List of Top Gear episodes
- number of link(s) submitted.
- S23Ep6: Episode 6 7/3/2016
In this episode, Matt LeBlanc gets his hands on the new Porsche 911 R whilst Chris Harris puts Honda's reimagined NSX through its paces. Chris Evans discovers old-fashioned charm in the somehow new MGBRoadster, as Rory Reid heads to Scotland with the first ever right-hand-drive Ford Mustang. Grey's Anatomy star Patrick Dempsey and Man Down funny man Greg Davies are tonight's Stars in a Rallycross Car, plus a treat for the whole team, including Sabine Schmitz and Eddie Jordan.
- S23Ep5: Delivering the Jaguar F-type SVR to the Geneva Motor Show 6/26/2016
This week, Chris Harris is with the new BMW M2, Rory Reid retraces a historic journey against the clock, delivering the Jaguar F-type SVR to the Geneva Motor Show, and Chris Evans and Matt Le Blanc head to Dingle to see whether the new Rolls Royce Dawn can out-class its ancestor, a 1976 Cornishe. The Stars going head to head in the Rallycross Car are Absolutely Fabulous star Jennifer Saunders and Great British Bake Off's Paul Hollywood.
- S23Ep4: Episode 4 6/19/2016
This series of the world's biggest motoring show continues as Chris Evans, Matt LeBlanc and Sabine Schmitz buy cheap second-hand cars and head for Venice. The aim? To prove road travel can be more luxurious than taking the train.Elsewhere, Rory Reid heads to New York to sample the all-electric Tesla Model X, while Chris Harris dons his race helmet to drive the most powerful Aston Martin of all time - the fearsome Vulcan. Bear Grylls and Brian Cox are this week's Stars in a Rally Cross Car.
- S23Ep3: Episode 3 6/12/2016
The latest instalment of the world's biggest motoring show sees Chris Evans struggling to keep his lunch down as he rides with Sabine Schmitz in the new Audi R8.Elsewhere, Rory Reid tests the new Ford Focus RS, Chris Harris attempts to tame Ferrari's savage F12 TDF and Matt LeBlanc gets a whistle-stop tour of London in Ken Block's fearsome 'Hoonicorn'.Boxer Anthony Joshua and comedian Kevin Hart are this week's Stars in a Rally Cross Car.
- S23Ep2: McLaren 675LT 6/5/2016
Join Chris Evans, Matt LeBlanc and the Stig as the world's most popular motoring show returns.This week, Matt, Chris and Eddie Jordan take music stars Sharleen Spiteri, Seasick Steve and Tinie Tempah on the ultimate SUV test in wildest South Africa.Back at the track, F1 superstar Jenson Button gives Chris a ride in the McLaren 675LT, while actor Damian Lewis is this week's Star in a Rallycross Car.
- S23Ep1: Episode 1 5/29/2016
- S22Ep10: Series 22, Episode 10 7/5/2015
- S22Ep9: Series 22, Episode 9 3/22/2015
- S22Ep8: Series 22, Episode 8 3/15/2015
- S22Ep7: Series 22, Episode 7 3/8/2015
- S22Ep6: Series 22, Episode 6 3/1/2015
- S22Ep5: 2/22/2015
- S22Ep4: Series 22, Episode 4 2/15/2015
- S22Ep3: Series 22, Episode 3 2/8/2015
- S22Ep2: Series 22, Episode 2 2/1/2015
- S22Ep1: Series 22, Episode 1 1/25/2015
- S22Ep0: Patagonia Special 12/27/2014
- S21Ep9: Patagonia Special, Part 2 12/28/2014
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May continue in their quest to take three V8-engined sports cars on an epic journey through Patagonia to the southernmost city in the world. Along the way they encounter stunning landscapes, mechanical meltdowns and torturously unpaved roads before a terrifying turn of events brings their adventure to a heart-stopping climax.
- S21Ep8: Patagonia Special, Part 1 12/27/2014
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May take three V8-engined sports cars on a gruelling 1600-mile journey through the spectacular landscapes of Patagonia. Along the way they encounter rough roads, collapsed bridges, broken bones and a cow as they press onwards against the odds in a quest to reach the southernmost city in the world.
- S21Ep7: Burma Special 3/16/2014
- S21Ep6: Series 21, Episode 6 3/9/2014
- S21Ep5: Series 21, Episode 5 3/2/2014
Richard makes his way to Abu Dhabi to drive a new hybrid sports car from Porsche called the 918 which combines a 4.6-litre V8 petrol engine with a pair of electric motors to create an 886 horsepower, four-wheel-drive supercar sensation. Jeremy and James create a public information film to promote safer cycling. Aaron Paul is the star in a Reasonably Priced Car this week.
- S21Ep4: Series 21, Episode 4 2/23/2014
Jeremy celebrates the return of the hand-crafted car with a trip to Italy to drive the Alfa Romeo-based Touring Disco Volante. Richard is on the dunes in Abu Dhabi where he test drives the six-wheeled Mercedes called the G63 6x6. Jack Whitehall is this week's star in the Reasonably Priced Car.
- S21Ep3: Series 21, Episode 3 2/16/2014
- S21Ep2: Series 21, Episode 2 2/9/2014
Richard is at Lake Como to test drive the new Alfa Romeo 4C. Jeremy shows up on a quad bike, demanding a race to the far end of the lake. Jeremy is also in Bruges at the Spa Grand Prix track to test drive the 904-horsepower McLaren P1. James May is at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan looking at the incredible efforts behind the armyâ€™s largest vehicle redeployment since the Second World War. Tom Hiddleston is the star in the Reasonably Priced Car this week.
- S21Ep1: Series 21, Episode 1 2/2/2014
- S20Ep6: 8/4/2013
- S20Ep5: 7/28/2013
- S20Ep4: 7/21/2013
- S20Ep3: 7/14/2013
Jeremy, Richard and James are on a mission to take their British pounds to the cash starved people of Spain. They have selected some sensitive cars for the job with Clarkson in a McLaren 12C Spider, Hammond driving a Ferrari 458 Spider and May using an Audi R8 V10 Spyder. Benedict Cumberbatch is the star in the Reasonably Priced Car this week.
- S20Ep2: 7/7/2013
- S20Ep1: 6/30/2013
Jeremy and James are in New Zealand to take part in a race along the coastline to the tip of the North Island. One of them is behind the wheel of a car and the other in an America's Cup yacht. Richard takes a look at three different hatches as he puts the Renaultsport Clio 200, Peugeot 208 GTi and Ford Fiesta ST through their paces.
- S19Ep7: 3/10/2013
- S19Ep6: 3/3/2013
Jeremy, Richard and James travel to Africa on a mission to discover the definitive source of the Nile. They believe that they can do a better job than explorers who claim to have discovered the waterway's starting point by travelling further and faster than previous efforts.
- S19Ep5: 2/24/2013
Jeremy and Richard attempt to solve the problems complex cars pose to an ageing population by creating a vehicle for elderly people and putting it to the test in Dorset. James finds out more about with the latest Range Rover in London before pitting the luxurious off-roader against an autonomous military machine in Nevada. James McAvoy is this week's star in a Reasonably Priced Car.
- S19Ep4: 2/17/2013
Jeremy test drives the new Kia Cee'd and also plays an unusual game of rugby involving James Richard goes behind the wheel of the Mastretta MXT, but is concerned about the repercussions of a comment he made in a previous episode about Mexico, the sports car's country of manufacture.
- S19Ep3: 2/10/2013
The trio take part in an epic race from Wembley to the San Siro stadium in Milan. Hampered by a rule about price, Clarkson maximises his bang-for-buck with a Â£35,000, 662 horsepower Shelby Mustang GT500 whilst Hammond and May pin their hopes to the ever-improving, pan-European rail network. The weinner will receive tickets to a top flight football match. Jeremy also test drives the brand new Toyota GT86 coupe and car-loving singer-songwriter Amy MacDonald is the Star in the Reasonably Priced Car.
- S19Ep2: 2/3/2013
The brand new series of the world's most popular car show continues with an epic road trip across the western side of the United States in three front-engined supercars. With Jeremy Clarkson in a Lexus LFA, Richard Hammond driving the new Dodge Viper and James May choosing the latest Aston Martin Vanquish a glorious soundtrack is guaranteed, as are furious arguments about which is best as the trio head from Las Vegas to Los Angeles and on to Palm Springs. Along the way, the three presenters take in racing circuits, airborne attacks and a race against the police before making a break for the Mexican border with a terrifying penalty for the last car to make it. Meanwhile, back in the studio, legendary Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood is the star in the Reasonably Priced Car.
- S19Ep1: Series 19, Episode 1 1/27/2013
Jeremy tries to build car thatâ€™s even smaller than the Peel P50 and then takes it for a test drive on the streets of London before putting his concept to the ultimate test of credibility in the Dragonsâ€™ Den. James takes a look ar the latest Bentley Continental GT Speed by taking it on a rally stage. Richard unleashes the new Pagani Huayra hypercar before handing it over to The Stig for the lap of a lifetime.
- S18Ep10: Compilation 4/1/2012
- S18Ep9: Compilation 2 2/25/2012
- S18Ep8: Compilation 3/18/2012
- S18Ep7: 3/11/2012
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May set out to discover if you can go motor racing for less than it costs to play golf. Richard is also out on the Top Gear test track in the brand new BMW M5 and there is a double helping of stars as rock legend Slash and Lotus F1 driver Kimi Raikkonen are let loose in the reasonably priced cars.
- S18Ep6: 3/4/2012
- S18Ep5: 2/26/2012
Jeremy Clarkson and James May pay tribute to quirky and recently deceased Swedish car maker Saab.Richard Hammond races a rocket-powered flying man against a rally-spec Skoda and Jeremy smokes around the track in the Maserati Gran Turismo MC Stradale and the tyre shredding Mercedes C63 Black.Plus current Doctor Who Matt Smith is the star in the reasonably priced car.
- S18Ep4: 2/19/2012
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May embark on an ambitious project to build mobility scooters that can tackle the wilds of the British countryside. Meanwhile, the Ferrari FF and Bentley Continental V8 are put through their paces at a unique test track on the edge of the Arctic Circle, whilst James is in Florida, where he tests the Fisker Karma and meets up with AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson. Plus, Hollywood star Michael Fassbender is the star in a reasonably priced car.
- S18Ep3: 2/12/2012
- S18Ep2: 2/5/2012
Jeremy Clarkson and James May travel to Beijing for a look at China's ever-expanding car industry and a violent encounter with The Stig's Chinese cousin. Meanwhile, Richard Hammond is in Texas to immerse himself in the surprisingly interesting world of NASCAR racing. Plus, the Mercedes SLS Roadster makes an enormous amount of noise and smoke on the test track, and Matt Le Blanc is the star in the Reasonably Priced Car.
- S18Ep1: 1/29/2012
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May head to Italy for a supercar shootout featuring the Lamborghini Aventador, the McLaren MP4-12C and the Noble M600. Their trip starts at the incredible Nardo test track, a facility so massive it is visible from space, before heading north for a nerve-wracking drive around the centre of Rome. The journey concludes at the legendary Imola circuit, a track challenging enough to have embarrassed many an F1 driver, with a timed challenge against the incredible skills of the Stig. Back in the studio, the presenters look forward to some car highlights of 2012 and another top celebrity guest takes the wheel of the Reasonably Priced Car.
- S17Ep7: India Special 12/28/2011
- S17Ep6: 7/31/2011
[caption id="attachment_8530" align="alignleft" width="210" caption="Top Gear Series 17 Episode 6"][/caption]Next on the long time running motoring show, Top Gear is a review of the a pair of electric cars, Nissan Leaf and the Peugeot Ion where Jeremy Clarkson and James set out to the seaside stopping off in Lincoln along the way. Meanwhile, Richard Hammond meets an extraordinary rally team in which everyone is an amputee with a military background, and finally the new Lamborghini Aventador is taken out on the track.
- S17Ep5: 7/24/2011
[caption id="attachment_8530" align="alignleft" width="210" caption="Top Gear Series 17 Episode 5"][/caption] Next on Top Gear which you can watch here at Telepisodes, will feature Simon Cowell returning on the Reasonably Priced Car to regain his title of the fastest Star in RPC having lost last time. Aside from this the new F1-style Lotus will test drive by Jeremy and later he joins travel to the seasin in a pair of electric cars. Meanwhile, Richard will talk to a rally team made up completely of ex-military amputees. Top Gear season 17 episode 5 airs Sunday night, July 24, 2011. Watch the full replay here at Telepisodes.
- S17Ep4: Series 17, Episode 4 7/17/2011
[caption id="attachment_8530" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Top Gear Series 17 Episode 4"][/caption] Top Gear season 17 episode 4 will be about the attempt of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May to build a cheaper train travel, faster and more interesting. Guess what they'll gonna do. They will replace the conventional locomotive and carriages with a series of caravans attached to a specially modified car. Aside from this, Nissan GT-R and Jaguar XKR-S will be compared by Jeremy while the legendary British comedian Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean, Johnny English) is the star in the "Reasonably Priced Car." The original airing of Top Gear series 17 episode 4 is July 17, 2011 Sunday night.
