Avidly watched by millions worldwide, BBC TV's Top Gear brings wit and wisdom to that topic of universal interest, the automobile. And it brings that attitude to its award-winning Web site, especially in its new showcase for cutting-edge code, the Cool Wall.
On the TV program, the Cool Wall segment is a platform for mock jousting between hosts Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond over the relative coolness of a given car. There's an actual Wall, a big board sporting images of cars pinned to one of four sections: Seriously Uncool, Uncool, Cool, and Sub Zero. The Honda Civic? Uncool. The Porsche 911 GT3? Sub Zero. (Note that coolness is unrelated -- and sometimes inversely proportional -- to objective quality.)
Best viewed with Internet Explorer 9, the new web incarnation of the Wall leverages that browser's high-performance processing power. Upon visiting the page, you'll discover a high-definition video of Top Gear, which Explorer 9 supercharges and accelerates through your graphics hardware. If you've never seen the show, the video will give you a taste of its tenor, personalities, and rules.
Then plunge into the Create Your Wall Now section, where you'll find pictures of 20 cars available in the UK, from the Aston Martin Vantage to the Vauxhall Insignia. Each image links to an information card, plus a zoomable, high-quality image with Deep Zoom buttons for focusing on key details. A really cool feature of each card is a video road test by the Top Gear team.
After pondering each car's coolness, drag its image onto the appropriate sector of the board. If you're logged into Facebook, you may share your wall with friends, or view their walls. You may also view the average coolness rankings as judged by the community, and finally the rankings as judged by Top Gear. Switching among the views is seamless in Internet Explorer. Very cool. Perhaps even Sub Zero.
This story, "Cool Cars" was originally published by BrandPost.