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DVD Dazzle

We road test three of the latest go-fast DVDs!

By Michael Knowling

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At a glance...

  • Three of the latest go-fast DVDs reviewed...
  • Best Motoring International 9
  • Best Motoring International 10
  • Serious Performance 7
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Go-fast DVDs are currently all the rage. They’re the ideal way to entertain friends on those quiet nights – and they’re great for ‘psyching up’ to go out for a run in your machine. We road test three of the latest offerings...

Best Motoring International 9 – Fuji Fast

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BMI Number Nine is just the thing if you’re into big power supercars.

Ever seen a R34 GT-R, Evo 7 RS, STi Spec C, NSX Type R, Ferrari 355 F1, Ferrari 360 Modena F1 and Porsche 911 GT3 driven to the limit? Chances are you haven’t, so check out these monsters going at it with professional drivers. It’s awesome stuff to watch the tyre wear patterns, examine the handling, compare top-end speed and watch the in-car footage.

All of this takes place on Japan’s famous Fuji Raceway, which gets some special coverage on the DVD (hence the Fuji Fast name).

Since Fuji Raceway is now closed for major renovations, the BMI team dig up some of the history of this challenging course. Watch some classic race footage - in particular the awesome Group C racecars. In their day, these incredible machines cranked out more than 1000hp and were capable of 390+ km/h... Almost as fast around Fuji are the F3000 open-wheel racecars, which lack the power but make up for it with unbelievable cornering speed.

Not as fast but equally thrilling is the last-ever lap of Fuji in the original ‘60s Skyline GT-R. Go in-car and plug your ears as the atmo engine screams its swansong on this wonderful track.

There’s more track action with ‘first drives’ of the new Nizmo S-tune 350Z alongside the TRD-enhanced Altezza – the factory tuned fliers! The Altezza is probably the more impressive vehicle to watch – especially when you see (and hear!) its quad-throttle motor being ‘short shifted’ at just 8000 rpm...

And, of course, this wouldn’t be a BMI production without some all-out thrills from the Touge – a closed section of road which is the ideal environment to test tuned cars. Not to mention driver bravery!

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This edition of the Touge Challenge sees the big guns coming out – the high-horsepower MAX cars. The field comprises a Kei Office S15, a Champ S14, Yashio S15, Boss Evo 7, Mine’s Evo 7 and an Esprit NSX. The challenge begins with all cars making a timed ‘impressions’ run through the Touge – and, with ample power on tap, you’re guaranteed some handling attitude! The final battle between the top two cars is also a must-see - this is the wildest Touge battle yet! "More boost, sir..."

BMI 9 also has the first episode of a documentary-style series on Keiichi Tsuchiya’s 2003 JGTC (Japanese Grand Touring Challenge) season. This segment shows another side to the normally jovial Keiichi as he strives to get the most out of his team’s NSX racecar. It’s obviously a struggle to match the speed of the Supra and Skyline rivals.

BMI 9 runs for 90 minutes and comes with a bonus footage segment – all the weird and wonderful stuff from the 2003 Tokyo Motor Show. Great if you’re into that kind of thing!

With its combination of history, behind-the-scenes race coverage, high-end machines and the usual driving brilliance, we reckon BMI 9 is the best in the series. It can be bought in PAL DVD format for AUD$38.94 through the AutoSpeed Shop

Important: Note that BMI productions are Japanese based. They are subtitled and come with an American voice-over.

Serious Performance 7

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It’s been a while coming but an all-new Serious Performance DVD is now out.

Local trends are reflected in SP7’s high drift content – there’s plenty of time dedicated to sideways slidin’. It begins with "Drift Girl" and her unlikely drift machine – a Holden VK Group A Commodore! Watch Drift Gil’s technique and meet her team – Team Broadside. SP7 also checks out some of the styles at the JMS Drift Day Number 5.

One of the all-time great drift machines is the Toyota Sprinter (aka AE86). There’s a special segment dedicated to the AE86 with clips from BMI and a look at several examples all the way from standard to, well, heavily modified. Good stuff.

