It would be nice if it were true, but El Reg has difficulty believing that this video of a VW concept hover-car in China is genuine: The premise of the video is this: VW decided to crowd-source ideas for concept cars in China – a branding exercise it dubbed the Peoples' Car Project (recalling, the genesis of the marque) – …


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  1. LaeMing


    there are plenty of equally unbelievable products advertised on Chinese TV that are touted as truely legit (mostly 'study pills' and 'cancer cures').

    Back to the ad presented. Lots of fun. I especially like how the car's magnetics were repelling the aluminium can on the street. Nice touch! :-)

    1. LaeMing

      Though technically,

      repelling a non-ferous aluminium can would require electro-statics, not magnetics. At least, that is how they said they were separating them out of the waste stream at the local recycling plant.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        aluminium is paramagnetic

        A magnetic field will repel aluminium.

        1. Arc_Light

          Re: aluminium is paramagnetic

          Careful where you point that science! Aluminium *is* paramagnetic, yes, which means it's weakly *attracted* by a magnetic field. It's *diamagnetic* items that are weakly repelled. What sorts of items are diamagnetic? You know, the usual - water, organic compounds, frogs (the non-robotic kind that is)...see for yourself:

          A mag-lev bed would be great, but good luck keeping the sheets tucked in ;)

          1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: aluminium is paramagnetic

            Thanks, Arc-Light. I hadn't seen those before. When do they start to make the ones big enough to levitate humans!

        2. AndrueC Silver badge

          Re: aluminium is paramagnetic

          'Paramagnetic' - you mean it's haunted?


      2. Tom 35

        Re: Though technically,

        No you can do it with electromagnets. You induce a current in the aluminium then you can repel the resulting magnetic field. I saw a demo with a floating aluminium puck at the local science centre.

        But I don't think you could put a magnet big enough to push an empty pop can away into that thing and power it.

        Unless they have mastered cold fusion and high temperature superconducting magnets there is no way it could lift it's own weight.

        This is about as real as the flying car in Harry Potter.

        1. LaeMing
          Thumb Up

          Re: Though technically,

          Thanks for the interesting correction :-)

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Though technically,

          WHAT! do you mean the Flying Ford Anglia wasn't real !!!.........

          i thought they prototyped that on some mothers do have them back in the 70's, franks certainly flew, but suffered a controls failure prior to take off....

          anyway, saying that is like saying Santa, the easter bunny and the tooth fairy aren't real...

          im appalled at your insensitivity to other readers on here...

  2. Tempest8008

    This thing is CGI'd up the wazoo.

    Cute, but like a boob job FAKE FAKE FAKE.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      How can it be fake...

      ... when Mattel are releasing hoverboards in 2015?

    2. Smallbrainfield

      ^This in spades

      I've seen more convincing student projects than this effort. Low fucking poly!

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Munchausen's proxy

      CGI people certainly are proud of their shadows, aren't they?

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Missed a trick

    They should have claimed it works via some sort of magnetic repulsion from iron, and thus would work only on concrete surfaces (due to the rebar) but not on asphalt or off-road.

    I think if you add some appropriate sounding disclaimers to make it sound like a slightly imperfect thing that needs more refinement rather than the revolutionary breakthrough it appears as here and they might have fooled a few more people. Or at least some Insane Clown Posse fans :)

    1. Dave Walker

      Re: Missed a trick Static Electric Roadways

      Just like the Daleks did back in the old days!

  4. jungle_jim

    Nice hair mate.

  5. jake Silver badge

    Horse shit.

    Where are the brakes?

    1. LaeMing

      Re: Where's the brakes.

      You reverse the polarity! :-D

      The biggese give-away is the fact that the grill in the bottom glows. That is what people expect from sci-fi, but not how most things work.

      1. JW Smythe

        Re: Where's the brakes.

        If I were to build a flying car, I'd sure as heck have glowing lights on the bottom. If people expect it, why give anything less.

        It'd be more impressive if it wasn't clearly CGI'd. I love those overdone shadows. They should work on that for the next "version".

        I'd have it going cross country, and laying down crop circles.

    2. Asgard

      @"Where are the brakes"

      If that thing landed at speed, the passengers would gerbil in it :)

  6. John Armstrong-Millar

    I can't believe I even making a comment

    Why are we even talking about this? Of course it's fake

    1. amanfromearth

      Re: I can't believe I even making a comment

      No, no

      It's real CGI

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Uhh... Reg? Neither of the linked articles claim it's anything but a concept submitted by a contest winner - err, I mean, crowdsourced from the crowdy crowd thing. Unless the articles have been edited since you posted the links, you're no more credible in your claims of their authors' foolishness, than anyone who suggests that the video is real.

    It seems fairly clear that everyone (save perhaps the twitter set you mention, though by now I'm not prepared to take your word on that either) realizes it's a pre-rendered promo video, and that 'crowdsourced' means 'we got a sketch from a dude and thought we should send it to the Maya guys'.

    Aside from propping up your own egos, I don't see what's to be gained by putting words in other peoples' mouths (and harming their reputations in the eyes of anyone who trusts your assessment of the linked articles).

    Mocking people for being gullible while tricking *yourselves* into believing you're the only journalists smart enough to see the obvious is... disappointing... to put it mildly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I too would like to know.

