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VW STUNS WORLD+DOG WITH REAL HOVER-CAR!

Or: viral vid success, critical thinking fail

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It would be nice if it were true, but El Reg has difficulty believing that this video of a VW concept hover-car in China is genuine:

The premise of the video is this: VW decided to crowd-source ideas for concept cars in China – a branding exercise it dubbed the Peoples' Car Project (recalling, the genesis of the marque) – picked the hover-car out as its favourite, and actually built it.

So says the advertisement: unfortunately, there’s a fair swag of the population who don’t much differentiate between advertising and reality. The result is a Twitter-storm of ZOMG! retweets of the link. According to the video, the mag-lev car gets its mojo from the huge amounts of magnetite under Chengdu, where the video is made.

However, as I said, El Reg isn’t convinced. We think it’s a branding campaign. It’s hard to believe that such a small package has a power-pack that packs enough grunt to lift a maglev car; its magnets interact with the quite-small environmental magnetism you’d get from any underground deposit, without disturbing bicycles (although the ad-makers have enough sense to send a can skittering across the ground – look near the dog at the two-minute mark).

Most of all: where’s the magnetite in the elevated freeway the car traverses?

We expect, however, that the Reg Legion of Sharp-Eyed Commentards will have sharper eyes than the more gullible outlets that have taken this as real, so … over to you. ®

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