Top Gear Australia

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Post by stab » Tue, 21 Oct 2008, 14:19

If you missed it (and you had good reason to!) the jerks on Top Gear made a pathetic heap of remarks about EV's and the 'Lightning GT' last night. Here's my letter to SBS

I am writing to express my disappointment at the presenters disparaging comments about the UK electric sports car - 'the Lightning GT.'
As we face high fuel prices, cataclysmic climate change brought on in-part by our in-efficient petrol engines, here was a chance to say something positive about a genuinely exciting 'drivers' car that runs using electricity - most likely the future 'fuel' of all transport in years to come. Instead we got such backward, 'red-neck', ill-informed views that simply perpetuate the myths that the oil companies have perpetuated for years - e.g. the electricity comes from 'dirty coal'- how far can you get- batteries being perceived as 'kids toy' engines etc. Are the oil companies paying for these comments? I'd challenge them to actually drive an electric car and speak from experience rather than ignorance.

Stephen Abraham

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Post by Richo » Tue, 21 Oct 2008, 21:00

Yeah I though it was poor taste.

I bet that characature of an eV towing a coal station really put the imagery in people's minds that eV are bad for the environment.

Mind you the UK version didn't really help much either in the past.
So the short answer is NO but the long answer is YES.
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Post by Taffy » Wed, 22 Oct 2008, 04:12

I would not be too worried, from my understanding the ratings are going down so fast they will be negative by next week.

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Post by Kearon » Wed, 22 Oct 2008, 21:51

Yeah, I heard about the comments on the show from a mate.

It'd be a case of if the show were seen to be 'pro-EV', (thus, anti ICE), then the sponsors and suppliers of the cars and toys that actually make up the shows content might be a bit miffed.

A bit of a 'don't bite the hand that feeds you' syndrome - it's just that it stings us EV'ers, as the show is perpetuating the stereotypical views of EVs (and even worse!). Makes our job harder. Grr.

Again, I haven't seen the show, but have heard lots of feedback about it...
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Post by AMPrentice » Sat, 25 Oct 2008, 18:09

Top Gear Australia Sucks

The ignoramus presenters are try-hard english wannabes so much for Top Gear Australia
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Post by woody » Sat, 25 Oct 2008, 18:30

you're entitled to your opinion - Top Gear UK is a tough act to follow..., For mine I like Warren Brown from the other things he's done like "Peking to Paris". I'm happy to give the others a bit more time.
They are a bit ignorant about EVs (like most Australians) but it's our job to fix that. Maybe in a few months we'll see them rocking up to the likes of Les, Hoops, and Nathan with an old sports car and a wad of cash for an EV challenge.
The other side of the coin is - at least they mentioned it - no such thing as bad publicity...
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Post by AMPrentice » Mon, 27 Oct 2008, 18:19

I liked Warren in P2P but maybe I overrated his open-minded diplomatic attitude as he surely was an ignoramus twat about EVs. Maybe he should stick to caricatures then again after the other nights Browned out effort maybe not.

TG UK shouldnt be the act to follow it should be totally Australian full of dry humour and straight insults to each other. More like the footy show (by the way i dont follow aussie rules at all but think these shows must have some good chemistry to be around so long).

They could try a segment on Ross blade with his Blade runner or do some research into the Project better place Australia to open their eyes.
Last edited by AMPrentice on Mon, 27 Oct 2008, 07:22, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Thalass » Tue, 28 Oct 2008, 07:10

I missed this one, but I saw an episode a few weeks ago (the second episode, i think?) where the took the piss out of that scuba-car. Mostly for being an EV, rather than an underwater car...


Aside from that i found the show to be a pale imitation of the real Top Gear. They're big shoes to fill, and to me the guys were trying too hard. But I think it would be much easier to get these icemobile rednecks to accept an EV challenge than it would be to get Clarkson within ten miles of a Tesla!


I'll drive an electric vehicle one day.

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Post by mjcrow » Tue, 02 Dec 2008, 04:45

Seems a few non EV people want TGA gone too, Petition Image

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Post by Andrew » Tue, 02 Dec 2008, 05:32

I'm glad the real Top Gear has returned! Love the sound of the merc on the episode tonight Image

TGA's review of the Audi R8 AWD was pretty lame... wow a quater million dollar car could do donuts! Image i hope so Image because so can a $500 VN commodore.   

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Post by Striker » Tue, 02 Dec 2008, 05:48

At the end of the day, irrespective of their comments about EVs, TGA was the best car show that Australia has ever had, and I genuinely hope to see a second season of it.

I have the painful memory of Glen Ridge and 'The Car Show', and TGA truely did a much better job.

