Top Gear Italy: The Reviews

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Top Gear Italy: The Reviews

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 18 Jul 2010 - 20:18




[A short snippet of the Top Gear Theme plays as Kara's video entry appears.]



[Scene opens with an aerial view of the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. The city of Bologna disappears below the frame as the camera races up the A1 Autostrada. The camera locks on a dark green car in the far left lane and zooms in. The roof dissolves and we jump cut to an inside camera shot of Kara behind the wheel.]

“I’m behind the wheel of the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, the flagship of the famous Italian automobile manufacturer. This car is fitted with the €25.000 Handling Gran Turismo Evoluzione package, which makes an already excellent-handling car that much better. With a six liter V12 putting out 456kW and 607 N·m of torque, the 599 can accelerate to 200km/h in 11 seconds flat and will reach a speed of 330. And yet the 599’s story is not just about power. I’ve driven north from Rome – a distance of almost 500km – and I’ve been completely comfortable.”

[Kara takes the off ramp for the Via Pietro Giardini and follows it to the Ferrari factory in Modena. She drives up to the gate of the circuit her car was named after and pulls to a stop in front of the main building. She exits, dressed in a white blouse with pink polka dots over white shorts and brown cowgirl boots.]




[Kara walks through a door and the camera fades to another door inside a garage. The door opens and Kara steps through it, now dressed in a Ferrari Formula One race suit. She walks across the garage to a red car that looks like a 599 that’s been worked over by some tuning house.]




“This is the Ferrari 599XX and while using the 599 as the foundation, it draws inspiration from the Enzo-based Ferrari FXX. Like the FXX, the 599XX is a track-only car and only a couple dozen were built and sold to Ferrari’s most special clients. This one happens to be mine…well, my father’s.” sweat

[Kara opens the door and settles into the driver’s seat. She dons a helmet with integrated microphone and straps in. She performs the sequence to start the car and the V12 bursts into life with a snarl. She closes the door, blips the throttle, and motors off onto the track itself.]

“The rev-limiter has been raised to 9000rpm and that raises power to 540kW. That extra 90 kW is important as the ‘active aerodynamics’ generate almost 300kg of downforce at 200km/h and over 600kg at 300. These aerodynamics make the car illegal in most homologated racing series, however Ferrari has arranged a series of races for owners of the car to ring them out in a single-driver shootout against the clock.

“Now, while this is one of the most powerful Ferraris available, the 599XX incorporates banks of computers referred to as the ‘High Performance Driving Concept’ which allows drivers not in possession of an FIA Competition License to still extract the maximum performance the car is capable of. Now, you might think I’d find it anti-climatic to be in the driver’s seat of the 599XX and just mash my foot to the floor and have the computer decide how much throttle to apply. Or stand on the brake pedal and let the computer modulate the pad pressure and yes, the transmission shifts better than I can.

“But make no mistake – even with the computers, this car is a blast to drive and it rewards being driven. It’s just that the factory knows that we’re not all Michael Schumacher or Fernando Alonso—“


[Kara inhales deeply and sighs lovingly at the thought of the Spaniard who now drives for the Scuderia’s F1 team.]

“—and the computers help keep your €1.000.000 investment out of the tire wall or guardrail. Besides, when you spend this much money on a car you can only drive on a track, you want to have a good time.”

[Kara negotiates the sharp Turn 6 hairpin and proceeds to flog the car through Turns 7 and 8, flooring the throttle through the shot straight and then hard on the brakes for the almost 180° Turn 9 then back hard on the throttle through the sweeping set of turns that led onto the main straight, where she mashes her foot down.]




[Kara completes a full lap before pulling in to the garage and a gaggle of engineers descend upon the car to check things and download telemetry. Kara releases her belts and steps out of the car. She pulls her helmet off and hands it to an engineer as she walks towards the back door. Jump cut to the other side as she walks out, the camera focusing on the top of her body, still wearing the racing suit.]

“So on the one hand, we have the €300.000 599 GTB HGTE which is road-legal and a car you can have fun at the track with, but it’s designed more for long drives down open autostrade. On the other extreme, there is the 599XX, which can lap Fiorano in one minute and seventeen seconds, but is not street-legal. What we need is a 599 that works as well off the track as on the track and Ferrari has just released such a model.”

[The camera pans back as Kara unzips what was not the top of the racing suit she had been wearing while driving the 599XX, but instead was a replica racing suit jacket. As she shrugs out of it, she’s again wearing her polka-dot blouse, shorts and cowgirl boots. She walks along a short road to a white oval where another 599, this one sporting some deep grills in the hood, is gleaming in the sun.]




“This is the new Ferrari 599 GTO, the initials standing for ‘Gran Turismo Omologato’ which means this is a road car that has also been homologated for racing. As with the 599XX, the engine has been breathed on, now generating 493kW, which drops the 0-100 km/h time to 3.35 seconds and raises the top speed to 335 km/h. It is Ferrari’s fastest road car, able to lap the Fiorano circuit one second faster than the Ferrari Enzo. My personal record in an Enzo is one minute and twenty seven seconds, so let’s see how I do.”

[Kara settles into the driver’s seat, straps in, and fires up the engine. She revs the throttle hard, the V12 barking like some demonic hound. She drives off the pad and behind the garage, proceeding against the natural flow of the track on a side road that leads to the large skidpad area. Just before the turnoff to the skidpad, she makes a wide turn onto the main straight, settles the car, and pushes her boot to the floor.]







[The GTO pulls off the track and into the parking lot in front of the delivery building. The camera closes in to Kara’s smiling face as she exits the car and checks her stopwatch.]

“One minute, twenty-six!”

[Kara does a “Jay Kay Victory Dance”.]




“This truly is the best of both worlds. Savage power, but like on the 599XX, the computers make it usable. And make no mistake – this car rewards drivers. The computers are not there to flatter poseurs. They are there to allow you to clip that apex just that much sharper, brake those few meters deeper, or put down that almost 500kW of power just a fraction of a second faster – all of which makes the experience behind the wheel of the GTO that much more special.

“So special, in fact, that I had my father buy this one.”


A Ferrari salesman in a tailored suit appears and hands over a leather portfolio to Kara, along with a Montegrappa Ferrari ballpoint pen in sterling silver and red resin. Kara signs a few pieces of paper and the salesman congratulates her on her new purchase.

“The price? If you have to ask…It starts at €319.495, but this one has been optioned out to an even €350.000, including leather electric seating, sound system, and parking sensors to make it more comfortable and usable on the road. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I want to see how much faster I can get back to Rome in this car versus the standard 599 I drove up. Cheerio!”




[Run credits.]


Last edited by Kiskaloo on Mon 26 Aug 2013 - 20:50; edited 3 times in total

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Re: Top Gear Italy: The Reviews

Post by rusty-spring on Sun 18 Jul 2010 - 21:12

Kiskaloo wrote:

Excellent read.

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Re: Top Gear Italy: The Reviews

Post by MP5 on Sun 18 Jul 2010 - 21:33

once again, excellent little story!

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Re: Top Gear Italy: The Reviews

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 19 Jul 2010 - 8:52

It's more "Fifth Gear: Italy" than "Top Gear: Italy", but when it comes to the Scuderia, Kara tends to be serious. Smile

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Re: Top Gear Italy: The Reviews

Post by boomer_gonz on Mon 19 Jul 2010 - 20:11

Very-VERY nice. And Kara's little quirks were epic-cute as always.

