Driving Torque

Articles, reviews and opinions about cars and all things automotive

Archive for the month “November, 2012”

Mitsubishi L200 Trojan – Driven and Reviewed

Mitsubishi L200 Trojan Red Front view

Mitsubishi L200 Trojan

Most of the roads that surround my house are cobbled, gnarly and somewhat antiquated. One, in particular, features a substantial dip running the width of the street, no-one knows how it occurred but many debutants to the road have failed to slow down and their car’s chins have fallen foul of this, almost, anti-speed-bump. Having lived in the area for many years now, it’s second nature for me to slow down to a crawl and therefore preserve my car’s splitter but, for some reason, the dip recently disappeared for a week. There’s no way that our local council suddenly deemed this bumper-killer a priority and fixed it, oh no, this magical occurrence can only be explained by the car I was lucky enough to be testing and its disregard for such uneven surfaces – the Mitsubishi L200 Trojan.


Mitsubishi L200 Trojan Red Side View

A pickup – useful in a myriad of ways

Once the preserve of builders and farmers, pickups have enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent times with the Mitsubishi L200 always at the forefront. A particular genre of pickup has become commonplace on our roads and that’s the double-cab, or crew-cab, just like this L200 Trojan we have here. It doesn’t take an economist to point out the advantages of owning a double-cab as it toils monday to friday as a tireless workhorse and then transforms into a fun, family wagon when required, potentially making a dedicated ‘work van’ redundant. What I wanted to know was, is this Mitsubishi L200 Trojan a jack-of-all-trades or a master-of-none?

The pickup must surely be one of the most challenging genres of vehicle to apply visual highlights to due to their ‘three box’ shape and utilitarian requirements. The last generation L200 was very popular, in no small part because of its butch but attractive looks that seemingly appealed to both sexes equally. Mitsubishi have really gone to some lengths to make this latest take on the L200 stand out from the crowd. With its new, angular, more aggressive ‘face’ and the clever line that runs from the roof, behind the rear doors, all the way to the side rails, scything the L220 in two and turning the cabin and load area into two apparently separate areas, Mitsubishi have created an unmistakable identity for their pickup and stepped away from the associated generic look.

In the Cabin

Mitsubishi L200 Trojan Interior

The cabin’s a huge advance on previous generations

This multifunctional theme continues in the cabin of the Trojan and Mitsubishi have made efforts to make it a pleasurable environment whilst, at the same time, keeping the practical aspects that are essential in a semi-industrial vehicle. Our test car came with leather seats which could be accused of being something of a luxury in this instance but, all things considered, their ‘wipe clean’ nature is actually more in-keeping with the rest of the interior than cloth may be.

Apart from the delightfully simple climate control, that’s about it for creature comforts in the L200. The dash has been ergonomically shaped to bring it slightly more up to date but don’t go expecting Range Rover grade plastics or B&O stereos, that’s just not what the L200 is all about. Primarily, it’s function over form, all the way.

2.5l Common Rail Diesel

Mitsubishi L200 Trojan Gear Sticks

A ratio for every occasion

Fire the 2.5l Diesel engine up and, from the cabin, it’s surprisingly civilised. That’s not to say that there isn’t a fair amount of the usual Diesel clatter going on under the bonnet but Mitsubishi have provided ample amounts of insulation to keep the L200’s occupants in as much peace as possible. Our Trojan came with the 5spd manual ‘box and gear-changes were solid and purposeful as one may expect from a vehicle of this type. It’s important to remember, however, that 5th gear is very long and really only for 60mph +, around town, it’s strictly gears 1-4 only.  The clutch was actually quite light which made this around town driving as easy as it can be, dimensions allowing.

It’s these dimensions that serve as something of a double-edged sword for the L200 double-cab. As with many Japanese cars, width is kept to a minimum at 1.75m but it’s the length that can be a little intimidating. It would be pointless to shorten a pickup as it would consequently stop serving the purpose for which it was intended, but, at over 5m, this Trojan dwarfs it’s stable-mate – the Shogun by some 30cm.

Mitsubishi L200 Trojan Red Rear Window

Electric rear windscreen – handy for ferrying long items and aiding reversing

This length only really becomes an issue when reversing the L200, especially as the rear of the glasshouse stops some 1.5 short of the rear of the body, resulting in quite a bit of guesswork when parking. I found two makeshift solutions to this problem- one was to wind down the electric rear windscreen which increased visibility slightly (not overly accurate), the other was to ask a passenger to get out and watch me back (not overly popular, esp. in rain). The correct way to eliminate this reversing issue is to spec your L200 correctly and opt for the C£400 reversing camera, if there’s one option that just cannot be overlooked, this is surely it.

