Minivan is an American car classification for vehicles which are designed to transport passengers in the rear seating row, have reconfigurable seats in two or three rows. The equivalent terms in British English are people carrier and people mover. Minivans have a'one-box' or'two-box' body configuration, a high roof, a flat floor, a sliding door for rear passengers and high H-point seating. Compared with a full-size van, a minivan is based on a passenger car platform and has a less tall body; the largest size of minivans is referred to as'Large MPV' and became popular following the introduction of the 1984 Renault Espace and Dodge Caravan. These have platforms derived from D-segment passenger cars or compact pickups. Since the 1990s, the smaller Compact MPV and Mini MPV sizes of minivans have become popular. If the term'minivan' is used without specifying a size, it refers to the largest size; the term minivan originated in North America in order to differentiate the smaller passenger vehicles from full-size vans, which were simply called'vans'.
The first known use of the term minivan was in 1959, however it was not until the 1980s that the term became used. The 1936 Stout Scarab is regarded as the first minivan; the passenger seats in the Scarab were moveable and could be configured for the passengers to sit around a table in the rear of the cabin. Passengers exited the Scarab via a centrally-mounted door; the DKW Schnellaster— manufactured from 1949 to 1962— featured front-wheel drive, a transverse engine, flat floor and multi-configurable seating, all of which would become characteristics of minivans. In 1950, the Volkswagen Type 2 adapted a bus-shaped body to chassis of a small passenger car; when Volkswagen introduced a sliding side door to the Type 2 in 1968, it had the prominent features that would come to define a minivan: compact length, three rows of forward-facing seats, station wagon-style top-hinged tailgate/liftgate, sliding side door, passenger car base. The 1956-1969 Fiat Multipla had many features in common with modern minivans.
The Multipla had a rear engine and cab forward layout. The Ford Carousel was a prototype developed in 1973 and intended to be released in 1975, however the model was cancelled as a result of the mid-1970s fuel crisis and company financial difficulties; the Carousel was designed as a family car that would fit into a typical 7 ft tall American garage door opening and had interior trim levels equivalent to a passenger car rather than a cargo van. In the late 1970s, Chrysler began a development program to design "a small affordable van that looked and handled more like a car"; the result of this program was the 1984 Plymouth Voyager. The Voyager debuted the minivan design features of front-wheel drive, a flat floor and a sliding door for rear passengers; the badge-engineered Dodge Caravan was released in for the 1984 model year, was sold alongside the Voyager. The term minivan came into use in comparison to size to full-size vans. In 1984, The New York Times described minivans "the hot cars coming out of Detroit," noting that "analysts say the mini-van has created an new market, one that may well overshadow the... station wagon."In response to the popularity of the Voyager/Caravan, General Motors released the 1985 Chevrolet Astro and GMC Safari badge-engineered twins, Ford released the 1986 Ford Aerostar.
These vehicles used a traditional rear-wheel drive layout, unlike the Voyager/Caravan. By the end of the 1980s, demand for minivans as family vehicles had superseded full-size station wagons in the United States. During the 1990s, the minivan segment underwent several major changes. Many models switched to the front-wheel drive layout used by the Voyager/Caravan minivans, for example Ford replaced the Aerostar with the front-wheel drive Mercury Villager for 1993 and the Ford Windstar for 1995; the models increased in size, as a result of the extended-wheelbase versions of the Voyager and Caravan which were in 1987. An increase in luxury features and interior equipment was seen in the 1988 Ford Aerostar Eddie Bauer, the 1990 Chrysler Town & Country and the 1990 Oldsmobile Silhouette; the third-generation Plymouth Voyager, Dodge Caravan and Chrylser Town & Country— released for the 1996 model year— were available with an additional sliding door on the drivers side. The highest selling year for minivans was in 2000.
