The Top Gear Thread - Vol 4 - BobbyG

**** Thread closed. Discussion continues in Vol 5 ****

www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?t=14589


Just watched tonight's Top Gear which had the Fiat 500 on it. It prompted me to think - when did manufacturers change the doors opening from what the Fiat had to what we are used to now?

Also, which is best - I was looking at the Fiat thinking that it makes great sense being hinged at the rear so that you can swing your legs in and out and also use the door to lean on if required.

Whats your thoughts?
Top Gear - Fiat 500 - Marcos{P}
I'll be told that this is utter carp but I think doors open the way they do for safety. Imagine driving along at 60mph and your door latch fails, the door opens slightly but is kept closed due to the wind. Now the same thing happens with reverse opening doors and its bye bye door and a couple of small children.
Top Gear - Fiat 500 - Johnny20
I'm sure thats right, Marcos, the rear doors on the new Mazda RX-8 are rear hinged as well but the front doors overlap them slightly to prevent them opening or something like that!
The new Roller has got suicide doors too.





Top Gear - Fiat 500 - Johnny20
and i'm guessing that where the name suicide doors came from???
Top Gear - Fiat 500 - Rob the Bus {P}
I certainly won't be telling you that it is utter carp, Marcos. I think that that is the very reason that these so-called 'suicide doors' were banned.

The new (and extremely ugly, IMHO) Rolls-Royce has these doors and was only given certification in this country because RR agreed to fit a safety device that prevents the door opening at speeds of more than 5mph.

Rob
Top Gear - Fiat 500 - BobbyG
So if any manufacturer fitted such a device they could put these doors in?
Top Gear - Fiat 500 - Dynamic Dave
I think that that is the very reason that these so-called
'suicide doors' were banned.


But are these suicide doors banned. Don't black cabs have them to enable the driver to reach his arm out the window to unlatch the rear doors as a courtesy thing for the passengers?
Top Gear - Fiat 500 - jeds
A few years ago a small child fell out of a black cab on a motorway. A girl I think, and I'm sure it was the M4.

Top Gear - Fiat 500 - THe Growler
The double cab F-150 pickup up to 2002 had suicide rear doors, but thes can not be opened unless the front (normal) ones are.

My favourite is the early 60's Lincoln Continentals (of Grassy Knoll in Dallas fame) with the superb suicide rear doors.

See one of those (in black, their only possible colour) pull up outside the (long gone) Dunes in Vegas and some gorgeous broad slide elegantly nyloned perfect legs across and out most decorously too as she flicks her fur over her shoulder and stalks disdainfully inside, her sculptured rear under its pencil skirt undulating deliciously, followed by some gentlemen of clearly Meditterranean descent wearing black suits tailored perfectly to disguse what they're carrying under their left armpits, black shirts, white ties, expressions set like concrete behind black shades.

There is progress in automotive design and there is forward motion. The two do not necessarily always equate. Or I think "converge" is the current "in" verb.
Top Gear - Fiat 500 - Sheepy-by-the-Sea
I think this happened a few times - 'Thats Life!' had a long campaign on the subject, which culminated in central-locking and a shield over the latch to stop it being opened inadvertently.
Top Gear - Fiat 500 - P.Mason {P}
I almost became a statistic at the age of 5, when I was travelling in the back of a Morris 8. I had my arm hooked over the open window when the door opened and I swung out and back until I was travelling outside the car, backwards! Luckily I 'froze' in terror,still hooked over the door frame, and my father realizing what had happened, braked gently, causing the door to swing back and deposit me neatly onto the seat again..
P.
Top Gear - Fiat 500 - Garethj
This was done for safety in the 60s, you can see that early Fiat 500s have suicide doors but later ones are front-hinged.

Gareth
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - ajit
Top Gear 'trashed historic Jaguar'
By Lewis Smith



JEREMY CLARKSON’S Top Gear BBC team were called a “bunch of joy-riding hooligans” yesterday and accused of damaging one of Britain’s most cherished cars, the Jaguar that won the 1953 Le Mans 24-hour race.
The C-type, now worth several million pounds, was the first to average more than 100mph for the race and marked a revolution in racing design that helped Jaguar to dominate Le Mans during the 1950s.

To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the victory, the BBC borrowed the car and put it through a series of spins and high-speed manoeuvres on a runway. When the car was returned to its owner, the son of one of the winning drivers, he said he found that the vehicle had been “trashed”.

The drive-shafts were mangled, the clutch destroyed, the rear tyres had all the tread burnt off them and the car was in need of immediate repair.

Adrian Hamilton, whose father, Duncan, and co-driver, Tony Rolt, drove the Jaguar at Le Mans in 1953, was incensed at the car’s treatment. “They were just throwing the car around as if they were some hoodlums who had nicked a Fiesta out of a car park in Birmingham,” he said.

“When we got the Jaguar back it had obviously been hammered. The idiot who drove it showed no respect for a unique piece of racing history. He drove it like a complete lunatic.”

