The Top Gear Thread - Vol 5 - sean

**** Thread closed. Discussion continues in Vol 6 ****

www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?t=36332

Subject:Top Gear, and the Phaeton

I can now say something about VW's Phaeton, as the cat was let out of the bag on tonight's Top Gear.

This is project 7 of 10. Look out for the Golf 5, shortly.

Other projects have been the 1 litre car. 100km on 1 litre of fuel, driven br Dr. Ferdinand Pietch just before he retired, Almost 300 mpg.

The Lupo 3litre. 90 odd mpg, but costs too much to convert to RHD for us.

The Phaeton.

All of this started in the late 80s. The CEO of Toyota asked his engineers to build the world's best car.

FP asked us to do the same, when he heard about it. A ruthless man. He upset most of us. His engineering was diluted by foreigners, like me. Even Germans were coming from the Eastern bloc. Folks walked out.

The Phaeton costs £65k. I WOULD buy one.

The joke is that the new Bentley will be almost identical yet cost 3 times as much.

The old Beetle dies at the end of this month.

Just think what it would cost to fit it with multi-point digital injection, ABS, airbags, leccy windows, catalyser.....

Look at the Phaeton and see where YOU will be in 10 years.

Look at Golf 5, if you don't believe me.

I have worked on both.

I couldn't stand Dr. Pietch. He drove people to death.

Now we have Berndt Pichetsrieder. A gentleman.

No money in A2, Lupo, Arosa, etc.

End of an era?

Start of an era?
Top Gear, and the Phaeton - Dan J
I liked the comment that Clarkson made originally...

"To what question is the answer a sixty thousand pound volkswagen?"

Do you think it's company loyalty and a fondness for the brand that'd make you buy one Sean? I imagine most people with that amount of cash to spend on a car wouldn't deviate very far from S-Class or 7 series. Looking round London you don't even see that many A8s. Good luck to VW I say, it's a brave project but I fear that for them it will be a costly one saleswise.
Top Gear, and the Phaeton - pd
The Top Gear review was certainly different to the Autocar roadtest which slated it in just about everyway possible.

Is the Phateon selling?
Top Gear, and the Phaeton - lordwoody
I can't see many people paying £65000 for what looked like a Passat on steroids
Top Gear, and the Phaeton - Altea Ego
This is where Toyota were years back. Car makers need high class expensive cars, to a: promote the brand, and b: make money (expensive cars have much more scope for fat profits) so they created Lexus. Now we all know its a Toyota, a nice one, but a Toyota. Now then would you pay £54.5k (LS430 list) for a Toyota? People do, so why not £65k for a VW? if its good, really good, people will stump up. (expect it to sell for $65k in the US)

Anyway this will form the base for all VW group luxury barges.
Top Gear, and the Phaeton - Dan J
But RF, your comment as regards Toyota and Lexus doesn't apply here.

Yes, we all know Lexus is really a Toyota. But the dealers are different, the level of service is different and the car you spend 60k on doesn't share the same badge or floorspace as a 6k supermini. Saying "I own a Lexus" carries somewhat more weight than "I own a VW".

Look at the Toyota Camry - sells in single figures. I imagine if Toyota (in the same way as if Ford/Vauxhall etc etc) were to bring out a 60k car they'd be lucky if anyone other than their own staff drove them.

On another note - look at the experiences people are having with VW and it's dealers these days (many threads on this forum). Can you imagine someone used to Mercedes treatment putting up with that? I don't think so.

I predict you'll only get a handful of them on UK roads. VW will sell more in Europe and the "next" Phaeton will not come here.
Top Gear, and the Phaeton - Altea Ego
Yes agree there Dan J, VW will need to overhaul the owning experience, starting with dealers. Tho I suggest they dont use MB as an example, owners seem to hate their dealers with a passion these days.
Top Gear, and the Phaeton - Roger Jones
Some weeks ago the Sunday Telegraph Magazine columnist, Neil Lyndon, expressed his doubts and scepticism about the car as a brand-new purchase, but concluded by saying that he personally might well be in the market for one when the second-hand prices tumble. As for the competition, the new Lexus and BMW are two of the ugliest cars I've set eyes on, which leaves the MB S-series, Audi A8, Jaguar (Do they have room for back-seat passengers these days?) and Phaeton -- a growing market segment not quite as crowded as one might at first think. Recent complaints on this board about VWs notwithstanding, I'd bet that the Phaeton build quality would assure the purchaser of a second-hand one for £20k-plus in a couple of years of a superb car with a long, long life. I might even go there myself.
Top Gear, and the Phaeton - Steve S
Sean,

Why an earth has this gone out under the VW marque? Surely it would have been far better to put it out under the Audi brand.