However in the following years, the increasing popularity of sport utility vehicles began to erode sales of minivants. North American sales of the Volkswagen Transporter ceased in 2003. Ford exited the segment in 2006, when the Ford Freestar was cancelled, Chrysler discontinued its short-wheelbase minivans in 2007 and General Motors exited the segment in 2009 with the cancellation of the Chevrolet Uplander, it has been suggested that the lesser popularity of minivans than SUVs is due to the minivan's image as a vehicle for older drivers. In 2013, sales of the segment reached 500,000. Despite the declining sales for the segment in the late 2000s, several European brands launched minivans in the North American market; the Volkswagen Routan was sold from 200
Governments and private organizations have developed car classification schemes that are used for various purposes including regulation and categorization, among others. This article details used classification schemes in use worldwide; this following table summarises common classifications for cars. Microcars and their Japanese equivalent— kei cars— are the smallest category of automobile. Microcars straddle the boundary between car and motorbike, are covered by separate regulations to normal cars, resulting in relaxed requirements for registration and licensing. Engine size is 700 cc or less, microcars have three or four wheels. Microcars are most popular in Europe, where they originated following World War II; the predecessors to micro cars are Cycle cars. Kei cars have been used in Japan since 1949. Examples of microcars and kei cars: Honda Life Isetta Tata Nano The smallest category of vehicles that are registered as normal cars is called A-segment in Europe, or "city car" in Europe and the United States.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency defines this category as "minicompact", however this term is not used. The equivalents of A-segment cars have been produced since the early 1920s, however the category increased in popularity in the late 1950s when the original Fiat 500 and BMC Mini were released. Examples of A-segment / city cars / minicompact cars: Fiat 500 Hyundai i10 Toyota Aygo The next larger category small cars is called B-segment Europe, supermini in the United Kingdom and subcompact in the United States; the size of a subcompact car is defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, as having a combined interior and cargo volume of between 85–99 cubic feet. Since the EPA's smaller minicompact category is not as used by the general public, A-segment cars are sometimes called subcompacts in the United States. In Europe and Great Britain, the B-segment and supermini categories do not any formal definitions based on size. Early supermini cars in Great Britain include Vauxhall Chevette.
In the United States, the first locally-built subcompact cars were the 1970 AMC Gremlin, Chevrolet Vega, Ford Pinto. Examples of B-segment / supermini / subcompact cars: Chevrolet Sonic Hyundai Accent Volkswagen Polo The largest category of small cars is called C-segment or small family car in Europe, compact car in the United States; the size of a compact car is defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, as having a combined interior and cargo volume of 100–109 cu ft. Examples of C-segment / compact / small family cars: Peugeot 308 Toyota Auris Renault Megane In Europe, the third largest category for passenger cars is called D-segment or large family car. In the United States, the equivalent term is intermediate cars; the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency defines a mid-size car as having a combined passenger and cargo volume of 110–119 cu ft. Examples of D-segment / large family / mid-size cars: Chevrolet Malibu Ford Mondeo Kia Optima In Europe, the second largest category for passenger cars is E-segment / executive car, which are luxury cars.
In other countries, the equivalent terms are full-size car or large car, which are used for affordable large cars that aren't considered luxury cars. Examples of non-luxury full-size cars: Chevrolet Impala Ford Falcon Toyota Avalon Minivan is an American car classification for vehicles which are designed to transport passengers in the rear seating row, have reconfigurable seats in two or three rows; the equivalent terms in British English are people carrier and people mover. Minivans have a'one-box' or'two-box' body configuration, a high roof, a flat floor, a sliding door for rear passengers and high H-point seating. Mini MPV is the smallest size of MPVs and the vehicles are built on the platforms of B-segment hatchback models. Examples of Mini MPVs: Fiat 500L Honda Fit Ford B-Max Compact MPV is the middle size of MPVs; the Compact MPV size class sits between large MPV size classes. Compact MPVs remain predominantly a European phenomenon, although they are built and sold in many Latin American and Asian markets.