The car, one of only three of its kind still surviving, was driven at Dunsfold airfield in Surrey by Top Gear’s regular racing driver, Perry McCarthy, known on the programme as Stig, who is himself a Le Mans competitor, accompanied by James May, a presenter with the programme since 1999.

A BBC spokeswoman said the way the car was driven was the result of a misunderstanding. “The production team asked if it was OK for them to ‘drive the car hard’,” she said. “Mr Hamilton said it was, but unfortunately both parties have differing opinions of what hard driving is.

“Top Gear has no intention of upsetting Mr Hamilton, the car is being repaired and both parties are in discussion about the cost.”



Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - Technoprat {P}
Why should there be any discussion about the cost? Surely the BBC has to pay?
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - Dynamic Dave
Top Gear 'trashed historic Jaguar'
By Lewis Smith

>>
Top Gear's regular racing driver, Perry McCarthy, known on
the programme as Stig, who is himself a Le Mans competitor,
accompanied by James May, a presenter with the programme
since 1999.....


Nice to know that Lewis Smith (whoever he is) has got his facts correct. Top Gear, in the new format didn't return to the screens until 2002! Also James May didn't start co-presenting Top Gear until this year!!
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - glowplug
What a surprise, Clarkson and the other kids trashing other peoples property. Happens a lot on council estates. What would JC have to say if it was his car?

Steve.
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - J Bonington Jagworth
It's about time Jaguar called in all the free vehicles that JC has the use of (and used to boast about). I wonder if the BBC will have the nerve to show the piece?
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - eMBe {P}
DD:
1. Is there a possible "copyright" issue here in the way that Ajit has copied an article from somehere without any references or acknowledgement?

2. Am I wrong in thinking that James May was a presenter in the old top-gear series during 1999?
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - ajit
Apologies, it was from today's Times - error regretted
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - Mark (RLBS)
Did you need some registration and/or membership to read it ?

If not, then no worries just credit them as source.

If you did need special access, whether or not you had to pay, then rather than posting the article, post a link to it. If we are only posting a link then its their issue.

All for future reference rather than this instance.

M.
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - PhilW
V. similar article was in the Telegraph Motoring Section last Sat 9yes, I know you only read the Honest john section!) and I remember thinking that Top Gear must have treated that historic car more harshly than it was treated for 24 hours at Le Mans by Duncan Hamilton (and Tony Rolt(?))
Seems typical of Top Gear - I must admit that I have stopped watching it, it seems only concerned with being sensationalist rather than giving objective and informative information on cars and motoring matters. Who would think of doing doughnuts in a 50 year old C type? What's the point?
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - frostbite
What is the point of doughnuts, full stop?
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - GS
I can't imagine this sort of behaviour occurring on Top Gear's 1965-1973 predecessor, "Wheelbase" staring Gordon Wilkins and Raymond Baxter - now that was a proper, informative motoring programme.
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - Dynamic Dave
DD:

>>
Am I wrong in thinking that James May was a
presenter in the old top-gear series during 1999?


As quoted from the profile of presenters from the Top Gear Website "James has been writing for car magazines - including Top Gear - for many years." So no, it doesn't look like he has previously presented TG, just written for the magazine.
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - Morris Ox
James May did make a brief appearance as a TG presenter a few years back, but sensibly left before it went down the pan in the last series of its old format.

JM is a journalist of some standing, having written for mainstream motring mags, classic car journals and the one and only Country Life for some years.

Also a damn fine chap, I understand.
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - frostbite
I think I preferred the old format that "went down the pan".
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - Steve S
I think Ox meant literally the last series, not the classic JC,QW,TN & VBH years.

The last series was when the Irish guy with the Vic Reeves specs (name escapes me but he writes for the Times & does Right Car Wrong car) took over.

That is when TG hit the low point - right Ox?
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - frostbite
The last series was when the Irish guy with the Vic
Reeves specs (name escapes me but he writes for the Times
& does Right Car Wrong car) took over.
That is when TG hit the low point - right Ox?

>>

I believe that's Jason Barlow, now also of the DT motoring section.

Can't stand him!
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - Morris Ox
I think Ox meant literally the last series, not the classic
JC,QW,TN & VBH years.
The last series was when the Irish guy with the Vic
Reeves specs (name escapes me but he writes for the Times
& does Right Car Wrong car) took over.
That is when TG hit the low point - right Ox?

TG hit its low point when it dispensed with messrs Needell, Butler-Henderson et al and did a double-hander for a series with Quentin Willson and Kate Humble, who was inserted by producers who thought any old presenter would do. That's when the audience figures headed south big time.

Jason Barlow is fine as a presenter because he started out as a motoring mag journo and simplifies from an informed angle. professional 'presenters' (a contradiction if ever there was one) use goldfish as a starting point when they simplify...
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - Dynamic Dave
James May did make a brief appearance as a TG presenter
a few years back....


I stand corrected. Must admit to never actually remember seeing him though. Must have been very brief indeed!!
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - CM
Maybe TG should get Max Power to sponsor the programme
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - 3500S
Well, I might as well be the token support for the programme. I find it entertaining which paradoxically motoring in this country has become anything but.

