- The boys attempt to prove rear-wheel drive coupés are better than front wheel-drive.
- Jeremy power tests the Jaguar XFR.
- Jeremy comes up with a plan to save the world from CO2.
- Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Sienna Miller.
Review: Jeremy Clarkson tests the new Jaguar XFR, a car he compares favourably to the BMW M5. He concludes by stating that it is not necessarily better than the M5, but as good as it, a compliment of the highest regard. After the review, he qualifies that by stating that the M5 is slightly better on the track, but the Jaguar is superior on the road. The Stig manages a lap time of 1:26.7, 0.5 seconds slower than the M5.
Challenge: When the producers claim that front-wheel drive is perfectly adequate for the driving enthusiast, the three are given £1500 to buy rear-wheel drive cars, which will then be put through a series of challenges to prove their uselessness. Jeremy buys a Porsche 944 S2, Richard buys a Nissan 300ZX, and James buys a Ford Capri 2.8L.
As in prior challenges, a back-up car is made available to any presenter whose car breaks down irreparably. In this case, it is a Morris Marina, a car ridiculed in the prior series.
The challenges include driving several hundred miles to a track without breaking down, a braking test, and participation in an ice-driving race. While May’s Capri proves less than reliable, all three arrive at the track without serious incident. Upon reaching the track, the Stig sets a lap time in a Renault Twingo, a front-wheel drive car, which the three are then told they must beat. In this case, all three fail. They are then told to accelerate to 60 mph (97 km/h) and brake as quickly as possible. Items close to their hearts will be placed at the end of the track, similar to the lorry test in Series 12, Episode 1. Hammond stops well short of his motorcycle, Clarkson just barely avoids running into his drum kit, while May runs into his piano at near-full speed, smashing the piano and seriously damaging the Capri’s front. As he departs the track, Hammond runs over Clarkson’s drum kit anyway.
The trio are then told to travel 110 miles (180 km) to Val Thorens, a ski resort in the Alps. James finds the Capri running worse than ever after its impact with the piano, and after less than an hour the car completely ceases to function, forcing him to use the Marina, which Jeremy repeatedly allege belongs to the wife of the French President. Jeremy steals half the T-top roof off of Richard’s Nissan and throws it into the valley, as a “punishment” of rolling over his drum kit formerly. Arriving at the destination, the trio participate in a snow race alongside three professional racing drivers, including former Formula One driver Olivier Panis. They all fail miserably compared to the other competitors, but of the three, James finishes first in the Marina, mainly due to Richard and Jeremy frequently trying to knock the other off the track. They are therefore forced to conclude that the best rear-wheel drive car for £1500 is in fact a Morris Marina. As happened in the prior series, a piano falls on the Marina to close the segment, leading the presenters to run in fear as the credits roll, fearing the renewed wrath of the Morris Marina Owners’ Club.
News: They discuss the Autonomobile (a portmanteau of autonomous and automobile), a venture by Google, the makers of Android, to create a car that drives itself. They also joke about Jaguars, and how anyone who owns one is “slightly caddish” and can get away with anything simply by referencing their “Jaaaag”, for example; I just ran over your dog… in my Jaaaag. This provides a segue into the review.
Feature: Jeremy attaches a greenhouse to a Range Rover, attempting to completely reduce the amount of carbon dioxide coming from the exhaust. After driving quickly, the greenhouse smashes. It is revealed that he would need a much bigger greenhouse than he used to offset all of the carbon emissions. He then attempts to reduce the emissions from another Jaguar XFR with a box of soda crystals, which he does successfully, although he points out a new box of crystals would cost seventy five pounds and will only last for six miles until which the crystals should be replaced.
Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Sienna Miller is the star in the reasonably priced car. Despite having passed her driving test only 5 days before the show (her Virgin Islands driving licence allowed her to drive in the UK for 1 year), and not being used to manual-drive cars, she sets a time of 1:49.8.
“Some say he has 12 GCSE’s all in domestic science, and that he’s been producing artificial sperm for years – even though we have repeatedly asked him not to. All we know is he’s called the Stig.”
Stig Power Laps
Star in a Reasonably Priced Car