Korean cars are sometimes unfairly criticised for being less well built than their Western counterparts. Hyundai dispelled this myth in some style recently, though, when it allowed a huge gang of baboons to run amok in its i30 family hatchback.
The bizarre ‘endurance test’ was designed to show the Hyundai i30’s resilience to the strains of day-to-day life. The car was parked in the baboon enclosure at Knowsley Safari Park, where the residents (who once tore apart Wayne Rooney’s Audi RS6 Quattro) set about it every which way but loose.
They jumped up and down on the seats, pushed and prodded buttons and opened and closed storage bins. Some baboons ate food off the car’s fabric seats, some played with their monkey toys in the boot, while others did their best to smear and scrape the car’s paintwork.
By all accounts, the Hyundai i30 coped very well. After 10 hours of punishment, it emerged ‘virtually unscathed’.
Felicity Wood, i30 product manager at Hyundai said: “You have to be pretty brave to subject a car to the most rigorous quality testers in the world, and the monkeys certainly gave our new generation i30 a thorough examination! The fact that it survived with only a few scrapes is testament to the way a modern Hyundai is designed and engineered. We really do give a monkey’s about building tough cars!”
David Ross, General Manager at Knowsley Park, meanwhile, said “For a baboon, to have a car to play with for a whole day is manna from heaven! I’ve seen thousands of cars pass through this enclosure, get mobbed by monkeys, and none have lasted the distance as well as this Hyundai. These baboons are incredibly inquisitive. If you put them on any car they will scour it for the weak points and find any faults. At one point there were 40 monkeys in the car, pushing it to its limits — that’s ten times the size of the average human family!”
Hyundai has repaid the monkeys for their invaluable assistance by donating £1,000 to one of Knowsley’s supported charities, the Primate Society of Great Britain.