I really enjoy the montages they do on cars from the past. I loved the piece of the beloved Land Rover and also the Rover P5B. They do have a knack for showing surprises and also no kow-tow and crawling like some other car programmes. I think they have a truly independent voice. BMW must have been seething when they dissed the Z8 but if the car's a dog, the car's a dog.

JC has sold me on the Jag XJ which I would love to own as my next car.

As I do like JC, might not always agree with him but in this miserable 'cult of celebrity' age; he raises two fingers to it and speaks his mind. I'm glad people don't like him and I'm glad people do. I find nothing more annoying and trite than some populist, bland sycophant towing the line. You can't accuse JC of doing anything like that.

Sure they might jump into a Bentley and rip its tyres to shreds and I admit a more voyeuristic side to seeing a £250,000 car driven like that.

As for the vintage Jag.... There are two types of classic car owners and you can argue about this until you are blue in the face.

1. There are the owner drivers, they drive their cars and they drive them hard at times. They expect things to break and fall off, they spend more money keeping them on the road because they believe cars are meant to be driven.

2. Then there are the 'polishers'. These are people that own an expensive classic and they hardly ever drive it. It remains in some kind of stasis, dehumified tent, never driven and more likely to succomb to over-polishing than tin-worm. They buy a car for an investment; a speculator of an object.

My suspicions is the Jag owner was a polisher and not prone to driving this car which begs to be driven. I find it hard to believe that the owner of such an car as this didn't lay down some very definite guidelines as to what could and couldn't be done with the car. That's simply strikes me as naivety.

As for who pays for the damage, that's simple, whoever had it insured. Clearly Top Gear are insured for this kind of thing, they either get the insurance to pay or pay from their pocket.
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - Tony N
100% Agree 3500, it's like no-one seems to know how to have fun any more...
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - Liverpaul
3500, you're not too token. I actually enjoy the new TG, and like Clarkson even though I can see why it must annoy some. I like the humour element and find they aren't pandering to the manufacturers, if they dislike a car they say so.

Cheers
Paul
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - BobbyG
Hear Hear, definitely enjoy it as well, especially the 1 hour program gives much better variation than the old 1/2 hour program did.
My only criticism is that a lot of the chat between the presenters just seems too rehearsed.....
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - Altea Ego


>"There are the owner drivers, they drive their cars and they drive them hard at times. They expect things to break and fall off, they spend more money keeping them on the road because they believe cars are meant to be driven."


just travel to any historic car race and you will meet these types who drive the thing hard and spear very expensive and valuble classics into the armco in genuine racing accidents.
They get rebuilt and raced again. They were racing cars and we should see how they perform and how hard they were to drive at the limit.

Now driving the jag hard round the test track at Dunsfold is fair game. Finding its limit round a track is fair game.

I am however getting peed off with watching JC do doughnuts. All you see is a cloud of smoke. And frankly its becoming obvious he is a rubbish driver (as he freely admits)
and just does doughnuts 'cos thats the limit of his driving skill.

Therefore the only time JC should be allowed in the driving seat of a valuable and desirable classic is when someone has removed his arms and legs.
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - AlanGowdy
Top Gear has become a bunch of irresponsible idiots with a perpetually juvenile outlook driving like joy-riders. This sad incident merely confirms my worst impressions of the show.
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - 3500S
Can you justify that statement a little further?
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - Altea Ego
Can you justify that statement a little further?


who? what?
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - AlanGowdy
It\'s an acceptable entertainment for Big Brother viewers - a fantasy world that bears little relation to our own everyday experience. I don\'t give a pink fluffy dice whether or not the latest Porsche is 1.637 seconds quicker than the latest Ferrari to 100 MPH or if it should be considered rubbish \'cos it can\'t corner at 3G. But if that matters to you - watch Top Gear. It\'s perfect for you. Why should I worry? Life\'s too short (etc. etc.)
Cheers
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - Flat in Fifth
Totally support AlanGowdy in this, the driving in Top Gear bears no relationship to real life, either road or track.

Its only watchable as long as you operate in "this is light entertainment aimed at Sun readers" mode.

Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - Mark (RLBS)
How condescending.

I enjoy Top Gear. Its entertainment on television, not life or death. If I want to see real life road driving I'll go and sit on the kerb outside the house.

As it happens I am not a Sun reader, although I am not sure of the relevance.

Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - Flat in Fifth
How condescending.


People in glass houses
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - Mark (RLBS)
Don't be a silly little boy, I am never condescending. ;-)

And look, I even put a smiley to make it ok.
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - Derfel
IMHO regardless of the desirability or otherwise of racing classic cars over preserving them the final word on the matter should rest with the owner. While Adrian Hamilton may have expected his car to be driven quickly round the test track he clearly did not expect it to be comprehensively trashed and abused.

When you consider the car belonged to his late father it is grossly discourteous and a complete abuse of trust to take the car out of his sight and then damage it. Top Gear should apoligise unreservedly and pay the bill in full.

