Audi dealers are taking delivery of a gadget which will allow prospective customers for its forthcoming A1 supermini to explore the car in virtual reality.
To build up interest and pre-orders ahead of the car's arrival in October, Audi is using web-based recognition technology on touch-screen silent salesmen in every dealership to let customers interact with a 3D 'photo-real' version of the A1.
Users simply hold up a 'MagicSymbol printed in the A1 brochure or downloaded from Audi's website, and the technology recognises this and merges an A1 model into real footage in real-time.
Users can also download the application at home, where they can use a webcam to interact with the hatchback.
Users can rotate the car, expand or contract it, roll it forwards and backwards and pan into the interior by moving the magic symbol pad in relation to the webcam.
Audi said the technology will enable customers to get a real ‘feel’ for the A1, which it claims has been designed to deliver all that the brand stands for in a concentrated, compact, city-friendly form.
Inside, as out, the look and feel of the A1 uses larger Audi models as a template, and it also employs much of their on-board technology. This includes the latest, ultra-efficient TDI and TFSI engines backed up by start-stop and recuperation systems, ESP with a new electronic differential lock and convenience features such as the optional Multi Media Interface (MMI) infotainment system.
SE, Sport and S line versions became available for UK pre-order on May 6 priced between £13,145 and £18,280.