Richard Hammond is fine everyone.

Richard HammondSo as a lot of you have probably already heard Richard Hammond of The Grand Tour and Top Gear fame crashed another car quite badly in Switzerland during filming for the next series of The Grand Tour. Thankfully Richard is fine and only came out with a broken knee in what could have been a much more serious accident. Richard was driving the new Rimac Concept One electric super car at the time one of only eight (now seven) ever made.

Richard has since sat down with Rimac owner Mate Rimac and journalist Alistair Weaver to go over the incident and in some ways reassure his fans that he is in fact fine. In the video the trio discuss the crash itself obviously but also go into the Concept One itself along with what they were actually doing there in Switzerland in the first place, it’s a very interesting watch and I encourage you all to watch it here.

Rimac Concept one.pngRichard did say that despite the crash the next series of The Grand Tour is still on schedule for its October release. The show itself will likely still feature the crash due to the massive publicity from it, but also after Hammonds previous crash in a jet car the trio went over the crash in detail on Top Gear after Hammonds return.

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The London Motor Show

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I attended the London Motor Show this week end and whilst its not exactly first on the list of priority motor shows (it may not have even made the list) that doesn’t mean it wasn’t great. Whilst it doesn’t have unveiling of new concepts or stunning live show its small size makes it a lot less tiring to get around. As time has gone on the London Motor Show has shrunk a lot in size and admittedly in quality. This years event took place at Battersea park and the small venue certainly hurt the event, a few years ago I attended the show at the Excel centre, a much larger arena and it also had a live show going on at the same time. This years show was less than half the size of that event and I feel the London Motor Shows days may be numbered.

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The cars though didn’t disappoint, a strong showing from Aston Martin led the show with the Vantage, Rapide, Vanquish, DB11 and the new concept the Valkyrie all in attendance. Aston was one of the few major manufacturers to make the trip but Porsche also attended, with a Cayenne, Panamera, 718 Boxter and 911 Turbo S. the star of the show however and the car that drew the most eyes was from the little company called David Brown Automotive, with their newly unveiled Mini Remastered. The little car was swarmed with people through out the event with a neighbouring Rolls Royce Ghost and Lamborghini Aventador being left in the corner to sit and sulk.

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The show also saw the new Alpine A110 on show, another popular choice among the attendees the stunning white example drew eyes all over. The Abarth 124 Spyder looked great in an impressive shade of blue. Outside the building the Chelsea Cars showroom put out a selection of gorgeous classic to look at including a Mercedes 190SL convertible, and Aston Martin DB6 and a Jaguar XK140.

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Whilst I doubt this event will be the last, I do suspect it may be one of the last, the show struggles to gain the attention of the major manufacturers and is barely scraping the number of attendees it needs to succeed. The show is basically forgotten internationally, being overtaken by the likes of Detroit and Tokyo auto shows even the Paris Motor show.

What did you think of the London Motor Show, Sound off in the comments

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The Stratford Motor Festival 2017

The Stratford Motor festival happened over this bank holiday weekend and I was lucky enough to attend the event. The free annual event is widely supported around the Warwickshire county, despite competing with the National Kit Car festival happening the same weekend. The event held in the centre of Statford saw numerous road closures to allow the cars full reign of the town. Unlike a lot of shows there is no barrier for entry, with any cars welcomed with open arms, from vintage fire trucks to classic pink Cadillacs, muscle cars to super cars all are welcome.

There aren’t many shows which you’ll find an antique Rolls Royce sitting next to a vintage tractor, there were many surprises like this on the day. Like the arrival of the Muscle cars with their V8 rumble shaking the ground as they went past. The slow parade around the city centre was the highlight of the festival with everything from Maseratis to Corvette Stingrays joining the party. Jaguar Land Rover had a very strong presence at the show, being based in the midlands and with the Gaydon factory a short drive away they were warmly welcomed by the public, with a Jaguar F-Type and F-pace on show and even the recently unveiled Range Rover Velar in attendance. Even in the publics cars you could see a strong love for the Jaguar mark, with multiple E-type Jags on display a number of MK2s and even a C-type and two D-Types.

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Did you go to the Stratford Motor Festival this year, sound off in the comments.

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Top Gear: Series 23 Round up

 

Top Gear

Now I haven’t talked much about the new Top Gear here as I’ve done a round up of each episode on Motor Verso (see links below) but I’ve decided to leave a whole round up piece here for your reading pleasure. First of all id just like to say I think it’s a good thing Chris Evans has decided to step down from Top Gear, as I don’t think he was popular any where at any point during the series, whether it was pressure from the BBC big bosses or his own decision, I think it was the right one. Nothing against Chris himself, in the right setting I find him quite an entertaining guy, but he wasn’t the right man for the job, he had little to no chemistry with any of his co presenters, and it felt at time like the Chris Evans show, with other characters thrown in for good measure.

Mini Cooper Rallycross

Another bad point for this reinvention of the show is the Star in a reasonably priced ‘Rallycross’ car segment. Having the guests introduce each other was incredibly awkward, and if you read my wrap up was increasingly infuriating as the series went on. Old Top Gear would generally only have the one guest, this gave more time to actually interviewing them, the only time they had pairs of guests on was when they were both ‘plugging’ the same show/ film so they had experience around one another, which meant good chemistry between them and Jeremy. On new Top Gear having two guests on who have nothing to do with one another left Chris struggling to pull of two interviews at the same time, it really didn’t work.

