January 13, 2008

Best Motoring International - RX-8/Rotary Reborn

Every month, I plan to give a small review on a different Best Motoring International videos that I have from my collection. Of course most of my reviews will be more partial towards the sections that have rotaries, but I won't leave any parts of the video out. Don't expect too much detail, only small reviews so you know what you're in for if you were to watch the DVD. For the first one to review, I thought it would be suiting to review Volume 8, Rotary Reborn!

Rotary Reborn is all about the RX-8's debut in 2003 over in Japan. Starting with the first section, it was a brief history about Mazda's rotary story. They explained how the old RX series was built to rival the Skyline GT-R's on the track. From there, they participated in Le-Mans and other events over time, evolving each car one after the other.

The next section was about the professional racer, Takuya, and his search for a four seater sports car as a daily driver. They did a detailed overview of the specifications, ranging from interior, to exterior features, wheels, etc. They used a Type S model (base sport model in America) for all of the video. From here, they started simple slaloms onto a highspeed stability test. Then, they did a decent comparision of high speed stability against the Skyline Coupe (Inifity G35), and BMW 330i sports package. After that comparision, they took it to the Gymkhana, testing it against the Skyline Coupe, Fairlady Z (Nissan 350), S2000, and the BMW 330i sports package.

After the testing, they took the RX-8 Type S too the touge, along with a RX-7 Spirit Type R, and a Roadster NB (Miata NB body). They did various runs, and compaired the setup between the three cars and where the RX-8 ranges in terms of performance and body rigidity. They basically had said that the RX-7 was built to be a track car right off the lot, as it had a great setup, but the RX-8 was excellent for back roads with its soft suspension but rigid body. Takuya really liked the setup of the RX-8 and was pleased with the outcome, even with the free style doors.

Lastly for the RX-8; They took it to the track. The RX-8 against the S2000, Roadster NB, Integra Type R (Acura RSX Type S), Subaru WRX, and Skyline Coupe on the Tsukuba Circuit. The battle really showed how the RX-8 was overall a well balanced car as opposed to the other cars. The S2000 won in the end, with it's high cornering speed and over all ability, but many of the other cars experienced wear in braking, or tires, or both! The RX-8 kept a overall consistent pace and speed, even though it finished near last.

Next, a Tuned Fairlady Z battle! They had also recently released the new Fairlady Z in Japan, and wanted to test what the Japanese tuners had on the market for the car already. Again on Tsukuba, they took out various tuned Z's and tested each of their abilities, and what they liked and/or disliked about each modification with the tuned cars.

For the last video on the DVD, it was Touge Showdown - 280 Class. Touge Showdown is where various Japanese tuners bring their cars to the touge to compete for the title "Touge Monster" of that class. Todays class was 280, so you are restricted to nothing more then 280 HP. You also must have a street legal car, meaning street tires, and interior intact. Each racer takes the cars out, one by one, giving a review on each car as best as they can while racing it. After testing, they mark down in order, the cars they liked the most. After they decide the top two cars, they have the cars battle it out, Initial D style they call it. What happens is, two cars go down at the same time, and if the car in front can pull away from the car in the rear, the front car wins. If the car in the rear is constantly on the tail of the front car, then the rear car wins. If both cars are even, then it becomes a draw. After the winner is decided after a uphill and downhill battle, that car goes against the Touge Monster, which is the best car of that class (and driven by the Drift King, Keichi Tsuchiya of course!).
This win was taken by the Amuse S2000, which took the win against Tsuchiya's AE86 with ease, becoming the newest Touge Monster of the 280 class.
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