Examples of Compact MPVs: Renault Scenic Volkswagen Touran Ford C-Max The largest size of minivans is referred to as'Large MPV' and became popular following the introduction of the 1984 Renault Espace and Dodge Caravan. Since the 1990s, the smaller Compact MPV and Mini MPV sizes of minivans have become popular. If the term'minivan' is used without specifying a size, it refers to a Large MPV. Examples of Large MPVs: Dodge Grand Caravan Ford S-Max Toyota Sienna The premium compact class is the smallest category of luxury cars, it became popular in the mid-2000s, when European manufacturers— such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz— introduced new entry level models that were smaller and cheaper than their compact executive models. Examples of premium compact cars: Audi A3 Buick Verano Lexus CT200h A compact executive car is a premium car larger than a premium compact and smaller than an executive car. Compact executive cars are equivalent size to mid-size cars and are part of the D-segment in the European car classification.
In North American terms, close equivalents are "luxury compact" and "entry-level luxury car", although the latter is used for the smaller premium compact cars. Examples of compact executive cars: Audi A4 BMW 3 Series Buick Regal An executive car is a premium car larger than a compact executive and smaller than an full-size luxury car. Executive cars are classified as E-segment cars in the European car classification. In the United States and several other coun
A car platform is a shared set of common design and production efforts, as well as major components over a number of outwardly distinct models and types of cars from different, but somewhat related marques. It is practiced in the automotive industry to reduce the costs associated with the development of products by basing those products on a smaller number of platforms; this further allows companies to create distinct models from a design perspective on similar underpinnings. A basic definition of a platform in cars, from a technical point of view, includes: underbody and suspensions — where the underbody is made of front floor, engine compartment and frame. Key mechanical components that define an automobile platform include: The floorpan, which serves as a foundation for the chassis and other structural and mechanical components Front and rear axles and the distance between them - wheelbase Steering mechanism and type of power steering Type of front and rear suspensions Placement and choice of engine and other powertrain componentsPlatform sharing is a product development method where different products and the brand attached share the same components.
The purpose with platform sharing is to reduce the cost and have a more efficient product development process. The companies gain on reduced procurement cost by taking advantage of the commonality of the components. However, this limits their ability to differentiate the products and imposes a risk of losing the tangible uniqueness of the product; the companies have to make a trade-off between reducing their development costs and the degree of differentiation of the products. One of the first car companies to use this product development approach was General Motors for in 1908. General Motors used a single chassis for certain class of model across most of its brands like Chevrolet, Buick and Oldsmobile. Chrysler Corporation would use the same for Plymouth and DeSoto and Dodge cars. Ford followed the same principle for Mercury in US markets; the chassis unit was common with many shared mechanical components while the Exterior styling and Interior trims were designed according to its individual brand and category.
In recent years for Monocoque chassis, the Vehicle platform-sharing combined with advanced and flexible-manufacturing technology enable automakers to reduce product development and changeover times, while modular design and assembly allow building a greater variety of vehicles from one basic set of engineered components.. Shown below is the Nissan MS platform where vehicles ranging from 5-door hatchback, sedan to compact SUV and Minivan were built on common floor panel and many shared various functional assemblies such as engine and chassis components. Many vendors refer to this as vehicle architecture; the concept of product architecture is the scheme by which the function of a product is allocated to physical components. The use of a platform strategy provides several benefits: Greater flexibility between plants, Cost reduction achieved through using resources on a global scale, Increased utilization of plants, Reduction of the number of platforms as a result of their localization on a worldwide basis.
The car platform strategy has become important in new product development and in the innovation process. The finished products have to be responsive to market needs and to demonstrate distinctiveness while — at the same time — they must be developed and produced at low cost. Adopting such a strategy affects the development process and has an important impact on an automaker's organizational structure. A platform strategy offers advantages for the globalization process of automobile firms; because the majority of time and money by an automaker is spent on the development of platforms, platform sharing affords manufacturers the ability to cut costs on research and development by spreading the cost of the R&D over several product lines. Manufacturers are able to offer products at a lower cost to consumers. Additionally, economies of scale are increased. A "platform" was a shared chassis from a previously-engineered vehicle, as in the case for the Citroën 2CV platform chassis used by the Citroën Ami and Citroën Dyane, Volkswagen Beetle frame under the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia.
