Top Gear: Series 7, Episode 4

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  • Richard power tests the Pagani Zonda F.
  • Jeremy, Richard & James each buy an Italian mid-engine supercar for less than £10,000, then face a series of challenges.
  • James races a Renault Clio against downhill cyclists in Lisbon, Portugal.
  • Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Ellen MacArthur.

Episode Guide

Watch this episode on Amazon Instant Video

Two fast times highlight this episode of Top Gear.

Main review: Hammond reviews the heavily revised Pagani Zonda F, with a carbon fibre Body, magnesium wheels, carbon-ceramic brakes, and an improved structure. The improvements to the car leave him genuinely speechless, and help it garner the fastest power lap time of 1:18.4 by The Stig.

News: The presenters mourn the death of World Rally champion Richard Burns, who died at the age of 34 two weeks before. He had made two earlier Top Gear appearances, once touting rallying as more technologically influential and interesting than Formula One, and on another occasion test-driving the Peugeot RC on the Top Gear track.

Star in a reasonably priced car: Ellen MacArthur tells what its like sleeping on her around the world sailing trip, and pulls the fastest lap on the power board with a lap of 1:46.7.

Challenge: James May drives in a competition to race the new Renault Clio through Lisbon, Portugal against the downhill mountain biker Gee Atherton.

Challenge: Each presenter is told to buy a used Italian supercar for £10,000 and drive from Bristol to a strip club in Slough, with challenges along the way, including a lap around Castle Combe raceway trying to beat the Stig’s 1:35 laptime in a diesel Vauxhall Astra, the measurement of lost horsepower from their worn engines, an insurance estimate, a DIY tune-up against the clock involving an oil change and replacing spark plugs, and trying to park in a tight space in Marlborough town square. Clarkson buys a misbadged Maserati Merak, thinking it is an SS model until the horsepower test (where it delivered a woeful 80 bhp (60 kW)), May buys a broken-down 117 bhp (87 kW) Lamborghini Urraco, and Hammond buys a 194 bhp (145 kW) Ferrari 308GT4 with severe rust problems. In the end, none of the supercars reach Slough, as the Merak’s engine blew up in dramatic fashion whilst on the road, and the electrical systems of the 308GT4 and the Urraco fail (the reason the Urraco was broken down in the first place, and having caused continual difficulty throughout the challenge). In addition, though the Urraco’s final breakdown was comparatively close to the intended destination, this led to it causing a traffic jam on the outskirts of Slough.

Some say…

“Some say that his tears are adhesive, and that if he caught fire he would burn for 1000 days. All we know is he’s called the Stig.”

Stig Power Laps

Pagani Zonda F
1:18.40

Star in a Reasonably Priced Car

Ellen MacArthur
1:46.70

Screenshots

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Rating: 7.9/10 (13 votes cast)

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