AMG Track Pace, A Race Engineer In Your Pocket
There’s an app for everything these days. Can’t remember to drink water? You’re covered. Want an AR dog in your living room? Easy. Have an AMG vehicle but not Toto Wolff and his $450 million race team? Fear not, there’s an app for that too. For the low price of nothing, Mercedes-Benz will give you the AMG Track Pace smartphone app that records real-time driving data as you go around a track. Revisit over 80 telemetry parameters to see where you can shave off precious milliseconds. You can even look at a ghost replay, like Gran Turismo!
In an era where tactile controls are being jettisoned in favour of ever-expanding screens, here’s a neat trick that your regular iPad can’t pull off. It's brought to you by the engineers at Mercedes-Benz Research & Development India in Bangalore, the car you have to buy separately. No gauges or wires hanging loose from the dash, apart from your smartphone with an internet connection. It works straight out of the box.
AMG Track Pace is an on-demand purchase for AMG vehicles only. Choose it as an optional extra before buying the car, or purchase and install it in an AMG vehicle you already have. No mechanical changes to the car, only a software installation that allows the car to interface with the app. The system uses information from the car’s on-board computers to measure throttle/brake input, steering angle, acceleration, and other parameters. The data is laid out differently based on the kind of infotainment system your car has, with the bigger screens benefitting the most.
The pre-recorded 60-track roster includes recognisable names from F1 and Moto GP calendars, and some obscure ones as well. If your playground of choice doesn’t show up in the app, you can simply record the course by driving around it. Before setting off, enter the start point to start the recording and end it once the lap is over. It doesn’t have to be a circuit, it works with drag strips as well. If the name didn’t give you a clue, the app will waste no opportunity to tell you that it is for ‘track use only.’ Being German, the car probably won’t take disobedience lightly.
When driving, information will be displayed on the car’s infotainment system, instrument cluster, and heads-up display. But things really get interesting when the car stops. On the infotainment screen, you can review your laps through a video recording or a digital replay. Telemetry is recorded for every moment of your drive, allowing you to pinpoint precisely where you braked too soon or accelerated too late. Analysing charts and numbers is one thing, looking at yourself gunning it out of a corner is another. If you want to skip the arithmetic, the car will show you a ghost replay of your fastest time. You can race yourself around the track without ever taking your eyes off the road; the interior ambient lighting will turn red if you’re behind the ghost and green if you’re ahead.
All driving data can be stored in multiple driver profiles, and shared. If you mount your smartphone on the windscreen, you can have it record your face being taken apart by lateral g and add some funky graphics to make a shareable video. If you’d rather keep things discreet, the app allows you to share Instagram pictures and connect with other AMG owners. The AMG Track Pace app is available on iOS and Android devices.