These Cars Will Help You Survive The Apocalypse
With so much hype about the world ending over the past couple of years (Mayan Calendar, global warming, zombies, CERN black holes, etc.) you can't help but feel a little antsy about what the future has in store for us as a species.
The harsh reality is that we humans probably aren't going to be around forever, and our demise could come at the hands of any number of sinister events.
It never hurts to think about what you would do in the event of the apocalypse: Where you'd go, who you'd bring, what supplies you'd want to have, how you'd go about arming yourself against hordes of killer robots or undead and, of course, which car you'd want to ride around in.
In the spirit of Halloween, we polled the AOL Autos and Autoblog editors on what they see as the best cars for handling the end of the world after infrastructure is decimated, civilization collapses and life becomes an every-person-for-themselves fest of chaos. Head through our gallery to see what the experts picked.
David Kiley (Editor-in-Chief, AOL Autos): Range Rover SportThis vehicle seats five and I have a family of three, so two friends can draw straws to see who goes with us. The Range Rover goes anywhere. Having gone off road with it earlier this year, going through streams that came over the wheels with no problem, I also like it because once we're far away from the zombies and desperate survivors scrounging for food, I've got one of the most stylish and luxurious vehicles on the road today, complete with top-drawer sound system. I thought about the diesel-powered Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, to go American for the apocalypse, but the Brits are a close ally.
John Neff (Editor-in-Chief, Autoblog): Winnebago Rialta
The Winnebago Rialta was a small motorhome based on the Volkswagen Eurovan, sold from 1995 to 2005. It'd be my apocalypse vehicle of choice for the obvious reason of being a home on wheels, as well as being small enough to maneuver around abandoned vehicles and corpses, fuel efficient enough to go the distance without wasting precious gasoline, and having its own potty onboard so I don't have to poop in the woods. It's the little things that will keep us human. I would modify it over time with larger tanks for more potable water, solar panels to charge my iPad and cow catcher up front for making paths through rubble and zombies.
Michael Zak (Consumer Editor, AOL Autos): Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor delivers utterly outstanding off-road capabilities. You'll be hard-pressed to find anything better. And since society and infrastructure is going to be in shambles, the roads littered with rubble, rocks and hordes of infected zombies, I want a vehicle that can handle it.
The SVT Raptor is so good that the U.S. Border Patrol is using them to guard the most remote and dangerous areas of the United States. We're talking some of the nastiest desert you can think of, where the nearest stretch of pavement is miles and miles away. If it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me.
I'd outfit my Raptor with some upgrades, of course. I'm thinking some armor plating, a mounted machine gun, some barbed wire around the bed (where I'll be storing my arsenal) and maybe one of those back-massaging pads. Hey, it's going to be a stressful time and I need to relax. After all, there's nothing worse than riding into battle with the undead while suffering from a splitting headache.
Steve Ewing (Senior Editor, Autoblog): Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6To hell with your Raptors. To hell with your Range Rovers. And to hell with every other vehicle you can think of. When the world shuts down and chaos takes over, the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6 will be the chariot you wish you'd thought of.
Even the standard AMG Geländewagen is plenty apocalypse-ready, what with its twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V8 kicking out 536 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque. But imagine that package with a higher ground clearance, a pickup bed, and a three-axle setup with six-wheel drive. There is nothing it cannot do.
But don't think for a minute that the AMG 6x6 is pure hardcore madness. It's still a Mercedes, after all, and the interior is swaddled in the finest materials, making for a truly luxurious four-passenger cabin. After all, if and when society does collapse, I'm going to want a couple of friends to ride it all out with me. Nobody likes to party alone.
Chris Paukert (Executive Editor, Autoblog): Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6As newer post-apocalyptic movies like World War Z reliably inform us, today's undead are no longer content to amble along lamely until their intended prey trips and falls (or perhaps pauses too long trying to pair their iPhone). Modern zombies are both speedier and wilier, and one's endgame transportation needs to be suitably robust and quick in order to survive.
Enter my Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6. Yes, it's the same pick as Mr. Ewing's, but mine would be thoughtfully equipped with anti-ballistic plating from the folks at Texas Armoring. "Zombies can't shoot," you say. Perhaps, but in such times of madness, one's neighbors and colleagues won't be saying "please" and "thank you" when they need a ride – I want protection from the living as well as the undead.
