Top Gear: Series 20, Episode 6

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  • James tries out the new Bus For London.
  • Richard test drives the new Range Rover Sport.
  • Top Gear assembles over £200m worth of British vehicles on the Mall in front of Buckingham Palace.
  • Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Mark Webber.

Episode Guide

Watch this episode on Amazon Instant Video

Review: With the discontinuation of the First Generation Range Rover Sport, Hammond tests out the Second Generation Range Rover Sport. Unlike what would have been possible with its predecessor, which lacked off-roading credibility and had an ownership consisting primarily of footballers and their wives, Hammond is able to take the new Range Rover Sport off-roading, which it handles well thanks to various gadgets on the SUV (including sonar to traverse water obstacles). At Donington Park, it barely beats a John Cooper Works Mini Cooper driven by The Stig. However, Clarkson complains that the new Sport does not have the trademark split tailgate, unlike its predecessor.

News: May complains about Highways Agency Traffic Officers blocking roads for minor accidents where their primary role is supposed to be opening roads quickly due to disruptions. The group proposes to reclassify the HATO’s into wombles. Royal Mail releases a set of stamps featuring British classic cars, but the group criticises some of the choices, including a Ford Anglia police car and a Morris Minor Van. Mazda and Alfa Romeo have teamed up to build a car similar to the Mazda MX-5, but Clarkson points out the last time Alfa teamed up with Nissan, they produced the Alfa Romeo Arna. An idea proposed on a previous episode of Top Gear to relax parking standards in town centres catches the ear of Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles, which prompts the trio to ask him to come out and do a Star in a Reasonably Priced Car segment.

Review: May tests the New Bus for London in Somerset, arguing that for the same price that can buy a Supercar with two seats, you can get a vehicle that can seat more people. However, May soon finds out that unlike a supercar, a bus is hard to start, maneuver, has clearance issues, and is rubbish on track days, though he does point out that like a supercar, people will gawk, stare and take pictures. The bus also shares a similar engine and drive train layout like many supercars. Still, the new bus has features that are needed for bus service, including floors resilient to biological fluids, hints to the old Routemaster, and screens that advise people if the second level is full.

Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Mark Webber talks about Britain’s win in the 2013 Ashes series, he and Jeremy’s common interest in cycling, his flip at the 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans as well as his flip at the 2010 European Grand Prix, and explaining his departure from Formula 1 to join Porsche’s LMP1 team, while stating that he won’t miss teammate Sebastian Vettel. He sets a time of 1:43.1, beating his wet time of 1:47.1 in series 6 and Sebastian Vettel, thus placing him second. He misses board leader Lewis Hamilton’s time by 0.2 seconds.

Review: Clarkson tests the Jaguar F-Type, but has many complaints about the car, from the price point, to the boot capacity, to the suspension. Despite the flaws, Clarkson says the fact the car goes fast and has a pleasurable engine noise makes up for the faults.

Tribute: Despite Jaguar and Land Rover being owned by an Indian company and the cars still being built in England, the trio wonders if any other cars are still being made in England, despite the stereotype that England is devoid of such manufacturing and was severely crippled by labour strikes. They go on to point out that major car makers like Honda, Toyota, and Nissan operate manufacturing plants in England producing cars. Ford has engine manufacturing plants where one out of three Ford cars sold around the world has an engine that came from one of the two English plants. Car parts from engines to interior trim for the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, the BMW M5 and the Bugatti Veyron originated in England. Rolls Royce, whilst sourcing parts from Germany, hand manufactures their cars in Sussex, especially interior pieces and pinstriping.

Out of eleven Formula 1 teams, eight are based in England, with seven based near enough to each other to be “seen” from a hill in Oxford (Williams, Lotus, Caterham, Force India, Marussia, Red Bull Racing, and Mercedes-Benz). Motorsport involvement in the United Kingdom is wide and varied. A gearbox used in winning cars from Indycar, the Dakar Rally, the 24 Hours of LeMans, and used in the production Pagani Huayra, are built in an industrial estate in Berkshire. Various other components, from clutches to hybrid systems to ECU’s used in motorsport originate in England as well.

Aston Martin was voted The Coolest Brand in the World for five of the last seven years whilst a montage of celebrity Range Rover owners is shown. Heavy equipment is featured next, with a map of the world showing users of such heavy equipment like British made Military Vehicles, Lorries, and JCB branded equipment. With the exception of France, the rest of the world enjoys automotive shows made in England.

With the track record researched, Clarkson invites the many manufacturers of motorised vehicles in England to London. The response is huge as a montage of motorised vehicles of all shapes and sizes start their journey to London. Vehicles from Rolls Royce, Ariel Motor Company, Honda, Mini, Noble Automotive, Triumph Motorcycles Ltd, Briggs Automotive Company, Jaguar Cars, JCB, Land Rover, Morgan Motor Company, and the McLaren Group start their journey from across England to London. F1 teams Lotus F1, Mercedes-Benz, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, and Red Bull Racing also embark from their respective locations.
In London, even more cars join the ranks, from Bentley’s to Ice Cream Trucks to Lawn Mowers making their way to the meeting point. The trio, driving Union Jack bedecked Jaguar F-Types, drive past Buckingham Palace to The Mall and are amazed at the number of vehicles that have shown up, which has filled The Mall. The diversity of whats parked surprises the trio, from heavy equipment to small specialised cars and equipment. Clarkson closes the tribute by questioning people who say England is nothing more than a bank or a boutique aren’t right. The show closes as members of the Queen’s Guard ride past the assembled cars and equipment.

Star in a Reasonably Priced Car

Mark Webber
1:43.10

Screenshots

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Rating: 9.1/10 (95 votes cast)

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