Many countries are great at building reliable, cost-effective vehicles, but they're not always good at naming them – especially in English. Take Japan, for example. Over the years they have come up with some very silly names for their otherwise good cars. But at least they eventually understood their failings: when Toyota created its luxury off-shoot, Lexus
Expensive cars provide one of the modern age's best ways to demonstrate success and wealth. They’re also (usually) a lot of fun to drive and look nice on the driveway. But not all rich people drive Lambos or Astons. Some of the world’s biggest stars have actually chosen rather modest automobiles to get around in.
A Channel 5 documentary has caught two female car thieves on camera as they agree to steal a Mercedes Benz for £500. Undercover journalist Paul Connolly exposed the motor criminals in a branch of McDonalds in Coventry. Experienced thieves Lauren and Tara agreed to Connolly’s fake request for them to steal the £40,000 luxury car – for just £500. As part of the deal, they agree to break into a house in order to take the keys for the target car.
Watching the scenes in Vicenza from July, one is reminded how much global appeal Clarkson, Hammond and May still have. Crowds of Italians gathered around Clarkson in the all-new Aston Martin DB11, with May in an electric blue Roller, seeking autographs and hand-shakes. The enthusiastic congregation was a microcosm of the former Top Gear trio's popularity. There’s no doubting these guys can still get the attention of car lovers the world over.
Episode three of the revamped Top Gear enjoyed the highest critical praise of the series yet – although that was not mirrored in the viewing figures, which dropped to 2.4 million. The BBC2 show hasn't had ratings that bad for more than 10 years. 4.3 million people tuned in for the first episode, while just 2.8 million returned for another helping a week later.
It was one of the toughest televisual gigs for years: make a great series of Top Gear without Jeremy Clarkson or his sidekicks James May and Richard Hammond. Going by episode 1, did they manage it? By now you will have made your own mind up about that. But if the press reviews are anything to go by, it wasn’t the five-star outing we'd hoped for. 4.4m viewers tuned in to see the revamped show – a good million fewer than the last episode with Jezza and company.