Volvo must pay their marketing department big bucks. The heavy-duty truck side of the Swedish company is known for outlandish stunts that put Volvo trucks to the test. Well, at least a simulated test.

Remember when Volvo Trucks’ president, Claes Nilsson, stood on the front grille of a FMX truck as it dangled hundreds of feet in the air, supported only by the front tow hook? And no one can forget the “epic split” done by none other than Jean Claude Van Damme. With one foot on either truck, the two Volvo FM semis eased apart – while driving in reverse – forcing Van Dam to show off is legendary martial arts abilities in the form of a split.

Now Volvo has handed the controls over to four-year old, little Sophie. Yep, in its latest stunt to show off the updated Volvo FMX truck line, engineers rigged the truck to run via remote control and “gave her control” of the nearly 20-ton vehicle. As expected, little Sophie’s driving skills aren’t fully developed. The truck crashes and bangs into obstacle after obstacle. Of course, this allows Volvo to show off just how strong the FMX truck is.

The notable features found on the FMX include a front bumper constructed of 3 mm-thick steel and attacked to the frame, designed to keep the cab, engine components, and driver safe. All the important drivetrain bits are tucked up under the truck, preventing debris (or concrete road dividers) from hurting things like axle shafts or universal joints. The truck’s part-time, automatically engaging 4WD system keeps it moving though goopy mud and over rocks.

The final test came via a cinderblock building. Poor little Sophie’s driving record takes a hit as she propels the truck off course and into the concrete structure. Heck, Sophie even lets the truck topple off the side of an embankment, making the truck to a full 360-degree roll. Beside a shattered windshield, broken from running through the building, the truck is said to escape damage. Impressive and entertaining.

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Why It Matters

The fact that I’m writing about a commercial-grade, medium duty truck that isn’t even offered in the U.S. is testament to Volvo’s marketing wizardry. These sorts of videos with funny gimmicks are obviously working well in spreading the Volvo truck gospel. And honestly, this video format is a great way to advertise the truck’s rugged capabilities that may otherwise get lost in a long-form press release. Nice job, Volvo.

Press Release

An unpredictable child and a remote-controlled 18-tonne truck. In Volvo Trucks’ latest film ”Look who’s driving” four-year-old Sophie exposes the Volvo FMX to the toughest challenge yet in the Live Test series. The film is a follow-up to previous global successes in the series, such as The Epic Split and The Hamster Stunt.

Volvo Trucks’ newest Live Test, "Look who’s driving", sees four-year-old Sophie drive an 18-tonne Volvo FMX through a construction area using a remote control. The truck has been given several new functions over the year, and the objective of the test is to show how much it can tolerate and how easily it copes in the most demanding environments.

"To show what the truck can do, we want to give it a real challenge. What test driver is more reckless than an unpredictable four-year-old?" asks Ricard Fritz, Vice President Volvo Trucks Brand.

360-degree roll
Sophie steers the truck on the construction area in the film, and the truck takes unpredicted ways: Among others, the truck ends up climbing a steep, soft slope, before rolling all the way down in a full 360-degree roll.

"The test demonstrates beyond question the ability of the truck to cope with the most extreme environments. To help it do so, it has functions such as the new, Automatic Traction Control, keeping it going even on severely sloping and soft surfaces. They also demonstrate its total strength with an unbeatable cabin design with sturdy front corners and a reinforced sub-frame" says Gunnar Eliasson, Launch Manager at Volvo Trucks.

The film is the latest in the Volvo Trucks Live Test series, with previous global successes including The Epic Split and The Hamster Stunt.

You can see how the truck copes in the test "Look who’s driving" on Volvo Trucks’ YouTube channel.

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