Friday rant: Not so magic

Friday rant Mercedes-Benz Magic Vision Control

I DROVE a Mercedes-Benz SL the other day and noticed it had something called ‘Magic Vision Control’.

Wow. Magic.

The Interweb says the word magic means “the power of apparently influencing events by using mysterious or supernatural forces”. Oooh.

So what is this remarkable optic sorcery?

Well, the wiper blades have jets on the left and right side that only squirt in the direction the blade is travelling. They clear the screen so you can see.

Sorry Mercedes, this is not magic. These are called windscreen wipers. These particular ones are well-designed windscreen wipers, but there is no magic involved.

I know the way the wiper arms move back and forth might seem supernatural, especially when they start waving automatically as soon as it starts raining, like they are possessed by some sort of devil that despises raindrops. But as much as I want to avoid being labelled a cynic, I’m thinking the wiper blades are more driven by electric motors and sensors than spirits from the other side.

The occult windscreen wipers are not the only other-worldy Mercedes function, either; the company’s marketing department have also dreamed up Magic Sky Control (a sunroof that dims on demand) and Magic Ride Control (active suspension), perhaps after watching Harry Potter movies with their kids.

This is not the only time a car company’s marketing department hasn’t quite gotten its head around how vehicle technology works.

For example, many brands proclaim their cars have DNA, usually sporty. Really?

To the Google machine!

Look, a cat playing a keyboard…

Sorry, back to the DNA thing. Yep, it says here that DNA is a molecule that encodes genetic instructions to all known living organisms.

Now, there may well have been some organisms in the car I had when I was at university; I believe a slice of seafood pizza that lived under a sea of empty cans and junk food packaging supported several life forms.

But new cars fresh off the production line that are yet to be touched by human owners are just collections of inanimate objects, plastic, metal, glass and rubber.

Or are they? Maybe cars really do have DNA.

I’ve seen Jurassic Park. Things with DNA are always trouble.

What’s that noise? Oh, God, a Toyota Yaris has snuck up on me.

Clever girl...

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