- Jeremy tests the Maserati MC12.
- The boys each buy a 2 door coupe for less than £1500 that isn’t a Porsche.
- Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Jack Dee.
Review: After destroying the disappointing Maserati Biturbo and lauding the Maserati 250F for its performance in the hands of Juan Manuel Fangio in the 1957 German Grand Prix, Clarkson announces the £412,000 Maserati MC12, saying it is “An Enzo in Drag”. Fastest car of 1:18.9. He is impressed with its speed, but, like the Biturbo, doesn’t consider it to be a proper Maserati.
News: The recently-released Honda FR-V, with its distinctive “3+3” seating arrangement, is discussed. The upcoming Saab 9-3 SportWagon, Hummer H3, third-generation Mazda MX-5, eighth-generation Honda Civic, and Ferrari 575M Superamerica, a convertible version of the 575M Maranello, are discussed. Clarkson disputes Ferrari’s claim that the Superamerica is the “world’s fastest convertible”, naming several other convertible supercars (such as the Porsche Carrera GT) which are faster.
Challenge: The team was asked to buy a 2-door coupé that wasn’t a Porsche for under £1,500, mirroring a competition they had in series five where they each had to spend £1,500 to buy a Porsche. May bought a Jaguar XJS, Hammond a BMW 635CSi, while Clarkson went for a turbocharged Mitsubishi Starion. They were then sent to the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire for a series of challenges to see who had got the best deal, scoring points for each challenge. The challenges included trying to get to 140 mph (225 km/h), having to drive at 30 mph (48 km/h) over Belgian cobbles with a bucket of water on their lap. They then had to drive to Oxford and meet up at the QI Club. Clarkson arrived first, followed 47 minutes later by Hammond. May never made it; his Jag broke down five times en route. Finally, the team were allowed to spend the remainder of their £1,500 on upgrading their cars prior to an endurance race in a farm’s field. The overall winner turned out to be May, followed by Hammond, but with Clarkson out of the running. May, however, offered to give the title to Clarkson if he admitted “I’m a clot and I ruined my car”, because he had installed a highly uprated turbocharger (said to be from Pentti Airikkala’s Group A Rally car), without any change to the cooling system. (and also because Clarkson almost tricked him into saying that the best 2-door coupé for less than £1,500 was “a V12 car made by communists”) The result was that during the endurance race, the engine coolant boiled repeatedly, destroying power and putting Clarkson out of the running. Clarkson instantly said, “I’m a clot and I ruined my car,” then celebrated his “victory”.
Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Comedian Jack Dee; Lap time of 1:53.5.
“Some say he’s wanted by the CIA and that he sleeps upside down like a Bat. All we know is he’s called the Stig.”
Stig Power Laps
Star in a Reasonably Priced Car