Sabine Schmitz

Finally on to the good points of the new show. First of all I’d like to mention the new upgrades to the track, with the off road sections, jump and water splash. Whilst the interview segments were frankly horrible, the new upgrades to the track gave the star in a rallycross car segment a refreshing new twist. The old segment had gotten stale and with them changing the car what felt like every couple of series, I feel if the segment is continued in the next series it could be a great part of the show. Also I think 4 out of the 6 presenters are excellent, if a little under utilized this series. Sabine was barely in this series, appearing only when The Stig wasn’t available.

New Top gear Chris Harris

The two presenters I wouldn’t bring back are the already gone Chris Evans of course, but also Eddie Jordan. Whilst he didn’t appear much in the series, when he did he was awkward and not really very funny, playing the spoons on a luxury train to Venice, damaging a Mercedes whilst driving off road, both these occasions weren’t funny or exciting, and he really didn’t bring anything to the show. The stars of the show however have been Chris Harris and Rory Reid. Of course if you’ve ever searched for cars on the internet, you’ll be aware of Chris Harris, he is arguably one of the best motoring journalists on the planet right now, and its great he’s finally getting the wider audience he deserves. Rory Reid, I wasn’t aware of prior to the show, and hadn’t had much experience with him but he’s a really great addition to the show, and one that could out shine the others given the chance. All of this despite the fact he’s been held back with ‘real world’ car reviews, cars that the common man might actually get a chance to buy.

Matt LeBlanc

Finally I want to talk about Matt LeBlanc, who is likely to be replacing Chris Evans as the lead presenter, whilst I was nervous about him coming in, being an actor rather than a journalist, I think he has shown that he has the ability to become quite enjoyable to watch, and he showed this in the first episode whilst driving the Arial Nomad. I do hope he stops playing the confused American which will almost certainly grow tiresome in a very short time, an I also hope he doesn’t revert back to his Joey character from friends which it felt he was starting to in his 911R feature in the last episode. Overall I think the first series of the new team was very hit and miss, some things were great, others not so much. Its difficult to say if the next series will be better, because the lead presenter has just left the show, meaning the whole thing could go into disarray, but I think there is a future for the new Top Gear and I think that futures bright.

 

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Links to articles:

New Cast, New Rules, New Top Gear

Top Gear – Making Progress

Top Gear – Third Times the Charm

Top Gear – Things can only get better

Top Gear – The Good, The Bad and the Rolls Royce Dawn

Top Gear – The Finale

Matt LeBlanc signs on to the Sinking Ship

New Top Gear

So Friends star Matt LeBlanc has joined the new version of Top Gear. Now on the face of it he seems quite a good choice, he has a passion for cars, he’s a well-known name, and he has the fastest time around the old Top Gear Test track in the Kia Cee’d. But I guarantee it will not be easy for him, first of all we have no proof that he can talk intelligently while driving, a similar problem suffered by Chris Evans. Whilst he likes cars, we have no proof that he actually knows anything about them. And thirdly being a huge American star he may take power from Chris Evans, who whilst well known in the UK, is pretty much unheard of around the rest of the world, a problem for such an international show.

New Top gear Chris Harris

The new version of Top Gear looks to be struggling quite a bit, as Evans has been seen throwing up out of a car on the track, he crashed a new Jaguar on his first time on the track, and lastly he can’t talk whilst driving, surely an essential skill for a Top Gear presenter. The problem with new Top Gear is I feel the BBC didn’t realise what talents they had in Clarkson, Hammond and May, all three had a background in motoring journalism, prior to Top Gear, so far the only one with experience is motoring journalist Chris Harris, who is still yet to be confirmed as a presenter (also another unknown presenter in the wider world)

Amazon Top Gear

Whilst I agree the BBC had no other choice but to not renew Clarkson’s contract, I feel they should have let the show die there rather than drag the shows name through the mud with three years of crap. But the BBC need the money, I guarantee the show will never get the record breaking viewing figures of the Clarkson Hammond and May era, which isn’t what I think the BBC is expecting. They seem to be expecting everything to be the same just with fewer complaints and more control over the product, its not gonna happen BBC just let it go.

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Mazda reveal Speedster and Spyder MX5’s

Mazda MX5

Mazda have revealed two new concepts at the SEMA show in Las Vegas. The MX5 Speedster and the MX5 Spyder were both revealed. The Spyder is roughly a standard 2016 MX5, but instead of the standard folding roof, it features a bikini top. The Spyder tips the scales at just over a tonne in weight. And features a sleek mercury silver exterior with brown leather interior, to match the bikini roof. The Spyder features various aerodynamic accessories along with lightweight 17-inch Yokohama ADVAN Racing RS II wheels. Overall nothing to get excited about, it may be released as a special edition further into the MX5’s life cycle.

MX5 Spyder

What you should get excited about is the MX5 Speedster, similar to past speedsters its unlikely to make production, but with rumours of the Mini Superleggera maybe making production in the future, the Speedster would be a perfect rival for it. The Speedster is a fully striped back version of the MX5, weighing just under a tonne, they’ve removed the windscreen, and given the car carbon fibre doors and seats. Mazda say it was based around vintage roadsters. They wanted to recreate the classic wind in the hair feelings of the past. (I thought that was what all convertibles were for) and with removing the windscreen they also added the lovely taste of bugs in the teeth.

MX5 Speedster

Overall I doubt either of these cars will see production, not anytime soon at least but they are at least exciting glimpses into what could be. But the Lotus 2-Eleven made production and I never saw that coming, the Speedster is remarkably similar to that, why not? It would undoubtedly sell, provided they kept production low, they could create a true limited edition sports car, not some mass produced plastic track day car.

Sorry guys not been around for a while but now I’m back.

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Also take a look at Motorverso.com where I also write about cars and stuff.