By now, we’ve already seen and heard about Top Gear’s Christmas Special where the troika of Clarkson, Hammond, and May went out for a trip to Israel to go to Bethlehem while reprising the role of the three kings in their nooky-kooky drop tops.
But what we didn’t know was that their trip to Bethlehem would be a lot trickier than just navigating their drop tops along the streets of Israel. In this teaser video leading up to the Christmas Special, the hosts arrive in the Middle East courtesy of a cargo plane only to find out that Bethlehem was 1,200 miles away.
With Top Gear, there’s always a catch, right?
In this case, it’s this: instead of landing in Israel, they touched down in – of all places – Iraq. From there, they would have to drive the 1,200 miles to Bethlehem and while being careful to avoid all the wars currently happening between here and there. And by the way, they also must pick up gold, frankincense, and myrrh along the way.
Not feeling so ‘wise’ now, huh?
The Top Gear trio of Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond may be all fun and jokes in front of the camera, but despite their cunning wit and silly banter, these three all share a unique similarity: they know everything and anything there is to know about cars.
When they say a car is good or bad, their opinions carry more clout than the standard human because they’ve done their homework through countless hours of testing, free drives, and taped segments on the show. And now that we’re nearing the end of an amazingly eventful year, the trio have decided to finally release their choice of vehicles that will be included in the 11th Top Gear Awards.
With categories ranging from Hypercar of the Year, Grand Tourer of the Year, Coupe of the Year, and even Engine of the Year, the three hosts took everything they’ve seen, heard, and driven in 2010 to come up with a winner for each respective category.
In addition to these categories, Clarkson, May, and Hammond also picked their favorite cars of the year regardless of make, model, and type. Care to find out the award winners?
As with any new road-going car trying to make some headway and generate some buzz, the Bowler Nemesis EXR found its way into the clutches of Top Gear. And since the show’s hosts are the ever free-wheeling and daredevil folks that they are - actually, it was just Richard Hammond - they decided to give the Nemesis EXR a proper introduction into the world of crazy test drives.
Taking its cue as a road-version of the Bowler Nemesis racing machine, Hammond decided to find out how the the production version was going to handle being chased by the ever-clicking, and seemingly determined lenses of the paparazzi. Through a number of courses - tarmac, dirt road, and beach - Hammond ran the Nemesis EXR with only one goal in mind: reach the finish line without a paparazzi snapping up a clear high-resolution picture.
The competition was no less formidable for the Nemesis EXR, which included a Jaguar XKR , a Robinson R44 lightweight helicopter, two motor bikes, a Jackal military vehicle, and a hovercraft. In the end - despite Hammond’s lack of driving skills - the Nemesis was able to prevail over the paparazzi, an achievement in itself for Bowler’s road-going monster masterpiece.
Considering Ben Collins has retired/been fired from his role as the Stig on Top Gear UK, it was only appropriate that the Caterham Superlight R500 would see its eventual end as well. Known for making its rounds at the hands of the Stig on Top Gear and as Top Gear’s 2008 Car of the Year, the R500 will be making its last public appearance at the Marks & Spencers store at the Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent, UK between December 6th and 12th.
Caterham Cars’ marketing manager, James Drake said: “The white and orange R500 has already claimed its place in motoring history. It’s worked hard since the new R500 was launched in 2008 and we feel it’s now time to let it have a rest. It will still be available as a static display car, but its hard driving days are over."
Like a retired police officer volunteering as a DARE representative, the Caterham Superlight R500 will now fill its days with promotional work, including promoting the launch of the remote control versions of the real vehicle. Priced at £19.50, these remote controlled R500s will come in the Stig’s color scheme of white with orange stripes, as well as a red version with a white stripe. Do we smell a perfect Christmas present?
Top Gear USA may be trying to find their way to super stardom, but Top Gear UK has been sitting in the celebrity lounge for quite some time, so when they sit behind the wheel of a sports car and want to tell us about it, we listen. In this review, James "Captain Slow" May takes a drive in a Porsche Boxster Spyder which is probably a little bittersweet considering the famous TV presenter just decided to part with his own beloved Boxster.
The Porsche Boxster Spyder is powered by a 3.4 Liter direct injected flat six ahead of the rear axle that delivers a total of 320 HP, 10 HP more than the current top of the line model in the Boxster lineup, the Boxster S, while still getting as much as 30.4 MPG. Like all the other current Porsche models, the Boxster Spyder comes equipped with a seven speed PDK gearbox and a Sports Chrono Package. This allows the Boxster Spyder to sprint from 0 to 60 MPH in 4.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 166 MPH. On the US market, the model is priced at $61,200.
