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The Volvo XC90 Virtual Test Drive

December 22, 2014

Volvo Reality - Test Drive

The 2015 XC90 is Volvo’s latest luxury crossover—and it represents a significant transformation for the automotive company. The Swedish car company recently promised a renewed and aggressive approach to product offerings by getting back in touch with their roots and core values. The XC90 is the first major model refresh of the automaker’s plan to revamp its entire lineup. As a worthy launch campaign for the first new vehicle, Volvo teamed with creative firm R/GA to develop a unique way to share the excitement, elegance, and refinement of the XC90. And more—it’s shot on RED.

Google Cardboard

The new marketing campaign is an inspired and interactive virtual reality (VR) test drive. The VR tour takes you on a beautiful, winding test drive through mountain roads near Vancouver and enables you to look around and fully experience the vehicle, as if you were inside. Designed around Google Cardboard—a new and low-cost virtual reality platform made from velcro and (yes) cardboard—Volvo Reality can be can be downloaded directly to your smartphone from Google Play and Apple’s App Store.


To create an immersive, 360° virtual reality environment, the film crew used an eight camera array of RED EPIC MYSTERIUM-Xs. With the camera array mounted on top of a custom chassis, the film crew captured footage along a 60-mile stretch of road outside of Vancouver. The 5K resolution EPICs on the array are angled and positioned so that the entire environment around the driver (you) is captured—including all windows and the generously sized sunroof. Footage was then stitched together to create the full 360° view. Finally, the production team overlaid a computer-generated model of the XC90’s interior on top of the footage. The final product was then finished for optimal viewing on small device screens and takes advantage of the gyroscopes and accelerometers in your phone. The result is an entirely new type of test drive, and one that is available to car shoppers months before the vehicle hits showrooms and dealer lots.

Though the new XC90 hasn’t officially hit the showroom floor yet, it lends weight to Volvo’s promise of delivering an invigorated auto lineup. Experience Volvo Reality on your smartphone or other device. You can also request or purchase Google Cardboard to experience Volvo Reality as it was intended. While you’re at it, check out the Volvo Reality: Behind the Scenes and stay tuned for more exciting projects shot on RED.