Please explain (car tests on TV) - Rebecca {P}
Watched a bit of 5th Gear yesterday where they tested the BMW M3 and the new M3 something-else on a track.

Two questions:

What does thrashing it round a test track tell us about a car (any car) when 99.9% of the time it will be used on public roads at lower speed? (No BMW driver remarks needed!)

What is the point of reviewing a car that is a limited edition and completely sold out?

Genuine question, if just a bit girly.
Please explain (car tests on TV) - AR-CoolC
Simple.

We like to see Tiff putting cars sideways !!!

I missed the bit later in the program where there was some sort of drifting comp.

Please explain (car tests on TV) - Mark (RLBS)
Entertainment.

Which is, of course, a personal thing but I enjoy the shows.
Please explain (car tests on TV) - No Do$h
Simple.
We like to see Tiff putting cars sideways !!!
I missed the bit later in the program where there was
some sort of drifting comp.


I have an 18mb Mpeg of this (3.40 long) if you're interested. I'm happy to email it. I may even have a link somewhere if you would prefer.
Please explain (car tests on TV) - No Do$h
here's the link

www.8200rpm.com/stuffvids/vkd_driftchallenge2003.w...v

Right click and then click "save as" to download.
Please explain (car tests on TV) - terryb
Good questions, Rebecca. All I can think of is that it keeps motoring journalists amused and employed. And it's relatively cheap television. That's why I stopped watching these progs many years ago.

Now as a used car test under realistic conditions a few years down the line it might have some relevance.

Terry
Please explain (car tests on TV) - BobbyG
I can see the point in racing M3s round a track as it is a performance car.
However, I feel that tests should always be relative to the car - I always remember seeing a show where they were racing a Scenic round a track trying to get it to under/oversteer at speed.
Why?
Please explain (car tests on TV) - NitroBurner
No relevance whatsoever really, but fun to watch...

Also it probably gets the backs up of do-gooders who think we'll all go out & emulate their driving on public roads.

Which is GOOD...
Please explain (car tests on TV) - nick
It can be entertaining occasionally but there is just too much of this kind of 'test' for my taste. But if it pulls in the punters, who am I to argue? IMHO, it's lowest common denominator telly, a bit of masturbatory fantasy for blokes who would love to be able to drive like that in cars like that but rarely if ever get the chance. (Me included, before anyone gets hot under the collar). But every programme? Yawn...
Please explain (car tests on TV) - trancer
Thrashing it around a track shows you what the car is capable of, and many people buy based on that. Knowing that you have that capability can sometimes be just as satisfying as using the capability. High performance road legal cars are sometimes bought with track useage in mind, so track ability is important to that market.

As for the sold out, limited edition model, testing and televising of the testing can be considered as entertainment. Many of the supercars tested on TV shows I will never be able to own and as such are "unobtainable", but I still watch and make note of the performance figures with keen interest. If you have no interest in high performance cars then I can see why you would find it pointless.
Please explain (car tests on TV) - Flat in Fifth
trancer
"High performance road legal cars are sometimes bought with track useage in mind, so track ability is important to that market."

Yeah the point is that if you do take a car to track then the way Tiff Noodle etc drive is not the quickest way round the corners.

Does one see the TOCA boys sideways in one enormous powerslide?
Does one see Stig driving like that on his quick lap?

Nope one doesn't, therefore it is television eye candy. Some find it entertaining, good for them. Wouldn't want to stop them watching it its a free world. Equally some folks like the Daily Star.


Please explain (car tests on TV) - Honestjohn
Read Steve Cropley on Jeremy Clarkson in today's 'Autocar'.

HJ
Please explain (car tests on TV) - Robbie
Watched a bit of 5th Gear yesterday where they tested the
BMW M3 and the new M3 something-else on a track.
Two questions:
What does thrashing it round a test track tell us about
a car (any car) when 99.9% of the time it will
be used on public roads at lower speed? (No
BMW driver remarks needed!)
What is the point of reviewing a car that is a
limited edition and completely sold out?


Totally irrelevant, as far as I\'m concerned, which is why I no longer watch any of the TV car programmes.

Once upon a time Top Gear was a brilliant, informative programme, which went rapidly downhill with the advent of Clarkson. Top Gear and such of its ilk may be entertainment - not for me - but are hardly informative to the masses who are interested in affordable cars that drive on public roads.

Of course, there is a place for the exotics, but most of these programmes appear to be designed to massage the egos of the presenters.
Please explain (car tests on TV) - Rebecca {P}
Well 'entertainment' is a good enough answer for me. It's perfectly understandable that some people find it entertaining and others don't.

