• Nov 30, 2008
As much as Jeremy Clarkson complains about fat, uncool Americans and their crudely-made, overweight cars, General Motors managed to come out on top in two categories in Top Gear's annual awards.

If you said the Corvette ZR1 was a winner, you'd be totally correct. The 638-hp supercar was a shoo-in to win over the Top Gear team, just as we guessed when they were caught driving at at the Bonneville Salt Flats earlier this year. Chevrolet's baddest Vette ever sped off with top honors in Top Gear's Performance Car of the Year category.

The second award winner won't be quite as easy to guess, mostly because it's not sold in the U.S. Top Gear's Executive Car of the Year is the Vauxhall Insignia which is based on GM's Epsilon II platform. The magazine likes the car's looks and technology. We won't bother predicting whether we'll see it here eventually. For that to happen, Saturn will need to be around, and right now, we'll have to wait and see what happens on that front.

[Source: The Auto Channel]






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  • 43 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      The US has a domestically owned car industry...for now.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well, counting the numbers in terms of population ... you should be comparing Europe and the USA, not England and the US. And when you compare Europe and the US, then the numbers change ... a lot :)
      • 6 Years Ago
      "These are the Top Gear Magazine Awards, not the Top Gear Show Awards!

      Probably they (Jezza and the others) didnt participate in it..."

      Bingo !
      • 6 Years Ago
      Now I just cant wait for the next posts:

      -Citroen UK takes one Top Gear Award

      -Fiat UK takes two Top Gear Award

      -Volkswagen UK takes two Top Gear Awards

      -Honda UK takes one Top Gear Award

      -Toyota UK takes one Top Gear Award

      -KTM UK takes one Top Gear Award
      • 6 Years Ago
      I guess i don't get it, topgear seems to berate all the crappy cars, american or not. most of the american cars they get aren't up to snuff, it shouldn't be a shock, we've been dealing with ford products two generations behind their counterparts for years - gasp european consumers are more demanding, the average american just wants a box to go from point a to point b, oh noes.

      Yet when they receive awesome cars like the ZR1, they love them. They also love the Mondeo and speak highly of any american car they receive which is on par with other cars available in europe. Wait no. no. it's fun to pretend ALL american cars are on par with what's offered in europe (including by american companies there) and topgear just hates us for no reason... yes... shift focus away from a dearth of lackluster products.

      ZR1? good car, get an accolade, CTS-V? Good car, gets great press from them. Modeo? Great car, one of the few cars all three appreciate. New Fiesta? Great car, 5 stars from Clarkson. Let's cut the BS already.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Mostly very true, but I am still waiting to see the Saleen S7 on Top Gear track.

        Everything is said is true except about what Americans are looking in for cars.. I think that was how GM, Ford and Chrysler were perceiving the american market until they realized (too late) they were wrong.

        I can't understand why americans dont get to drive the new Insignia, Mondeo or European Spec Focus.

        • 6 Years Ago
        Correct DJS4000

        They are at the top end of the Middle Class, but are WAY below the executive car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Checking BMW UK, a stripper 3 series starts at what converts to $32,000 US. Most trims start closer to $45,000. Start. Any options and youre passing $50k.

        If that's not white collar executive territory then maybe you're paying your executives too much.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It was not my imagination when Clarkson said "British cars are the best in the world". Or when they gave TVRs free passes despite being very low quality and twitchy to drive.

        It wasn't my imagination when in back to back episodes they showed a Zonda can't even get in and out of a parking garage, despite gushing all over it, and then said don't buy a Z06, it's just not suited for day to day driving.

        As to the idea that Ford ships different cars here because they can get away with it, because American customers are undemanding, that's not the case at all.

        What it is that equivalent cars cost more in Europe, so they can put more good stuff in them. So Americans look at something like this Vauxhall Insignia and see it's about the size of a Camry and figure it's equivalent to our Camry-type vehicles and that's what Europeans buy. And look at how much better it is!

