Top Gear: Series 9, Episode 4

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  • Jeremy power tests the Porsche 911 Turbo.
  •  Can you turn a Reliant Robin into a Space Shuttle.
  • Jeremy tests the Brabus S Biturbo roadster.
  • Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Simon Pegg.

Episode Guide

Watch this episode on Amazon Instant Video

Review: Clarkson was given the task of reviewing the Porsche 997 Turbo, to see if it could convert him from being a lifelong Ferrari fan. He found the Porsche to be less expensive and more practical than its closest Ferrari competitor (the 430). He also liked the turbos, traction control, the phenomenal grip, and the boot space. He even felt that the Porsche would be faster than the Ferrari in real world, every day driving conditions. However, while he had great respect for the car, he claimed his passion for Ferraris was still greater.

The News: Hammond and Clarkson argue over the merits of Porsches vs. Ferraris until May demands that they get on to the news, which begins (much to May’s chagrin) with the Porsche 997 GT3 RS. Clarkson rants against average speed cameras. 1.5 million people have signed a petition against road pricing. Clarkson provides the website to visit to add ones name to the list and (being the BBC) the website for those who agree with road pricing (www.iamaclot.com). The new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X is loaded with technology. The Melling Hellcat claims to have a potential top speed of 270 mph. Clarkson reveals a trick that could have got himself and Hammond out of trouble in that Alabama gas station in the previous week’s episode. The BBC is requiring its employees who drive for the company to take a driving class.

Challenge: Hammond and May, preposterously, try to convert a 1992 Reliant Robin into a space shuttle, on the orders of ‘John F. Clarkson’. They were given 12 days to build it[1] and help from the British Amateur Rocket Society. Eight tonnes of thrust were required to launch the Robin — the largest non-commercial rocket launch undertaken in Europe. It was not intended to put a payload into any meaningful orbit, but merely to gain a few thousand feet of height and then land on a runway. Hammond & May reacted with genuine surprise and elation as the Reliant Robin took off and everything seemed to be working until a release bolt attaching the Robin to the fuel tank failed to detach. As a result, it spiraled out of control and crashed in a massive explosion on a nearby hillside as they watched with expressions of shock and disappointment.

Star In A Reasonably Priced Car: Simon Pegg stops by to talk about his latest film, Hot Fuzz, and his affection for Star Wars. He turns in a lap time of 1:48.5.

Review: Clarkson looks at the already monstrous 6.0L twin-turbo V12 SL 65 AMG and then sees what a modifying company has been able to do with it. The result is the Brabus S Biturbo roadster, with 730 bhp (540 kW), 811 ft·lbf (1,100 N·m) of torque, and an electronically limited top speed of 219 mph (352 km/h). Clarkson finds massive speed and power, but little in terms of control for it and in the end concludes that the car was at its best in its original, Mercedes form. The Stig takes it around the track in 1:26.2. This episode’s Stig intro (by Clarkson): “Some say that if you lick his chest, it tastes exactly the same as piccalilli and that at this week’s Brit Awards, he was arrested for goosing Russell Brand. All we know is, he’s called The Stig!”

The Cool Wall: Clarkson starts by moving all the 4×4 cars down the board to “Seriously Uncool.” The Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder is also “Seriously Uncool,” as Clarkson has just bought one. However, he got rid of his Ford GT to do so and gleefully moves that car into “Sub Zero.” The Porsche 997 GT3 RS is “Seriously Uncool” due to its roll cage and fire extinguisher. The Kia Cee’d is “Uncool,” despite the claims from a Kia employee in the audience. Closing the segment, Hammond adds a Ducati 1098 motorcycle to the “Cool” section of the wall. Clarkson walks off and returns with a chainsaw, which he uses to cut the Ducati off/out of The Cool Wall. This scene has been removed in recent repeats on the BBC.

Some say…

“Some say that if you lick his chest it tastes exactly the same as Piccalilly, and that at this weeks Brit Awards he was arrested for goosing Russell Brand. All we know is he’s called the Stig.”

Stig Power Laps

Brabus S Biturbo roadster
1:26.20

Star in a Reasonably Priced Car

Simon Pegg
1:48.50

Screenshots

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Rating: 9.7/10 (3 votes cast)

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