Top Gear: Series 5, Episode 9

  • James drives the new BMW 1-Series.
  • Richard drives around a quarry in a Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG.
  • James and Jeremy try to find a ‘pearl’ among a collection of cars from the Pacific Rim.
  • Jeremy power tests the Ariel Atom.
  • Stars in a Reasonably Priced Car: Trinny Woodall, Susannah Constantine.

Episode Guide

Main review: Ariel Atom, from a company in Somerset. Clarkson describes it as being not only the next best thing to a superbike, for overweight middle aged men who would look ridiculous on two wheels and inevitably end up as organ donors – but actually better. He praises the “exoskeleton” design, plus the speed and handling, demonstrating both by racing and beating a 600cc motorcycle around the test track. He also points out that it is more thrilling than a superbike despite being safer – as it is legally a car and has a full roll cage and seatbelts, you don’t even need to wear leathers or a crash helmet, the latter famously leading to the car “destroying his whole face” with wind power and G-forces. The Stig takes it around the track in 1:19.5, well into Supercar territory.

Review: Hammond tests the Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG. It is not as good offroad as its competitors, but in the urban scene it looks fantastic and has a more civilised demeanor. A supercharged V8 produces 476 bhp (355 kW), good for immense straight-line speed. Hammond calls it “the coolest car in the world”.

Review: May tests the new BMW 1-series, and is pleased with the rear-drive but finds it too expensive, slow, and poorly-made to buy.

Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Trinny (1:54.1) who explains the importance of shoes to an outfit and Susannah (in 1:55.6) who shows how dressing is important to cars. Both in the wet. They fail to understand the importance of a good car to complement a good look.

Comparison: May and Clarkson go out to review a collection of cars from the Pacific Rim: Cars from Malaysia and Korea. Among these are the Kia Rio and the Hyundai Accent, in a 3-cylinder diesel version. They conclude that none of them are worth buying, due to being “built like white goods.” This is followed by a demonstration of a custom vehicle constructed from used home appliances.

Stig Power Laps

Ariel Atom

Star in a Reasonably Priced Car

Susannah Constantine
1:55.70 (very wet)
Trinny Woodall
1:54.10 (very wet)


Rating: 8.8/10. From 31 votes.
Please wait...


Leave a Reply