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Re: Top Gear Italy: The Reviews

Post by Kiskaloo on Fri 6 Aug 2010 - 19:06




[A short snippet of the Top Gear Theme plays as Kara's video entry appears.]



[Scene opens with a view of desert with rock the color of rusted metal. Camera slowly pans to where a silver coupe approaches down a mountain highway.]




[The camera fades to black and when it comes back, a beautiful silver coupe is parked on the side of the road. In time-lapse, the roof-hinged doors open upward.]





[Voiceover by Kara.]

“This is the iconic Mercedes-Benz 300SL “Gullwing” coupe, one of the world’s most revered cars and a true status symbol of the 1950’s.”

[The camera lingers lovingly on the silver exterior and black leather interior as Kara’s voice-over narration continues.]




“Launched in 1954 at the New York Auto Show, the vehicle was aimed at the booming post-War American vehicle market and loosely based on the 1952 sports car of the same name. To save weight, the racecar laid a metal skin over a tubular metal skeleton, necessitating the gull-wing style doors, which were carried over to the customer model.

“The three-liter inline six-cylinder engine, carried over from the W186 saloon car, made history by being the first to eschew carburetion for direct fuel injection, resulting in a doubling of power to 192kW and a top speed of 260km/h, making it the fastest production car of it’s day. Unfortunately, Mercedes-Benz was strapped for cash at the time and they fitted the 300SL with drum brakes, making stopping from such speeds a lengthy proposition. The car also used the suspension from the saloon, which made the handling…well, terrifying. Like the Porsche 911, lifting off in a corner resulted in snap oversteer and with the poor brakes, more than one SL ended up in a hedge…or a tree.”





“Still, the car’s looks and speed were amazing and the market responded. Of the roughly 1400 vehicles produced over three years, some 1100 were sold in the United States. In many ways, it was one of the first ‘super cars’, along with the Ferrari 250 and Jaguar XK series. The Gullwing model lasted only three years, supplanted in 1958 by an open-top roadster, which itself lasted until 1963 and the introduction of the R113 roadster.

“Though the McLaren-Mercedes SLR paid homage to some of the styling cues, for over 50 years the 300SL Gullwing coupe remained unique. And that uniqueness has made it quite valuable on the collector’s market. With a retail price of $7500 US dollars, pristine examples today cross the block for up to 100 times that. But now, almost 55 years later, Mercedes-Benz has reached back to the 300SL and brought it forward to the 21st century.

“And they’re pretty happy about it.”


[Camera fade.]




[Another camera fade, now showing a beautiful coastline, azure blue waves lapping up against pristine sands. Camera slowly pans to a low-slung red coupe with a prominent Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star in the grill and open gull-wing doors overlooking the setting sun.]




[Voiceover by Kara.]

“This is the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. It is the spiritual successor to the 300SL Gullwing and incorporates not only those iconic doors, but also the straked gills aft of the front wheels. Mercedes-Benz hops the new SLS will be as popular with the public as the SL was.”

[Kara walks into frame, dressed in a floral pattern blouse over a white pleated frilly skirt and brown lace-up boots. She walks along the car, running her hand over the long nose.]




“The SLS AMG is certainly more affordable. Off the lot you’re looking at somewhere south of €200.000, depending on options. German buyers can also spring for the €12.000 Alu Beam paint, which will make your SLS appear as if dipped in quicksilver.”

[The camera pans into the well-appointed cockpit, swathed in tan leather and carbon fiber.]

“The 300SL cockpit was a very pleasing place to spend an afternoon, swathed in leather, wood and aluminum, even if the high door-sills and low roofline made it feel somewhat claustrophobic. The SLS is equally snug with the doors down and every touchable surface is covered in either soft leather or Alcantra. This car is equipped with the carbon fiber inserts option, but I admit I prefer the standard aluminum, instead.




“Like the 300SL, the SLS’s dashboard is dominated by two large dials for the speedometer and the tachometer. Compared to the clean lines of the 300SL’s dashboard, the SLS is a mess of buttons, switches and displays. Like all Mercedes, the SLS includes their COMMAND multi-function controller, but it seems that the engineers decided to duplicate every one of those functions in a standalone button and splash them across the steering wheel, dashboard, center console, and door panels. I may be a modern girl, but I much prefer the simplicity and elegance of the 300SL’s cockpit.”

[Kara slips into the deeply-bolstered driver’s seat and pushes the memory button to set it for the optimal driving position.]




“What I do prefer about the SLS is the 6.2-liter V8 engine, which puts out an astonishing 420kW. From a standing start, 100 km/h arrives in 3.8 seconds and the car has been electronically limited to 317 km/h.

“Since I’m not on a track, I won’t be exploring either number in anger, but that doesn’t mean I can’t take advantage of this beautiful and twisty coastal road.”


[Kara starts the car, the engine note a deep rumble. She gives the throttle a good press and the car launches smartly with an almost flatulent note as it climbs through the rev range.]

“If this car ran on bio-diesel instead of premium unleaded, I’d think it had been hitting the sauerkraut and kielbasa…”

[Kara climbs up into the nearby hills, taking advantage of the lack of traffic to open up the car, closing in on 150 km/h at points.]

“The SLS is quite stiffly-sprung. Compared to the SLR, it transmits more of the road’s imperfections into the chassis. It also makes the car a bit tail-happy exiting corners if you’re too heavy-footed.”

[Kara proceeds to hammer the throttle coming out of a sharp corner and the back end steps out, but not in an uncontrolled way. Instead of a lurid slide, a quick counter-steer snaps it back into place and the car launches past the camera.]

“The 300SL came with a four-speed manual gearbox. The SLS has a seven-speed dual-clutch semi-automatic transmission and you’ll want to keep your hands close to the paddles during spirited driving because the engine just dies when it reaches it’s 7200 rpm red-line.

“Where the SL only used aluminum in the hood, doors and trunk lid, the SLS’ entire body shell is made of the lightweight metal. However, the car is on the portly side at 1600 kg, almost 500kg more than the original SL. Fortunately, the engine has plenty of grunt to sling that weight around.”


[Kara exits onto a nice stretch of straight road and hammers the throttle. Close-up short of the tachometer climbing, Kara changing up a gear just as the engine hits 7000 rpm. Next to it, the speedometer needle climbs steadily to 250 km/h and holds there. Jump shot to the SLS screaming past the camera, which pans hard to follow, the V8 belching noise.

Fade shot to the car parked in a turn-off, the engine ticking over as it cools. Pan to the left as Kara stands on a cliff overlooking the ocean in the distance.]





“The SLS is a different car than the SLR or the CL. It only really shines when it’s pushed hard. At even Autostrada speeds, the car feels more like an E-Class sedan than a taut sports coupe. And for long drives, I think the stiff suspension would become a bit wearing on one’s bum. Nor is it nearly as beautiful as the 300SL it draws its inspiration from.

“Does that mean it’s a bust? Not at all. It may not eat the miles as comfortably as an SLR, but it’s half the price and just as fast to 100km/h. Like the 300SL, Mercedes is also planning a convertible roadster version as well as an all-electric model called the E-Cell for those who want to save the environment while travelling through it at a high rate of speed. Mercedes will also take the gull-wing back to the racetrack, entering the car in the FIA GT3 Championship next year.

