Is the Tesla-Clarkson War (far from) Over?


Former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson reviews a Tesla after the infamous spat between him and the Elon Musk-led enterprise.


As the second season of the widely acclaimed Amazon original series,  The Grand Tour, is drawing to a close, Jeremy Clarkson recounts the painful times when he was sued by Tesla.

The controversy erupted when Clarkson reviewed a Tesla Roadster in one episode of Top Gear. He was not particularly impressed with Tesla 's claim that it could do 200 miles in a go. When he put the car to test, he learned that it could go no longer than 55 miles.He was shown pushing the car into the garage for charging up after all the juice was drained out. The car was seen to be suffering from a brake failure among a host of mechanical issues.

Tesla didn't take kindly to this and sued Clarkson for "damaging the reputation by Clarkson's typically provocative review of the Tesla Roadster". According to the sources at Tesla, a script was found by one of its mechanics. It reportedly had a brief description of all the failures that the car suffered, before the shoot even commenced.
While Musk termed him "corrupt" and blasted him by saying that his show was more about entertainment than truth. An ordinary viewer may find some amount of truth in that aspect because very often Clarkson himself makes jokes about the content of the show. Clarkson retorted that Musk was "Petulant" and that he needs to "grow up".The incident quickly snowballed into a lawsuit.
The three-year libel lawsuit was settled once and for all when the court of appeal signalled its end, declaring the verdict in favour of BBC and ordered Tesla to pay the damages.

Clarkson is not a guy who minces his words. He comes out as this brash personality that is constantly embroiled in controversies. He was fired from BBC for slapping a producer after he was served a "cold meal". He is known to be a proud Briton and often mocks Hammond in jest for " trying to become an American".

 He has made public his dislike for self-driving cars and believes that they are at least 50 years from perfecting the technology.

As a result of these impressions, Musk believes that Clarkson has every reason to hate Tesla, because of it being American, Electric and a pioneer in self-driving cars.

Flip Side:

In an interview with Business Insider, he said that he had never been a fan of "plug-in s".
He pointed out the lack of charging stations and electrical power as a reason of his position on the subject. In the same interview, he was asked about American cars and he replied, "The new Corvettes are truly fantastic. You couldn't possibly have one in Europe because you'd look like a moron. "

After all the sleepless nights he spent during the feud, he decided to not review another Tesla for the rest of his career.
However, in the words of his co-host James May, "Tesla was becoming a mainstream manufacturer and we could no longer ignore them".

This resulted in their review of the Model X, in which Clarkson appeared to be impressed for the most part.

The review begins with Clarkson showing the strange features of its infotainment system. He then takes it for a spin and is impressed with the comfort, calling it the "most relaxing car" that he has ever driven. Later on, the Tesla out-drags an Audi R8, which is quite a powerful car with its own rights. He then goes on to put the car in the "celebration mode" which consists of the car opening its gull-wing doors and flashing lights. He also demonstrates the summon mode with which you can ask the car to self-drive and approach the driver.

When he gets to revealing the negative side of Tesla, he fills the six other seats with lawyers, who from time to time object and moderate what Clarkson says, to his chagrin. He remarks that electric cars never reach the range as specified by the manufacturers at which point his experience on electric cars is questioned by the team of lawyers. He then remarks that the car is too wide and demonstrates his point by parking the car in a supermarket parking lot.
He also raises some concerns regarding the autopilot system on the Tesla and the Lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles. He may have a valid point when he says this class of batteries are susceptible to catch fire in the event of an accident, with a cheeky reference to his co-host Richard Hammond's horrifying crash.

We may never know the absolute truth; What caused the car to underperform so spectacularly. Or did it?
The range of a car is strongly dependent on the driving style and many other external factors. All we know at this point is that his feeling for Tesla has thawed. Or....has it?

Video Edits and Sound Design credits:
 Hari Shankar Gopakumar

Script and Article credits:
Pranav PS

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