Leaf-Spring Suspension

Being a ‘proper’ off-roader, the L200 has more than adequate ride height for clearance which gives a good view of underneath and its oily bits, in particular the rear leaf-spring suspension. Although somewhat antiquated in appearance, this setup actually works very well, given the chance and should in no way deter potential suitors. On the road, handling is way better than it deserves to be, given the ride height and technology used and easily embarrasses competition such as LR‘s Defender with its tendancy to wander. Through the corners, the L200 provides ample grip and feedback and will only start to lean and meander if pushed to levels beyond a pickup’s usual remit. The only constant reminder of what the L200’s sitting on comes when the car slows down to a stop – there’s a definite rocking sensation in all directions, not dissimilar to standing onboard the deck of a docked boat.

Mitsubishi L200 Trojan Dials

4wd or rear wheel drive – it’s your choice

With no weight over the rear wheels, it can come as something of a surprise when the rear wheels start spinning in first gear at seemingly low revs but, again, the L200 is capable of lugging over a tonne around so the rear axle will be very lively when unladen. Manually selecting 4wd will remedy this and also provide extra levels of confidence on slippery or uneven surfaces. I think that 2wd is more than ample on most roads, however and driving those front wheels will inevitably eat into that all important fuel economy.

In Conclusion

Mitsubishi double cab pickups are a common sight on our roads and it’s easy to see why; it does so many things so well. This, coupled with impressive warranties and build quality make it something of a bargain. Just remember that it is a relatively cheap vehicle with practical roots and it would be unfair to compare certain aspects against 4x4s costing twice as much – if you’re expecting a Range Rover, go buy a Range Rover.

By Ben Harrington

Specifications; Mitsubishi L200 Double Cab (Leather) Trojan, Price – £23,189, Engine – 2.5l Common Rail Diesel, Layout – Front engine, 4WD, Power – 175bhp @ 4000rpm, Torque – 295 lb/ft @2000rpm, Acceleration – 12.2s 0-62mph, Maximum Speed – 103mph max, Emissions – 208 g/km CO2, Economy – 35.8 mpg combined

Ford Focus Zetec S EcoBoost – Driven and Reviewed

2013 Ford Focus Front angle

2013 Ford Focus Zetec S

In the not too distant past, a car sporting the looks and dimensions of this Ford Focus Zetec S, coupled to a 1.0l petrol engine would usually be found lurking suspiciously in the classifieds, tagged with the highly undesirable moniker – ‘lookalike’ or ‘replica’. Back to 2012 however and Ford have worked some engineering wizardry and installed it in their latest Focus models, the results include the Zetec S model we have here which is propelled by a diminutive 1.0l EcoBoost engine.

EcoBoost Engine

Punching way above its weight, this tiny powerplant may only house three cylinders but they’re assisted by a turbocharger, its engine block is infamously the same size as an A4 piece of paper. Interesting pub facts aside, the EcoBoost provides a 20% decrease in emissions over a similarly powered engine of higher displacement. All of this obviously hasn’t gone unnoticed and Ford’s pocket-rocket is consistently winning more awards and titles than Titanic and Manchester Utd combined.

2013 Ford Focus Rear

Note the ‘Venturi’ rear splitter

Ford have always been the masters of visual drama and this Zetec S in Race Red is no exception. There are aerodynamically efficient spoilers and angles everywhere, from the jutting chin spoiler to the Venturi style rear diffuser.  Whether their potential is regularly utilised is somewhat irrelevant as their visual impact is undeniable even when the car is stationary. The optional 18” wheels and privacy glass on our test car only reinforce the impression that this car means business. I’d even go as far to say that this Zetec S model offers more visual drama than its big brother – the ST. Quite an accolade.

Chic Interior

2013 Ford Focus Interior

Dual Screens and many buttons – surprisingly user-friendly

It’s a similar story on the Focus’ interior, with the many controls and buttons laid out in a fashion that appeals not only visually, but are tempting in a tactile sense too. The ice blue illumination does provide a certain ‘vodka bar’ chic to the experience but I found it surprisingly relaxing when driving at night, it just seems to exude a feeling of calmness. I’m usually a ‘less is more’ type of guy when it comes down to buttons and dials and I have to admit, I initially felt a little intimidated with the plethora facing you from the Focus’ dash, especially the multi-function steering wheel. They are, however, very simple to become accustomed to and each one just seems to be positioned in exactly the correct place. The quality of materials used in the cabin are of a high quality, even in out-of-view areas. The Focus must surely be vying for the top spot in its class in terms of offering a pleasurable environment.