Top Gear, and the Phaeton - PR {P}
They've already got the A8?
Top Gear, and the Phaeton - Steve S
I thought this was a step up from the A8 - the price is.
Top Gear, and the Phaeton - volvoman
Don't know anything about the engineering and design excellence and embodied in this car but I think it's gonna be a real BOMB. Don't think too many people with £65k to spare would want a VW (and therefore have to suffer the unique VW customer experience) and what's more, who was responsible for that awful name:

"PHAETON" ?

How many words can you think of which sound similar and how many have positive connotations ?
Top Gear, and the Phaeton - sean
I think most of you already know that this is the start of a new era. I alluded to that in the first post.

This will be the platform for a couple of Audis and the new Bentley(s).

This is what is already done down range.

If you look at BMW, a VERY high % of their buyers have a 3 Series. It's a mass produced vehicle, like the Astra and Focus, in volume.

People see the 7 Series and have that warm glow of a family feeling. Something to aspire to.

The developments in the Phaeton are earmarked to come to "normal" VWs later. I think you will be impressed by what has been achieved.

I don't know how the name "Phaeton" was derived.

You have to be careful that a good name, in English, doesn't mean something offensive in another language.

They've done winds ie Bora, Scirocco, Vento etc.

Sports: Golf, Polo etc.

Marketing's problem.
Top Gear, and the Phaeton - Altea Ego
"I dont know how the name Phaeton was derived"

Entry from websters online dictionary

One entry found for phaeton.


Main Entry: pha·eton
Pronunciation: 'fA-&-t&n
Function: noun
Etymology: Phaëthon
Date: 1742
1 : any of various light four-wheeled horse-drawn vehicles
2 : TOURING CAR
Top Gear, and the Phaeton - Baskerville
I think more specifically a phaeton was a fairly luxurious horse-drawn carriage for more than two people in comfort, and built light for speed. The kind of thing that you might travel long distances in, rather than take the public stagecoach. Very expensive in other words: in the eighteenth century long-distance travelling this way would cost something along the lines of going by private Learjet today. Being fairly useless for anything else they would be owned by people who had other carriages for other purposes; definitely not an all-purpose, local journeys gig. Very stylish without being brash. I reckon that's exactly what VW want to "say" with this car.
Top Gear, and the Phaeton - waterboy
Etymology is correct. However, I'm not sure VW realized the full derivation.

Phaethon was the son of Helios the sun-god and Clymene. He asked to drive his father's solar chariot for a day, but was too weak to control the immortal horses and the chariot approached the earth so closely that the heat almost set it on fire, causing the Sahara desert and the darker races. Zeus, to save the earth from destruction, killed Phaethon with a thunderbolt to check his career and he fell into the river Eridanus (the Po).

I'm not sure how I'd base advertising on all that.

Tomo as was!
Top Gear, and the Phaeton - Baskerville
Zeus,
to save the earth from destruction, killed Phaethon with a thunderbolt
to check his career and he fell into the river Eridanus
(the Po).


I'm not sure waterboy: it would certainly take something like a thunderbolt to stop this VW in its tracks. Luckily in this case the immortal horses will be kept in check by a computer chip.
Top Gear, and the Phaeton - hootie
Sorry to but in, but didn't want to start a new thread re:Top Gear, if there's one running already and I can't find it (have used search twice)

Was wondering about the results of last night's Viewers' Poll and the top three best cars (ever?)

Did anyone watch it? and if so, can you point me to the open thread, or start one? (just don't want to look a you know what if I've missed it - again) Thanks
"Appearances can be Deceptive"
Top Gear, and the Phaeton - Maz
Hootie,

I\'ve enjoyed your threads for the last couple of weeks, so the benefit of my knowledge is that the Land Rover won.

Can\'t remember 2nd or 3rd, but surely someone who knows will answer your call. The e-type was 4th.

You didn\'t miss that much. I may be childish at times, but Clarkson et al were just a bunch of schoolboys last night. Even by their usual juvenile standards. He even chopped a beautiful old bonsai in half.

The Karma\'s gonna get you, curly boy.
Top Gear, and the Phaeton - J Bonington Jagworth
"..just a bunch of schoolboys.."

Which is why I have watched about 20 minutes of the whole series. I'm glad I caught the V16 Caddy, though, and I'd watch a proper motoring programme fronted by James May, I think.
Top Gear, and the Phaeton - Altea Ego
"I'm glad I caught the V16 Caddy, though"

Yes yes - what a car, simply stunning, and as you say, that v16 lump! 13 litres was it? 20mpg? jeez. It was also automotive sculpture as well as an engineering marvel.
Top Gear, and the Phaeton - J Bonington Jagworth
"13 litres was it? 20mpg?"
Yes, but only by shutting off 12 of the cylinders for normal driving! Wonder what the consumption is when they're all firing? Still, if you can afford the car... :-)
Top Gear, and the Phaeton - bartycrouch
The point of the Phaeton was to keep users in the VW fold. Too many were upgrading to Mercedes and BMWs and ignoring Audis. They just did not make the connection between Audi and VW when upgrading. I think the figure I saw quoted was 5% transfer to Audis.

