5 Things We Have Learned From Top Gear About Cars

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Screencap for blog post about Top Gear
What do you get when you put two forty-something and one fifty-something year old thrill-seeking men together and give them limitless access to the fastest cars known to mankind? The last ten years has shown that you get Top Gear, a BBC television series that amasses over 350 million views per week.
Not only is Top Gear fun to watch, but it’s also highly educational too. Here are five things we’ve learnt while following the lads around on their adventures…
A really, really small car is not necessarily a good thing
Inspired by his turn at driving the microcar Peel P50, presenter Jeremy Clarkson created the P45 and proceeded to drive it around London and its surrounds. The P45 was not the greatest idea, with Jeremy constantly smashing his face into the windscreen, left fearing for his life on the motorway as lorries streamed past, and forced to pay for excess petrol due to the small fuel tank. Lesson here: small does not always mean better.

You can be a car expert and still get very, very lost on the road
Case in point: Series 9, Episode 6. This episode featured the limousine challenge, where presenter James May was charged with escorting English R&B singer Lemar to the BRIT Awards in London in a makeshift limo. Unfortunately, May became utterly lost, leading to this great line from Lemar: “Harrods, I've seen it twice, I don't need to see it a third time.”
Designing your own caravan…is probably not a good idea
This lesson was clearly demonstrated in Series 15, Episode 4, as all three presenters were given the task of designing a new motorhome equipped with sleeping accommodations, cooking facilities, and of course, a “bog”. In particular, Clarkson demonstrated that a motorhome taller than it was wider is not a good idea. Especially if you encounter a windy day. Maybe instead, check out some caravan hire companies and hire a caravan for your next holiday.
And if you’re sinking…
“Get out as fast as you can. Don’t mess about.” This was the advice given by presenter Richard Hammond in the Underwater Car Challenge in Series 3, Episode 3. In this episode, Hammond was in the driver’s seat of a sedan dropped into a tank of water. The first time around, he tests the theory of waiting for the water pressure outside and inside the car to equalise, to no success, needing to be rescued by divers. The second time, he gets out as soon as he can and survives. Lesson learnt.
Getting struck by lightning is fine though
Car-makers test for many things, but one thing they usually don’t take account of is what happens if your car is struck by lightning. In Series 4, Episode 5, Richard Hammond tests this out by sitting in a VW Golf inside a German power station as it is hit with a 600,000 Volt lightning bolt. Hammond discovers that the car forms a faraday cage, keeping him safe inside and the car itself completely functional post-strike!

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5 Things We Have Learned From Top Gear About Cars

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