If you were being pursued in a high-speed motor chase, which car is best to barrel down stairs?

I just got around to seeing The Bourne Identity. Matt Damon has the whole police department after him, and he’s driving an Austin Mini, I think.

Hand-clutch gears grinding, he cuts into an outside pedestrian stairway, and aces the ride, of course, since he’s actually a professional stunt driver. I suspect the innards of the car were jacked around, (or even that they just gutted it and bounced it down, and let editing and Dolby do the rest).

If you were a professional assassin and had to do the same maneuver, using street-legal, off-the-rack cars, could that be done? With which autos?

I’d still choose a Mini. They’re well known for their ability to do this. And they’re tiny.

I suspect that Bourne scene was a cinematic nod to the above.

From H2G2:

I’d go with a Lada Niva. Similarly, a first generation Suzuki Sidekick or even something like an old Toyota FJ40. But the Lada is probably lighter than both and just as rugged.

The stunts in movies always seem to use those nice ramps to help the car fly, or some sort of spring trick to keep the car nose-up. Driving a vehicle off a drop or a stairway (45 degree drop) so that the whole thing becomes airborne just means that at the bottom, it will hit pretty much nose first, crush and bend… unless it has a massive drop and can flip over instead. drive too slow and you will hang up on the body pan.

I recall reading something about how many Generals they went through on Dukes of Hazzard.

I’d go with something like a Humvee, designed for off-road recreational driving with really high ground clearance.

I’d take my Mustang GT through the paces…

Subaru XV

Where the hell is the “Need Answer Fast” note?