When will Top Gear test the Model S?

When will Top Gear test the Model S?

Anyone know?

Pardon if it has been asked already (tried to google without any results).

And they should have Elon Musk as a guest!

Just recently saw the Roadster test (not too good for Tesla):

docdac | September 27, 2013

Top Gear wasn't honest in evaluating the Roadster - the script was written before the road test, including 'running out of charge'. I doubt Tesla will give them another chance, given their prior duplicity. Top Gear seemed to have an agenda against non-ICE cars. Too bad - good show otherwise.

jat | September 27, 2013

I'm sure they can get one at some point, just not from Tesla. They are probably safe to do whatever they like, given their defense of "entertainment, not reviews" was upheld in court before. I'm pretty sure Elon won't be there though.

SHY | September 27, 2013

Well I don't find the review too bad to be honest. The car is proper quick. But if the brakes are not up to the task considering the weight of the car - it needs to be addressed (I dunno what exactly happened here). And if it has very low range (effective time) on a race track then that is something people should be aware of. Including overheating and "protection mode".

I read that a Model S owner experienced the same - 3 laps and 1/2 power. That's a bit of a disappointment TBH. But I'm sure Tesla will address it. It is what it is - but it's breaking barriers - and EVs will impove massively in years to come. Kudos to Tesla for speeding things up!

In a few years time the batteries will be much lighter (just think how much lighter Lithium batteries are vs. NiMH!) - and EVs will be insanely fast! Just imagine the power of the P85+ but at 1/2 the weight... ICEs will have no chance in hell to keep up. Already at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK this year from the top 3 fastest cars 2 were EV. And an EV won...

I for one would have loved to have a basic formula car to blast around a racetrack on weekends. And 100% electric! :-) In the future we can have racetracks close to the cities - no noise problem any more :-)

jat | September 27, 2013

@SHY - read other stories about that -- they planned everything they were going to show ahead of time, and when they said the motor overheated it actually didn't. They simply told an entertaining story, and didn't care for facts. There successful defense in court was based on the fact that they are an entertainment program, and don't have to follow the facts.

So, I don't know why you would put any stock in such a show for anything other than what was intended, which is entertainment.

redacted | September 27, 2013

@jat - if you read Top Gear's response, it's pretty reasonable: essentially, "We were accurate in what we said and these things are always based from a script that's researched"

I watched the review and the reviewer guy loved the car, it beat out the conventional Lotus, etc. He praised the relative costs of powering the vehicle, and brought out the natural reservations one would have about the car (charging times, etc). It was clear the decreased mileage occurred because the car was on a test track going fast, etc and that the reduced power warning slowed the car down, which I assume it does.

I never figured out why Tesla got its knickers in a knot over that.

Gizmotoy | September 27, 2013

@redacted: I felt the same way. I thought the review was mostly positive, and the reality is that you *will* drain the battery in an hour or so of hot lapping. Hell, the Model S can only make it a few laps before it goes into thermal protection mode.

I don't really think it was the hatchet job Tesla made it out to be. These are guys that evaluate cars on the race track, and on the race track the Roadster quickly depletes its charge and requires a lengthy recharging process.

To me, it was a relatively honest review that contrasted the good with the bad. Tesla's working on fixing the bad via Superchargers (though obviously not at the time), so if anything maybe the review helped ensure there was a clear message we need faster recharging.

Contrast that with the NYTimes review of the Model S, which seemed a bit shady on several points.

Dwdnjck@ca | September 27, 2013

SHY, why not just loan them yours.

hfcolvin | September 27, 2013

They reviewed the BEV version of the Mercedes AMG SLS and were very positive, only negative about the range at high speeds and slow recharge (quoted what sounded like 110V equivalent charge rates). Maybe ol' Jeremy is coming around to see the light.

jat | September 27, 2013

@redacted - for example, when they said the motor overheated, Tesla's data said it didn't. Instead, they had just decided that would happen at a certain point and acted like it did. Likewise on pushing it - it still had charge left, but they had decided they wanted it to run out at that point. They also never clarified what they meant by "the brakes aren't working" - Tesla never found any evidence of any problems. So yes, while I agree the overall result wasn't that bad, the point was that they made no attempt to reflect reality, but just wanted to tell the storyline they already had in mind.