From a driver’s point of view

Power up the EcoBoost engine and it seems to operate in some manner of stealth mode. Below 3000 rpm, this three cylinder is so quiet that the gear-change indicator becomes an essential driver aid as the cabin is near-silent. Ignoring our environmental responsibilities for a second, the 1.0l engine will rev freely when pushed, providing unexpected levels of fun with negligible lag from the turbo. This same turbo also gives some much-needed grunt lower down the rev range  and I found that, even in sixth gear at relatively low revs, there was enough torque to increase speed without searching around the ‘box for a suitable ratio.

Come rain or shine, the Zetec S was reluctant to come unstuck and its handling was admirable. The latest generation Focus may have grown slightly when compared to previous models but the chassis seems well-balanced and easily capable of coping with the extra mass. Around town, the steering assistance is very welcome and makes manoeuvring in tight spaces a doddle.

Utilising a ‘sliding scale’ approach to power steering seems to be the norm these days and I’m not sure Ford have really got the hang of it with this Focus. I found the feedback from the front wheels to be a little lacking at higher speeds which led to some slightly unnerving guesswork as to their intentions. The same was true on motorways and the car just felt a little twitchy, with every minute movement from the driver being magnified through the steering wheel.

5 door only

Kids thumbs up in back of focus

Thumbs up in the back of the Focus!

Ford have taken something of a gamble with the 3rd generation Focus by dropping its 3dr option and making the hatchback available as a 5dr only. This may not have been a popular decision with their hordes of fast-Ford appreciators but it’s a huge signal of intention that this is, first and foremost, a family oriented car. The Zetec S model must surely represent something of a zenith in the family car stakes as it seems to please all generations. Children can be the harshest of critics but my own young daughters (3 & 4) were very keen to put their seal of approval on the Focus with no complaints about any lack of space, access or visibility in the rear.

Reinforcing this aura of attraction for the modern parent, the Zetec S comes packed with driver aides and safety features as standard. These include, not only familiar features such as traction control, now the norm on most cars, but also reassuring assistance from Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) and Torque Vectoring Control. We all assume that our loved ones will be ferried around without incident but it’s good to know that the Focus is capable of dealing with any problems that could occur.

2013 Focus free tax

First Year = Free tax

Our test car was fitted with a Driver Assist Pack option as an option. It includes Active City Stop, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Aid, Traffic Sign Recognition, Driver Alert, Auto High Beam and Blind Spot Info System, all of which are working in unison to keep us on the straight and narrow.  Priced at over £1,000, it’s not the cheapest of additions but then, what price safety? Whilst testing the Focus, I experienced first hand the advantage that most of the Pack offers and it’s undoubtedly justifiable. I would bear in mind though that, although very clever, the system is not infallible and in some situations, not entirely appropriate. The Blind Spot Info System, for example, illuminates an orange dot in the applicable door mirror if it detects an object in a blind spot. Although extremely useful on most roads, it came a little unstuck on country roads at night when it was flummoxed by the presence of nearby hedges and seemed determined to warn me of their existence. It was a similar story with the Lane Departure Warning which obviously didn’t appreciate the need to sometimes cross the white line, the Auto High Beam which seemed to hold onto maximum illumination for a little too long, resulting in some irritated flashes from oncoming traffic and the Traffic Sign Recognition which would occasionally get confused with stickers on foreign HGVs and insist that the speed limit on British motorways was 110 mph.  It’s important to remember though, that all of these aides can be simply switched off and sometimes, this may be the safer option.

In Conclusion

2013 Ford Focus front closeOverall, it’s very difficult to fault the Focus Zetec S, especially when fitted with the 1.0l Ecoboost engine. It’s safe, frugal and appealing, both visually and from a driver’s point of view. That’s not to say it’s perfect, and with the options our test car was supplied with, it’s price tag of over £22,000 may prove to be a little much for some wallets. If it’s head-turning, hot-hatch looks you’re after though, without the associated running costs, the Zetec S is the real deal.

