Mazda Introduces Virtual Reality Test Drives At U.K. Dealers
Technology promises to change the car buying experienceby Jonathan Lopez, on
Mazda is giving its U.K. customers a chance to wring some zoom zoom out of the new CX-5 on the Longcross test track in Surrey, no helmets required. Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen, right? Not when the experience happens via virtual reality.
“With virtual reality our aim is to create a sense of oneness with the car through an immersive experience,” says Kim Crawford, Mazda U.K. Marketing Communications Manager. “You literally get a test drive experience on a track, whilst sat inside the all-new Mazda CX-5 without leaving the building.” U.K. residents are encouraged to check out the new tech at four select Mazda shopping centers, including Bullring, Birmingham, August 5th and 6th, Trafford Centre, Manchester, August 12th and 13th, Bluewater, Kent, August 19th and 20th, and Braehead, Glasgow, September 2nd and 3rd. And while the 175-horsepower SUV isn’t exactly the Japanese automaker’s most adrenaline-inducing model on offer, the virtual experience should be a big step up from the normal test drive routine on public roads. Which begs the question – how will technology change the car buying experience in general? Read on for our take.
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Well, it’s about time. The car buying experience hasn’t changed a whole lot in the last half century, so it’s always refreshing to see a major make adding a little high-tech gloss to draw in potential customers. If the CX-5 virtual test drive works out, we’d love to see Mazda also incorporate models like the new ND MX-5 on the digital race track.
Porsche 911 GT2 RS debut during the Forza Motorsport 7 event.
Indeed, the world of cars is changing at a furious pace. We’re already seeing major car debuts taking place in video games, with one example including the reveal of the new Porsche 911 GT2 RS.
Indeed, the world of cars is changing at a furious pace. We’re already seeing major car debuts taking place in video games, with one example including the reveal of the new Porsche 911 GT2 RS at the E3 expo in Los Angeles a few months back. It’s a major break from the normal auto show sheet pull, and it heralds a time when eager fans will gobble up their respective source of passion outside the confines of the “real world.”
I’m imagining going on a virtual test drive on your couch via a personal VR rig, then downloading the right serial number and activation code onto a thumb drive, which you then take to the local 3D print shop to print out your new car. Complete with all the customized bits and pieces you want, of course.
What do you think? Does that sound like a future you want to experience? Want nothing to do with it? Think it’ll actually be nothing like that? Let us know in the comments.
Read our review on the Mazda CX-5.
Read our review on the Mazda MX-5.