But these two manufacturers made vastly different category of vehicles under using the same chassis design at different years though the primary vehicle was still in production. In the USA platform sharing has been a common practice since the 1960s, when GM used the same platform in the development of the Pontiac LeMans, the Buick Skylark, the Chevrolet Chevelle, the Oldsmobile Cutlass. In the 1980s, Chrysler's K-cars all wore a badge with the letter "K" to indicate their shared platform. In stages, the "K" platform was extended in wheelbase, as well as use for several of the Corporation's different models. GM used similar strategies with its "J" platform. Subsequently GM introduced its "A" bodies for the same four divisions using the same tread width/wheelbase of the "X" body platform, but with larger body work to make the cars seem larger, with larger trunk compartments, they were popular through the 1980s, primarily. Cadillac started offering a "J" body model called the Cimarron, a much gussied up version of the other four brands' platform siblings.
A similar strategy applied to what is known as the N-J-L platform, arguably the most prolific of GM's efforts on one platform. Once more, GM's four lower level divis
Full-size car— known as large car is a vehicle size class which originated in the United States and is used for cars larger than mid-size cars. It is the largest size class for cars; the equivalent European categories are E-segment and executive car. After World War II, the majority of full-size cars have used the sedan and station wagon body styles, however in recent years most full-size cars have been sedans; the highest-selling full-size car nameplate is the Chevrolet Impala, sold as a full-size car from 1958 to 1986 and from 1994 to 1996. The United States Environmental Protection Agency Fuel Economy Regulations for 1977 and Later Model Year includes definitions for classes of automobiles. Based on the combined passenger and cargo volume, large cars are defined as having an interior volume index of more than 120 cu ft for sedan models, or 160 cu ft for station wagons. From the introduction of the Ford Flathead V8 in the 1930s until the 1980s, most North American full-size cars were powered by V8 engines.
However, V6 engines and straight-six engines have been available on American full-size cars, have become common since the downsizing of full-sized cars in the 1980s. The lineage of mass-produced full-size American cars begins with the 1908 Ford Model T. In 1923, General Motors introduced the Chevrolet Superior, becoming the first vehicle to adopt a common chassis for several brands. In comparison to the cars of the 21st century, these vehicles are small in width. From the 1920s to the 1950s, most manufacturers produced model lines in a single size, growing in size with each model redesign. While length and wheelbase varied between model lines, width was a constant dimension, as the American federal government required the addition of clearance lights on a width past 80 inches. In 1960, following the introduction of compact cars, the "full-size car" designation came into wider use. In the 1960s, the term was applied to the traditional car lines of lower-price brands, including Chevrolet and Plymouth.
As a relative term, full-size cars were marketed by the same brands offering compact cars, with entry-level cars for buyers seeking the roominess of a luxury car at a lower cost. Into the 1970s, the same vehicles could transport up to six occupants comfortably, at the expense of high fuel consumption; the sales of full-size vehicles in the United States declined after the early 1970s fuel crisis. By that time, full-size cars had grown to wheelbases of 121–127 inches and overall lengths of around 225 in. In response to the 1978 implementation of CAFE, American manufacturers implemented downsizing to improve fuel economy, with full-size vehicles as the first model lines to see major change. While General Motors and Ford would reduce the exterior footprint of their full-size lines to that of their intermediates, AMC withdrew its Ambassador and Matador full-size lines. To save production costs, Chrysler repackaged its intermediates as full-size vehicles, exiting the segment in 1981. During the 1980s, to further comply with more stringent CAFE standards, manufacturers further reduced the exterior footprint of several model lines out of the full-size segment into the mid-size class.
For 1982, Chrysler exited the full-size segment with the mid-size Dodge Diplomat and Plymouth Gran Fury serving as its largest sedan lines. Following the 1985 model year, General Motors replaced most of its full-size model lines with front-wheel drive mid-size sedans. Developed to replace the Ford LTD Crown Victoria, the 1986 Ford Taurus was produced alongside it as the Ford mid-size model line. After abandoning the full-size segment for compact cars and minivans, Chrysler gained reentry into the full-size segment in 1988 with the Eagle Premier. Developed by AMC before its acquisition by Chrysler, the Premier was a version of the front-wheel drive Renault 25 adapted for North America. From the 1980s to the 1990s, the market share of full-size cars began to decline. From 1960 to 1994, the market share of full-size cars declined from 65 percent to 8.3 percent. From 1990 to 1992, both GM and Ford redesigned its full-size car lines for the first time since the late 1970s. For 1992, Chrysler developed its first front-wheel drive full-size car line, replacing the Eagle Premier/Dodge Monaco with the Chrysler LH cars.