The very fact that the car was taken out of his sight points to the fact that they must have known he would not be happy with the treatment it was receiving.

And yes I do believe that classic cars, especially competition cars, should be driven and raced hard in events like the Goodwood Festival of Speed. They were after all designed for it.
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - AlanGowdy
As I said earlier - a bunch of irresponsible idiots.
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - AlanGowdy
One more thing.... cars are designed to be driven within sane limits - not tested to destruction by leaden footed oafs who love the smell of hot metal and burning rubber. If that's what you want to see go to a stock car meeting.
I'm getting bored with this.
Cheers
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - gliaviate
To anyone with a brain "driving hard" would imply fast and effective but I would have thought that Mr Hamilton should have known better. Top Gear is nearly all about entertainment, and without it the ratings would probably not support such a show. Doughnuts etc. are generally indicative of slow, ineffective driving but they do look exciting for the cameras. Personally I would prefer a programme of a more informative nature, with articles on developing technologies etc, but the appeal would not be wide enough outside car enthusiast circles. William Woollard was the last front-line presenter who gave any impression of actually knowing anything about the workings of a car.

The present series of Top Gear, with the inclusion of James May I find to be the least irritating for many years; at least it does present a flavour of what a car is actually like. As long as one watches Top Gear for its intended purpose without expecting expert comment, I think it is quite a good programme. They might, however, find that people will be rather more reluctant to lend them unusual cars....
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - bugged {P}
I saw a TG program once where they had JC's own car on there, (SL55 amg?) he drove it carefully and all that because it was brand new, and then the rest of the presenters took it and ragged it about like a go cart! lots of doughnuts etc!

I dont really have much to say on the program itself, I think it was awful without JC though, those two kids they had on there before were a joke, at least JC brings a smile to your face once in a while!

Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - puntoo
I heard Mr Hamilton on the radio, and he is a friend of JC.

The damage (and I quote him on this) came to a few thousand pounds. Now for a historic car which had it drive shafts,clutch and wheels shredded I dont think that its as bad as its been made out to sound.

Now if it was my car and it was so precious first off I wouldn't lend it to anyone without me watching everything they were doing (especially after they asked if they could drive it 'hard').
Secondly if it was worth that much I wouldn't have lent it to them in the first place.

Mr Hamilton expected them to do a nice serene peice of driving marking the 50th anniversery of the win (or something like that). Clearly he hadn't asked them what they were going to do with it, he offered the car, they didn't come begging on his doorstep.

Sour Grapes.
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - Dynamic Dave
JC's own car on there, (SL55 amg?) he drove it carefully....
and then the rest of the presenters took it and ragged it
about like a go cart!


A slight exageration of the truth. The only other person to drive the AMG was The Stig, not the rest of the presenters. In fact if you had looked carefully enough I think you'll have found that the AMG JC was driving and the AMG The Stig was driving were 2 different cars anyway!!
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - Morris Ox
I saw a TG program once where they had JC's own
car on there, (SL55 amg?) he drove it carefully and all
that because it was brand new, and then the rest of
the presenters took it and ragged it about like a go
cart! lots of doughnuts etc!

They didn't, actually. If you look carefully, you'll see the car they took to the track in was a Mercedes UK press vehicle...
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - 3500S
Well, I don't read the Sun neither do I enjoy the sad edifice that is Big Brother. Sweeping generalisations do anyone little credit.

Mr Hamilton, the owner of the Jag if he had owned the car for so long still should have set some ground rules, not to do that is naive. I do agree Top Gear should pay to have the car throughly repaired. I wouldn't let them have my £4,000 classic without telling them what they could and couldn't do let alone an almost priceless Jag.

As for the content of the show, I do disagree, some of the articles are very informative, I especially liked the Jag MkII piece which was fascinating and also Chris Barrie's piece on the E-type. People need reminding that a farmer's Land Rover is a car that not only has sold millions but saved countless lives in parts of the world that are almost unreachable. Cars change lives and mostly for the better.

They do have a lot of exotica on the show and they do burn it around the track but there's one thing everyone is missing the point of. We can't do that on the road, 70mph, right or wrong is the speed limit. Watching what a high-performance car can really do in the hands of an expert driver is informative and entertaining. JC is not a great driver but still has a go, good for him. I defy anyone to say that given a car like a Zonda and the use of the track that they wouldn't have a go as well.

JC also drove that XJ for a far as he would until he felt stressed, he drove from London to John O'Groats in it. That's a credit to XJ but also to JC, the man clearly has a passion for cars and driving and fair play to him.

Independent opinion is something lacking on TV, not just on cars but on a wide range of issues and Top Gear does that very well. Vauxhall sudder when JC slams the Vectra or BMW don't always make the ultimate driving machines. You might not agree, fantastic, the world is not some lowest common denominator, homogenous lump. Opinions count as does personal taste.

