New Challenge Cars Arrive at Beaulieu's World of Top Gear

By Marie | 30th January 2013 | Category: TV Excerpts | Leave a comment


The long awaited new Top Gear series is now airing on the BBC, which can only mean one thing – new challenge cars arriving at Beaulieu’s World of Top Gear!

Visitors will not be disappointed, as the latest arrival is none other than Jeremy Clarkson’s weird and wonderful P45.

For the first part of the 19th series, Jeremy returned to our screens in possibly the strangest mode of motoring transport viewers have seen. Following the mass popularity of his video demonstrating the many benefits of the world’s smallest car- the Peel P50, Jeremy was set a new challenge. The mission- to create and drive a car even smaller than the Peel P50. The result- the brilliant yet crazy P45 micro car!

A team of students from Coventry University’s Automotive Design course were brought in to work on styling, whilst the aluminium bodywork was hand crafted by the people who make the Petersen Bentley.

Showing great attention to detail, the P45 was painted with blue twin stripes, paying homage to legendary AC Cobra creator, Carroll Shelby. Fortunately for Shelby, that's where the similarities between the two cars ended.

Jeremy embarked on an extensive road test of the vehicle, driving at top speeds of around 30mph on the A3, taking the vehicle onboard a coach to London, demonstrating how easy it is to get on a train, and then driving it through Westfield Shopping Centre and the British Library!

Despite its many shortcomings, including a microscopic fuel tank, high risk of nose-smashing and inability to get through a car wash without jamming the machinery and soaking the driver’s suit, Jeremy entered the Dragon’s Den, seeking investment from the dragons for mass production – unfortunately, their verdict was a unanimous and resounding: “I’m out”.

During the test drive, Jeremy was singing its praises, describing the car simply as “completely excellent.” However, Richard and James were far less enthusiastic, preferring to call it “utterly ridiculous” and “a complete death trap.”

The P45 is now on display at Beaulieu’s World of Top Gear exhibition, where visitors can inspect it and decide for themselves whether it is ingenious... or insane.

The unique motor joins a whole host of cars at Beaulieu created by the Top Gear presenters for some of their most ambitious challenges. Another recent addition is the budget Bond Lotus Excel submarine car from the 50 Years of Bond Cars special.

The ‘Enormodrome’ recreates the feel of the Top Gear studio with regular features from the programme, including the Cool Wall and the Celebrity ‘Lap Times’ board, kept in line with the show. Visitors can also watch behind-the-scenes footage of the Top Gear production zone and clips of some of Top Gear's best moments.

The world of Top Gear can be seen as part of a visit to the whole Beaulieu attraction which also includes the National Motor Museum, BOND IN MOTION, Palace House and Beaulieu Abbey.

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