However most marques have styling queues passed *down* through the range. BMWs 7 series then 5 Series and so on. Mercedes C Class looks like a small S Class. This looks as if it has been designed the other way round.

I think it will make its sales targets as these are very modest to begin with. It will succeed in Germany and be a curiosity elsewhere.

Top Gear, and the Phaeton - Marcos{P}
When I was in Sindelfingen last year I had a good look at a Phaeton and was very impressed. I thought it looked great and the level of trim etc seemed excellent. Every one else thought it looked like an oversized Passat and couldn't understand why anyone would buy one given the choice of luxury cars about at the moment.
I'm not sure that it will be a great hit and given the choice I would stick to my Merc but if I was a VW die hard, loaded and wanted to move up from a Passat then it would be a great choice.
VW have certainly produced a good car with the Phaeton but only time will tell if it can make it as a luxury car manufacturer.
Top Gear, and the Phaeton - king arthur
It's a bit of a leap though, isn't it, to upgrade from a Passat to a £65k Phaeton?
Top Gear, and the Phaeton - Steve S
I'm shallow. I'd want at least an Audi badge for £65k.
Top Gear, and the Phaeton - Roger Jones
Dare to be different. Have confidence in your own judgement. Cock a snook at the badge snobs. I chose a Golf VR6 in preference to an Audi or a BMW and I've never regretted it. Apart from anything else, in the second-hand market you gain from lower prices.
Top Gear, and the Phaeton - Steve S
Roger,

Absolutely agree with your choice there - I've had a couple of GTIs and loved them.

Thing is. With the VR6 you're where VW are strong - I've never seen the Audi A3 or BMW Compact as anything like as good.

But, at £65k, the VW has some work to do. Being different is fine unless it means loss of wedge. The Phaeton will depreciate (after the novelty period) like a greased pig. The BMW and Merc's will not.
Top Gear, and the Phaeton - Vansboy
Why not get the people who are in this price range, market place, to test drive it & get THEIR reactions?

On second thoughts, I don't think a drug dealer would want to be driven in the make of car, with a lower street cred, than those driven by his 'runners', or whatever they're called.

VB

PS I'll have the XJ & keep the change.
Top Gear Viewers Pole - MS
Land Rover came first
McLaren F1 second

www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_801967.html?menu=new...s
Top Gear Viewers Pole - hootie
Thanks MS sorry, didn't make myself clear - I saw it
(Audi Quatro came third) just wondered if anyone wanted a row/debate/heated discussion about it?

(like I say, being new have tended to start things that have previously been done to death)
"Appearances can be Deceptive"
Top Gear - Top Car Poll - hootie
I don't give all that much credence to polls, cos you only get the results from people who actually ring in and vote (I didn't) BUT - I was quite interested to see what car would take top place.

1. a late race to the top ~ was the LandRover
beating into second place the previous leader
2. The McLaren F1
3. The Audi Quatro

If you had to vote a winner - what would it be? and why?


"Appearances can be Deceptive"
Top Gear - Top Car Poll - Maz
Land Rovers are clearly a bit rubbish. It only got it's accolade by concentrating on the good ol' fashioned ones rather than the Fulham farmers special which never goes off road. Even then, to bestow the old one with with this image of ruggedness was all spin. When your life depends on it, you drive a Toyota Landcruiser.

Obviously, the top 3 cars are:
Jaguar E-type
Porsche 911
Original mini.

Toodle pip.
Top Gear - Top Car Poll - Pugugly {P}
"Land Rovers are clearly a bit rubbish"


The latest crop of models may be, but I certainly take issue witht the Defender especially when compared to the BMC Mini, fun to drive they may have been but they were poorly put together from day one..........
Top Gear - Top Car Poll - Baskerville
Citroen DS, because it looks fantastic and it won't be long before we're all driving them one way or another: self-levelling suspension, brake force distribution, disks on all four wheels, power steering, headlights that point round corners, plastic body panels, crumple zones, etc. etc. Hard to believe these things are fifty years old, isn't it?
Top Gear - Top Car Poll - the gardener
Citroen SM - is this a derivative of the D5; tell me if I am wrong - or the D5 was an incredible car to see when it came out. I remember seeing rows of them in France in the '70's. Foreign cars were really interesting back then when there were far fewer imported. We called them 'frogs' because they would rise up at the back (like a frog obviously). The French chose some distinctive colours for them too: I liked the dark mauve one for some reason and still have a pinky mauve Corgi 'Whizz Wheels' toy of one. A favourite toy car (ah those were the days).