“In summary, the SLS is the spiritual successor to the original 300 SL Gullwing coupe. And as a driver’s car, it’s every bit fifty years better. But it is also a car best enjoyed when driven hard and fast. If I lived in Germany or the Isle of Man, the SLS would definitely be on my short-list of cars.

“I once said that my idea of a classic car was anything built before 1997 and the 1957 Mercedes 300SL certainly applies as a classic car, not just under my definition, but just about anyone’s.

“And in Italy, where style means so much, I have to go with the classic.

“I have to go with the 300SL.”


[Kara slips behind the wheel of the 300SL and closes the door, the setting sun reflecting off the polished silver paint, and motors off down the highway.]





Last edited by Kiskaloo on Mon 11 Jul 2011 - 2:02; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Top Gear Italy: The Reviews

Post by rusty-spring on Fri 6 Aug 2010 - 20:36

“Welcome to a brand new segment that I like to call the Top Gear Italy: Technology Center Quick Kit Construction. Or TGITCQKC for short.”

[Laine walks out into the parking lot outside of the garage.]

“Now the premise of TGITCQKC is that I take regular, ordinary, mundane objects, and strap engines to them to see if they become a viable means of transportation.”

[She pulls out a porcelain bathtub out on a wooden trolley.]

“As you can see, today's object is one standard issue European style tub. It has beautiful detailing near the faucets, and a wonderful set of molded brass legs. Which of course, will have to go if I am going to be putting wheels underneath.”

[Cut to Laine pulling out a 20 pound sledge hammer and an industrial saw.]

15 minutes later

[The tub is upside down and has a visible crack along the bottom. However, true to her word, the brass furniture has been removed.]

“Now, to affix the wheels.”

[Laine walks next to a pair of large black tires with aluminum rims.]

“I chose a set of Pirelli PZero Rosso tires, for ultra high performance.”

[She steps back and looks as the tires, and then at the tub.]

“Hmm...still going to need a drive shaft and some axles...”

30 minutes later

[A section of copper piping has been prodigiously duct taped to the bottom of the tub forming a crude frame. Underneath is a drive system from a Volkswagen - also attached by duct tape.]

“There, with that all sorted it's time to now select my engine.”

[Cut to Laine looking through a used car ad, she circles a particular entry, then nods in confidence.]

45 minutes later

[A small engine, bolted onto the back of the tub sits precariously close to the ground.]

“This is a 657cc In line 3-Cylinder engine from a Mazda Autozam AZ-1.” [She looks towards the engine.] “It puts out 63 hp and has an acceleration speed of somewhere between a glacier and continental drift.”

[Laine hops into the tub.]

“Now, let's get this baby started.” [Looks around, notices that there is no ignition, or any steering.] “Ah, I seem to have forgotten a few things."

5 minutes later

[Laine is back beside the tub with a crude electronic button starter for the engine and a canoe oar.]

“It took me a while to realize, but I didn't actually give my Autozam Tub any steering capability. So this shall be a pure drag strip vehicle.” [Laine is about to jump into the tub, when she suddenly stops.]

“On second thought, perhaps I should turn this vehicle over to our tame crash test dummy.” [She pulls out a mannequin dressed up like The Stig and stuffs it into the tub. Laine stands to one side with the button start.]

“And here we go, TGITCQKC's first product – The Autozam Tub!” [She hits the start button and the engine jumps to life and immediately starts to roll down the tarmac.]

“It lives!”

[Suddenly, one of the tires flies off and the tub skids along the ground. Then, the crack beneath the tub finally gives way and the vehicle disintegrates into tiny sharp pieces. The mannequin rolls onto the ground and the engine in turn runs over the mannequin. The whole wreckage begins to burn.]

“Well, you can't expect perfection the first time around. See you next time on Top Gear Italy: Technology Center Quick Kit Construction!”

TGITCQKC Statistics -

  • Total Cost = £899
  • Total Construction Time = 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Number of profanities uttered during construction = 17
  • Project Condition = Failure

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Re: Top Gear Italy: The Reviews

Post by Professor Voodoo on Sat 7 Aug 2010 - 5:38


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Re: Top Gear Italy: The Reviews

Post by rusty-spring on Sat 7 Aug 2010 - 15:19

[A group of well-dressed people are standing around a table, filled with glasses of wine and a tray of hors d'oeuvres. They are chatting happily and laughing with each other.]

"Hey, hey. Party's over people!"

[Laine scoots into view of the camera attempts to shush people away. It doesn't work. She then draws a pistol from behind her waist and fires into the air a few times. The party goers scatter in frightened screams as brass casings hit the concrete.]


"That's better." [She looks at the camera.] "Welcome again to TGITCQKC! I hope everyone has had a pleasant weekend, because it is now business as usual. I have a special treat in store for you viewers, so let's bring it out."

[An assistant in a while lab coat rolls out a yellow cream colored scooter.]

"This is a Vespa. Perhaps the most well-known scooter in history. They were first built in 1946 in Pontedera, Italy by Piaggio & Co. S.p.A. They are iconic to Italian culture and the stereotypical Italian men who ride them, sweeping foreign women off their feet for a ride around Rome."


[Laine steps over to the table and grabs a glass of red wine.]

"And this, is a Cabernet Sauvignon circa 1946." [She takes a sip.] "Lovely. By now, you're probably wondering just what today's project entails. I have a classic Italian scooter and a bottle of beautiful French wine. If you haven't noticed, I am in fact still missing something."

[Another assistant pushes a dining cart into view, piled high with cheese wheels.]

"If you guessed it was a cheese, then you are correct." [Laine walks towards the cart and peruses through it.] "Now, as we all know, the cheese must match the wine. Seeing as we are having red wine, I have selected a hard cheddar. In our particular case, this is the best sharp cheddar in all of Italy."

[She pushes the cart over towards the Vespa.]

"With which I shall be substituting the wheels on this Vespa."
[Laine kicks the scooter over and it falls on its side.] "Let's get started shall we?"

[A bit perplexed, she stares at the Vespa for a while, deducing how to remove the wheels.]

15 minutes later.

[The wheels are still on the Vespa and Laine is still looking at it.]

10 minutes later.

[Laine is now drinking a glass of wine, and idly kicking at the tires, checking them for looseness.]

5 minutes later.

[Two more empty glasses are on the ground beside her, and Laine throws up her hands.]

"Oh sod it, we'll do it the easy way." [She pulls out a large hammer and a crow bar.]

2 minutes later.

"There, our wheels are removed, and we now are ready to affix our cheddar tires."
[She grabs one wheel of cheese and shoves it onto one of the old tire mounts of the Vespa.] "That went on rather easily..." [Laine pauses and looks at the camera.] "Perhaps too easily..."

Another 2 minutes later.

"Success, our cheddar wheels are on, and we are ready to ride." [The Vespa is sitting uneasily on orange circles. The rear wheel is a horror show as the chain and gears have been sloppily shoved into the cheese. Laine hops onto the seat, and the tires visibly squish a bit as cheese is not a load bearing material.] "I might want to get a helmet." [She walks off camera, and comes back with a motorcycle helmet on.]

"Ignition!" [She turns the key and the Vespa putts to life. Slowly the Vespa begins to move.] "I knew it would work." [The muffled sound of Laine's voice comes through the helmet as the scooter begins to roll along. She applies more power and suddenly the rear cheese wheel begins to spin and disintegrate.]

