Jeremy Clarkson on Automotive Evolution

I look at all the cars out there now and and I get the impression they are all dinosaurs, roaming about in the fields, chewing grass and bumping into one another, blissfully unaware that the dust cloud is coming Some of them have V12 engines. And they’re not going to survive the storm. Nor will V8s. And that’ll be sad. We’ll all miss the rumble. In the same way I’m sure that when the last Apatosaurus keeled over, the species that were left might have shed a bit of a tear. But look at it this way. It’s argued by some that dinosaurs actually evolved into birds. The velociraptor became the white tern. The Tyrannosaurus rex became theperegrine falcon. And cars will have to do the same thing. It’s already happening, in fact. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Ford has squeezed 124bhp out of the 1-litre three-cylinder engine it fits into the Fiesta. It’s a riot and yet it can do more than 60mpg.

That Alfa Romeo 4C is so light it only needs a little petrol-sipping 1742cc engine to reach 160mph. But imagine if it were a hybrid. 

And the BMW i3 may just be the game-changer the world has been waiting for.

I have enjoyed my time with the dinosaurs. I shall look back at the Mercedes SLS AMG and the Ferrari 458 Italia and the Aston Martin Vanquish with a teary eye. And I shall always keep a picture of the wondrous Lexus LFA in my wallet. But that chapter is closing now. We’re about to start a new one, and from the snippets I’ve seen so far, it looks rather good.

Author: Tim Fathers
Words Jeremy Clarkson
Photography: Courtesy of the BBC

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