Slamming the man because he gets on TV and speaks his mind is all part of a healthy debate. Slamming the man for who he is smacks to me of a judgemental attitude found more in the playground than debate amongst adults.
Top Gear Trashes, Stig Revealed - Cardew
"Slamming the man for who he is smacks to me of a judgemental attitude found more in the playground than debate amongst adults."

Well said!

Like JC or loathe him isn't it refreshing to have a motoring hack who speaks his mind and is not constrained by the fear of losing advertising revenue. Most journalists are.
Top Gear live crash test - Soupytwist
Surprised that Sunday's Top Gear which involved an actual living person driving a Renault Megane into a stationary Ford Mondeo at roughly 30 mph in order to see what would happen has generated no comment.
I think the fact that the driver got out apparently unscathed says a lot about modern safety standards. Also a bit more real life for most of us (unfortunately) than thrashing a Swedish supercar with a stupid name round a track.

Matthew Kelly
No, not that one.
Top Gear live crash test - Altea Ego
I wonder if Renault gave them the car for that purpose? Wonderful sales technique, really impressed the door opened (not even a groan or creak)and the bloke just climbed out. Makes me feel even better about my 5 star Laguna.
Top Gear live crash test - owen
not particularly scientific though - whilst it made the megane look very good, it was not an aggressive impact, and i would be interested to see how other models would have performed. Not saying that the megane isn't very good, just that top gear skirted over the main issues just to provide "exciting" telly.
Top Gear live crash test - puntoo
Megane has very good crash test results always scoring highly.

Now if they had done in it in a mini or a 2cv then I would have been impressed. Though I doubt they would have just walked away.
Top Gear live crash test - Altea Ego
"The Kia Sedona people carrier is named the least safe new car in an influential safety survey. The family vehicle gained just two stars for occupant safety and only one for pedestrian safety. The combined total made it the worst-performing car in the annual Euro New Car Assessment Programme (ENCAP) for two years."

news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3022362.stm

Top Gear live crash test - blank
The Euroncap tests have some value but you cannot compare the results of different sizes (actually masses) of car.

Anyone volunteer to be in a 3-star MCC Smart in a head-on with a Kia Sedona?

Not me, that's for sure

Andy
Top Gear live crash test - Marcos{P}

Depends how much cash your going to offer.

Top Gear live crash test - Altea Ego
The Euroncap tests have some value but you cannot compare the
results of different sizes (actually masses) of car.
Anyone volunteer to be in a 3-star MCC Smart in a
head-on with a Kia Sedona?


Of course you can! No difference in size of car to its crash worthiness. They crash a car, big or small, offset into a fixed block. They then measure the ability of the car structure to keep the passenger cell in tact. So a 10 ton car has to absorb enough energy to keep the cell in place, ditto a smart. The main problem of big hitting small is that the crumple zones miss! A Range Rover will ride over a smart and dispiate enrgy into the smart where it wasnt meant to be!
But if your 2* Sedona hit a 5* Espace where would you want to be?
Top Gear live crash test - Mark (RLBS)
I\'d tend to agree that without understanding the size/weight etc. of a car then the figures don\'t help much.

Without knowing what the ratings are, if my Landcruiser was 1* and a Clio was a 5* I would still rather be in the Landcruiser if the two were going to collide.

Surely the ratings are only really an effective measure when comparing two or more otherwise broadly similar cars.
Top Gear live crash test - Baskerville
Mark
Without knowing what the ratings are if my Landcruiser was 1*
and a Clio was a 5* I would still rather be
in the Landcruiser if the two were going to collide.


I\'d tend to agree with you if only because the Landcruiser will go over the top and crush the Clio. Mind you, I\'d rather swerve a Clio to avoid a Landcruiser than the other way around...

Chris
Top Gear live crash test - blank
>> The Euroncap tests have some value but you cannot compare
>> the results of different sizes (actually masses) of car.
>>
>> Anyone volunteer to be in a 3-star MCC Smart in a head-on
>> with a Kia Sedona?
>>
They crash a car, big or small, offset
into a fixed block. They then measure the ability of the
car structure to keep the passenger cell in tact. So a
10 ton car has to absorb enough energy to keep the
cell in place, ditto a smart.


That is correct. What you miss though is that the crumple zone of a heavy car has to absorb a lot more momentum (energy) to slow the car from 40 mph(?) to standstill than the little car. In the Smart to Sedona comparison, I estimate about double.
The main problem of big
hitting small is that the crumple zones miss! A Range Rover
will ride over a smart and dispiate enrgy into the smart
where it wasnt meant to be!


Very possibly, I don\'t have the expertise to comment
But if your 2* Sedona hit a 5* Espace where would
you want to be?