- S17Ep3: 7/10/2011
Next on Top Gear season 17 episode 3 will be about second-hand bargains for the same price of the cheapest brand new car in Britain which was discovered by Jeremy and Richard. Meanwhile, James travels to Nevada to unravel the toughness of the Range Rover Evoque. Also featured on this episode is the comparison of Mclaren MP4-12C and the Ferrari 458. By the way, Sebastian Vettel is the "Star in the Reasonably Priced Car" of the week of Top Gear season 17 episode 3. For the full details of the car reviews and adventures of Top Gear casts, just watch Top Gear season 17 episode 3.
- S17Ep2: 7/3/2011
Top Gear season 17 episode 2 will surround with series of tricky challenges and increasingly loud arguments which is an attempt of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May to find the world's best hot hatchback in Italy. Citroen DS3 Racing, Fiat 500C Abarth and Renaultsport Clio Cup are featured by the three as they navigate their way around baffling Italian towns and take part in a scavenger hunt before heading up to Monte Carlo where they're faced with a surprise test of their cars' performance. Aside from this, Jeremy is out on the track in the McLaren MP4-12C supercar, while petrolhead comedian Ross Noble is the star in the Reasonably Priced Car. For details of Top Gear series 17 episode 2, just watch the full replay of this episode.
- S17Ep1: 6/26/2011
Watch the first episode of Top Gear series 17 which airs June 26, 2011. Top Gear series 17 episode 1 surround with Hammond reviews on the South African-made Marauder while Clarkson reviews the BMW 1M. Also featured on the episode is when Clarkson makes a worthy homage to the Jaguar E-type for it's 50th birthday and May competes at Lillehammer in a Mini John Copper Works WRC against Amy Williams. The guest star for this episode is the rock star Alice Cooper. If you missed it on TV on its original air date then check out the full replay of the episode now via the link below.
- S16Ep6: Series 16, Episode 6 2/27/2011
In the last show of this series Jeremy Clarkson races the new Jaguar XJ against something even bigger and more powerful - the rotation of the Earth itself. Meanwhile, Richard Hammond achieves a boyhood dream by testing two 1980s supercar icons, the Porsche 959 and Ferrari F40, and James May is in America to drive NASA's very latest Space Exploration Vehicle.
- S16Ep5: Series 16, Episode 5 2/20/2011
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May set out to end the chaos and misery that snowfall brings to Britain every year, using a combine harvester, some basic engineering skills and a quick trip to Norway. Also in this show, Jeremy is on the test track in the new Audi RS5 and the latest BMW M3. Plus there's a rather surprising guest in the Reasonably Priced Car.
- S16Ep4: Series 16, Episode 4 2/13/2011
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May set out to buy second-hand convertibles and discover some of the unusual pitfalls to watch out for when picking up a used car bargain. Plus, Jeremy is on the test track in the powerful Pagani Zonda R, whilst Nick Frost and Simon Pegg are the Stars in a Reasonably Priced Car.
- S16Ep3: Series 16, Episode 3 2/6/2011
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May head to Albania to test the super luxurious Rolls-Royce Ghost, Bentley Mulsanne and Mercedes S65 AMG. Back on home soil, Jeremy is out on the track in a trio of high-powered hatchbacks, the Ford Focus RS500, the Prodrive Impreza CS400 and the one-off Volvo C30 PPC, whilst Jonathan Ross is the Star in the Reasonably Priced Car.
- S16Ep2: Series 16, Episode 2 1/30/2011
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May go head-to-head against their opposite numbers from Australian Top Gear in a car-based version of The Ashes. With disciplines including rallying, drifting and an Aussie version of double-decker car racing it's an all-out grudge match that will almost certainly end in tears. Also in the show, Jeremy is on the test track in Ferrari's new 599 GTO and another celebrity guest takes their turn as the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.
- S16Ep1: Series 16, Episode 1 1/23/2011
Jeremy Clarkson subjects the Å koda Yeti to a remarkably thorough road test, while James May makes a rare visit to the test track in the insane Aerial Atom V8. Meanwhile, Richard Hammond celebrates the incredible evolution of the Porsche 911 by racing a modern Turbo Cabriolet against its oldest relative and the power of gravity.
- S15Ep8: Middle East Special 12/26/2010
- S15Ep7: Eastern America Special 12/21/2010
- S15Ep6: Series 15, Episode 6 8/1/2010
The team purchase old British roadsters from Jensen-Healey, Lotus and TVR and they then take a wistful journey through the remnants of this country's sports-car industry, beginning in Norfolk and ending in Blackpool. Jeremy test drives the new Ferrari 458 Italia. Jeff Goldblum is the star in the new Reasonably Priced Car this week.
- S15Ep5: Why Ayrton Senna Was The Best 7/25/2010
Richard road tests the new Volkswagen Touareg as well as having race against two snowmobile racers in a customized Volkwagen Touareg (the one used in the Dakar Rally). James tests the new Buggati Veyron Supersport and attempts to take it to its top speed of 258mph. Jeremy documents the life of the legendary racing driver, Ayrton Senna with interviews from racing drivers who raced with him to the those who were huge fans of Ayrton Senna as well as looking back at archive footage from past races to see what made him the greatest racing driver of all time. Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz are the Stars In A Reasonably Priced Car.
- S15Ep4: Series 15, Episode 4 7/18/2010
The team attempt to build some interesting motor homes before setting off for a Bank Holiday weekend in the West Country to see how what that they have created holds up. Jeremy test drives the new Audi R8 V10 Spyder and the latest version of Porsche's enduring 911 Turbo cabriolet to see how they compare.
- S15Ep3: Series 15, Episode 3 7/11/2010
The team drive the Aston Martin Rapide, the Porsche Panamera Turbo and the Maserati Quattroporte as they try to find the world's greatest four-seat supercar. Richard test drives the the Chevrolet Camaro SS and the Mercedes E63 AMG. Rupert Grint and Rubens Barrichello take their turns as the Stars In A Reasonably Priced Car this week,
- S15Ep2: Series 15, Episode 2 7/4/2010
Jeremy, Richard and James try to find three cars which are equally at home on the race track as they are taking a family to the shops, all for a budget of Â£5,000. James takes to the track with a pair of Porsches, the 911 Sport Classic and Boxster Spyder, and Alistair Campbell is the star in the all-new Reasonably Priced Car this week.
- S15Ep1: Series 15, Episode 1 6/27/2010
- S14Ep7: Series 14, Episode 7 1/3/2010
In the final episode of the series, Jeremy Clarkson makes a film about the BMW X6 and ends up conducting one of the most expensive road tests in Top Gear history. James May drives the new Vauxhall Insignia VXR, accompanied by Margaret Calvert, the designer of Britain's road signs; and Richard Hammond tests the 340,000 pound Lexus supercar on the Top Gear track. The boys then try out the latest in electric personal transport in the studio, and the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car is blues musician Seasick Steve.
- S14Ep6: Bolivia Special 12/27/2009
- S14Ep5: Series 14, Episode 5 12/20/2009
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May attempt to prove that cars can be art by taking over an entire modern art gallery in Middlesbrough and filling it with motoring-related works, including some remarkable creations of their own. In their quest to prove that cars can be more popular than traditional art, the presenters set themselves the challenge of attracting more visitors to their exhibition than will visit a more traditional gallery over the same period, a task that forces them to engage in some unusual promotional activities. Also on the show, Jeremy is on the test track in a new British supercar, the sensationally fast and sensationally expensive Noble M600.
- S14Ep4: Series 14, Episode 4 12/6/2009
Jeremy Clarkson travels to Belfast to conduct an extremely thorough test of the Renaultsport Twingo 133 involving a tunnel, a ferry and the actor Ross Kemp. Meanwhile, Richard Hammond investigates ways to speed up your next summer holiday through the crucible of motorsport as he invents the brand new sport of airport vehicle racing. At the other end of the intellectual spectrum, James May tests the new Vauxhall Insignia VXR in the company of Margaret Calvert, the lady responsible for inspired design philosophy behind the familiar British road sign. Finally, Jeremy is on and off the track in the BMW X5M, Audi Q7 V12 and the latest version of the supercharged Range Rover.
- S14Ep3: Series 14, Episode 3 11/29/2009
Motoring news and views with Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. Jeremy and Richard settle the thorny issue of which company has, above all others, made the greatest number of truly brilliant cars. James has a novel solution for getting caravans to campsites without clogging up the roads, and Jeremy hits the track in a remarkable replica of a legendary rally car. Plus Radio 2's Breakfast Show DJ-elect and all round petrolhead Chris Evans is the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.
- S14Ep2: Series 14, Episode 2 11/22/2009
Jeremy, Richard and James attempt to save the planet by building their own electric car, and then put their latest 'green' creation through the rigours of the new car testing process. Meanwhile on the track, the battle of the continents, as Europe takes on the USA and Jeremy pits the Corvette ZR1's muscle against the finesse of Audi's R8 V10. The Star in a Reasonably Priced Car is Hollywood's hottest new property, Frost/Nixon and Damned United star Michael Sheen.
- S14Ep1: Series 14, Episode 1 11/15/2009
Jeremy James and the little one return for a 14th series of political incorrectness and exotic, automotive indulgence. In this opening episode, the boys travel to Romania with an Aston Martin DBS Volante; a Ferrari California and a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder. James drives the BMW 760i and Mercedes S63 AMG, whilst Eric Bana drives the Lacetti around the track.
- S13Ep7: Series 13, Episode 7 8/2/2009
- S13Ep6: Series 13, Episode 6 7/26/2009
- S13Ep5: Series 13, Episode 5 7/19/2009
- S13Ep4: Series 13, Episode 4 7/12/2009
- S13Ep3: Series 13, Episode 3 7/5/2009
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May confront the credit crunch head on as they attempt to find three sensibly priced small cars that won't make you miserable, a process that involves haranguing bankers, harnessing large dogs, and almost getting arrested. Plus, James meets American stunt driving legend Ken Block, Jeremy tests the mildly insane Mercedes SL Black on the track, and Michael McIntyre is the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.
- S13Ep2: Series 13, Episode 2 6/28/2009
- S13Ep1: Series 13, Episode 1 6/21/2009
- S12Ep8: Vietnam Special 12/28/2008
We'll be treading in the footsteps of Coppola, Stone and Kubrick as we journey into the heart of darkness with our very own Vietnam-based movie. In one of our craziest challenges yet, the presenters will be trying to travel the length of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in just eight days. As you'd expect, our movie involves rather less theologising about man's inhumanity to man and the futility of war, and quite a lot more mucking about with old motorbikes. Also, we're reliably informed that it almost definitely does not feature an overweight Marlon Brando in a poorly-lit cave. So, make sure you've armed yourself with what's left of the mince pies and Christmas chocs, settle-in and enjoy - it's going to be a belter.
- S12Ep7: Series 12, Episode 7 12/14/2008
James May travels to California to take a look at what is being hailed as the future of motoring, the hydrogen-powered Honda Clarity. Meanwhile, out on the test track Jeremy Clarkson has a high-voltage encounter with the Tesla, a battery-powered super-car, and Richard Hammond takes an affectionate look back at 50 years of Touring Car racing. The star in the reasonably priced car is none other than Tom Jones, and there are some festive fun and games in the studio to boot.
- S12Ep6: Series 12, Episode 6 12/7/2008
Jeremy Clarkson and James May invade Greenham Common airbase to ask if Communists have ever made a good car. Out on the test track, Richard Hammond goes crazy in the Veritas, a German sports car, and Jeremy conducts an almost ridiculously thorough road test of the new Ford Fiesta. Plus, London mayor Boris Johnson is the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.
- S12Ep5: Series 12, Episode 5 11/30/2008
Richard Hammond celebrates the 40th birthday of the iconic Ferrari Daytona by taking one back to its spiritual home on the Italian Riviera, before attempting to beat James May and a multimillion-pound power boat in a race from Portofino to St Tropez. Meanwhile, back in the UK Jeremy Clarkson is on the test track, testing the new BMW M3 saloon against a young pretender from Japan, the Lexus IS-F. Top Gear also tackles a political hot potato as Richard attempts to find the best sort of bus for British city streets by getting together everything from a hopper to a bendy bus and then racing them. Plus, Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud is the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.
- S12Ep4: Economy Run 11/23/2008
- S12Ep3: Series 12, Episode 3 11/16/2008
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May take on the challenge of making an ordinary second-hand car lap the test track as fast as a brand-new, purpose-built sports saloon. Also in the show, James travels to the frozen north and enlists the help of F1 world champion Mika Hakkinen in a quest to discover why the Finns are such good racing drivers. Meanwhile Richard hammers around the track in the outlandish Veritas sports car and Mark Wahlberg is the Hollywood Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.
- S12Ep2: Series 12, Episode 2 11/9/2008
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May travel to the US to take three new generation muscle cars on an epic road trip from San Francisco to the heart of Utah. And after the excitement of their last American road trip, this time they do their best to avoid letting a mob of angry locals pelt them with rocks. Meanwhile, back in the UK Jeremy tests the feisty new Fiat 500 Abarth and pop idol Will Young is the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.
- S12Ep1: Series 12, Episode 1 11/2/2008
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May decide to buy second-hand lorries despite knowing almost nothing about the world of trucks, and then set about discovering how easy it is to be an HGV driver. Which turns out to be a lot harder than they thought. Jeremy is also on the test track with a scary Porsche 911, a tame Lamborghini Gallardo and a surprisingly talented Labrador. Chat show legend Michael Parkinson is the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.
