Weekend Video Roundup: Hot-Lapping a Chevy Volt, Nissan of Brazil Talks Smack at Ford, Inside BMW’s Skunkworks and More!
In life, sometimes you’re the bug, sometimes you’re the windshield, and sometimes you’re the human sitting behind the windshield onto which a bug has splattered and saying “Eeeew!” What does this mutation of an old adage have to do with this week’s videos? To be honest, we haven’t a clue. But we’re quite certain you’ll like the clips we’ve rustled-up for this week.
Inside BMW’s “Plant Zero”
BMW, like every other major automaker, has vast resources – both human and material – dedicated to research and development. And like most other car companies, BMW likes to keep a tight lid on its R&D operations…until now. BMW has served up this brief video tour of its prototyping facility in Munich, codenamed Plant Zero. Inside, the Roundel brand’s lab rats show us how they hand assemble prototypes of new models, “print” new parts out of aluminum, and even explain why their new camouflaging technique involves so many swirls.
Hot-Lapping a Chevrolet Volt
What are some of the words that come to mind when the Chevrolet Volt’s name is mentioned? Groundbraking? Green? Stylish? One of the words you probably don’t think of is “sporty,” but that didn’t stop an enterprising soul from caning one around Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during a recent track day of some sort. And while actual mileage may vary during normal driving, it will definitely vary trying to keep Evoras and Boxsters in sight around a racetrack.
Nissan Riles Ford with Brazilian Ad
It’s standard practice for companies to compare their products to those of their competitors in their marketing efforts, but Ford of Brazil feels Nissan of Brazil went over the line in the above TV spot. The ad rather playfully accuses Ford of overcharging buyers for the Focus and then living a life of excess off the roughly $1,800 premium over Nissan’s own Tiida (Versa to us Yankee Doodles.).
Ford has objected to the portrayal of its employees as goofball rappers with affinities for champagne and buxom swimsuit babes, and has filed a lawsuit. And yes, we do have it on good authority that there really are cars and a couple of pasty rappers in the ad.
Isle of Man TT Documentary Trailer
Since 1907, the Isle of Man (a U.K. territory poking through the waves roughly halfway between Britain and Ireland) has held a motorcycle race around its roads: The Isle of Man Tourist Trophy (TT for short). It’s still going strong, with modern superbikes blasting through towns and narrow county lanes at ridonkulous speeds.
Now, in an attempt to expose the race to a wider audience, a new documentary titled TT3D: Closer to the Edge is set to premiere next month. It follows TT veteran and mutton chop wearer extraordinaire Guy Martin as he attempts to finally win his first TT. Epic speed, epic danger, epic setting and epic facial hair? Count us in.
2012 Nissan GT-R Blitzes the Nürburgring
Nissan has refreshed the GT-R for model year 2012, and the company decided to take it to the Nürburgring to see if it could get around the serpentine 13-mile circuit quicker than the original R35. Turns out that it’s two seconds faster, thanks in no small part to the facelifted model’s extra 45hp and various chassis tweaks. Now, let’s see if Porsche offers a rebuttal, preferably of the on-track variety.
Lamborghini Aventador Commercial Behind-the-Scenes
It should come as no surprise that we’re monumentally stoked about Lamborghini’s new top dog, er, bull, the Aventador LP700-4. The new V12-powered pavement shagger features bold styling, the obligatory scissor doors and a gaggle of racecar tech features like a carbon fiber passenger compartment and pushrod suspension. It should also be no surprise that we giggled like schoolgirls when we first watched this set visit video for the Aventador’s commercial courtesy of our peeps at Edmunds Inside Line. Listening to that dozen-pot mill howl as the new Lambo flagship blasts across a dry lakebed puts us in our happy place, but likely not as much as the final edited advert will.
Mercedes-Benz Formula 1 Drivers Ad
Finally, the 2011 Formula 1 season finally kicks off in Australia this weekend, the original season opener in Bahrain having been postponed due to that country’s major league civil unrest. Anyway, Mercedes GP drivers Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg are, like their competition, out to prove themselves to be the alpha dogs of the field. Of course, they also want to beat each other out on the track and, it would appear, in the restaurant. The two Germans try to one up each other by buying each other increasingly more expensive bubbly. However, Schumi’s old sparring partner, Mika Häkkinen, serves them both a friendly, caffeine-laden reminder that they should both concentrate more on beating last year’s world champion driver and constructor, rather than each other. Sage advice from the Flying Finn.