This is what doomed the Mercedes A car in its early days.

A car journalist drove his just-released-to-the-public A in such a brusque way, that the car performed a nice salto mortale. This happened at a press meeting where Mercedes presented its new baby, so pictures of the damaged car appeared everywhere. It was a fiasco.

The press man claimed to be conducting an "eland test". That is, driving pretty fast and then immediately make a fast turn, as if avoiding an eland (better known as moose) crossing the road.

Too bad they didn't have actual shoots of the salto itself. That's also what a couple of German press people thought, and without hesitating they tried to produce a fake salto. They made their A deliberately unstable by using tyres of different diameter, and went for a ride on an airport track, which has more friction than your usual road. They didn't get their salto, but it was real close. And, most importantly, they had sensational pictures of the event, and their tabloid fared pretty well with that. Until someone found out the truth, that is.

All the poor A's went back to Mercedes. The brand-with-the-star took severe measures, installing new wider tyres and an ESP on every one of the thousands of already sold As. It cost them a thing or two, but in the end it saved the ass of the A, which is now a pretty popular car in Europe.

Due to all the fuss about the Mercedes A eland test, other car makers got very frightened. That's why you won't likely see a European car being released if it can not stand an eland test at the speed at which the original A failed. For example, it is rumored that the release of the Peugeot 607 car was delayed by as much as 6 months because the original prototype failed an eland test.

Now. Unless you live in the USA or in Canada, There should be no eland / moose on your local road, so probably they meant a deer - the kind which you might get a chance to crash against when Santa is about. Sort of like that crazy driver in Wacky Wheels (/msg me his name!), who knows.

Car maker Saab performs another kind of eland tests to see how good their cars withstand a crash with such a (not an eland) crossing the road. These sporty animals are pretty heavy and they jump pretty high, so when they hit you, you are in a lot of trouble. Unless you drive a Saab, of course.

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