- S11Ep6: Series 11, Episode 6 7/27/2008
- S11Ep5: Series 11, Episode 5 7/20/2008
Jeremy Clarkson and James May show off the ageing but massive luxury cars they bought for the price of a new Ford Mondeo. Meanwhile, the Nissan GT-R is given a thorough workout around Japan's legendary Fuji circuit and, straight from the Dragons' Den, Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis are the Stars in the Reasonably Priced Car.
- S11Ep4: Series 11, Episode 4 7/13/2008
On domo-arigato-Mr-Roboto Top Gear, the presenters jetted off to Japan for the latest of our world-renowned epic races, Jeremy took a rolling art exhibit for a spin on the test track, and a pair of newsreaders drove our reasonably priced car. In creating the 193mph GT-R, Nissan has gone to extraordinary lengths. For example, to ensure there are no imperfections, the engine was built in the sort of laboratory normally used for the study of infectious diseases. The tyres are filled with nitrogen because normal air is considered too unstable. And, Nissan has spent more than six years making absolutely sure the finished product will soundly thrash a Porsche 911 Turbo in a race around the Nurburgring. Plainly, the GT-R deserved special attention, and what better way to test its capabilities than by having a race? The starting point was a small beach on Japan's west coast, while the finish line was a monument to the Buddha of road safety which is located half-way up Mount Nokogiri-yama, some 400 miles to the east. Jeremy would be piloting the Nissan along a network of motorways, before having to navigate his way through Tokyo's rush hour traffic. Richard and James meanwhile had to negotiate their way onto a series of trains, buses, and even a cable car, to reach their destination. So, while Jeremy was busy trying to break the sound barrier, the other two had to contend with the language barrier instead. Despite the best efforts of Japan's incredible public transport system and its 200mph bullet trains, Jeremy and the Nissan won. But only just. Style is a subjective thing. One man's meat is another man's poison, and so on. But if you don't think the Alfa Romeo 8C is by far the best-looking car around, then might we suggest you have your eyes tested and look again? Jeremy took to the test track in the 8C to see if the driving experience was anything like as good as its looks. Sadly, the answer was a big fat 'no'. But, as Oscar Wilde once said: 'All art is useless' - so maybe Alfa has just created the world's first V8-powered sculpture.
- S11Ep3: Series 11, Episode 3 7/6/2008
On la-mia-macchina-non-va Top Gear, our presenters achieved motoring manhood by buying their own Alfa Romeos, and Jeremy drove the world's most expensive smoke machine. We've always said on Top Gear that you can't really call yourself a petrolhead until you've owned an Alfa Romeo. The experience can produce profound happiness and utter heartache in equal measure, as these often beautiful Italian cars aren't exactly up there with Lexus in the reliability stakes. Unperturbed, our three presenters set out to prove Alfas are worth the repair bills by each buying one for less than Â£1,000. Jeremy turned up in a ragged 75, which is one of the few Alfas that looks like it was designed in the dark. James managed to find a mid-90s GTV, but sadly not the sonorous V6 version. Finally, Richard bagged himself a Spider like the one from the Graduate. Unfortunately, his was more Tony Robinson than Mrs Robinson. The presenters were set the usual barrage of challenges designed to test their cars' performance, reliability and looks. And, yes, bits dropped off, clutches seized, gearboxes disintegrated, and major components - like, say, engines - ceased to do the job they were designed to do. But other things happened, too. The bickering stopped. Laughter was shared. Problems were overcome, and Jeremy, Richard and James forgot they were competitors and began to work as a team. Men bonded with machines and what started out as a mere journey became an odyssey. No other car can do this. Nothing else can bring you such soaring joy and such deep frustration. Only in an Alfa Romeo can the simple act of turning the key and backing off your driveway become an adventure. The new Bentley Brooklands has a traditional two-door coupe layout, but after this all comparisons with normal cars come to an end. For a start, it's so massive it actually generates its own gravitational pull. It has so much torque from its ancient V8 engine that if you drove in a easterly direction it's entirely possible you'd make the Earth stop spinning. On top of this, it costs Â£240,000, without options, and takes several thousand man-hours to bring into being. Of course, applying Jeremy's usual power test-driving style to a car the size and weight of the Parthenon was always going to produce dramatic results. In this case, a detonating tyre brought filming to a shuddering but spectacular halt.
- S11Ep2: Series 11, Episode 2 6/29/2008
On Ski Sunday Top Gear, Hammond got to grips with the world's most powerful estate car. Jeremy accidentally drove to Wales. James introduced another health-and-safety-defying display of bravery from Top Gear Stunt Man. And round ten of the car world's longest running grudge match kicked off on the test track. Audi's new RS6 Avant is basically a practical family estate car with a faintly ridiculous 572bhp engine wedged under the bonnet. To test its sporting credentials, Hammond took it to the French ski resort of Les Arcs for a race against a pair of goateed French extreme skiers. Richard had to negotiate 22 miles of twisting, icy roads to reach the finish line, while the skiers would be taking a more direct route - straight down the side of a mountain. Despite the Audi's awesome performance, the chalet maid-bothering Frenchmen won. Mercedes has taken its elegant, if slightly uninspiring, CLK coupe and sent it to supercar boot camp. The result is the CLK 63 AMG Black Series. That means a lot of badges, but then this is a lot of car. Jeremy loved it so much he just kept driving until he ran out of British Isles. James May got his slide rule out in an effort to recreate one of film's most beloved car stunts: the spiral jump from The Man with the Golden Gun. In the film, an AMC Hornet is seen jumping off a ramp, making one complete revolution in mid-air, and then landing on its wheels on another ramp. What looks relatively simple on-screen actually involves some incredibly complex equations, and the genuine possibility of a horribly messy death for the driver. Enter Top Gear Stunt Man. Unfortunately, James misplaced a couple of decimal points, so the attempt ended in a huge and painful-looking crash. Rivalries don't come any more bitter and protracted than that of the Subaru Impreza and Mitsubishi Evo. Previous versions of these cars have slugged it out on Top Gear several times before, and it's always been very close. But with the Evo X, Mitsubishi has finally delivered the knockout punch. To take the boxing analogies to breaking point, it really is Mike Tyson to the Subaru's Frank Bruno.
- S11Ep1: Series 11, Episode 1 6/22/2008
The intrepid trio are tasked with finding better vehicles for the Police than the Astra. After spending their allotted cash, they are required to complete certain Police tasks (clearing a crash scene and stopping a fleeing vehicle) against which they are rated. Jeremy takes a spin in a Ferrari Scuderia.
- S10Ep11: Top Ground Force Special 3/14/2008
- S10Ep10: Series 10, Episode 10 12/23/2007
- S10Ep9: Series 10, Episode 9 12/9/2007
- S10Ep8: Series 10, Episode 8 12/2/2007
- S10Ep7: Series 10, Episode 7 11/25/2007
- S10Ep6: Series 10, Episode 6 11/18/2007
- S10Ep5: Series 10, Episode 5 11/11/2007
- S10Ep4: Botswana Special 11/4/2007
- S10Ep3: Series 10, Episode 3 10/28/2007
- S10Ep2: Series 10, Episode 2 10/14/2007
- S10Ep1: Series 10, Episode 1 10/7/2007
- S9Ep7: Polar Special 7/25/2007
- S9Ep6: Series 9, Episode 6 3/4/2007
- S9Ep5: Series 9, Episode 5 2/25/2007
Jeremy has a train at about 75 MPH crash into a Renault Espace parked on the tracks. Richard, Jeremy, and James pick some big farming tractors and compete them in a series of competitions. Jeremy drives the Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 and the Stig gives it a lap time. Richard, Jeremy, and James use their tractors to grow some bio-gasoline. Star in a reasonably priced car: Kristin Scott Thomas
- S9Ep4: Series 9, Episode 4 2/18/2007
The new Porsche 911 turbo is taken round the Top Gear track, as Jeremy takes the newest creation from German manufacturer Brabus for a spin round the track. James and Richard attempt to turn a Reliant Robin into a fully functioning space shuttle. While 'Hot Fuzz' star Simon Pegg is the latest star in a reasonably priced car
- S9Ep3: US Special 2/11/2007
- S9Ep2: Series 9, Episode 2 2/4/2007
- S9Ep1: Series 9, Episode 1 1/28/2007
Top Gear returns for a new series with the Aston Martin V8 Vantage up against the Jaguar XKR. The jet car accident which left Richard fighting for his life in September last year is also shown and Richard talks about his recovery. Jamie Oliver is featured as this week's guest as a 'Star in a Reasonably Priced Car'.
- S8Ep8: Series 8, Episode 8 7/30/2006
Last in the series. Jeremy, Richard and James learn about vans as they do tasks including transporting equipment for The Who. The prototype Noble M15 supercar is test-driven by Richard Hammond and racing driver Jenson Button does the F1 Challenge. Ray Winstone is the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car
- S8Ep7: Series 8, Episode 7 7/23/2006
Jeremy Clarkson and the Stig build their own Caterham 7s from scratch, before racing them around a circuit in Scotland. Richard Hammond tests the performance of the Ford S-Max, the Mercedes B200 turbo and the Vauxhall Zafira VXR. James May tries to drive across Liverpool faster than his two practised counterparts, and Steve Coogan is the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car .
- S8Ep6: Series 8, Episode 6 7/16/2006
After lambasting caravans over the years, the team embark on a caravanning holiday in Dorset. With the help of the Totyota Formula One Team, The Stig and a very large building, the lads try to find out how fast you can drive indoors. Film star Brian Cox is the Star in the Reasonably Priced Car, plus theres test-drives for the Vauxhall VXR, Mazda 6 MPS and Mondeo ST220.
- S8Ep5: Series 8, Episode 5 6/4/2006
Jeremy Clarkson spends the day at Towcester races, finding out whether the suspension of the new Citroen C6 is all it's cracked up to be. There's another car football spectacular, pitting the Toyota Aygos against a team of VW Foxes built in Brazil, and Oscar-winning screen writer and actor Julian Fellowes is this week's Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.
- S8Ep4: Series 8, Episode 4 5/28/2006
Richard Hammond travels to Cyprus, where he pits the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S against the RAF parachute display team. Jeremy Clarkson converts a Mercedes S Class into the ultimate luxury car, and the BMW Z4M is put through its paces on the track. Ewan McGregor is this week's Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.
- S8Ep3: Series 8, Episode 3 5/21/2006
- S8Ep2: Series 8, Episode 2 5/14/2006
The Yorkshire Dales is the setting for a contest between the Jaguar XK, the BMW650i and the Mercedes SL350, while a rally car and a jet-powered kayak compete on the surface of a frozen lake. The team hijack a drive time radio show in Brighton, and Gordon Ramsay is the latest Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.
- S8Ep1: Series 8, Episode 1 5/7/2006
- S7Ep7: Winter Olympics Special 2/12/2006
- S7Ep6: Series 7, Episode 6 12/27/2005
Jeremy Clarkson takes part in an experiment that compares his ability at a video game with his skills behind the wheel of a real car. Plus, Richard Hammond gets a taste of driving at sub-zero temperatures and Little Britain's David Walliams is the latest Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.
- S7Ep5: Series 7, Episode 5 12/11/2005
- S7Ep4: Series 7, Episode 4 12/4/2005
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May pit a mountain bike and a car against each other in a race through the streets of Lisbon. The team find out whether an Italian supercar can be bought for less than Â£10,000, while the Marcos TSO-GT is put through its paces. Round-the-world yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur is the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.
- S7Ep3: Series 7, Episode 3 11/27/2005
- S7Ep2: Series 7, Episode 2 11/20/2005
Jeremy finds out what is faster, a rock climber or the new Audi RS4. Richard and James have a new take on radio controlled cars and a trip down memory lane with the story of British Racing Green. Porsche Cayman is put through its paces, and this week's Star in a Reasonably Priced Car is Arsenal legend Ian Wright.
- S7Ep1: Series 7, Episode 1 11/13/2005
In the first of a new series of Top Gear Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May head for the Isle of Man to decide which is best: the new baby Aston Martin - the V8 Vantage, BMW M6 or Porsche 911 Carrera S. And car cultures clash when the Austin Healey Sprite takes on a Peugeot 307 in a hill climb challenge and a supercar, the Ascari AKZ1, takes to the track.
- S6Ep11: Bull Run 8/7/2005
- S6Ep10: Series 6, Episode 10 7/31/2005
On mud-spattered Top Gear, Jeremy was almost killed to death by a hovercraft, Richard got a lift in a Jeep with a Jesus complex, and James exhibited a level of daring not yet seen from everyone's favourite foppish gentleman. We sent Richard to Iceland to find some exciting cross-water Jeeps. The concept was: drive a Jeep thing at some water really, really fast, and hope the wheels spin fast enough to keep it skimming along the surface. Fortunately for Richard, who put his neck on the line, it actually worked. James went all the way to Dubai to drive the new Bentley Flying Spur. It turns out the 'Flying' part of its name is pretty apt, because the big Bentley's party piece is a top speed of 195mph. And, just to check they weren't fibbing, James had a desert road closed off before attempting a max speed run. Drive around any big city these days and you're unlikely to get much above walking pace. So why spend a fortune on a Ferrari when you could buy a few acres of field and some motorised outdoor toys instead? We tested a wide variety of hooligan machinery, including quad bikes, hovercraft and buggies, before coming to a conclusion. The Ferrari may be the more expensive option, but it's a damn sight safer. Davina McCall took a break from presenting Big Brother and shouting a lot to come and have a go on our water-logged test track.
