Motor Trend’s embarrassing ‘Apple Car’ disaster

“After teasing a possible insider’s look at an Apple Car, what Motor Trend actually produced was some very creative speculation. If Apple actually produced the car, the panel of ‘experts’ at Motor Trend envisages, it would be a disaster,” Mark Hibben writes for Seeking Alpha. “Investors needn’t fear that Apple is so stupid.”

“The Motor Trend (MT) article betrays the usual misconceptions about Apple and its products. MT assumes, as do many, that Apple is all about style over substance. That Apple has succeeded on the basis of its product design. Fads change, market interest shifts, and poor Apple is getting left behind by the relentless commoditization of the smartphone. Therefore, MT focuses exclusively on design, coming up with what it thinks would be Apple’s approach. Something ‘groundbreaking’ in a superficial way, a sleek, futuristic sci-fi car, such as you might see in The Minority Report,” Hibben writes. “The interior is even worse… but I don’t really want to dwell further on design, because I think this was a completely misplaced priority on the part of MT. MT gives almost no thought to the critical elements that could be discriminators for the Apple car: its propulsion system and AI based self-driving capability.”

The vomitous "Apple Car," as imagined by Motor Trend
The vomitous “Apple Car,” as imagined by Motor Trend

“AI is less likely. Apple isn’t actually that strong in AI, although it naturally has the resources to catch up. Autonomous vehicle systems such as Nvidia’s (NASDAQ:NVDA) Drive PX provide a hardware platform, but there’s still much work to do in software development. Once again, it appears that autonomous capability is going to be a minimum requirement that just gets Apple into the game, rather than providing a discriminator,” Hibben writes. “That leaves propulsion systems, and this is where I think Apple may have something to offer. In fact, I consider it likely that Apple has some technology in electric energy storage that it assumes will be a discriminator. What that technology might be is open to question. It could be a breakthrough in battery technology, or something along the lines of a fuel cell…”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Wait, cars don’t need two-inch thick antenna lines running all around them?

Motor Trend should be embarrassed to have published such insipid dreck. Apple should sue them for festooning that piece of crap rendering with Apple logos.

Listen, Motor Trend et al.:

It is a mistake to look at the way the market is today, with low margins, and therefore conclude that Apple would ignore the market. The same goes for current technology. Who says Apple’s working on an electric plug-in car, for example?

Apple blows up markets and current technology for grins.

If you looked at the mobile phone market in 2002 and told people that, in five years, Apple begin to completely remake the cellphone industry, soon reaping nearly all of the profits in the process, with a $799+ pocket computer, you’d be laughed out of the room. (Of course, that didn’t stop us.)

Yes, it makes no sense for Apple to be developing a “car.” Apple developing a car makes perfect sense when you expect them to bring new things to the table to the table that will blown up and remake the current market. That’s what Apple does. If Apple can’t deliver paradigm shifts, then they don’t enter the market. — MacDailyNews, March 12, 2015

Chemistry and physics have laws that can’t be broken… What if the secret to the “Apple Car” isn’t the battery, but the fuel cell? — MacDailyNews, February 25, 2015

The Apple Car, as imagined by Motor Trend – April 14, 2016
Avoid Tesla because hydrogen is the new electric – March 7, 2016
Apple leases 96,000-square-foot industrial facility as car talk swirls – March 3, 2016
Apple’s lease of old Sunnyvale Pepsi bottling plant hints at Project Titan expansion – March 1, 2016
Apple silent on mysterious noises coming from clandestine complex – February 27, 2016
Loud, late-night ‘motor noises’ emanate from Apple’s secret vehicle testing center – February 11, 2016
Apple Car: Forget ‘electric,’ think hydrogen fuel cells – February 20, 2015
Inside Apple’s top-secret ‘Titan’ electric car project – March 13, 2015
Apple working with Intelligent Energy on fuel cell technology for mobile devices, sources say – July 14, 2014
North Carolina regulators approve Apple’s 4.8-megawatt fuel cell facility at Maiden data center – May 23, 2012
New aerial images of Apple’s planned NC fuel cell, solar farms published – April 7, 2012
Apple’s massive fuel cell energy project to be largest in the U.S. – April 4, 2012
Apple patent application reveals next-gen fuel cell powered Macs and iOS devices – December 22, 2011
Apple patent app details highly-advanced hydrogen fuel cells to power portable devices – October 20, 2011


  1. Last I checked motor trend was a car magazine. There is no official apple car that they can road test. The artist concept may be thin but what do you want. If it makes people buy magazines then they have done their job. The car if it ships will of course be much different. None of the artist concepts predicted the all touch screen design of the first iPhone before Steve’s Macworld presentation.

  2. As FUGLY as that thing is, it is not as bad as some of the atomic cockroaches being sold as cars these days with way busy lines and Tokyo By Night interiors that look like they were lifted from an early 1990’s Pontiac. What ever happened to clean lines and form follows function?