I like some of the other cars from the Top Trumps Supercars (series 1) pack. Wouldn't want to own a real one though: it would spoil the fun.
Top Gear - Top Car Poll - Liverpaul
From the choices given to vote on, my top three would have been:

1. Jaguar E Type
2. Land Rover
3. Ford Mustang

Paul
Top Gear - Top Car Poll - Garethj
Citroen DS, because it looks fantastic and it won't be long
before we're all driving them one way or another: self-levelling suspension,
brake force distribution, disks on all four wheels, power steering, headlights
that point round corners, plastic body panels, crumple zones, etc. etc.
Hard to believe these things are fifty years old, isn't it?


Or older, headlights that turn with the front wheels were fitted to the 1930s Tatra 87.

A shame that Citroen couldn't develop the boxer engine and had to put the old Traction one in, but the SM made up for it, yum yum.

My vote goes to the McLaren F1, because it's the ultimate development of the car (so far).
Top Gear - Top Car Poll - J Bonington Jagworth
"it's the ultimate development of the car"

Well, one sort of car, perhaps, but you'll find that more money goes into developing ordinary mass-market motors that have to balance lots of conflicting requirements (including a profit for the manufacturer) and have to end up with an advantage over competitors who are applying similar levels of development.

Not saying that it equates to more skill, and I love the purity of some sports cars, but they should be good, as they only really have to do one thing!
Top Gear - Top Car Poll - Speedster
This is clearly a simple administrative error and the top 3 places are just mistakenly in reverse order! The quattro just oozes quality compared to the Landie (and the 911 as suggested above) it broke the mould in the 80's and set the scene for the scary Japanese Scoobys and Evo's I-XV. No surprises that I voted for the quattro then.
Top Gear, and the Phaeton - Morris Ox
Which bits did you do, Sean?
Top Gear, and the Phaeton - sean
Hi Morris Ox,

Diesel engine ECU data bus

Injection progression

Climate control software regimen

Diagnostic application

Siemens S7 to VagCom interface

Throttle "fly by wire" control logic loop

Oil rheology.

If ever you have trouble sleeping try "Applied Fluid Machanics and rheology in tertiary butyl rubber", by Andrew Nelmes. Had to study that as part of my PhD thesis.

I used to wake up at 3am with awful pain in my leg, only to find out that I was still at my desk with that great big book.
Top Gear, and the Phaeton - Garethj
"Applied Fluid Machanics and
rheology in tertiary butyl rubber", by Andrew Nelmes. Had to study
that as part of my PhD thesis.


I'm waiting for the film to come out ;-)

Gareth
Top Gear - No Do$h
Was I dreaming? Did it really go out on air? Are there really no threads on the show? How much do I want a Ford GT?
Top Gear - SjB {P}
<<< How much do I want a Ford GT? >>>

Not as much as I want a GT3! ;-))

I really wanted one even before the show, but having now seen the grip and poise, and on a damp track, too, would really, really, love one now! A truly superb piece of kit. Very hard to believe it's only 2 wheel drive, given the stance round corners, and the way it launched out of them.
Top Gear - NitroBurner
I want a Corvette, a CL65, a new Bentley Continental, a version of every TVR model currently in production, and a Ford GT, and a GT3...

I want it all & I want it now...
Top Gear - Dynamic Dave
On the whole I found last nights show quite boring. What was all that nonsense at the end with Stig and the HMS Invincible? Are they killing him off as everyone knows his true idenetity as Perry Mcarthy?
Top Gear - No Do$h
James May has dull written through his core, like a stick of rock. A funny man on paper, he should avoid television like the plague.

Interesting to see Jezza has fallen out of love with yet another manufacturer (Mercedes). Until Ford remake the Capri with a 750bhp v12 engine and medallion dispenser, will this man ever be happy?
Top Gear - Martin Devon
James May has a brain. Jezza is an Empty Shell, Piece of Meat, Another statistic on the Readout Sheet. There is NOTHING there. This program has little to do with motoring. They seem to exist to apease empty heads, rather like most, (not all) Radio stations, endless boring samey banter. The Telegraph motoring section has gone to pot except for the HJ column which up 'till now still provides some useful info.

Standards are getting lower and we rollock the young! (I didn't mean rollock!!)

Regards.

P.S. Are they on an earner with Suzuki! (Liana)
Top Gear - Nsar
>What was all that nonsense at the end?>
The show's sense of self-importance made visible. Having re-launched with a different look/approach to its former incarnation it hasn't introduced any new ideas since, the irreverence looks forced and it has regressed to cliched footage of fast cars tearing round race tracks.
Dull, dull, dull.
The real copout was seeing Clarkson twice failing James May's(correct name?)intelligent questions by simply saying I'm bored, I'm going to talk to the sycophantic one. Inexcusably lame.
Top Gear - 8 ball
I suppose it must be really difficult to do a live show for an hour and it's a tribute to the presenters and production team that it's so slick. However, it's possible that 'live' isn't the best format for this type of programme although I'm sure it keeps everyone on their toes. (I remember Tomorrow's World always boasting it was live and thinking WHY??? What's the point?)Couldn't agree more about no new ideas and I'm fed up to the back teeth with supercars being razzed on a track recorded by whirling camera shots. I still like Clarkson, though, and think he's funny. I'll continue to watch it but won't make it one of my unmissables (unlike The Sopranos & 6 Feet Under).
8 ball
Top Gear - Dynamic Dave
I suppose it must be really difficult to do a live
show for an hour


Live? And there was me thinking the show was prerecorded, but filmed in front of a live[1] tv audience.