      Since the two linked articles are now entirely clear that this is nothing but a "concept", can anyone who saw them earlier today confirm whether or not they've been edited and tell us what they were like before that happened (if indeed it did)?

      1. oddie
        Big Brother

        Re: I too would like to know.

        editing of articles after they have been published? what nonsense is this?

        don't you know that we have always been at war with eurasia?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I too would like to know.

          Do you have any evidence, oddie, aside from a deeply ingrained cynicism that leaves your worldview as vulnerable to manipulation as that of a happy-go-lucky, overly-credulous WiReD journalist?

          Starting from a position of believing that the authors are full of shit, using that to justify your judgment that they must therefore fall under the category of people who would need to / would post-edit, and therefore concluding that the authors are full of shit... You can do better than that, right?

          It's easier and more productive to criticize the true morons in society rather than affecting such ego as to make the entire world and everyone in it (save your precise peers) worthless. God knows there are plenty of real morons to go around - and you're probably letting some of them get away while you're busy attacking others based on prejudice (and based on its being cool to dislike things on the internet; if you never like anything, you'll never get made fun of for accidentally liking the wrong thing).

  8. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    So many things wrong.

    Effects that CGI artists might not know about:

    They get really close to some other cars In the carpark, but none of them move or melt. No-one had coins or keys in their pockets? What about all the erased credit card strips?

    CGI artists should know better:

    Sometimes they drew a reasonable reflection on the windscreen. When driving along the pavement, they go from shadow into light, but this does not show in the reflection. Nor does the camera man. When the camera is right infront of the car, the reflection should spread out from the midline, not pan sideways across the whole windscreen.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: So many things wrong.

      The CGI artists probably did know better, but it's only a concept vid, with limited time and budget! Heck, ILM have made similar school boy errors in StarWars ep 3 (Ewan McGregor et al flying through a flashy laser battle in an open-sided speeder, and the flashes aren't reflected on their faces). Peter Jackson's WETA Studios tend to do a better job.

      I agree, though, that lighting does make a big difference to our perception. StarTrek looks too clean and well lit, BSG looks better for looking like a submarine movie, 2001 ASO just looks great because it was made with real models.

  9. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    It's the perfect car...

    You can test drive it, but when you try to buy it, your credit card mysteriously no longer works!

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      Re: It's the perfect car...

      and if it is using that sort of power for induced current magnetic repellent then your keys should also start glowing and melting through your leg.

      1. Darryl

        Re: It's the perfect car...

        What about when you drive by the poor guy with the steel plate in his head?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I must congratulate my fellow comentards

    for taking the high road (no pun intended) and discussing the technical merits. After 15 seconds of video all I could think was "I wonder if Wang likes wang?"

    Mine's the anonymous one with the big book of psychometric tests in the pocket.

    1. It wasnt me

      Re: I must congratulate my fellow comentards

      Thanks, have one of these <= , really got me chuckling.

  11. Lloyd
    Thumb Down

    Peoples Car Project? PCP?

    I guess you'd have to smoke some serious amounts of PCP before reality had distorted sufficiently for this thing to work.

  12. Sceptic Tank

    Accident waiting to happen

    My understanding of magnetism is quite limited, but wouldn't two of these cars violently try to attach to one another or send each other flying into the shop windows if they passed in the street? And what about other ferrous objects like lampposts, manhole covers, cutlery from street cafés? The way I see it your car will look like a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean before you even pull out of the garage.

  13. HipposRule

    As YouTube is blocked

    I can't work out whether it's fake or not

  14. h4rm0ny

    I like how in China...

    ...a young girl is applauded by her school mates for scientific brilliance. I know it's a fake, but I can't help thinking that scene is actually realistic. Brilliance isn't as highly regarded by children as it should be.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. Daniel B.

      Re: I like how in China...

      Asian countries actually value good grades instead of rooting for the dumb sports dudes. Check out Jackie Chan's comments on bullying; in a stunning reversal of what happens in the average US school, you only get bullied around if you are a good-for-nothing kid. That is, the average US bully would actually find himself being bullied by *the rest of the school* if he were in a country like China.

      I know they suck on other stuff like censorship, but at least their educational values seem to be right on.

  15. KirstarK

    its obvious CGI, and not good cgi either.

    also the design is stupid for what its supposed to be. It would not be stable and would fall over.

    1. stucs201

      re: unstable = fall over

      Nope, one of the few things that isn't wrong with it. Computers are pretty good at balencing unstable things these days - e.g. a Segway.

  16. Eugene Goodrich
    Paris Hilton

    Obviously fake

    A glass car in China with no bumpers or fenders? That'll last.

  17. Senior Ugli

    It looks shopped

    I can tell from the pixels, and no one can be that bald

  18. Anonymous Coward


    At least it won't leave any tyre marks...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Would driving over the equator cause the car to spin around like a compass? I didnt pay that much attention at school so could have got the wrong end of the magnet...

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He's that bald I met him.

    Chill. Its a great marketing piece. Whinners like you guys are the one I beat behind the movie theater afterwards. Just enjoy the f$#^g add morons!

  21. fLaMePrOoF

    It's sad that you're even asking the question of the authenticity of this video, it's so obviously tongue in cheek. The only story here is that large numbers of Chinese people have fallen for it.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    VWs don't hover ... they plummet, normally in the close vicinity of Japanese men. But at least they are "tough as old boot"


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