Tesla Claims Top Gear Staged Poor Review Of Electric Sports Car
BBC Backs Top Gear Presenter Clarkson
What makes this Sports Car different from all the rest? One big thing: it’s 100% electric. Made by California-based Tesla Motors, the Roadster pictured above can go from 0-60 in under 4 seconds, but it runs on batteries. Really big batteries, but batteries nonetheless. This car has been in the Tech news quite a lot lately, but it isn’t new. In fact, this model is several years old; Tesla’s much anticipated Model S electric sedan (expected to compete with luxury brands Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, Audi, etc.) ought to be the more newsworthy member of the family. So why the sudden interest in a $100,000 electric sports car?
Tesla has recently filed a law suit against the BBC’s “Top Gear” television program, the most popular car show in the world. I’m a fan of both Tesla and Top Gear, and I really hope this mess gets sorted out. Here’s what happened. A few years ago, Top Gear reviewed the Tesla Roadster, praising the car’s speed, but bemoaning its difficult handling, limited battery life, and other quirks. In the segment, which is available to view via a digital video transfer on Top Gear’s website, the car is shown to run out of juice after just 55 miles, and to have a variety of electrical problems that cause presenter Jeremy Clarkson to decide that it simply “doesn’t work.”
Fans of Top gear know that Clarkson doesn’t warm up to the idea of “green” cars, and that at least some of the show’s “review” segments are staged to provide maximal entertainment value. Most viewers don’t seem to mind. But the folks at Tesla were not very entertained by the segment. According to Tesla, Clarkson and the Top Gear crew had written the segment – including the bits about the car’s running out of juice – before the Roadster even arrived for testing. Tesla also presented proof, taken from the car’s onboard computer, that the batteries never dipped below 25% capacity during the course of the review. But the BBC failed to respond to Tesla’s objections, and refused to comment on the subject let alone recant the review and stop re-running the episode. As a result, Tesla has filed a law suit to set the record straight.
The new Tesla Model S (pictured in white) is priced for the real world (at $50k it is pricey, but no more so than a typical luxury sedan), and is expected to be one of the best-handling sedans ever made. It also is said to have a range of 300 miles per charge, and could be a real game-changer in the world of electric cars. Will we ever see the Model S make its way around the Top Gear test track? It’s not looking good, but only time will tell. Scroll down to watch the embedded digital video transfer of the Top Gear segment on the Roadster, filmed in 2008.