- Jeremy compares the Volkswagen Golf R32 against the BMW 130i.
- Richard and James have an Old generation vs. New generation car race.
- Richard tests the Mazda MX-5.
- Top Gear Awards 2005.
- Jeremy sets a Laguna Seca laptime using a Honda NSX in Gran Turismo, then attempts to beat it in real life.
- Stars in a Reasonably Priced Car: David Walliams, Jimmy Carr.
Main review: Volkswagen Golf R32 and the BMW 130i. After originally conceding that the BMW was more fun and seemed faster on a dry track, Clarkson was amazed to see that the R32 trounced the 130i with a lap time of 1:30.4 over the 130i’s 1:31.9. But it fell in line with his other heavy criticisms of the lack of practicality and the price of the BMW.
Challenge: Hammond and May argue about the state of modern-day driving, which sparked a time trial showdown at Prescott Hill Climb Course, pitting an Austin-Healey Sprite representing a mostly middle-aged classic car owners club, versus a modified Peugeot 306 backed by a more youthful group. The Stig takes the two around, with the Sprite, on a serious race-focussed diet, defeating the showy and stereo-laden 306 by one second.
Review and Challenge: Hammond tests the Mazda MX-5, which involves racing the car against a greyhound at a dog-racing dirt track. The dog won.
Star in a reasonably priced car: Little Britain star David Walliams and comedian Jimmy Carr appear with Walliams’ lap time of 1:50.7 slower than Carr’s. Walliams also tells of his love of Aston Martin.
2005 Top Gear Awards:
Biggest Surprise – Audi RS4
Ugliest Car – BMW 3 Series
Best Car – Bugatti Veyron
Best Engine Noise – Aston Martin V8 Vantage
The most ill-advised piece of facial hair in motorsport – Fernando Alonso
Gas Guzzler – Ford GT
Best German – Sabine Schmitz
Best Driver – Ellen MacArthur
The Golden Cock – James May
Coolest Car – Aston Martin V8 Vantage (according to Clarkson), Porsche 997 (according to Hammond and the script)
Challenge: In the final segment, Clarkson travelled to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California to compare racing a lap in real life versus the video game Gran Turismo 4. Clarkson’s time of 1:41.148 for the video game was substantially faster than the 1:57 time that he was able to do on the real course due to the course omitting a few details of the track and Clarkson’s inability to replicate digital bravery in real life. This section also featured a farewell to the NSX.
“Some say that his heart is in upside down, and that his teeth glow in the dark. All we know is he’s called the Stig.”
Stig Power Laps
Volkswagen Golf R32
Star in a Reasonably Priced Car