How much does Jeremy Clarkson really know about cars?

the Interceptor

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If this has been discussed before, please flame me violently and point me to the right direction. My search hasn't brought up anything though.

The question is: How much does Jeremy Clarkson really know about cars?

This has been bugging me for ages, and it was just brought up again when I watched an episode from the second series. Referring to the Koenigsegg, Clarkson says "the supercharger whacking the fuel in". Now, everybody that knows a little about how an engine and its components work knows that a supercharger forces air and not fuel into the engine, similar to a turbo.

On the other hand, JC is well known for twisting and turning facts to make the show more entertaining, and as he was on a thrilling highspeed run at the time, he had other things on his mind than thinking about how an engine works. Still, I got the impression that he really doesn't know much about how cars work.

What do you think?

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Hatmouse

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Knows enough to keep people entertained.

EDIT: So he won't be able to tell you how the Prodrive P2 diff works, but he will say why it is important to the car and why it is good.
 

No Boss

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matt_shaw said:
He has been a motoring journalist almost all of his life. I am pretty sure he knows more then most of us
Yeah I have to agree here.

Even if you're a totall car n00b, anyone being submerged in motoring for as long as he has, is bound to learn somthing.
 

Blind_Io

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There have been many other times he has talked about turbos and superchargers "gobbling great lungfulls of air" so it may have just been a slip that one time. I was impressed with his knowledge when they had the Volvo fanatic as the CIARPR. He knew that the 140 series' window frames bolted on while the 240 series had them welded. I had a 245 and even I didn't know that.
 

the Interceptor

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It may well be that he just can't be bothered with it, but still, knowing about how a car works isn't exactly a bad thing when you earn your money presenting and testing them. JC points out once in a while that James May actually is the only one of the three with some proper technical knowledge. Still, I'm not sure if Jeremy is just fooling around, or if he really doesn't know about those things.

That supercharger sentence was not the only false thing I noticed though, there were many throughout all the series. And if I'm not mistaken, he said it again with another supercharged car many episodes later.

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wooflepoof

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well technically speaking, superchargers force more air in so the engine can in turn whack more fuel in, right?
 

Mr-Stabby

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He probably doesn't know the big technical details, but i don't see that as a problem. Should a TV critic know how a TV show is produced? Not really. Clarkson is a critic, and appreciating how the machine was made is not what a critic should be doing, their job is to tell the public whether the car is actually good or not. They don't care if the supercharger is a root or a screw, or whatever the hell they are called (Thanks Carol Vordeman) they just want to know how it handles corners :D
 

Homer_SS

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Doesn't Jeremy have a PhD in Engineering? I think he knows alot about cars and has the occasional branfarts like all human beings. When ever they do a car modifing challenge or anything like that hes always looking after the mechanical parts of things.

Oh and i remember him saying something about his degrees in the old italian supercar challenge and during the amphibious vehicle episodes.
 

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He has said various times that he doesn't even know how an engine works (witchcraft is the word i think he uses) but I personally believe it's all show. Sure, he might not know most stuff in detail, but he knows just enough. But that just ain't entertaining (for most people), and he's not a mechanic, he's an entertainer.
 

patrick10

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is a food critic always an amazing cook? same thing with jc.... he knows what he needs to but not any more. why should he know how superchargers work? thats not his job.
 

Cobol74

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patrick10 said:
is a food critic always an amazing cook? same thing with jc.... he knows what he needs to but not any more. why should he know how superchargers work? thats not his job.
Right on, he knows how superchargers work in the broadest terms probably. That would be enough.
 

mautzel

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araracd said:
He has said various times that he doesn't even know how an engine works (witchcraft is the word i think he uses) but I personally believe it's all show. Sure, he might not know most stuff in detail, but he knows just enough. But that just ain't entertaining (for most people), and he's not a mechanic, he's an entertainer.
My opinion as well - if the audience can't be bothered, why waste all the precious time explaining (Remember the episode with the kittens while JC was explaining the twin turbo charging system of the 535d?). I'm pretty sure he knows how and roughly how much components of an engine / a car effect other parts and so on.
 

bresola

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mautzel said:
araracd said:
He has said various times that he doesn't even know how an engine works (witchcraft is the word i think he uses) but I personally believe it's all show. Sure, he might not know most stuff in detail, but he knows just enough. But that just ain't entertaining (for most people), and he's not a mechanic, he's an entertainer.
My opinion as well - if the audience can't be bothered, why waste all the precious time explaining (Remember the episode with the kittens while JC was explaining the twin turbo charging system of the 535d?). I'm pretty sure he knows how and roughly how much components of an engine / a car effect other parts and so on.
Exactly. We've got to remember TG is watched by a lot of people and most of them might not know much about mechanics, that's why neither of them explained the P2's stuff on the show. Jeremy does understand car mechanics, he's shown that quite a few times, but he's funnier pretending he doesn't.
 

matt_shaw

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Homer_SS said:
Doesn't Jeremy have a PhD in Engineering? I think he knows alot about cars and has the occasional branfarts like all human beings. When ever they do a car modifing challenge or anything like that hes always looking after the mechanical parts of things.

Oh and i remember him saying something about his degrees in the old italian supercar challenge and during the amphibious vehicle episodes.

That was an honorary degree :lol:
 

wooflepoof

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matt_shaw said:
Homer_SS said:
Doesn't Jeremy have a PhD in Engineering? I think he knows alot about cars and has the occasional branfarts like all human beings. When ever they do a car modifing challenge or anything like that hes always looking after the mechanical parts of things.

Oh and i remember him saying something about his degrees in the old italian supercar challenge and during the amphibious vehicle episodes.

That was an honorary degree :lol:
i was just about to bring that up :lol:
 

bartboy9891

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i really dont think anyone minds, therefore he doesnt bother correcting himself when he makes mistakes. then again, he probably wouldnt correct his mistakes even if anyone complained
 

j.reed

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He isn't entirely wrong.

A super or turbo charger forces air into the engine, but air doesn't make power. Fuel does. The reason we're adding more air is because the combustion of fuel requires air. The more air we have the more fuel we can have. A supercharger forcing air into the engine is making it possible to add more fuel.

He could have gone through that whole rigamaroll to say how more fuel is being added and how the supercharger is functioning. Its all just for TV.
 
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