[1]Even the audience looked bored. As soon as any audience participation was requested, Jezza just basically told them to shut up again. Charming!
Top Gear - David Horn
As DD said, it's pre-recorded from a live audience. I wonder what they were playing at with the Stig at the end - so what if people know who he is. But yes, I was quite bored by the end of the show - it seemed to be missing some of the charisma of the earlier ones. Anyone remember the James Bond car? The most interesting thing for me was the remote range extender skull trick thingy. Oh, and the GT3. But I sadly haven't got £100000 to spare at the moment. Come to think of it, I probably haven't got enough for a deposit ;)
Top Gear - harry m
have to put up with this james may geezer writing in the motoring part of the telegraph on saturdays now.as for clarkson mega pants as my niece would say.
Top Gear - NitroBurner
Talk about polarising opinions...

I thought the show was pretty good really, James May quite refreshing both on TV & in the Telegraph, and as 4 JC - WYSIWYG!

Top Gear - BaseRSXmanual
I just got to see the GT-40 segment and the GT3 segment, none of the on stage part of the show. It sounds like I didn?t miss anything. But I will say seeing Clarkson in Detroit and that GT-40.. WOW!! I ?wet myself? just like Clarkson lol! That was so great! The GT3 seg was ok but paled in comparison to the Ford. Finally an American car we can be proud of, I think I have an all new dream car!!
Top Gear - Welliesorter
The most interesting thing for me was the remote range
extender skull trick thingy.


Can't have been a terribly interesting programme then! Why would anyone want to extend the range? You wouldn't want to unlock a car unless you're pretty close to it. As a very sensible security feature, my car re-locks itself if I don't open a door within 30 seconds of unlocking. I'm a brisk walker but, as it is, if I press the button too soon I don't get to the car in time.
Top Gear - v8man
What car do you have that locks itself after 30 seconds? I had a SD1 that used to lock the doors if they were slammed too hard!
Top Gear - BaseRSXmanual
My Acura (Honda) RSX does locks after 30 secs too.

Here are links to two clips from lat night Top Gear-

www.sleepy-fish.com/other_videos/TopGear_GT40.wmv

www.sleepy-fish.com/other_videos/TopGear_Porsche_G...v
Top Gear - Welliesorter
What car do you have that locks itself after 30 seconds?


Skoda Fabia. It's in case you press the button by accident. It's just as well because the remote has a big range. I've even tried it through a windowless brick wall. Another security feature is that it stops working if you press the button too many times when not within range of the car.
Top Gear - pdc {P}
Same with the Passat and the Golf
Top Gear - SR
Re-locking after 30 seconds - Seat Leon does the same, if you don't open any doors, in case you have accidentally unlocked the car and walked away....
Top Gear - Martin Devon
Same for renault master van
Top Gear - Dr Rubber
>> The most interesting thing for me was the remote
range
>> extender skull trick thingy.
Can't have been a terribly interesting programme then! Why would anyone
want to extend the range? You wouldn't want to unlock a
car unless you're pretty close to it. As a very sensible
security feature, my car re-locks itself if I don't open a
door within 30 seconds of unlocking. I'm a brisk walker but,
as it is, if I press the button too soon I
don't get to the car in time.

This trick is more usefull when the battery in remote is going a bit flat! Also sometimes works when there is a lot of interference.
Joe
Top Gear - J Bonington Jagworth
"Inexcusably lame"

Much as I suspected. JC is well past his sell-by date; he only has one style of presentation and his opinions are so inconsistent as to be worthless. He writes well, but of course (like Clive James) he'd rather be paid lots for doing something he's not very good at, than be paid less for doing something satisfying. A shame, really.
-------------------------------
Illegitimi non carborundum!
Jeremy Clarkson - v8man
Jeremy Clarkson admitted last night on Top Gear that he now likes diesels. Hooray; maybe we wilol get some sensible debate on the differences, pros and cons etc. on Top Gear.
Jeremy Clarkson - J Bonington Jagworth
"he now likes diesels"

Now Jaguar have given him one, presumably...
Jeremy Clarkson - Martin Devon
I wouldn't give him one
Jeremy Clarkson - NitroBurner
If it's sensible debate you want, I suggest you start watching question time...

On second thoughts, don't bother!
Jeremy Clarkson - Phoenicks
Hang on a mo! I thought it was still good.

The Lupo thing was quite good, and a bit different from most other things on telly.

