Top Gear: Series 4, Episode 8

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  • James tests the Maserati Quattroporte.
  • Richard says goodbye to the Rover V8 by taking a Rover SD1 track racing.
  • Jeremy & Richard race a Skoda Fabia VRS diesel against a Mini Cooper.
  • Richard unleashes the Yellow Box Bears.
  • Jeremy power tests the new Ford GT.
  • Richard blows a Ford Mondeo and Citroen 2CV away using jet turbulence from a Boeing 747.
  • Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Martin Clunes.

Episode Guide

Opening skit: Clarkson takes “a look” at the environmentally friendly Toyota Prius as a counterpoint to the gas-guzzlers making up much of the programme, and promptly ignores it.

Main review: May tests the Maserati Quattroporte, trying to figure out if the car wants to be a luxury saloon or a performance car.

Obituary: Hammond bids a fond farewell to the long lived and widely employed Rover V8 engine, originally a compact Buick V8 that was sold by GM to Rover after initial technical problems. Hammond then sends off the engine by entering a Touring car race in an unmodified Rover SD1.

Star in a reasonably priced car: Martin Clunes took the Liana around the track, with a time of 1:50.0, one second slower than comedy partner Neil Morrissey, but the same time as Clarkson.

Challenge: To see if Diesel technology has caught up to Petrol, Clarkson and Hammond race on the track, with Clarkson in a turbodiesel ┼ákoda Fabia VRS, while Hammond raced him in the supercharged petrol Mini Cooper. The MINI is ahead in the first parts, but is overtaken by the torquier and more powerful ┼ákoda; whether the difference in talent between the drivers has anything to do with it is not mentioned. It is admitted that diesel engines are now equally competitive with petrol models – “a sad day”.

Skit: Hammond makes fun of motorists that block box junctions.

Review and Challenge: Clarkson reviews his dream car, the Ford GT. He makes numerous comparisons with the Ford GT40, and graphically illustrates that although he barely fits into the GT, this is an improvement on the original GT40, which he is literally too tall to drive as his head would be trapped in the door. Hammond and May ridicule the GT, on its fuel economy (4 MPG on the track, where it ran dry, or “up to” 12 MPG on official tests), meaning Jeremy would run out of fuel after 75 miles (of a 76 mile commute), and the extreme difficulty of entering the car in a typical public parking space (as part of the roof is attached to the long, thick door) despite James having no problem exiting the Prius in the same “generous” space. The Stig drives it on the track, clocking a lap time of 1:21.9.

Skit: Hammond takes Virgin Boeing 747 G-VAST and demonstrates the enormous (and otherwise hard to visualise) power unleashed by just two of its four engines at take-off thrust, by sending a modern Ford Mondeo and a more primitive Citroen 2CV (unmanned) through the jet wake some 50 yards behind the plane, lifting both cars high into the air and wrecking them.

Stig Power Laps

Ford GT
1:21.90

Star in a Reasonably Priced Car

Martin Clunes
1:50.00

Screenshots

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Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)

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