It’s official, Jeremy Clarkson is out and Top Gear will never be the same

Well it’s official, Jeremy Clarkson has been fired from the BBC. The story has finally emerged about his sudden suspension back on March 10th as the BBC provided the full details from their resulting investigation.

Jeremy Clarkson

Jeremy Clarkson

Jeremy Clarkson’s contract will not be renewed after an “unprovoked physical attack” on a Top Gear producer, the BBC’s director general has confirmed as of about 6 hours ago.

In terms of timeline –

Clarkson was suspended on 10 March, following what was called by BBC a “fracas” with Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon. The physical altercation, which took place in a Yorkshire hotel, was said to have occurred because no hot food was provided following a day’s filming.

During the physical attack Oisin Tymon was struck, resulting in swelling and bleeding to his lip.”  The attack lasted “around 30 seconds and was halted by the intervention of a witness. The report went on to document that verbal abuse was sustained over a longer period and contained the strongest expletives and threats to sack Mr Tymon, who believed he had lost his job.

Well, the times are a changing as it sure does seem like celebrities are getting away with bad behaviour less today compared to days past.  All of which is likely a good thing, it is just sad that it happened to our favourite show Top Gear and at its peak.

Top Gear today is a global phenomena with an estimated 350 million viewers worldwide, making it the most watched show on TV. Originally created in 1977, as a regional television motoring show produced by BBC Midlands it has gone on and reinvented itself several times and time will tell what its future holds. We sincerely hope the show goes on for the BBC and its global audience but with the rumour mill already swirling it seems unlikely things will be status quo. The latest news about Clarkson suggests he is already in talks with Netflix and with Hammond and May alluding to them all being a package deal change looks likely.

Source: BBC, Top Gear Wikia 

Testing McLaren’s P1 950 HP Ultra Hybrid

Auto journalist and tester extraordinaire Chris Harris is really the only player who can come close to the level of access the UK’s Top Gear folks receive. Well, he out does himself once again with this extended video where he gets up close and personal with the unreal $1.2-million McLaren.  Check out Harris’ once in a lifetime experience as he heads to Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi to get behind the wheel of this 950 HP, turbocharged V8 hybrid-electric British built McLaren P1. Of course no Chris Harris video would be complete without him sliding it around the racetrack as he is famous for doing in all his tests.

The P1 features a 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 gasoline engine similar to the engine found in the MP4-12C, but it’s tuned to deliver 727 HP and 531 lb ft at 7500 rpm. Combined with an in-house developed electric motor, which produces 176 HP and 192 lb ft, the P1 will have a total power and torque output of 903 HP and 722 lb ft.

Top Gear Series 21

Top Gear fans who have been waiting for the next series of their beloved show can rejoice. Trailers for Series 21 have been released and the first episode is set to air on the BBC on Sunday February 2nd (and across the web shortly there after no doubt).  The trailers can be seen below but as viewers will soon realize it’s not your typical TV show trailer, which uses the dry British humour.

If you head on over to the official Top Gear site you’ll be treated to some stills of the upcoming season.

 

Masretta MXT

Yes, that’s right it’s called the Masretta MXT, and it’s a new mid-engine/rear-drive two-seater sports coupe with loads to offer the track day enthusiast. If you are thinking it looks a lot like a Lotus Elise that’s not by accident because its shares the same lightweight fun theme.

Mexico1

And it’s from Mexico, home to many of the World’s manufacturers’ facilities but not necessarily the home of a national auto product. Designed and built entirely in Mexico, the Masretta MXT is Mexico’s first national car and has become a very cool story in itself.

Mexico2

Designed as a driver’s car, development primarily focused on optimizing acceleration, cornering and braking capabilities. While under the hood, the Masretta MXT has a turbocharged, Ford Duratec 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 250 HP and 250 lb ft. of torque. By using aluminum in the chassis and carbon fiber in the body, the MXT’s overall weight is only 2050 lbs creating a solid overall horsepower to weight ratio. As a result, it’s not only nimble but quick with acceleration numbers of 0-100 Km/h in 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 260 Km/h.

Along with reasonable sticker price of only $60,000 USD, the MXT has some great upside for the enthusiast community since it’s very good value overall for a premium level sports car. But don’t go getting too excited about picking up one of these cheap in a few years since sales estimates are only around 200 cars per year.

