The video: To showcase its new line of trucks' precision handling, Volvo had Texas daredevil Faith Dickey walk across a rope strung between two of the big rigs as they zoomed, at 80 miles per hour, down a stretch of unopened Croatian highway. Upping the nutso factor, Dickey had to span the distance before the trucks sped into separate tunnels. If Dickey failed to do so, she warned, the rope would snap: "It will pop, and I will fall." (Watch the video, below.) Dickey holds the world record for the longest (266 feet) and highest (4,000 feet) crossing on a highline, a more loosely strung version of a tightrope. But this was the first time she had ever highlined while speeding forward, and with such an unforgiving deadline. As a member of the emergency medical team comments ominously, "it's crazy."
The reaction: This looks like "a scene straight out a James Bond movie," says Douglas Newcomb at MSN Autos. From the moment of Dickey's "initial stumble," the video is thick with suspense as the daredevil battles high winds in a painfully slow, herky-jerky stroll across the line, before leaping to safety and ducking under the tunnel just in time. Dickey's feat is obviously awe-inspiring, University of Virginia physicist Louis Bloomfield tells Life's Little Mysteries, but I'm also "astonished by the skill of the truck drivers." The slightest joggle of the steering wheel could have thrown Dickey off balance, with potentially fatal consequences. As an ad, this "nail-biting stunt" is certainly a success, says Susanna Kim at ABC News. A lot of people didn't even know Volvo made big-rig trucks. Take a look: