Would You Buy an Overpriced Car Made by Apple?

Apple iCar design study by Franco Grassi 1 photo
Photo: Franco Grassi
The Wall Street Journal published a curious story a few days ago, which goes somewhat like this: Apple poached hundreds of highly talented and experienced people to work on Project Titan, a venture that will ultimately see the creation of the Apple iCar.
Boiled down to the core idea, the rumor-laden WSJ makes it clear that the Cupertino-based consumer electronics corporation is R&D-ing their upcoming biggie - a four-wheeled techno showcase with autonomous gizmos. A feeling in my gut that tells me the Apple iCar will happen, no doubt about it.

An Apple employee purportedly let it slip that its company “will give Tesla a run for its money.” It is blatant show boating, I’ll grant you that, but I want to mention two pieces of intel that answer the mystery. First of all, many respected Apple boffins, including Bryan Chaffin of The Mac Observer, have been told “off the record” that the iCar is about 80 percent production-ready.

Of course, no one can verify that intel, but let’s not forget that these guys are not the WSJ. In addition to this, Apple doesn’t give money to its shareholders because taxes, which means only one thing: a heck of a lot of R&D capital, which will see billions being spent on the Apple iCar.

Word has it Tim Cook gave the green light for Project Titan “a year ago”

Then again, Tim appointed Steve Zadesky to oversee the Apple iCar’s research and development. Zadesky previously worked for Ford and led R&D duties for the iPod and iPhone, so this detail might hold water. Johann Jungwirth, the former prez and chief executive of Mercedes-Benz North America’s research and development division, is onboard as well, although Apple hasn’t confirmed anything yet.

But here’s the biggie: if Apple makes the iCar happen in roughly two years’ time, would you actually buy one? Be warned: most of its bits and bobs will be made by subcontractors in China and other countries, while assembly is going to be taken care of by the Chinese as well. Still, we’d like to highlight two things:

- the Apple iCar will be a “highly autonomous” means of personal transportation. Have you ever woken one morning, got into your Toyota Prius and said to yourself “I’d like my car to drive itself while I brush my teeth and drink my coffee.” Nope, me neither.

- prepare to be overcharged. Wait, scratch that - prepare to be ripped off in a way we’ve been accustomed by Apple for years now. Despite the billions of dollars Apple can pour into the iCar’s development, I still believe that Tesla Motors is going to fare better in terms of semi-autonomous technologies, at a sticker price that will certainly undercut the much-raved Apple iCar.

Editor's note: wanna bet $10 that the iCar will come in Silver, Gold and Space Gray?
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About the author: Mircea Panait
Mircea Panait profile photo

After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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