- Jeremy tests the Bentley Continental Supersports.
- James drives up an Icelandic volcano in a Toyota Hilux.
- Richard farewells the Chevrolet Lacetti and introduces the Kia Cee’d.
- Jeremy drives a Reliant Robin.
- Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Nick Robinson, Al Murray, Peter Jones, Peta Todd, Johnny Vaughan, Bill Bailey, Louie Spence, Amy Williams.
The first episode of Series 15 starts out with Jeremy looking at the new Bentley Continental Supersports out on the track. The Supersports is the fastest, most outlandish car Bentley has ever made – it’s a lighter, sportier and dramatically more powerful version of the Continental. The same 6 Litre twin turbo W12 engine has been retained, but now it produces 621hp – which results in a 0-60mph time of 3.7 seconds – Flat out it will do 204mph and about 6mpg. The Supersports can also run on bio-ethanol, which doesn’t increase the power however it will produce less c02. Jeremy calls the Supersports “Spooky” and tries to break it down for the viewers – “This car is like an Elephant with the reflexes of a water boatman, and if you’re watching in Poland and you don’t know what a water boatman is, it’s like an Evo 10, it really is. And if you’re watching in Ethiopia and you don’t know what an Evo 10 is, what I mean is it does things rather well.”
The carbon ceramic brakes pull the Supersports up face rippingly quick and the revised four wheel drive system continuously keeps the car in check even when applying full throttle half way around a corner, “unless you go way too fast and then poke it with a stick.” Jeremy however does not like the car, and explains “What they’ve tried to do here is turn an ocean liner into a speed boat. And yes they have sort of pulled it off. But it still feels very big and very heavy.” So big and heavy infact that the test ends with a shredded rear tyre. Jeremy sums up the review – “The upshot then is simple, if I wanted to spend £163,000 on a speed boat, I’d buy something that was designed to be a speed boat in the first place. In short, I’d buy an Aston Martin DBS.”
In the next piece, James is in Iceland and is reunited with an old friend – one of the modified Toyota Hilux’s from the Top Gear Polar special. His job is to turn it into the world’s first Volcano proof car – it receives a corrugated metal sheet roof across the top of the car to protect it from fallout and also wheel arch mounted water jets to keep the tyres cool when driving across the molten hot lava rocks. On the way to the glacier, James hooks up with a vulcanologist who is hitching a ride because of the bad weather. The weather ramps up a bit as they climbed the glacier and reduces visibility to less than 10 metres – with James relying on the tail lights of the car in front to find his way. Upon reaching their overnight stop over, they catch a glimpse of the erupting volcano, at just 1.5 kilometers away. In the morning, James sets off toward the volcano to complete his mission – to get close to the crater and scoop up a fresh piece of lava using a garden trowel and a bucket. As James gets closer, pieces of molten rock begin to shower the car. A nice big piece lands right by his drivers side, and he successfully scoops it up and places it in the bucket. Due to James staying still too long on the superheated lava rocks, the tyres begin to catch on fire as the water cooling system couldn’t cool the bottom of them. This is more than enough to convince James to make a hasty retreat.
In the news James shows us the piece of dried lava which he retrieved, and Jeremy mentions that the Ferrari 599XX broke the production car record at the Nurburgring with a time of 6 minutes 58 seconds. Richard tells us he’s looking forward to the Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera 570. Jeremy says the best car he drove was the new AMG SLS, and James’ choice is the latest Porsche Boxter Spyder. James shows us a device which you can attach to your exhaust pipe and use to cook a burger and Jeremy shows a video of a grid girl fainting at the start of a car race. James finishes the news by mentioning that the new Dacia Duster is coming to the UK!
In the next segment, Richard farewells a special member of the TopGear family – the reasonably priced Chevrolet Lacetti. The Lacetti has had such a hard life that the BBC will not allow TopGear to sell it, so Richard must find a way to send it off to prevent it from being scrapped. The Lacetti was placed beside a 550ft, 7,185 tonne concrete chimney which was due for demolition. The chimney was then laced with explosives and detonated, bringing the tower down across the top of the Lacetti, crushing it completely. Back in the studio, Richard introduces the new reasonably priced car for Series 15 – a brown Kia Cee’d. The Cee’d is the only car in the world to feature an apostrophe in its name. It has a 1.6 Litre engine and can do 0-60mph in 10.4 seconds and go on to a top speed of 119mph. The Celebrity lapboard is then reset and TopGear invite a bunch of new celebrities to the track to get some laps up on the new board.
In the next segment, Jeremy moves on to the Reliant Robin – a car which was extremely popular even though it was made from plastic and cost more than a Mini when new. The reliant had a single wheel at the front, rather than at the rear like most other 3 wheelers. Jeremy has always been worried about this and is even more worried that his challenge today is to drive it from Sheffield to Rotherham, a distance of 14 miles. Jeremy sets off and straight away rolls the Robin onto its side coming out of the parking garage driveway. Phillip Oakey from the Human League helps Jeremy by pushing the car back onto its wheels. It isn’t long before Jeremy almost rolls again, rolling the Robin onto it’s side on 45 degrees. But this time he discovers a useful feature of the car – opening the door can help lever the car back onto all 3 wheels – and he was on his way. Jeremy’s Robin is a 1975 model and has an 850cc engine – which increased the top speed (from less than 60mph) to an incredibly scary 85mph. Jeremy rolls the car at speed across an intersection and is rescued by Peter Stringfellow, the owner of various lap dancing clubs. Jeremy rolls (literally) into a Reliant Robin car club meeting to chat with some enthusiasts about how to drive a Robin best, and why they were so popular. Afterwards, Jeremy gate crashes a news broadcast, gets stuck in a mechanic’s inspection pit and interrupts a cricket match before ending the episode by crashing the Robin into a canal.
“Some say that his discharge is luminous, and that even as we speak he is appearing on the main stage at Glastonbury performing his most famous hit “Superstition”. All we know is he’s called the Stig.”
Stig Power Laps
Bentley Continental Supersports
Star in a Reasonably Priced Car