"It's gone mad!" [A large chunk of the cheddar wheel flies sideways and knocks over the wine table. Another piece flies towards the camera and the man behind it scrambles away for cover.] "Watch out!" [She hops off and the Vespa shakes itself to a stop. There is cheese carnage everywhere with long streaks of cheddar lining the pavement. Laine takes off her helmet. She looks at the ground.]

"I do hope we don't have many rats around the compound..."

TGITCQKC Statistics -

  • Total Cost = £350 (Vespa), £120 (Wine), £55 (Cheese)
  • Total Construction Time = 34 minutes
  • Number of profanities uttered during construction = 6
  • Number of glasses of wine consumed = 4
  • Number of large rodents attracted = 29
  • Project Condition = Failure

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Re: Top Gear Italy: The Reviews

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 9 Aug 2010 - 23:11

Next up is one from MP5:






[A short snippet of the Top Gear Theme plays as Claes' video entry appears.]



[Roll standard Top Gear Italy opening (perhaps chucking in plugs for two previous segments, i.e. 'SUV Interior Design challenge,' 'V8 Ute review', etc) before fading into crane shot that zooms into studio with a decent crowd, reflecting the breakout popularity of the podcast, now filmed regularly from ACI Vallelunga courtesy of local sponsors. The “Drift Car Challenge” cars now sit on pedestals, and it is next to her beloved Alfa 75 where Kara begins the show.]

Kara: Hello! [pauses as cheers and applause begin to die down] Hello, and welcome to this next episode of Top Gear Italy. Once again, to all who are watching, thanks for the support, our Youtube channel is registering close to 1 million hits and it's still climbing. Now then, we start tonight off with a note about green cars. Like the original blueprint for the show, we too have received literally letters requesting that more green cars need to be featured on our show, which puts us in a bit of a spot. [Camera zooms out to include Laine into the shot]

Laine: We don't have a whole lot of episodes out in the first place, so why we're already being asked to do this is beyond us. That said, we shall appease this request, and here's one now!

[Crane shot speed-pans to a Lime Green Ferrari 599 GTB, and the audience laughs prematurely]

Kara: Wait, wait! Don't laugh; yes, it looks like I've consigned to Jeremy Clarkson's logic regarding green cars, but in truth, this is in fact the Ferrari 599 HY-KERS concept car seen at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show. It still has that delicious 6-liter Ferrari V12 from the parent GTB Fiorano, but this version has a roommate in the engine bay in the form of a 107bhp electric motor, and the transmission is the same 7-speed dual clutch gearbox from the 458 Italia. It's also...sort of...a...concept. [crowd laughs momentarily, camera pans over to Laine standing next to a bright red sports car with a build similar to the Lotus Elise.]

Laine: Now over here, we have the American-built Tesla Roadster Sport. It's an all-electric sports car that is now for sale here in Europe. It uses the lightweight chassis of the Lotus Elise, but in place of the standard 4-cylinder petrol engine, you get a 245bhp electric motor powered by a bank of Lithium-Ion batteries, the same kind you get in a decent laptop. Naught to sixty is 3.7 seconds, top speed is an electronically-limited 125 miles per hour. Unfortunately, it takes 3.5 hours to recharge if you've run the battery completely dry, and it has a cost of just under €100,000 Euros. You can go faster, and go more often in a car that costs less, and even though it doesn't put out carbon emissions, all you do is shift that production over to the power plant you draw electricity from.

Kara: So with green sports cars being either doomed to remain as concepts or not being quite competitive enough with their petrol-guzzling equivalents, an improvement needs to be found. However, Miss Reluctant, who is is a bit of an Anorak [laughter from crowd], thinks that the solution doesn't lie in Silicon Valley or Maranello, but rather, in an American inner-city high school.

[Video segment starts with a fade-in to a time-lapse shot of the Center City Philadelphia skyline. The Sugarhill Gang's “Rapper's Delight” plays in the background as appropriate cutaway shots accompany Claes' voiceover.]


Claes: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Home to the Cheesesteak, Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets, The Fresh Prince, The Liberty Bell, and M. Night Shymalan. It is the birthplace of the United States government, a place that 'The Founding Fathers' called home. It is where electricity was first discovered by accident through the actions of one Benjamin Franklin, and where a country declared its independence from England. It is the backdrop for roughly every Rocky film ever made, and to this day, you can actually run up the same steps that Sylvester Stallone did in the first Rocky film. But now, a small group of students from the West Philadelphia High School Automotive Academy have recently made the city the birthplace of the world's first hybrid supercar, and are doing it once more, this time, with feeling.

[Fade from black to shot of a blood-red open-top roadster with a silver racing stripe down its center, shock towers jutting out from vents in the front of the car. The badge on the front merely says “K-1”. More beautifying shots of the car as Claes continues with her voiceover.]


Claes: The West Philadelphia High School Electric Vehicle Team made headlines several years ago, when they came out with the K-1 Hybrid Attack. Using a carbon fiber kit car shell built in Slovenia as the base, a team of 6 ordinary high school students and their instructors cobbled together the world's first hybrid supercar. It was all-wheel-drive, powered by a 1.9-liter Volkswagen Turbodiesel engine in the back producing 150 brake horsepower using soybean oil-based biodiesel and a 200bhp electric motor up front powered by a 450 volt ultra-capacitor pack. The result was a lightweight lightning bolt that got well above fifty miles to the gallon yet still had a blistering naught-to-sixty time of under four seconds—in a hybrid, no less! And they did it with a budget of just $15,000 dollars.

[Jump cut to shot of Claes walking past the K-1 Attack in its garage, currently dressed in the day's outfit—Dolce & Gabanna faded skinny jeans, Prada short sleeve top, and Jimmy Choo 'Clue' slingback heels. She stops to glance at the car, and then faces the camera.]

Claes: At least, that was the intended result. Without the money to purchase the ultra-capacitors, the team attempted to power the electric motor using lead-acid batteries, but that proved unsafe. So instead, they ran it as an alternative-fuel vehicle, which didn't fare too badly, but it was incomplete nonetheless. [She pats the front end of the car gently, speaking to it] At least you tried.

[Jump cut to profile silhouette of the EVX GT enshrouded in shadow, cut to other 'mysterious' shots as Claes continues her voiceover]

Claes: However, just because it didn't work out the first time doesn't mean they won't give it a second go. A new generation of students has emerged to surpass those who went before them, and they're giving the hybrid supercar idea another good old college try—while they're still in high school.

[jump cut to shot of Claes standing in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, munching on the remainder of a Philly Cheesesteak from Geno's Steaks. She swallows what she is chewing so that she can speak.]

Claes: Now they tell me I can go and see their project at the top of these steps. However the producers have insisted that I participate in a Philadelphia tradition and run up the Art Museum steps like Rocky Balboa. [she casts a glance at the 72 steps behind her. It is a daunting task.] Nevermind that I just finished eating, and that I'm wearing heels. But, I will soldier on, for you faithful viewers out there. [with a sigh, she removes her heels and places them into her handbag, muttering profanities in Swedish. She turns to someone out-of-shot, and the camera zooms out to reveal Allison and ?uestlove, drummer of native Philly band The Roots.] Music, if you'd please.



