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For years, an Apple-designed car has been both the butt of jokes and the dream of many an Apple fanboy. Could a fashionably cool car from Cupertino be on the horizon? German publication Sueddeutsche reports that Volkswagen chief Martin Winterkorn has been talking to Apple's CEO Steve Jobs about something, though exactly what isn't totally clear.
If you're a follower of Apple product development, you know rumors and speculation can run absurdly wild years before the company unveils anything official. Combine that fact with Google's ability to translate German (Google says Martin winter grain is the head of VW, for example) and the two might have only gotten together for a rousing game of Donkey Kong on Jobs' iPhone.

[Sources: Sueddeutsche via MacDailyNews, Financial Times Deutschland via EE Times, and Snopes]

There's only a report in EE Times about a quote in Financial Times Deutschland that has a VW spokesperson saying Winterkorn and Jobs did indeed meet, that negotiations are ongoing and that there are "lots of ideas but no specific plans."

Very interesting indeed, especially to many of the Mac evangelists and confirmed gearheads here at Autoblog. The world has waited long enough for a car that runs on sunlight, is reliable, five times as fast and is twice as easy to drive. Even though Apple's long-rumored car supposedly only works on about 5% of the nation's roads, that shouldn't concern most drivers, since they hardly ever drive on the other 95% anyway.


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  • 29 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      I heard this on the radio on the way home and I was thinking about it; my initial reaction was that it's stupid, but the more I thought about it, the more it makes sense.

      Both companies have a reputation for producing a product of higher quality than its competition, and in both cases that reputation is almost entirely undeserved. Both companies have a tendency to produce "pretty" designs that incorporate some degree of bass ackwards, unconventional or just plain stupid engineering, and both companies have a small core fan base that will say anything, no matter how illogical it might be, to defend "their" precious company.

      So who knows, if this is true it might actually be a good match...

      (and before anyone tells me that I must not have any experience with the products, you're wrong. I've got a bunch of PCs but I also have 4 Macs; a B&W G3, a G3 AIO, a PB G3, a DA G4. And I have the great displeasure and misfortune of working for a repair shop that specializes in-amongst other things-VW products)
      • 7 Years Ago
      The first version would only reach 25mph, would cost $100K, and would only turn right.

      But it would look great and you could watch skateboarding dogs on the dash interface.
      • 7 Years Ago
      10 bucks says the hood comes welded shut. Apple never lets you even think about modifying anything. And in order to get gasoline, you have to go to Apple IStations, specifically designed for the ICar. Also, you cannot bring anything into the car that is not a certified Apple product.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Nice, but can I charge it via my USB!

      http://www.movie-cat.com
      Rob
      • 7 Years Ago
      yeah, volkswagens with an apple interface make sense to me.
      both target the same type of demographic.

      letting Steve Jobs redesign the competition to BMW's iDrive is probably the best move that could happen in the automotive world.

      not many understand the concept of simple gui better than apple.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Having access to inside information I know for a fact that one of the projects Apple is working on is a new interface for mmi in Audi vehicles and it should be ready for testing by next summer. Not only will the interface be very fluid and user friendly but will also be integrated with the navigation and internet browser.
        • 7 Years Ago
        seoultrain First you have to understand that apple product are seprated into two group. One is consumer and another is professional.

        The consumer product include macbook, imac, mac mini. These product are for the masses. So the include mainstream components, not the latest and best.

        The professional product include macbook pro and mac pro. These are design for work and productivity so they are price accordingly. They use the high end components which is latest and greatest available. If you want performance you have to pay more.
        • 7 Years Ago
        except maybe audi with it's constantly lauded MMI.
        • 7 Years Ago
        RWD, could you explain how macs are not expensive? The apple macbooks are pretty reasonable, but pretty much everything else they sell has a big (sometimes huge) premium.
        • 7 Years Ago
        What demographic are you referring to?

        I love Macs, but I wouldn't own any VW newer than a 1970.

        Macs are perceived as expensive, but the truth is opposite, sadly it's the other way around with the VWs these days.
      • 7 Years Ago
      VW and Audi on board computers are already compatible with Mac via VAG-COM.. . Maybe they are figuring ways to make that more user definable. http://www.ross-tech.com/
        • 7 Years Ago
        You're right, of course.
        A mind is a terrible thing to ... something. I forget.
        • 7 Years Ago
        You're right, of course.
        A mind is a terrible thing to ... something. I forget.
        • 7 Years Ago
        actually VAG-COM is PC/Windows only. Some have been able to get it running under BootCamp and some Linux distro's

        http://www.ross-tech.com/vag-com/faq_1.html#1.8

        However it doesnt need a fast laptop from today. A PII/PIII will run it just fine.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The iCar? Please. When Apple partnered with Nike to develop a system that connects a pair of Nikes to the iPod, they didn't call it the iShoe.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Chick cars and chick computers - a match as perfect as chocolate and peanut butter. Geo.stewart is right, both of these companies target the same demographic so it's a natual that they might want to team up. It'll be interesting to see what comes of this although the New Beetle is icky sweet enough that you could have told me it was made by Apple and I might have believed you.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Chick computers??? Uhh, I'll have to let my friend's production house and most of the other editing houses in LA know so they can switch all their Avid suites to manly PCs... Heck, I'll have to let all the local recording studios know too. Thanks for the heads up, you manly man, you. And heck, lords know only real men use Vista.
      Milos W. B. Dobroslavic
      A quick note to Larry, you don't have to go to the airport for instant gratification of your desire to be humiliated; just try running for office again. But seriously, folks, Jay Leno made as much fun as is possible over poor Larry's predicament. To change the subject from the ridiculous to the sublime, Steve Jobs is at it again! I hope he has more luck with his iCar than he had with his iPhone and Billy Gates had with his stupid xBox.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Announcing the iDub, available in Shiny White, or for $400 extra: Shiny black!!!!"
        • 7 Years Ago
        Which would be a perfect fit for a German car maker since msot of them charge extra for colors that don't suck.

        Other iCar features:

        You can put anytying you buy in the iCar, but only if it is purchased at the Apple Store. Inexplicably if you steal something, or make it yourself then it will fit in the iCar just fine.

        If the fuel tank is damanged it cannot be replaced.

        The iCar has one control where the stering wheel is alos the brake and acclerator. You turn off the iCar by holding on to the stering wheel really tightly for a long time.

        None of the nozzles at the filling station will fit the iCar. You need an adapter.

        There is no way to repair an iCar.

        The ICar scratches really easily.

        As time passes the iCar gets worse and worse gas mileage.

        The iCars stereo sounds like crap if you even touch the "bass" button.








      • 7 Years Ago
      Hmm, you know, it might not be a bad idea for Apple to realease a few car *accessories*, such as GPS units or full screen LCD-based headunits.

      While there are many quality GPS units already available, the interface of many of those full screen headunits is rather lacking, or otherwise rather crude. Yes, even the Pioneer AVICs, Eclipse whatnot, etc. They're okay, but compared to the interfaces of quality Garmin or TomTom products, they still have a ways to go.

      It'd be interesting to see Apple take a stab at it. And considering many people are buying GPS units now, it might not be a bad time for Apple to jump into the segment and popularize it even further with the ignorant general public (ignorant of technology, that is).
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