- The BAC Mono is put through its paces on the test track.
- Richard tries to find the world’s best taxi.
- James pays tribute to the closed BBC Television Centre in White City.
- Jeremy goes to Scotland to test the new Ferrari F12 Berlinetta.
- Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Ron Howard.
Tonight’s episode begins with Jeremy reviewing the BAC Mono, a single seated car that can be driven on public roads. With extensive use of lightweight materials, a Cosworth tuned engine and racing gearbox, the car is capable of immense performance and cornering grip, but Jeremy is startled by fact that it can destroy the driver’s face at high speed, and the price tag of 102,000 pounds. The Stig lapped around the Top Gear test track in 1:14.3, the second fastest time and just slower than the Pagani Huayra.
In the news, the Dacia Duster is named budget 4×4 tow car of the year and Jeremy got himself a bicycle. The presenters then discuss the tyre job that Pirelli had done at the 2013 British Grand Prix. Volvo launches a function on their cars that can automatically find a parking space and park itself, but it was immediately ridiculed by the presenters that their car would be lost, not knowing where it would be parked. Ferrari and McLaren are launching their new cars respectively, the LaFerrari having the KERS installed (with the engine and the motors both drive the rear wheels) and the McLaren P1 having the DRS equipped. The Pagani Zonda is being upgraded, with a price tag of 2.3 million pounds and a base car to start with.
Next up, Richard attempts to find out which vehicle is the best taxi in the world – by pitting several taxis from the world at the Lyddon Hill Race Circuit. The British taxi is represented by the Hackney carriage, a Volkswagen Beetle representing the Mexican counterpart, a Ford Crown Victoria representing the American yellow cab, a Hindustan Ambassador representing the Indian Taxi, a Mercedes-Benz E-Class from Germany, a South African Toyota Hiace and a stretch limousine Lincoln Town Car from Russia completes the roundup. Like previous challenges, a group of touring car racing drivers and Hammond himself are employed to race the vehicles. During the race, the limo spun out and the Ford t-boned it, destroying both cars in the process; The Mercedes had crashed into a tyre barrier and flipped, leaving only the Ambassador, Beetle, Hiace and Hackney to cross the finish line. Back in the studio, Jeremy reveals that the Hindustan Ambassador has begun its life as a Morris Oxford, a car that all of the presenters hate.
The Star in a Reasonably Priced Car is the director of Rush, Ron Howard. Ron talks about the background of his upcoming film and the heated struggle between James Hunt and Niki Lauda, then the hot favourites of winning the 1976 Championship. He clocked a lap in the reasonably priced car at 1:49.9.
In the next segment, James pays tribute to the closed down BBC Television Centre in White City, London. James staged a race between a team of parkour runners and a trial motorcyclist inside the building. The motorcycle won the closely fought race.
Finally, Jeremy goes to Hertfordshire to test the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, assessing its practicality as an everyday car. Except Jeremy wasn’t in Letchworth. He was 430 miles away in Pitlochry, which is in Perth and Kinross, Scotland.
“Some say that he breaks into people’s houses at night and leaves two mysterious extra keys in a kitchen drawer, and that as a result of buying Pirelli condoms this week, he now has seventeen children. All we know is he’s called The Stig!”
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Star in a Reasonably Priced Car