Top Gear Live Birmingham NEC

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Top Gear Live at the Birmingham NEC (11th-14th Nov.) provided all the expected thrills and spills that the event had promised.  ABG Motorsport and Hangar 111 supported the event with three vehicles: A X-BOW Clubsport; the 2011 GT4 Championship Winning X-BOW GT4; and the brand new X-BOW R sporting full carbon fibre body panels.

Surprisingly (and at short notice!), our remit for the weekend was to turn the X-BOW into a drifting machine!  The Stig would power the car around the indoor track with controlled oversteer through the corners to entertain the crowds. Yes, yes – I know what you are thinking….The X-BOW is not a drifting machine….and we agree!  Unphased by the challenge the team set about making changes to the car in order to generate more oversteer – not an easy task at such short notice!

Meanwhile in the exhibition hall, thousands of Top Gear fans photographed and asked questions about the X-BOW which looked fantastic in the central gallery area of the event.

After each session on the track, visitors passed on-mass through the Track Paddock where we were displaying our track cars.

Making the X-BOW a drift car was no easy feat.  The tail end was set up hard with smaller wheels and upright geometry, with an alarming amount of toe-out!  The front end was soft and compliant with plenty of travel and wet tyres were fitted to cope with the smooth marble-like surface of the indoor track and reduce understeer – encouraging the rear to step out on turn-in.

Mission Accomplished!  As you can see from the video below, we managed to loosen up the rear of the car sufficiently for The Stig to make an entertaining fly-past for the crowds.   The car looked spectacular and those who were lucky-enough to see this were impressed to say the least.

As is the case with live events, changes to the schedule were made throughout the weekend and we were placed on standby (this was afterall an entertainment show – not a race!).  As a result the X-BOW did not take part in a live performance in front of the crowds, but from our point of view we met the challenge head-on and achieved our goals.  The X-BOW can be a drifting machine if it needs to be (….but we do not recommend it!!).

In Summary – the X-BOW is not ideally suited to be drifted around a short indoor track with a smooth floor, so if you are considering doing something similar in your garage at home we would not advise it – unless of course you can get The Stig to pilot it for you.



Events, News November 16th 2011

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