Top Gear

Top Gear – Series 11, Episode 6

The final episode of Series 11 already! Yes, I’m afraid that’s it for a few more months. The show kicked off with James May testing a couple of Japanese oddities from well known manufacturer Mitsuoka. Hmm, fair enough. Richard Hammond took us down “Hardcore Street” behind the wheel of the Gumpert Apollo S. A car which proves to be as effective as it is, well, ugly. How effective? You’ll need to check the video above to find out. Jay Kay made his long awaited reappearance on the show to see if he could knock off Simon Cowell’s lap time in the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car segment. He did. Predictably, by 0.1 second. All looked a bit of a setup, so much so that the producers must have asked Jay Kay to see if he could act a bigger wanker than Cowell as well. Which is a shame, as Jay Kay was pretty good value when he first appeared on Top Gear all those years ago. He has a bloody nice car collection, so we’ll forgive him!

Top Gear v DMotor

The show closed out with classic shoot out between the Top Gear crew against Germany’s DMotor crew, featuring Sabine Schmitz and Tim Schrick. The usual “don’t mention the war” banter followed and, of course, Top Gear won the day. Although, one suspects when the film airs on DMotor that there may be a different result, haha. It was all pretty good fun really with the highlight being Jeremy and Sabine lapping the Zolder circuit in a couple of MINI Cooper Ss and Tim Schrick and The Stig duelling in a race going Porsche and an Aston Martin DBRS9.

Top Gear should be back in October with 8 episodes to close out the year. Fifth Gear will return to UK screens on 11 August.


Audi adds new cab to its ranks

Audi A3 Cabriolet

Audi Australia has just launched its newest addition to the A3 range—the all-new A3 Cabriolet—and they’re pretty chuffed, by the looks.

Audi Australia’s managing director, Joerg Hofmann, says “The A3 Cabriolet clearly reflects Audi’s brand values of sporty, progressive and sophisticated—with two dynamic turbocharged direct injection engines, Audi achieves the seemingly opposite goals of excellent performance combined with fuel efficiency, matched with an elegant design which is equally attractive in roof-up or roof-down modes. We expect the A3 Cabriolet to be extremely successful in Australia because it offers a multitude of flexible features—from the fun of driving with the roof down, to space for four people, excellent safety features, plenty of luggage space and genuine good looks.”

Well, he has to say all those nice things doesn’t he. I do agree, however, that the A3 Cabrio looks great—it is a stunning car—although I’m not sure how well it will sell down under. Though, I expect Audi Australia has realistic expectations on that front.

At launch, the A3 Cabriolet is available with two turbocharged 4-cylinder engines. Pricing starts at $49,900 for the 118kW 1.8 TFSI Attraction, fitted with Audi’s 6-speed double clutch S tronic transmission. The Ambition models, featuring the 147kW 2.0 TFSI, start at $54,900 for the 6-speed manual and $57,500 for the S tronic. The first sign of cost saving with the A3 Cabriolet is evident with the roof being soft top only. The second, and most likely the last, is that the standard roof is semi-automatic only, although it does open in an impressive 9 seconds. However, for an extra $1300 a fully automatic soft top is available, and your extra cash also gets you a bit more sound proofing.