There was plenty of monkeying around when Hyundai set its new family car the ultimate wear and tear challenge this week.
In the first endurance test of its kind in the UK by a car manufacturer, cheeky safari park baboons were let loose on Hyundai’s New Generation i30 hatchback.
The car has been specially-designed for families and their ‘little monkeys’ in the back, with extra strong materials used to build the interior, easy wipe plastics, tough fittings and a special high quality steel used for the bodywork.
Baboons from Knowsley Safari Park were chosen for their well-known love of tearing park visitors’ cars apart – most famously Wayne Rooney’s vehicle when he visited the Merseyside attraction last year.
And it was monkey business as usual when Hyundai parked its i30 family car in the baboon enclosure, as it was immediately besieged by dozens of the park’s primates. But 10 hours later the car emerged virtually unscathed.
The monkeys simulated the punishment that the children of a typical family subject a car to, jumping up and down on seats, pushing and prodding buttons and opening and closing storage bins. They even checked the durability of cup-holders with plastic drinking beakers!
Outside, the paintwork was smeared and scraped, but Hyundai UK say that the hard-wearing paint protected the car from significant scratches and chips.
Meanwhile, other baboons tested the fabric of seats by eating their lunch in the car and some played with their toys in the i30’s sizeable boot.
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 10 times the size of the average human family!
As well as confirming the robust quality of its New Generation i30, Hyundai hopes lessons learnt from the monkey tests can inform the research and development of future cars.
The fact that it survived with only a few scrapes is testament to the way a modern Hyundai is designed and engineered. They really do give a monkey’s about building tough cars!