Monday, August 6, 2007

The sky is falling!!! ...and other myths

With apologies to AutoWeek, the automotive apocolypse is not nigh. You will not have to relearn how to drive when you buy your next car. Nor will that car be so ugly that you'll have to use the back door at your country club.

I refer to the email that my friend Michelle forwarded me, in which it was proclaimed:

"This is the new Mercedes Benz SCL600."

It continued by showing pictures of the car and claiming that the really unique thing about the car was its interior:

"No steering wheel, you drive it with a joystick. No pedals either. Can you drive with a joystick? Your kids and grandkids probably can. The influence of video games in our lives has really arrived, wouldn't ya say? SCARY THOUGHT THAT NOW A 7 YEAR OLD COULD STEAL YOUR CAR AND PROBABLY DRIVE IT BETTER THAN YOU."

You've gotta love the alarmist myths that circulate by email. Just go to sites like and you'll see how many ridiculous things people will believe.

Okay, so let's set this one straight. Yes, this car existed. No, it's not "the new Mercedes Benz SCL600". In fact this car is the F 200 Imagination concept from the Paris Motor Show back in...wait for it...1996. That's right, 11 years ago. (Thanks to Markus for finding this one.)

What's so bizarre about this is not that emails are circulating trying to scare people into thinking that the days of the steering wheel are over. It's that these pictures started resurfacing in June (according to what I've seen) in posts by "auto enthusiasts" as the SCL600. These are people who claim to actually like cars, and talk as if they know what the hell is going on. But its headlights are dead ringers for the last-gen S-Class and its grille is similar to the one on the SLK concept. This car would never be mistaken for a contemporary concept by anyone who knows anything about auto design. I think it's only fair for the people who posted these pics be punished with the sentence of having to drive around a car with an ass like this for the next year.

1 comment:

michelle said...

just to clarify any misunderstanding... i didn't forward you the e-mail to try to inform you about this funky new car, but rather in skepticism, and wanted a verification from my #1 auto source =)