- Jeremy stays on in Japan to test the Nissan GTR at Fuji Speedway.
- James and Jeremy test their own classic luxury limousines: Rolls-Royce Corniche & Mercedes-Benz 600.
- Richard and Jeremy go fox hunting, using a Daihatsu Terios as a fox.
- Stars in a Reasonably Priced Car: Theo Paphitis & Peter Jones.
Review: Clarkson, reviews the Nissan GT-R and tests its abilities on the Fuji Speedway. He is impressed by its electronically-assisted handling and sheer attention to detail put into preparing each hand-crafted car to both provide and cope with the severe cornering, but is himself forced to stop when the strong G-forces cause him a strained neck, and he leaves the scene in an ambulance. The Stig, with a “weapons-grade titanium neck”, survives driving the since-imported car to post a time of 1:19.7.
Mini Feature: James shows off the Renault Megane Coupé Concept, including its power doors and keyless engine start, which are remote-controllable by mobile phone; however, the car will not go into production. Peugeot are offering a real world alternative in the 308 RCZ coupe, with a supercharged 1.6 litre 218 bhp (163 kW) engine (from the 207 GTi) and a specially-shaped rear window that removes the need for a spoiler. Richard however criticises the extremely unspacious rear seats, explaining that “even I’d struggle to get in there!”
News: Jeremy reveals the Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series, with a 6 L V12, the torque of which has to be limited to 1000 N•m (737 ft·lbf); it is £100,000 cheaper than the less powerful SLR McLaren. James posits that Citroën is the only manufacturer which makes only good-looking cars, but is shot down when Richard reminds him of the Pluriel. They settle upon Vauxhall, partly on the basis of the new Agila. Hilary Benn’s suggestion that higher fuel cost is a good idea leads to criticism. Richard complains that all his village’s local services have been withdrawn and that a car is the only means of accessing the alternatives in other towns. Jeremy likens Gordon Brown to Stalin, saying he is restricting movement by raising fuel tax, and that ID cards and curfews are to follow. Councillor Peter Greenalls is lauded for having the entire Swindon speed camera system scrapped.
Main Challenge: Clarkson’s wife had bought him a 1969 Großer Mercedes-Benz for Christmas, and May bought a 1972 Rolls-Royce Corniche Coupé “HJ Mulliner-Park-Ward” edition. They are set a series of challenges, including a handling test on a slalom course vs a 1.1 L Hyundai i10, a top speed and braking run, a quarter mile “push” race, and a test to successfully and legally park their cars in the middle of London. Neither presenter manages to complete the final two tests, but Jeremy tries to claim victory over James’ “Ford Zephyr” on the basis of better performance and handling, having more (hydraulic) toys, being owned by more celebrities (albeit mainly military dictators, vs James’ camp icons), a louder horn, and ultimately “having more petrol in” when James runs out and has to syphon some from the Mercedes, still hunting for a space. James’ car won some points as it was easier to push, and significantly cheaper to service.
Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Peter Jones and Theo Paphetis, judges from Dragons’ Den. Peter’s lap time is 1:46.9, and Theo’s is 1:48.5.
Challenge: “Saving the Countryside” – with Fox hunting banned, and “Green Laning” under threat, Clarkson and Hammond invent a new “perfectly legal” rural sport combining the two controversial activities, “Small Japanese Off-Roader Hunting”. Jeremy takes a 4WD Daihatsu Terios, towing a scent-laced satchel in a similar manner to drag hunting, and sets off through the fields towards Tewkesbury, aiming for a hill outside the town. After a two-minute head start, a mounted hunting pack, including Hammond, follows in pursuit. Clarkson manages to successfully keep ahead of the pack for almost the entire 9-mile (14 km) trail, demonstrating the mini-SUV’s offroad ability, despite his aggressive driving through rough terrain. He is eventually caught when he crashes into a ditch and becomes stuck whilst searching for a bridge across the River Severn. Humorously, Hammond and May state the Jeremy was, in fact, killed by the hunting pack.
“Some say that he isn’t allowed by law to be within 100 yards of Lorraine Kelly, and that he’s never seen an episode of Top Gear because he’s a huge fan of Midsoumer Murders. All we know is he’s called the Bergerak.”
Stig Power Laps
Nissan R35 GTR
Star in a Reasonably Priced Car