CNET UK's awesome automotive channel is three years old! It's precisely 1,095 days since we published the section's first ever video review of a 2007 Toyota Prius, and having recently watched it again, we figured we'd take a misty-eyed look back at some of the cars and some of the shenanigans we've gotten up to over the years.
If you've ever watched an episode of our car review show, you'll know we're massive geeks. It's our philosophy to treat cars like the ultimate gadget. To us, they're big-ass iPhones on wheels, portable hard drives you can pick up chicks with and gigantic Panasonic TVs you can do burnouts in. Yeah, we're nerds, what of it?
What you might not be aware of is how we get down behind the scenes -- how the Car Tech magic comes to life, and how we make work experience kids suffer at our hands like ruthless dictators.
One time, we made this 17-year-old kid wash our loaner Aston Martin Rapide while we sat back, throwing Skittles at him as punishment for any dirt he'd missed. Honestly, that kid was useless when he first started, but by the time he'd quit in a flood of tears, we'd given him the necessary life skills to face absolutely anything. As long as it involved Skittle dodging.
Another time, we forced an intern to ride in the back of a Jaguar XKR convertible on rear 'seats' that were barely big enough for an infant. It wouldn't have been so bad, but we had the top down and were driving pretty quickly in freezing weather. He later told us he'd contracted pneumonia, but respected us for making a grown-up of him.
Occasionally, karma (carma?) catches up to the Car Tech crew as Drew Stearne, the show's chief video producer, discovered to his dismay. Momentarily forgetting he lacked the epic driving skills of Rory, he crashed the Ford Focus hire car, which put the team's entire Geneva Motor Show coverage in jeopardy. They escaped unhurt but learned some valuable lessons that day: don't zig when the road conditions require a zag and never ever turn down extra insurance.
One thing the team has never learned is how to sing. Or dance. But if there's one thing we're good at, it'skicking ass. Back in 2008, the Association of Online Publishers nominated Car Tech, alongside offerings from the BBC, BSkyB and Channel 4 for the best use of video, and y'know what? We spanked the lot of them.
We walked away with the silverware, celebrated relentlessly with champagne and awoke the next morning trying desperately to recall why there were random ladies' earrings, champagne corks and bow ties strewn under the boss' desk. It's fair to say he was displeased.
Anyhow, let us not bore you with anecdotes. Instead, let us thank you if you've been a part of the journey, whether you're a fan, a vehicle manufacturer who helped us make this happen or one of those lunatic Americans that insists on leaving idiotic comments about why US cars are superior to their European rivals -- we love you all. Thanks for reading, watching and joining in the conversation.
Click through the photo gallery above to see how we get down behind the scenes and, if you get a minute, watch the film below, which pretty much captures the spirit of Car Tech: high production values, insightful analysis and high-octane hi-jinks. Thanks for having us.
This magnificent animal was brought in to help us test whether a 'vehicle' with one horsepower could take on the hundreds of ponies under the bonnet of this Jaguar XKR. The horse lost the race, but won our respect with its uncanny ability to poo like no mammal we've ever seen.
It's a rite of passage for interns to clean the cars before we test them. The cars have to look their best, and the interns have to prove they have what it takes to take a merciless ribbing from their superiors.
Drew steps in to lend a hand. The pair of Roadsters is symbolic or something. The white one is meant to represent the good side of electric cars, while the red one is meant to represent the more evil side of their nature.
Jaguar unveiled this breathtaking C-X75 over dinner the night before the Paris Motor Show kicked off. Those people milling about in the background are all important car journos. Most of them had no idea who we were.