Drifting a 650 HP Mustang On a Virtual Landscape Wearing an Oculus Rift Is Alien Cool

Have you ever imagined using a Roush Mustang as a prosthetic body? Sure, you’re perfectly healthy and you can always get inside one of these 650 HP machines and drive it wherever you please. But could you drift it through exploding mountainous landscapes and race Ken Block’s rallying Fiesta without the slightest rick of even scratching the car?
Drifting a 650 HP Roush Mustang on Oculus Rift 1 photo
Photo: screenshot from Youtube
Of course you couldn’t. Drifting is based on that risk. Nonetheless, Castrol has worked its way around the problem and they’re willing to share the result with us in what has to be the coolest commercial we’ve written about all year.

The motor oil company has commissioned a team of specialist who have basically turned a Roush Mustang into a gaming controller. Professional drifter Matt Power was placed in the driver’s seat and he was asked to wear an Oculus Rift virtual reality handset to control the car in a computer-generated world.

Yes, Matt was actually drifting the 'Stang, doing spins, donuts and all, but, in the real world, the car was smoking its tires on an empty airfield.

How they pulled it off

The whole stunt took two months to prepare. That’s right, the team spent all that time installing and calibrating the hardware. As anybody who’s ever invited the rear end of their car to step out knows, drifting is a precision sport and the array of sensors, as well as the rest of the hardware, requited a monstrous effort to sing to the same tune.

The connection between the GPS sensors and the virtual reality headset was one of the greatest challenges, as you’ll be able to learn in the behind-the-scenes video offered along with the ad.

This is just a small taste

Then again, think of the results a commercial version might bring. Let’s not be hypocrites anymore and admit some people enjoy street racing. Well, wouldn’t it be better to convince them to stop risking lives and simply use one of these real-life simulators instead?

Or may you’ve always wished you could run an 18-wheeler through that bully’s front yard. No problem, just be sure to pick slim cardboard boxes to simulate the gate.

P.S.: We’re sorry Pennzoil, you might have shown us the Hellcat Airlift Drift commercial, but this Oculus Rift ad takes the cake. It has it and it eats it at the same time, because, you know, the possibilities of the virtual world.

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About the author: Andrei Tutu
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In his quest to bring you the most impressive automotive creations, Andrei relies on learning as a superpower. There's quite a bit of room in the garage that is this aficionado's heart, so factory-condition classics and widebody contraptions with turbos poking through the hood can peacefully coexist.
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