I can't understand why people are comparing an 8-episode old show, to a UK show that has had 20 years of development, and the current hosts (how long has James May been there?) have had 4+ years together.

For reference, I am a rev-head. I would love a performance EV as much as a performance petrol/diesel/LPG car, as long as it was bloody quick.

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Post by Clay » Tue, 02 Dec 2008, 18:56

No it's not the number of episodes that was the problem mate, it was the presenters. They had no chemistry and they were dickheads, end of story. If 4000 people auditioned and they were the best, who did they reject?

All jokes were forced, most were crap, and I think the aussie Stig should have had an Aussie name - like the Bruce for example.

But TGA was and is utter crap. Crap crap crap crap crap crap crap.

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Post by Electrocycle » Tue, 02 Dec 2008, 19:31

I was one of the 4000 rejected :P
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Post by acmotor » Tue, 02 Dec 2008, 22:43

TG UK is a hard act to follow.
That's the real problem with TGA for me.
Like an Elvis impersonator. It's just no the same.

True, if I had never seen 'oil in the veins JC' and the team then it would, perhaps ?, have been easier to swallow TGA.

Agreed we need an Oz home grown rev head show (note rev, not petrol).
....and it needs not to pretend that two certain makes are god's gift to motoring.

But for me it needs to be an OZ flavour and not a copy right down to the last stig !

Keep the TGA concept running, but let it develop its own character. Image
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Post by Simon » Tue, 19 May 2009, 00:45

Top Gear Australia are doing an EV conversion tonight, should be interesting.

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Post by Squiggles » Tue, 19 May 2009, 02:29

Wankers, just set the EV movement back ten years!

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Post by Thalass » Tue, 19 May 2009, 02:53

Wait, that was tonight? Damnit!

OK, so I just saw on the tv guide it's not 'till 19:30. Thank the gods for that! I didn't know it was the EV episode. I'm looking forward to see what they'll do, though I don't have high hopes. I've seen what the pommy top gear have done with EVs before. (Fat guy vs EV)
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Post by Arniem » Tue, 19 May 2009, 03:30

It was pretty bad. They converted a Kingswood, and a Suzuki Mighty Boy, to electric, using electric drill motors Image The Suzuki kept breaking down. The Kingswood just did a few laps, very noisily...

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Post by woody » Tue, 19 May 2009, 03:39

inside word was that the Kingswood had the Kostov wired in reverse so they only had reverse gear to go forward. Sounded like a curtis conttoller. Also saw Michael & George Symons on the credits...
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Post by weber » Tue, 19 May 2009, 03:43

None of it was true. It was just designed to heap sh*t on electric vehicles.

I'd never watched (Australian) Top Gear before. Right from the start of the program, where they were going on and on about the Clubby vs the Super Clubby (Holden V8's I think?) and the options you can do without to get the price down to $80,000. I was thinking, these guys are complete wankers.

By the end of the program I was left in no doubt whatsoever.
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Post by woody » Tue, 19 May 2009, 03:49

at least we got a new "safety sound" - Warren' rendition of "Football, Meat Pies, Kangaroos, Electric Cars"
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Post by Thalass » Tue, 19 May 2009, 03:51

They've just started the EV segment, and yeah... Maybe someone should do a decent conversion video for them and submit it. They wouldn't have to do any work, so they should at least consider it...

But cordless drill motors? wtf man.

The Kingswood was at least slightly more realistic. Even though it was an ancient style lead sled.

Though I should note the EV grin on Warren's face. Maybe if Rod can show them how a real EV Mightyboy can go.


While it is insulting, the kingswood wasn't a bad effort for a day or so of work. Perhaps the AEVA can offer the services of the best EVs in australia? Though they'd pick them apart like vultures of course.
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Post by Electrocycle » Tue, 19 May 2009, 05:07

I want to race the electric bike against their Kingswood :P
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Post by acmotor » Tue, 19 May 2009, 05:13

It was a bit of a laugh I thought.Image

The $3,000 budget (for second hand Kostov and curtis ?) was about right and could potentially have made the Kingswood get up and go in low gears.

I think they gave themselves a fright at how simple the system was and they did a good job talking about the parts that come out of the ICE vehicle. (and what not to do in the way of an EV conversion ala cordless drills)

Maybe not advancing the EV cause in that episode, but they have left themselves open to more EVs on the show !! Image

I'm certain the Symons will engage in an upmarket conversion for the ATG show soon !
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Post by a4x4kiwi » Tue, 19 May 2009, 05:45

I think I will have "Football, Meat Pies, Kangaroos, Electric Cars" printed on the side of the ute. Image
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