        But that's not what Europeans buy. As mentioned above, Europeans by tiny little crapboxes. Now you're thinking of the Focus. But you're still wrong. A used (>5 year old) VW Polo seems to be more like the common car most people buy. And have you seen the inside of one? Trust me, you'd lose you envy of European cars quickly if you drove one.

        Mondeo? A great car. But like this Insignia, it's an executive car. That means it's positioned equivalent to something like a G35 is here. People aspire to get one, but don't necessarily reach that level.
        • 6 Years Ago
        We should get the Fiesta soon, which will be the size of our last focus.

        I'm not wrong about what the average american is looking for, what's been the best selling car (until the recent credit crunch necessitated a cheaper car upset the spot)? The Camry. Ever driven one? The average american is NOT a car enthusiast, just pay attention to people on the highway around you, most won't be focused on driving, most don't enjoy it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @LS2LS7

        Then i'm wondering if you've ever seen the inside of a Polo. Because for the last 7 years the Interior of the Polo the same quality as that of the Golf and imo a better design.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Mainstream American drivers, those who buy the most cars, are not interested in the Euro driving experience. American companies know this so they don't waste time and money bringing cars which for the most part won't sell to our shores because they would probably be too expensive in their respective class. Sure, it looks like a great idea but should it happen watch as the sales tank. Opel used to be sold in the US and is no longer, because "nobody" bought them. Look at the market share for Volkswagen, not even three percent. Americans for the most part want big cars. Only very high gas prices force Americans to buy small cars and when we do buy small cars we want them cheap. The Japanese know this. That's why their cars got bigger and bigger until they made cars big enough for Americans to buy, and their smallest models in the US are dirt cheap.
        • 6 Years Ago
        *Note the average european experience isn't a luxury super car, it is a little cheese box looking hatchback that gets 45-50 miles to the imperial gallon.

        The top selling cars in europe aren't much better than the corolla.

        Actually I've noticed that in a lot of top gear comparisons the american car tends to come up on top simply because it is usually so much cheaper than the competition. Remember that comparison where clarkson chose the Chrysler CROSSFIRE over the other roadsters(I believe one was the 350z and I forget what the other car was)? Top gear bashes american cars like crazy, but it is mostly a running gag and it they really have given quite a few american cars decent ratings.
        • 6 Years Ago
        dont kid yourself, there are some terrible cars for sale in europe, french crap
        • 6 Years Ago
        It isn't that hard, really, why does ford sell a focus that is so much better in Europe? Or a fusion (mondeo)? Or GM the insignia? Ur comment us narrow and moot. Ever driven a lot in Europe? Ever notice how differently their road system is? It doesn't take rocket science to see why a nimble, fun, frugal hatch sells well in a country with gas 4x more expensive and b roads everywhere which would tear a fat sedan to shreds on which a cheap frugal gatcch would provide alot more fun. Europe is not America. Let's stop presenting baseless ignorant comments that fantasize parity between the two.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The amount of crap being sprputed by some people here is amazing.

        While I cannot say about the best selling cars in Europe, I know that here in UK in the past 5 odd years both the Corolla, the Civic and the Focus have been some of the best selling cars (I believe Corolla is the worlds best selling car by brand until it was axed in EU a year ago).

        Now given the fact that the above three are all in the same market more or less (And are all Japanese designed ... remember the Focus is a Mazda 2 chassis), I fail to see how if Toyota can sell a Corolla in USA (and they can I'm pretty sure), Ford can't sell the same Focus.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Mondeo executive car.... LOL. Please just stop there.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The Camry isn't the best selling car in America every year because it's just a box and dumb consumers settle for it, if it were they'd settle for a different box next year. It's as outstanding as what it does as the Z06 or 3 series or any other segment benchmark.

        The best selling car in Europe for 2007 was the Peugeot 207, a tiny harsh riding, 70 hp clown car that you couldn't give away in the US. Not least because the only woman you'd be able to pick up in one is a relative at the airport.

