's exactly what you think it is, pairing a Velcro-covered seat with Velcro-covered clothing. Not the most elegant solution, but hey, it probably works.

Did you know Velcro will email you if you use 'Velcro' as a standalone word, since it's a trademarked product name that must be written out as either 'Velcro Brand' or 'Velcro Companies'? Because that definitely just happened. Oops.

Mazda's automatic gearboxes

Mazda Canada pulled a straight evil prank this year, claiming that the brand with some serious enthusiast cachet would be getting rid of manual transmissions entirely. That's not even funny, Mazda. That's called cruelty. To steal a joke from fellow Roadshow editor Chris Paukert, the prank is so lazy it borders on being...shiftless.

Mini's scissor doors

This one took a little digging to ensure that it was a joke. After all, BMW has similar doors on the i8, so it's not like the company (which includes Mini) doesn't have the tooling at the ready, and we all know how much it sucks to get stuck in a tight parking spot. Of course, the joke was on me, because it's all a bit of fakery. But I must give props to BMW's art department for some pretty strong Photoshop skills.

Mini Scissor Doors

Nissan's drift van

OK, technically drifting aficionado Chris Forsberg is the one being pranked in this video, rather than the general public. That said, why would I pass up an opportunity to talk about a drifting cargo van? It's a drifting cargo van, folks. It's probably the coolest thing on this list.

Porsche's Eau d'Essence

Porsche unveiled a perfume that smells like "motor oil and tire rubber," which is a thing that real people might actually be interested in. Hell, I'd buy it just for the sweet bottle. Of course, Porsche being Porsche, it included the fact that this entirely fake fragrance will be offered in limited quantities. It wouldn't be a high-end Porsche product without some artificial scarcity, after all.

Porsche Eau d'Essence

Ram's ProMaster City Hellcat concept

Many folks in the industry have made the joke that Fiat Chrysler intends on shoving its 6.2-liter, 707-horsepower Hellcat V-8 into every product it builds. This April Fool's joke builds on that, as Ram announced a ProMaster City Hellcat Concept, complete with ridiculous hood vents and the Hellcat's multispoke alloy wheels.

Is it weird that I wish this were real?


Runner-up: Lincoln's high-end barbershop collaboration

I need to stress that this one is not an April Fools' Day joke, but it sure as hell sounds like one. During the month of April, anyone who owns one of Lincoln's high-end Black Series vehicles is privy to a free haircut (or whatever a "grooming treatment" entails) at Fellow Barber, a high-end salon for "young, aspirational professionals."

Do you see why I almost fell for it? You can't release news bites this patently silly on April 1, Lincoln.


Runner-up: Tesla's Model 3

Tech and automotive writers the world over are now stuck chasing SEO targets for an entire year while we wait for this hype train to make a stop at Reality Station. (The cars on stage last night? Prototypes, and multiple variations thereof, at that.) Thanks so much, Elon. You really pulled a fast one on us. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have 19 think pieces left to write.