Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Best Vehicle To Use During a Zombie Apocalypse

The beautiful thing about disasters is they're just waiting to happen. And because something hasn't happened before, doesn't usually mean it won't in the distant future. Who's to say some horrific science accident unleashes a monstrous virus or contagion that infects humanity and makes them into "the walking dead" who have an insatiable taste for living flesh.

I've watched quite a few zombie movies in my time, ranging from 28 days later, 28 weeks later, Dawn of the Dead (original and remake), Day of the Dead, Zombies, and Diary of the Zombies. They all relied on vehicles to get around since most of these zombies were pretty damn fast - maybe faster than normal humans. The vehicles I picked during this story had the following rule:

1. The vehicle must not be extremely expensive (ie. Elite super car territory)
2. This must be an in-production vehicle that is currently for sale
3. It assumes you will be traveling with at least 1 other person.

Pretty simple rules. With that in mind, I quickly excluded a lot of the crap you see around town lately - Toyota Echo's, Hyundai Accent, Kia Spectra - you know - the cheapskates. We need a vehicle that has some speed and heft. And then I thought - what if a zombie horde was running towards your vehicle - could it survive them beating on the sides of it? With my Subaru, it would be tin foil in a matter of seconds. My car was built off a WRC rally spec, not against a wrathful, hungry legion of the undead.

Moving on, I thought about the F-150 lightning truck, or maybe the coveted GMC Typhoon. While the F150 is a bit easier to find, the Typhoon is extremely fast - I think the 0-60 times are in 4.5 seconds (crazy!). But both trucks consume ALOT of gasoline to do this. Nix on the supercharged trucks idea.

I then thought - what about a BMW M5 or Z4 Coupe? Honda S2000? All impactical. We have to assume that hours or days after the Zombie Apocalypse, there would be dead bodies strewn in the streets, along with clothes, vehicles, burnt remnants of humanity and wildlife. We're going to need something a bit bigger.

I eyed the H1 Hummer but discarded the idea after I realized how ludicrous it would be lumbering around in a 7000 pound SUV in a land that doesn't have much Diesel filling stations around. And considering the H3 - no way. The shitty 5-cylinder engine doesn't put out enough power or torque to move the damn thing quick enough. How would I be able to escape from the Horde if the H3 couldn't get up to speed quick enough?

And so I settled on one of the ugliest cars ever: Porsche Cayenne Turbo S. The truck is FAST and has incredible off roading capabilities. The only downside, people are turned immediately into douchebags when they drive them. With that realization I abandoned the Porsche and sadly, got into a Dodge Ram with the SRT-10 package.

The V10 would get horrendous gas mileage, but at least I would have room for shit and would be able to watch movies while on the road. I could even mount ROO bars on the front as to protect the truck from roaming zombies as I roll on down the highway.

My biggest complaint about the Dodge is the ride quality. Rolling on 22 inch wheels causes an uneasy jiggly feeling thats like riding on a bowl of jello: The truck jiggles from side to side when you roll over bumps. It can't be helped, the rubber is so huge and the tires so large, this happens. In the back of my truck I would stuff a tiny FIAT Panda 500 (abarth edition). I absolutely love the Fiat 500 Abarth edition.

But I had a niggling of common sense that I couldn't ignore: While large and sturdy, the truck had one major problem: It was top heavy and unstable when push came to shove against high speed driving and turns. I toyed with the idea of using a Pagani Zonda, but honestly, the car couldn't clear most driveway inclines, so how practical is that? And the fact it requires premium unleaded fuel. While a VW camper van might be a good idea, I still think the sub-par speed and handling make it a huge disadvantage. That's why I had to pick the Police Interceptor vehicle - created by Ford and based off the Grand Marquis fleet. Upgraded horsepower, brakes, suspension, drivetrain, and tires. The cooling system is heavy duty and I would add a supercharger to that car if I could. The Mercury Marauder is another sweet car that would make my short list.

And which car would YOU choose?

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