- S6Ep9: Series 6, Episode 9 7/24/2005
On make-a-U-turn-where-possible Top Gear, we sent Richard and James out to earn a real living, and Clarkson got to grips with the world's worst sat-nav. The BMW M5 had a 500bhp V10 engine and performance to shame most supercars. Sadly, it also proved itself to have one of the world's most useless on-board computers. The sat-nav had Clarkson driving round in circles, albeit very, very quickly. So you've drunk ten pints and have no clue how you're going to get home. Your car's in the pub car park, and it's unlikely it'll be there come morning. If it is, it'll be on bricks. So what do you do? The answer is to call a man on a tiny little motorbike to come and drive it home for you. So Richard and James got their scooters out and took on the job for the evening. The aim was to drive a plethora of different cars and review them all as they went along. This would've worked slightly better if Hammond hadn't been afraid to tell his drunken passengers what he really thought of their cars. Chris Evans, meanwhile, came around to our place. Jeremy had a pop at his hair, and, in doing so, failed to remember the state of his own mop.
- S6Ep8: Series 6, Episode 8 7/17/2005
On waste-of-three-plane-tickets Top Gear, our presenters went to Iceland to find the best convertible while the new Ferrari F430 came to our test track. We sent them there with three new convertibles, the Audi TT, Nissan 350Z and Chrysler Crossfire, to find out which one is the best. They spent ages blasting back and forth amongst some of the world's most amazing scenery, before coming to their decision. We were therefore a little surprised to hear that their chosen winners were the Mercedes SLK, BMW Z4 and Porsche Boxster. Cheers guys. Seeing as he clearly can't be trusted overseas, we made Jeremy test the latest small Ferrari on our test track. He thought it was motoring perfection. Only one problem: do you get the coupe, or the convertible? Our star in a reasonably priced car was West-End legend, Sir Tim Rice. Things got off to a good start when Jeremy found out sir Tim owns a Jaguar. Unfortunately, he didn't know which one.
- S6Ep7: Series 6, Episode 7 7/10/2005
On long-distance Top Gear, Richard took a Ford Transit to Germany to see what it could do on the Nurburgring, and Jeremy raced an athlete across London. Could a marathon runner beat a car across 26 miles of London â€“ in rush hour? Jeremy was happy enough in a Fiat Panda, which, despite not breaking any speed records, handles well and is superbly reliable. It's a bit like a donkey: small, tough and really rather sweet. Sadly, Jeremy and the Panda couldn't contend with Livingstone levels of congestion and were beaten by well over ten minutes. What better way to celebrate the birthday of the Ford Transit than to hand one over to Sabine Schmitz and send it to the Nurburgring. Sabine was the person who laughed at Jeremy's driving skills when he took the Jaguar S-type diesel to the 'Ring'. He finally managed to get a lap time of 9:59, which Sabine said she could beat in a van. Sadly, she couldn't, but she got very, very close. Our rock star in a reasonably priced car was Justin Hawkins from The Darkness.
- S6Ep6: Series 6, Episode 6 7/3/2005
On splash-and-dash Top Gear, we had another one of our epic races. This time it was the Mercedes versus a big boat. We also invited David Dimbleby to drive full tilt around our track, and were slightly aroused by an Alfa Romeo. The race was on - 1,300 miles to cover. Jeremy was in a Mercedes McLaren SLR with only a CD of Margaret Thatcher's greatest speeches to keep him company, while James and Richard took a low-rent North Sea ferry. Destination? Oslo, Norway. The SLR was the only car Jeremy could think of that could drive through eight countries in a single day. It's got 626bhp, but the boat had a staggering 25,000 horses knocking about under its hood. But would power make the difference, or would it be tactics? Jeremy struggled a bit. He had to drive 1,300 miles in about 24 hours. He grabbed a couple of hours sleep at a service station, but then had to power on. James and Richard were all the while living in relative luxury. The duoâ€™s problems only began when they boarded a speed boat. Richard needed to be sick over the side a few times. Then their speed boat broke and they had to be rescued in a support vessel, which then started to sink. Jeremy beat them by a wide margin, which proves one thing: the SLR really is one heck of a car. David Dimbleby, presenter of Question Time and A Picture of Britain, starred in a reasonably priced car. Despite being jolly sensible on television, he managed a very respectable lap time.
- S6Ep5: Series 6, Episode 5 6/26/2005
On friendly-fire Top Gear, we got the British Army in to shoot at Jeremy, James earned his keep reviewing the Nissan Murano, and Richard drove a sporty Maserati. We revealed that the Nissan Murano has fantastic satellite navigation which actually takes you where you want to go, rather tha a golf course. It even has a reverse camera that shows you if you're about to back over a fox. The Jaguar E-Type and Aston Martin DB5 are two of the most evocative sports cars of all time, but which is best? The sheer impact of the Jag's flowing lines may have been slightly dulled by familiarity, but it's still a stunning car. Let's face it though, Bond drives the Aston, and that's good enough for us. Global speculation about the identity of the Stig often leads people to believe he's Damon Hill. But could it be true? Does Damon sleep upside down like a bat? Is he afraid of bells? One thing for sure is he managed a superb lap time. But is he the Stig? Who can say for sure... For Clarkson's test of the new Porsche Boxster S and Mercedes SLK 55 AMG, we decided to spice things up a bit. Jeremy was told to drive at speed around a military training base, while an Army sniper regiment was given the enviable task of shooting at him with big guns. At the last minute we were told we couldn't use real bullets, but still, you can dream. Instead, we used a special laser targeting system to record all the hits. The Porsche was first out, and Jeremy was shot only six times. On the Mercedes run he was shot 13 times, which, had they been real bullets, would've made enough holes to sieve pasta. Despite that, he loved the Merc.
- S6Ep4: Series 6, Episode 4 6/19/2005
On mother-knows-best Top Gear, Mrs Clarkson, Mrs Hammond and Mrs May dropped in to help their sons deliver verdicts on three new city cars. Richard looked at the BMW 3 series, and Jeremy got to grips with a new Cadillac. We took one limo, all dressed in white, and attempted to jump over an American-style outdoor wedding. Of course, no Top Gear stunt would be complete without the destruction of caravans. Cadillac is famous for huge, wobbly pimp-mobiles with enormous fins and pink paint. But the new CTS-V is its attempt to produce a Euro-style sports saloon. With the engine from a Corvette, it certainly had the power. But, thanks to having more warning bongs and bleeps than a passenger jet, it didn't really float Jeremy's boat. Omid Djalili describes himself as Britain's funniest Iranian stand-up comedian. He had some interesting tips on avoiding road-rage, and Iranian cars. Mrs Clarkson, Mrs May and Mrs Hammond came down to the track to give us their opinion on three compact cars: the Renault Modus, Peugeot 1007 and Honda Jazz. They were rated on the sort of things that are important when you aren't 45 going on 18. Jeremy has never once in a review mentioned tuning a radio into Classic FM. Mrs Clarkson, on the other hand, won't release the handbrake until the radio is set-up and ready. Mrs May also looks beyond James' criteria. For example, she's keen on acceleration, and good cornering.
- S6Ep3: Series 6, Episode 3 6/12/2005
In land-of-hope-and-glory Top Gear, the boys looked at two traditional British sports cars that aren't really British at all, Jeremy opened a swimming pool Keith Moon-style, Richard took a soft top Aston Martin DB9 for a spin in Wales, and James tested the Maserati Bora. The classic Maserati Bora may lack some of the performance of its brash supercar brothers, but at least it won't try to kill you with a mixture of petrol fumes and poor visibility. The traditional British sports car is back in the form of the new TVR Tuscan 2 and the Weismann roadster. Sadly, having been built by a Russian business boy and a bunch of Germans repectively, they aren't really British at all. They were very fast though. The TVR had also retained the very British traits of poor build quality and breaking down a lot, so Jeremy went for the Weismann. Hammond had a look at the latest Bat-Mobile, which features guns, a flame-thrower and the engine from a Vauxhall Monaro. Even Val Kilmer would look cool in one of these. He's played the Son of God, a policeman, a car thief, and the nation's favourite doctor - Christopher Eccleston dropped by. We unveiled the 'puppy test'. Is the Aston Martin DB9 Volante more attractive to the opposite sex than a baby golden retriever? Nine out of ten said it wasn't. Jeremy decided to open his local swimming pool. So, after lovingly restoring his Rolls Royce, he popped along. Except no one explained to him that opening the pool shouldn't involve driving into it.
- S6Ep2: Series 6, Episode 2 5/29/2005
To put it short: A search is on for inexpensive two-door coupes, and past and present Maserati's are reviewed. Full Summary: On cheap-and-cheerful, Top Gear our presenters picked up some ageing coupes for very little money and Jeremy had a look at Maseratis past and present. We gave each of our presenters Â£1,500 and told them to go out and buy a coupe that wasn't a Porsche. Richard picked a BMW 635 CSI, Jeremy a Mitsubishi Starion 2.6 turbo, and James a Jaguar XJS, in gold. Jeremy only managed 119mph around the track, which was faster than Richard, but not as fast as James. The only problem with James' Jag was that all the oil fell out, which sort of broke the engine. All of this had a serious impact on the next test: reliability. Each car had to drive to the middle of Oxford, a tricky proposition in a town filled with buses, bicycles and students. Still, Jeremy used his manly sense of direction to get there first, followed by Richard, who used his satellite navigation, while James and his Jag broke down five times en route. Then it was the final stage: a four-hour dirt track endurance race. Jeremy fooled around with his Starion and beefed up the boost pressure of his turbo. The performance increase was spectacular, but then so was the explosion when his engine finally let go. Richard won this event, as he did more laps than James. But only the Jag was still running when the chequered flag went down. The overall winner? Well, James' Jag, officially. But Jeremy still claimed that his Starion would've won had he not messed about with it. There's a lesson in there somewhere... Our star in a reasonably priced car was comedian Jack Dee. His lap didn't exactly set the world on fire, but he was very funny.
- S6Ep1: Series 6, Episode 1 5/22/2005
To put it short: Profiles on the Range Rover Sport and Honda Element, along with a game of car soccer. Full Summary: On back-with-a-bang Top Gear, we played football in cars, drove a cool Honda, and tried to blow up Jeremy using a tank. The new Range Rover Sport is so big, heavy and powerful that we couldn't really think of any other car to test it against. So instead we used a really massive tank. Jeremy tried to use manoeuvrability and cunning to outwit his Challenger 2 opponent. His luck didn't last long, though, and he was soon blown off the road. Hondas have long been favoured by, shall we say, the older driver. But when James drove the new Element he was worried it might be a bit too funky for Britain's pensioners. To find out, he took it to a bowls club in Eastbourne and asked the members what they thought. They didn't like it, which officially made it the world's first cool Honda. James Nesbitt joined a long list of celebrities whoâ€™d broken bits off our Liana. He decided to drive through one of the on-track signs, and didn't seem too bothered about applying the breaks. Good man. With our proud tradition of inventing new motor sports, Richard introduced the latest: car football. We took ten Toyota Aygos, a large bouncy football, and proceeded to have a game of motoring five-a-side. Much to our surprise, it actually worked. Great car too.
- S5Ep9: Series 5, Episode 9 12/26/2004
On a mid-life-crisis Top Gear, Richard declared a 25-year-old Mercedes G-Wagen to be the best car ever, while Jeremy had his face pulled off. The Mercedes G-Wagen is an ex-military vehicle. AMG, the custom-tuning division at Mercedes, got hold of one and added a bit of 'bling', then tweaked its performance to resemble an angry bee. The result was a military-strength chassis with more bling than your average rapper, and the performance of a sports car. Take the kids to school in it, and it looks good. Take it down to the pub, looks good. Take it to the moon, looks good. Imagine you are 40. You've been married for ten years or so, have a couple of kids, and a stable job. You know what that means? Yes, that's right, it's mid-life crisis time! It's the time when men (and, indeed, women) buy a motorbike or sports car, and get all whiney about having wasted their life. Well, if you don't like motorbikes, there's another option. The Ariel Atom's like a motorbike with four wheels, which means it's hard to fall off. According to Jeremy, this is how driving should be: fast and close to the ground. You can get one for around Â£20,000, too, which means your wife may not actually leave you in revenge.
- S5Ep8: Ferrari 612 Scaglietti vs Jet Plane 12/19/2004
- S5Ep7: Series 5, Episode 7 12/12/2004
On a little and large Top Gear, we took a look at a huge American 'muscle' car that might just manage a corner, and an electric car with less get-up-and-go than a lethargic teenager. We sometimes get criticised for smacking the environment around the chops with a barrel of oil. It's not our intention to hurt the planet and its fluffy bunnies, though. So we thought, let's have a look at the Toyota Prius, which was a new hybrid car containing both a standard petrol engine and electric motor. The theory is simple: use the electric motor for city driving, and the proper engine for motorways. First, the petrol consumption was awful. It managed less than a diesel Lupo, which defeats the point. What's worse, it was slower than a diesel too, which is really bad news - unless driving above 30mph scares you. The Mustang is another of those American 'muscle' cars the US loves so much. We wouldn't be surprised if somewhere in mid-America there are people getting married to them. To be fair, the new one looked amazing. It had a hard edge that made it look tough, in a John Wayne sort of way. If it could grow stubble, we suspect it would. But the Mustang wasn't perfect. The engine sounded like it had a smoker's cough. But you felt like a real man (or woman) behind the wheel.
