Make an informed decision
We’re counting down the weeks until the return of the best zombie television show ever made, The Walking Dead, with a series of posts all about cars in a post-outbreak nightmarescape.
At San Diego Comic-Con in July, Hyundai showed off their newest nod toward their longstanding product placement partnership with The Walking Dead: the Veloster Turbo Zombie Survival Machine. The VTZSM isn’t the first of Hyndai’s post-apocalyptic vehicles, as they brought an armored Elantra last year, and a Tucson is one of The Walking Dead’s main vehicle characters.
Now, I’ll support any company’s sponsorship of that most excellent and admirable of survival dramas, but frankly Hyundai has it all wrong on so many counts. The Tucson, for example, gets famously surrounded while it’s stuck in zero-point-zero inches of mud. I’m not sure how Hyundai felt about that scene.
But even their modded cars are a bit silly. The Veloster sports a chainsaw bumper, but TWD’s zombies flock to noise. And there’s a crapton of sandbags belted to the hood- perhaps to catch all the bullets the walkers are lobbing at you? Machine guns adorn the hood, but there’s no way to fire them without reaching out the window, and that arm is looking pretty succulent to the cloudy-eyed winner hanging out just nearby.
So because I love you guys and can’t think of anybody I’d rather shelter with when it all goes down, here’s just a few of the better automotive choices you can make when the outbreak hits.
10.Mercedes Benz G-Class– It has obnoxious amounts of power and torque, and when all the cars are free, why not drive one you could never afford?
8. Dodge Magnum – Only a few of us will be left around to reboot humanity, which means we can’t repeat our species’ greatest mistake: filling up the roads with SUVs. The Magnum has all that wagon room, which will make it a great impromptu ambulance or rescue cart.
7. Hummer H1 – When you’re churning through the hordes in downtown Atlanta, what you really need from under the hood isn’t power, but torque. The H1 might not be fast, but you’re dealing with Walkers, not runners. Its real post-catastrophe party piece, however, is the fact that it can drive underwater- as long is its intake and exhaust stay surfaced. So when they blow all the bridges, you can still get to Pizza Hut.
6. Lotus Exige – You don’t need to go 200 mph through the wastelands. With limited fuel and clogged roads, you’d be better off keeping your speed low. Conversely, handling could save your life. Weaving your way through the hordes and parked cars will be effortless in Lotus’ supercar-junior. A Miata or Caterham Seven would do just as well, but you’ll want a closed canopy to fend off the blood pukes.
4. Classic Volkswagen Beetle – Now, I’m not promising that the Beetle is dead reliable or that you’ll always be able to avoid the classic car-won’t-start cliché of death-by-zombie. But when you need to fix a Beetle, you can fix it before the biters show up.
3. Toyota Previa – Morgan Jones proved in season one that if you can be quiet, keep the lights off, and stay indoors at night, the walkers will leave you alone. Any van with blacked-out windows will do that job, but the Previa has AWD and can be modded into a crawler.
2. Lamborghini Aventador – Remember, all the cars are free. But seriously, the Aventador has all-wheel drive, and since my ideal zombie vehicle, a plow truck, will be pretty scarce in an area that gets about an inch of snow a year, a car that will slide under the walkers serves the same purpose. Also, free Lamborghini.
1. The Munster Koach – Now hear me out: Like Rick’s clan, your zombie survival group will have a fleet of vehicles, all serving different purposes. The Munster Koach is your distracter. On the show, Glen takes care of this with his stolen Challenger before Daryl assumes the duty on the chopper. With the Koach’s open headers, every zombie in the county will come running – er, hobbling- into your vicinity, giving someone else a chance to make a rescue or load up on food. And there’s a 289 V8 between the rails, for getting away. Should they somehow corner you, there’s seating for eight in this thing (the first family vehicle with third and fourth row seating), which is more than enough guns to clear a path. Finally, we all know that the show’s title doesn’t refer to the walkers, but to everybody else. If you know you’re going to die and become a zombie, you might as well have a sense of humor about it. Survive on pure irony.
There are many many cars better than a FWD Hyundai econobox in which to survive the Zombiepocalypse. These are only a few of them. What else should we add? What would you drive in Rick’s situation?
Andy Sheehan, Editor