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Popular British car motoring show Top Gear took to Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, South Africa to complete the first ever documented double loop-the-loop, which they dubbed, the “Deadly 720.”
The automotive industry is a global business that is constantly evolving and growing, and we here at AutoGuide know it can be hard to keep up sometimes. So here is a summary of the top stories you may have missed this week:
Born to Warren Hall Shelby and Eloise Lawrence Shelby on January 11, 1923, it wouldn’t be until 1952…
Jeremy Clarkson took to his Twitter account to confirm to the world that Top Gear won’t grace our televisions for the remainder of this year except for a Christmas special.
The American version of BBC’s Top Gear has released a video taken from the debut episode of the first season. This footage features a dramatic chase between a Dodge Viper SRT and a Cobra attack helicopter.
The challenge was for hosts Tanner Foust and Rutledge Wood to take the Viper on a 10 mile round trip through Griffin, Georgia, all while being hunted by the Cobra. Just like a video game, the Viper had three lives to make it to the finish line. If the Cobra got close enough for the kill three times, game over. The Viper tries to outrun, outwit and out maneuver the Cobra – it even tries to hide out in a car wash and a cemetery in an effort to shake the Cobra off its tail.
We won’t give away anymore spoilers, you can watch it for yourself below.
We first broke news of BBC America’s new show, Richard Hammond’s Crash Course, last month. In typical larger-than-life fashion, Hammond will get behind the wheel in some massive machines, leave a trail of destruction, and squeezing in a little television presentation along the way. These heavy machines include logging equipment in Oregan, an industrial trash compactor in Florida, cranes and magnets in a Louisiana salvage yard and an M1A2 Abrams main battle tank.
Having proudly owned a 1969 Dodge Charger R/T, 1967 Ford Mustang GT 390, and a 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT-8, Hammond loves American cars and is probably the best choice to host a U.S. show.
Check out the promo trailer for BBC America’s new Richard Hammond’s Crash Course below.
Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson is paid to piss you off, it’s what he does best. Maybe someone should have forwarded the memo to Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk.
Musk probably should have taken Top Gear’s pot shots with a laugh and kept doing business, but it’s easy to understand why he might be feeling defensive. His company keeps hitting nasty potholes in the road to success, like the “bricking” problem that apparently compromises the battery system in Tesla vehicles, a costly repair.
This Top Gear drama started back to December 2008 when the show gave a mixed review to the Tesla Roadster. Their program said the car failed to meet its advertised 200-mile range, instead only achieving 55 miles. That figure came from running it on a track where any vehicle would have less than optimal range, electric or otherwise. They also bashed the Roadster for having deficient brakes.
Brakes and range aside, it’s essential to remember that Top Gear is first and foremost an entertainment program. The episode depicted crew members pushing a “dead” roadster into a hangar, though the facts emerged during Tesla’s lawsuit. Surprise, surprise, the car wasn’t dead and the shot was used for effect.
This isn’t terribly dissimilar to the infamous Bugatti Veyron versus McLaren F1 drag race episode, where the show managed to eek out a Veyron victory, only after several F1 first-place finishes. Again, Top Gear is for show first, reporting second.
British Justice Tugendhat threw Tesla’s claims out in October, 2011, saying the company’s lawyers needed to amend their malicious falsehood claims.
The final chapter, (one would assume), in this one-way pissing match closed today. Justice Tugendhat dismissed Tesla’s revised claim which said there were “reasonable grounds to suspect that each of the Claimants [Top Gear] had intentionally and significantly misrepresented the range of the Roadster by claiming that it had a range of about 200 miles in that its true range on the Top Gear track was only 55 miles”.
Hopefully Tesla can move past this cat fight and focus more on the bricking issue at hand. Small car startups have enough problems without taking British TV bullies to court.
Check out Tesla CEO Elon Musk discussing the Top Gear episode in the video after the jump.
[Source: The Truth About Cars]
Jeremy Clarkson was invited to the BBC1′s The One Show’ last November where he remarked that the striking public sector workers should be shot. Striking controversy once again, Clarkson’s comment caused more than 30,000 complaints to the BBC and almost 800 to media regulator Ofcom.
Responding to the public reaction, Ofcom held an investigation to decide whether the show had broken any rules on taste and decency. Finally, Ofcom has announced that the program is cleared of breaching broadcasting regulations, defending that viewers should be familiar with Jeremy Clarkson’s “provocative and outspoken nature.”
Ofcom director Christopher Woolard stated in a four-page letter that, “The editorial nature of the program as a whole would have prepared viewers for the type of comments Jeremy Clarkson would be likely to make” and when considering Clarkson’s “well-established public persona,” Clarkson’s comment wasn’t overly offensive.
Woolard also added that, “The audience for this edition of The One Show would have expected Jeremy Clarkson to make potentially controversial or offensive statements… his comments were not an expression of seriously held beliefs or views that should be literally interpreted.”
In the past, Jeremy Clarkson has always been known to make a wide range of brash remarks. By now, victims to Clarkson’s insensitivity will have to accept this is only Clarkson being himself.
Check out Jeremy Clarkson’s controversial segment on The One Show after the jump:
Many enthusiasts agree that of all Ferraris, the 1964 Ferrari 250 GTO road racer eclipses the rest. With less than 40 examples ever made, classic car collectors agree: this ranks among the most desirable.
Last week, Top Gear revealed that a private treaty sale happened for Ferrari 250 GTO serial number 5095. It sold for £20.2 million, or $31.8 million U.S., the transaction made this GTO the most expensive Ferrari in the world. Unofficially, the 250 GTO is also the world’s second most valuable, only bested by the 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic sold in 2010. Few elite automobile sales are publicly disclosed and prices are almost always protected, though it was estimated to cost between $30 and $40 million.
While the price of this particular Ferrari 250 GTO had been revealed and confirmed by the broker involved, the identities of the buyer and seller remain anonymous. According to speculation, the car is believed to belong to British businessman Jon Hunt, who purchased the Ferrari back in 2008 for the equivalent of almost $25 million..
[Source: Top Gear]
To appease the millions of insatiable television viewers, the BBC teamed up with BBC America to create a new show featuring Richard Hammond, one of the legs to the entertaining tripod of Top Gear presenters.
While the show is not necessarily a Top Gear spin-off, Richard Hammond’s Crash Course is still an over-the-top experience that challenges Hammond behind the wheel of giant machinery, documenting his adventures, leaving a trail of destruction in his wake.
This is not your average road test, Hammond will operate heavy machines including logging equipment in Oregan, an industrial trash compactor in Florida, cranes and magnets of a Louisiana salvage yard, as well as a M1A2 Abrams main battle tank.
For the tank segment, Hammond and the crew of BBC visited Fort Bliss of El Paso, Texas. The American military is understandably reluctant in allowing civilians to operate equipment, but the soldiers of the U.S. Army artillery and armor brigades base gave him tank driving 101 just the same.
Having undergone intensive training, Hammond was finally ready to operate the Abrams and fire its cannons and 50-caliber machine gun, crushing vehicles including a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle, a 1968 Ford Mustang and a 1979 Porsche 928 *sigh.
Look out for the debut on April 16, 2012, airing on BBC America.
[Source: New York Times]
If you had the chance to go on a driving adventure with a celebrity, which one would not make your list? In Britain, that celeb turns out to be controversial Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson.
According to research by Continental Tyres, British drivers wouldn’t want Clarkson as their co-pilot during a 4×4 drive across the Sahara Desert. Continental Tyres polled 2,000 drivers as part of the launch of this year’s Conti 4×4 Trophy, an epic off road challenge where contestants drive a Hummer across the Sahara Desert.
“Jeremy Clarkson might have motoring credentials but either his calamitous road trips on Top Gear, his lack of practical skills or his outspoken views mean most people would leave him behind,” said Tim Bailey, spokesperson for Continental Tyres.
In terms of who they would want to share the journey with, men would like to bring Kelly Brook along for the drive, while women chose Robert Pattinson to rev their engine.
Here is the complete list of the top ten worst celebs to go on driving adventure with:
While America anxiously awaits Alfa Romeo’s return, Fiat has been getting busy deciding to produce the 4C sports coupe, packing plenty of lightweight carbon fiber, a turbocharged four-cylinder powerplant with 230-hp, rear-wheel-drive and a 4.5-second 0-60 mph time.
The concept originally debuted at last year’s Geneva Motor Show in a matte red finish (pictured above) and then made another appearance in a liquid-metal finish in Frankfurt a few months ago. Since then, many Europeans have been speculating whether or not Alfa Romeo would go ahead and produce the 4C but now Top Gear is reporting that they will, with testing of the vehicle beginning next year and hitting the market in 2013.
Reports are saying that the 4C will be priced at around £45,000, which is $70,000 or so. For the performance that Alfa Romeo intends to pack in the vehicle, it should be formidable within that price range out in Europe and it’ll be rather interesting to see if it’ll ever make its way to the American market when Chrysler reintroduces the brand to the US.
There is also a chance that Alfa Romeo will over a more powerful 4C model with around 300-hp and possibly a roadster variant later on.
GALLERY: Alfa Romeo 4C
Discuss this story at 4CForums.com
It is not common for a car company to take legal action against a publication or TV show based on their opinion of the product, but Tesla did just that after TopGear aired an episode in 2008, featuring the all-electric Tesla Roadster.
According to Tesla, TopGear showed their car in a less than perfect light, claiming it suffered from poor range and even had a problem with the brakes.
The program claimed that the Tesla ran out of range in just 55-miles, well short of the 200-miles its makers suggests. This according to Tesla has been an ongoing cause of concern for its to be customers and hence sued the BBC program for libel.
However, at a ruling on Wednesday at the High Court in London, U.K., the honorable Justice Tugendhat sided with the BBC and said that no TopGear viewer would have reasonably compared the cars performance on the track to compare with the cars ability on the road.
A car would be driven far more aggressively on the track, and would thus be less efficient than when used on public roads.
Tugendhat went on to say; “In my judgment, the words complained of are wholly incapable of conveying any meaning at all to the effect that the claimant [Tesla] misled anyone.”
The judgement in favor of TopGear and its broadcaster the BBC was verbally handed out on Wednesday before lunch time.
Tesla however pointed out five other counts of complaints against TopGear, saying it staged some of the footage, like when the car was being pushed into the garage and also that just a faulty fuse was made to be looked as if the brakes had malfunctioned.
The case will resume in a few weeks time. We will keep you posted on this developing news story.
[Source: The Guardian]
Not so long ago, we told you about the special edition satellite navigation device by TomTom which features the voice of the Stig (!) and Jeremy Clarkson, both of TopGear fame.
Now due to a clause found in BBC’s own contact, this device had to be pulled off the shelves. According to the BBC, all its presenters “must take particular care not to endorse any product or service which could be covered in the programmes on which they work.”
Since this TomTom device could have easily been featured in an episode of TopGear, it would breach the contract rules and thus cannot be allowed to be put on sale.
However, the issue only came out after the device had already gone on sale. A reported 54,000 of these TopGear special edition sat nav’s have been sold thus far, however the BBC is not allowed to make any money due to its breach, and thus will have to donate all proceeds from its sale to its charity – BBC Children In Need.
Similarly, TomTom will also make a donation from its profits to a charity of its choice.
Clarkson, who had nothing to do with the brokering of this deal will also make no money from this transaction. However, anyone who currently owns this now very rare TomTom Go Live TopGear Edition, could sell it for a profit.
No word yet if this BBC clause will effect the new Forza4 video game, which also features the voice of Jeremy Clarkson.
[Source: The Guardian]
There is no need to worry if you can’t get enough Top Gear paraphernalia because there is no shortage of collector items in sight.
The Isle of Man, famous for the Isle of Man TT and a popular backdrop for past Top Gear specials, is now offering a series of stamps to celebrate the most entertaining motoring show in the world (you just read that in Jeremy Clarkson’s voice).
The designs on the stamps pay tribute to six memorable Top Gear Challenges, including efforts to create their own amphibious automobile, a better caravan, an electric vehicle, a Reliant Robin space shuttle, a caravan airship, and finally a journey across the North Pole in a Toyota Hilux.
Pick up your Top Gear stamps at the Isle of Man Post Office.
TomTom is launching a limited edition GO LIVE “Top Gear” edition satnav device, featuring the hit British motoring TV show’s star presenter, Jeremy Clarkson, as well as its resident driving extraordinaire, the Stig.
The new TomTom GO LIVE starts at $269.95 and will include a one year free subscription of HD Traffic, a technology that will prompt traffic updates every two minutes, offer detailed incident reports, the length of delay, as well as accurate travel times and alternate route proposals in order to help commuters combat ever frustrating traffic congestion. Moreover, the limited edition device will offer unique Top Gear selected points of interest including race track and raceway locations related to the series. Jeremy Clarkson, known for his passionate disapproval of speed cameras, will be pleased to know that the GO LIVE will also send nearby speed camera alerts for the driver.
But the best part: Clarkson will be the default navigation voice for TomTom’s new device. However, when switched to Stig Mode, some say the device gets puzzled if the satellite positioning system does not indicate the vehicle is located within the Top Gear test track. All we know is the device instantly turns silent.
GALLERY: TomTom GO LIVE Top Gear Edition
We’ve seen Jeremy Clarkson review some of the most beautiful and exotic cars ranging from the Bugatti Veyron to the classic Jaguar E-Type. We’ve also seen him review some of the most hideous cars like the Reliant Robin, but military vehicles? From a video game? This is a first.
Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson will be spicing up Forza Motorsport 4 with a featured role in the XBOX 360 game. With the game ready for release in October, this commercial has been released featuring the high tech M12 FAV Warthog from Halo, and the witty Jeremy Clarkson. Now gamers and auto enthusiasts are getting the best of both worlds. Interestingly, the Warthog won’t be the only vehicle that will receive Clarkson’s review. Apparently the game’s Autovista model will introduce players to a wide variety of unique vehicles.
In the short commercial, Jezza approaches the imaginary assault vehicle with his typical sarcasm and dry sense of humor, that we’ve come to know and love from his fantastic TV show. Check out the video after the jump to see the tank like all-terrain vehicle.
Auto enthusiasts who enjoy gaming will be happy to know that Top Gears Jeremy Clarkson will be spicing up Forza Motorsport 4, as he will be featured in the XBOX 360 game. Top Gear UK and Microsoft have been working to create a partnership between the witty British motoring show and Forza Motorsport.
The partnership will consist of Clarkson writing and vocally recording his own witty takes on a series of cars ranging from the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG to the McLaren F1. Players will be able to listen to Clarkson’s reviews of cars in the game when choosing a vehicle to use.
Interestingly, Forza 4 will also allow players to enter virtual showrooms where the user can open car doors, examine wheels and look under car hoods. Dan Greenawalt, a developer of Forza Motorsport 4 said, “We thought about how people want to interact with cars, to move around one, open the doors, kick the tires,”. “Our goal with this is to turn gamers into car lovers, and car lovers into gamers”, according to Greenawalt.
Video game and auto enthusiasts can expect to see Forza Motorsport 4 out on October 11 in the U.S.
[Source: New York Times]
More commonly known as Mr. Bean, Rowan Atkinson is a little hard to take seriously. In all of his acts, the oftentimes silent comedian can generate laughs with his facial expressions alone. That’s why when we heard that he was recently on Top Gear and even set the fastest time in their “Star in a Reasonable Priced Car” competition, we knew we had to see the clip. We all knew Atkinson was an automotive enthusiast, but being able to see him in action while piloting a car around a track is truly priceless.
Piloting a Kia Cee’d, Rowan Atkinson now sits on top of the leaderboard with a time of 1:42.2, besting the likes of Tom Cruise and Simon Pegg. In addition, Atkinson brought a V16-powered Rolls-Royce Phantom to the show, a vehicle he was granted the rights to use through Rolls-Royce themselves. It’ll be seen in his upcoming film Johnny English Reborn, where the 9.0L V16 Phantom will star with Atkinson. Supposedly Rolls-Royce had toyed with the idea of mass producing the 9.0L V16 Phantom but ultimately tossed the idea out the window. But prior to that, Rolls-Royce managed to produce three or four of them, one of which Atkinson was able to get his hands on.
We can’t wait to see what sort of comedy ensues in his upcoming film, despite having a more serious note than the majority of his previous work.
Check out the clip of Atkinson at Top Gear after the break.
Rule, Britannia, rule the waves! Britons never will be slaves! The boys of Top Gear recorded an impressive laptime around their famous test track with the McLaren MP4-12C, and if you haven’t seen the episode yet, you might want to skip ahead.
The homegrown MP4-12C beat out foreign contenders such as the Ferrari 458 Italia, the Bugatti Veyron, and the Gumpert Apollo, with a time of 1:16.2 around Dunsfold—the second fastest record on the power board.
Then again, the Top Gear folks have a thing for patriotic bias that makes Sean Hannity look like a Communist—even if Ferrari built a 10,000-horsepower Italia that shot cans of London Pride out the exhaust pipes, Jeremy And Company would still find a way to handicap it. Maybe if they stuffed the interior with gnocchetti filling, then dropped a piano on it.
If only the rest of the British car industry followed through on such spirit. We shall fight them on the beaches! We shall fight them on the test tracks!
Click the jump to see the full comparison.
Jeremy Clarkson, the host of Top Gear, is in hot water again for a comment he made in his column. While he was discussing the eco feature on his LG flat screen TV, he said that using the feature “dims the screen so much, every programme looks like it’s being presented by Lenny Henry in a cave.”
For those who don’t know, Lenny Henry is a black comedian. The two do, however, have a history of insulting each other after they cohosted a celebrity telethon.
Previously, Clarkson managed to insult the entire population of Mexico when speaking about a new super car company based in the country. Clarkson also offended the Muslim community when he, James May and Richard Hammond dressed in the traditional garments of the religion’s women during their Christmas special episode. Past rude comments have required public apologies but there is no indication as to whether his latest foul comment will require similar action.
Top Gear’s new series will start in a few days and car enthusiasts around the world are eagerly marking off their calendars.
So far we know that James May will be showing us the new Aston Martin Virage,and Jeremy Clarkson will be comparing the McLaren MP4-12C to the Ferrari 458 Italia. We also see the BMW 6-series up against the Mercedes-Benz CL and we hear Richard Hammond talk to Clarkson about Chevrolet Corvettes. This is the second commercial to be released and the show will be airing the first episode on June 26.
Check out both videos after the jump!
Car enthusiasts from around the world are marking their calendars off with big red Xs as BBC’s Top Gear returns. The first episode of season 17 will air in just eleven days with the trio will back in the drivers seat and up to their usual shenanigans driving exotic cars in exotic locations.
Top Gear has just released this montage commercial showing little segments of what will happen in the series. We know for sure that Jeremy Clarkson will be driving the all-new McLaren MP4-12C, James May will be riding shotgun in the MINI WRC car paired against a luge racer and Richard Hammond is driving some massive dump truck on top of passenger cars through a city street.
It looks like we are all in for a treat! Check out the video after the jump: