Do it Clarkson-Style


Mar 3, 2006
Aachen, Germany
Hello there, chaps..

In another board we went on rambling about the upcoming episodes and when the R8 came up, we had a bit of an argument how Clarkson will like Audis new anker-bracelet (damn, I?m doing it already)..

So when my opponent told me, that clarkson obviously was going to rip the car apart.. I expected him to even like it very much.. so I wrote a typical review for the R8, which sounded.. like that:

"Now, as you might know, the Germans have brought us a couple of cars, that tried to rival with our Astons.. and Jaguars.. and still, the Italians were better on the track and the British had won our hearts. The problem with the Germans however was always, that they went to formal. Take a 911.. The enginge is in the wrong place, the car hasn?t changed the looks over the past centuries and you always get the feeling, that if you had done a little better, there would?ve been enough to spare for a Ferrari.

But this time, the shouting comes from an untypical corner. From the company that owns Lamborghini, comes a Supercar, but not under the badge, that you might have expected.

Now you might wonder.. does that make sense? Why would they try to anger their italian brothers? That?s a bit like jumping in front of a crocodile, wondering why it looks a bit steep.

So, you think, in essence, what you are about to get, is a car, where they?ve bolted a huge engine in, fittet it with all the gadgets modern Audis come with, and fiddled a bit with the steering. That?s it. Case closed.

[Audi R8 drifting in]

But you couldn?t be more wrong. When Audi came up with the idea, they wanted to create something essentially new. Something, that didn?t cross the Gallardos lines, because it was built to Audi?s pedigree and perfectly planned from the scratch to differ from it?s italian ancestors...

What they did was an incredible task. The took the 420bhp-V8 from the current RS4 and set it up in the back of this flat and smooth appearing car. It looks a bit like the TTs shiny, bigger brother.

But they didn?t stop here. Because since Audi?s engeneers obviously all own 911s, that got them thinking: "aha.. wir need somesing we can buy our fr?hst?ck gut with!". And look.. I?ve got headroom and I still have got a proper backbone. Now who would?ve thought that.. It?s brilliant.. "

I noticed, that a lot of the phrases from Clarkson are used in a similar way in every roadtest... so I continued on the upcoming 911GT2.. and since it is proven, that I have no life at this given sunday, I wrote this:

Hello and welcome, now.. as I?m sure you know, Porsche has been going on putting the same car on sale for the last fourty years and will be for another century. They gave us the boxster, which is a car you only buy, when you?ve gotten in the mid-fourties not owning your own company, then there?s the Cayman, which essentially is a Boxster with a roof built to fill a gap in the market and finally they build all the different 911?s which differ mostly in the pricetag.

And now they?ve come up with another 911. It?s the GT2 which is, as far as I could find out a tweaked version of the current turbo for a lot more money. Where the 911 turbo was at about a hundred thousand pounds, you have to add another thirty grand to get into the GT2. But is it any good?
To find out, I went to a place, where this car has been designed for. The Santa Pod Raceway.

[erster Drift ins Bild auf dem Racetrack]

Porsche?s designers have been desperate about designing the car for what it is actually meant to be put in: A trackdays weekend.

Now, as you might know, there?s allways been a discussion about a four-wheel-drive system in a nine-eleven and as we proved a couple of years ago, the 911 is better off with standard rear-wheel-drive? And still, when Porsche went for the big one, they fitted the turbo with their four-wheel-drive just to keep all the driver?s wifes happy, when they had to do the school run. But since the GT-series were never planned to be put in the hands of people who prefer a fancy cake to a breath of tyresmoke, they didn?t have to care about the maneuverability or the well-tempered handling while you?re revving up to 6000 rpm in the first gear by mistake. So they went back to rear-wheel-drive.. and that?s good.. you still have most of the grip and even get that lovely lift-off understeer with the back coming out.

[Exterior, then Interior]

And look, they?ve given it an inlet for the intercooler in the spoiler on the back?But take a look at the interior.. there?s thousands of knobbles and switches.. you?re never sure of launching a nuclear missile by pressing one of those.. and the stupid door-handles on the inside. But you can have your name written on the fancy strip on the door.. and even get it in a glowing mode.. how cool is that? Imagine parking alongside a night-club and opening the doors with your name shining in the door.. but then you will have to have that.. because you need something to distract from the lousy impression you give by trying to get out of the car with your discs all in place?

I have to say though, apart from the looks and the hideous pricetag, this is way better, than the turbo, it feels faster and harder.. so there?s no doubt, even by stripping out 150kg out of the car they?ve moved it away from his smaller brothers? what they?ve created is stunning, you hit the track and instantly feel, that they?ve prepared the car for this experience..