[Allison begins playing Silvain Cloux's cover of “Gonna Fly Now”, the theme to the Rocky films
as ?uestlove begins drumming the beat. Claes takes a deep breath before leaping off to make the dash up the steps. Steadicam shot follows Claes from the side as her legs make quick work of the famous “Rocky Steps”, and as she reaches the landing at the end, she turns around to face the view from the top, surveying the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, City Hall, and Eakins Oval as she jumps up and down in triumph as the camera makes a sweeping pan to the right until it stops behind Claes and her commanding view of the city. Allison cuts off the music with a quick ending note, and Claes stops boxing with the air before clearing her throat.]

Claes: Right. They said there'd be a car here. [Spots a black sports car with lots of decals on it.] Ah, there it is.

[Time lapse pan of the EVX GT as Claes speaks in voiceover.]

Claes: This is the latest machine to come from the Electric Vehicle Team's garage. They call it the EVX GT, and it is their second attempt to build a viable hybrid supercar. [jump cuts to various angles of the car, showing off its decals indicating participation in the Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize contest.] The GT was an alternative entry into the Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize competition, designed to spur innovation for the next generation of American automobiles. This car went into the alternative category, which allows for more creativity and performance-oriented machines.

[Jump cut to Claes walking around the EVX GT with every door and hood opened up]

Claes: Now as with the K-1 Attack, the team built the EVX GT like a shed car. The kit car body is the GTM model from Factory Five Racing, which normally uses a Chevrolet Small-Block V8 from a Corvette and the transmission and transaxle from a Porsche 911. The EVX Team instead placed in the same kind of 1.9-liter TDI diesel from a Volkswagen Jetta found in the K-1 Attack driving the rear wheels
[jump cut to TDI engine], and a 60bhp electric motor driving the front wheels [jump cut to electric motor]. Like the ever-popular Prius, the EVX, being a hybrid, has regenerative braking [cue youtube video of regenerative braking test].



Under power sources, the TDI is once again powered by biodiesel that smells like french fries, but the electric motor is powered by a 10.2kWh Lithium-Ion battery pack instead of ultra-capacitors. The car is somewhat heavier, with a curb weight of 2576 pounds, whereas the K-1 was only 1970 pounds running on Biodiesel alone. Still, it's lighter than a Toyota Prius, and much faster, boasting a total power output of 240 brake horsepower with naught-to-sixty in under five seconds. The team claims that despite this, the car gets 100 miles to the gallon in the city, and the electric motor is responsible for primary acceleration up to 50 miles per hour.

[Jump cut to the inside as Claes get into the driver's seat, showing a sparse interior]

Claes: Now inside the car, there's not much to be had. A steering wheel, pedals, instrument panel, 5-speed manual transmission, racing seats, and that's your lot. But considering this car is using light weight to make most of its speed, things like a radio, traction control system, air-con and heating aren't going to help it much when you want most of the electricity powering the front wheels. Think of it then, as a mid-engined, all-wheel-drive hybrid Caterham that leaves behind the appetizing scent of a chip shop as you burble and whir about saving the planet.

[Jump cut to shot through windshield as Claes sits in the driver's seat next to Director Shawn Henderson, the (fictional) head of the Electric Vehicle Team as she asks about the vehicle]

Claes: So why a hybrid supercar, exactly?

Henderson: Well, when we made the Hybrid Attack, the idea behind that was to make the hybrid option more attractive. The reason most people avoid hybrids is because they lack anything like the performance and style of gasoline-powered sports cars. The Hybrid Attack didn't quite work because we needed more funding than what we were allotted, so we were forced to enter the contest as an alternative fuel vehicle. With the EVX, we were able to correct that mistake and hopefully get a better grasp on the future of hybrid supercars.

Claes: But what's to stop people from buying the Tesla Roadster—which doesn't produce any emissions at all—instead of a car like the EVX GT?

Henderson: The Price. We built this EVX GT to be priced 40 percent lower than the Tesla Roadster, which has a six-figure price tag around here, allowing it to compete not only with the Tesla, but also cars like the Nissan GT-R, Corvette, Mustang, and so on. What's more, you're only pushing those carbon emissions negated from the Tesla to the electric plant that produces the power you need to charge its batteries, even though it only takes 3.5 hours to charge. With the EVX GT, there's no need to charge batteries, and the biodiesel fuel produces much lower levels of carbon emission compared to a standard gasoline-powered car.

Claes: So... can I have a spin behind the wheel?

Henderson: [he smiles] Be my guest.

[Jump cut to new shot of the EVX parked curbside at Eakins Oval as Claes seats herself in the driver's seat.]

Claes: So then, a Hybrid Supercar. The tank's got some earth-loving biodiesel in it, the batteries up front are still new... let's see what it's like to start one up. [she turns the ignition key and is greeted by the standard rattling noise of a diesel engine. Claes grimaces in response.] Well then, there's no mistaking this for a Ferrari, or even a Porsche for that matter. That's definitely a diesel engine burning that eco-friendly eau-de-chip shop perfume. [voiceover as she puts it in gear and pulls away from the curb]

Claes: However, just because it's a diesel doesn't mean that it has to drive like one. Assisted by that electric motor up front, acceleration is below five seconds, and when you put your foot down, it will gladly squirt forward. [jump cut back to in-car shot, Claes incredulous at the acceleration.] Crikey Moses, this thing is quick! And that diesel noise is actually less annoying the more you put your foot down; because it's a turbodiesel, it's got that turbocharged whine, and under power, the EVX GT sounds a little like a jet fighter...which you can't get from a Prius.

[Jump cut to shots of the EVX being thrown around an open lot as Claes continues with her voiceover]

Claes: And it's not just brilliant in a straight line, either. Because the body design is a low-slung sports car, not unlike a Ford GT, with fat sports tires and all four wheels being powered, you get absolutely phenomenal grip, and you can sense that as you put your foot down in the corners.

[Jump cut to the EVX GT blowing by a stationary camera, then to in-car shot with Claes at the wheel]

Claes: It's amazing how well this thing holds the road, really. If you're not getting pressed into the seat back by the acceleration, then you're getting your internal organs pushed to one side as you take a corner, and because this thing is so light, you notice the lack of power steering and don't really care, besides, let's not forget that it's a shed car. So even though it's a hybrid, you forget that when you experience the rather unexpected performance of this car. [Jump cut to a few more shots of Claes thrashing the car about in the open lot, weaving through cones and the like, and then to voiceover.] I wouldn't blame you if you were tempted to go buy one now. But, there is a price to pay once you're done larking about.

[Fade cut to shot of Claes leaning out of the driver's side window as the engine ticks over while cooling.]

Claes: Remember when I said that this car could get 100 miles to the gallon in a city? Well, that might not even really be true, because when this was entered in that Insurance Company future vehicle rodeo thingy, the EVX GT was eliminated for not meeting the minimum fuel-consumption target of 67 miles to the gallon, so it's not as green as you might hope it would be. Also, the suspension is very stiff, so going over bumps and potholes will rattle your spine pretty good. What's more, you can't forget that this is a shed car, so it feels a bit cheap, and that diesel engine is not going to sound very elegant if you try to take it out for a night on the town with a handsome male companion in the passenger's seat, so there's no mistaking this for a riviera cruiser. And then there's that typical problem low-slung cars like this have. Let me show you. [jump cut to a wider shot of the car as Claes opens the door and attempts to exit the vehicle, which is an awkward, embarrassing display of grunts and heaves as she tries valiantly to extricate herself from the car] Oof—come on, I've almost got me leg out...ungh—just a little more.. there—ah![Claes falls ungracefully to the pavement. She gets up, dusting herself off] You certainly won't look elegant getting out of the car, which is a bit of a faff in itself, so I would not recommend driving this if you wear a short skirt. And then there's that chip shop smell. [She sniffs her shirt's sleeve and wrinkles her nose] Appetizing, yes, but the smell kind of gets into your clothes after a while, and it sometimes attracts unwanted visitors. [she turns to a squirrel approaching the back of the car] Come on you, shoo!

