Yesterday marked the global launch of Volkswagen’s latest electric vehicle, the ID.4 GTX, which was held in a hangar at the old Tempelhof Airport, an airport I used to travel in and out of a lot in the past but has now been replaced by the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport which opened last October.
The focal point of the event was a 525 square metre ramp that was erected with a gradient of 37.5%, on which the ID.4 GTX managed to navigate with great ease, thanks to the car’s dual-motor all-wheel drive system. The ramp also doubled up as the stage for a special mixed reality (XR) installation which can be seen in the video below.
Along with the ramp, the mixed reality show blurred the boundaries between reality and virtual reality using 12 full-HD projectors. This is known as “projection mapping”, while the vehicle and camera crane tracking was provided through 32 infrared cameras. The contents were then played back using the 3D real-time graphics system of the Unreal Engine, a system that is also used for video game development.
From the camera’s perspective, the ramp became an infinite space through the use of high-performance real-time graphics and storytelling to give this unique effect whereby a game engine and tracking system covered the entire hangar space, transforming the physical ramp which then became a window into a virtual world, thereby making the boundaries between reality and virtual fantasy disappear.
Back in the real world, the new ID.4 GTX will be launched in Europe this summer, and in Germany, the car’s entry-level price will start from €50,415, with customers being able to apply for a net grant of €7,500.
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man Behind The Wheel, a member of The Guild of Motoring Writers, professional photographer and former saloon car racing driver.
Photographs courtesy of Volkswagen