- S5Ep6: Series 5, Episode 6 12/5/2004
On a cheap-but-not-so-cheerful Top Gear, Richard, James and Jeremy saw what sort of Porsche Â£1,500 buys you, and weren't impressed. And a member of the public got to have a spin on our track. What would you do if someone handed you Â£1,500 and told you to buy a car? Most people would pick up a well looked after Fiesta, or a Polo. When we buy second hand, we aim for the top. So we told James, Richard and Jeremy to each buy a Porsche for as little money as they could cobble together. We then got them to perform a number of challenges. Of course, Jeremy went totally over the top and bought a 928, which was a bucket of bolts. James did much better. While he lost 'cool points' for buying a white car, his 944 was the second-most reliable. Richard trumped them in terms of reliability. His 924 was powered by a truck engine, and therefore could probably survive anything. Ultimately, there were no winners. James' car blew up when the Stig drove it; Jeremy's blew up on the way down to Brighton. And Richard painted his a stupid colour. Our conclusion: you really can't get a decent Porsche for Â£1,500. When Billy Baxter wrote and asked for a go on the track, we couldn't resist. Billy had just one slight disadvantage: he's blind. He made it round in a touch over 2 minutes, which beat both Terry Wogan and Richard Whiteley.
- S5Ep5: Series 5, Episode 5 11/21/2004
On a Europhile Top Gear, the NÃ¼rburgring took its toll, and Richard was busy inventing a new sport... The story of the people carrier began with the Renault Espace. For a long time, it looked like Renault had lost its mind. It sold nine in the first year. But over time, the Espace became a common sight on UK roads. While you wouldn't necessarily associate people carriers with racing, that didn't stop us from having a go. You see, we were bored by F1 and felt there was a gap in the racing calendar that needed to be filled. So we got some of the finest drivers and put them in a selection of the best people carriers known to man. The drivers did their best, but somehow the vehicles didn't seem to have what it takes. First and second places went to the Renault Espaces, though. The M6 Toll road has described itself as 'the most exciting development in British transport history for many years'. Well, sorry to break it to you guys, but the Germans have taken toll roads to a whole new level of exciting. Imagine being allowed to take your car for a spin at Silverstone. That's what NÃ¼rburgring does. You can drive as fast as you like around a one-way racetrack. So, what better way to test the diesel engine in the Jaguar S-Type than by trying to get it around in under ten minutes. Jeremy's 'course coach' found the whole thing jolly amusing, and didn't seem to think he was up to the task. Thankfully for his pride, Jeremy proved her wrong.
- S5Ep4: Series 5, Episode 4 11/14/2004
In a totally conkers Top Gear, James and Richard came in for a bit of a fright, while Jeremy decided which supercar he liked most. The Pagani Zonda roadster was pretty good. Although, with a price tag of more than Â£400,000, you'd hope so. The car belongs to the 'smile' club: it's impossible not to have a Cheshire cat-style grin on your face. We introduced 'caravan conkers': caravans hanging from steel cable and huge cranes. Top Gear's desire to rid the world of them was given a huge boost. Jimmy Carr proved the Suzuki Liana is no laughing matter. Smart claims it based the interior of the ForFour on a living room. The only way to test it would be to see how it performed as one. The rules were simple: Richard and James had to spend 24 hours in it. They weren't even allowed bathroom breaks. Despite the mental torture, the car went down quite well. They found it roomy and light, and not a bad drive. The only problem was the price. If money were no object, which would you buy: a Ferrari 575 or Aston Martin Vanquish? There's the distinctive style and effortless brilliance of the Ferrari (your inner child's desperate to drive one). The Aston, meanwhile, makes you feel like James Bond. It's exciting, one of the best-looking cars on the planet, and goes like a stink. Jeremy and fellow petrol-head Steve Coogan voted for the Aston. Technically, it's not quite as good; it's heavier and a bit slower. But you don't feel stupid when you're stuck in traffic. Moreover, while your inner child yearns for a Ferrari, it wants to be James Bond even more.
- S5Ep3: Series 5, Episode 3 11/7/2004
In a Chelsea-tracker-boys Top Gear, a Viper put tyre to road and wrote its name, while Jeremy took a Discovery up a decent-sized hill. Usually, 4x4 cars are found clogging up Chelsea and Kensington. It's a rare day that you see one on a bit of mud. A little-known theory is that there are two types: those that look like they could go off-road, such as the BMW X3, and those that can go off-road, such as the Land Rover Discovery. The Disco' was a car with a proud off-road heritage. So could the new one prove it isn't a waste of the 4x4 badge? The answer was yes. Jeremy took one up a hill in Scotland. And of course, this being Top Gear, it wasn't just any hill, but one that no car has ever been to the top of before. To our surprise, the Discovery took to the hills like a duck to water. It got to the pinnacle and, although it needed some burly men to give it a shin up from time to time, we were impressed. Joanna Lumley took the Liana out on our track to show what an absolutely fabulous driver she is. The old Dodge Viper was made out of bits that Dodge had left lying around, such as bin bags, bits of railway and lorries. The new Viper was different. For a start, it was given the snappy name the SRT-10. It featured exciting new automotive developments, including, but not limited to, 'windows', 'a place at the back to put stuff', and 'a roof'.
- S5Ep2: Series 5, Episode 2 10/31/2004
On a psychedelic Top Gear, Jeremy worked out an innovative way to get hold of a Ferrari Enzo, and we put the spawn of Thatcherism through its paces. There weren't many cars that we hadn't been allowed to take out for a spin. One was the Ferrari Enzo. You can't just pitch up at a dealer and expect to buy one; Ferrari has to invite you. And, because it costs half a million quid, the firm wasn't keen to lend us one. We had to find someone who was. Pink Floyd drummer and master author Nick Mason was the man. By sheer coincidence, he happened to have a new book out. It was probably the fastest car we'd ever seen. Skateboards don't have a lot in common with cars. We wondered what sort would be able to race one. Well, there's such a device and, apparently, when you push it down a hill, it does a very decent job of beating a Mitsubish Evo. But would it be able to out-run a Bowler Wildcat, or would our teenager end up with mud on his face? Well, they say mud's good for the skin. It was close, though. It has to be said that some of the best cars ever produced hail from the Thatcher era. But would a 15-year-old McLaren F1 be better than a 2003 Ferrari Enzo? Or would the Jaguar XJ220 be quicker than a Pagani Zonda? The answer to both questions is yes. But which would be the best car? Well, good though the Ferrari Enzo is (and it is excellent), it was beaten by its older brother - the F40, which lacks the F60's onboard computer, which frankly makes the whole thing a much more exciting drive.
- S5Ep1: Series 5, Episode 1 10/24/2004
In a hair-raising Top Gear, Jeremy had to eat more than his words, Richard did something naughty to an ice-cream van, and the RAF dropped by - literally. The Porsche 911 Carrera S had a ride so rough it could turn your bones to dust. That said, the rear engine and near perfect weight balance made it hug the road the way LycraÂ® clings to a gymnast. We once showed a concept Vauxhall and Jeremy said: "If the finished version looks like that, I'll eat my hair". To our surprise, the new Astra did. So Antony Worrall Thompson dropped in to help Jeremy eat a wonderful dish we called 'hair omelette'. (Please don't try this at home.) Each summer, parents up and down the land dread the high-pitched twinkling sound that ice-cream trucks emit. The choices are twofold: you can either listen to children's demands until your ears bleed, or give in to the little scallywags and spend 3 million quid on ice cream for them and whichever snot-nosed friends happen to be destroying your house at the time. We decided to try to jump an ice cream van over a handful of bouncy castles. The result was terminal for the vehicle. We also packed Jeremy, Richard and James into cars from Australia, the US and Britain, and sent them to Pendine Sands in Wales. The cars were the Vauxhall Monaro VXR (Australian), a Chrysler 300c (American) and, holding up the British corner, the Jaguar S type R, which made a somewhat dramatic entrance by way of an RAF Hercules. After a day of comprehensive thrashing through sand and water, the team all agreed: the Monaro was the clear winner.
- S4Ep10: Series 4, Episode 10 8/1/2004
On a size-is-everything Top Gear, James went on a Bargain Hunt, and Richard drove a lean, mean, American machine. Pedestrians just bounce off it gently, trees inhale super-clean exhaust fumes, and it's got a mouth bigger than Jaws. But the Peugeot 407 is French, and therefore automatically cool, regardless of how daft it looks. It has all the toys corporate owners demand. Hammond did something most reps won't and took it to a racetrack, stuck a light on the top, and used it as a safety car. It worked magnificently. We sent James out on a mission: take the king of all estate cars, a Volvo, and bring back something nice to sit on. James discovered it didn't have any boot space. But that didn't stop him from finding a 'nice' sofa that did fit. Let's face it, interior design isn't exactly his forte. We took a look at an American classic, the Corvette. The suspension was too hard, but it was preferable to the usual bouncy castle system the Americans seem to enjoy, and had another of those interiors that looks like it's been fashioned out of old ashtrays. Most of us have seen the school-run mums with their enormous 'off-road' vehicles. Most of us have shouted some sort of abuse at them. So when BMW announced the X3, several of us took a deep breath and held back the tears. It's not the car for you if you need to use your spine, or have any plans to drive on short grass.
- S4Ep9: Series 4, Episode 9 7/25/2004
On a thrill-seeking Top Gear, Richard and James went on a convertible testing excursion to the top of Scotland, while we answered the question on everyone's lips: can you parachute into a moving car? 'Roadsters' are a properly British thing - sporty little two-seaters for zipping around country roads. They're as much a part of this country as ugly, fuel-guzzling SUVs are part of America. So what makes a good roadster? Richard took the Mazda MX5, Toyota MR2 and Fiat Barchetta out. Big surprise, the Japanese had done it again. He was thrown out of the SAS for misuse of Her Majesty's explosives. He found the hitherto Lost City of Ubar, and walked unsupported across the Antarctic. Sir Ranulph Fiennes was our star in a reasonably priced car. Feeling slightly ambitious after our chat with Sir Ranulph, we decided it was time to have a crack at the dare-devil game ourselves. We took a light aircraft, a man, another man, a car and a parachute, put them all together - and what did we get? That's right, an attempt to land a parachutist into a Mercedes travelling at 50mph. Roadsters aren't for everyone. So what do the women and hairdressers get? That's right, the cabriolet. These tend to be slightly more practical, but quite a lot more expensive. But they offer room not only for a hairdryer, but creature comforts such as curling tongs, eight bottles of shampoo and five types of conditioner. So, who better than 'The Shirt' and 'The Hair' to test convertibles from Audi, Mercedes, Vauxhall and Mini up in the wilds of Scotland.
- S4Ep8: Series 4, Episode 8 7/18/2004
On a fly-like-a-bird Top Gear, we abused a jet engine and 2CV, Jeremy took the Ford GT for a spin, and James went for a ride on a nimble mountain goat. So you want a saloon car with good looks and an executive feel, but the performance of a racing supercar when you get out of the city. Well, enter the Maserati quattroporte. Sounds exciting? Actually it just means 'four-door'. To make this car even slightly interesting, it needs to be taken to a mountain or very bendy road. Martin Clunes came round to show us his lead foot. It does 575mph, can carry 386 people, and there's enough room on its wings to park 45 cars. What are we on about? The Boeing 747. 'But,' we hear you ask, 'how does that make my evening any more interesting?' The answer doesn't have much to do with flying, but it does involve breaking some stuff - specifically, a Citroen 2CV and Ford Mondeo. Our mission: to see if our two hapless automotive volunteers could survive a drive through the jet exhaust. Jeremy took the latest Ford GT production model out for a spin and, more importantly, so did the Stig. There are two things that are absolutely guaranteed to rattle the chains of good drivers. The first: idiots who drive along in the middle lane in an ignorant haze of poor driving skills. Second: people who drive into yellow box junctions when they aren't turning right and just stop, as if they're waiting for the second coming. The best way to punish the latter is to embarrass them. Armed with a couple of placards, some cheerleaders, and a couple of 'yellow box bears', we did just that.
- S4Ep7: Series 4, Episode 7 7/11/2004
On a going-for-a-song Top Gear, Lionel Richie could have probably driven 'all night long'. James and Richard took to the streets of south London to give two tall hatchbacks a good thrashing, while Jeremy drove a Mercedes with more power than Superman. Imagine if you took all the torque in the world and shoehorned it into a car - what would you end up with? Well, Jeremy seemed to have found the answer: the Mercedes CL65 - a car with so much power you could probably use it to travel through time. However, it turned out that even this car couldn't beat the enormous power of an eight-man tug-of-war team. No doubt most people have had the pleasure of being in a private mini-cab. These marvels of technology have several defining traits. First, one or more of their shock absorbers must be completely broken. Second, the internal cabin temperature must never drop below 75 degrees celsius. Third, the car must never, ever exceed 25mph. The other thing about cabs is that they have a hard life; drunk people clutching kebabs certainly takes it toll. So it was with this in mind that Richard and James ventured forth with their new super-sub-tall-family-micro cars: the Ford Focus C-Max and Renault Scenic. Could these cars withstand a night on the tiles, or would they buckle under the pressure? The conclusion? Well, simply put: don't waste your money. The boys reckoned these cars aren't much bigger, or more resilient, than their 'standard' counterparts, and they cost up to Â£2,000 more. The Top Gear studio welcomed Lionel Richie - a man whose music is iconic, lives in a staggeringly huge house, and never gets rid of a car.