Personally, I’m still not 100% sold on the looks as I just can’t get beyond the thought of the bad marriage between a Toyota MR2 and Lotus Elise. Nevertheless, our job as journalists is to give the facts and be balanced so you can act as the judge at the end of the day.

This is a great video of the Masretta MXT in its natural environment on the racetrack.

As well, the boys from the UK’s Top Gear did a video feature on the MXT which provides some additional insights into the one and only 100% Mexican sports car.

Sources: Wikipedia and Masretta.com

Noble Automotive

One company widely known among collectors and car enthusiasts is UK based Noble Automotive.  Established in 2001, with the release of its acclaimed M12 model which received high praise from the international motoring press for its incredible ride, precise handling and impressive power.2002_Noble_M12_002_7084

The Noble M12 is a two-door, two-seat model, originally planned both as a coupe and as a convertible.  All M12s were powered by a twin turbocharged version of the 3.0L Ford Duratec V6 engine (Yes same block as in my 2008 Ford Escape who knew?). Of course the engine is totally rebuilt and tuned to a max power of 425 hp at 6500 rpm, with 390 lb·ft of torque at 5000 rpm. Along with forged pistons, an oil cooler, a larger baffled oil sump and extra cooling ducts used to maintain its durability at high rpms. As for the body construction, the M12 has a full steel roll cage, steel frame, and fiberglass composite clam shell body parts.

These famed “Ferrari killers” are extremely lightweight and stiff and although developed more for the track, the M12 performs very well on both road and track. This is largely achieved by having no anti-roll bars on the car which enables the suspension to be stiff yet comfortable. Check out a UK based review of the model from back in the day.

In 2006 the company was sold to Peter Dyson, a successful business entrepreneur and collector of exotic cars. As an M12 owner and a huge admirer of both Noble Automotive and the M12’s attributes he had a vision for the company.  He felt the cars in his collection that gave him the most joy and rewarding driving experience, tended to be the “earlier” models, none of which featured computer assistance. The current supercar offerings of that day just did not reward the driver in quite the same way. So his idea was to produce a modern supercar that replicated this “analogue” inspired driving style of computer technology “purity”.

This challenge led to the development and launch in 2010 of the Noble M600 supercar. Handbuilt in Leicestershire, England, the Noble M600 is constructed from stainless steel and carbon fibre and uses a twin turbocharged Volvo V8.

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Although the M600 uses the Volvo V8 powerplant from the Volvo XC90 and S80 models, its V8 includes twin Garrett turbochargers that increase the horsepower to supercar levels. Another very unique technical feature is the prescence of a military style switch taken from the British Tornado jet fighter.  The switch is used to provide choice for the driver between the three performace settings including a 450 hp road setting, a 550 hp track setting or an outrageous 650 hp race setting. 

The combination of immense power and lack of an ABS braking system as per Peter Dyson’s vision of building a “pure” supercar, the M600 does make the cause for owners to be skilled drivers. Neverthless, from all real-life accounts, the M600 is quite easy to drive at low speeds around town.

Of course this type of power and technology does not come cheap which is evident with the M600’s current sticker price of £200,000 in the UK or $330,000 in the United States.  In addition, with production numbers of 50 per year you may still have to wait a while to get one even if you have the money.  Oh dear, the difficulities and hardship of being part of the 0.01%…..

The Noble M600 performance numbers are 100% supercar legit and having one of these cars will make you the envy of any auto enthusiast.

Here are the track numbers broken down:

  • 0-60 mph (0–97 km/h): 3.0 seconds
  • 0-100 mph (0–161 km/h): 6.5 seconds
  • 0-120 mph (0–192 km/h): 8.9 seconds
  • Standing quarter mile: 11 seconds
  • Standing km: 19.9 seconds
  • Power to weight: 520 HP/tonne
  • Top speed: 225 mph (362 km/h)(according to manufacturer)

Enough of the chatter now, as to fully appreciate the M600 you must experience it on a track so go ahead and watch Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson video review from a few years back.

If we were fortunate enough to have a supercar budget this would be at the top of our list for sure.

Sources: Top Gear, Wikipedia and Noble Automotive.