Top Gear Filming in Cold Cold Beijing
Published December 6, 2011
Beijing is cold, and gray, and foggy, its basically Beijing as per usual but with unusually bad pollution this week which has led to the airport being shut down for a few days and hundreds of flights being cancelled, basically, Beijings air has turned into a thick diesel soup. So its not exactly a great week to be in Beijing and not a brilliant week to be smoking in an already polluted capital, but this has not put the Top Gear team off filming a segment on Chinese cars in China, James May and Jeremy Clarkson are in Beijing this week filming a filming a short special on Chinese cars. A netizen has been following the two over the course of a few days and posting pictures on line, the netizen in question was quick to comment that James May is looking somewhat portly these days.
From the pictures it looks like Top Gear are testing a JAC sedan, Greatwall Hover M2, Greatwall Coolbear, Geely China Dragon, FAW-Etsong Maestro, Little Noble, Double Ring SCEO, and a BYD F0 however, their Chinese counterparts over at Top Gear China released a list of vehicles on their official Weibo channel a few weeks ago way ahead of Top Gears arrival (to the left).
So what can we expect from the Top Gear Two when the show finally hits the airwaves in the early stages of 2012? As Jeremy left the UK as a media storm cloud gathered over his comments regarding striking workers and the most effective measures to control their strike actions it emerged that Jeremy is under a lot of strain, although looks to be having a good time in Beijing.
The Maestro is likely to be rubbished by Clarkson, the car was never that good in its original form (unless it was an MG version) but the Chinese version came equipped with an under powered 1.3L Toyota engine and was made in Qingdao by a cigarette manufacturer that had a great vision of people buying its cars and smoking at the same time, obviously it was not a great seller and these examples are becoming more and more rare. Austin-Rover products have been the butt of many Top Gear jokes before so the Maestro is likely to be on the receiving end of more than its fair share in Beijing this week and rightfully so.
Top Gears staff are likely to conclude that all though Chinese cars are not exactly on par with BMWs, VAGs or PSAs at the moment, they are getting there and giving it a few more years we will see some major in key areas engineering, design, and marketing.