- S4Ep6: Series 4, Episode 6 6/13/2004
In a house-of-the-rising-sun Top Gear, Richard found an American car that goes around corners, James decided the worst car Jaguar ever built was the best British car ever, and Jeremy drove a cube. Now, Japanese television has always made the rest of the world laugh. Its crazy antics are always cropping up on 'The world's most idiotic game shows 3'; and 'How to kill yourself during a quiz'. But the cars they chuck out are the cornerstone of reliability. Toyota has for years proved it's possible to bolt a car together for Â£9,000 and still make it last for 3 million years. So Jeremy took a look at another Japanese manufacturer's car: the Nissan Cube. Trust us, the name described it perfectly. Jaguar used to be a British company, which meant that, although the cars were great in theory, in practice they were made out of rubbish and invariably fell apart within the first two years. However, James discovered that the most striking Jaguar of all, the XJS, can be refitted and made into something approaching a decent motor. Our guest Terry Wogan made the Nissan Cube look fast. Cadillac specialises in cars for people who are about to die of old age. It also has an interesting sideline in cars that look like a complete idiot designed them. But the CTS is one of the few American cars that's capable of going round a corner without sliding into a ditch.
- S4Ep5: Series 4, Episode 5 6/6/2004
On a get-down-and-dirty Top Gear, Johnny Vaughan and Denise Van Outen blew up our reasonably priced car. We attempted to fry Richard with lightning, and got some cars really, really messy, while Jeremy got in an MG and smoked a pipe. We thought it would be a jolly good idea if we tried to kill Richard with a large amount of electricity. So we made sure the BBC insurance policy hadn't lapsed, borrowed a Golf, and stuck him and his shirt in a huge lightning generator. The look on his face when the first bolt hit was priceless. Then we decided Jeremy needed to take a look at what remains of the British motor industry. The MG ZT - a Rover 75 with a Mustang engine stuffed under the hood - was what we got. To our surprise, Jeremy didn't hate it. He didn't like it much either. Johnny Vaughan and the ever lovely Denise Van Outen came along to take a spin in the reasonably priced car. Sadly, Johnny broke the Liana before Denise got to have a go. Now, the BMW 6 series had been accused by some (Jeremy) of being the most abhorrent creation yet to be spewed from the guts of the company. But is it any good on the beach? Jeremy, James and Richard went to the edge of the island to race a Porsche, Jaguar, and the BMW. They got them really dirty, but winner was clear: the Jag rules.
- S4Ep4: Series 4, Episode 4 5/30/2004
On a good-sport Top Gear, we raced a Street Ka against a racing pigeon. We played darts with cars, Jeremy attempted to drive 800 miles on one tank of petrol, and Ronnie O'Sullivan came and snookered us. Jeremy went all green! Diesel cars are well known for their brilliant fuel economy. That's why the Americans refuse to drive them. So we wondered just how good is a diesel engine? Could Jeremy drive an Audi A8 all the way to Edinburgh and back on just one tank? It sounded absolutely insane. Even Audi laughed at us when we told it what we were doing. "Zis car can't go 800 miles on one tank of ze petrol," the firm said. We pitted a Street KA which had the best satellite navigation system we could find, against a professional homing pigeon. The result? Well, let's just say the pigeon looked very smug. On the whole, sport involves a lot of running around and getting hot and sweaty. There's only one sport that requires absolutely no physical prowess at all: darts. So we thought: how can we work a game of darts into Top Gear? The answer was simple. We replaced the fat, beer soaked, tattooed arm with a pneumatic cannon, and the darts with cars. Hey, presto! Car Darts. Just don't ask why.
- S4Ep3: Series 4, Episode 3 5/23/2004
On a shirt-raising Top Gear, Jordan showed us it's possible to drive with your airbags fully deployed. Richard drove an American icon, while Jeremy got his pants in a knot. A Â£100 doesn't buy you much these days. It's probably just enough to fill up your petrol tank twice, or buy a really good pair of hair straighteners. So when we told the presenters to buy a car for less than a 'ton', you can imagine what they said. To their credit, they managed it. Jeremy bought a Volvo, James grabbed an Audi, and Richard a Rover. Then we sent them off to complete a number of challenges. Three walls and one broken bone later, Jeremy came out the winner, which made the others l-o-s-e-r-s. Now the Dodge Charger's a bit of an icon. It's the original muscle car made famous by the film Bullitt and, of course, its striking good looks. So, could you drive one today? Well, they go for about Â£18,000 in good condition, and drink petrol. But this is a classic and, as Richard found out, pretty good, even by today's standards. Taking a break from her busty schedule, Jordan joined us fully clothed (sorry lads) to take our reasonably priced car out for a spin. But was it a deflating experience?
- S4Ep2: Series 4, Episode 2 5/16/2004
On a fat-gold-chain Top Gear, the Cadillac Escalade showed us how it's done by rappers, and we made a nun drive a monster truck. Jeremy and James say you can't be considered a car enthusiast until you've owned an Alfa. What they lack in reliability they more than make up for in bling. Now, you've probably seen the videos: attractive women gyrating, fast cars and deep beats. It turns out they're all singing about one thing: the Cadillac Escalade. Odd, because it does something stupid like 300 metres to the gallon, and the interior looks 'like a wheelie bin'. It's a rule in the Top Gear production office: each week the person who comes up with the most outrageous idea gets off making the tea. This time the idea was so silly we couldn't resist doing it. The result? A monster truck, a nun, and a row of cars. Did Sister Mary rise to the challenge? Of course she did. After all, she probably had God on her side. Even James got in on the act of being 'bling' when he took Lady Penelope's car from the Thunderbirds film out for a spin. Except there wasn't much spinning going on; it's hard to spin a car that's 8m long. But it did have an amazingly cool automatic roof and door-opening mechanism.
- S4Ep1: Series 4, Episode 1 5/9/2004
On Apocalypse-Now Top Gear, a helicopter with guns on, a race against the clock, and mildy moist conditions - what more could you ask for? The Top Gear offices are famous for two things. The first is the shouting, especially when Richard's defending his shirts or the Porsche 911. The second is stupid wagers. Jeremy, James and Richard argued about who could make it to the south of France first: Jeremy in an Aston Martin DB9, or Richard and James on a 200mph train. So we started them at the Top Gear studio in Surrey and told them to get to Casino Square, Monte Carlo. The rules were simple: Jeremy couldn't use any trains, and James and Richard couldn't use any sort of car (coaches were allowed)... Our star in a reasonably priced car was credited as 'Whore, scenes deleted' for her work Frankenstein. She can also claim to have been part of the phenomenon that's Cold Feet. That's right, it's Fay Ripley. We invited the Army over for a cup of tea and asked if they would mind bringing along an Apache gunship helicopter. The Apache has 12 hellfire missiles, two rocket launchers, and a machine gun that can fire 650 rounds per minute. So, the challenge: Jeremy had to drive the Lotus Exige around our track, and stop the Apache from getting a weapon's lock. Simple.
- S3Ep9: Series 3, Episode 9 12/28/2003
On skint Top Gear, James had to play the music for this week's show on his keyboard because we can't even afford to go and buy CD's anymore. And Richard had to wear a cheap and gaudy shirt because he can't afford a nice one. Oh, sorry, apparently he actually paid good money for that shirt. Anyway, we might have run out of cash, but we managed to get a couple of cars to speed around in. The first of which was the frankly appalling Chrysler Crossfire. The frustrating thing is that it sounds really good, the engine's made by Mercedes, and it has loads of gadgets and a herd of cows' worth of leather. The problem is, it's just rubbish. Clearly it takes a lot more than just bunging great ingredients in a chassis to make a good car. We took the tiny Smart roadster out. The Brabus Smart is priced slightly out of most people's reach, but then so is the standard Smart. You do get a quick car for your money, but is it really worth more than a house? Probably not, but Brabus will build you a custom car to order. So perhaps something with fewer engines... We finally looked at two of Honda's Type R cars. The Civic Type R's a hot hatch, well designed, sporty car. Honda's very good at engines. This one will propel the car to 60mph in 6.6 seconds. Then there's the NSX. No one has bought one yet, but when they do, they aren't going to be disappointed.
- S3Ep8: Series 3, Episode 8 12/21/2003
On festive Top Gear, Richard messed about in a Â£38 million private jet. Jeremy was in SW18 drooling over a Mercedes SL. For classic car lovers, there are few more perilous places to drive than the Wandsworth one-way system. It's not just the horrid traffic and buses, this danger is financial. It's a classic car garage with the power to hit a man where it hurts most. The wallet. So we sent Jeremy for a drive in a classic Merc. Despite having a top speed of 6mph and a 0-60 speed that would make a Micra look smug, the man in the jeans loved it. Our star in a reasonably priced car was Johnny Vegas. Johnny doesn't yet hold a UK driving license, so you could have knocked us over with a feather when he did the business on the Top Gear track and got a lap time of 1.58. Richard looked at what Â£9,000 buys you these days. He was surprised to discover that if you buy Nissan, it gets you a decent little car with all the modern gadgets. If you buy Boeing however, it seems you get significantly less. In fact, it gets you one hour in a 737 BBJ2. But how do the two compare? Well, one does around 90mph, the other does 540mph. The Micra has all the toys though.
- S3Ep7: Series 3, Episode 7 12/14/2003
On extravagant Top Gear, Hammond went to South Africa and tested Mercedes' gloriously cool SLR. Get out your Union Jack, the boys gave their verdict on the best British car. And, a roomful of celebrities came round and tested our reasonably priced car. Richard went abroad to top-up his tan and to look at Mercedes' new collaboration with McLaren. It has an amazing 626bhp, does more than 200mph, and goes from 0-60 in 3.8 seconds. It also happens to look like an F1 car, which is cool. In fact, you could say it's the Rachel Stevens of the car world. Jeremy was surprised by the new MG SV. He was certainly surprised by the price, which is rather a lot more than most people would be prepared to pay for an MG. He was also quite surprised by its performance, and declared it to be 'quite a laugh', which is a good thing. Impressionist and comic Rory Bremner drove round our track at high speed. He certainly didn't let the side down, and produced a very reasonable lap time of 1.47.9. Then everyone made their way to the test track where they proceeded to argue about which was the best British car. Of course Jeremy reckons the Nobel is the winner, despite being made out of a Mondeo. Richard took the corner of the Morgan, which is, rather confusingly, made out of wood. James of course gets scared driving quickly, so he was happy to champion the Rover 75, which is stately, reserved and thoroughly pleasant.
- S3Ep6: Series 3, Episode 6 12/7/2003
On excitment-packed Top Gear, Jeremy meets something Australian that doesn't make him want to stick his head into a pit of angry snakes. James drove the best car ever. And Richard looked at the CoupÃ© Cabriolet's from Peugeot and Renault. Jeremy took to the mean streets to mingle with people called Kevin and find out why the CitroÃ«n Saxo was such a popular car. He also looked at the successor to the Saxo, the CitroÃ«n C2, which is set to be the new favourite of the boy racer. The good news is that the diesel C2 does a whopping 78 miles per gallon, which is beard-strokingly good. Sanjeev Bhaskar went for a spin in our low-cost Suzuki. The resident of No 42 was surprisingly nimble too, managing a lap time of 1.51. We sent James out to drive the Aston Martin Vantage. They got on famously, with the Aston proving once and for all that it truly is the king of the world. Then, in stark contrast to the civility of the Vantage, Jeremy took an Australian car, the Holden Monaro, out on the Top Gear test track. It's a 160mph supercar equipped with a 5.7 litre V8 engine taken out of a Corvette. It does 0-60 in 6.5 seconds, so it's quicker than an Australian making up excuses about poor sports performance.
- S3Ep5: Series 3, Episode 5 11/23/2003
On stylish Top Gear, Jeremy drove a Toyota Hilux in the hope of disproving the manufacturer's claims about its indestructibility. We looked at the new Mazda that doesn't have any pistons or pillars. James put the Fiat Panda under the motoring microscope. The styling of the Mazda RX8's a little unusual. It looks a tiny bit like everyone in the world made a suggestion about styling and Mazda used them all. On one car. That aside though, Jeremy was very happy with this little coupÃ©. It had all of the benefits of a sports car, and most of the good bits of a saloon without the tedium. The Fiat Panda made a comeback to Britain's roads and Jeremy loved it! The Italians have managed to design a cheap and reliable family car. All things considered, this was predicted a big hit for Fiat. Simon Cowell went on the Top Gear track and managed to get a top lap time of 1.47, beating everyone who had gone before him! We put a Toyota pick-up truck through its paces. The Hilux is sold worldwide as an indestructible car. We crashed our Hilux into bits of Bristol and trees. We parked it in the sea and then we drove it through a shed and dropped a caravan on it. Did we manage to kill the Hilux? No we did not, which makes us think that maybe, just maybe, it might actually be indestructible.