There’s also a big focus on straight-line performance.

Go to Queensland’s Willowbank raceway and take a look at HKS Japan’s 7-second Skyline GT-R in action. You get a fairly light tech description and watch check it against some of Australia’s top 4-cylinder drag racers. It’s brutal!

Some local drag cars also get a good look in. Follow GTR700 and the owner as they try for numbers at the strip and come up against all the usual traumas. Pac Performance’s MX-6-based rotary-power drag car is also featured, as is the Rigoli modified "lil’ red wagon". The most unique drag car award must surely go to the Online Performance CRX-based turbo machine – brilliantly assembled and highly innovative.

And there’s also some circuit action.

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The Track Battle sees three modified cars – a RX-7, MR2 Turbo and WRX – being flung around Oran Park Raceway with both the owner and expert driver (Warren Luff) at the wheel. Warren offers some interesting comments on the handling and driving technique for each vehicle – and there’s the ‘boot prize’ motivating each driver to go faster. There’s also an on-track comparison of stock-standard R34 Skyline 4-door turbo and XR6 Turbo. The local product fares well – until the modified examples come out!

Other features include some coverage from a contributor in Finland and what’s hot (and not!) from the Paris Tuning Show. There’s also quite a lot of bonus footage – a HPI Drift Nats teaser, drag combat cars and more.

Serious Performance 7 runs for 128 minutes and carries a G rating. It can be bought in PAL DVD form from AutoSpeed at AUD$34.98. A preview can be seen at Serious Performance 7 Preview

Best Motoring International 10 – GT-R – The Prodigy

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This is the latest offering from the BMI crew.

The theme for BMI 10 is the Skyline GT-R – a look at past models and exploring what the next model might be like. The Skyline Battle sees a R32 V-spec, R33 V-spec, R34 V-spec, V35 Skyline, Evolution 8 GSR and STi Spec C Limited fight it out at Tsukuba - and the difference in all-round performance is stunning. The need for an all-new GT-R is obvious!

And here’s where the speculation starts.

BMI investigates the likelihood of different chassis configurations and even track tests a 350Z that’s been equipped with – wait for it! – a complete GT-R engine and driveline! Weight, however, steps in to offset any performance advantage.

The Touge challenge this time ‘round is for the sub 200ps class – the small wonders. Tiniest of the bunch is the darty Mazda AZ-1 that goes up against a Starlet EP82 turbo, Integra Type R, MR-S turbo, MR-S 2ZZ-GE and two AE86s – including Tsuchiya’s monster Hachiroku. All are extensively aftermarket tuned, of course! Can any of the challengers beat Tsuchiya in his famous AE86? Well, you might be in for a shock...

And there’s one extra Touge special with the famous Petter Solberg and his 2003 WRC car!

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Petter lets BMI look over his 2003 machine and then heads out down the Touge (with his co-driver) to put together some pace notes. This is essential before tackling the course in the 590Nm rally car... Petter shows his speed without ever looking ragged – we strongly get the impression he was ordered not to bend the car!

The second episode of the documentary-style series covering Tsuchiya’s 2003 JGTC NSX is also featured in BMI 10. Again, the stress of an under-developed car is obvious - but that takes nothing away from watching a sensational wet weather drive that reels in the faster cars. This is a clear demonstration that talent is often more important than the speed of the vehicle.

This 95 minute DVD ends with coverage of the 2004 Tokyo Auto Salon. Some of the cars are odd – and some absolutely wonderful, like the 2.0-litre VTEC Honda Fit (aka Jazz)!

BMI 10 can be bought in PAL DVD format for the same price as BMI 9 (AUD$38.94) and is available from

AutoSpeed

All three of these DVDs are great watching, although it must be said that the quality of the BMI productions is absolutely top-notch. The only criticism is the subtitles are sometimes difficult to read. Our favourite is BMI 9 – Fuji Fast. Any car fan will really enjoy this!

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