Challenges How hard could it be? Top Gear Series 10

Top Gear: Series 10, Episode 2

  • Jeremy power tests the Audi R8 against Richard in a Porsche 911 Carrera S.
  • Amphibious Cars Challenge II: Crossing the English Channel.
  • Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Jools Holland.

Episode Guide

Watch this episode on Amazon Instant Video

Introduction: Clarkson and Hammond introduce the show by arguing about the properties of the Porsche 997 and the Audi R8.

Main Review: Clarkson reviews the Audi R8, Audi’s first supercar. Hammond makes an appearance in his own Porsche 997 Carrera S for a half-mile drag race which he wins by a whisker. The Stig posts a 1:26.2 lap time in the Porsche 997 and 1:24.4 in the Audi R8. Hammond eventually admits that the Audi is the better car, but both agree that it is too cold and clinical like most German perfection-engineered cars. After the drag race, Clarkson points out that Audi are developing a V10 R8 to which Hammond responds by showing a picture of the prototype V10 R8 on fire

News: The team navigate to a Porsche design website, where they find, “for the Porsche enthusiast”, a specially designed smoking pipe. Clarkson almost swallows his and burns his tongue (he put the wrong end in his mouth as it is “a 911Porsche, hot bit goes at the back”). They also discuss the new Mini and the new SSC Ultimate Aero.

Star in a reasonably priced car: Jools Holland posts a time of 1:49.9.

Challenge: The amphibious cars make a return as the team are challenged to drive improved amphibious vehicles from Sidcup to Dover, and then across the English Channel. Clarkson uses a used 1996 Nissan pick-up nicknamed the “Nissunk” with a 225 hp Honda outboard motor, attaching two lightweight oildrums to act as buoyancy devices. Hammond modifies a second 1981 Volkswagen Transporter (nicknamed the “Dampervan”) by using a fibreglass hull and adding sealant. May uses his original 1962 Triumph Herald sailboat, adding a collapsible mast and an insert for a centreboard keel. During the trip to Dover, Hammond and Clarkson’s cars begin to smoke as their foam insulation cause overheating, while May’s emits a buzzing sound and also starts to smoke. May is the first to launch his car, but the keel insert fails and the car sinks on its first attempt. Clarkson’s Nissan works well on the water, but can’t go faster than 20 knots despite Clarkson claiming that it could do 40 knots (as he claimed during the amphibious challenge the previous year). Although recovered and repaired, the Triumph suffers a broken mast on the second attempt and is no longer usable. Hammond’s new “Dampervan” successfully floats, but the choppy waters eventually damage his steering on the first attempt and despite fitting a 2.3 hp outboard to the back, the Dampervan subsequently sinks during the next day’s attempt. All three eventually set off in Clarkson’s Nissan, attempting (and failing) to break Richard Branson’s previous record for crossing the Channel in an amphibious vehicle (Branson crossed the Channel using a Gibbs Aquada in 1 hour 40 minutes and 6 seconds). They manage to get to France, albeit not Calais where they had planned, but Sangatte. Upon arriving, Clarkson declares, “The pick-up has landed.” They evaluate that they have been “ambitious, but rubbish.”

Some say…

“Some say that he’s banned from the town of Chichester, and that in a recent late night deal he bought a slightly dented white Fiat Uno from the Duke of Edinburgh. All we know is he’s called the Stig.”

Stig Power Laps

Audi R8
Porsche 911 Carrera S

Star in a Reasonably Priced Car

Jools Holland


Rating: 9.2/10. From 74 votes.
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