- S3Ep4: Series 3, Episode 4 11/16/2003
On Top Gear's Lamborghini special, James took a Lamborghini Countach for a spin, Jeremy tested the far more sensible Gallardo, and Richard looked at the car that started it all, the Miura. Richard drove the Miura, a car that was started as a pet project by a couple of guys at Lamborghini and which went on to become the template for all supercars. The Miura may have been the start of something beautiful, but it wasn't perfect. But as the first true supercar, it didn't have to be. The Lamborghini Countach was the motoring icon of a generation. But James found that you should never meet your heroes. The Countach may look that part as a supercar, but it's a bloody mess to drive. You can't reverse it, you can't park it, it's hot, hard to manoeuvre, and you'd never be able to use it to do anything except whiz up a motorway. It was then Jeremy's turn to put the new Lamborghini Gallardo through its paces. Firstly, Jeremy found that the Germans had drained a bit of the fun out of the Lamborghini. For a start, it's a little too well behaved. The good news though, is it still handles like an angry wasp. Plus, if you get it in yellow, it looks like one too. Our star in a reasonably priced car was Rich Hall. He sang us a song, and made it around the track in an entertaining 1.54.
- S3Ep3: Series 3, Episode 3 11/9/2003
On an especially safe Top Gear, Jeremy swaned around in a Saab and James popped on his wellies and went driving around an estate, in an estate. We sent comedy genius Rob Brydon out for a quick lap of the Top Gear test track. Rob's good mates with driving nut Steve Coogan, so it was his ambition to beat Coogan's lap time of 1.53 in the wet, which he did, with a time of 1.48. Nice! James drove the Subaru Legacy, a car that, while quite pleasant, wasn't going to turn any heads. Exactly the sort of car the aristocracy want, then. You could easily get a couple of hounds and possibly even a horse in the boot. The Legacy's also sturdy and can cope with as many five-year-olds called Archibald and Reginald as you can throw at it. It's also got some wonderful gadgets. Finally, we looked at the Saab 95, the most instantly forgettable car in the entire universe. People who own Saabs are nice people. They don't cut you up, they don't honk their horn at you and they never lean out of their window and call you names that would make a sailor blush. So if you're nice, you should buy one.
- S3Ep2: Series 3, Episode 2 11/2/2003
Top Gear mourned the loss of old stig, cars went fast, a new Stig was delivered, and Stephen Fry popped by. We were all shocked to witness the death of a legend. The Stig died during a routine nitrous injection-powered blast along HMS invincible. Sad though all that was, we've got a whole new Stig, seemingly delivered from the great Stig factory in the sky. And new Stig has promised to punish our cars even more than the old one. The first car new Stig got to try out was the BMW M3 CSL. Before Stig got his hands on it, Mr Clarkson took it on a pleasant drive round a few country roads ... at 100mph. Stephen Fry jumped behind the wheel of our reasonably priced car and took it for a spin. While he really is a terribly nice chap, he didn't give the Liana an easy ride and managed a decent lap time of 1.54. For years, driving anywhere during the summer months has been plagued by slow-moving lavatories on wheels. Or caravans. They're frequently tugged along by Volvos, and that gave Top Gear an idea. Why not jump a Volvo over some caravans. Then, when either or both got destroyed, everyone would be happy, and balance would be restored to the universe. here were threats of physical violence as Jeremy, James and Richard argued about which, out of the BMW Z4, Porsche Boxster and the Honda S2000 was the better roadster. The only way to settle the argument was to put new Stig to the test and see which car did the fastest lap on the track. This meant that Jeremy was proved wrong, and the Boxster was the best roadster.
- S3Ep1: Series 3, Episode 1 10/26/2003
On a high-tech Top Gear, Jeremy got to go on holiday. Sadly for him it was to Detroit. On the plus side though, he did get to road-test Ford's pant-wettingly good GT. Ford's concept car, the Visos, popped by to show us what happens when you throw the contents of Tottenham Court Road at a Capri and hope for the best. It may only be a concept car at the moment, but if it does go into production it'll scare the willies out of technophobes everywhere. And in the highlight of his career thus far, Jeremy drove the Volkswagen Lupo diesel all the way round the M25. The real surprise was that he actually didn't hate it. Martin Kemp zoomed around the Top Gear test track in a reasonably priced car. Did the Eastenders tough guy have what it takes to beat Jodie Kidd? The answer was no, but he did get a nice time of 1.54.
- S2Ep10: Series 2, Episode 10 7/20/2003
On low-volume-plastic-bodied-British-sports-cars Top Gear, Jeremy and Richard battled it out to find the best shed-built supercar in the UK, James took a look at a truly enormous Cadillac and comedian, actor and all-round nice chap Alan Davies got to grips with was our reasonably priced car. Hammond looked at the TVR 350C, which is yet another hairy-chested, plastic missile from the maverick, Blackpool-based manufacturer. It was pretty hard finding another car that could keep up, so in the end we didn't bother and raced it against a Harrier Jump-Jet instead. Jeremy prefers his plastic, British sports cars with the engine in the middle and therefore championed the new Noble. Richard wasn't convinced, so they tried to settle the argument with a typically mature game of Top Trumps. As a final decider, both cars were handed over to Top Gear's tame racing driver, the Stig, for a flying lap round our test track. The times were very close, but in the end the Noble managed a faster and much tidier lap. Jeremy, as always, was magnanimous in victory and repeatedly called Hammond a loser while doing a little dance. Later in the programme, Jeremy tested the astonishing new Phaeton, which is Volkswagen's first foray into the world of high-end luxury saloons. He revealed that VW's MD gave the Phaeton's designers a number of extraordinary rules for the car, including one that states the windows must never become fogged up with condensation. Jeremy immediately took this as a challenge and disappeared into the Phaetons capacious rear with a young lady to make things steamy. Before you all go running to Points of View, we should explain that all Clarkson did was boil a kettle and make a nice cup of tea for his new lady friend. Keeping with the luxury car theme, James May looked at the jaw-dropping new Cadillac 16 concept. A car with a bonnet long enough to compensate for even the smallest, erm, ego.
- S2Ep9: Series 2, Episode 9 7/13/2003
On high-tech Top Gear, we got a glimpse of the future of car design, Captain Jean Luc Picard flew by at warp factor 0.0001, and we looked at the new Vauxhall family car. As we're sure you're all aware by now, we have a track at the Top Gear base which we use to test all the really quick stuff. This time it was the S60R from Volvo. Volvo claims this is an M3 beater, but we weren't so sure. Yes, it's nice inside, but it's not terribly quick. Also in the studio was Mazda's new RX-8, literally straight off the plane from Japan. It's the successor to the RX-7, which was possibly the best looking car ever. James went to Germany to drive an gadget-filled American car that runs on air. The Hywire's the most high-tech vehicle ever. Not least because it doesn't have a conventional engine, or a gearbox or even an accelerator. But it's hydrogen power plant could change the way we buy cars forever. And it's green too, pushing just steam out of its exhaust pipe. Our guest in the reasonably priced car was Patrick Stewart from Star Trek. Patrick had a good go at commanding the Liana to go quickly, but it wasn't to be He did however, manage a reasonable 1.50, the same as Jeremy. Finally, a new family car from Vauxhall called the Signum. A Vauxhall with a difference, it's a car for a back-seat driver. And Jeremy proved this, by driving it from the back. But don't tell Vauxhall, they'd be a bit upset...
- S2Ep8: Series 2, Episode 8 7/6/2003
On fun-filled Top Gear, Richard and James enjoyed life under canvas, an Alfa Romeo waved its arms about a lot, and Darth Vader took on the fiercest evil in the known universe. Did you know that the British buy more convertibles than the French, the Spanish and the Italians combined? Well, we were a bit surprised as well. Richard and James took them on a typical British summer holiday to decide if we really are all mad. Our star in the reasonably priced Liana was supermodel Jodie Kidd, who, apart from being impossibly tall and rather pleasing to the eye, has taken part in the odd motorsport event. She managed a fantastic, Jay-Kay-beating time of 1.48. Now, have you ever wondered who's the fastest Master of the Universe? We did, and thankfully BBC Health and Safety let us invite, among others, Darth Vader and Ming The Merciless to our test track to find out. Luck was on our side, and the evil masters didn't destroy our feeble universe (or Liana), although the DALEKS had a go. It was the Cyberman who got the top laptime. Finally, Alfa Romeo joined the hot hatch race, and totally blew away the opposition. The 250bhp 147 GTA easily dealt with the VW Golf R32 and Ford Focus RS in our straight-line burn-out, but, as Jeremy discovered, that doesn't necessarily make it the best car. The main problem with these cars has to be the depreciation.
- S2Ep7: Series 2, Episode 7 6/22/2003
On safety-concious Top Gear, we had a man behaving badly (while obeying the rules of the road) in our reasonably priced car, and lots of safe and responsible stuff. It's been brought to our attention that we're a bit gung-ho, perhaps irresponsible. Frankly we're a bit confused by this, but we thought we'd redress the balance and dedicate an entire show to safety. So, Richard tested the safest family car you can buy, the Renault Megane. And he tested it by crashing into another car. It really was very safe indeed, killing absolutley nobody, which will keep the insurance premium down. If you're talking safety, you automatically think Sweden. After all, they gave us Saabs and Volvos favoured by safety-concious people the world over. And now the super-safe Swedes have come up with a new supercar called Koenigsegg. Fast and no doubt very safe too. Cheerfully continuing his blatent disregard for this week's safety theme, Jeremy also introduced a brand new Aston Martin V8 coupe to the world. The whole Top Gear team's pretty much agreed it's about the best looking car that's been launched for a long time. Finally, the star in a reasonably priced car was a man who used to behave badly, Neil Morrissey. A bit of discipline paid off on the track with a decent laptime of 1.49.
- S2Ep6: Series 2, Episode 6 6/15/2003
On speed-demon Top Gear, the 'driving God' does a track day and we tried to set a new land speed record. Firstly, Jeremy drove the Mitsubishi Evo 8 and the Subaru Impreza in Scotland. He prefered the Subaru, in case you were wondering. One or two rungs down the performance ladder and a fraction more insurable is the new 206 GTi 180. The question everyone asks when Peugeot launches a hot hatch is can it do justice to the iconic 205 GTi? Richard concluded that yes, the 206 wouldn't bring shame on its lineage. Although it probably would break down quite a bit. Richard drove the king of track cars, the Palmer-Jaguar. He loved it, and so would you. And he recommends booking a track day if you really want to explore driving fast, with minimal repercussions. We decided it was time new boy James was properly tested, so we set him the task of breaking the land speed record, while towing a caravan. Regretably, we blew the car up trying, and had to resort to dropping it from a crane instead. Still, at least the caravan was destroyed.
- S2Ep5: Series 2, Episode 5 6/8/2003
On Top Gear's man-sized blast from the past, James pondered the cabrio question and we discovered which takes longer to change, a gearbox or a woman's outfit? Anne Robinson was our star who drove the Liana around the track and proved a welcome antidote to a testosterone-fuelled show and, thankfully, she even drove like a girl and a got a laptime of 1.57. Next, James asked the question: "Are soft-tops really girl's cars or can a bloke get away with driving one?" If you own a StreetKa, the answer's 'no', but if you're brave enough to buy a Triumph TR6 it's an entirely different story. Staying with the subject of girlieness for a minute - could a bunch of Pirelli girls get ready for a night out faster than Ford's rally team could change most of the running gear on a WRC Focus? Initially we thought that pitting them against a gearbox change might be a little to close to call. What we forgot was that universes have been created and destroyed in less time than it takes four beautiful women to get ready.
- S2Ep4: Series 2, Episode 4 6/1/2003
Top Gear pounced into action with a Jaguar-themed show. An MP tried out our reasonably priced Liana and everyone drove a Jaguar, or two. Tory MP Boris Johnson - a man perhaps more famous for his appearances on topical TV quiz show Have I Got News For You than his political work, drove our reasonably priced Liana. His laptime was an unremarkable 1.56, although we're sure he'll spin that to be a good thing. Something about road safety probably. Jeremy tested the new XJ. The looks haven't changed much, but it's all new underneath - and much better for it. So much better, in fact, that Jeremy kept driving until he ran out of road. Finally, another Jaguar. We managed to get our hands on a one-off special called the XKR-R. It's a tuned XK with racing suspension, seats, a roll bar and even a stash spot for your helmet. It's a cracking motor that really works, thanks to completely redesigned rear suspension and a limited-slip differential that's more than helpful if you want to step the back end out. Oh, and it does 58mph in first gear.
- S2Ep3: Series 2, Episode 3 5/25/2003
Top Gear saluted the bad car and proved that even now, you can spend money on a load of old rubbish. There was a Starsky in our reasonably priced Hutch, and we took on the finest supercars from around the globe with a Â£300 Jag. Next, bad cars. We used to rely on Wartburgs and Polski-Fiats, but now we have the Audi A2, a car that's too tall, has narrow windows and shakes when you switch on the wipers. Then there's the Ford Fusion, based on a Fiesta, but you pay that bit more to sit a bit higher. We could go on, but there's no need - Richard has. He drove the new Lexus SC430 and didn't much like the styling. In fact, he was so unimpressed with the coupÃ© that he'd rather drive Hyundai's new contender. We decided to find out which country makes the fastest supercar. We should point out, though, that Britain's entry was our very own XJS. But it did have a trick up its sleeve which led it to beat a Ferrari. Namely nitrous oxide, which we'll admit is a bit of a cheat on our part. Now, what happens when you slot an American '70s cop show hero into our Liana? He breaks it, that's what. And would you believe he could do it twice? Well, he did. David Soul was our star in a reasonably priced car, and he owes us two Lianas.
