Everyone's seen it, but Top Gear's review of the Ford Fiesta is such a milestone in motoring journalism it necessitates further study. If only because it proves we (even Schumi) can all stay seventeen forever — if we so desire.
If you’ll pardon the pun and the allusion to body snatching, you must have all seen this segment of Top Gear’s Series 12 Episode 6 last
December. So, no news. In fact, we've even posted a part of it already in another Fiesta-related post.
But it does not do this pinnacle of televised motoring journalism justice. It is magnificent on many levels, including on the questions it raises about the very concept of road tests.
The second coming of Top Gear—as opposed to the original series—has never been about road tests per se, which are usually boring, videographed articles smattered with Excel spreadheets. On the contrary, Top Gear is a reflection of Jeremy Clarkson’s weird persona, which—as beautifully summed by my AK-wielding F1-driving friend Nino Karotta—is a decades-long career built on descriptions of what seventeen-year-old boys would like to do with cars.
Unlike seventeen-year-old boys, of course, Clarkson actually does everything a seventeen-year-old boy fantasizes about. With cars, that is. We’re not that intimate.
Still, you’ve got to grow up at some point, haven’t you? Just to prove that growing up does not necessarily mean discarding one’s seventeen-year-old self but can also be accomplished with a layering of older personalities, Clarkson road tests the new Ford Fiesta.
He does so in a way that will make you question the very essence of motoring journalism. Or, as Nino put it: “Azt hiszem, az autósműsor el van készítve. Keressünk másik feladatot.” Which roughly translates to: “Televised motoring journalism is a done deal. Let’s find other projects to occupy ourselves with.”
On a helpful note, Clarkson’s test also proves that no matter your profession, an amphibious task force will always come in handy.
Watch it if you haven’t done so yet. Watch it again if you already have. Then go and do something slightly dangerous.
Photo Credit: Top Gear