For car addicts, there are only a few shows more satisfying than “Top Gear.” That probably explains why the show, according to BBC, is the world’s most widely viewed factual program. It gets down and dirty on the most amazing automobiles ever to hit the road, along with many more run-of-the-mill cars, as well.
The show airs every Sunday on BBC. Most basic satellite and cable packages cost around $30 monthly, according to www.GetDirectTV.org and BBC are usually included in the lineup. This accessibility probably helps with the popularity of the show.
Here are five of the most bad-ass cars to appear on the show. Granted, it’s impossible to say what the “most” bad-ass car really is. Sure, one can measure things like highest speed, acceleration and handling, but every driver has ones own preference. With that in mind, here are some of the cars “Top Gear” found exceptional.
Ferrari 458 Italia
“Top Gear” is never too generous with praise, meaning no car is ever perfect. The 458 does have some awkward features. The paddle shifters on the steering wheel led the company to place all the basic controls — wipers, turn signals and so on — on the actual steering wheel. This makes basic things like signaling and turning on the wipers a confusing task.
Awkwardness aside, Jeremy Clarkson finds the car beautiful, and unlike many other Ferrari models, brilliant. With a 4.5-liter V8, it produces 562 horsepower. This makes it fast off the line, but it is also incredibly responsive. For him, it may be the best Ferrari produced thus far.
Richard Hammond reviews this beast. It boasts a new V12, something unheard of in modern ingenuity. Most automakers are actually toning down engines. The custom engine produces 694 horsepower and tops out at 217 mph.
According to Hammond, Lamborghini has always produced cars with a top speed as a number one priority. With this model, they went for handling first. This is funny as Lamborghini still managed to produce 217 mph with a top speed as a low priority.
The car handles incredibly. However, for Hammond something is missing. Getting behind the wheel of a Lamborghini has always been a white-knuckle affair. This new car handles so well that the fear is gone. It may be perfect, perhaps almost too perfect.
A supercar of all supercars, the MP4 is one amazing vehicle. It’s so amazing that Jeremy Clarkson doesn’t even like it! To him, it’s absolutely soulless. For most people, though, it’s a monument of human engineering.
McLaren works incredibly hard to produce the perfect vehicle, and they came close with the MP4. The company actually designed it to set a record on the track of “Top Gear,” and it does reach the second-place finish with a time of 1.16.2.
The Corvette ZR1 is almost ridiculous in its emphasis on power above all else. Clarkson is taken with the massive amounts of power produced by the modified 6.2-liter V8. At 638 horsepower, one can tear off the line amazingly fast. Even if, there are better cars Clarkson thinks the Corvette is more fun than many others.
Reviewed against the Corvette ZR1, the R8 is designed to handle like a dream. It succeeds admirably and outperforms the ZR1 in lap times simply because it controls better. This is the opposite end of the spectrum. For some, staying on the road is cooler than tearing off the line.
All a Matter of Taste
What makes a bad-ass car is a matter of taste? All five of these cars are awesome for various reasons, but the choice of which to buy will depend on the driver’s preferences. There may be no perfect car, but each of these beauties comes close.
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