Challenges Epic Races Top Gear Series 4

Top Gear: Series 4, Episode 1

  • The boys race an Aston Martin DB9 against the TGV from London to Monte Carlo.
  • James does a sneaky road test on a Rover CityRover.
  • Jeremy power tests the Lotus Exige and sees if it can avoid missile lock from a Apache Gunship Helicopter.
  • Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Fay Ripley.

Episode Guide

Challenge: In a race to Monte Carlo Hammond and May take the Eurostar and TGV, while Clarkson drives the Aston Martin DB9. Clarkson admits that it would not be possible to beat the Eurostar and TGV in an ordinary car, but adds that the DB9 is no ordinary car. Hammond and May are not allowed to use any cars and Clarkson is not allowed to use any train. The finish line is the Café de Paris in Casino Square in Monte Carlo. Clarkson opens up a big lead in the DB9, but just over halfway through France, Hammond and May overtake him on the high-speed TGV. However, as the TGV line runs along the south coast, the train slows down as it approaches Monte Carlo and Hammond and May have to change trains. Clarkson accelerates the DB9 to speeds of over 120 mph and takes back the lead, arriving at the café about 2 minutes before Hammond and May. Clarkson calls the DB9 “motoring perfection” and consistently praises it over all of its competitors and its big brother the Vanquish.

The News: French Police are cracking down on speeders and the majority of those cited happen to be British. Remote-controlled robotic traffic cones are now available in America. James wants to buy a dozen of them so that he can send them out at night to reserve a parking space. New cars include BMW’s 1 series, the Ford Fiesta RS and Fiesta ST, and the Mini Cabriolet.

Review: James goes undercover to test drive a Rover CityRover from a Rover dealer after Rover refuse to lend one to the show. With cameras in his tie, fake girlfriend’s mobile and almost everywhere else in the streets of Kingston in southwest London, he had to test drive it without raising the suspicions of the dealer in the back seat. May later says it is the worst car he has driven for Top Gear and prefers the Fiat Panda in every respect.

Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Fay Ripley manages a time of 1:53.3 secs on a mildly moist track.

The Cool Wall: The CityRover is seriously uncool. The Ford Fiesta ST is uncool. The Ferrari 612 Scaglietti is uncool because it was styled by a guy named Ken. The Aston Martin DB9 is so cool that it falls into its own category: The DB9 Section (actually a mini-fridge).

Challenge: Clarkson undertook a challenge to see if he could evade being caught in missile lock-on from an WAH-64D Apache attack helicopter whilst acrobatically driving a super-lightweight Lotus Exige. The helicopter failed to lock on the Exige when remaining within the confines of the test track. However, when allowed to move further away, the helicopter acquired a lock on within seconds.

Stig Power Laps

Lotus Exige
1:26.90 (mildly moist)

Star in a Reasonably Priced Car

Fay Ripley
1:53.30 (moist)


Rating: 8.8/10. From 47 votes.
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