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Another day, another Top Gear controversy. This time, the boys from the BBC's hit show haven't enraged a country or British sensibilities - they've gone back to their old stomping grounds of upsetting car companies.

In last week's episode of Top Gear (which is set to air in the United States on Monday), host and head agitator Jeremy Clarkson tested the Zenvo ST1, a wildly powerful new hypercar from Denmark. Naturally, it all went very wrong. The car broke. Twice. The rear brakes weren't functioning correctly and the clutch failed. In fact, Zenvo had to take their orange test car back for a time. When it returned, it caught fire after a cooling fan decided to stop functioning. It got worse for Zenvo, though.

According to Zenvo, Clarkson later misquoted the starting price in the UK (by some 140,000 pounds, or $233,786) before handing the car to The Stig on a cold, wet track, where it returned a hairy lap time of 1:29.9 - slower than a Ford Focus ST.

Zenvo has issued a rather lengthy response to Danish website Pro Street, which we have available (auto-translated) in its entirety, below. According to the manufacturer, elements of the review were left out by Clarkson and Company, like the car's 189-mile-per-hour blast down the TG track's main straight and its 2.69-second run to 62 mph on "damp tarmac."

The fire and clutch issues were also addressed before Zenvo got on to the lap time. According to the Danes, on the day of the Stig's lap, "driving was not recommended in many parts of Britain due to low temperature and extreme rain. The weather conditions and the amount of water on the track severely reduced traction on the car's 345/30 ZR20 rear tires, resulting in a lap time that does not reflect the real potential of the car in dry conditions."

We've got Clarkson's entire video review available below, along with the official statement from Zenvo. Have a look at both, and then let us know what you think of this latest Top Gear fiasco in Comments.
Show full PR text
The Stig's supercar' at the Top Gear show. After being named 'The Stig's supercar' and credited for staggering performance in Top Gear Magazine in 2010, the car faced problems on its appearance at the Top Gear TV show. The car however, also achieved good results during the tests.

At the first visit, the clutch of the car burned out after an hour of extreme drifting by Top Gear drivers. At the second visit,a faulty intercooler fan caught fire after more than one hour of intensive high speed testing and 50 liters of fuel used. The source of the fire, has been traced back to a defect in the fan delivered by an acknowledged automotive supplier. After this incident Zenvo Automotive are conducting thorough testing of all fans before mounting them in the cars.

The car unofficially reached 304 kmh (189 mph) which was the highest speed measured on the straight of the Top Gear test track in recent times. This information did not air on the show. Also not made public was that Top Gear clocked the acceleration time from 0-100 kmh (0-62 mph) at 2.69 seconds on damp tarmac.

Instead Top Gear brought a lap time with the Stig conducted on a day where driving was not recommended in many parts of Britain due to low temperature and extreme rain. The weather conditions and the amount of water on the track severely reduced traction on the cars 345/30 ZR20 rear tires resulting in a lap time that does not reflect the real potential of the car in dry conditions.

Zenvo Automotive is looking forward to making a more realistic lap time in dry weather conditions.

The Zenvo ST1 has a list price of 660.000£ and not 800.000£ as stated in the show


