Challenges Epic Roadtrip Top Gear Series 20

Top Gear: Series 20, Episode 3

  • The boys take three supercars on a trip through Spain.
  • Jeremy in a McLaren MP4-12C Spyder, James in an Audi R8 V10 Spyder and a Richard in a Ferrari 458 Spyder.
  • Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Benedict Cumberbatch.

Episode Guide

Watch this episode on Amazon Instant Video

Challenge, part 1: The trio plan to drive across Spain to test three new “budget convertibles”. Clarkson selects a bright yellow ₤195,000 McLaren MP4-12C Spider, Hammond takes a red ₤198,000 Ferrari 458 Spider, and May chooses a gray ₤121,000 Audi R8 V10 Spyder. Their first competition is to see who can drive through the marina area of Puerto Banus with the fewest number of pictures taken: May’s R8 is snapped 22 times, Hammond’s 458 47 times, and Clarkson’s MP4 a whopping 438 times. The next day, they come across an immense area of abandoned, newly-built flats and decide to conduct a noise test. Hammond believes that he has won when his 458 generates 107 dB of engine noise at full tilt (to 105 dB from the other two), but is declared the loser when Clarkson and May declare the object to be to generate the least amount of noise. They then set off on a curving road in the Sierra Nevada mountain range to test the limits of their cars, but their reverie is cut short – literally – when the road suddenly stops, unfinished due to lack of funds. When action switches back to the studio, they note that the R8 was also first in an (unshown) economy test.

News: Clarkson admits that he was not in Hertfordshire with the Ferrari F12 in the last episode; rather, he claims that he was in Buckinghamshire. The three then take turns complaining about electronic gimmicks in new cars, singling out voice-activated controls and power-operated boot lids for special condemnation. In comparing the effects of “sport” modes in new cars, Clarkson notes that the Stig was able to lap a Volkswagen Golf GTI faster in Comfort mode than in either Normal or Sport modes. A new supercar, the Icona Vulcano, is profiled, with the presenters finding substantial humour in the name of the car’s chief design director, Samuel Chuffart.

Challenge, part 2: The trio use a near-deserted motorway to head further north into Spain. Searching for a place to test the top speeds of their cars, they chance across the disused Ciudad Real Central Airport. After amusing themselves with the still-active facilities in the abandoned terminal, they give themselves permission to use the main runway to test their cars. First is a top-speed test: Clarkson’s MP4 reaches 198 mph (319 km/h), besting the 458’s 193 mph (311 km/h) and the R8’s 186 mph (299 km/h). The next test, campaigned over a half-mile length of runway, is a race in which the presenters must start with the tops down, and finish with the tops up; the MP4 wins again, followed by the R8 and the 458. Instead of renting hotel rooms, the presenters find another series of abandoned housing projects and squat in an unoccupied house for the night.

Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Benedict Cumberbatch sets a 1:47.8 lap time in the Vauxhall Astra.

Challenge, part 3: The trio enter Madrid and find yet another huge abandoned housing project. Commenting on the size of the project, Clarkson opines that the development would be an ideal location for a street-racing circuit, which they create and christen the “Circuito de Sir Francis Drake”. Calling their event the “Madrid Grand Prix”, they import the Stig to set a benchmark lap in a Jaguar XKR-S convertible. None of the presenters best the Stig’s 0:57.5; Hammond runs a 0:58.5, followed by Clarkson’s 0:59.1 and May’s 1:00.8. Back at the studio, Clarkson claims that the MP4 has won, while May produces a chart demonstrating how the R8 has won. In the end, though, all three presenters decide that they would rather have the Ferrari.

Star in a Reasonably Priced Car

Benedict Cumberbatch



Rating: 9.6/10. From 123 votes.
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Zimbo July 18, 2013 at 10:43 am

This was the best top gear episode in a very long time, compared to when they went to America last season it blows it out the window. The cars, the location, the actual car review and the scripting was loads better. this was an excellent episode.

FarmerNIC December 9, 2013 at 4:23 am

Sure was but bringing back to older episodes should they bring back the cheap car challanges ?

jawad ali January 6, 2014 at 7:11 pm

those cars were soooo cool!!!


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