The Ford GT40 was a good report, but the GT3 report was a bit overly long and i got a bit bored with 4000 shots of sliding it and also 4000 words on the engine being at the back. yawn.

however, still a decent show, its just it was so fresh last year that we've got used to it. Star in a car is a bit poor now. give them a really really quick car - that should be fun.

How fast the cars lap the circuit is great - the only time you can see relevant differences between cars.

I think its still a good must see show. clarkson is still funny, may is still dry, and what else are you going to watch?
Jeremy Clarkson - 3500S
The choice is simple: Don't like it - don't watch it.

I thought James May's piece on the new 5-series was a bit fawning, no mention of the base model being somewhat underpowered and as for the styling.... JC was right to call him on it. Finally the line:- 'What else can you buy for £30,000?' showed that really it was a done thing as soon as he picked up the keys.

As for the GT3 - yawn, yet another 911.

I really enjoyed the GT40 slot and learnt a lot, never knew the original was made in Britain.
Jeremy Clarkson - smokie
"The choice is simple: Don't like it - don't watch it."

There was a similar post yesterday which disappeared quickly...

Because it's stating the obvious I guess.

This is only a discussion over the merits or otherwise of a TV programme.

If you don't want to discuss, don't visit the thread!!

:-) (
Jeremy Clarkson - Mark (RLBS)
I deleted yesterday's post as pointless. 3500S actually had comments in his and therefore seemed ok to me.
Top Gear - Dynamic Dave
What was all that nonsense at the end with Stig and the HMS
Invincible? Are they killing him off as everyone knows his
true idenetity as Perry Mcarthy?


Maybe I was right after all.

To quote from Jezza's column in yesterday's Sun, and from the Sun's website:-

"LAST week, Top Gear viewers saw The Stig career off the end of HMS Invincible at 109mph in a souped-up Jaguar. On the programme tomorrow night, his fate will be revealed. But as The Sun is always ahead of the game, I thought I?d let you know what happens now. He?s dead."

We'll have to wait until tonight to see if it's true.
Top Gear Boring? How to improve? - Phoenicks
I was going to add this to the Top Gear thread, but thought/hoped it would grow into something bigger.

If Top Gear is dull/boring/past it (which i personally dont think it is apart from a couple of segments) what things would we all like to see on it to improve it?

Top Gear Boring? How to improve? - Mark (RLBS)
I don't think we need two top Gear discussions. I've put the threads together.
Top Gear Boring? How to improve? - Phoenicks
fair do's.

Top Gear Boring? How to improve? - NitroBurner
Come on guys, an hour long programme on cars; how bad is that?

Clarkson aims to be controversial & wind people up. If you don't like it, retune to House Style or some other such dross...
Top Gear Boring? How to improve? - Pugugly {P}
A pretty critical write up on TG in this week's Private Eye. As usual sharp and to the point.Worth a read.
Top Gear Boring? How to improve? - J Bonington Jagworth
Quite agree, PU. In fact, for an annual cost of less than one fifth of the licence fee, Private Eye is a lot more entertaining...
-------------------------------
Illegitimi non carborundum!
Top Gear Boring? How to improve? - googolplex
If Top Gear is dull/boring/past it what things would
we all like to see on it to improve it?


In answer to your question, Phoenicks, I cannot speak for us all but IMHO:
I have long thought that they get the balance completely wrong on this show. Far too much fiddling about with fast cars most of us can only dream about but not nearly enough on practical car buying - the cars that the vast majority of us have no choice but be interested in.

So, they cover the right things but need to have far less on fast sports cars which cost more than our houses, and far more on affordable cars. Something you don't see alot on is basic maintenance issues - how to diy etc.
I also think JC is at his best behind the wheel doing a pre-written car review , rather than popping live wise-cracks in front of a studio audience...

Splodgeface
Top Gear Boring? How to improve? - BaseRSXmanual
So what cars are being test drivin in tonight's(Nov. 2)Top Gear episode?
Top Gear Boring? How to improve? - No Do$h
BMW M3 CSL (£58k of impracticality)
Mk I M3
Mk II M5
BMW M1

You get the picture.....
Top Gear Boring? How to improve? - PhilW
OK, I give up. It's 8.50, Top Gear is 50 mins into an hour long show. So far they have mentioned Lancia (a bucket of rusty bits) Volvo (a 240 jumping over caravans) and I suppose the Stig Jag and the Suzuki with Steven Fry in appeared for about 15 seconds. Other than that BMW, BMW, BMW, BMW, BMW, the cheapest of which seemed to be £60k (without radio, A/C etc).
Now that little arrogant, know-it-all chap in the leather jacket gets to the IoM and says something about the Porsche Boxster and is then shown driving a car round the Iom ---and guess what it is? a !"£$%^&* BMW.
Here's an idea for the next show - how about how many BWM CSLs an X5 can jump over?
Who sponsors this show? When did you last see a car you might drive on the show? Yes we all have our "fantasy cars" and dream of winning Le Mans and I bet we could all drive a car round the track faster than Stig, but could it be something other than a BMW?
Top Gear Boring? How to improve? - Pugugly {P}
I thought I'd tuned into an hour's worth of BMW adverts. Went to wash the pots at 8.40am. Yawn.
Top Gear Boring? How to improve? - looking4car
Yes, very dissapointing this last 2 weeks.

