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post #1 of 28 Old 01-28-2010, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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BBC's Top Gear Magazine's "Best 20 Cars" in their 17-year history...

BBC's Top Gear Magazine's "Best 20 Cars" in their 17-year history...


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Best 20 Cars

Last month, Top Gear magazine turned 200 - issues that is. To celebrate, we put together a haphazard ramble through 17 years of the world's shiniest car mag, including the best and worst cars we've ever driven, the greatest journeys and the top jaw-breaking pictures.

And now we're putting them online - starting with this - the 20 cars since '93 that have kept us coming back for more...

20. Caterham Superlight R500
Any car as entirely absent of practical purpose as this deserves a spot in our hallowed rundown. Caterham has been putting the flies in our teeth for decades, but now, with a 260bhp 2.0-litre engine and six-speed sequential gearbox, it's putting them there at warp speed. No wonder Hammond keeps getting 'em whitened.

19. Ford Escort Cosworth
A homologation special to get Ford into the WRC, the Escort Cosworth instantly became the poster boy for a generation of blue collar petrolheads. Four-wheel drive with a heavy bias towards the rear, turbocharging and a rear wing of CanAm proportions meant it was the definitive answer to every mouth breathing hooligan's prayers. (This would be an inappropriate moment to mention that a certain Jeremy owned one.)

18. Honda Civic Type-R
It may have ridden like a leaf spring cart, but the second-gen Honda Civic Type-R was a special bit of kit. Manically free revving VTEC engine (so good that they kept it for the current car) and a dash mounted gearlever that is guaranteed to make you go all BTCC on the way to Tesco's. Jap genius to keep the Germans on their toes.

17. Fiat Panda
Not everything in our Top 20 is fast. In fact, some of it is Captain Slow sort of fast. James has long extolled the virtues of his own Fiat Panda, one of very few modern cars that evokes the honesty and simplicity of our motoring past. It's cheap, simple and unpretentious, but it's also compact yet capacious and a laugh to drive. Even for him.

16. Lotus Exige
The Elise was a turning point for Lotus, and a bar raising moment for low volume British sports cars. But it is the Series 2 Exige S that makes it onto our list for the sheer drama of the thing: ominous aero package, supercharger whining behind your head, physics bashing levels of grip. Turns every commute into a mini Le Mans.

15. Porsche 911 GT3 RS
Clarkson used to give Porsche a hard time in TopGear, but when Richard Hammond arrived on the scene, Stuttgart suddenly had a passionate defender. The ultimate evolution of the current 911 is the GT3 RS.

14. Lancia Delta Integrale
Few cars hold so unique a place in our hearts as the Lancia Delta Integrale. From the late Eighties to early Nineties, it won the World Rally Championship a record six times and the wide track, turbo charged road going version (preferably emblazoned in full Martini livery) is as jaw dropping now as it was then.

13. Corvette ZR 1
The only thing that distracts Americans from building laughable cars is the need to go racing. It happened with the Ford GT, and now it's happened with the Vette. Following repeat wins at Le Mans in the last few years, the 638bhp Corvette ZR 1 will hit 205mph and go round corners. Which is a first.

12. Bugatti Veyron
The car that got James May to 200mph. And then carried on for another 53mph. It may have taken longer to appear than Chinese Democracy, and cost 899,000 when it finally did, but Mankind needs at least one 987bhp quad turbo 8.0 litre 16 cylinder supercar.

11. Vauxhall Monaro
The spot that should have been occupied by the 1990 Lotus Carlton instead goes to 2005's Vauxhall Monaro. The Carlton ceased production before we even started, so it's out on a technicality, and it took that long for Luton to produce another car we cared about. And it was still essentially shit. But a 170mph, 6.0-litre V8 for £37k? We'll have a bit of that.

10. Honda NSX-R
The NSX was a massive motoring milestone. It made the West sit up and pay attention to Japanese performance engineering, it made Gordon Murray reassess what made a great supercar when he was designing the McLaren F1, and then it did something truly unthinkable. Somehow it made Honda cool.