By Ben Harrington

Specifications; Ford Focus Zetec S 5 Door, Engine – 1.ol EcoBoost, Transmission – 6spd Manual, Layout – Front engine, Front wheel drive, Power – 125PS, Emissions – 114g/km CO2, Economy – 56.5 mpg Combined, Maximum Speed – 120mph, Acceleration – 0-62mph – 11.3s, Price – £19,195 OTR, £22,320 as tested.

Optional Extras on our test car included – City Pack-Rear Park Assist and Powerfold mirrors – £525, Ford DAB Nav System – £750, Door Edge Protectors – £50, Privacy Glass – £150, 18” Alloys – £400, Cruise Control with Active Speed Limiter – £200, Driver Assist Pack – £1050

New Honda CR-V – First Drive

2013 Honda CRV front side

Honda’s New CR-V

Let there be no confusion at all here regarding the importance of this new CR-V to Honda. If you are under any illusion, just count how many of them you see on your next car journey, they really are everywhere. Since it’s launch in 1995, its accumulated sales of over 5 million, over 3 generations and, being a Honda, most of them are still on the road today.

Having won over 140 awards worldwide during it’s career, one could say that this 4th gen CR-V is under a certain amount of pressure to perform and, from the offset, it seems to handle it very capably. A reduction in CO2 emissions of 12% across the range is always a good place to start these days and, although it may not set the pulse racing, it’s this fact that will probably prove to be a huge attraction to many potential buyers. The fact that the CR-V continues to be assembled right here on home soil, as it has since 2000, can only add to it’s pulling power as it adds a sense of patriotism to the mix, albeit with a Japanese twist.

The CR-V is offered with the familiar 2.2 i-DTEC Diesel and 2.0 i-VTEC petrol engines from launch but by providing stop-start technology, engine optimisation and coupling them to a choice of five-speed auto or the excellent six speed manual ‘box, emissions have been cut to a potential 149g/km and 168g/km respectively.

Honda CR-V 3 gens

The CR-V through the ages

One feature that’s available for the first time on the CR-V is permanent 2wd which historically has proven to be very popular on ‘soft roaders’ in this country. It’s only available on the petrol engined variant from launch which is somewhat surprising but if the demand was sufficient for the 2wd to be mated to the torquey 2.2 Diesel, surely this model could come into fruition?

Visually, this 4th gen model is full of clean angles and lines. The most prominent of which is the line starting at the front three-bar grille, following the headlights, running smoothly with the belt-line and rising to a point at the D-pillar before joining the roof line. Losing the ‘lantern-jaw with moustache’ look of the 3rd gen CR-V has resulted in a far prettier face and overall, it’s a combination of ruggedness and charm that’s fresh and appealing.

2013 Honda CR-V interior

CR-V interior – well thought out and attractive

The story continues on the inside of the car with much work obviously undertaken to keep the CR-V feeling innovative and modern. Everything is thoughtfully laid out and within easy reach, with ‘less is more’ being the order of the day. Honda have kept the switch-gear to a minimum which cleverly sidesteps that sensation of being overwhelmed by buttons. One button that is hugely enticing is the ‘Eco’ mode – it not only activates the essential ‘stop-start’ facility, but illuminates two boomerang shaped lights around the centrally positioned speedometer. I had pondered initially whether these lights would prove too ‘nanny state’ and result in my rapidly deactivating ‘Eco’ mode but far from it. I actually found the lights quite attractive and the game of keeping revs low and green lights lit is surprisingly addictive.

Honda CR-V eco lights

It’s actually pretty easy, being green

The interior quality is usual Honda fare but one huge improvement is the grade of material used. If leather seats are your thing, there’s no, near-ruched, cow-hide present anymore, it’s high-grade all the way. Visibility is excellent as you’d expect from a car with such a large glasshouse, the D-pillar is quite wide but the oversized nature of the door mirrors seems to combat this issue.

Space in the rear of the CR-V is excellent and it passed the ‘six-footer behind six-footer’ challenge with flying colours – at no point did I feel cramped when I sat behind my own driver’s seat. The relatively low belt-line would mean any children travelling in the rear should have a great view of outside and thus hopefully avoid any feelings of travel-sickness. The story continues in the boot of the CR-V where it’s actually class leading with a 589 litre capacity, easily beating the likes of Toyota‘s Rav4 and Volvo’s XC60.

With prices starting at £21,395 for the 2wd i-VTEC S model and rising to £32,650 for the range topping i-DTEC EX auto, we tested three models in varying guises and specs to gain a true perspective of the CR-V.

