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Hyundai Puts New Car Through Monkey Test

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Little did Ford Motor Company (F) know that Clyde the orangutan riding around as Clint Eastwood’s sidekick in the cab of the pickup truck in Every Which Way But Loose could have been marketed as a testament to the durability of the vehicle.

In an usual campaign to prove the mettle of a new member of its fleet, Hyundai is touting, via a YouTube video, that its second generation i30 hatchback (the European cousin of our Elantra GT) is, literally, monkey-proof. At Knowsley Safari Park in greater Liverpool, no less than 40 baboons were released inside, around, and on top of the vehicle over a ten-hour period.

“The i30 is a family car which means that children and adult put it through its paces on a daily basis,” said Felicity Wood, a Hyundai project manager. “We want to take it one step further and let some real cheeky monkeys loose on the car.”  

This particular zoo was chosen for the Korean carmaker’s experiment because of its reputation for baboon-on-car hi jinks. Upon entering the ape enclosure, an “enter at your own risk” sign warns parkgoers before proceeding. Cars that have dared to drive through have been subject to windshield wiper attacks, side mirror assaults, and have had their license plates ripped off and used as skateboards as the baboons slide down the road with them under their feet.   

The product testing primates ran amok on the Hyundai, mashing the buttons and controls, laying on the horn, clambering over the interior plastic, chewing the upholstery and steering wheel, and tussling with the roof antenna. According to the video, the car passed the test with flying colors -- suffering only a few scratches and a dislodged door seal, that was easily clicked back into place. Granted, it could have used a coat or two or Armor All at the end of it.

To reference another 1970s film (as well as further date the author of this article), let’s see how well the i30 holds up with a demon child taunting those same baboons from the backseat.

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