It may not be a massive Dakar truck launching through the desert air, but this video is still crazy intense. That’s because we have Mercedes-AMG ML55 sport-utility vehicle from Stuttgart’s recent past, blasting through a rally stage in the forests of Finland. By itself, this is a vehicle that weighs 5,000 pounds but for this trip it’s carrying six people, and oh yeah, it also has a big freaking movie camera mounted outside on a bigger swiveling arm. Outfitted as such, we’re looking at over 7,500 pounds of people and steel barreling down a narrow forest road.
This is the ML55 AMG Russian Arm, a cinematic vehicle often used for filming automotive action. Typically, the big Mercedes spends its days at slow speed for precision camera work, but this particular job called for something a bit more dramatic. Hyundai wanted to shoot a commercial featuring its i20 World Rally Car, driven by WRC pro Dani Sordo. The mission was simple – drive the camera car as fast as possible in front of Sordo.
The video was posted by Fredrik Sørlie, who we presume was the driver during this in-car exhibition of high-speed heavyweight prowess. Per the video description, the ML55 rides on fully-adjustable coilover suspension and was wearing a set of Michelin X-Ice winter tires for this summer excursion, so it’s not exactly unprepared for such activity. Obviously the SUV isn’t nearly as fast as Nardo’s purpose-built rally racer – we often see the Hyundai in the Merc’s side mirror – but still, the videos description says both drivers were surprised at just how fast the normally slow-speed camera car was negotiating the stage.
Judging by the amount of giddy laughter at the end of the video, we suspect the passengers were also surprised – and perhaps relieved to still be alive – after such a crazy ride.