[Full speed, last 30 seconds from "Red Hot Chili Peppers - Turn on it"]


But they?ve done more.. they fiddled with the engine and what was originally 480 break-horsepower.. is now a whopping 530 break horsepower. This doesn?t only put it very close to it?s bigger brother, the Carrera GT, it brings it right into the firing lines of the italian top dogs..


What we have here, is a Ferrari F430 Scuderia.. like the german rival Ferrari has stripped out another 100kg from the original F430 and given it another 20 break-horsepower to wrench it up to an immense 510 bhp. And look at the outside.. with the big air-inlets.. shouting "OOOOAHR I?M A FERRARI..".. and the racing-stripes all over the car..

Now you might say: ?Uuh, that doesn?t come cheap? and you?re right.. Ferrari wants another 12 thousand pounds, which is a bit steep, if you remember, that the GT2 was already at 130.000 pounds. And what do you get on the inside?

Nope, no signs of comfort in here. Whereas the Porsche at least has at least a few optional extras, this has only the carbon bucket seats and a stereo.. well and this little knob to change the settings of the traction control.. there?s the ?son-in-law?-setting and here you have the ?Oh, i?ve lost 20 million quid in stocks?-mode which essentially will kill you in the first bend. And no signs of fuel economy either, you?ll be happy, if you can make it up to ten miles to the gallon while cruising along the sunset in Monaco.. and see this? That?s another example for Ferrari-build-quality.. see? I can pull off the head of the gear lever?
But when you hammer down the throttle, you see, why all this fits together very well? they have made a superb car even better?

When Ferrari went on to make the Scuderia-Version of the 430 they went to Michael Schuhmacher and asked him to take care of all the little drivetrain-elements and look? it worked out.. still with a flappy-paddle-gearbox, but this doesn?t feel as jerky as it feels in an Aston? And if you?re really brave, you can really give it the stig.. even in corners, this feels agile.. and alive.. the E-Diff, that Ferrari is putting into those cars really gives a lot of the traction.. I just wanna drive.. I dont wanna stop duing this? god that feels amazing.. ONLY THE ASTRONAUTS HAVE FOUND POWER LIKE THIS

But still, we have to put them up against another, to find out, who?s the daddy.. So to find out, we?ll have a little race.. with me in the Scuderia.. and the Stig in the Porsche..
The Ferrari comes slower off the lines, and I still reckon that this would look different on the following corners.. the lighter Ferrari pulls away in the Hammerhead? 2nd to last corner, a bit steep on the way out.. and in Gambon the Porsche catches back the lead AND I CANT DO ANYTHING, MOVE YOU ITALIAN BRICK..

In terms of pure traction and the use of the power, the Porsche is far ahead.. but this is also about how this car makes you feel.. and it carries you away in a blink of an eye only by the way it delivers the speed..

[Studio Audience]
Clarkson: So, to come to a final verdict, the best car is the Ferrari..

Hammond: Wait a second, you?ve told us, that the Porsche is better in traction, faster and more comfortable in day-to-day use..

Clarkson: Yes, but look at it.. It?s like waking up next to your fifty year old wife with the known looks and all you?ve ever known her for? yes, she knows about Tolstoi, and yes, her income is quite close to yours, but still? if you see this Ferrari.. that?s like looking into Keira Knightleys eyes saying ?Yes, that?s nice, but I still want to know more about Tolstoi!?

Hammond: Hang on a second, so you?re comparing.. your wife.. with a Porsche 911 GT2? Oh dear, hope you?ll return to work next week..

Clarkson: However, what we now have to find out, is how the cars do on our track.. So we had to give them to our tamed racing driver? Some say, that his parents mated on a track day and that his right food has the shape of a throttle.. Ladies and Gentleman: Willkommen sie: DAS STIG!

Ferrari 1:21.3
GT2 1:20.8

Since this recieved quite positive responses from german boardmembers, I am desperate on finding out, what the native speakers think of a text like that, since I?m german and the only way I get in contact to the english language is in school or by watching british/american telly.. Anyway, it was tremendous fun, writing it with Clarksons voice in the back of the head, cocking about the Porsche :D

I think, you?ll notice the snippets from certain episodes, that came up to me, while I was writing..

And still, remember.. I?m not a native ;)
He has reviewed the R8 already, and he likes it a lot.

As for your review. He wouldn't have said those things. I don't think he has any appreciation for a 'track special' car that cost even 50,000 pounds less a lone triple that price. You could get an actual track car for 30,000 that would kill most so called 'track special'.
I admit, that?s a good point.. still I remember Jezza screaming out, that the F430 is one of the best cars in the world and I reckon he would still at least like it in that version..
And fyi, Santa Pod is a dragstrip. There are NO corners.
You've got a picture of the last generation GT2. Oh and I like this:

you still have most of the grip and even get that lovely lift-off understeer with the back coming out.

Finally a car with lovely lift-off understeer.