Tesla never said the cars were designed for track use -- nor are most cars straight from the manufacturer. However, they do pretty well - the cooling system was designed with street use in mind, but the brakes for example don't fade at all when driven hard at the track, which would take a major upgrade for most cars.

DonS | September 27, 2013

Top gear showed the Roadster as if it had run out of charge and had to be retrieved, which certainly annoyed Tesla. However, TG didn't actually say the car died, which was their successful defense in the court battle. I suspect it will be a long time before TG even gets a return phone call from Tesla, let alone a test car.

eddiemoy | September 27, 2013

i use to watch that show a lot, but i stop watching after they pull that stunt with the roadster.

Windsurfer | September 27, 2013

Iasked the very same question in this forum a week or so ago. Notwithstanding the Roadster review, I for one would be fascinated to hear what Jeremy Clarkson & Co. would have to say about the S. I have to believe they would be impressed.

If Tesla aspires to build the best cars in the world, they need to be willing to submit there cars to scrutiny from the toughest judges in the world. Mercedes, Ferrari, etc. do this all the time, and it is interesting to note that they continue to do this even though the Top Gear reviews are often quite negative.

jat | September 27, 2013

@Windsurfer - it isn't the toughest judges they have to worry about, but rather people who fake it to tell the story they planned to tell ahead of time, like Broder. If they just report on the facts, that's fine, and I think you will find overwhelmingly positive results.

TikiMan | September 27, 2013

Answer: Never!

Top Gear is a TV show for 'petrol-heads' (i.e. those who love excess). They cater to fantasy, not practicality.

When they tested the Tesla: Roadster, there was a deliberate snub at its practicality, thus they did the same thing the NY Times writer did, and FORCED it to brick (something I could do to most exotics in a second).

How I know this; well, it is a KNOWN FACT that if you take a Bugatti Veyron to top speed, guess what?.... you will need new tires ASAP! (i.e. unless you have a local tire shop around the corner from your favorite race-track, or a new set of tires and a pit crew, you could very well not only brick your $1.6 million dollar car, you very well might destroy it's $100+k wheels). You might say to yourself, ... "WTF???, Why didn't the blokes on Top Gear tell us that after they tested it????.... Well, because it's fantasy entertainment, not a consumer report show.

The blokes at Top Gear are presenting you with fantasy entertainment, not hard facts, or consumer information, pure and simple!... and to be honest, I prefer it that way! :-)

Brian H | September 27, 2013

Yes, that would be soon enough.

mario.kadastik | September 27, 2013

Just FYI Captain slow did mention the tire wear on his 400 km/h run, but said not to worry as you'll be out of gas in just a few miles anyway ;)

fluxemag | September 27, 2013

I've actually started watching Fifth Gear lately in addition to Top Gear. I think they're great shows and very clever/funny. But given the relationship between Top Gear and Tesla post lawsuit, I just don't see why either party would be interested. Fifth Gear probably will, and from my experience watching it they give a much more meaningful review (albeit to a much smaller audience I believe).

George with SacEV | September 27, 2013

TG also did a hatchet job on the Nissan Leaf.

Call that "entertainment" but if I was an EV company, I would NEVER provide TG one of mine to ridicule in the name of entertainment.

SHY | September 30, 2013

Thx for all the insightful replies guys! :-)

Top Gear IIRC is _the_ most seen TV-show in the world! Must be BBC's biggest cash cow ever!

If it was a sterile & objective car review show it'd be much much less popular. Fifth Gear for instance is such a drag. And most car manufacturers know it can swing both ways, they do and say whatever they like. They constantly surprise you. And the footage is amazing!

Then again I guess they could test the Model S without the "cooperation" with Tesla? I mean Tesla could not stop them from testing it? ("testing a privately owned car")

Keep in mind that hard driving on a race track is very different from regular road driving. I mean it even proved that a Prius uses more gas compared to an M3 when the Prius goes flat out :-) Don't be so sensitive about it. This is a FUN program.

And as it seems neither the Roadster or S is suitable for track day racing yet. But I'm confident that will be resolved if you admit it and do improvements. This is not saying they are bad cars in any way!

jat | September 30, 2013

@SHY - I have had my Model S at the track 3 times and had fun with it.

wolfpet | September 30, 2013

Their dishonest "review" of the Roadster has left such a bad taste in my mouth I stopped watching their show.

hsadler | September 30, 2013

Top Gear may give a fair and honest review. But they lost credibility so it would mean nothing. The court basically ruled in their favor - but in the court saying that it was 'entertainment'....

