If you've ever wondered what it might be like to suddenly stop being the least-known person on the world's best-known automotive TV show, Ben Collins is probably the best person to ask.
That’s because he was the man behind the mask--or should we say helmet--of The Stig, Top Gear’s tame race car driver who was in charge of wringing the most out of virtually every car with any hint of performance around the show’s famous race track.
Since leaving the show Collins has written an autobiography, managed a motorsports and engineering firm, and even dabbled in the growing field of electric car racing. However, in his spare time he’s also managed to put together a list of not the best five cars he’s driven, but the worst.
Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione
Starting with the worst supercar he’s ever driven, that title goes to the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione, which he describes as also being one of the most beautiful. Key complaints were the brakes, which had the ability to steer the car due to the sheer force of weight transfer, as well as unwieldy suspension.
2002 Fiat Multipla
The next car on Collin’s worst five car list is the Fiat Multipla, which he deplored for its dismal 12 second 0-62 mph acceleration and silly look you have driving the thing at speed.
2009 Cadillac Escalade
Third in line is one of America’s favorites, the Cadillac Escalade SUV. Criticisms include horrendous fuel economy around town and equally bad performance when heading off-road. A number of crucial components, held on which just electrical tape, fell out and the vehicle even managed to bottom out and get stuck when he took in what he describes as even the “most modest of trenches”.
2009 Dodge Charger SE
The fourth car on the list is another American model, the just superseded Dodge Charger (not the new for 2011 model). Overweight and underpowered were the main gripes but the car also had a “woeful” automatic gearbox.
TVR rises from the ashes with new Sagaris
Finally, we reach the last, and possibly the worst car, on Collin’s list, the TVR Sagaris. In fairness, TVRs are known for being cars no sane person would ever want to drive but that hasn’t stopped the former Stig from brandishing a few complaints.
These included the lack of door handles on the Sagaris, uncomfortable seats, harsh gear changes, poor handling and an assortment of useless aero aids that shook violently at speed.
His final conclusion of the Sagaris? “Jeremy Clarkson loved it. I rest my case”.