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Audi lets car enthusiasts build their own racetrack and take cars for a spin in virtual reality

Audi is reaching out to the playful child in car enthusiasts by offering them the chance to build their own racetrack where they can test drive the new Audi Q5 in virtual reality (VR).

The car manufacturer’s Norwegian arm has teamed up with creative agency POL to create the ‘Sandbox 2.0’, a purpose-built sandpit where users can build their own track. The sand creations are scanned by a depth-sensing camera to create a virtual rendering which users can then drive on using a VR driving simulator.

“For many of us, playing with cars in the sandpit is a distant memory,” said Tommy Jensen, marketing manager at Audi Norway. Let’s face it, the opportunity rarely presents itself once you pass a certain age.

“The Sandbox 2.0 is a state-of-the-art toy for kids and adults. It provides a platform to rekindle the joys of driving and demonstrates the assets of the Q5 and the quattro technology in a playful and accessible way. For the Audi brand, this is a new way to demonstrate our products.”

The installation was developed by MediaMonks in line with POL’s creative concept and includes aspects such as feedback in the steering wheel to the actual sounds of an Audi Q5.

“When you put on the headset you don’t just see the inside of an Audi Q5. This virtual world has real depth. You can look around and explore behind stuff. It’s really exciting to watch as people experience this for the first time,” says Tom Eriksen, creative director at MediaMonks.

Kjetil Skogly, Audi account director at Norwegian advertising agency POL, added: “It was important that everything has the same premium look and feel as the brand itself. Furthermore, it was paramount that the concept delivers on several measurable parameters, such as brand attractiveness, visits to the web site and Audi dealers, as well as having a positive impact on sales and market shares in the SUV category."