[Jump cut to time-lapsed panning shots of the EVX GT at LOVE Park as Claes continues with a voiceover]


Claes: What's more, the biodiesel fuel used to run this car is not as widely available as you might hope. Trying to find biodiesel is a hit-or-miss proposition, as is getting that fuel for cheap—some places, it's more expensive, some places, cheaper than dirt. And even though it's a road-going car, you can't buy one at a dealership, since it is a kit you must build yourself. And that can be costly.

[Jump cut to various shots of the EVX GT cruising the streets of Philadelphia, with a few reactions from passerby as it goes about. Jump cut to in-car camera as Claes puts in her final word about the car.]

Claes: But for all its faults, it is still one of the freshest examples of forward thinking I've ever seen. I can't help but think that with a bit more money, a bit more time, and a bit more attention, cars like the EVX GT will become the standard for a new generation of motoring. [she shifts up a gear] I think that this car is showing people the future.[Jump cut to closing shot of the car silhouetted by the setting sun as it sits parked in front of The Liberty Bell as Claes utters her final voiceover.] And the future is looking bright.

[Fade down to black, then up from black as the camera re-joins Claes, Laine, and Kara in the studio, next to the EVX GT. The audience is applauding as the three comment on the car.]

Kara: So... [the applause dies down as she starts to speak] The future of cars as we know it is a diesel-powered hybrid that smells like a McDonald's and doesn't even get 67 miles per gallon?

Claes: Well, it's supposed to be a supercar, and supercars aren't exactly know for fuel efficiency.

Laine: But supercars aren't known for smelling like chip shops, either. [audience laughs; jump cut to Kara and Claes]

Kara: One thing that does worry me about this car is that it'll attract unwanted attention.

Claes: Whatever do you mean?

Kara: Well, besides the valet seeing what comes after England and France when you get out of it in a skirt,--[more laughter from the audience] It's what you'll find when you go to the parking lot to get it. Let's say you go out to the car to get your purse, right?

Claes: Yes.

Kara: It's not car thieves you'll have to worry about, because in their place you'll find a bunch of stray cats, raccoons, and fat people getting filth all over the car trying to find where you hid that order of large fries. [laughter from the audience as Claes pinches her nosebridge; jump cut to Laine]

Laine: Nevertheless, an excellent piece of machinery built by bright young minds, ladies and gentlemen, the West Philadelphia High School Electric Vehicle Team!

[A group of high school students and their instructors are focused on by the camera as they wave to the rest of the applauding audience and the presenters shake hands with them and give them pats on the back. Kara motions for silence as the applause dies down]

Kara: Now even though it's a kit car, it is a road-going vehicle, and that means it can go on our power lap board. Which also means handing it over to our caged racing driver.

[Jump cut to mid-angle shot]

Kara: Some say that while making love, her moans sound exactly like the whine of a supercharger...[more laughter from the audience] and that recently, she has made plans to elope with Rubens Barichello despite her brother's protests. [pause for more laughter] All we know is, she's called The Stigette.

[Jump cut to EVX GT at the starting line, diesel engine idling momentarily before The Stigette sets off, the whine of the turbocharger increasing in pitch as the whirring of the electric motor also gets louder]

Kara: And she's off the line, 240 horsepower throwing all four wheels forward! Going through the Curva Grande very flat and smooth, then lifting off for the first Cimini, back on the gas, then a little less throttle for the second, kissing the apex, and then hammering it out of there.

[Jump cut to in-car shot, no music is playing, just the sound of the electric motor and diesel engine working]

Kara: No music for The Stigette today, as it is a shed car she's driving, and a stereo would only use up more energy from the car. Now it's time for the twisty section; handling nicely on the way down to Semaforo...[The Stigette cranks the wheel hard right, the tires squeal in response] Steering hard into Semaforo now, the grip of the car keeping it on the inside, then blasting down to Torantino—ooh, quite a bit of understeer here, [The EVX GT goes wide to the outside of the hairpin] now through the Esse, only Roma to go, very tidy through Roma, and across the line! [The EVX GT blitzes across the start/finish line sounding like a miniature jet fighter]

[Jump cut back to the studio where applause fills the air as crane shot pans down towards the power lap board, next to which the EVX GT is parked. Kara waves a slip in the air]

Kara: I have the time for the EVX GT! Anyone want to hazard a guess?

Laine: Well, it can't be faster than the McLaren SLR, can it?

Kara: Well no, it's only got 240 horsepowers total...

Claes: Just give us the lap time already!

Kara: Keep your glasses on... the EVX GT rounded the track in 2 minutes...

Laine: Yes?

Kara:...thirty...

[silence as they await the last bit of the time.]

Kara: ...dead.

[Applause erupts as Kara places the time a fair distance below the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster. Applause continues as they speak.]

Claes: That's actually quite fast!

Laine: And that's a hybrid?! [Applause dies down]

Kara: It's a hybrid, and with that time, the EVX GT is officially the fastest hybrid car on our track. Ladies and Gentlemen, another round of applause for the EVX GT and its builders!

[Applause before going into next segment of the show]


Last edited by Kiskaloo on Sun 27 Mar 2011 - 17:09; edited 1 time in total

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Kiskaloo
A Cat of Many Talents

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Location : Seattle / Tokyo / Milan

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Registration date : 2008-09-11

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Re: Top Gear Italy: The Reviews

Post by Kiskaloo on Tue 10 Aug 2010 - 14:34






[Scene opens at the Customer Delivery Center at Ferrari’s Fiorano racetrack. A sharply-dressed young man opens the door and the camera tracks inside and down a hall to where Kara is sitting on a chair, her left leg bouncing with excess energy and a somewhat sheepish look on her face.]




“Yup, I’m back again. sweat

This will be the fifth car I’ve taken delivery of at Fiorano. I’m told I only need two more to be given an access card so I can come and go as I please.”


[This last is delivered with a broad smile.]

“I have to admit, it's the one I am most excited about. But first, a little history.”

[Camera fade to outside, where Kara stands before a collection of Rosso Corsa Ferrari supercars parked on the asphalt run off area in Turn 9.]




"Arranged behind me are four of Ferrari's supercars - the 288 GTO, the F40, the F50 and the Enzo. My father owns all four, but I've only driven the Enzo...

...until today."


[Kara smiles widely and walks to the 288 GTO.]




[She opens the driver’s door to reveal a relatively Spartan interior with deep bucket seats of perforated black leather with orange stripes.]




[Kara plops herself down and stretches her legs out to place the soles of her boots on the clutch and throttle pedals. She engages the clutch and works the gear lever to become familiar with the resistance.]

“I have to admit that the vast bulk of my driving experience has been in cars with flappy-paddle gearboxes and I learned to drive on a Ferrari 456 with an automatic, but I have been practicing with a manual so I’m confident I won’t be stripping any gears – especially considering what some of these vehicles are worth.”

