Getting up close to the new 308 and seeing why it’s just been voted 2014 European Car of the Year won’t be the only attraction on the PEUGEOT stand at Birmingham’s NEC. Visitors will be able to sample the virtual reality headset by Oculus Rift, a company recently purchased by Facebook for $2 billion and creating a lot of hype in the gaming industry.
PEUGEOT is the first car manufacturer in the UK to use the Oculus Rift. When visitors to its Gadget Show Live stand slip on the headset they will be transported away from the NEC to an 80-second three-dimensional white knuckle ride without physically leaving the PEUGEOT stand.
The Oculus Rift has already been hailed by gaming experts for the advances it’s made in virtual reality. American technology critic Marc Perton said: “This is something that may change the way you think about gaming.” He added: “It makes a 55-inch TV screen feel small and constricting.”
At the Gadget Show Live, the revolutionary headset’s 360-degree field of vision will put participants in the passenger seat of the new 308 as a mountainous tarmac rally stage starts. Racing past spectators standing unnervingly close to the road, the winding stage traverses up an increasingly steep course until a wing suit flies over. The headset wearer then transfers seamlessly into the wing suit for a flight over the stunning mountain scenery.
Swooping down and around the mountain’s craggy outcrops, the wing suit wearer flies over a PEUGEOT coming up the mountain and then flies off the face of a sheer drop towards an outcrop of rocks where there’s a skeleton track. As they land on the track the wearer starts the final part of their journey: down the icy twists and turns of a skeleton bobsleigh track at speeds of up to 80mph.
When they finally roll to a halt, the screen will remind participants of the ‘New PEUGEOT 308 Driving Sensations’ message. And of course they will immediately be able to experience the 308 in the metal as throughout their adventure they won’t have left the special pods on the PEUGEOT stand.
Inside the new 308, their voyage into high technology will continue with the PEUGEOT i-Cockpit. This consists of four integrated components: a compact steering wheel for intense dynamic sensations, a high-positioned instrument display that conveys information without the driver having to take their eyes off the road, a high centre console and a large 9.7-inch touch screen that makes for intuitive operation of all the controls.
With just one button – for the sound system’s volume – and the screen set in a high quality satin chrome cocoon surrounded by quality materials, the new PEUGEOT 308’s interior has been designed to offer a sensuous, intuitive and technology-driven experience, just like the Oculus Rift.