I have obviously been watching these programmes (albeit occasionally) expecting them to be something that they aren't.

I will look out for the Autocar article too.

Thanks everyone!
Please explain (car tests on TV) - PoloGirl
Watching Richard Hammond on Top Gear does it for me every Sunday ;-)

Seriously though... most of these programmes are about little boys aspiring to fast cars and the lifestyle they think comes with that.

Who wants to watch a test drive of a Renault Clio or Ford Fiesta when they could get it themselves at a local dealer??

Please explain (car tests on TV) - Robbie
Watching Richard Hammond on Top Gear does it for me every
Sunday ;-)
Seriously though... most of these programmes are about little boys aspiring
to fast cars and the lifestyle they think comes with that.
Who wants to watch a test drive of a Renault Clio
or Ford Fiesta when they could get it themselves at a
local dealer??


I should think a fair number of people would welcome a decent review and comparison of new cars. I know that I enjoyed watching Top Gear when it was a "proper" car programme.

In any case, there are far more cars for sale than Fords and Renaults. I had to travel nearly twenty miles to a Honda dealer, and Nissan, Audi and BMW dealers are not much nearer, and in different directions, except for the BMW who is next door to Honda.

I now have to search the magazines and the Internet for information about new cars. Pity HJ doesn't have a TV programme featuring his test drives.
Please explain (car tests on TV) - Dude - {P}
I accept that a very few people like to see these exotic cars on opposite lock, but quite frankly it becomes extremely boring after repeated episodes.

I used to think the old format of road testing that was used in 5th Gear was far more of interest to the mass motoring public, where a car was timed through a series of bollard/chicanes to assess its handling abilities, and then timed for acceleration from 50mph to overtake an articulated lorry. IMHO this was more more relevant to the majority of motorists in helping them assess their potential next purchase under every day driving situations.!!!!!!
Please explain (car tests on TV) - Honestjohn
Robbie, please read the Steve Cropey story about Clarkson which explains everything (it's Cropley at his best). The public does not want to watch someone like me road-testing a car in sufficient numbers to justify a prime time TV programme. It has to be presented as entertainment. And I defer to people like JC (who does it better than anyone else on earth) and to Richard Hammond, and to James May (who do it much better than I ever could).

HJ
Please explain (car tests on TV) - hillman
The TV programs seem to be based around ego trips by the participants, viz., J Clarkson. No value in them at all.
Please explain (car tests on TV) - AdrianM
Be careful not to miss the point. The show is about the presenters, the cars are just the vehicle for their brand of entertainment. Lots of people love it , lots of people hate it. Oddly, those that hate it seem to spend the most time talking about it. That's what makes it good telly!

Adrian
Please explain (car tests on TV) - Altea Ego
There is a very simple answer. Audience. The old style Top Gear ala william woolard et al died an ugly and unwatched death. Some of us may have found it interesting and informative but the sad truth is the majority of the viewing public didnt. So it went. New formats are tried and kept if they work, rejected if they dont. So we end up with motortainment programes at decent veiwing times, and programes about the new kia or daewoe on at midnight.

Please explain (car tests on TV) - andymc {P}
It seemed to me that the old format of Driven was popular and still focused on "real-world" cars. As for popularity, elements like the scoring of new cars used to generate a fair amount of debate & controversy over on the 4car forum, which was a lot more active then than it is now.

Then they changed the show to cater to a semi-literate yoof audience that wasn't watching, alienating many of the regular viewers, including me, in the process. I really enjoyed the original format of that show and think there's room in the schedules for both it and the current version of Top Gear (which I also watch). Just wish I could see 5th Gear ...
andymc
Please explain (car tests on TV) - Maz
Just to note that the M3 CSL is available at around list price. It seems a lot of speculators were involved in the initial take up, but the instant profit available won't compete with the golden days of the X5.

So Rebecca relax, you can still get one and shave a couple of seconds from your lap times. Indeed there's one in the back of Autocar for £61,000, together with that great Cropley article for £2.10.
Please explain (car tests on TV) - PhilW
I suspect that it is just about "entertainment" and "good" television as people have said above. If you want to find out about "everyday motoring" or whether the new Fiesta is better than the new Clio etc then perhaps this website or a motoring magazine like What Car is the best way to do it. I have to say that I spend a lot longer each week reading all the opinions on this site than I do watching Clarkson etc on TV! I love the Honest John column in the Sat Telegraph but I don't reckon it would make "good" TV. I'm off to bed now - got a book to finish that is far better than the film that's on TV!
 

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