Sometimes when you win - you really lose.

Winnie796 | September 30, 2013

Top Gear is entertainment with an automotive twist, nothing more. However, it is great entertainment. What they did to Tesla was wrong but has it really affected Tesla? No.
To say you'll never watch Top Gear again because it lies it like saying you'll never use the internet again because you keep getting emails from some prince in Nigeria with too much cash.
In all the years I have been watching Top Gear I have never bought a car, or ever heard any of my friends buy a car, based on what Top Gear recommended.
I agree with some of the posts above, I think Top Gear would actually like the Model S........except the front plastic black nose.

brian4591 | April 4, 2014

Well they haven't taken a test drive on the Top Gear UK show but they have an article about it compared to Maserati.


jordanrichard | April 4, 2014

I like how they said this is not the American car of yore, and that this interloper has changed everything.

That says a lot coming from Top Gear, because they generally dont like American cars.

Mark E | April 4, 2014

Top gear Us have already tested the car and put it to air. They were impressed.

andrewer | April 4, 2014

The article Tesla VS Maserati is from the Top Gear Magazine, not from the british sit-com where 3 older guys have fun with cars.

I too, would love to see them doing their rutine with a S. Time will show...

Slartybartfarst | June 21, 2014

Top gear is a fun show i believe the roadster test may have been right but they are going to use journalistic licence....its top gear...its a bun fight with cars in it!
Yep if i was Tesla back then id be mad as hell too. But now? with tens of thousands of model S out there and road tests hailing this as the future (have a P85+ on order so Im biased) I think Tesla and the S have upstaged Top Gear (and that dont' happen that often).
Yes it would be nice to get a glowing review of the S from top gear but then again i went out and bought the Chrysler 300C that they slated and its been the best cat i ever had so for me I just buy what they dont like anyway!
Seriously if they dont test it they are going to look stupid, if they test it ans slate it they are going to look.....stupid?
But then again a lot of the show is about looking stupid, so lets hope they test the S and i dont think for one minute when we look back in history at Wiki its going to say 2012 launch of a game changing electric car 2014 sales slumped as a result of BBC Top gear!

Red Sage ca us | June 21, 2014

They'll probably end up doing some type of race from Liverpool to the Vatican that involves the right hand drive version of the Tesla Model S P85+, a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive, an Aston Martin Vantage S, and a Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid.

LEvans | June 21, 2014

@Red Sage: That would be a great segment as long as they are all electric cars. For that segment to have any meaning they need to test all electric cars. The moment you start adding hybrids to that mix it becomes a dumb comparison. A gasoline Aston Martin Vantage S or a Porsche hybrid S E-Hybrid can always beat a Model S if you are talking about driving thousands of miles where the Tesla would be forced to charge for 10s of minutes at a time.

The Model S was never meant to win or even be competitive for hundreds or thousands of miles of driving and that's not what the cars are used for by those who buy them either.

An all electric segment with the Mercedes SLS AMG Electric drive and any other 100% EV vehicles would be great!

Red Sage ca us | June 21, 2014

WEB_SRFR: That's my point. The cast of Top Gear are not above using the 'Cheat to Win' principle to make a point. What I noted is along the lines of the sort of silliness they usually propagate in their segments. They would frame it thus:

"Pure electric sedan, pure electric coupe, gas guzzling coupe, & performance hybrid sedan... Which does the job best?"

They'd know ahead of time the Tesla Model S would likely best the rest on the track... Especially if The STiG were behind the wheel for a hot lap. So they would set up a challenge that was not to its advantage on purpose.

Even so, knowing them, the Tesla might still win, due to mechanical issues with its competitors.

Rocky_H | June 25, 2014

I dearly hope that Tesla sticks to their guns on this. I would love for them to just always say, "Top Gear does not do honest reviews, so they will not be reviewing any of our cars."

mgboyes | June 25, 2014

You can be pretty sure that Top Gear will do whatever they want.

It's not like Tesla can stop them testing the car - they will easily find an owner happy to loan one if they really wanted. And nor can Tesla force them to test the car.

I for one would be amazed if they did not cover it, simply because it's such a significant car.