Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Top Gear Series 1 Episode 3

On this episode, does sex sell cars, does styling sell cars, are all old people horrible drivers, is there a car that can go around the track faster than the Pagani Zonda, and Ross Kemp takes his turn in the Suzuki.


Segment 1: News

The show starts of with the guys sitting on stage talking about how they separated the audience into two groups. The people behind the stage are the good lookers. Those off camera are not. The guys complement a girl and a guy who are standing behind them. They bash a guy for his hair. Then they see guys who look like an Oases tribute band. Jeremy then shows an ad for the Motorshow, which has an attractive girl on the ad. Jeremy also brings up a woman who complained about using sex to sell stuff. She is the new ministry labor of something, according to Jeremy. Jeremy says that using sex to sell cars is very last week and is uncool. Richard brings up a group who is suing the government for painting speed cameras florescent colors. The group wants the speed cameras to be grey and hidden to catch more speeders. Jeremy describes Transport 2000, a group who is against cars.


Segment 2: The New Mini

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Mini One
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Toyota Yaris Verso
The segment starts with Jeremy telling that every time he goes to a petrol station, somebody asks him if he has driven the new Mini. Jeremy then walks over to the Mini in the studio and there is a girl in a bikini on the hood of the Mini. Jeremy then says people ask him what is the new Mini like to drive. Jeremy then asks what is an aquadrome. To kill two birds with one stone, he drive the new Mini by the Billing Aquadrome. He says there are three types of Mini: the supercharged Cooper S, the normal Cooper, and the bottom of the range Mini One, which Jeremy is driving. Jeremy finds out that the Billing Aquadrome is a caravan campsite. Jeremy says he was a huge fan of the old Mini and says BMW did a good job with the new Mini. Jeremy says people would love the Mini and they would love the Mini even after it was time to sell it. Jeremy gives a tip, saying that if you are going to buy a Mini, buy the cheapest model. He says that all Minis have the same 1.6L engine and the difference between the Mini One and the Mini Cooper is a chip. The Mini is 1,300 pounds cheaper than the Mini Cooper. Jeremy says to buy the Mini One, then switch out the chip. Switching out the chip cost 385 pounds. Jeremy says the wheelbase of the Mini is the same as the wheelbase of a Range Rover Discovery. There is a ton of room in the front, but no legroom in the back of the Mini. The new Mini also has a small boot. Jeremy says the Mini is hopeless when it comes to space. He then shows a Toyota Yaris Verso, which costs just as much as a Mini One. There is a lot of space in the Yaris. There are three seats in the back, which can fold into the floor. Jeremy struggles to get the seats into the floor. He tries the seats behind the passenger, and failed. He tries to get the seat behind the driver, and succeeds. This show is taped in the UK, so the driver and passenger seats are switch since the British drive on the left hand side of the road. Jeremy says the Yaris is a very practical car, once you have read the instruction manual. Air conditioner is standard in the Yaris, which is optional on the Mini. The Yaris also has a 3D digital dash. The Yaris crushes the Mini like a beetle, according to Jeremy. Jeremy has a problem with the name. He says it could be a fullback for Arsenal. Jeremy also does not like the styling of the Yaris. He says it looks like an ugly snake that has swallowed a wardrobe. Back to the studio. Jeremy has the Mini and Yaris next to each other. He says the Yaris is a better functional car than the Mini. Yet Madonna and several other celebrities have Minis. Jeremy says that styling sells. 


Segment 3: Car Designs

Porsche 928
He then says the true heroes are the automotive designers. He has Peter Horbury, a car designer who turned Volvos from ugly into stylish functional cars. Peter says it was his job to make a Volvo with a the front end of a sports car and the rear of a Ford Transit. Peter says it is important to a car national characteristics. According to Peter, the Swedish are a simple, practical people, so he made a simple, practical estate. He also says that the Japanese are concerned with details, so the Japanese cars have a lot of detail built into them. The designer says his favorite car is the Porsche 928, a German grand tourer. Peter says the 928 is very rounded and has aircraft-like design qualities. The 928 is the first car to have integrated bumpers. There is no blemishes of the 928. Jeremy says that Peter took qualities of the 928 and try to put them into a Ford Sierra XR4. Peter says that the windows of the Sierra are similar to the windows of the 928. Richard says the 928 is not the best looking car ever. He says that distinction goes to the Citroen DS.


Segment 4: Citroen DS

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Citroen DS
Richard says the Citroen DS is genius. Richard says that for many people, including himself, the DS is one of the most beautiful cars ever made. It is so petite around the tail. It is slightly angular in the rear and the widens going from the rear to the nose of the car. The styling looks feline. People liked the car so much that 12,000 Citroen DSes were sold on the first day. The original design of the Citroen DS lasted for 20 years. In the 1970s, the DS became too clever for its own good. It had swiveling headlights. The DS had futuristic design and technology. It had great aerodynamics, disc brakes, a hydraulic system that controlled suspension, steering, and brakes, a semi-automatic transmission. This was unheard of in 1955. Richard says the DS is not an easy car to drive. Once you get the hang of the driving system, the DS is great. Richard and Jeremy argue whether or not the DS is the best looking car. Richard brings up the fact that Jeremy is a multiple time winner of Britains Worst Dress Person Award.


Segment 5: Grannies Doing Donuts


Honda S2000
Richard wants to know if there are old people that could still drive. To find out, he has five grannies compete in the Granny Donut Challenge. The grannies will be driving a rear-wheel drive Honda S2000. Russ Swift, a stunt driver, will teach the grannies how to do donuts. The actual competition will be shown later on in the show.


