Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/05/10/vw_hovercar_ad/
VW STUNS WORLD+DOG WITH REAL HOVER-CAR!
Or: viral vid success, critical thinking fail
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?