Volvo Trucks, as part of its latest advertising campaign, has created a series of live test films, in order to demonstrate the various benefits that comes with owning a Volvo truck. The tests advertise everything from Volvo Trucks' Dynamic Steering, to the immense manoeuvrability of some of its vehicles.
The latest test even features Hollywood action star Jean-Claude Van Damme, and makes the most of his world-renowned flexibility. Meanwhile, previous tests have included everything from bulls and ballerinas to hamsters and even Volvo employees.
Claes Nilsson, the president of Volvo, said: "Our films reveal the technical innovations of our new truck models in a unique way." We've created a playlist of the six viral hits above, but you can see a more in-depth look below.
Volvo Trucks - live test 1 - The Ballerina Stunt
In this stunt, Faith Dickey - the world record-holder in highlining - walks a slackline between two speeding Volvo trucks. It's something that has never been attempted before, as Dickey highlights: "I'm used to heights, long lines and lines that sway in the wind, but those lines are firmly anchored to cliff-faces. Walking a line attached to two moving points is something quite different." The short test aims to demonstrate the superior drivability and handling of the Volvo FH truck.
Volvo Trucks - live test 2 - The Hamster Stunt
Following the success of the Ballerina Stunt, Volvo Trucks hit back with another viral hit: The Hamster Stunt. Watch in amazement as Charlie the hamster steers a Volvo FMX up the side of a steep Spanish quarry. The aim? To show how easy it is to steer a Volvo FMX truck, equipped with Volvo Dynamic Steering. Jan-Inge Svensson, the engineer behind it all, explains: "At low speeds, a heavily laden vehicle is so easy to manoeuvre that it can be steered with just one finger. When driving on the highway, this dynamic steering system offers unbeatable directional stability."
Volvo Trucks - live test 3 - The Chase
In this incredible film the Volvo FL distribution truck faces the ultimate test. It's painted red and chased by bulls through the winding streets of medieval Spanish town, Ciudad Rodrigo. This film is a true test of the manoeuvrability of the Volvo FL, as precision driver Rob Hunt describes it: "It's incredible that you can get a truck this size through a town this small."
Volvo Trucks - live test 4 - The Hook
Claes Nilsson, the president of Volvo Trucks, is the star of this live test. He is hoisted more than 70 feet in the air as he stands on a dangling Volvo FMX construction truck. The idea of the film, called 'The Hook', is to show that the front towing hook on a Volvo FMX is designed to withstand far greater stresses than it's ordinarily subjected to. Claes Nilsson describes his experience: "Yes, I have to admit I had butterflies in my stomach and I certainly wondered more than once what I’d let myself in for ! I’m no mountain-climber and I don’t like heights, but I’d promised to do the stunt, so I couldn’t very well back out."
Volvo Trucks - live test 5 - The Technician
At 45 seconds, this is one of the shortest live test films, but it's also the most succinct. A Volvo Technician, Roland Svensson, is buried deep into the ground so that only his head is showing. Then, a Vovlo truck drives over his head. The point of this test is to demonstrate the 300mm of ground clearance on offer with the Volvo FMX. Luckily, Svensson's head measures in at 275mm.
Volvo Trucks - live test 6 - The Epic Split, featuring Van Damme
As the name would suggest, this is arguably the most epic of all the tests. Featuring Hollywood action star Jean-Claude Van Damme (it already sounds good, right?) the test is designed as a homage to Volvo's Dynamic Steering technology. In this incredible stunt, Van Damme performs one of his world-famous splits between two reversing Volvo FM trucks. Jan-Inge Svensson explains the importance of Volvo Dynamic Steering: "The stability and control are so good that you can reverse a truck over a long distance with very high precision, which is exactly what we’ve had to do in this film. It had to be perfect – right down to the last centimetre.”