Segment 6: Ross Kemp

Ross Kemp
Ross Kemp, of EastEnders fame, is this week's Star in a Reasonably Price Car. Ross Kemp does his own stunt driving and drives a Porsche 996 Turbo. Jeremy say that he hates the 911 for having engines in the back of the car, but he says he like the 996 edition of the Porsche 911. Jeremy and Ross play Name that Car, the first image stumps both guys. A person in the audience correctly guessed Audi TT. The second image is a car with the door hinge on the outside. Jeremy correctly guesses Land Rover Defender. The third image is the headlamps of a car. A guy in the audience correctly guesses Fiat Punto. The fourth image is the rear air intake of a car. The picture pans out and it is Ross's Porsche 996 Turbo. Ross took a road trip through Europe in his Porsche. His trip was six days. Ross went 200 mph during the trip. Ross's lap was being edited during the interview and will be shown later on in the episode.


Segment 7: Inside Trading

The first item is Alfa Romeos. Jason says that Alfa Romeos have depreciation problems. Jason says you can get a new Alfa Romeo 156 straight from Alfa Romeo for 349 pounds a month. You can deposit 1000-1100 pounds and then pay 350 pounds a month for 35 months. You can drive it for 3 years, have all servicing paid, then give the car back to Alfa Romeo. Jason says that also 350 pounds a month, you can drive a Vauxhall Vectra Diesel. You can also get a fully-loaded Skoda Octavia for 350 pounds a month. A BMW 322 will cost an extra 100 pounds a month. A Mercedes-Benz E-Class costs 452 pounds a month. Daewoo went out of business and has to get rid of all of its cars. 700 used Daewoos are going to auction. People can get Daewoos, which are cheap cars, at even cheaper prices. People can get 18 month old Daewoos for just over 4000 pounds. The last item is the Ford Mondeo. People can get a 3 year old Mondeo for 4500 pounds. The most you would lose is a 1000 pounds a year in depreciation.


Segment 8: Aston Martin DB7

Aston Martin DB7 Vantage

Jeremy starts the segment off by talking about the Lamborghini Miura, the first ever mid-engine car. He says that some people consider the Miura the best looking car of all time. Jeremy says that it isn't. Jeremy says the Aston Martin DB7 Vantage is the best looking car of all time. Jeremy says that the early DB7 had several problem. Jeremy also says that the DB7 has less technology in it than in a Jaguar. He also says the 6.0L V12 is lacking in power. The DB7 has the computer under the driver seat, so headroom is small. The only good thing about this car is that you can ask yourself, "Shall we take the Aston?" You can drive by fancy stores in the car and not feel ashamed. Jeremy says that the DB7 Vantage is the best looking thing every created by man. Jeremy has Ian Cullen, the designer of the DB7, on the show. Jeremy says that he will never see cars quite as beautiful as the Aston Martin DB7 because of legislation. Ian explains how legislation is changing the design of the car. Jeremy then has Ian Cullen and and Peter Horbury each design a car on an easel. Jeremy has each designer draw a Jaguar E-Type. Jeremy says he wants to take a shot at designing a car. The guys are drawing an E-Type the way they want to design the car and not have to confined to legislative restrictions. Peter and Ian design the exact same car. To end the segment, Jeremy shows Ross's lap. He went around a wet track on a rainy day in 1:540.0 Jeremy said the Stig also went around the track with the same track conditions and did a 1:50.0 lap.


Segment 9: Grannies Doing Donuts continued

The first granny gets into the car does several donuts. The second granny went, does several donuts, and ends up in the grass. The third granny went and drove in wide circles, instead of tight donuts. The fourth granny went and did several tight donuts. This segment proved that old people can drive. The fifth granny and did several tight donuts. The fifth granny did the best donuts.


Segment 10: Westfield XTR

Westfield XTR
Richard says that several people sent in cars that they believe could go around the track faster than the Pagani Zonda. Richard says that he had to ignore most of the submissions. He says that a small company Westfield has a car that it believes can beat the Zonda. Richard shows the car and Jeremy immediately questions its styling. He also does not believe that the XTR is road-legal, which Richard shows a video of the XTR on the road. The XTR has a 1.6L engine that produces 170 bhp and the XTR is very light. Richard says he has driven the car and shows the video. Richard says you can build an XTR for under 20,000 pounds and weighs 410 kg. The car has a power/weight ratio of 460 bhp/ton. This car uses a bike engine and a bike transmission. Richard then shows the lap of the XTR. Jeremy does not believe the XTR will be faster around the track than the Zonda. The XTR went around the track in 1:22.6. To end the show, the guys show Jeremy's drawing of a Jaguar E-Type and it looks like a little child drew that.


Overall, this was an above average show. The best joke was that it is uncool to use sex to sell cars. There were two girls in bikinis showing off cars. The first girl in a bikini was sitting on the hood of the Mini. The second girl in a bikini was showing the details of the Lamborghini Miura. Subtle, but funny. Grannies doing donuts was a nice segment. I still find Jason and his inside dealing to be dull. This segment becomes irrelevant a few months after the show is taped. The chemistry between Richard and Jeremy has improved since the first and second episode and their back and forth segments are improving. Still it is an above average episode.


Final Verdict, 65 Stigs out of 100. It is just slightly better than the pilot episode.

CarJunkie

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