What was that nonsense about the Stig ?

Caravans , Volvos , Evil Knevil ? Boring.

They did supercars last week, why BMW M series and sports cars this week ? Why on earth was it necessary to drive on the wrong side of the road half the time in IOM ?

Important legislation concerning mobile telephones coming up with a lot of misinformation and confusion out there amongst the motoring public. TG's response, big joke and muddy the waters further.

Supercars ? once a series please.

The comparison between Polo petrol and diesel was interesting but a bit shallow. They showed that the diesel was great on M25, but surely they should have compared town use, and total cost of ownership.

I'll watch next week, but if it is all about Porches and the like again I'll be looking elsewhere.
Top Gear Boring? How to improve? - El Hacko
still enjoy TG, but not as much - presenters trying to be comedians doesn't work. They are there to report/inform and can get the stories across while using a little humour, not to "perform" - all bec there's a live, mainly blokey audience.
Top Gear Boring? How to improve? - 3500S
That was the longest running BMW advert in history. As for the Poxster, Z4 and S2000 thing, what on earth was all that about?

I'm glad I taped the C4 prog on super string theory, if I hadn't I'd have been more upset.
Top Gear Boring? How to improve? - BaseRSXmanual
I dont like BMWs much at all but I would still like to see the new episode. Did anyone record it to .mpg or .avi? If so you could upload it to my FTP ;)
Top Gear Boring? How to improve? - 3500S
I think the line that summed it up was "People only buy a Boxster because they can't afford a 911"

I had a job scrapping the cash together for my Rover 75. I feel so cheated that I should have bought a Jag X-type or something with more badge snobbery.

Surprisingly at least JC rated the S2000 but then he drives a £80,000 Mercedes.

One more episode and if it's no better, that's it.
Top Gear Boring? How to improve? - Welliesorter
I'm not a big viewer of motoring programmes but I did catch Fifth Gear (Channel 5, shock horror) last week. It featured a comparison of budget cars such as the Ford Ka and Hyundai Getz. This was a moderately interesting item because it's amazing what you can buy for around the £7000 mark. In the olden days venturing into this sector of the market would have meant buying a Lada, a rear-engined Skoda or, worse still, an FSO (aka Polski FIAT).

The point is this item would have been of far more use/interest to the average viewer than a lot of artily filmed BMWs.

Top Gear Boring? How to improve? - carl_a
I might be looking through rose tinted specs, but I thought Top Gear back in the early 90's was very good, they used to pack in quite a bit of stuff for 30 minutes and they had a good mix of news, car reviews etc.

Don't like the new program much (but for some reason I still watch it)
Top Gear Boring? How to improve? - Rudolf
Having regard to last night's effort, one has to agree there was a bit much BMW, but what was more annoying was all the useless waffle to make a half hour programme last an hour; which I spent waiting to see the promised RX8 which never appeared (did they lunch it?).

But I do not want a programme devoted to cars I can afford; they are too boring!
Rudolf
Top Gear Boring? How to improve? - nick
I'm amazed that the opinion of the programme seemed to be that using a mobile phone whilst driving was ok. These people need to live in the real world sometimes.

I think it would be a good idea for them to have the price of the cars they time round the track to be displayed as well as the time taken, perhaps even work out a 'cost per second' for each car. Mind you, I suspect a bicycle would win then, which wouldn't do.

I feel sorry for the Isle of Man, they may well now get invaded by lots of adolescent middle-aged men in expensive cars making their roads just about unusable by anyone else, at least in safety.

I find the programme mildly entertaining but I am fed up with tyre smoke now and tests of cars which cost as much as a house up North. It's nice to see such cars tested but please, not so often. How about a 5 minute section where the technology that goes into a modern car is intelligently discussed and explained? Surely the viewers wouldn't switch off in droves if they had to think for a few minutes?

Bring back William Woollard.
Top Gear Boring? How to improve? - clariman
Bring back William Woollard.


5th Gear did - tonight!
Top Gear Boring? How to improve? - Roger Jones
With my usual reluctance, I switched over to it at 8.30, hoping that I hadn\'t missed the RX8 feature (a friend is very interested in one), so thanks for confirming that I missed nothing. This programme remains a waste of the BBC\'s precious resources to inform and educate; that 3 million people find it entertaining enough to sustain the project in the schedules is to me quite depressing. The cat called \"Stig\" item . . . the loutish attitude to the new mobile phone legislation . . . yet more coverage -- YAWN -- of irrelevant cars . . . we, the licence-paying viewing public, deserve better than this. And, yes, I\'ve had a numbered response from the BBC to a letter of protest, but they\'re not interested, and of course they can\'t find the resources for the sort of serious motoring programme that the other 24 million motorists would welcome.

