By Susan Carpenter The Orange County Register
Outfitted with front bumper chainsaws, barbed wire window cages, flame throwers, a baseball bat and tail lights housed in chain-link fencing, the Hyundai Veloster Turbo parked on the carpet at last week’s Comic-Con in San Diego is anything but street legal.
It’s an over-the-top Zombie Survival Machine of epic proportions.
“This car is never meant to be driven, and it never will be, so we can have some fun with it,” said David Matathia, director of marketing communications for Hyundai Motor America, which provided the hatchback now known as the Walking Dead Hyundai Zombie Survival Machine.
Designed, in theory at least, to help a small band of surviving humans navigate a post-apocalyptic world run by flesh-eating zombies, the car is a collaboration between Hyundai; Skybound, creator of “The Walking Dead” comic book series turned AMC show; the comic and gaming publisher Future US; and Galpin Auto Sports in Van Nuys, Calif., which up fit the Veloster with a rooftop turret and a hood lashed with sand bags and other accessories that could never be sourced through a real-life dealership.
The Veloster is the second Zombie Survival Machine from Hyundai. Last year, the South Korean auto maker contributed an Elantra Coupe for a similar survivalist makeover with gunmetal gray paint, a spiked plow, armored windows — even an owner’s manual that explained exactly how to use the car in case of a zombie takeover.
The car generated more than 500 million impressions and, during the weeks surrounding last year’s Comic-Con, helped lift consumer opinion about the brand, Matathia said.
Hyundai will build a third Zombie Survival Machine for the New York Comic Con in October, based on the Walking Dead Chop Shop app it debuted this week.
The app lets users choose among 1,900 parts, weapons, paints and decals to customize and build their own Zombie Survival Machines from a Hyundai Veloster, Santa Fe or Elantra and post them to an online gallery.
Spiked or bladed, the most-liked virtual creation will be built and debut in New York.