Volvo XC40, in Theaters Starting March 16 as Lara Croft's Official Car

Car manufacturers have a long history of linking their new products to various big Hollywood productions. After all, brands from other industries pay for product placement, so why should cars make any exception?
Volvo XC40 in Tomb Raider 1 photo
Photo: YouTube screenshot
Audi's involvement with the Iron Man series is probably the most notorious, but look no further than DC Comics' Justice League, where Bruce Wayne's wheels proudly wear the three-pointed star of Mercedes-Benz for another example. Even the more low-key brands did it: remember a strangely immaculate teal Hyundai Tucson in AMC's The Walking Dead by any chance?

But these collaborations aren't restricted to product placement. Nissan, for instance, must have paid good money to have its name associated to the new Star Wars movie, but not even a billion dollars could have convinced the director and producers to feature Han Solo driving a Rogue on screen. And yet the Japanese manufacturer was the movie's "main sponsor."

Volvo has been pretty quiet on this front lately, and given its origins as well as the name it has for the design of its models' daytime running lights (Thor's hammer), you'd think Marvel's character would make a perfect fit. However, considering the XC40 tiny crossover is the Swedish brand's latest model and therefore the one that would make the most sense to promote, having Chris Hemsworth to sit in it would look pretty ridiculous.

Not Alicia Vikander, though. The Swedish-born actress - see, they managed to make some sort of connection - is probably best known for her role in Ex Machina or The Danish Girl (the latter landing her an Oscar), but that's soon to change. As you probably know already, Alicia is going to be the new Lara Croft, which means she'll have to fill the huge boots left vacant by Angelina Jolie.

Her casting was questioned by some of the franchise's fans, but everyone should reserve judgment for after they see the movie. It debuts two days from now on March 16, and apart from what we've seen in the trailer, there's one more thing we know for sure: the main protagonist is going to drive a white Volvo XC40.

It's hard to tell at this point whether it'll feel like a natural match or it'll stink of advertising from beyond the silver screen, but at least as far as action scenes are concerned, the new Jeep Wrangler would have definitely been a better choice. However, Bob Jacobs, Vice President, Marketing, Product and Brand Communication for Volvo Car USA thinks it's a match made in heaven: “We’re very excited for the Volvo XC40 to have its film debut with Tomb Raider. One of the things we love about the film is Lara Croft’s character: bold, surprising and always ready for adventure, just like the Volvo XC40.”

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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