    I guess a generation that grew up watching cheap Japanese animation has a weird sense of design.

  3. I guess the interior photos looked even worse than the exteriors. Dear lord that looked stupid.

    Apps all over the door and Apple TV for a dashboard and a huge volume changer for the accelerator and brake. SMH.

    1. I’m tired of “designers” giving their take on what Apple might or should do. Many iPhone mock ups of ads don’t even have proper typography. As for the MT abomination, it assumes Spple doesn’t care about safety or ability to repair. Design requires interactive thought about every aspect and this mockup reveals very shallow thinking on MT’s part

      1. Apple doesn’t care about the ability to repair. The latest 12″ MacBook scored a repairabiliy of 0 on the iFixit repair blog and I don’t think the iPhone 6s Plus did much better. Apple always wants us to buy a new one and throw the old one in the recycle. Hope that sentiment does not apply to an apple car but I am not optimistic.

    2. If only what you said was true.

      Just off the top of my head, these Apple products were either ugly or useless, or both:

      1) the humpback iPhone battery case
      2) the Magic mouse with charging port underneath so you can just plug it in and keep using it.
      3) The Lightning eraser tip on the end of the Pencil. What an awkward connection that is.
      4) The hole-punched iPhone 5C cover. Sales disaster if you ask any retail employee off the record.
      5) The infamous hockey puck mouse
      6) the one-port net book MacBook — also selling poorly for good reason
      7) the cylindrical trash can Mac Pro. the disposable professional Mac that can’t be kept up to date
      8) The Cube. Nice theory but it was slow, overheating, overpriced, and for those who don’t know, it worked better as a space heater with the vent on top.
      9) The infamous hockey puck mouse. What a joy to use!
      10) The brilliant idea to put all ports and drives on the backside of an iMac. As if everyone had ready access to the back at all times….
      11) Instead of offering a keyboard with an adequately long keyboard cable, Apple made a proprietary USB connection that could not be used anywhere else but with the Apple keyboard.
      12) HDI-45 and APC. One of many attempts for Apple to dick over its users with overpriced cables & adaptors
      13) White cables, white keyboards. Instantly gray and filthy no matter what you do.
      14) old iPod nano. video but no photo, and paltry memory. and what a horrid display.
      15) iOS 7. Hit with a million ugly sticks.
      16) iTunes 12
      17) Pippin
      18) 20th Anniversary Mac
      19) MobileMe, .mac, and iCloud.
      20) The brilliant location of the power button on the iPhone 6.

      It would not surprise me that Apple, if they didn’t secretly pay MT to reveal this “design study”, is actively monitoring the social media reaction to refine whatever prototypes they are working on. The reality is that even with all the supposed car buffs who work at Apple, none of them have ever designed a truly beautiful car inside and out. Their first attempt is bound to have some issues, just like this students’ rolling coffin.

      1. I think you meant to say that one _can’t_ continue using the mouse while charging.

        I hate wireless mice and keyboards. Batteries die at inopportune times, and Apple went through some flaky periods with bluetooth. Wired peripherals remain the most reliable for desktop use. But Apple seems to have ignored the entire desktop market, so there you go: Apple doesn’t get my money, must buy from 3rd party makers.

      2. I actually think the 20th anniversary mac was a good design. It was tremendously overpriced of course. But it was correct about replacing a CRT tube for an lcd panel on a desktop machine.

        It was and may still.. I don’t live in Chicago… be on display at the Good Design museum. I would buy one and run yellow dog Linux on it if I could.

  4. Given that Apple is believed to have had one of these ( shipped to their Project Titan location, it seems like there might be some broad alignment between the Fiat Multipla and the MT effort.

    But I think MT is confused about Apple. I doubt Apple is even looking at any of the current EV offerings from Tesla or BMW. They may want a “sled” from a third party with the battery, steering, suspension delivered as a subassembly, but the body and interior (the UI) will be from Apple, under the design leadership of a guy who likes Bentleys and Aston Martins. They’re not bringing a shared vehicle to market and they’re not working on a new entry into the luxury space. They’re working on a new approach to personal transportation for a lot of people. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes forth. (If it does)

  5. I’m sure any Apple designed car would look more attractive than Google’s autonomous bug vehicle. Hey, who knows? Maybe Apple grabbed a couple of Bertone’s top auto designers after the company went bankrupt a couple of years ago. That would be sweet.

  6. Remember the rumors about Apple television? Apple was smart enough not to market a TV screen with Apple stuff inside. There is no point. The screens are commodities. The challenge is the innards, not the display.

    I expect the same with a car — if Apple ever actually delivers something. It is more likely going to be a system in a car, rather than an entire vehicle. That system may include the propulsion unit, say an Apple Fuel Cell. But as for an entire car, I doubt it.

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