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Zombie Survival Machine from “The Walking Dead” brought to half-life by Hyundai

July 13, 2012

There's no such thing as being too prepared for the zombie apocalypse. At this year's San Diego Comics-Con gathering, guests can test their zombie-dodging skills in an obstacle course so intense some participants emerge with injuries. Should they make it inside, they can encounter this: the Hyundai Elantra Zombie Survival Machine, designed by America's foremost zombie thinker, "The Walking Dead" creator Robert Kirkman. I know a few cities where this could be useful, zombies or no.

Yes, show cars for comics conventions can fly too far in their fancies, but the level of detail put into the Elantra ZSM as a cross-promotion for the 100th edition of Kirkman's Walking Dead comic gives it a real punch. Aside from the spiked zombie plow and armored windows, Hyundai says the dead-proof Elantra also comes with several changes to take the fight to the zombie hordes, from a pop-up center hatch to a "trunk full of electric and pneumatic weaponry." There's even an illustrated owner's manual, because you can't get bogged down flipping through a few hundred pages of text with brain-hungry masses banging on your windows.

Built by Gary Castillo at southern California's Design Craft with ideas from Kirkman, the Elantra's already provoking discussion online about whether the design is truly zombie-proof; that cow catcher could clog up with bits of the undead or leave them impaled, neither of which makes for a speedy escape. And while it was built for a nuclear apocalypse rather than a zombie one, I'm not sure there's a better transport option in any ruined world than the Landmaster from "Damnation Alley." Zombies aren't real, but the fun we have imagining them is.