The NSX R was a lightened, stiffened run out model with a track focused steering and suspension set up that meant it was almost unbearably hard to drive on the public road . But sometimes a refusal to compromise is what tickles TopGear's fancy. It was also only available in white, which is essential for all proper Japanese supercars.


9. Ferrari F50
Launched to celebrate Ferrari's 50th anniversary in 1995, the F50 was the first open-top road car to hit 200mph. But with an enlarged version of a V12 Formula 1 engine, generating 520bhp against a kerbweight of 1,230kg, and a price tag of £329,000, so it bleeding well should.

8. Fiat 500
A controversial inclusion in TopGear's Top 20, the Fiat 500 actually appeared nearly 40 years before we first popped up in Smith's. But it's allowed in here because we also crowned it the Sexiest Car of All Time back in 2006. The 500 evokes a bygone era of cheap, uncomplicated motoring - full of empty sunlit backstreets, dark glasses and suntanned legs tumbling out of whisper thin miniskirts. What's more, it's a car so comprehensively devoid of dialled in masculinity that to drive one now is the ultimate expression of manliness. Try it. You'll pull faster than Errol Flynn in a knocking shop.

7. Ford S-Max
What Ford did with the S-Max was emancipate a vast, blighted section of the car community who'd been forced into interminably dull family cars by the sudden appearance of offspring. The S-Max looks great and steers, rides and handles with the sort of easy vigour once reserved for hot hatches. Dad is very definitely back.

6. Audi RS2
One of the first and purest incarnations of the whole Q Car phenomenon, the Audi RS2 Avant was a practical family estate with a sideline in slaying supercars. A joint project between Audi and Porsche, who rebuilt and heavily modified the car, the all-wheel-drive RS2 could get out of the blocks faster than most contemporary racing cars. Even today, its road-going performance is on a par with 120,000 Italian exotica - think 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds and a top speed of 162mph - but you can pick up a tidy RS2 for the price of a basic A3.

5. Renault Clio Cup
Atop the frill free French hot hatchery sits the original Clio Cup. Taking the spirit of the life affirming but occasionally life concluding Peugeot 205 GTI, and piling on the precision, poise and absence of lift off oversteer, it gifted affordable, practical performance to the people and two years of cover stories to Evo magazine.

4. McLaren F1
There's no getting away from the fact that when Gordon Murray set out to end the supercar space race, way back in 1988, he pretty much succeeded. The past 20 years have seen faster cars (one) and better handling ones (only arguably), but none has eclipsed the F1.

3. Aston Martin V12 Vantage
The ultimate contemporary Aston, combining the comparative understatement of the V8 Vantage with the 510bhp 6.0-litre V12 from the DBS. Not by any stretch the perfect supercar, but by a long one the best Aston in years. This is everything a handmade British sports car should be.

2. Volkswagen Golf GTI MkV
If you can't quite find the 350k euro required to get your bum in TopGear's all time iconic motor, how about spending a 10th of it on a car that, let's face it, is actually a lot better? The Golf GTI began life as a yuppie plaything, but has evolved into arguably the most complete motoring package on the planet. Performance, practicality, comfort, refinement, and for sensible money. In the real world, this is near enough perfection.

1. Lamborghini Murcielago LP670-4SV
So our cards are on the table. Yes, it's ludicrously expensive. No, you can't really see out of it. Or get into it. Or drive it without the aid of an expert chiropractor. And yes, it's a bit flash and yes, you do have to have it in orange.

The Lamborghini Murcielago has everything a sensible car shouldn't, but everything you wish a sensible car would.

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post #2 of 28 Old 01-28-2010, 12:57 PM
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Mm..that NSX of yours Osiris..*drools*
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post #3 of 28 Old 01-28-2010, 01:08 PM
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weak, how could they not include the Toyota Hilux?
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post #4 of 28 Old 01-28-2010, 01:09 PM
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Look at the picture of Jeremy Clarkson with the Ford Escort Cosworth.