- S2Ep2: Series 2, Episode 2 5/18/2003
On luxury Top Gear, a car fit for a Queen, a German sledgehammer in a velvet bag and we found the fastest politician. Running with the luxury theme, we looked at the new Rolls Royce Phantom. It's huge, and Jeremy reckoned it's the best car on sale. We also found a real piece of British luxury for a bargain price. It's so good even the Queen has one, and she drives it. It's the classic Rover P5. Recently, the turnout to local elections has been dismal. So we thought we'd decide the next set of elections with a MG ZR rally car and our track. We plonked a couple of politicians behind the wheel, and told them whoever won would have Top Gear's vote in the next election. Unfortunatly, it was the Liberal Democrat who won, so we had to renage on the deal a bit. Right, the Hate Board. Jeremy added those people who sit too close to the wheel (mainly female) and those who sit far away (mainly young male) to the board. Horses also made another appearance, alongside car interiors. The star in our reasonably priced car was celeb chef Jamie Oliver. His laptime was an impressive 1.50, but we also persuaded him to prepare a salad in the back of his trademark VW camper van, which was being driven by Stig.
- S2Ep1: Series 2, Episode 1 5/11/2003
On spanking new Top Gear, we gained one presenter, Richard Hammond was in a V8 tumble drier and we turned up the heat on the world's dullest car. But first, we saw Volkswagen's Beetle Cabrio, Ford's new StreetKa and the new Smart Roadster. Jeremy drove it, and he was impressed. Kind of... We introduced the Love/Hate Board. Actually, it was more the 'hate' stuff we're interested in. Pinned up so far are cyclists (not those who pedal through necessity, just those who squeak along to prove some misguided political point), caravans and people who sit too far back in their driving seats in an effort to look 'cool'. Talking of caravans, we decided to set fire to one with a jet car, just to prove how much we hate them. We also fried Britain's dullest car, a late-1980s Nissan Sunny. Our first star in a reasonably priced car for series two was Vinnie Jones - ex-footballing tough chap who's since made it big in Hollywood. His lap of our circuit was a surprisingly controlled one, which earned him a respectable laptime result of 1.53. We also gained a new presenter, James May. He joined us not only to help with the news and new car tests, but also to bring some hot car buying tips for those with more sense than money. The final gem in our Top Gear bunker was a sparkling Ferrari 355 - not. It may have looked like the real thing, but really it was a dressed up Toyota MR2.
- S1Ep10: Series 1, Episode 10 12/29/2002
On a SUV-bashing Top Gear, we looked at the Mick Jagger of supercars, the TVR searched for a new name, and we announced our review of the motoring year. But first, off roaders. You've heard all the cliches about people who buy these sort of cars - the closest they'll get to bumpy terrain is a slip up the kerb in a supermarket. But what actually happens if you try to go off road? There wasn't really any competition. The best car for going off-road had to be the Range Rover. The Land Cruiser did a credible job, though. Next, our 2002 review. We took a moment to reflect on the motoring year and hand out a few Top Gear awards. Highlights included the wierdest-looking Renault award, which saw the Megan, Vel Satis and Avantime nominated, but which the Nissan Micra won. If you're still wondering what the Mick Jagger of supercars is - it's the Lotus Esprit. A car that's been around for 27 years and is still going strong. Jeremy tested it to see if its wrinkles were showing. The answer? No - but the clunky gearbox will be the death of it. Finally, we formally announced the result of Top Gear's search for the fastest celebrity in a reasonably priced car: Jay Kay!
- S1Ep9: Series 1, Episode 9 12/22/2002
On a family-friendly Top Gear, we picked the ultimate family car, a celebrity chef was in our reasonably priced car, and the Stig met his match on the Top Gear test track. As parents buy even more ridiculously large vehicles to chauffeur their tots to playgroup, we decided to find the best one out there. The conclusion was a little confusing, but the Land Cruiser was a favourite, as was the Volvo XC90. Back in the studio, Jeremy decided to treat Gordon Ramsay to some automotive cookery, namely three dishes: Salmon Liana, Lamb Ã¡ la Twin Cam, and Turkey Forester. We can't broadcast or publish Gordon's reaction to the taste test. Suffice to say, he didn't really like it much. We also noticed all the fastest cars around our track had been lightweight. So what if you stripped some of the weight out of a heavy car? How much quicker would it be? We bought an old Jag for Â£500 to find out. The good news was that we shaved seven seconds of the Jag's laptime. But by that point it wasn't road legal either. Which was a shame.
- S1Ep8: Series 1, Episode 8 12/8/2002
On an action-packed Top Gear, a Knight took to our reasonably priced car, Maserati's coupe tried out our track, white van men battled for supremacy, and we turned a Lada into a Lotus. As the programme was all about performance, we started to wonder - can any car be a driver's car? Is it something a car is born with, or can it be bolted on? To find out we 'borrowed' an ageing Lada and gave it to Lotus, whch spent 1,000 hours tweaking it in an attempt to turn it into a decent track car. Did we manage it? Of course we did, although the car did still look like a Lada, which ruined the effect slightly. We also tried to find the fastest white van man. We had over 1,500 applications and picked five to race around our track in a tuned Transit. Predictably, one got lost and two crashed. The winner was a chap called dave, who drives a van for NTL. Richard lined up five superminis to test as an antidote to all this power: the Ford Fiesta, Citroen C3, Honda Jazz, Nissan Micra and MG ZR. His verdict? If you want practicality, it's got to be the Jazz. But if it's fun you're after, choose the MG. Sir Michael Gambon, one of Britain's finest actors, was determined to set a fast lap in our reasonably priced car. He managed 1.55, which isn't a bad time. Although it was worrying that he nearly killed both the Liana and himself in the process.
- S1Ep7: Series 1, Episode 7 12/1/2002
On a caring-and-sharing Top Gear, we tried to become all eco-friendly by showing you how the Government thinks we should behave in our cars. We searched for the fastest faith in the UK, a rocker tried out our reasonably priced car, and we learnt how to drive a Lotus Elise properly. Diesel cars are a lot better than they used to be, and we looked at a diesel sports car by Peugeot. Other green goodies in the studio included a LPG-powered Bristol and Ford's Th!nk. Richard road-tested the Saab 9-3, which scored well on eco-friendliness. But, green issues aside, Richard's reception to the 9-3 was fairly lukewarm. Better news was that you can drive a car the Government approves of and still have a laugh. The Lotus Elise had a few creature comforts (such as carpet and electric windows) and fitted in the same tax bracket as a Ford Fiesta. Next, we invited various Men of God to lap our circuit. After extensive research using a tuned Subaru Impreza, we officially announced that Britain's fastest faith was the Church of England. The star guest of the show was Status Quo's Rick Parfitt, who drove our reasonably priced Liana. He took to the track for a surprisingly short while, but that was all he needed to post a seriously competitive time of 1.52.
- S1Ep6: Series 1, Episode 6 11/24/2002
In Top Girl, sorry, Gear, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson was our star in a reasonably priced car, and the show was given over to image and style as we launched our 'Cool Wall'. But first - grannies. Our silver-haired superstars were back to take on handbrake parking. Anne was the most accurate with the handbrake on the day - some thought better than instructor Russ Swift himself. Jeremy dreamed up the Cool Wall - designed to develop into the definitive guide to what's cool and what isn't. Dividing the nation's cars into different classes of cool, we decided how cool they actually were. Remember, there were no rules to the Cool Wall, as Jeremy explained: "'Cool' has nothing to do with good looks, build quality or driving dynamics - just, well, 'coolness'. Cars can fall into one of four categories: seriously uncool, uncool, cool or sub-zero cool. Take the Fiat Multipla, for example - ugly, but cool. The Mitsubishi Evo VII, however - uncool. Why? Because it's just a bit too nerdy - unless you're a woman driving one, then it'd be cool. So do you see where we're coming from?" After a few gentle practice laps in the rain, Palmer-Tomkinson fooled us into expecting a very slow lap. We were well and truly hussled as she set a seriously quick time of 1.54.
- S1Ep5: Series 1, Episode 5 11/17/2002
On a DIY-themed Top Gear, Richard built a Bond car for Â£300, and the Stig man-handled a palace around our test track. But first, Maybach. It was around Â£280,000-worth of the best that Mercedes-Benz engineers could offer. Richard tried it on the show and, what a surprise, he liked it very much. On the next branch down the Mercedes tree was the dictator's car of choice, the S-Class. Brimming with new technology, this car demonstrated gadgets that would probably trickle down into the family hatchback in the coming years. The star in a reasonably priced car was Jonathan Ross, who strapped himself into our Liana, complete with his own specially made purple driving gloves. He did well, but he also cheated. In our previous episode we'd asked for gadget ideas to bolt to our Â£300 budget Bond car. The best ideas were passed over to our cut-price Q and the finished Rover 820 was armed with paintball machine guns and firework rocket launchers, which we tested in the studio. It was also fitted with an ejector seat using scrap springs, an oil slick (dispensing children's play balls) and a tea tray bullet deflector - ready to tackle the mighty Spectra!
- S1Ep4: Series 1, Episode 4 11/10/2002
On a secret agent-packed Top Gear, Steve Coogan tried out our reasonably priced car, Jason showed you how to buy a used Nissan Skyline, and we celebrated the launch of the latest James Bond film. We couldn't actually get Bond's real car, but got the next best thing. We pitched a standard Vanquish (that is, no machine guns) against the revised Ferrari 575M, and recruited Damon Hill to help Jeremy decide which was best. They preffered the Ferrari. But it's fair to say people don't hate Aston drivers as much as Ferrari owners. We'd also noticed that many of the competing manufacturers made a mid-range 2.0-litre-ish four-door family saloon. So we decided to get them all together and see which was fastest around our test track. The answer was the Ford, and it was the most fun too! Jason investigated the Nissan Skyline. This is a car that dominated its class in motorsport (some countries changed the rules to eliminate it from competition) and, especially in its latest guise, with so many electronic gadgets, it would even have impressed Q! Steve Coogan took his turn as our star in a reasonably priced car. The weather was predictably rubbish again, but after a couple of spins he really got the hang of it.
- S1Ep3: Series 1, Episode 3 11/3/2002
On an OAP-friendly Top Gear, grannies did doughnuts in a Honda S2000, an ultimate force in a reasonably priced car, and a bed spring with a bike engine took on the Zonda around our track. The hot debate centred on the best-looking car of all time. We invited two top car designers to help us draw up a shortlist. They picked the Porsche 928, Citroen DS, Lamborghini Miura SV and Aston Martin DB7 (that was, in fact, Jeremy's suggestion). It's not just the pros who know what a good car looks like - Jason Dawe took a few of the world's finest supercars to a primary school to see what the kids' verdict was. To everyone's surpise, they picked the classic Lamborghini Countach. Our next contender for the lap record set by the Zonda was a motorcycle-engined track-day car from specialist manufacturer Westfield, called the XTR2. It managed to be a full third of a second faster than the Zonda! A while back we'd asked grannies to volunteer for our doughnut challenge, and finally chose five hopefuls to test the track. All five managed to perfect the 360-degree spin. The star in our reasonably priced Liana was ex-EastEnder and star of Ultimate Force, Ross Kemp. He was frustrated by the wet weather, but still posted a respectable time of 1.54.
- S1Ep2: Series 1, Episode 2 10/27/2002
On a turbocharged Top Gear, we looked at a supercar from a shed in Leicestershire and a pop star drove our reasonably priced Liana. But first we looked at Ford's Focus RS. How did it compare with its hot hatch rivals - the Honda Civic Type-R and Subaru Impreza WRX? To find out, we fitted each car with the Stig and set them off around our test track. Jeremy was blown away by the new Noble M12 GTO, a genuine British supercar. It's arguably not perfect on the road, but show it a track and it'll astound you. Even in wet weather conditions, the Stig posted a Zonda-threatening laptime. Jason looked at buying a used BMW M3 - a proper super saloon bargain. Meanwhile Richard drove Subaru's Forester, an all-rounder that uses so many parts from the Impreza it 'takes years off the family man'. Our star in a reasonably priced car was Jamiroquai front-man Jay Kay. Jay was determined to beat Jeremy's track time - and he did!
- S1Ep1: Series 1, Episode 1 10/20/2002
In our very first programme we looked at the Citroen's Berlingo Multispace - the van-turned-people carrier. It found favour with the TG team for its cheery character, and even Jeremy raved about its all-round ability. Richard Hammond was impressed by the Mazda 6, and spent some time pouring over the Ford GT40 concept, which wowed our studio audience long after we finished filming. Apparently, if you pass a speed camera fast enough it can't take your picture - or so we heard in a pub once. So we borrowed a Gatso and set about trying to find out if it's true. We got our tame racing driver, Stig, to test the theory. To our surprise, the camera didn't just not catch the car, it didn't even go off. The bad news was, 170mph is the speed you have to do to avoid the little piggybanks. Our first guest in our 'Star in a reasonably priced car' feature was Harry Enfield, who tried out our big-value motor, the Suzuki Liana.