Top Gear’s Scariest Moments: The Roofless Espace In A Safari Park
This week, we’re highlighting some of the scariest and most entertaining moments from TopGear and The Grand Tour in honor of Halloween. In today’s installment, the presenters take a very dangerous people carrier through a very dangerous park.
In true TG fashion, the convertible people carrier started out with good intentions somewhat marred by jerry-rigged execution. The Espace’s structural integrity was, to be honest, slightly compromised by the significant changes to the body and roof. This made the prospect of driving it through a safari park a little less enticing.
To make matters worse, this particular safari park is loaded with vicious lions, and, according to James, even more vicious Barbary apes. Several of them (the apes, not the lions) make the journey onto the top of the Espace and manage to scare Jeremy, though the fabric roof holds its own unexpectedly well against the incoming simian onslaught.
Arguably, the scariest part of this episode was actually the challenge that came after the park: taking the valiant, much-abused Renault through every leaky old car’s worst enemy: an automated car wash. Reportedly capable of cleaning a car as well as a hurricane, the car wash is flummoxed by the Espace, and in its attempts to clean it, sets itself on fire. This leads our heroes to run for the nearby parking lot before the incensed owner drops a lawsuit (or a hammer) on their heads.
Despite these myriad fiascos, the TopGear Espace remains one of the better French convertibles of the past twenty years.