Welcome to the World’s First Virtual Reality Car Dealership

Test drives included

August 3, 2016 9:00 am

There’s a reason car salesmen get a bad rap.

The upselling. The hidden fees. The manufactured smiles.

But now there’s a means to avoid them altogether. No no more haggling, no more sweating, and no more getting taken for a ride — the unfortunate kind, that is.

Vroom has launched the world’s first ever virtual reality car showroom. Already America’s largest direct online auto retailer, Vroom’s new tech allows customers to explore their grand fleet via HTC Vive VR headsets and even take the rides out for a spin.

Naturally, we had to check this out.

After “stepping” into the virtual showroom, we went straight for the supercars. A mighty fine 2014 Ford Shelby GT500 Super Snake Coupe caught our eye. We checked out the stats, the specs and the price, and then hopped in for a ride. It didn’t disappoint. The 360-degree view took us through metro Dallas, complete with full interior detail and the signature roar any Shelby devotee would recognize.

“Our VR showroom allows our customers to virtually test-drive 10 cars in 10 minutes, rather than spending 10 hours at dealerships,” said Paul Hennessy, CEO of Vroom.

Their first room will feature 15 different makes and models of cars in Vroom’s Affordable Performance category, as well as a curated set of sports cars ranging between $25,000 and $90,000. Several other categories will be rolling out on the near future, including ultra sports cars, luxury SUVs, pickup trucks, luxury sedans and standard sedans.

“The majority of shoppers enter the market not knowing what car they want, so we are excited to use VR to give car buyers a truly immersive experience that lets them discover and explore cars on their own terms,” said Gaurav Misra, CMO of Vroom.

The virtual showroom experience will be available to try at Vroom’s facilities in Grand Prairie (near Dallas) and Houston, Texas, as well as at pop-up stores in Austin, Texas, and Phoenix, Arizona, with additional locations planned for the future. And further down the road, the experience will be available for consumers anywhere who have the necessary equipment (e.g., the HTC Vive we used).

While you’ll likely want to in the driver’s seat for real before making the final pick, Vroom’s VR is a phenomenal way to do a preliminary search and narrow your list down to a few favorites.

It’s also a great way to pass the time, whether you’re in the market for a new ride or not.

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