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Reviews and test drives
   Reviews and test drives

Virtual speed
Mercedes-Benz has recently launched a series of spectacular 360 degree films which are free for all to watch.

20.01.2015 - The films, which feature some of the fastest and most exciting cars ever created, can be viewed via the Samsung Gear Virtual Reality (VR) devices.  The first two feature the all-new Mercedes-AMG GT S being driven at its limits, and a little way beyond, around the Laguna Seca Raceway in California.  The experience is so vivid, it feels like you’re hovering just off the front or back bumper of the new GT – a view even the most determined tailgater would struggle to replicate.  Likewise, you can opt to take a virtual seat next to the driver to experience what the action feels like from inside the car.

Set to be available for free through the Oculus Store by searching ‘Mercedes-AMG GT’, the films were shot in real time using a total of 18 cameras mounted on special rigs.  The output from each camera was then electronically stitched together to create one seamless lap of the Laguna Seca track in 360 degrees.

The resulting footage, shot by virtual reality specialists, Visualise, forms an app called ‘Mercedes-AMG GT’ which can be downloaded onto what is the heart of the Samsung Gear VR – a powerful Galaxy Note 4 smartphone.  Once the app has downloaded, the phone is inserted into the white and black-coloured Gear VR headset and the user can simply look around, just like in real life, to change their viewpoint of the action as the Mercedes-AMG GT is driven hard around the track.

For those without access to the Gear VR, the footage can also be downloaded via the iTunes store at: - or by searching ‘Mercedes-AMG GT’.  The Android version is set to arrive later this month.  

Like the Virtual Reality version, the apps are free and can be put onto any iPhone or iPad, and use the gyroscopic sensors inside the devices to allow you to move the camera angle in real time to give you a 360 degree virtual window into driving at immense speed.

For desktop users, the footage of five times DTM Champion Bernd Schneider being chased down can be viewed at:  A solo lap, with the GTS being driven very, very sideways can be viewed here:

The Mercedes-AMG GT app forms just one of 11 stunning 360 degree films shot over the past year.  Cameras were recording when the Championship-winning Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W05 Formula One™ car was driven for the very first time in a pre-season test at Silverstone by Nico Rosberg.

Likewise, the 360 degree cameras were in place when 2014 World Champion Lewis Hamilton set out to destroy some rear tyres on an E 63 AMG S Estate around the track, and when Nico Rosberg demonstrated an often-overlooked skill for a Formula One driver: the ability to perform donuts.

The spectacular Goodwood Festival of Speed was captured in 360 degrees too – everything from a 1937 W125 Silver Arrow Grand Prix car to the more contemporary F1 W03 heading up the Hill had cameras attached to allow the experience to be relived in the most attention-grabbing and vivid way possible.

The Mercedes-AMG film allows viewers and potential customers to get a little closer to the car, albeit in virtual form, ahead of the arrival of the real car in showrooms later this year.


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