Top Gear Boring? How to improve? - Phoenicks
I dont know if i'm the only one to defend it but its a damn sight more interesting than any other car programme on telly.

Normal car buying can be decent if its short and punchy - like Driven, but if people find £7k budget buying a Getz better viewing than hearing and seeing an M3 CSL definitely need to get out more.

Its a prime time sunday evening slot - so it has to be entertaining. Who's going to like an hour of techincal dullness. Regards William Woolard that was Top Gear with capital D - for Damn its Dull.

3500's - regards the Boxster v S2000 v Z4 what do you mean what was all that about? Its about the current best everday sports car. I dont see what the complaint is? Would you rather they showed how to change the radiator on a 1989 Rover 214?!!!!

Regards the BMW thing, no one would have minded if they'd done an hour of Ferrari, but plenty more people have BMW's - slightly more relevant me thinks. Also there was talk of expensive supercars, but I do believe you can pick up an old M3 for £7k and an M5 like the one shown for £12k. not unaffordable i think. I think it was a BMW issue, so whats the problem? Plenty of magazines and programmes have episodes devoted to one make.

If i want to hear about dull as ditch water cars, buying guides on dull cars and no entertainment i'll read What Car magazine. I dont know why you're all complaining as its not a bad programme at all. You'll all be the first people to complain if its get the plug pulled and we dont have anything else.

If you dont like it dont watch it.
Top Gear Boring? How to improve? - NitroBurner
Well said Phoenicks...
Top Gear Boring? How to improve? - No Do$h
I'm on the side of "it's entertainment with a motoring bias" rather than a serious motoring show.

I watch it for the humour and the sight/sound of V6s and tyre's smoking. Wouldn't take a word they say seriously. With so many channels offering programs on rebuilds, classics, kits etc, BBC has opted for the entertainment format and the viewing figures show that they have it right. A more serious program, such as the old mid-week half hour of the early 80s (cue dull chap showing you around a Metro assembly line) simply wouldn't cut it today.
Top Gear Boring? How to improve? - Submariner
Hi,

Im new to this forum and this is my first post!!

I have to agree with Phoenicks. Although I am not a fan of BMW, I did enjoy Top Gear. JC really hates the Z4 but his overidding influence on the show did not prevent a fair test. I would have chosen the Boxster but not in yellow.

As for the show overall, its a winner. James May is very funny in many ways that JC cannot be.

Top Gear Boring? How to improve? - Phoenicks
Hi Submariner, and welcome.

Thanks for the kind words. Apart from you and Nitroburner i thought i was on my own there!

Yeah, James May is funny in a certain dry way....
Top Gear Boring? How to improve? - Liverpaul
There's a few of us then Pheonicks, I'm with you Submariner (welcome) and Nitroburner. I personally find it entertaining and actually like the format. On a Sunday evening it's exactly the sort of programme I need.

As for the caravans, best thing they could have done to them.

Paul
Top Gear Boring? How to improve? - Martin Devon
James May in a decent Pub. Real beer and banter. I bet he's a bludy good laugh. Dry or what. (No, not the pub you fools!)

Regards.
Top Gear Boring? How to improve? - Tony N
I'm with Phoenicks with this one, jumping caravans with a Volvo 240GL is a work of genius! Dare I say there's a a bit of a sense of humour breakdown round here?!
Top Gear Boring? How to improve? - Welliesorter
Normal car buying can be decent if its short and punchy
- like Driven, but if people find £7k budget buying a
Getz better viewing than hearing and seeing an M3 CSL definitely
need to get out more.


I don't deny needing to get out more and I only said 'moderately interesting'. The point I was trying to make is that such an item would definitely be of interest to someone looking for a new car that they could afford whereas the BMW-fest would only be of use to a well-heeled minority. I'm not rich, or even comfortably off, but could pay cash for a new Hyundai whereas most of the cars on Top Gear cost more than my house a few years ago.

Top Gear is now fairly puerile entertainment and little more although I'd agree that some of the outdoor filming looks stunning. Maybe I've become jaded because earlier this year I saw the trailer for the truncated BBC World version of the programme, in which Clarkeson seemed to be making a petrolheads' lib speech, a few many times. I do occasionally watch it for the same reason that I used to watch Clarkson's chat show. He's entertaining because he's annoying, not in spite of it.

I don't think you can say 'if you don't like it don't watch it' about a BBC programme. We're all entitled to criticise because all pay for the programmes.
Top Gear Boring? How to improve? - Steve S
I think the line that summed it up was "People only buy a Boxster because they can't afford a 911"

There's another way of looking at that. Why pay the extra for the 911 cab over a Boxter S?
 

Ask Honest John

Value my car