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post #5 of 28 Old 01-28-2010, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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Arrow

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Originally Posted by Vixen89 View Post
Mm..that NSX of yours Osiris..*drools*
That's the ultimate JDM wanton-wish'list icon, the '02+ NSX-R. I'm incredibly surprised Top Gear even chose it, as they never were keen on it ever (too refined / too reliable / too livable / not enough mojo' / etc'). Though, the unarguable best automotive magazine in the world (U.K.'s EVO) chose it as their car-of-the-year a few years ago, so the recognition was there.

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weak, how could they not include the Toyota Hilux?
No doubt there were some interesting choices, and more-so how some were chosen over others. . .

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Originally Posted by ElectricFuzz View Post
Look at the picture of Jeremy Clarkson with the Ford Escort Cosworth.
On another site where the article was mentioned, a reader-comment said, "oooh, sleazy-sex-cool!" (lmfao... )

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post #6 of 28 Old 01-29-2010, 09:25 AM
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An NSX can park in MY driveway, anytime. It's BETTER than MONEY and/or SEX!

Here's what I have in mind...
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post #7 of 28 Old 01-29-2010, 09:34 AM
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Best quote of the whole thing:

"Yes, it's ludicrously expensive. No, you can't really see out of it. Or get into it. Or drive it without the aid of an expert chiropractor."

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post #8 of 28 Old 01-29-2010, 04:28 PM
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McLaren F1 best super car ever.

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post #9 of 28 Old 01-31-2010, 11:39 AM
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as a former owner of an '00 gti vr6 I agree to disagree
as they must not be talking about the craftsmanship (mine dam nearly
fell apart after 3 yrs, and don't get me started on the electrical) but I will say the performance was there....

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post #10 of 28 Old 01-31-2010, 12:51 PM
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as a former owner of an '00 gti vr6 I agree to disagree
as they must not be talking about the craftsmanship (mine dam nearly
fell apart after 3 yrs, and don't get me started on the electrical) but I will say the performance was there....
2000 is not a MKV
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post #11 of 28 Old 01-31-2010, 01:13 PM
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Lamborghini Murcielago LP 670-4SVZ

Osiris x11,
Quote:
“Last month, Top Gear magazine turned 200 - issues that is. To celebrate, we put together a haphazard ramble through 17 years of the world's shiniest car mag, including the best and worst cars we've ever driven, the greatest journeys and the top jaw-breaking pictures.”
Choices represent opinions on 20 best cars, without listing criteria for selection other than Top Gear is celebrating its 200th issue. Top Choice and numebr one is a Lamborghini Murcielago LP 670-4SVZ can he had for a very high cost and represents very few cars manufactured for owners. It is typical eye candy. Editors fail to mention you also need to purchase a Mechanic when you buy that car, Regards

Richard

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2000 is not a MKV
Figures someone would point that out, while i knew that wasn't an '00 they were talking about i was merely expressing my opinion on the car itself and what my experience was with it..... Has VW come along way since than I'd like to hope so, but the question still remains weather or not they still hold the title as electrical nightmares

I will say this though, i just saw the 2010 GTI and it looks very nice, inside and out ...

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Osiris x11,

Choices represent opinions on 20 best cars, without listing criteria for selection other than Top Gear is celebrating its 200th issue. Top Choice and numebr one is a Lamborghini Murcielago LP 670-4SVZ can he had for a very high cost and represents very few cars manufactured for owners. It is typical eye candy. Editors fail to mention you also need to purchase a Mechanic when you buy that car, Regards

Richard
Oh spare me. And the Passat CC's design is "too exotic"? What are you talking about? It's a Lamborghini, yes, a Lamborghini. Have you ever driven a Lamborghini? Do you have the slightest clue of the development dollars that the VW Group put into completely modernizing the brand with the Murcielago? THey meshed the best of both words - German engineering and reliability with Italian design. I'm sorry, but I can't stand it when one believes every car should be compared to a mass market Honda in every respect. Again, it's a Lamborghini.
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post #14 of 28 Old 02-01-2010, 04:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by searich07 View Post
Osiris x11,

Choices represent opinions on 20 best cars, without listing criteria for selection other than Top Gear is celebrating its 200th issue. Top Choice and numebr one is a Lamborghini Murcielago LP 670-4SVZ can he had for a very high cost and represents very few cars manufactured for owners. It is typical eye candy. Editors fail to mention you also need to purchase a Mechanic when you buy that car, Regards

Richard
The bolded part is the problem. Care to provide proof for this outlandish, biased, and unsubstantiated drivel?