Honda are confident that petrol engines remain relevant in SUVs, a fact compounded by their reluctance to offer 2wd as an option on their Diesel variant. If petrol is resolutely your fuel of choice, the free-revving 2.0 i-VTEC on offer here does very little wrong. It’s smooth, quiet and will potentially propel its occupants from 0-62mph in just ten seconds. One area where the petrol engine does suffer is an apparent lack of torque and I found myself having to work the manual gearbox quite vigorously to maintain momentum. This can of course be avoided by opting for an automatic ‘box on 4wd variants. Doing this however, will not only make the CR-V more sluggish, but the economy, emissions and driving experience as a whole suffer to a point where the petrol engine is increasingly difficult to justify

2013 Honda CR-V frontHaving driven both, the 2.2 Diesel engine would undoubtedly by my engine of choice. Although only available as 4wd, the emissions and economy are still impressive and with the latest generation of Honda Diesel engines proving to be nearly as quiet and responsive as their petrols, it all just makes sense. The absence of Diesel rattle both in and outside the CR-V is almost eery, this coupled to some useful low-down grunt means the CR-V suits the i-DTEC engine perfectly.

If changing gear oneself isn’t your preference and you usually require an auto, I’d still give the manual a chance to shine before making a final decision. The automatic can feel lazy and sluggish in comparison and somehow doesn’t do justice to the rest of the mechanical components. When the 2.2 Diesel engine offers such impressive levels of torque, changing gear to suit a situation sometimes just isn’t required and the car will pull on through regardless.

Honda have evidently put a lot of effort into the ride quality of the new CR-V in order to achieve a more car-like quality from an SUV. They’ve utilised McPherson struts on the front and on the rear it’s multi-link suspension. I tested the ride on a particularly challenging stretch of road that runs the length of Loch Long near Glasgow. It incorporates rapid changes in camber, direction and height – oh, and it was raining too. The CR-V felt surefooted at all times, inspiring confidence. No, it’s not going to get from point to point as rapidly as, say, an Impreza but then, no-one ever said it was.  To eliminate body roll as well as Honda have here whilst maintaining comfort is quite admirable.

2013 Honda CR-V

2013 Honda CR-V

When considering which spec to kit your CR-V out in, there are four levels to choose from – S, SE, SR and EX, with EX representing the top of the range. With features such as dual zone climate control and vehicle stability assist provided as standard across the range, there really isn’t a requirement to overspend here. As pleasant as heated, electric leather seats can be, I found the SE spec to be the perfect compromise of kit versus cost, especially when any higher spec incorporates upgrading from 17” to 18” wheels. Doesn’t sound like much, I know but I felt that that extra inch had a negative effect on an otherwise compliant ride.

Overall, I’d say that this 4th gen CR-V represents a huge step forward for Honda in terms of desirability that should continue the model’s enduring popularity. If you’re in the market for an SUV but find Toyota’s new Rav4 anonymous and the Freelander’s reputation for unreliability worrying, the CR-V ticks many, many boxes.

By Ben Harrington

Specifications; 2.0l i-VTEC S, Layout – Front engine, fwd, Power – 155ps @ 6500rpm, Torque – 192Nm @ 4300rpm, Emissions – 168g/km CO2, Economy – 39.2mpg combined, Maximum Speed – 118mph, Acceleration – 10.0s 0-62mph, Price – £21,395 OTR

2.0l i-VTEC EX, Transmission –  manual, Layout – Front Engine, 4wd, Power – 155ps @ 6500rpm, Torque – 192Nm @ 5300rpm, Emissions – 177g/km CO2, Economy – 37.2 mpg combined, Maximum Speed – 118mph, Acceleration – 10.2s 0-62mph, Price – £28,900 OTR

OUR CHOICE  2.2l i-DTEC SE, Transmission – manual, Layout – 4wd, Power – 150ps @ 4000rpm, Torque – 350Nm @ 2000rpm, Emissions – 149g/km CO2, Economy – 50.4 mpg combined, Maximum Speed – 118mph, Acceleration – 9.7s 0-62mph, Price – £26,105 OTR

Top Gear Live – Racing Cars, Crashing Cars and Flaming Cars

Top-Gear-whiteIf the rumours are to be believed, the waiting list to be in the audience for the Top Gear television show is of sufficient length to populate over 100 years worth of episodes. Statistically, this makes the odds of ever seeing Jeremy, James, Richard and The Stig working their magic not too dissimilar to winning the Lottery. Twice.

