Top Gear's Hammerhead Eagle i-Thrust meets Autocar's road test team... and it's messy!
25 November 2009

Top Gear has built a home-made electric car, a ‘rival’ to the Chevy Volt, and we’ve tested it.

If you watched this week's Top Gear TV show you'll know all about the Hammerhead Eagle i-Thrust, a car built by Messrs Clarkson, May and Hammond. If you missed it, you can watch it on iPlayer.

Anyhow, here's a brief review: the Hammerhead Eagle i-Thrust is a road legal car/shed that started life as a TVR Chimaera and underwent quite a few modifications to become a 21st-century range-extender, all built for considerably less money than GM would spend... on biscuits.

In order to get an independent opinion on just how good the Hammerhead Eagle i-Thrust is, it was then brought to Autocar to undergo our world-famous road test.

The results on the intrepid trio's efforts and our review - conducted by our own intrepid tester Steve Sutcliffe - were screened on Sunday night.

Now you can read the full six-page verdict in today's Autocar magazine, on sale this and every Wednesday.

To whet your appetite, here are a few tasters:

Performance"We failed to crack 60mph. In the end it reached 50mph in 16.6sec and ran out of juice at 55mph, making it the slowest car we have tested this century."

Ride and handling"The Eagle i-Thrust rumbles along, its bodywork flapping in the wind as the 2CV tyres try their best – and occasionally fail – to prevent the body panels from rubbing on the floor."

Design and engineering"There are so many contributory factors to its technical make-up that it could, in fact, be more accurately described as a freak."

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

Buying and owning"As Daimler-Benz discovered over a century ago, you’ve got to start somewhere before you can progress."

Verdict"It's impossible to regard the i-Thrust as a success."

Read Sutcliffe's blog on the Top Gear test here

Top Gear's own take on its capabilities can be read in Top Gear's Hammerhead Eagle i-Thrust official press release

Join the debate


22 November 2009

Just watching it now on BBC2. Classic.

22 November 2009

Top review!

22 November 2009

One of the most convincing attempts of an electric car yet.

And, as I said before, use a diesel to generate the electricity for an electrically driven car. It's the future.

Although, I do wish Top Gear would actually review cars.....

22 November 2009

Awesome! And credit to Autocar for ranking it higher than the G-Wiz!!!:D

22 November 2009

Amazing marketing tie up, cant imagine the no. of hits the website has got as soon as Top gear finished. Genius.

23 November 2009

Haha, awesome, haven't seen the episode yet, and iplayers down....

I can see autocar possibly having some new users now.

23 November 2009

The plywood doors are its best feature for me .Very green making it a US style" woody ".

Great entertainment.

20 May 2012

HA! I AM american so you can shut up. As far as i've seen, no AMERICAN cars have ever had plywood doors. As I seem to recall, the Morgan car company uses wood on their suspension, though. I'm not saying I don't like Morgans, but the last time there has been a wooden framed vehicle in the US, It was called a horse-drawn buggy. Smile USA!!! WOO! Personally, the only thing I dislike about top gear is they are racist against Americans in particular. Besides, we all know that Ford is the best car company in history, sooooooooo... Biggrin

23 November 2009

-unfortunately for me i accidently switched over channels and hit the BBC2 button and saw about 30 secs of Top Gear.

-firstly, what a load of rubbish and total waste of licence fee; they were using the license fee to block public loads and make this car; they look out of touch with the real world, Top Gear has passed its sell by date and should be axed; simples.

-secondly, how amazing, when did that Jame May do that thing on Hydrogen? two years ago was it, what did he say, the future? is it really? i find it funny that "at last" they have finally understood that the electric and electric range extender are the way forward.

-noting that the Prius uses its engine to drive the wheels which IS OLD TECHNOLOGY, WRONG TECHNOLOGY (unless in an SUV or larger than Prius unit) and the way forward is Nissan Leaf Type (battery) and Chevy Volt (range extender where the small engine charges the batteries and does not ever directly run the car)

-third, the Nissan Leaf has a range of 100 miles and after ONLY 15 mins (3 phase) can be 80% rechanged; 15 MINS; thus i can go to a meeting 80 miles away and whilst having my meeting charge the car and get home (brilliant!); if the meetings are further away, we have trains or you can get a Chevy Volt.

-fourth, I forget the parameters of the Chevy Volt, but I think with its range extender its something like 170mpg (or over).

-who would have thought that it has only taken about 10/15 years for Top Gear (supposedly expert motoring program????????) to catch up; what a load of guff Top Gear are, they should do a Lord Coe:-

-Lord Coe you really do need to resign.

23 November 2009

Capslock - get a life and stop moaning. TV is meant to entertain people and that's what top gear does. If you want factual car reviews then buy autocar. Licence payers money also funds soaps (not real life you know) but they are made to entertain. So crawl from out of your own ar*e and leave top gear for those of us who enjoy the light entertainment that is top gear.

Here's to the crazy ones......


Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week