[Kara starts the car, allows the V8 to settle, then blips the throttle a few times, the V8 barking sharply with each press of her right boot. She engages first gear and slowly pulls out onto the track, allowing the transmission and engine to warm up as she meanders through Turns 10 and 11. Jump cut to inside.]

"The 288 GTO was produced from 1984 to 1985 to meet the 200-car homogolation requirements for the new at the time FIA Group B sports car racing series. However, only Ferrari and Porsche expressed interest so the series was cancelled soon after and none of the 272 288 GTOs produced were ever raced in a Group B event.

"The 288 GTO used the same V8 block as that found in the 308 GTB, de-bored by 1mm from 3.0 to to 2.8 liters. This was done because the 288 GTO's engine was turbocharged and Group B used a 1.4 multipler, meaning the 2855cc actual displacement was treated as 3997cc, just under the class’ 4000cc limit.

"Those twin IHI turbos boost output from the 190kw of the 308 GTB to just under 300kw and the results are...amazing."


[Kara takes the tight hairpin of Turn 12 at a crawl and reaches the main straight. She pushes her boot down hard on the throttle and there is a slight delay while the turbochargers spool-up and then the car launches forward.]

“From a standstill, 100 km/h comes up just past four seconds. 200km/h would be ten seconds after that and if I keep my boot down, I’ll touch 300km/h, the 288 GTO being the first street-legal production vehicle to attain that speed.”

[Kara breaks hard for Turn 2, double-clutching to reduce speed, grinning as she successfully performs the maneuver and goes rocketing down the back straight towards Turns 3 and 4, the car disappearing in a mirage effect to be replaced with a side of a Ferrari F40 approaching the Turn 6 hairpin.]




[Jump shot to an over the shoulder shot from the right seat.]

“If not for the prancing horse logo on the steering wheel, you would be forgiven for thinking this was something built in a shed over a few years by some bloke in the North of England. The dash and center console are covered in some kind of felt and it looks like they glued the structure together with lime green bathroom grout.”




“The F40 was the last car Il Commendatore commissioned before his death in 1988. Derived from the 288 GTO Evoluzione program, it was designed to showcase Ferrari’s track-developed technology in a vehicle designed for the road. The instrumentation is basic, but tells you all you need to know. Also basic is the interior, the only creature comfort is air conditioning, which was a welcome feature on the first 50 cars with sliding Lexan windows. The car did not come with carpeting or even door-pulls. Nor did it come with a stereo, but this is the only sound I want to hear…”

[As she reaches the main straight, Kara presses her boot down and the engine roars as the F40’s back end shimmies under the load of power slamming into the rear wheels.]

“The engine is a slightly enlarged version of the V8 used in the 288 GTO, now putting out 352kw. Combined with a dry weight of 1100kg and cutting edge aerodynamics for the time, the performance is simply supernatural. Seven seconds gets me to 150 km/h, eleven is enough for 200 and the F40 was the first production road car to reach 320 – that’s 201 miles per hour for you Yanks. In the corners the car is an absolute handful as there are no computers, traction control, or ABS to intervene to keep you safe. The only thing between you and the guardrail – or worse – is your right foot.”

[Kara proceeds to thrash the car around the track, sawing at the wheel to keep it in-line.]

“My father absolutely loves this car and I can see why. It’s like a puppy with a towel in its mouth. Compared to the 288 GTO, the F40 is six seconds a lap faster on this track.”

[She pulls into the “pits” and parks next to a long and low car with a targa roof and rear wing.]

“For their next super car, Ferrari turned to their Formula One program and the result was the F50 – so named to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the company. The F50 was designed to be ‘a Formula One car for the road’ and as opposed to the small-displacement V8s of the 288 and F40, the F50 employed a 4.7 Liter V12 producing 382 kW with an 8500 rpm redline. Developed from the 3.5 liter unit campaigned in the F92A Formula One car and 333 SP sports prototype, which may not sound impressive compared to the output of the much smaller engine in the F40. However, remember the F40’s engine used twin turbochargers with 110kPa of boost forced down the induction manifold and that natural aspiration means when I stomp on the throttle there is no delay for the turbos to spool up. Like in an F1 car, the rear suspension is mounted directly to the gearbox and the engine is bolted directly to the bulkhead behind the driver, making it an integral part of the chassis…”

[Jump cut to Kara in the car, between Turns 9 and 10.]




“That also makes it absolute murder on your body, with significant vibration being transmitted into the chassis every time I hammer the throttle. Which I admit I want to do often. sweat Couple that with suspension parts that do away with the normal rubber bushings added for comfort – F1 doesn’t need them, so neither does the F50, apparently – and it makes for a harsh ride, though not as harsh as the F40, I will admit. It also makes for absolute knife-edge handling. I turn the wheel even one degree, and the car responds instantly. But if I turn it too many degrees too quickly, snap oversteer will have me ass over elbows.”

[Jump cut to Kara spinning the car coming out of a corner.]

“An F1 car is not known for it’s luxury accoutrements, and the F50 is no different. In fact, it is almost more Spartan than the F40. I roll the windows up and down with a hand crank like a stripper Malaysian import and the only carpeting comes from the optional floor mats.”




[Kara reaches the main straight and hammers the throttle.]

“Even with more power and less weight, the F50’s top end is only one mile per hour more than the F40’s. How, you ask? You can thank the prodigious amount of downforce the car generates as the speed increases. Between that and the natural aspiration in the engine, I can drive much harder into and out of the corners, resulting in a lap time some three seconds quicker than the F40. That downforce comes at the expense of drag – the F50 has a CD of 0.372, which is about what a brick warehouse presents to the wind, and that limits the top end.

“The F50 is not quite the Formula One car for the road that Ferrari aimed for. It is, however, happier on the track than the road, so they got that part right.”


[Fade cut to Kara walking along the edge of the track towards the camera.]

“Twenty-five years after the launch of the 288 GTO came the pinnacle of Ferrari supercar design. Referred to as the F60 during its development, when they were done the company was so proud of it they named it after their founder. I speak, of course, of the Enzo Ferrari.”

[An Enzo comes around the corner, Kara’s head tracking to follow it as it passes her. Jump cut to her inside, behind the wheel.]




“I love this car. It is absolutely brilliant in every way. Unlike the cars that came before it, the Enzo is not a racecar designed for the road. It’s a road car designed for 1000km road trips that also happens to be very happy going very fast around a racetrack. And when I slam my foot on the throttle, it’s like entering hyperspace in the Millennium Falcon.”

[Kara sweeps through Turns 9, 10 and 11 and approaches 12, which she takes at the limits of adhesion to position herself for the run down the main straight. She flexes her right boot down hard and the Enzo hurls itself down the straight in perfect composure.]

“I never get tired of this power! It’s downright savage! I need just a tick over 3 seconds to reach 100km/h, and I’ll pass the double-century mark in 7! For the yanks, it will cover the quarter-mile in 11 seconds flat at 136 mph!

“Like the F50, the Enzo is motivated by twelve cylinders, though the Enzo’s engine is based on the new Ferrari/Maserati engine series and not the Dino line used in previous Ferraris. Displacing six liters, it pumps out an astonishing 485 kwW at 7800 rpm. And where the F50’s Tipo F130 V12 struggled a bit in the torque department, the Enzo’s F140 engine delivers a stump-pulling 657 N·m at 5500 rpm. Thanks to this power, even with the over half-ton of downforce the body can generate the car will reach the near side of 350 km/h.”