For a tidy $1.35 million (hey, who's counting?), my six-wheel-drive Geländewagen boasts 15.75 inches of ground clearance and can ford nearly 40 inches of water (and that's before I fit an aftermarket snorkel – can zombies swim?) My G63 also boasts Benz's 544-horsepower twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8, enough bed space for a rocket launcher or machine gun mount, and that all-important extra drive axle to keep me moving when the jagged shattered bones of the undead inevitably pierce one of my 37-inch tires. Job done.
Sebastian Blanco (Editor-in-Chief, AutoblogGreen): Tesla RoadsterIf Mad Max taught us anything, it's that people will fight to the death to get gasoline in the apocalypse. We're lovers, not fighters, so if the world ends, the absolute last vehicle we want to drive is one that needs petroleum pumped up up from the sands, refined and then shipped to our tank. We want something that can be powered by a more reliable energy source. That means either A) a human-powered bike (which we'll keep as a back-up) or B) a solar-powered electric car. We think the best choice is a hyper efficient EV – the Tesla Roadster, say – which we know will also be able to outrun and shambling zombies who get close. If they're the fast kind, we'll show off the sub-three-second 0-60 time. To power our ride, we'll outfit our fortified compound with solar panels, because why not get some electricity for the fridge, the record player and the AC unit while we're at it? You all can fight your apocalypse outside. We'll be chilling in here.
Seyth Miersma (Senior Editor, Autoblog): Toyota HiluxGo to the very worst, most dangerous parts of the world, hang out with the baddest dudes that live there (be polite, these guys are probably touchy), and make a survey of what you see them driving around in. All set? Chances are you clocked an awful lot of examples of smallish, dirty and sometimes machine-gun-strapped Toyota pickup trucks. That, my friends is the Toyota Hilux, and it’s undoubtedly the vehicle on Earth today with the most impressive pedigree for surviving in the stew of disaster.
We North American’s haven’t been able to buy Toyota’s cockroach-tough truck since the introduction of the less-imposing Tacoma in 1995 (you’ll likely remember that Marty McFly famously used an SR5 version to squire Jennifer up to the lake, however). But the hardy hauler has been sold under the Hilux name worldwide for decades now, meaning better-than-average odds when savaging for the used parts you’ll certainly need.
Throw a couple of shotguns in the back, or maybe a mounted .50 cal if you’re feeling especially froggy, and the durability, ground clearance, and overall maneuverability of the Hilux should do the rest. Warzone tested, apocalypse approved.
Adam Morath (Executive Producer, TRANSLOGIC): Local Motors Rally FighterTo escape any apocalyptic scenario, we suspect you need two things: speed and capability. Enter the Rally Fighter, a crowd-sourced vehicle from the innovative folks at Local Motors.
Featuring a 6.2 liter Chevy small-block V8, the Rally Fighter makes 430 horsepower and puts down 424 lb-ft of torque. Add generous ground clearance, massive king coilover shocks and 33" Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires, and you have a car that goes, and can keep going even when the road stops.
Still not convinced? Check out this video where a Rally Fighter takes a small jump, flips end-over-end and keeps on trucking.
Chris McGraw (Associate Multimedia Producer, AOL Autos): Hummer H1I know what you’re thinking, at 8 mph highway/4 mpg city, the Humvee isn’t the most fuel efficient vehicle to drive around the desolate earth with no working gas station in sight. But what it lacks in fuel efficiency it surely makes up for in off-road capability and weaponry.
The Humvee sports 18 inches of ground clearance, which will be helpful when running over hoards of zombies at once, and if running them over doesn’t do the trick, maybe an M134 Minigun or Mk 19 grenade launcher mounted on the roof will.
Say what you will about fuel economy, but in this scenario I’m more concerned with saving myself than saving the environment.
Sharon Silke Carty (Executive Editor, AOL Autos): 1976 VW GolfI want a 1976 Volkswagen Golf, diesel-powered. Something that can be fixed up with generous amounts of duct tape, and can be tweaked to run on old vats of french fry oil if need be. I know I won't be able to sleep in this thing — that's what my house is for (and why I'll be digging a moat and installing gun turrets on the roof.)
It's not fancy but it'll get the job done. It comes with totally mechanical parts, so if something breaks it can be fixed. Not like today's computer-laden cars that will be as useless as your iPhone once the smallest thing goes haywire.