And now for something completely different, driving a car while wearing virtual reality goggles. South Africa’s Cars.co.za asked race car driver Ashley Oldfield to ride shotgun in a BMW X4 M Competition finished in Sao Paulo Yellow for this unusual test. Various employees from the magazine’s headquarters in Johannesburg were asked to take turns behind the wheel, but with a twist.
They not only had to wear VR goggles but also answer a quiz containing random questions covering a wide array of topics. This was all done while driving the performance SUV on a pre-established track course by navigating through the cones. A camera mounted up high on a pole affixed to the rear windshield provided a third-person view, thus blurring the line between reality and video games.
We actually get to see the driver’s point of view, and it sure looks like playing a Forza or Gran Turismo game, only it’s real life. Some of the magazine’s employees fared better than others, but they all agreed it felt weird driving the BMW X4 M from a third-person view. No fewer than four cones were smashed during the making of the video, while three GoPros suffered collateral damage as well.
Following the unusual test, it was time for Ashley Oldfield to drive the speedy SUV on the same Red Star Raceway in Mpumalanga. From the passenger seats, people working for Cars.co.za then got to enjoy a hot lap, which kicked off by activating the X4 M’s launch control. As a refresher, the Competition model sprints to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.8 seconds. Flat out, it can reach 177 mph (285 km/h) if the optional M Driver’s Package is installed.
We’d be curious to find out how it feels to drive a car from a third-person view, be it a BMW or not. That said, the old-fashioned method remains the most immersive way to experience an M car.
Source: Cars.co.za / YouTube