‘What’s the answer then?’ I hear you cry. Well, the answer is simple – buy a ticket, get yourself down to the appropriate venue and witness the spectacle that is Top Gear Live.

Now in its fifth year, Top Gear Live has, prior to 2012, accumulated a total audience of over 1.5 million people of all ages in 18 cities across the globe. From the 25th to the 28th of October, it was the NEC in Birmingham’s turn to host this visual and aural assault on the senses and I went along to the maiden show to see for myself what it’s all about. Being at the very first of this year’s shows meant I was lucky enough to witness  something very special, but more about that later!

Even with nine live shows spread over the four-day event, the enduring  popularity of Top Gear ensured that the majority of performances were sell-outs and the rest were extremely close. The live shows aren’t all you get for your money though, far from it. The voluminous nature of the NEC allows a  large indoor show to be erected featuring, amongst other things, a vast array of supercars, the actual stage and cool wall from the TV show and many of the vehicles used by Jeremy, Richard and James for various challenges over the last decade. ‘Some say’ this could warrant an entrance fee on its own.

Tiff and Vicki

Tiff Needell and Vicki Butler-Henderson

The stage show itself is split into two parts, the first of which is ably hosted by ex-Top Gear presenter Tiff Needell and Vicki Butler-Henderson. Together, they not only introduce, but also participate in, a wide selection of races, challenges and demonstrations around an indoor track. Some serious, some not so serious.

If you’ve ever wondered what delights half-car racing could bring this is definitely the show for you. If not, and you would simply like to experience automotive delights such as WRC cars, drift cars and hot-hatches showing off what they do best, you wouldn’t be disappointed either.

Motorsport is definitely one of those spectacles that’s best viewed first hand. When the visual aspects are combined with the smells and sounds associated, it’s hard to beat and Top Gear Live is fairly unique as it serves all of this up whilst surrounded by walls and a roof, thus amplifying the whole experience considerably.

Ken Block at Top Gear Live

Ken Block talks to Tiff and Vicki at Top Gear Live

The undoubted highlight of this first section of the show must be a certain rally driver called Ken Block in his purpose-built Ford. What that man can’t do on four wheels isn’t really worth bothering with and if you are one of the few people who’ve not seen a video of one of Ken’s ‘Gymkhanas‘, get yourself over to YouTube and join the tens of millions who have seen this awesome display of car control.

After a brief interlude, it’s onto the familiar Top Gear TV format that we all know and love. There’s the affable trio with their own brand of tomfoolery, cars by the bucket-load and even the TV show’s stage, albeit powered by a V8 engine. (It was actually capable of performing donuts until Jeremy broke it and it had to be abandoned).

Jeremy James and Richard on stage Top Gear Live

Jeremy, James and Richard on their V8 powered stage

This format lent itself perfectly to some live visual treats that wouldn’t otherwise be capable in front of a live audience. The three tried their hands at car sling-shot, motorbike polo and even allowed three snipers from the British Army to use Jeremy for live target practice. This feature proved very popular for some reason!

The lighting and pyrotechnics that contribute to the show are a large part of its dramatic impact with cars, motorbikes and sometimes even people on fire as they perform stunts and tricks for the crowd’s entertainment. This clever use of effects was probably best demonstrated in Top Gear Live’s own, unique tribute to James Bond and it’s cars which this year turns 50.

flaming Porsche at Top Gear Live

I suspect you may have a slight fuel leak sir!

The conclusion of each Top Gear Live show was something rather special this year. It involved a rather brave man on a motorbike performing a rather impressive stunt. He would not only negotiate a loop-the-loop, but then progress onto another identical one, resulting in something called a Deadly 720+. You may recall that earlier in the year, this feat was achieved in Durban in a car, setting a new World Record. Similarly, if this stunt were successful, it would also be a new World Record but, obviously, only the first time it was achieved. As I mentioned earlier, I was lucky enough to be at the first show and, luckily enough for the rider, it was pulled off with apparent ease. A great piece of riding to behold.

deadly 720 Top Gear Live

The trio watch nervously as a new World Record is set

Top Gear Live has something to offer anyone with the slightest hint of petrol coursing through their veins and I’d recommend it wholeheartedly. Personally, I can’t wait to see how next year’s show will better this one.

By Ben Harrington

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