The same year, the Buick Roadmaster was introduced, becoming the first rear-wheel drive GM model line adopted outside of Chevrolet and Cadillac since 1985. In 1995, the Toyota Avalon was introduced, becoming the first Japanese non-luxury full-size car with six seats to be sold in the North America; the 1989 Lexus LS400 luxury sedan was the first Japanese full-size car sold in North America. Following the 1996 model year, GM ended production of rear-wheel drive sedans, with full-size vehicles becoming exclusive to Cadillac. From 1997 to 2016, the longest vehicle produced by an American manufacturer was a Lincoln. By 2000, with the sole exception of the Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis, Lincoln Town Car, full-size cars had abandoned rear-wheel drive and body-on-frame construction. Instead of model lineage, the EPA "large car" definition of over 120 interior cubic feet came into wide use
Compact car is a vehicle size class— predominantly used in North America— that sits between subcompact cars and mid-size cars. The present-day definition is equivalent to the European C-segment or the British term "small family car". However, prior to the downsizing of the United States car industry in the 1970s and 1980s, larger vehicles with wheelbases up to 110 in were considered "compact cars" in the United States. In Japan, small size passenger vehicle is a registration category that sits between kei cars and regular cars, based on overall size and engine displacement limits; the United States Environmental Protection Agency Fuel Economy Regulations for 1977 and Later Model Year includes definitions for classes of automobiles. Based on the combined passenger and cargo volume, compact cars are defined as having an interior volume index of 100–109 cu ft; the beginnings of U. S. production of compact cars were the late 1940s prototypes of economy cars, including the Chevrolet Cadet and the Ford Vedette.
Neither car reached production in the U. S. however the Vedette was produced by Ford SAF in France. The first U. S produced, it was built on a 100-inch wheelbase, nonetheless still a large car by contemporary European standards. The term "compact" was coined by a Nash executive as a euphemism for small cars with a wheelbase of 110 inches or less, it established a new market segment and the U. S. automobile industry soon adopted the "compact" term. Several competitors to the Nash Rambler arose from the ranks of America's other independent automakers, although none enjoyed the long-term success of the Rambler. Other early compact cars included the Willys Aero and the Hudson Jet. In 1954, 64,500 cars sold in the U. S. were small American cars, out of a total market of five million car. Market research indicated that five percent of those surveyed said they would consider a small car, suggesting a potential market size of 275,000 cars. By 1955, the Nash Rambler that began as a sideline convertible model became a success and was now available in station wagon and sedan body styles.
During the Recession of 1958, the only exception to the sales decline was American Motors with its compact, economy-oriented Ramblers that saw high demand among cautious consumers. By 1959, sales of small imported cars increased to 14% of the U. S. passenger car market, as consumers turned to compact cars. By this time, smaller cars appealed to people with a college education and a higher income whose families were buying more than one car. Customers expected compact cars to provide improved fuel economy compared to full-sized cars, while maintaining headroom and plenty of trunk space. Between 1958 and 1960, the major U. S. car manufacturers made a push towards compact cars, resulting in the introduction of the Studebaker Lark, Chevrolet Corvair, Ford Falcon, Plymouth Valiant. These models gave rise to compact vans built on the compact car platforms, such as the Studebaker Zip Van, Chevrolet Covair Greenbrier, Ford Econoline and Dodge A100. During the 1960s, compacts were the smallest class of North American cars, but they had evolved into only smaller versions of the 6-cylinder or V8-powered six-passenger sedan.
