For those leaning on the older side of the spectrum, you’ll remember a time when we scoffed and joked at the idea of no longer needing to actually drive a car to get a feel for it. Instead you’d simply enjoy a burn down a twisted back-road from the comfort of your own couch and utilize three-dimensional hologram type technology to get the same thrill. While a virtual riding experience will likely never replace the “real thing” Arctic Cat is testing the waters with such “virtual” test rides with what they are dubbing the Arctic Cat 360 Experience. Utilizing high impact video and special headsets, users can get a taste of what it is like to ride a mountain sled in the backcountry or a side-by-side in the dunes right in the dealership. Here’s the official word about the technology from Cat:
Arctic Cat is the first powersport OEM taking event marketing to places unseen by most off-road and snowmobiling enthusiasts, with a fully immersive, virtual ride via the Arctic Cat 360 experience featuring Samsung Gear VR headsets powered by Oculus.
Samsung Gear VR headsets allow consumers visiting Arctic Cat event displays and dealerships to feel the heart-pumping adrenaline of steep drops, hill climbs and off-camber riding via an Arctic Cat snowmobile or Wildcat™ UTV in an incredibly realistic, 360-degree virtual reality world.
“This remarkable technology brings a virtual demo ride experience to consumers without leaving our event display or showroom floor. This is one more way we are providing the Ultimate Off-Road Riding Experience,” said Greg Williamson, Arctic Cat chief marketing officer. “Arctic Cat launched the snowmobile virtual reality ride along with pro backcountry snowmobilers, Rob Kincaid and David McClure, in March at our snowmobile dealer show. In every region of North America where we have displayed this snowmobile-focused VR experience, the success has been amazing. This has led us to launch a second Wildcat ride along with Tony Stewart. Experiencing virtual reality, together with our other event activation touch points, has continued to drive customer conversion to Arctic Cat products.”
Today, the company launches the new Arctic Cat 360 Wildcat VR experience, featuring Tony Stewart, at Rally on the Rocks in Moab, UT. Drivers are the co-pilots in their own Wildcat side-by-side, as they buckle in for some of the world’s best rock climbing and red sand riding that Utah has to offer. Taking in the views around them, riders will traverse a variety of terrain obstacles including rocks and sand while ascending to the top of a Grand Canyon-esque overlook.