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Post Tagged with: "Top Gear"

British Production Value Is Amazing, Except For When It Isn’t

The reason we really love Top Gear, aside from the acerbic wit and entrenched dynamics, is the peerless production value. There are dozens of cameras everywhere, helicopters taking aerials, and graphics wizard-ninja-hybrids to pull it all together. Not that this should surprise, not considering the BBC’s budget for the program, which is estimated to be in the order of $500,000 per episode.

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Sergio Marchionne’s Day Off and the Ferrari F150

Ferris Bueller is famous for taking a day off to sit back, gain some perspective, and enjoy life. He’s been immortalized by popular culture for his care-free nonchalance and devil-may-care attitude. But Ferris’ irreverence wasn’t the only star of the movie, there was also the small matter of the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT with which he co-starred.

And speaking of Ferraris and Days Off, let’s take a peek at Ferrari’s new Formula 1 car for the 2011 season. It was just revealed today and it’s called the F150 in recognition of the best selling vehicle in the entire world, the Ford F-150. Or it could be named after the 150th anniversary of Italy’s unity, it’s tough to say.

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Top Gear Seasons 7-14 Now For Sale On iTunes Canada!

If you’re reading this, then you’re a certifiable (if not certified) car enthusiast and you’ve undoubtedly watched your fair share of Top Gear. Until recently, the only way to do that in Canada was on YouTube, where the episodes are old and incomplete; BBC Canada, where the episodes are just plain old; and torrents, which are slow to download and spotty in terms of quality. If you wanted to get your hands on a copy that you could watch on your laptop, iPod, or iPhone, you had better live in the US or the UK.

Not anymore. In the last couple months, iTunes Canada launched its own library of classic TG seasons, every one of which is worth owning if you have gasoline running through your arteries and exhaust gas through your veins. Although the earliest seasons aren’t currently available, they lacked the polish of the more recent efforts. Currenlty, you can buy Seasons 7-14, which should keep you occupied and thoroughly entertained for about a week straight.

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The Top Gear Winter Olympics: Like Vancouver 2010, But Better

With the Vancouver experiencing unusually warm weather, the 2010 Olympics are shaping up to be somewhat of a letdown. The Canadian media is all over the fact that snow is being flown into Cypress Mountain, the site of some of the snowboarding events. Canada is supposed to be on the world stage, but this isn’t exactly the lead-up many were hoping for. No matter, they say, because the Olympics are still on home soil and we will be vying for its first gold medal at an Olympic games in Canada.

Canadians are supposed to be hyped and excited for international competition on our home turf, but not this guy. I see the Olympics as nothing more than the exploitation of a city for the benefit of a private organization, the IOC. Cities foolishly lavish gifts upon IOC members in the hopes of being chosen, and at the end of the 10 day extravaganza, the hosting city is left with billions of dollars of infrastructure that is destined to lay dormant and unused, a symbol of the brief flash of national pride.

The Top Gear Olympics, on the other hand, couldn’t make me happier. Even more amazingly for a Top Gear aficionado, I hadn’t seen this until today. Now, I’m sharing it with you. Enjoy!


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2011 Ford Fiesta Canadian Pricing

The numbers are in for the Canadian version of the 2011 Ford Fiesta and they’re after the jump, but first a refresher. While it may look very, very similar to the Ford Fiesta that Jeremy Clarkson did a “proper road test” of on Top Gear, in actuality it shares only 60% homology. But that doesn’t make it any less formidable of a competitor in the intensifying B-car segment. Honda Fit, this is a shot across the bow. Since we’re on the topic of Clarkson reviews, we thought you’d enjoy his seminal Ford Fiesta one, including such highlights as being chased through the interior of a shopping mall. By a Corvette.

Make the jump!

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Clarkson Goes Mad, Falls In Love With Kia Soul


When I first saw the Kia Soul in person, at the 2009 Edmonton Auto Show, I thought it was the most charming car there. It was such a notable departure for the Korean automaker, you could sense that the designers were having fun. And having fun is in awfully short supply these days. The thing just had, I dunno, spunk.

Now Jeremy Clarkson, the most critical and controversial automotive journalist/entertainer… in the world, has reviewed the Kia Soul. Just to recap, Mr. Clarkson is anything but fond of Korean manufacturers (as you’ll see in the video after the jump). In fact, he only seems to like Italian and British ones. With reference to the Kia Rio, he once wrote:

“You may have seen The Fly II, in which a scientist attempts to teleport a dog. In one of the most gruesome scenes I’ve seen in a film it arrives completely inside out. Well the Kia Rio is uglier than that.”

This was followed by a rating of 1 star and a verdict of “Absolutely dire”.

So reading his review of the Kia Soul (link after the jump), I was understandably perplexed by his statements such as “I think it looks brilliant, especially if you order it in ivory white because then it looks like the eco-house I dream about building but never will.” Then there’s the closing statement, a statement that had me staring at my MacBook screen in utter disbelief:

“I miss it. And that is remarkable because that makes it the first car from the Pacific rim that is more than 1.2 tons of metal, glass and plastic. The Soul is that as well but it has a personality. It wormed its way into my heart.”

I think the old man has gone soft. Maybe it’s time they pass the torch on to someone else. Like us.

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Top Gear Says Lancia Is The Best Automaker. Ever.

Screen shot 2009-11-30 at 12.54.29 PM

Ok, that’s not an exact quote, but Episode 3, which aired last night, was the best of Season 14 thus far. If you haven’t seen it yet, go here and enjoy it. Am I the only one who noticed the increasing friction between Jeremy and James? If looks could kill, Jeremy would be deader than John Candy.

The episode feature saw Jezza and the Hamster testing Lancia’s notoriously poor reliability record in an endurance race before thrashing a Stratos and a Delta Integrale along UK’s stunning and picturesque coastal B-roads. The cinematography was its usual high-calibre and the banter was its equal.

This summer, I also had a Lancia experience. It’s below.

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Jeremy Clarkson Drifts Jaguar XKR While Wearing Scuba Flippers?

A few days ago we saw an excerpt from Jeremy Clarkson’s new Duel DVD. Now, another. Some of you may remember when Jeremy, James, and Richard when to Spain to wage the battle of the German super-saloons with the Audi RS4, Merc C63 AMG, and the BMW M3 (yes, I know they used the coupé). At the end of the Stig’s track session in each car, and after the M3 had thoroughly trounced the other two, Clarkson was so upset with the Stig’s lack of car control in the C63 that he challenged the robot in the white suit to drift the car precisely over an apple on the edge of the track.

Well this is kind of like that. But with a Jaguar XKR convertible. And scuba flippers.

The German super-saloon battle is below, just to refresh your memory.

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