- Jeremy power tests the TVR Sagaris.
- Jeremy races a Fiat Panda against a marathon runner.
- Richard goes to the Nürburgring to see if Sabine Schmitz can beat 10 minute lap around the track in a Ford Transit van.
- Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Justin Hawkins.
Main review: Jeremy drives the first and only non-terrifying TVR, the Sagaris. James contends that despite his great praise for the vehicle, Jeremy would rather have a Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG because he’s a coward.
News: Jeremy has slipped two discs, which he describes as ‘repetitive oversteer injury’; Proton have announced the Savvy, as a ‘My First Lotus’; two new Mustangs, neither of which will be coming to the UK; Mercedes-Benz have styled a car like a fish; the Top Gear Survey.
Versus Challenge: Clarkson races the new 4-wheel drive Fiat Panda against marathon runner A.C. Muir around the London Marathon circuit during the morning rush-hour. After early success, the car gets bogged down in traffic and just as Clarkson approaches Tower Bridge, the gates are closed and the bridge rises. Muir wins the race by 10 minutes. Clarkson is impressed and back in the studio, Clarkson interrogates Hammond for failing to beat him on a train, a plane and a boat and commends Muir for beating him using “nothing except half a horsepower and some toast”. Clarkson praises Muir again and gives a Top Gear Top Tip, “If you’re looking for a faster way to get through London during the morning rush hour, don’t use a car — run!”
Greatest Driving Song of All Time: Deep Purple’s “Highway Star”
Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Justin Hawkins recalls driving across America in a Reliant Regal. Lap time of 1:48.
Cool Wall: The DB9 Cabriolet is cool in case you own one and it is called over a tannoy; Richard takes advantage of Clarkson’s injury to place the Maserati Gran Sport in the cool section and the Peugeot 1007 in the uncool section; the Panda is cool because it is a 4×4 and annoys ecomentalists; the Range Rover Sport is uncool because a reality TV star wants one; the two disagree over the SLK55 — Hammond says it is too fiddly and the two use large audience members to fight by proxy — Hammond wins at first, but then Clarkson intervenes and it goes in “sub-zero”.
Time Challenge: To celebrate the Ford Transit’s 40th birthday, Hammond goes to the Nürburgring to see if Sabine Schmitz can fulfill her word and do a lap of the infamous track in a Transit van in less than Jeremy’s best lap in the diesel S-Type of 9:59. Sabine fails on the first try, so tries again after streamlining and putting the van on a drastic and radical weight diet, and achieves a 10:08.49 the second time, coming just 9 seconds short of the time Jeremy had set the previous year. Back at the hangar, Sabine is invited to take over oversteering duties from Hammond for the next series, being ‘cheaper’, much better looking, a better (quicker) driver, and most importantly taller, as well as speaking better English.
“Some say that he lives in a tree, and that his sweat can be used to clean precious metals. All we know is he’s called the Stig.”
Stig Power Laps
Star in a Reasonably Priced Car