In the 5 star Espace, obviously, because they have comparable masses and the Renault is far better looking.
Top Gear live crash test - J.B.
It's great to see the progress the manufacturers are making and these tests are great for comparison, but I hope it doesnt make people think that they are invunerable. 40 mph is not very fast. If you hit opposing traffic the relative speed will probably be much faster. And thats before you start considering lorry chassis etc. Research shows that the safer people feel the more risks they take.The world of aviation has a saying "There are old pilots and bold pilots but there are no old bold pilots" Sweet dreams!!!!
Top Gear live crash test - Technoprat {P}
How did the Mondeo do?
Top Gear live crash test - blank
All the results can be seen on www.euroncap.com/results.htm

Andy
Top Gear live crash test - Altea Ego
Depends on the model year

check yours here www.euroncap.com
Top Gear live crash test - Dr Rubber
The mondeo was side swipped. Front, Back and B pillar very deformed. I would not have wanted to be a passenger in the car.

As for the crash "test", it was not as severe as the Euro-NCAP test, but still representative of a bozzo pulling out in front of you! The Megane actually looked like it may have been repairable after the crash.

Joe

Top Gear live crash test - edisdead {P}
J.B makes an interesting point, and one i generally agree with. Consider how much safer a driver one would be, if instead of being cocooned with airbags, we sat in a cage of steel spikes!
Top Gear live crash test - pd
J.B makes an interesting point, and one i generally agree with.
Consider how much safer a driver one would be, if
instead of being cocooned with airbags, we sat in a cage
of steel spikes!


According to Euro NCAP you can achieve a similar effect by purchasing a Rover 100.

;)
Top Gear live crash test - edisdead {P}
what, those things are still legal!? ;-)

I remember travelling as a passenger at 90mph in one many years ago. It had red seat belts. I was frightened.
Top Gear live crash test - CM
yes it is nice to see that manufacturers are improving their products, but how many people buy their cars based on the NCAP results. I certainly don't or rather didn't but believe that mine is a 4 star for passengers and a 3 (?) for pedestrians.

Unless the buying public is forcably told what rating their potential purchase is, I think that most people will be oblivious to what they are about to get in.
Top Gear live crash test - pd
Unless the buying public is forcably told what rating their potential
purchase is, I think that most people will be oblivious to
what they are about to get in.


They get a fair bit of publicity despite this. The NCAP result pretty much finished off the Rover 100. I think some of the most interesting results is comparing generations of cars. For example, look at the Citroen Xantia v Citroen C5 (you don't need to look at the ratings - just look at the pictures), Merc C-Class Mk1 v Mk 2 etc.

Obviously, to an extent, manufacturers are designing cars to do well in this specific test but the structures are evidently becoming much stronger (you can tell this by how the cars drive - you don't need to crash 'em).

I thought the Top Gear (for Top Gear) NCAR report moderately informative. The Freelander was interesing - a lot of people buy these as they are considered "safe" but the NCAP report paints a grim picture of an old design.

Top Gear live crash test - MichaelR
example, look at the Citroen Xantia v Citroen C5 (you don't
need to look at the ratings - just look at the
pictures


Please don't remind me :(
Top Gear live crash test - Danno
I'm afraind this winds me up. You will see some differences between what is said by EuroNCAP and its US equivalent - Highway Safety tests at www.hwysafety.org/vehicle_ratings/

On the subject of the Freelander, you have to put this into perspective. Max Moseley (FIAA chief, and as such linked in some way to F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone - however tenuous the link, its all I need to know) personally introduced and promoted laboratory EuroNCAP testing so that real people didn't have to do live crash testing - a totally laudable intention.

Fair enough. But EuroNCAP is largely imperfect - vehicles do not crash into one of the same size, weight or structure; some manufacturers which have been panned by and objected to the laboratory restrictions fo the NCAP tests feature quite strongly in real life - Mercedes, BMW and Saab spring to mind? However politically incorrect, a 4x4 shows three times the level of protection of an "average" car, even if it is more prone single occupant accidents and to roll-over (viz tall cars) (US Research) - this has to (unfortunately) depend on driver restraint and control to minimise risk.

I would strongly encourage htose concerned with safety, whether they are buying a second hand car not tested under EuroNCAP or even if it is, to doubele-check their findings in the following document:-

www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_transstats/docu...p

[double-click the PDF document to open it]

The document is published by the Police following records of any 2 vehicle smash in which occupants are injured. The Thatcher adminsitration first published the information under 'freedom of information' believe it or not, available 10 years ago as a HMSO publication called "How Safe Is My Car?" This has now been withdrawn and you've no idea how long it took me to find this information buried away in the annexe to a Government annual report. Is this progress? Still the information is free - just impossible to find.

A friend of mine recently spoke to me very concerned about the reports of the 40 mph offset rash test of the Freelander .In actual fact the Freelander performs on average as an average 4x4 - most of it's equivalent sized peers do much worse because of their comparative low height and weight. Even so, the stats suggest a risk of fatal or serious injury at the same as the Vovlo V70, but with a lower minor injury risk. I had to make this comparison to the guy, because his family owns both. Only the sample size for the Freelander is very small, giving rise to a low confidence rating in the reliability of the stats - but its still 159 more ''tests'' than EuroNCAP carried out.

I know there are a host of other reasons to be concerned or hostile about 4 x 4s - but for a family man, safety talks and
1600 is a very reliable sample of the vehichle we have chosen which has a low level of risk.

