Throughout his career, doing the splits has been Jean-Claude Van Damme’s signature move, performed countless times in many of his action films. But, until now, not anyone in the world has ever done the splits between two moving trucks.
“We were handed this challenge – how could we show the Volvo Dynamic Steering system to its full potential?” recalls Andreas Nilsson, director of ‘The Epic Split’. “And we came up with this crazy concept of having two vehicles drive in reverse and having someone stand on the wing mirrors performing a full split. If anyone is going to be able to do the task, it would have to be Jean-Claude Van Damme.”
Volvo Trucks – The Epic Split feat. Van Damme (Live Test 6)
Volvo Trucks – Demonstration of the unique technology Volvo Dynamic Steering
Volvo Trucks – Jean-Claude Van Damme test drives the new Volvo FM
Volvo Trucks – Teaser Live Test 6
Prior to filming the final take, the production team rehearsed the stunt for three days, yet the final version had to be completed within just 15 minutes. “We had to do it between 8:05 and 8:20, when the sun-light was just right,” says Andreas Nilsson, director.
The stunt was only made possible by Volvo Dynamic Steering. The system greatly improves precision and stability in any driving situation. It works through an electronically controlled electric motor that is adjusted around 2,000 times per second to create highly precise steering.
“The film is the perfect demonstration of the directional stability Volvo Dynamic Steering can offer,” explains Jan-Inge Svensson, the engineer behind the development of the system’s software at Volvo Trucks. “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.”
“The capabilities of the system not only help make a great film – they are also very practical for truck drivers, especially in situations where a lot of steering input is needed,” says Jan-Inge Svensson.
Peter Pedrero, the stunt coordinator on set, is adamant that like all successful stunts, Jean-Claude Van Damme was never in any real danger, despite the apparent risks involved. “With the precision of the drivers and the vehicle’s system, we’ve been able to perform the stunt with 100 per cent safety.”
As one of Hollywood’s most famous action stars, Jean-Claude Van Damme has had to perform countless daring stunts, but in the latest film ‘The Epic Split’, he carries out one of his most spectacular yet. The film aims to demonstrate the unique stability of Volvo Dynamic Steering.
The skills of the precision drivers Mikael Rosell and Jens Karlsson were vital to the stunt’s success, but they wouldn’t have been able to do it without Volvo Dynamic Steering.