A Tour Of The Top Gear Test Track

Illustration for article titled A Tour Of The emTop Gear/em Test Track

Flash animation, the reason behind the names of those corners, a Stig's-eye view, and a dose of good 'ol TG wit: This is the official tour of Top Gear's decommissioned British airfield. Powarrrr!

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Granted, there seem to be a few errors — there's no way in hell that the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car Dacia goes through Chicago faster than the random "A Supercar" shown — but it's still worth a few minutes of your time. Also, you get charming little insights like this:

Chicago: It's hard on the brakes and around the tyres at Chicago. Designed by the big brains at Lotus, this is what they call a "steady state corner," designed to stiff out understeer or oversteer in badly set-up chassis. The title comes from the band of the same name, much beloved by the original Stig. God, his taste in music was rubbish, wasn't it?

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The interactive animation can be found here. The official Stig biography can be found here. Captain Slow driving a Veyron very, very fast can be found here. And in case you missed it, this is the Top Gear USA crew battling an attack helicopter against a Dodge Viper. You know, just because.

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DISCUSSION

Many interesting things here. First off, the mention of the Dacia... they've been complaining that the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car board was getting quite full, and rumblings of a new car have been going for a while. What better car for this than the Dacia Sandero? A car with history in the show and very reasonable. Second... the Stig's eye view videos. Anyone else notice how, especially at Gambon corner, the backgrounds aren't properly detailed and such? These look very much like rough-state video game tracks, where they've done the detail work on the track itself, but haven't fleshed out the backgrounds. They certainly aren't video. Course, Sony claimed a while back that the Test Track would be in Gran Turismo Forever.