The results of this research were summarised and published in Auto Express, which pointed out that the only three "1%" vehicles (i.e.1% risk of death or serious injury) based on real-life road accidents were the Land-Rover Defender(!!! 40 years old????), Land-Rover Discovery and the Jaguar XJ 1995+ -everything else varied by a factor of up to 5 - i.e. up to 5 times the risk. So, in this case, Jermey Clarkson (who has been winding people up about the Freelander) get your facts right, and if you wanted to be a safe journalist, find the Jag you sold in favour of whatever rubbish you have at the moment.

Top Gear live crash test - Altea Ego
>yes it is nice to see that manufacturers are improving their products, but how many people buy their cars based on the NCAP results.

It is actually becoming a very big sales feature. The public awareness of NCAP stars is increasing and becoming an important part of buying cars for most people. Mostly it has to be said its been brought to the fore by companies that do well.

As pointed out - a lot of people buy big off roaders because they think they are safe, and most of them (exceptions being the newer models) are not
Top Gear live crash test - CM
I think dealers should be made to make the buyer aware. That would really sharpen up the manufacturers of inferior scoring cars.

No doubt the eurocrats will make it compulsory so that we can save ourselves from ourselves.
Top Gear live crash test - Marcos{P}
Since I now have two little sprawns, I did consider safety when buying my E-Class.
You tend to think differently when you have small children, I certainly would not have considered safety a few years ago when buying a car.
Top Gear live crash test - CM
www.euroncap.com/results.htm (hope that I have managed to post this correctly - ####

My car is a 4 star for side & front and 1 star for pedestrians (on the old scale which is less stringent)!!

I believe that alot of the problems with cars vs pedestrians is when they hit their heads on the bonnet. Most cars do not have a gap between the bonnet (ie it is stuffed full of engine) which does not give when hit. I have heard that there is some legislation to make sure that there is a gap of a few (??) inches between bonnet and engine, which should lead to some interesting car designs!

####No, you forgot to add a space before the start of the http:// . Besides which, it\'s already been posted a couple of times previously in this thread anyway.
Top Gear live crash test - jud
A 4 star small car is not safer than a 4 star large car, so don't all rush out to buy one.
As for the top gear test i thought it rather foolish to use a real person for what was a pointless test, and not real life. A head on collision or other front or rear impact is more likely.
The test impact hit the weakest point of a car, what would be the result if the car was moving? or if impact was to the corner of the vehicle?
Top Gear live crash test - Obsolete
Seems to me that TG have fallen into the trap set by advertisers. They want you to buy a car with the latest safety gadgets. After they've shown you how fast and powerful it is of course. What they should have mentioned is now not to get into an accident in the first place. Basic safety techniques. Not that I'm against improved vehicle safety but they could at least have mentioned advanced/defensive driving ONCE!

BTW I suspect a collision with an immobile concrete block does not tell you much about the result of a collision between a massive vehicle such as a Landy and a small car such as a Micra. Both are I think 2 stars but I suspect the Landy will crush the Micra due to basic physics i.e. the Landy has much more momentum so will tend to carry on regardless.
Top Gear live crash test - Miat
yes but

you want the car to crush

a car that crumples and disipates the energy into bent metal and heat is doing the right thing

as long as the passenger compartment stays surviable

landy that hardly crumples at all will mash the passenger up is a big smash

id rather have the ca rbody smashed up than my brain smashing against my skull taking the impact

v = u + at and all that
Top Gear live crash test - Obsolete
Miat: The Landy will be bad in a crash against a solid object. But even though the crumple zone is poor, it will do better in an impact with a small car with the same poor crumple zone. That's because it has twice the mass. Anyway, these NCAP tests are leading to safer cars which is a good thing.
Top Gear live crash test - Mark (RLBS)
Miat,

Please have a go at using punctuation. Firstly it is much more courteous and secondly it would probably make your notes much more readable.

Mark.
Top Gear live crash test - Altea Ego
A 4 star small car is not safer than a 4
star large car, so don't all rush out to buy one.
As for the top gear test i thought it rather foolish
to use a real person for what was a pointless test,
and not real life. A head on collision or other front
or rear impact is more likely.
The test impact hit the weakest point of a car, what
would be the result if the car was moving? or if
impact was to the corner of the vehicle?


Thats true, you never see a car pull out of a side road and get t-boned do you, And the passenger cell of the car being hit, just in the b post is definetly the weakest part. Yes it would have been better to hit the corner of the vehicle, spinning the other car away would not have disipated some of the crash energy.
Top Gear live crash test - sean
Yes, I saw this and was impressed.

I've owned Renaults before and was amazed when the airbags actually worked on the show. Must have been specially built and not a production car.

What would have happened if the Mondeo was coming the other way at 30mph, ie closing speed 60mph?

What would Claims Direct or Accident line have said if the driver was decapitated?

Hello BBC licence fee increase?

