This Crossover Won't Save You From Coronavirus
As we told you last week, the rampaging coronavirus outbreak and subsequent restrictions on movement has forced Chinese automakers to use technology in new ways. With sales plunging and millions barred indoors, auto giant Geely turned to online retailing, allowing customers to order and configure cars from home. The automaker even allowed for test drives to take place at the buyer’s residence.
One aspect of the epidemic was the cancellation of a splashy February 14th sales launch for the new Icon small crossover, which hit the market this week. The event may have been scrubbed, but Geely still found a way to use the virus to its advantage.
Launched via live-streaming platform on February 24th and available for order online, the Icon garnered plenty of digital eyes, but it also offered a promise: protection. In this case, not just shelter from the elements and other drivers.
The Icon features Geely’s G-Clean Intelligent Air Purification System (IAPS), which comes complete with a negative ion generator that sterilizes and purifies cabin air, eliminating pollen, dander, and viruses. Chinese online marketplace gasgoo.com claims that, on February 17th, Geely engineers succeeded in creating an air conditioning filter that equals the filtering strength of an N95 surgical mask. That filter is apparently now in mass production, bound for vehicles like the Icon.
It’s reminiscent of Tesla’s HEPA filter and “Bioweapon Defense Mode,” though in this case the pathogen would be inside the vehicle, where the presumably healthy driver is already exposed to airborne droplets containing the respiratory virus. Drivers needn’t concern themselves with people coughing on the sidewalk as their Geely motors down the roadway, windows sealed. If that’s what anyone hopes to get across, it’s misleading medicine.
Of course, the real threat to any Geely driver in a viral hotspot is not the air in their car (unless they’re not alone, and a passenger starts appearing unwell), but their hands. What did they touch since they last washed them? Is the driver’s phone and key fob equally disinfected? Eventually, the hands gripping the steering wheel in that surgically-filtered cabin will migrate to the nose, eyes, and mouth of the driver. Ensuring they’re sanitized at all times is the best way to stay healthy.
That, and avoiding all of humanity. Optional all-wheel drive could help in that goal.
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- Bobbysirhan I'm surprised by the particular Porsches to make the list, and also by the Cadillac. Most of all, I'm shocked that the 2-door Mini Cooper is on here. I didn't even know they still made them, let alone that anyone was still buying them.
- Ajla I assume the CT5 is on the list due to the Blackwing variant.It would be interesting to take the incentives that existed in October 2019 and include that in an analysis like this as well. The thing about the used market is that while you'll pay less in total dollars, in some cases the percentage increase from 2019 is even worse than with new cars. Buying a Saturn Relay for $6k isn't exactly a winning move.
- VoGhost Reminder: dealers exist to line the pockets of millionaires who contribute to local politicians.
- Cprescott The pandemic changed the sales game. No longer do dealerships need inventory. After two years people are accustomed to having to order what they want and then extorted on the price by the dealer for that privilege. Now used cars with 75k are selling for $5k more than I paid for my 21k, 2016 model back in January 2019. I pray my car won't get totaled and I have but 13 payments left to make on it. I may never buy another car again.
- Grein002 I hope you meant "take the Ranger out behind the *barn*" rather than "bar". I think something completely different happens "behind the bar".