        Who is it that isn't demanding?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Clarkson shouldn't talk about fat people since he is himself a lardass.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The markets are totally different.

      Cars are dirt cheap in America, for a variety of reasons. So is fuel. And the roads are wide, distance's travelled great and parking lots huge and omnipresent. Hence the very large, cheap, thirsty cars that Americans take for granted.

      Europe is totally different, hence different products.

      Trying to make comparisons is practically impossible. However, cars typical of America simply wouldn't fit in Europe, even if we wanted them, which I'm not sure most of us would when most of our journeys are short and made along narrow congested roads.

      Horses for courses...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Trying to Park a F350 pulling a 5th Wheel in many parts of Southern Europe would be fun. Even in caravan Parks they are a bit of a squeeze.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I remember the Opel Kadett and Manta sold by Buick dealers back in the 1960's. Too bad, neat little cars, much nicer than a Beetle and lightyears better than anything else from Europe that was affordable. I just hope Saturn is around long enough to get the opportunity to sell the Opel Insignia here. It is a sophisticated, classy looking car, much better than some of the crapmobiles the General is trying to pawn off on us now. After the latest release from GM about offing Pontiac, Saturn and Saab, I don't expect to see any of them around much longer.
      • 6 Years Ago
      As far as I know, Insignia is a German car. German to the very core. In Europe, Opel is viewed as a German brand, the only exception is the UK, where consider Vauxhall to be their own British brand.

      There's nothing American, nothing GM, in the Insignia.

      Opel and Vauxhall haven't been marketed as parts of GM family since the early 90's because, as it was deemed, assocition with a US based company would be hurting the sales and brand image.
        • 6 Years Ago
        http://www.opel.de/legal/index.act - Has GMAC

        http://www.opel.de/meetopel/opelag/concern/content.act
        What do you know, lists all the GM brands.

        Took me 30 seconds to find that, and I dont even understand German.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Nice try again, Kitko but you fail. I don't know what you're looking at. All you have to do is click "corporate info" and you get General Motors. How hard is that?

        http://www.opel.com/

        Your comments have been riddled with anti Americanism from the beginning and I don't care if you don't like my language. Piss off.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "Opel and Vauxhall haven't been marketed as parts of GM family since the early 90's because, as it was deemed, assocition with a US based company would be hurting the sales and brand image."

        Uh... It's quite well known who the parent company of these brands are but nice try fabricating your own reality and nice try on the anti-Americanism, asshole.
        • 6 Years Ago
        valkyrite
        I was talking about a car, not about the platform. We can deconstruct Insignia, Aura or Malibu, as well as do the same with Ford Focus, Mazda 3, and few Volvos..., or WV Golf, Skoda Octavia, Audi A3.... First generation of BMW Mini used a diesel from Toyota and Ford has been shopping for diesel in Peugeot/Citroen yard until recently - French 1.6 diesel is still used in Mazda3, but it doesn't make it French the same way as the platform shared with Volvo doesn't make it Swedish.

        Chevrolet Malibu has exactly the same steering wheel as my Mazda3...

        happy_penguin
        A) You'll have a hard time finding GM on the Opel's German site. I didn't come up with the "no-GM-sign" marketing. The company did. Still Insignia is a European/German car and corporate associations between Opel/Vauxhall and GM would not change a thing.

        B) Anti-americanism? Grow up and tidy up your language.
        • 6 Years Ago
        GMNA and GME work together on the platforms.

        Insignia is based on the Epsilon-II platform (I have personally worked on that platform).

        Chevy Malibu, Satura Aura, and Pontiac G6 are all based on the Epsilon-II platform.

      • 6 Years Ago
      The hell? I just watched the episode where they said the Insignia was so unremarkable they didn't know they had been driving in it for 3 days as a hire car.
      • 6 Years Ago

      Well at least the Americans still have a domestically owned automotive industry, while the Brit car companies are for the most part owned by foreigners.
      • 6 Years Ago
      stop the BS. Top gear is a show and nothing else. The jokes and ratings are for Europeans, not us.
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