The recently-unveiled Mercedes-AMG GT and GT-S are the type of cars which shouldn’t need a hefty amount of marketing money thrown at them in order to make a good impression, but Mercedes-Benz seems to somewhat disagree. I say this because even though the models haven’t yet reached dealerships, the Stuttgart car brand is still busy promoting them, with the latest example being two interactive 360-degree videos of the AMG GT-S filmed at the famed Laguna Seca track, in California.

Created to be viewed through a Samsung Gear Virtual Reality (VR) headset, which uses a Note 4 smartphone to offer a 360-degree representation of a multi-camera video, the two films are the latest in an entire series from Mercedes-Benz. The videos were shot by no less than 18 cameras mounted on special rigs all around and inside the car, with the footage being then stitched together for a continuous flow by the VR specialists from Visualise.

The result is an app called "Mercedes-AMG GT, " which can be downloaded for free from the Oculus Store and then used with a Samsung Note 4 and a Gear VR headset, giving users the ability to change their viewing point simply by tilting their head and looking around. Those with iPhones and iPads can also get the footage from the iTunes store here, while Android users will have to wait until January.

Using the gyroscopic sensors built into the smartphone or tablet, the iTunes and Android variants of the app will also give users a 360-degree viewpoint of the video, while desktop users can check out the first video here and the second one here (remember to look around via your mouse). Apparently, the AMG GT-S in the first hot-lap video is driven by DTM legend and AMG brand ambassador Bernd Schneider.

Click past the jump for more details.

Why it matters

Mercedes Reveals Interactive AMG GT-S Videos From Laguna Seca High Resolution Exterior
- image 599845

With 510 horsepower and 479 pound feet of torque extracted from a four-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8, the front-mid-engine AMG GT-S is probably the closest thing to a very fast rollercoaster on the Laguna Seca track, so the two aforementioned videos should do a pretty good job of transmitting a similar sensation to those who weren’t actually there. Also, although Mercedes-Benz doesn’t specify this, most of you probably realized that in the second video the AMG GT-S is driven very sideways by none other than Chris "Monkey" Harris, giving us proof that the footage was taken during the Mercedes-AMG GT press drive at Laguna Seca. Most of the words spoken by the British Journalist can also be heard in his own review of the AMG model.

While the resulting stitched images don’t exactly look pristine, with a lot of weird angles sometimes meddling with the overall video, the simple fact that this type of technology can be experienced by just about anyone and for free (minus the cost of a smartphone and/or Gear VR headset, naturally) should be mind-boggling for a non-techie. Just imagine your dad with a VR headset on, banging his head and laughing like a maniac while Chris Harris takes him on a drift on the freaking Corkscrew.

Mercedes AMG GT

2016 Mercedes-AMG GT High Resolution Exterior
- image 567771

Press Release

Never has Christmas telly been so vivid. And Mercedes-Benz is set to give festive viewing a 21st century twist, as it launches a series of spectacular, immersive 360 degree films – featuring some of the fastest and most exciting cars ever created. Best of all, they’re free.

Mercedes Reveals Interactive AMG GT-S Videos From Laguna Seca High Resolution Exterior
- image 599840

Capable of being viewed through the Samsung Gear Virtual Reality (VR) devices, the first two films feature the all-new Mercedes-AMG GT S being driven at and a little way beyond its limits 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 from the Oculus Store 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. Tyres were harmed.

Mercedes Reveals Interactive AMG GT-S Videos From Laguna Seca Interior
- image 599842

The smartphone is available to buy now, and the Gear VR has launched in North America already with its UK arrival set to take place over Christmas.

But, for those looking for a more immediate dose of AMG action, the footage can also be downloaded via the iTunes store - http://bit.ly/1GyvLog - or by searching ‘Mercedes-AMG GT’. The Android version is set to arrive in early January. 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 around the Laguna Seca Raceway.

For desktop users, the footage of five times DTM Champion Bernd Schneider being chased down can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/16yubWM. A solo lap, with the GT S being driven very, very sideways can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/1w6cvq0

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.

Mercedes Reveals Interactive AMG GT-S Videos From Laguna Seca High Resolution Exterior
- image 599843

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 UK 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 and on UK roads in April 2015.

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: