Report: Top Gear spotted testing hot hatches in Tuscany

Filed under: Spy Photos, Performance, Europe, Hatchback

Top Gear in Tuscany

Everyone’s favorite car show is slated to return sometime next month, but we’ve got little indication of what to expect. We’ll know soon enough, but before the first episode of the new season of Top Gear airs – likely with a teaser of what’s to come – we’ve got these snapshots to go by.

According to Netherlands-based Autojunk, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May were spotted with a trio of European hot hatches in the the ancient town of Lucca in Italy’s picturesque Tuscany region. The cars in question appear to be an Abarth 500C Esse Esse, a rare Citroën DS3 Racing and the benchmark Renaultsport Clio.

It looks to be a great shootout, and we’ll look forward to seeing it on the BBC when it airs. Of course it’s entirely possible that, with production schedules the way they are, that won’t happen until the following season, but we’re sure to enjoy finding out one way or another.

Top Gear spotted testing hot hatches in Tuscany originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 26 May 2011 18:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Report: Top Gear spotted testing hot hatches in Tuscany”

Top Gear USA host Rutledge Wood picks up a Buick Roadmaster wagon

Filed under: Car Buying, Wagon, Buick, Celebrities

rutledge wood's buick roadmaster

Rutledge Wood, part of the Top Gear trio here in the States that went out to find the best car from GM’s recent past, (wisely) picked a Buick Roadmaster as his steed. He then used the wagon to wind up victorious over the choices of his co-hosts. Now, Rutledge has shown that he truly cares about the LT1-powered five-door, as he just purchased a 1996 example to put in his own driveway.

Regardless of your stance on the U.S.-version of Top Gear, you have to admire a man who understands the timeless appeal of a good station wagon. Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon owners should look upon the Buick Roadmaster with a fond gaze, because the Roadmaster is part of your hot-rod wagon’s DNA.

This may not be the 2011 Buick Roadmaster that Rutledge was hoping for, but we’re pretty sure he’s still smitten with his new ride.

Top Gear USA host Rutledge Wood picks up a Buick Roadmaster wagon originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 18 May 2011 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue readingTop Gear USA host Rutledge Wood picks up a Buick Roadmaster wagon”

Report: And we’re back! Top Gear returns June 12

Filed under: Etc., Celebrities

Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond

It’s the news we’ve all been waiting for: the imminent return of everyone’s favorite car show, Top Gear. The hit BBC television program has been on break since the 16th season ended on February 27 with episode 6, in which Hammond drove the Porsche 959 and Ferrari F40, May tested NASA’s new lunar rover and Clarkson raced the sun in a Jaguar XJ.

Now FinalGear.com – the website that tracks everything Top Gear – reports that the new season (that’s #17 if you’re counting) will begin airing on June 12. The report comes courtesy of the May issue of the Dutch edition of Top Gear magazine.

So what can we expect from season 17? Hard to say – so far we know Clarkson and May have driven a pair of electric cars, we’ve heard the newly-wed Prince Harry could be making his way to the Dunsfold Aerodrome (a.k.a. the Top Gear test track) and we’ve seen reports that the McLaren MP4-12C may have already claimed the fastest lap time on the board. For everything else, we’ll just have to wait (less than a month now, mind you) to find out.

And we’re back! Top Gear returns June 12 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 17 May 2011 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Report: And we’re back! Top Gear returns June 12″

Top Gear crew makes pit stop, has trouble charging electric cars [w/video]

Filed under: Nissan, Peugeot, Celebrities, Humor, Electric

Jeremy Clarkson gets a push in a Nissan Leaf

Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson gets a push in a Nissan Leaf – Click above to watch the video after the break

It would seem that the guys from Top Gear are back to giving electric vehicles the what-for. According to The Lincolnite, James May and Jeremy Clarkson were respectively spotted piloting a Peugeot iOn and a Nissan Leaf through England during a cross-country trek (which is exactly what electric cars are for, right?).

The duo stopped by Lincolnshire County to ask about the nearest place to charge their alternative-fuel steeds, only to find that the entire municipality is bereft of chargers. Apparently May and Clarkson then set about driving around the city until their vehicles died and they were forced to get a tow.

If this all sounds familiar, that’s because Top Gear rustled up a mess of snakes the last time Clarkson jumped behind the wheel of an EV. After depicting the Tesla Roadster as suffering a brake failure and running out of power, Tesla shot back refuting what happened as pure fiction. That little dust-up has yet to settle.

The truth is that the vast majority of people come to Top Gear to be entertained, and most viewers probably realize that there’s plenty of editing that goes into each segment. We seriously doubt that most EV buyers use the UK show as a go-to resource, but that doesn’t stop the constant ragging on alternative fuels from growing trite.

Check out the video after the break.

Continue reading Top Gear crew makes pit stop, has trouble charging electric cars [w/video]

Top Gear crew makes pit stop, has trouble charging electric cars [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 12 May 2011 20:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue readingTop Gear crew makes pit stop, has trouble charging electric cars [w/video]”

Autoblog Podcast #224: Tesla and Top Gear fight, new Beetle, M5, Galibier and Hemi Wrangler

Filed under: Concept Cars, Podcasts, Etc., BMW, Bugatti, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Volkswagen, Shanghai Motor Show, Tesla

Autoblog podcast logo

Click above for the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes, RSS or listen now!

Autoblog Podcast #224 is here. It’s staffed this week by stalwarts Chris Shunk, Zach Bowman and Dan Roth. We talk about Top Gear and its ongoing fight with Tesla Motors, Volkswagen’s decision to unveil the latest Beetle with MTV as a partner, the new BMW M5 Concept headed for Shanghai, Bugatti saying “go” to the Galibier and the possibility of a Hemi-powered Jeep Wrangler. Your feedback in our Q&A module winds us up, and we’ve embedded that in the post below, as well. Thanks for listening, we’ll see you next week!

Autoblog Podcast #224: Tesla and Top Gear fight, new Beetle, M5, Galibier and Hemi Wrangler

  • Top Gear’s feud with Tesla
  • New Volkswagen Beetle coming
  • BMW M5 Concept headed to Shanghai
  • Bugatti green-lights the Galibier
  • Hemi Jeep Wrangler?

In the Autoblog Garage:

  • 2011 Dodge Journey
  • 2011 Chrysler 300
  • 2011 Suzuki SX4


Hosts: Dan Roth, Chris Shunk, Zach Bowman
  • Runtime: 01:15:17


Get the podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes
[RSS] Add the Autoblog Podcast feed to your RSS aggregator
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly

Feedback:
Email: Podcast at Autoblog dot com
Voicemail: 734-288-8POD (734-288-8763)

Review the show in iTunes and take our survey

Autoblog Podcast #224: Tesla and Top Gear fight, new Beetle, M5, Galibier and Hemi Wrangler originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 05 Apr 2011 17:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Autoblog Podcast #224: Tesla and Top Gear fight, new Beetle, M5, Galibier and Hemi Wrangler”

Top Gear presents its side of story about Tesla Roadster [w/video]

Filed under: Performance, Europe, Government/Legal, Hatchback, Tesla, Electric

Tesla vs. Top Gear

Tesla vs. Top Gear – Click above to view Top Gear’s review after the jump

Tesla has gone to great lengths to publicize its libel suit against Top Gear for the program’s 2008 review of the Tesla Roadster. The suit claims that TG‘s review of the car was rigged, and its assertion that the car doesn’t work in the real world had been decided even before Clarkson drove the car.

Until now, there had been no response from the BBC or Top Gear, other than to say they would defend themselves. According to Top Gear producer Andy Wilman, it’s their policy to hold back any comment until the matter goes to court. Since Tesla has been so vocal about the case, though, Wilman decided to issue a response.

Wilman responds to Tesla’s claims that the show lied about the car’s brakes being broken, that its range is only 55 miles and that an overheated motor immobilized the car. Top Gear says the 55-mile range claim came from Tesla engineers who studied data gathered from the car after the test day. Wilman stands by his show’s claim that the brakes broke, saying a blown fuse in the vacuum pump made pedal effort abnormally high, and that Tesla wouldn’t let them continue the test until the problem was solved.

Whatever side of the matter you stand on, the facts of the case will have to shake out in court. The only thing that seems certain at this point is that the case will likely be long and messy. Click past the jump to see Top Gear‘s original review and draw your own conclusions.

[Source: Top Gear]

Continue reading Top Gear presents its side of story about Tesla Roadster [w/video]

Top Gear presents its side of story about Tesla Roadster [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 04 Apr 2011 14:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue readingTop Gear presents its side of story about Tesla Roadster [w/video]”

Report: Richard Hammond admits regret over Top Gear Mexico remarks

Filed under: Etc., Europe, UK, Celebrities, South America

Top Gear staff discussing Mastretta MXT

Richard Hammond apologized this week for his offensive remarks about Mexicans during a Top Gear segment discussing the Mastretta MXT earlier this year. Hammond said he regretted the remarks, and sees now how they could have been offensive. Still, Hamster didn’t exactly come all the way clean, saying that his words – and those of his two co-hosts – were clearly a joke.

For its part, the BBC has stood behind Hammond, May and Clarkson, saying that off-color humor is an integral part of the show. The presenters and the BBC got a thorough shellacking over the comments after the show aired. Mexico’s ambassador to the UK called the remarks “offensive, xenophobic and humiliating.”

[Source: On the Box]

Report: Richard Hammond admits regret over Top Gear Mexico remarks originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 31 Mar 2011 13:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Report: Richard Hammond admits regret over Top Gear Mexico remarks”

Ferrari Daytona of royal, Top Gear provenance up for auction at Brooklands

Filed under: Classics, Auctions, Ferrari, Celebrities

1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona - chassis #16531

1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona chassis #16531 – Click above for high-res image gallery

With examples from the 250 series fetching earth-shattering prices, the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 “Daytona” is quickly becoming a classic favorite. The wedge-shaped GT from the late 60s and early 70s was a clear separation from the bulbous models that proceeded it, and is today regarded as one of the definitive classic Ferraris of all time. But even among the 1,400+ built, some are more special than others.

For starters, this particular example – which is going up for auction in May under the auspices of Historics at Brooklands – is one of only 158 right-hand-drive models. But chassis #16531 is set apart from the other 157 by its fate once arriving in the UK.

Its first owner was HRH Charles, Prince of Wales, who only drove it for about a week before selling it. A few owners of varied stature owned the car since, until it appeared on the BBC’s ever-popular car show Top Gear. You may recall the episode (twelfth in the fifth season) when James May set sail for Saint-Tropez from Portofino in a speedboat, while Richard Hammond took the coastal road in a Daytona? Well this is that very same car.

Resplendent in metallic blue, tan leather interior and Borrani wire wheels, this 365 GTB/4 has only 26,281 miles on the odometer, and was verified on the dyno shortly before the Top Gear filming to have lost none of the 352 horsepower with which it left the factory. It’s a beauty. Details in the press release after the jump.

Gallery: 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona – chassis #16531

[Source: Historics at Brooklands]

Continue reading Ferrari Daytona of royal, Top Gear provenance up for auction at Brooklands

Ferrari Daytona of royal, Top Gear provenance up for auction at Brooklands originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 30 Mar 2011 17:22:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Ferrari Daytona of royal, Top Gear provenance up for auction at Brooklands”

Video: Take a first look at Top Gear China

Filed under: China, Etc., Videos

Top Gear China

Top Gear China – Click above to view video after the jump

It’s been talked about for months, and now it’s here: Top Gear China recently aired its first episode, joining the original Top Gear UK, Top Gear America, Top Gear Australia and Top Gear Russia. The Chinese spin-off follows the same format as every Top Gear franchise, sporting three energetic hosts, silly challenges and a studio audience made up of attractive girls and trendy-looking dudes.

We have no idea what the hosts are saying, but it looks as if the banter of the original three Top Gear hosts is alive and well in China, and we only hope they fire back off-color jokes about Brits. It would only be fair, after all.

The first episode of Top Gear China includes a comparison test between a Cadillac and a donkey, apparently to see which is better at making corn meal. The idea is hilarious, and from what we can tell, the execution doesn’t disappoint. Click past the jump for the fist 15 minutes of Top Gear China.

[Source: YouTube via TheTycho]

Continue reading Video: Take a first look at Top Gear China

Video: Take a first look at Top Gear China originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Mar 2011 13:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Video: Take a first look at Top Gear China”

Prince Harry poised to drive Top Gear Reasonably Priced Car?

Filed under: Etc., Kia, UK, Celebrities, Russia

prince harry

Top Gear could be set to welcome royalty into the driver’s seat of its reasonably priced Kia Cee’d. Prince Harry is reportedly eager to get behind the wheel and tackle the Top Gear test track in the next series of the popular BBC franchise, where he will attempt to best the 1:44.2 lap time set by Tom Cruise.

Prince Harry is used to handling high-speed machines, but they’re typically of the airborne variety. He recently completed military training that qualifies him to fly Apache helicopters. The top speed of an Apache is listed at 182 miles per hour – a few ticks quicker than the Kia.

[Source: Metro.co.uk | Image: Clive Mason/Getty]

Prince Harry poised to drive Top Gear Reasonably Priced Car? originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 11 Mar 2011 15:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Prince Harry poised to drive Top Gear Reasonably Priced Car?”