- Jeremy goes to Detroit, USA to drive the Ford GT.
- James road tests the latest BMW 5-Series.
- Jeremy finds out if a diesel Volkswagen Lupo can get better mpg than the petrol.
- Richard power tests the Porsche 996 GT3.
- Black Stig drives a Jaguar XJS off the end of HMS Invincible.
- Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Martin Kemp.
Main review: Jeremy travels to Detroit where he reviews the heavily-anticipated Ford GT. Jeremy relates his fond memories for the old 1960s Ford GT40 and looks at the GT against all its competitors. He reports that it handles like a Lotus Elise, goes faster than a Ferrari 360 Modena, sounds better than a Honda NSX, and shocks like a Lamborghini Murciélago. It is also considerably cheaper than the Ferrari and the Lamborghini with which it competes. For him it is a nostalgic evocation of 1960s Detroit and American muscle cars racing between the lights.
Review: James reviews the new BMW 5 Series. He defends the aggressive and cacophonous styling by Chris Bangle, arguing that it is still a no-brainer because of reliability, technology, and image.
Preview: Richard showcases Ford Visos concept car – a thoroughly modern concept car – in the studio.
Star In A Reasonably-Priced Car: Singer Martin Kemp, comparisons between him and Ross Kemp discussed: both on EastEnders, both moved to ITV, both like Porsche 911s, both called Kemp and both set a time of 1:54.0 on wet tracks.
Challenge: One lap of the M25 in diesel and petrol versions of Volkswagen Lupo in convoy. Jeremy likes the Lupo, and the midrange power available from the small turbodiesel engine makes it more useful in everyday situations than the numerically faster petrol motor. He found the diesel managed an economy of 75 mpg, vs 42 mpg for the petrol car, and spends the money he saved on fuel buying a tacky golden cock from the service station.
Mail: Jeremy and Richard discuss readers’ letters, starting with the baffling phenomenon of women writing to complain about their male partners’ love of cars and Top Gear, which leads into Richard showing off some remote-locking triggering “moves” and Jeremy (successfully) testing the strange notion that transmission distance is improved if you hold the key fob against your head. The segment ends with a letter from a viewer in Saudi Arabia, who has included a VCD of some wild driving from his part of the world.
Review: Richard reviews the new Porsche 911 GT3, he and Jeremy say that due to its speed it is the best car they’ve driven all year. The Stig did a lap of 1:27.2 on a very wet track.
Skit: The original (black-suited) Stig goes 109 mph (175 km/h) in a Jaguar XJS on the HMS Invincible, flying off the deck with only a glove being left behind floating on the water.
Stig Power Laps
Porsche 996 GT3
Star in a Reasonably Priced Car