My favorite car show

by Volker Weber

Is there any better car show than BBC's Top Gear? A show that pitches an Aston Martin against the TGV or airs a review like the Ariel Atom which happens to lap faster than a Porsche Carrera GT? This week they are looking at hatchbacks:

So, what happens when you put a 2.0-litre turbo-charged engine in a hatchback? It depends on what company did it. If it's VW then you get the solid, rounded performance of the Golf, with a meaty engine that will provide enough thrills to keep you happy until your mid-life crisis. If it's made by Renault, it will look like it was designed by someone who has lost their contact lenses but it will have all the toys onboard you could ever wish for, plus bone-shaking speed. If Vauxhall are behind it, then you get a stunning looking car, with performance far too good for the chassis. Which in turn means you might end up looking out of your side window at a tree that wants to get to know you better.

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I too like Top Gear; it’s a very entertaining programme, even if you’re not really au fait with the motoring world.

It starts the week off well! (airs on Sunday evenings in the UK).

Ben Poole, 2005-07-25

As Jeremy would say it: this must be the BEST car show ... IN THE WORLD! And probably the only one that favors British cars over excellent build quality German cars or stunning Italian cars. Except for the Rover Streetwise that is ...

Pascal Frencken, 2005-07-25

Not everyone agrees with his antics though, nor with his dress sense.

PS: The links to The Independent don't work any more since they changed their CMS a few weeks ago and didn't bother with redirects

Armin Grewe, 2005-07-25

Fantastic show. Don't bother reviewing the mundane family cars - just get out on GT's, GTA's, GTI's and anything else fast..
Clarkson's experience with the new Ford GT so far is just hillarious.

Paul Mooney, 2005-07-25

Armin, of course not everyone agrees with his antics. That is exactly the point.

For those who disagree with him, we have former racing driver Christian Danner with security tips and two German police telling us about reckless driving. Or lots of experts with ties and big tags of their boring companies.

And rest assured that JC does exactly know that he is causing a stir when he drives up a mountain with a big honking SUV. That is again exactly his point.

Volker Weber, 2005-07-25

That Ministry of Propaganda person sounds like a real bundle of laughs eh. They would be great at a party ;o)

This all reminds me of a BBC news story a few months ago:

BBC: 'Petrolheads' under attack

Ben Poole, 2005-07-25

Hi Ben, "that Ministry of Propaganda person" has a name. It's Armin. Just in case you hadn't noticed.

Armin Grewe, 2005-07-25

I hadn’t noticed Armin, sorry :o)

I don’t agree with many things Clarkson says and as Armin points out his dress sense is pretty poor too. I’m not big into cars and driving, but I find the man very entertaining for all sorts of reasons.

Combine Top Gear’s ludicrous stunts, prevailing silliness, excellent presenters and Clarkson’s ability to wind people up, and the BBC have a gem of a show on their hands.

Ben Poole, 2005-07-25

German car magazines and tv-shows take themselves too seriously. And who wins in those "objective" comparisons? Most likely "German" cars. Funny that France and Italy seem to offer the same kind of home advantage to their car manufacturers.

And that's what I like about British car reviews. They no longer have a national champion and they review a car as the emotional product it is. Top Gear is taking that approach a bit further and it's a great pleasure to watch the show.

And I remember the famous Vectra test by Clarkson a couple of years ago, which probably started that wonderful sillyness, giving up all boring pretense of objectivity...

Moritz Schroeder, 2005-07-26

Another of my favorites was Clarkson in a DB9 racing the other two using public transport including a TGV from their studio to Monte Carlo. And the repeat a series later with the Ferrari 612 and a plane to somewhere in Switzerland.

Oh, and anything they do to caravans is priceless.

And of course, I almost forgot, the beating they gave to the Toyota Hi-Lux that miraculously kept going.

Kevan Emmott, 2005-07-26

Found that one: Clarkson having difficulty destroying a poor old Porsche 911.

Moritz Schroeder, 2005-07-26

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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