Check out the video to see what James May has to say about the Porsche Boxster Spyder.
Last month we got news that the boys from Top Gear were hanging out on the other side of the world in some not-so-extravagant vehicles. In an effort to make a joke, we compared them to the Three Wise Men heading off into the desert. Turns out, we were kind of right.
For Top Gear’s Christmas special, the trio of Clarkson, Hammond, and May are following the same route as the Three Wise Men. The only problem is the Bible says the Three Wise men followed the Star to find baby Jesus, so what route are the boys taking?
Making a few suppositions, Top Gear will start their trip from Persia, then head to Iraq - the "Cradle of Civilisation" before following the Euphrates up in to Syria and then down in to Jordan. After that, they head for Israel. And while the Biblical men were riding three camels, Top Gear will take their trip in a BMW Z3 , a Fiat Barchetta , and a Mazda MX-5 .
Top Gear wasted little time in their search for the new Stig, heading back to the supposedly “top secret” farm they own where they breed hundreds of Stigs to look for a suitable replacement to the last incarnation who thought that writing his own memoir would make him more famous than his already cool gig as the show’s resident test driver.
The process of finding the right Stig turned out to be a laborious endeavor as a number of Stigs proved to be failed breeds with some being a little too violent, whereas others found talents that are completely unrelated to the automotive industry. Apparently, one Stig even thought of becoming the next great literary author – nice potshot, Top Gear.
Fortunately, out of all the misfits and cast-offs, one Stig was wired to the exact requirements Top Gear was looking for. With nothing but setting fast laps on his mind, this Stig was the one. So, from a farm that breeds Stigs of varying shapes, colors, and sizes, the new Stig has finally emerged, ready, willing, and ever so able to fill in the shoes of the departed version.
Check out the video after the jump to see how the whole Stig-picking process came to fruition.
Of all the things that you can bid on at an auction house, we were surprised when we found out that the Stig’s white helmet was sold at a price that was three times it’s expected value.
Sophia Vaizey, a former production coordinator for Top Gear, was selling the white helmet in an effort to raise money for her house. She was delighted when she found out that the helmet, which was pegged at a value of £1,200 ($1,880), was sold at a pretty impressive amount of £3,400 ($5,327) at Gorringes Auctioneers in the UK last week
The commemorative helmet was given to Vaizey as a present when she left the show after working there for 18 months. "The Stig wore it on the show for quite a while,” she explains.
“He then got a new one for safety reasons, so it got stored away in the Top Gear office. I was quite surprised when they gave it to me, but also I felt honored."
The white helmet was signed by a number of Top Gear folks, including Richard Hammond and The Stig himself, which would probably explain the spike in bids the helmet received at the auction.
Whatever the case may be, the winning bidder would only need to buy a white race suit to complete the whole regalia. We’re hoping he does so soon because that would make a killer Halloween costume for this coming weekend.
If you consider yourself one of the 350 million fans ofTop Gear, then the segment on 60 Minutes featuring the show was tantamount to cant-miss television.
And sure enough, it was probably the most entertaining 15 minutes of airtime we’ve seen in quite a while. Steve Kroft took the time to sit down with the three middle-aged blokes with crooked teeth and awful hair for a look behind the unrivaled success of the show, the hilarious chemistry among Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond, the controversies the show seem to face after every episode, and back stories on some of the craziest stunts they did on the show, including the segment that sent Hammond into a coma, the time they almost died in Alabama, and the grand-daddy of all adventures – according to Clarkson - the North Pole expedition.
If you didn’t get to watch the show in full detail because of whatever other show you were watching – Sunday Night Football being one of them – CBS was nice enough to post the entire segment for your viewing pleasure. There’s even a four-minute outtake video of what you didn’t see during the segment.
Steve Kroft, the host from 60 Minutes, usually gets answers from people he asks questions to. That is, until he met The Stig.
The CBS host took some time to get to know the new Top Gear test driver during a segment of 60 Minutes. In this preview video leading up to the episode this Sunday, October 24th, at 7 pm EST, Kroft gets to ride shotgun on-board a Chevrolet Camaro SS while The Stig tries to drive the wheels off of it at Top Gear’s test track in the UK.
Kroft manages to ask The Stig a few questions in an attempt to get even the slightest audible response from the driver. Yeah, Kroft would have more luck trapping lightning in a bottle than he would to get a retort from Top Gear’s 4th resident silent test driver.
In addition to his bonding moment with the Stig, the preview also shows the host spending some time with the three affable – and quote-friendly – hosts of the show, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, as well as Top Gear executive producer, Andy Wilman.
We don’t know about you, but we’re definitely clearing our schedules this Sunday at 7pm EST time.