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Top Gear Magazine in 2006

Clarkson in 2006: “I try on opinions like I try on clothes, standing in front of a mirror and wondering if they really suit me.”

TopGear Car of The Year: Jaguar XK

“I know of no car, not even the snake-hipped Monaro, that is quite as happy to sit in a cloud of its own tyre smoke, while doing 110mph, sideways. It’s just as lovely to behold, and with two more seats, more practical than the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. That’s a great car. But on points, the Jag is better still. A half-arsed machine from a cash-strapped company? Absolutely. Just like the Supermarine Spitfire. And that beat the Germans too.” JC

Three cars from 2006

Ford GTX1

“The noise is spectacular in a deeply muscular and unashamedly brash manner; the delivery of performance on a similar scale. With the roof gone, you’re that much closer to the sensations being thrown in your direction. There’s the long-hitting, linear surge that an engine delivering 450lb ft of torque from just 1500rpm is capable of providing, joined by the shriek of a supercharger spinning up and the oddly loud ticking of 16 fuel injectors firing into eight cylinders, immediately behind your ears. The forces are borderline seismic.” March 2006

Ferrari 599

“The 599 certainly isn’t some instant, heart-palpitating, knock-your-socks-off knee-trembler. Not like some Ferraris and certainly not like the Lamborghini Murcielago. Your heart doesn’t stop, your mouth doesn’t go dry in mortal trepidation. Because the 599 bestows its performance so urbanely, so accessibly, I managed to miss at first what a truly hardcore supercar it really is. But that means it never irritates you, either. It’s easier to live with than any other two-seat Ferrari, ever. You could have a deep, long-term thing with this car. Like the company that made it so modern and effective, you wonder if it’s actually a bit clinical. But expose yourself to it properly and, boy, has it got soul.” July 2006

Dodge Viper

“American cars are, indeed, crap, remember, but this one somehow rises above it. It lacks the class of the old GTS, but still packs the drama. It lacks the sophistication of a European, but more than makes up for it in thrills. And like a good American blockbuster, there’s something strangely sincere about its overstatement. It’s a bit like that King Kong film: it’s definitely crap, but it’s still compelling.” April 2006

The best-selling car of 2006: Ford Focus

The best-selling song of 2006: Crazy - Gnarls Barkley

And elsewhere in the world in 2006: North Korea claims it performed its first ever nuclear test; Twitter is launched; and former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein is found guilty of crimes against humanity, sentenced to death, and hung at an Iraqi/American military base.


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