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The auto brand designed “Dream Rides” where drivers can virtually try out new features and test the car in various fictional scenarios.

This article is brought to you by the Lincoln Motor Company in celebration of the launch of their new model the Lincoln MKC. To virtually test-drive the MKC with your personal celebrity chauffeur visit Lincoln Dream Rides.

Driving in the city can be hectic and overwhelming. Everybody has somewhere they need to be about five minutes ago, space is precious (both parking and personal), and a split second of inattention could cost drivers more than just a parking ticket. As a result, deciding on the right vehicle is one of the most important choices the urban driver will make. There are a lot of considerations to be taken into account, and not just on the part of consumers. Leading automotive brands spend years taking a new vehicle from concept, design, and on to production. They carefully consider the needs of specific consumers, like the urban driver, and build in features that they know can best serve their target audience.

But, with so much competition on the road–not to mention traditional marketing channels–what can a brand do to deliver the right vehicle to the people who should be driving it?

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In order to drive interest leading up to a Summer 2014 launch, and to highlight some of the impressive features–both technological and aesthetic–which put the 2015 Lincoln MKC miles ahead of competitors in the Small Premium Utility class, the Lincoln Motor Company wanted to try something new.

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The result is an immersive virtual test-drive called the Lincoln Dream Ride. Instead of passively watching a commercial, potential car buyers are invited to ride along in an engaging narrative right alongside celebrity driver Sam Page. Thanks to 360 degree cameras one can look around at the vehicle’s interior craftsmanship; the DeepSoft Bridge of Weir leather, French-stitched upholstery, and fine Wolsdorf leather-wrapped steering wheel. Turn to look out the windows at the surrounding world moving past, or see the sky through the Panoramic Vista roof.

The 2015 Lincoln MKC is a cross between a luxury sedan and a sports utility vehicle. It’s a well-designed ride that promises advanced technology like Active Park Assist for getting in and out of tight city spaces, and Lincoln Drive Control, a system that learns and matches the vehicle’s handling to a specific driver’s mood and preference. Instead of just talking about these cool features, Lincoln wanted to give drivers a chance to experience them first hand.

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At key moments throughout the Dream Ride movie an icon will appear on the screen to highlight these individual features right as they appear in action. For example, click on that icon when a surprisingly quiet fire engine races by, and learn how the Active Noise Control monitors cabin sounds, which are then replicated and inverted by a signal processor that creates an opposing acoustic wave through the speakers. When the opposing wave meets the original sound wave, the result is silence as they cancel each other out.

Does the Lincoln Dream Ride beat a test-drive? It gets close. Also it’s unlikely that the local dealership offers a “high-speed pursuit” option. Not without some hefty insurance fees, certainly. The Dream Ride is a fun peek at what can be possible using modern technology. Just imagine what could come next when emerging ideas like the Oculus Rift and haptic feedback become everyday realities.

In the meantime be sure to check out the 2015 Lincoln MKC, and all it has to offer, through one of Lincoln’s Dream Rides.

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