FIVE motoring videos from this week you should watch (5-9 November)

by | Nov 10, 2018 | Motoring

Reading time: 5 minutes

Just some of the biggest videos from this week’s automotive news includes the ‘Bullitt’s run at the Isle of Man TT, BMW’s tease of the new M8 Coupé, and truly horrifying scenes as wildfires swirl around a family escaping the Californian wildfires.  

1. Ford Mustang Bullitt on the Isle of Man

For those of you under the illusion that the Isle of Man is ‘just a bike track’, cast your minds back to 2016. That summer, a happier time pre-British civil war and an egomaniacal arse taking the Oval Office, a specially-built (Prodrive) Subaru WRX TT Attack car with three-time British Rally Champion Mark Higgins at the wheel absolutely smashed the standing four-wheel record with a 128.730mph (207-ish kph), 17 min 35.139s blast around the famed 60.72km TT course. It was a run that not only obliterated the previous record, also Subaru’s by almost two minutes, but also proved that four-wheel performance monsters could show their two-wheeled counterparts a thing or two around bike racing’s most famous mountain course.

This month, it was the turn of the Ford Mustang Bullitt, the latest star of a new series from the Blue Oval championing ‘Europe’s Greatest Driving Roads’. Modeled after the 1968 Ford Mustang 390 GT fastback that’s stars in probably the greatest car chase movie of all-time, the ‘Bullitt’ features a 5-litre V8 tuned to 420hp – 20hp more than the stock GT – and 480lb ft of torque, enough to smash 0-100kph in under four seconds. Now, despite our admiration for tenured motoring scribe, Steve Sutcliffe, there’s far-too-little on-board footage of the Bullitt’s run across the ‘Mountain Course’ through the almost ethereal fog bank. The opening sequence though, plus that heavenly V8 soundtrack, are enough for you to dedicate 5m 41s of your Saturday afternoon.

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2. Vietnam Grand Prix layout unveiled

News that Vietnam would be joining the Formula 1 calendar come 2020 went down about as well as dysentery on your wedding day.

For starters, the architect of the new Hanoi street circuit is Hermann Tilke, one of the sport’s most controversial figures. The designer after all is responsible for, yes, luminary venues such as the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, the A1-Ring in Austria, and the Circuit of the Americas in Texas, but equally, snooze fest travesties like the Valencia street circuit, the Korea International Circuit, and whatever the hell the Sochi Autodrom is. That the easternmost point of the Indochina Peninsula has precisely zero motorsport heritage doesn’t exactly dispel rumours of this being yet another cynical cash grab by the biggest motoring racing series on the planet. Granted, exhausting amounts of back-stage politics mean fan favourites like the Nürburgring were always going to struggle to reclaim their spots.

Still, in an attempt to spice up interest amidst the almost tangible ire, F1 this week released a promotional track map and suggested that top speeds could hit 208mph (335kph) around the 3.458m (5.565km) street circuit. Interestingly, some of those 22 corners, designed to offer “plenty of overtaking opportunities”, have been inspired by, slash blatantly copied from, other tracks. Turns 1 and 2 for instance draw heavily from the opening downhill left-right combination at the Nürburgring, turns 12 through 15 have essentially been lifted from the climb up to Casino Square at Monaco, and turns 16 to 19 are similar to the Esses at Suzuka.

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3. BMW M8 prototype hot lap

Following the debut of the new 8 Series back in June and the convertible model a few months later, BMW has now begun teasing image and potential performance of its brand new M8 Coupé, anticipated since Bavaria’s finest unveiled the near-production ready M8 Gran Coupé concept at the Geneva Motor Show back in March.

As you’d expect, performance chops from the 4.4-litre ‘S63’ M TwinPower Turbo V8, borrowed from the M5, are suitably impressive, with power said to peak at ‘north of 600hp’. The all-wheel drive configuration meanwhile is said to be heavily rear-biased, allowing the M8 to turn its heroically expensive rear tyres to oil with very little persuasion, while M-specific suspension componentry and a lightweight performance-orientated chassis will bring ‘customary BMW M dynamic prowess’ to the fold.

Full details and price tags are unlikely to be released before the M8’s 2019 debut, but BMW has dropped a 360-degree on-board video of the prototype during ‘the final phase of the series production development process’ at Estoril in Portugal. Your driver is official BMW M test driver, Joerg Weidinger, whose commentary can, in truth, get a little awkward as it intermittently disappears behind that hearty V8 rumble. Fair play though, the two-time FIA European Hill Climb Champion can still hustle.

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4. Radio controlled cars race Skoda’s production line

The factory tour. With most mainstream production lines inching ever-closer towards complete autonomy, it’s becoming one of the toughest and, let’s be honest, most tedious aspects for manufacturer’s battle-hardened and caffeine-fuelled marketing teams to promote, despite the mind-boggling ingenuity of such a system. Hence why the ‘hand-built charm’ remains among the most oft-cited character traits of Bentley and Rolls-Royce to this day…

Skoda though may have found a way to spice up the monotony with a race around its production line with two radio controlled cars. The 1/10 models themselves, designed after SKODA’s Fabia R5 rally car, ‘battle’ the full length of the automaker’s Mladá Boleslav factory in the Czech Republic, past the pressing, welding, paint, engine, and assembly shops at speeds, theoretically at least, of up to 60kph.

More than just an excuse to cock around with RC cars, the video actually highlights an underlying issue at SKODA, whose board is currently considering a new facility in Europe to offset its already over-stretched Czech factory. Production of the green-lit Vision X for instance (see below) means Mladá Boleslav is already undergoing expansion, and factory turnover for the unicorn is expected to rise by more than 80,000 units next year.

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5. Driving through a Californian wildfire

Up until this morning, this entry had included a behind the scenes look at Porsche’s re-imagined 935, which you can still watch HERE. But there was no way we couldn’t include this video of a family fleeing two wildfires currently engulfing California, given the genuinely horrifying content.

It lasts just over a minute, but the visuals speak for themselves as a family drives straight through the heart of the flames – as near a real-life interpretation of Dante’s seventh circle as you’re likely to see – that have essentially wiped the aptly-named Paradise off the map and grew to more than 70,000 acres in a single day.

Posted to Facebook by Paradise resident Brynn Parrott Chatfield, her words are more haunting and poignant than we could even attempt to replicate:

“I feel very vulnerable posting this but I feel I should. My hometown of Paradise is on fire. My family is evacuated and safe. Not all my friends are safe. It’s very surreal. Things always work out, but the unknown is a little scary.”

Chatfield later confirmed that she and her family had escaped unharmed, but tragically, at least 11 people have already fallen to ‘Woolsey Fire’ and ‘Camp Fire’ as thousands more have been forced to evacuate, and emergency services struggle to battle the full force of Mother Nature.