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  • 71 Comments
      sstowes
      • 1 Year Ago
      When the Stig crashed the CCX, Koenigsegg, the company sent them another for evaluation, this time with a wing for added stability. This show should surprise nobody; if you send them a vehicle for review, expect criticism. And then do something about it besides sending out a press release.
      Slideways
      • 1 Year Ago
      I highly doubt Zenvo would allow BBC/TG to keep or ship the car back to the test track until the weather is clear especially when they're a small volume car maker from Denmark. It's winter and its the UK for crying out loud. Should've lent it to them during the summer. But the quality and the reliability issues are inexcusable especially when you're still paying a million dollars.. and if you're showcasing it to a show with many millions of views around the world. This sounds more PR than anything. When TG smacked the Mastretta, they complained about the remarks too. But in the end, didn't they have surprisingly better than expected sales?
      mawhalen53
      • 1 Year Ago
      I can only imagine the frustration of seeing a poor representation of something you've worked so hard on. Hopefully Zenvo is able to get more favorable coverage elsewhere.
        TsarBomba
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mawhalen53
        Sometimes you work hard, yet the results are still underwhelming. Look at Fisker for example. Why should a sub-par product be exempt just because it has RWD and 1000+ HP. It simply needs more work and testing before it is ready for the abuses the owner will throw at it.
          Ron
          • 1 Year Ago
          @TsarBomba
          Good point, although I would say "... before it is ready for the abuses a British comic/driver wannabe..."
      EJD1984
      • 1 Year Ago
      The way I see TG - If you want a real car review, watch Motorweek.
      Krazeecain
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think Clarkson was maybe a bit unfair to these guys, leaving out impressive information and trying to pass off that lap time as legitimate. But the fact that the car had so many mechanical issues is just insane. Having that many problems at once is maybe acceptable for a totally custom kit car one just built in their garage, but not for a million+ dollar press vehicle! I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think I'd rather go for a hennessey venom over this!!!
      Jeremy Shafton
      • 1 Year Ago
      Surprise!
      BMcNeal
      • 1 Year Ago
      Top Gear is a great show. The problem is that it can be very sensationalist, and it wouldn't be the first time that Clarkson and crew have stage-rigged an outcome of an auto test. The Zenvo ST1 itself isn't–visually or technologically speaking–very impressive and vastly expensive, but I have to wonder...how common is it that a test car bursts into flame (especially these days)? Sounds to spectacular to be true, which leads me to believe that it probably isn't.
        Eric Hamby
        • 1 Year Ago
        @BMcNeal
        They dont. The test each car the same and this one didnt not only fail once, but like 3 times. Which is why they didnt even bother with talking about 0-60 times. People who like the car know it will burst into flames but it wont matter because it will sit with pride in a garage all day... therefor 0-60 wont matter neither will lap times.
          T4timdetta
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Eric Hamby
          Thats a lie. Top Gear is known to be extremely Biased. Remember the tesla roadster review?
        Tobias
        • 1 Year Ago
        @BMcNeal
        So, all the porsches, teslas and ferraris that burst into flames on the streets would be able to do the intensive driving you think?
      Termin8
      • 1 Year Ago
      Zenvo is far from being the only manufacturer who's car ended up with a slow lap due to track conditions on the show. Boo Hoo. I doubt anyone is stupid enough to think that spin around the track is an accurate depiction of the car's ultimate potential. What they SHOULD be concerned about is the MULTIPLE breakdowns, one being rather catastrophic in nature. I know that was certainly MY take-away from the whole review.
      ken
      • 1 Year Ago
      Top gear abuses every car from Toyota Aygo to Bugatti Veyron. This is an entertainment show, not a factual study of cars. If any cars, or presenters or audiences or guesses or anything on earth, have any weakness, this show will brutally exploit it to jokes and laughter.
      TsarBomba
      • 1 Year Ago
      What a bunch of whiners. Lots of expensive cars catch fire. Isn't that part of the thrill of owning a limited production car? So lots of things broke. Maybe more than usual. The car doesn't look finished and probably needs alot more time being tested and sorted out. Frankly, I think Clarkson just found an opportunity to vent about how silly these exotic paper-racers have become. It's a good bleeding story.
        el aventador
        • 1 Year Ago
        @TsarBomba
        It's been on sale since 2009. It's not exactly incomplete at the time being. Actually, its kinks have been "ironed out" for about five years now. What happened is not acceptable, even though TG abused the car and it is a brand new company in a country that has never produced cars before.
          johnnythemoney
          • 1 Year Ago
          @el aventador
          It was unveiled in 2009, not on sale. Indeed the car has been developed and updated in the last 4 years, only at the end of last year the production variant was unveiled.
        Tobias
        • 1 Year Ago
        @TsarBomba
        They have been testing it for almost 7 years, i think it have been through some hard testing, it must be bad luck that these things happens all at once.
      Henrik Lahn Andersen
      • 6 Months Ago

      Ok well there are 2 things to note here: 1: He IS right - This car is NOT great, except for the concept of it. I LOVE it ... not because i'm danish but because these kind of cars break the mold of the traditional carmakers - which often leads to innovation and new design ideas. Think back a few years on a brand like Aston Martin before the DB9 brought them back... I clearly remember a talk about cheap Ford switches, a sub par engine, a horrible ride, especially in the softtop version - and a comparison of the grill to a seabass's mouth. However it has spawned a new generation of design, which shines through on A LOT of different cars these days. Without risktaking, random ideas and willingness to invest in something that you are fairly sure will fail, the greatest leaps in innovation and design might never happen!


      And 2: Notice how big the backlash from him making a pretty ignorant comment on a humane (and routine in basically any zoo with the same scenario) euthanization of a giraffe, labeling all of us "giraffe killers"! None ... at all ... Why? We have humor that's why! We don't take our self too seriously! If he comes here with a car dressed in "Denmark - Bacon, beer, porno and... well that's about it really...?" or "Dansk Top sucks!" (ok ok well it does so that's not really a taunt so ... lol) or "All Danes are *insert random taunt here*", we would react in 1 of 2 ways : 1: Argue with him about why he is wrong, and maybe give him a taunt back in the same "spirit" - or 2: Laugh, shake our head while mumbling something like "well he is somewhat right..." or what not. 


      I 100% Support the fuzzyheaded old english geezer and friends, and i hope he keeps going for many more years! Argentina, Mexico, Alabama and whoever else get's their panties in a knot every time he opens his mouth: Get a sense of humor, or stop watching TV. Pick one! Don't much care which...


      BTW - i talked to a few actual Africans about his slip of the tongue in the rime, and showed them the video from youtube. Do you know what they did? They laughed! Amazing right? Someone finding it funny when he so obviously didn't mean to say it, - and his reaction shows it. Had he been an actual racist, then why does he keep going to "non-white" countries - both on vacation and when making his programs? Look at the interview with Lewis Hamilton... Is that a racist - or a person who sometimes talks before thinking? Grow up "World"!

      m_2012
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hmm, McLaren P1 or this? I think I will have the P1 and save the change, thanks.
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