They were much larger than compacts by European manufacturers, which were five-passenger 4-cylinder engine cars. Adverising and road tests for the Ford Maverick and the Rambler American made comparisons with the popular Volkswagen Beetle. Compact cars were the basis for a new small car segment that became known as the pony car, named after the Ford Mustang, built on the Falcon chassis. At that time, there was a distinct difference in size between compact and full-size models, an early definition of the compact was a vehicle with an overall length of less than 200 in, much larger than European equivalents. In the early 1970s, the domestic automakers introduced smaller subcompact cars that included the AMC Gremlin, Chevrolet Vega, Ford Pinto. In 1973, the Energy Crisis started, which made small fuel efficient cars more desirable, the North American driver began exchanging their large cars for the smaller, imported compacts that cost less to fill up and were inexpensive to maintain; the 1977 model year marked the beginning of a downsizing of all vehicles, so that cars such as the AMC Concord and the Ford Fairmont that replaced the compacts were re-classified as mid-size, while cars inheriting the size of the Ford Pinto and Chevrolet Vega became classified as compact cars.
After the reclassification, mid-size American cars were still far larger than mid-size cars from other countries and were more similar in size to cars classified as "large cars" in Europe. It would not be until the 1980s that American cars were being downsized to international dimensions. In the 1985 model year, compact cars classified by the EPA included Ford's Escort and Tempo, the Chevrolet Cavalier, Toyota Corolla, Acura Legend, Mercedes-Benz 300, Nissan Maxima, Volvo DL, many others. Since the 1990s, most compact cars sold in the United States are imported models. In Japan, vehicles that are larger than kei cars, but with dimensions smaller than 4,700 mm long, 1,700 mm wide, 2,000 mm high and with engines at or under 2,000 cc are classified as "small size" cars. Small size cars are identified by a licence plate number beginning with "5". In the past, the small size category has received tax benefits stipulated by the Japanese government regulations, such as those in the 1951 Road Vehicle Act.
In 1955, the Japanese Ministry of International Trade
James Daniel May is an English television presenter and journalist. He is best known as a co-presenter of the motoring programme Top Gear alongside Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond from 2003 until 2015; as of 2016 he is a director of the production company W. Chump & Sons and is a co-presenter in the television series The Grand Tour for Amazon Video, alongside his former Top Gear colleagues and Hammond, as well as Top Gear's former producer Andy Wilman. May has presented other programmes on themes including science and technology, wine culture, the plight of manliness in modern times, he wrote a weekly column for The Daily Telegraph's motoring section from 2003 to 2011. James Daniel May was born in one of four children. May attended Caerleon Endowed Junior School in Newport, he spent his teenage years in South Yorkshire where he attended Oakwood Comprehensive School in Rotherham and was a choirboy at Whiston Parish Church. May studied music at Pendle College, Lancaster University, where he learned to play the flute and piano.
After graduating, May worked at a hospital in Chelsea as a records officer, had a short stint in the civil service. During the early 1980s, May worked as a sub-editor for The Engineer and Autocar magazine, from which he was dismissed for performing a prank, he has since written for several publications, including the regular column England Made Me in Car Magazine, articles for Top Gear magazine, a weekly column in The Daily Telegraph. He has written the book May on Motors, a collection of his published articles, co-authored Oz and James's Big Wine Adventure, based on the TV series of the same name, he wrote the afterword to Long Lane with Turnings, published in September 2006, the final book by motoring writer L. J. K. Setright. In the same month he co-presented a tribute to Raymond Baxter. Notes From The Hard Shoulder and James May's 20th Century, a book to accompany the television series of the same name, were published in 2007. In an interview with Richard Allinson on BBC Radio 2, May confessed that in 1992 he was dismissed from Autocar magazine after putting together an acrostic in one issue.
At the end of the year, the magazine's "Road Test Year Book" supplement was published. Each spread featured each review started with a large red letter. May's role was to put the entire supplement together, which "was boring and took several months". To alleviate the tedium, May wrote each review such that the initials on the first four spreads read "ROAD", "TEST", "YEAR" and "BOOK". Subsequent spreads had random letters, starting with "SOYO" and "UTHI"; the curious noticed. May's original message, when punctuated, reads: "So you think it's good, yeah? You should try making the bloody thing up; the editors of Autocar missed the'joke' and only became aware of it when readers started calling in about it, thinking there might be a prize. His past television credits include presenting Driven on Channel 4 in 1998, narrating an eight-part BBC One series called Road Rage School, co-hosting the ITV1 coverage of the 2006 London Boat Show, he wrote and presented a Christmas special called James May's Top Toys.