[Jump cut to outside as Kara stomps on the brakes at the end of the straight, slowing the car down for the sharp 180° Turn 2. Jump cut back inside as she powers out of the corner and floors the throttle again.]




“Also unlike the other vehicles I’ve driven today, the Enzo is equipped with a full suite of computers designed not to just to make driving at ludicrous speeds safer, but also more enjoyable. As I pull back on the little levers behind the steering wheel to climb through the gears, not only does the computer execute that gear change faster than I could, it also controls the engine to generate just enough torque to keep you going during that gear change and it firms up the adaptive rear suspension so that when the clutch reengages and that power slams into the rear wheels, the back of the car doesn’t squat down, ensuring maximum control.”

[Kara pulls off and motors into the garage area. She turns off the car and slumps into the seat, a smile of contentment on her face.]

“Did I mention I love this car? The 599 GTO might be a second faster around the track, but I think this car is more special. While it’s been a blast to sample from Ferrari’s Supercar Smorgasbord, the true reason I’m here is to take delivery of Ferrari’s latest creation. A car they say is as fast around Fiorano as the great Enzo, which held the lap record for a Ferrari road car until the 599 GTO arrived.”

[Jump cut to Kara back inside the building, sitting in the chair again and tapping her left foot in nervous energy.]




[A sharp-dressed young man appears and hands Kara the keys to a Ferrari. She rises from the chair and walks outside to where a red car is parked.]




“Behold the magnificence that is the Ferrari 458 Italia. It may ‘only’ have a 4.5 L V8 under the back bonnet, but it will rev to 9000 rpm and be generating 420kW at that speed. That’s one more kW than the 5.2 L V10 in Lamborghini’s new Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera puts out. In fact, it is only 2kw less than the 6.2 L V12 in the original Murciélago delivered! Needless to say, it trounces the 360kW of her predecessor, the F430.”




[Kara opens the door and settles into the driver’s seat.]




“Ah, this is much more like it. After the naked carbon fiber of the previous cars, the interior of the 458 is fully carpeted and soft leather covers the seats, dashboard and doors. Tasteful brushed aluminum strips run across the center of the dashboard and across the center console. You can replace the aluminum with carbon fiber, but I think the former is classier.

“The only transmission choice for the 458 is a seven-speed dual-clutch semi-automatic transmission activated with flappy paddles. The steering wheel is a complicated affair, with controls for items like the lights, wipers and turn indicators formerly found on stalks now on the steering wheel itself. So you have to take your eyes off the road to find the control you need, which is not good for safety.

“Another problem is the dashboard display. The nice fat rev counter in the middle is nice, and the two multi-function displays on either side are crisp and bright. However, the speedometer and the Sat Nav both share the right-hand display so I can either see where I am going or how fast I am going, but not both. And in a car that can reach 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds and top out at over 325km/h that could get expensive depending on how prevalent speed cameras are in your area.

“I suppose you can do what NASCAR drivers do and figure out what the various local limits translate to in engine rpm and use your tachometer as a speedometer, but you think Ferrari would have realized that not every national traffic police are as lenient towards their vehicles as the Polizia Stradale are here in Italy.”


[Kara starts the car and shudders with the sound of the V8 engine as she blips the throttle…again…and again…and again… She pulls out of the garage and does a languid lap of the track to allow everything to warm up and settle. Once she cleared Turn 12, she slowed to a stop at the start of the long main straight. Jump cut to inside.]

“Like all recent Ferraris, the 458 is equipped with a sophisticated launch control system. Unlike all recent Ferraris, however, this does not take 25% off the life of your clutch when engaged on the 458 thanks to that double-clutch gear-selection system.”

[Kara places her left foot on the brake, presses down on the throttle to raise the revs and turns to the camera.]

“Are you ready?”

[Jump cut to the foot well as she slips her left boot off the brake pedal and presses her right boot down as far as she can. Jump cut to the tachometer snapping from 5000 to 9000 rpm in the blink of an eye, followed by another jump cut to Kara, a look of sheer awe on her face.]

“Praise the maker!”

[Overhead camera view of the 458 literally dancing around the Fiorano circuit, great clouds of smoke coming off the rear wheels as she drifts through corners.]




“This is amazing! It’s like they have taken only the best bits from the 288 GTO, F40, F50 and the Enzo and left all the bad behind. It’s 200 kilos lighter than the 599 GTO and while the GTO may lap Fiorano a full second quicker, the 458 feels faster.”

[More footage of Kara tearing around the track, yelping and giggling in delight. She finally pulls in and if she looked happy after driving the Enzo, she’s positively beatific now as she steps out, a bit weak in the knees.]

“My father is going to hate me, but I’ll be swapping him the GTO for this. The 458 is truly ‘the full package’ – immense power and real luxury wrapped in the prettiest body design since the 308. You’d be mad to buy anything else. Truly mad.”

[Kara walks off camera and the screen fades to black as the credits roll.]


Last edited by Kiskaloo on Thu 1 Dec 2011 - 23:28; edited 3 times in total

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Re: Top Gear Italy: The Reviews

Post by Professor Voodoo on Wed 11 Aug 2010 - 0:20

Needing extra space the TG:I staff eventually take over an unused dormitory room to use as their studio/production facility/storage room/clubhouse.

Of course, a few items are neccessary to make it a comfortable work enviroment...

...and not just any cappuccino machine will do.

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Re: Top Gear Italy: The Reviews

Post by Kiskaloo on Wed 11 Aug 2010 - 13:50

Professor Voodoo wrote:Needing extra space the TG:I staff eventually take over an unused dormitory room to use as their studio/production facility/storage room/clubhouse.

Beats the construction office trailer Top Gear: UK uses. Muh-m-muhahahaha!



Professor Voodoo wrote:
Of course, a few items are neccessary to make it a comfortable work enviroment...

...and not just any cappuccino machine will do.

Kara: "Damn right, Professor!" Yes Indeed

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Re: Top Gear Italy: The Reviews

Post by Alfisti on Wed 11 Aug 2010 - 19:52

Professor Voodoo wrote:Of course, a few items are neccessary to make it a comfortable work enviroment...

...and not just any cappuccino machine will do.

Monty: I'm just going to pretend I didn't see that...

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Re: Top Gear Italy: The Reviews

Post by Kiskaloo on Wed 11 Aug 2010 - 22:04

Alfisti wrote:
Professor Voodoo wrote:Of course, a few items are neccessary to make it a comfortable work enviroment...

...and not just any cappuccino machine will do.

Monty: I'm just going to pretend I didn't see that...

At least until it's 03:00 and she's dragging her bum in from an all-nighter that she needs to file Form 2134-AFG-34-C on...

...in triplicate.

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What? I like donuts! - Betty Suarez
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Re: Top Gear Italy: The Reviews

Post by Alfisti on Wed 11 Aug 2010 - 22:12

Kiskaloo wrote:
Alfisti wrote:Monty: I'm just going to pretend I didn't see that...

At least until it's 03:00 and she's dragging her bum in from an all-nighter that she needs to file Form 2134-AFG-34-C on...

...in triplicate.


Monty: Kisk, it may have a Ferrari badge on it, but the one underneath says "Nespresso"... I'll take the extra five mintues and use a coffee press.

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Re: Top Gear Italy: The Reviews

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