Automakers have had to rethink many of their marketing strategies in the wake of the global pandemic and the restrictions that followed it, and Abarth, for one, has decided that virtual test drives might be just what the doctor ordered.
Beginning from today (February 8) at its Exeter dealer, in the United Kingdom, Abarth will be trialing at-home VR presentations, which if proven successful, could be expanded to other retailers across the country.
The whole experience will start with an expert delivering an Abarth crate to the front door of the customer, which houses a VR headset and a pair of Bose headphones, as well as a Bluetooth speaker and a baseball cap.
The gear will allow customers to experience the 595 Scorpioneoro from the comfort of their homes on some of the most engaging driving roads in the UK, such as the Great Orme, Llyn Ogwen and Black Rock Sands, guided by Stef Villaverde, an Abarth owner and automotive influencer.
“We are delighted to be able to offer this innovative test drive approach to our customers and Abarth fans”, explained FCA UK’s managing director Arnaud Leclerc. “This VR experience allows customers to enjoy the thrill of driving a 595, but from the safety of their homes.”
A limited edition model whose production is capped at 2,000 units globally, the 595 Scorpioneoro pays tribute to the A112 Abarth ‘Gold Ring’. It features unique livery, 17-inch alloy wheels, chrome twin exhaust pipes, and leather seats with bespoke embroidery. Power is supplied by the 1.4-liter T-jet engine, which delivers 165 PS (163 HP / 121 kW), identical to the 595 Turismo, for a 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) of 7.3 seconds and a 217 km/h (135 mph) top speed.