James May: My Sister's Top Toys attempted to investigate the gender divide of toy appeal. In series 3, episode 3 of Gordon Ramsay's The F Word, May managed to beat Ramsay in eating bull penis and rotten shark and with his fish pie recipe. May was a co-presenter of the original Top Gear series during 1999, he first co-presented the revived series of Top Gear in its second series in 2003, where he earned the nickname "Captain Slow" owing to his careful driving style. Despite this sobriquet, he has done some high-speed driving – in the 2007 series he took a Bugatti Veyron to its top speed of 253 mph in 2010 he achieved 259.11 mph in the Veyron's newer 16.4 Super Sport edition. In an earlier episode he tested the original version of the Bugatti Veyron against the Pagani Zonda F. May, along with co-presenter Jeremy Clarkson and an Icelandic support crew, travelled by car to the magnetic North Pole in 2007, using a modified Toyota Hilux. In the words of Clarkson, he was the first person to go there "who didn't want to be there".
He drove a modified Toyota Hilux up the side of the erupting volcano Eyjafjallajökull. Following the BBC's decision not to renew Jeremy Clarkson's contract with the show on 25 March 2015, May stated in April 2015 that he would not continue to present Top Gear as part of a new line-up of presenters. May presented Inside Killer Sharks, a documentary for Sky and James May's 20th Century, investigating inventions, he flew in a Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon at a speed of around 1320 mph for his television programme, James May's 20th Century. In late 2008, the BBC broadcast James May's Big Ideas, a three-part series in which May travelled around the globe in search of implementations for concepts considered science fiction, he has presented a series called James May's Man Lab. In 2013, May narrated To Space & Back, a documentary on the influence of developments in space exploration on modern technology produced by Sky-Skan and The Franklin Institute. James May on the Moon commemorated; this was followed by another documentary on BBC Four called James May at the Edge of Space, where May was flown to the stratosphere in a US Air Force Lockheed U-2 spy plane.
Highlights of the footage from the training for the flight, the flight itself was used in James May on the Moon, but was
Supermini is a British car classification or vehicle size class for a small car in a hatchback body style. It an equivalent of the European B-segment or American subcompact categories; the term is used by Euro NCAP for a size class including B-segment and the smaller A-segment cars. In the UK the supermini is the top-selling vehicle type. For years the Ford Fiesta has been the leader of the class, most-sold car in the UK overall, competiting against the Vauxhall Corsa, Volkswagen Polo, Renault Clio, Peugeot 208, many others; the term developed in the 1970s as an informal categorisation, by 1977 was used by the British newspaper The Times. By the mid-1980s, it had widespread use in Britain; the term was adopted by Euro NCAP as the smallest size class for passenger vehicles for the launch of Euro NCAP in 1997. The first round of NCAP tests was of seven supermini cars; the term is used by the Euro NCAP system as a size class for A-segment and B-segment. In 1977, the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Chevette were among Britain's top 10 best-selling cars.
Other superminis of the mid-1980s included the Austin Metro, Vauxhall Nova, Nissan Micra, Peugeot 205, Volkswagen Polo and Renault 5. The 1983 Fiat Uno was won the European Car of the Year award; the 1990 Renault Clio and 1994 Fiat Punto were significant models in the supermini category during the 1990s.. Both the Clio and Punto were recipients of the European Car of the Year Award; the Clio replaced the long-running Renault 5, although the Renault 5 remained in production until 1996. In 1993, the Nissan Micra, became the first Japanese car company to be receive the European Car of the Year award. In 1999, the Toyota Yaris received the European Car of the Year award, was noted for its high roof which allowed for improved interior space. Retro styling became popular across Europe from the late-1990s, the first successful retro-themed supermini was the 2000 launch of the BMW-owned Mini Hatch; the Fiat 500— launched in 2007 on the fiftieth anniversary of the release of the original model— was another popular retro-themed supermini, popular in Europe