Top Gear: Series 7, Episode 3

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  • Jeremy, Richard and James go on a Super Car road trip to the Millau Viaduct, France.
  • Jeremy tests the Ford Focus ST.
  • Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Stephen Ladyman.

Episode Guide

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Main review: Clarkson reviews the Ford Focus ST (jokingly referred to as the ASBO), bringing a modern touch to British motoring. With as much power as the hot Renault Megane from last series, Jeremy lavishes the car with praise. The Stig takes the car to a 1:34.9 time, on a slippery and foggy track. If under normal conditions, it would have been the fastest hatchback yet tested.

News: Top Gear announces that they won an International Emmy for the Non-Scripted Entertainment category. Clarkson explains that he was unable to go to New York to receive the award since he was too busy writing the script for that episode.

Star in a reasonably priced car: British transport minister Stephen Ladyman injures the Liana when he loses control of the car and goes backward into a tyre wall. Despite this setback, Ladyman posts a time of 1:48.8. Ladyman reveals that he is a petrolhead and owns an Alfa Romeo despite his staunch law-and-order stance on speed cameras.

The Cool Wall: Clarkson and Hammond argue about the positioning of the cars presented for the Cool Wall for the whole segment, starting with the positioning of the Aston Martin V8 Vantage in the fridge, and the Vauxhall Astra VXR and Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG in the “Cool” region (Hammond moves the Mercedes-Benz picture in the “Uncool” section). In the end Clarkson and Hammond literally fight over the placement of the BMW M6, the fight going into the crowd. Hammond eats the card, which May cites shortly after – “Hamsters eat cardboard!”.

Road Trip: All three presenters each took a favourite supercar – a Pagani Zonda, a Ford GT, and a Ferrari F430 – on a trans-France road trip to the recently completed Millau Viaduct, a similarly fantastic example of engineering skill as explained by Clarkson. Notable events included their creation of a serious traffic jam in the backstreets of Paris attempting to leave a car park; the problem was that, owing to the angle of the slope onto the road combined with the low bodies of the cars, the fronts were scraping the ground and they could only escape (very slowly) after improvising a shallower ramp and removing front spoilers. Also, May for once defied his “Captain Slow” nickname, driving the Ferrari F430 faster than Hammond in the Pagani Zonda and Clarkson in the Ford GT on a twisting mountain road, describing the car as “Ballerina’s point shoe” compared to the others’ construction-site boots. Throughout the trip, Clarkson and May continuously talked about Hammond’s teeth being whitened (a running joke in the series), to the point when Hammond shouts “I HAVE NOT HAD MY TEETH DONE!” when the trio stopped at a resting area in the French mountains, with Hammond’s voice being echoed.

Some say…

“Some say that his politics are terrifying, and that he once punched a horse to the ground. All we know is he’s called the Stig.”

Stig Power Laps

Ford Focus ST
1:34.90 (wet)

Star in a Reasonably Priced Car

Stephen Ladyman
1:48.80

Screenshots

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Rating: 9.0/10 (3 votes cast)
  • the guy with no name

    “And the Ford, well it’s the prettiest and fastest and it has the best fuel economy. Oh no wait, that’s not right is it? <- LOL!