Mark
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post #15 of 28 Old 02-01-2010, 11:38 AM
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Exotic Car Maintenance

It appears I am accused of being biased, outlandish, and stating unsubstantiated drivel? (Quote Markus)

Reasonable Dealer evidence may show otherwise:
Quote:
Cost of Murciélago LP670-4 Super Veloce base price: $450,000 Sale price $484,000 + Tax $45,980 for total of $529,980 (St Louis & Dallas Dealers quote)
Dealer Expected yearly maintenance (assume 10,000 - 12,500 miles per year with an estimate maintenance cost range $11,250 – 13,250 per year (1) 2500 mile oil & filter change $1,250, (2) 7,500 oil & filter change with maintenance $4,500, (3) 10,000 & 12,000 mile oil & filter change $2,500, and (4) estimated $3,000 -$5,000 in parts and labor per year. (St Louis & Dallas Service Dept. quote)

However DuPont Registry reported from Wall Street Journal Article exotic car maintenance as being quite a bit more:
Quote:
Veyron maintenance tops $300,000 annually The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the cost to own a Bugatti Veyron will come close to $300,000 annually. Maintenance expenditures are broken down as so - $10,000 for tires replaced at 2,500 mile increments per the manufacture’s suggestion - $60,000 for replacing the wheels after the fourth tire change where the wheels are stress tested for cracks - the other $230,000 is lumped under scheduled maintenance (a whopping £12,866 or $21,033 per visit, easily surpassing the annual maintenance costs of £1680 or $2,746 for a Ferrari Enzo) and insurance for a 40-year-old male with a clean driving record So who can afford such maintenance? Well, Simon Cowell, Ralph Lauren, and David Beckham have been photographed driving Veyrons, word is that VW’s Chief Executive Ferdinand Piëch bought one for his wife, Tom Cruise drove one but probably didn’t buy it after he couldn’t figure out how to open the door, and, of course a man named Andy House drove a Veyron into a lake and supposedly already bought himself a new one. (Source: DuPont Registry)
Quote:
If a Murciélago SV is ever overtaken while accelerating flat out from 0 to 62 mph, other car is likely to be a Bugatti Veyron, which does same run in 2.5 seconds versus Lamborghini's claim of 3.2 seconds for the SV (stock Murciélago coupe is rated at 3.4 seconds). (Source: DuPont Registry)
Dealers also state that a Ferrari will cost 50-60% more than a Murciélago LP670-4 on a yearly basis, which puts Ferrari annual maintenance in a range of $17,000 - $20,000 per year.(St Louis & Dallas Dealers quotes)

Quote:
Originally Posted by searich07
Quote:
Osiris x11, Choices represent opinions on 20 best cars, without listing criteria for selection other than Top Gear is celebrating its 200th issue. Top Choice and numebr one is a Lamborghini Murcielago LP 670-4SVZ can he had for a very high cost and represents very few cars manufactured for owners. It is typical eye candy. Editors fail to mention you also need to purchase a Mechanic when you buy that car, Regards Richard
Quote Markus:
Quote:
“The bolded part is the problem. Care to provide proof for this outlandish, biased, and unsubstantiated drivel?”
Quote Tuolumne:
Quote:
“Oh spare me. And the Passat CC's design is "too exotic"? What are you talking about? It's a Lamborghini, yes, a Lamborghini. Have you ever driven a Lamborghini? Do you have the slightest clue of the development dollars that the VW Group put into completely modernizing the brand with the Murcielago? THey meshed the best of both words - German engineering and reliability with Italian design. I'm sorry, but I can't stand it when one believes every car should be compared to a mass market Honda in every respect. Again, it's a Lamborghini.”
Regards

Richard

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