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The 5 Worst Cars To Drive – Courtesy of Top Gear’s Former Stig
The Stig is a recurrent character on the British motoring TV show, Top Gear, who played on the anonymity of racing drivers’ full-face helmets, making everyone ask “who or what was inside the character’s racing suit”. The Stig was created by presenter Jeremy Clarkson and the show’s producer Andy Wilman, being in fact a nickname that they used to give new boys at their old school. Since 2002, the Stig has been responsible for setting lap times for cars tested on Top Gear, and for instructing celebrity guests, and has become the show’s “human star”, as opposed to the show’s “motorized stars” – the supercars features on every edition.
So, having had the opportunity to test-drive lots of hot cars as the Stig, Collins gained some valuable expertise, which makes us believe his word counts in assessing super vehicles.
The first motorized hottie he dissed was the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione, which although appeared to be a promising ride in terms of speed and excitement, it didn’t rise up to the expectations, at least not those of the former Stig. With 450 HP, powered by a V8, and able to reach 100km/h in just 4 secs, the 8C had trouble with the brake pedal, which “was confusing, because the brakes seemed to operate the steering”, and with the stiff suspension, which “reacted violently”.
The second car to go under fire was the Fiat Multipla, of which Collins states “It took 12 seconds to reach 100km/h, whereupon it didn’t handle too badly but you looked daft behind the wheel.”
The third one was the Cadillac Escalade SUV, which apparently “around town it positively bleeds fuel and if you even suggest taking it off road it fakes injury.” The Stig adds: “On closer inspection, we found essential-looking wiring had parted company with the vehicle and hung out of the wheel arches, along with the electrical tape that previously held everything together. Truly awful!”
The fourth major disappointment was the 2005 Dodge Charger, which seemed “underwhelmed with its heavy weight, modest power and woeful automatic gearbox.”
The TVR Sagaris was the fifth to be criticized by the racing Englishman, who called it “ghastly, unreliable and held together by craft glue”. He didn’t like the fact that the car “had no door handles – to open the door you pressed a button under the wing mirror and prayed the electrics worked –, no ABS or traction control”. He also added that the quasi-aerodynamic features on the bodywork shook violently when speed was reached.