NCAP use an offset crash at, I think, 40mph. This looked mild at a full-on 30mph into a stationary object. What exactly was the point then?
Top Gear live crash test - Miat
bring back the M4 buslane with no buses on it

much better TV
Top Gear live crash test - Sparky
I am worried... the Alfa 156 doesn't even appear on the NCAP ratings, is that cos they were too embarrased to even have it tested in case it gets a negative score or something? Am I driving a deathtrap?
Top Gear live crash test - BobbyG
I can't help but think that some of the posts here are getting carried away. TG was making a feature of safety and used this accident as a backdrop to their feature. The fact that there are so many discussions here proved that it was effective.

Yes, they could have tried all the other tests being suggested but is that not what the NCAP do? I would have thought that 2 of the most common accidents would be shunting into the back of someone, and getting hit side on pulling out a side road.

I would think that hitting a solid block as per the NCAP might be less reflective of todays roads, yeah if you hit the side of a house or something but, more than likely, that would be your fault. Surely as a driver, you first assume that you won't be the cause of the accident, and then you look to see how you will survive through someone else's bad driving?

It certainly made me think of safety, but one question I need help with. I have a Scenic with side airbags, do they really come out the side of the seats? Do they always go off with the front ones? What if my kids are asleep with their head resting against the window?
Top Gear live crash test - Blue {P}
I think the barrier used in NCAP is actually semi-deformable, to represnt smacking another car just off centre. A *very* common accident, especially on the Tunstall Hope road near me, where drivers take the bends too fast and stray into the oncoming traffic that is also doing in the region of 40mph, giving a closing speed of about 60 - 80 mph. It makes for some quite horrific smashes on a fairly regular basis, I was nearly victim to one of these myself when driving my MK3 Fiesta, having just checked NCAP I'm so pleased that I'm in a MK6 now :-)

The airbags in many cars really are positioned in the seat itself, however, I think in the situation you describe that the force of the side impact would propel the child out off the window and the airbag shouldn't cause any injury. But that's just my uneducated guess!

Blue
Top Gear live crash test - BobbyG
Do you mean "out of" as in away from the window or literally through it? Would have though that difficult whilst wearing seatbelt?
Top Gear live crash test - Blue {P}
Hmmm... That was badly typed, I shouldn't have included the word "Out" at all.

I meant it would propel them away from the window, but I suppose that depends on which side gets hit.

I suppose technically from a safety point of view it isn't a good idea to fall asleep against the window, but it's not long since I spent journeys falling asleep against windows and been carsick myself, so I'm well aware that no children think about side impacts when making themselves comfortable! :-)

Blue
Top Gear live crash test - David Lacey
I winced while watching that Megane pile broadside into the other car....it was good TV.
Top Gear live crash test - AndyT
I didn't get to see the programme, but was wondering if any of the airbags in the Megane operated?

If so, did the drivers face look marked at all, could he still hear?

I witnessed an airbag being deployed once as a test, they go off with a terrific bang and not a little heat.
Top Gear live crash test - David Lacey
Yep they both deployed.

No 'damage' to the driver - just a little 'heat' in the car apparently.
Top Gear live crash test - Altea Ego
Make that a lot of heat. The bloke looked like he was ready for basting and serving. It looked HOT in there. Has to be said however (and I note he was careful to keep his arms covered up and in the corect position) that he suffered no airbag grazes or burns to arms or face.
Top Gear live crash test - tunacat
"A pointless test and not real life"?
"you never see a car pull out of a side road and get t-boned do you"?

I saw a car pull out of a side road on the left, heading for the central refuge. I may, at the time, have SEEN it get t-boned, but I have never remembered doing so. The only thing I remember is my foot heading for the brake pedal, and the ambulance man's attentions about 10 minutes later. I don't think I did manage much braking, and I'd been doing 50mph, not 30. Fortunately for the other driver, 1) I hit her Escort mainly across the rear door/B to C pillar rather than straight into her door, and 2) I was driving a Citroen AX.

"I can't help but think that some of the posts here are getting carried away"
- I agree. The TG thing was fair enough. Doesn't stand for anything more than what it did. Cars are indeed all different shapes and sizes - the NCAP test really just attempts to provide a repeatable, standardised test of the behaviour of that individual car. It's not perfect, but it's a start.

If all cars were made extremely rigid rather than having crumple zones, I'd like to think that an AX would just get knocked aside by a Land Rover, rather than crushed. But then the sudden acceleration in another direction would no doubt kill us by mashing our brains or snapping our necks.

Did you see the channel 4 or 5 programme where Tiff Needell (remotely) crashed a not-that-ancient BMW 5 and a Volvo 740 head on, each at 50? (IIRC)

I'd be interested to see how the occupants (dummies!) fared in two Espaces colliding head on, each doing 59mph. Then we'd see just *how much* safer the technological advances have things so far. Overall, things can only ever get a certain amount better until we all drive AXs OR we all drive Range Rovers.
Since some people still buy themselves say a Peugeot 406, and therefore didn't buy say a Discovery, it looks like we're still shrugging a bit about fate and accidents.
In that case, why NOT buy a Kia Sedona instead of an Espace?
 

Value my car