By Steven Weiland
I’m a big fan of The Walking Dead, both the graphic novel and the television series, and I’ll be the first to acknowledge the great contribution that writer Robert Kirkman has made to the zombie sub-genre. But he is now also responsible for designing possibly the worst zombie survival vehicle ever for an advertising scheme for corporate partner Hyundai.
What really gets me is that the base car used, a Hyundai Elantra, could make a fine zombie vehicle. However, many of the “upgrades” made to it go directly against its natural survival advantages.
In the video above, fabricator Gary Castillano explains all that’s not right with this modified Elantra. Here are the main issues:
- ARMOR PLATING – The first modification is to add armor plating, which instantly turns the car from a light and fuel efficient escape vehicle into a slow and lumbering gas guzzler. With no gas stations to fill up every 20 miles, you’ll be stalled in no time flat.
- COW CATCH – Despite the added weight, it could make sense to add a scoop in the front of the car to push any zombies or other debris out of your way, right? But then they inexplicably add spikes, which are designed to impale and trap, rendering the scoop worthless.
- WINCH – A winch could be good, but it’s only on the front of the car. So you better hope that you never drive head first into trouble and need to pull yourself out from behind. Plus it’s mounted behind the scoop–not sure how that’s supposed to work, but good luck!
- WINDOW BARS – Covering the windows to prevent zombies from getting in is smart, but the custom steel bars they install are so wide apart that there’s plenty of room from hands and arms to reach in when the glass breaks. Why not just use bulletproof glass?
- WHEEL SPIKES – So we’re already completely destroyed the Elantra’s fuel efficiency, but the wheel spikes eliminate its second most valuable natural asset: maneuverability. With the spikes attached, the car is too wide to fit through tight spots, let alone the average garage door.
- ESCAPE HATCH – The solid steel escape hatch on the top of the car is impressive. But I guess they never got the memo that the Hyndai Elantra already comes with an optional escape hatch called a sunroof. But let’s add more weight for the fun of it!
The final advantage of the Elantra is that it blends in to almost any setting. The last thing you want to do in a zombie outbreak is stand out and attract attention from any zombies or other hostile humans in the area. But this modified Hyundai will do nothing more than draw a crowd.
Sure it’s a creative advertising stunt, and sure I shouldn’t take these things so seriously. I just wish they would have considered actual zombie survival issues when designing it, because I think their campaign would have been a lot more successful in the end.