Korean Stig crashes in first Top Gear episode

Posted: September 2, 2011 in News
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A bout of acute embarrassment must be sweeping through the offices of Top Gear Korea following the Stig crashing out in the very first episode of this regional variation on our favourite autotainment theme.

TG pitted Korea’s own sports car – the Oullim Spirra S – against a Porsche Cayman S and Lotus Exige Cup 260 in a ‘Best Sports Car Under ₩100million’ (US$94,000) triple test.

In what many would term a ‘spectacular stuff-up’, the Stig managed to write the Spirra off while on a hot lap of the new TG circuit by braking way too late coming into a corner, sliding off the track and hitting a dirt mound.

The front of the Spirra lifted into the air causing major damage on landing to the underside of the car. While the video shows none of the damage (it’s mostly on the passenger side) the car was written-off with Oullim and Top Gear now in negotiations about financial reparation.

As if having the local hero go down like this wasn’t enough, sources present on the day say that the Stig almost binned both the Porsche and Lotus as well, leaving many to question the skills of this ‘tame racing driver’. If the Stig has a face it must be redder than a bowl of kimchi.

I was lucky enough to drive the Spirra the day before the Top Gear crew destroyed filmed the car and found it to be bum-clenchingly quick, with ultra-direct steering and a controlled but comfortable ride, which for a carbon-bodied road car with (optional) race suspension is very surprising.

The fit and finish of the interior was right up there with the Europeans too, with a nice amount of leather in the cabin along with a decent driving position (enough room for people 193cm and possibly taller) and good all-round visibility despite the deep racing seat and five-point harness.

While it wasn’t a perfect package overall (zero boot due to radiator, AC and brake booster up front, plus the gearchange felt rubbery) , it’s a damn sight more interesting, stylish and rat-stabbingly rapid than anything else on the Korean domestic market at the moment.

So while the chance for the Spirra to shine against its natural rivals has been dashed, like any decent Schwarzenegger franchise it is sure to be back, bigger and stronger than ever.

Make up your own mind about this new Stig and Korea’s (not bad) new show with the video here. Lap starts at the 3.34 minute mark with the crash at 4.03.

Words © Dillon Media 2011


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