Top Gear (series 10)
|Top Gear (series 10)|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of episodes||10|
|Original channel||BBC Two|
|Original run||7 October 2007– 23 December 2007|
The tenth series of Top Gear was broadcast between 7 October 2007 and 23 December 2007, containing 10 episodes. It was claimed that between the filming of the ninth and tenth series, rival motoring magazine Fifth Gear broke into the Top Gear premises and burnt down the Cool Wall. However, it was later revealed that the incident was a publicity stunt dreamed up between old friends Clarkson and Vicki Butler-Henderson. The opening episode of the series mentions the incident. The series was followed by four "Best Of Top Gear" specials, charting the best moments from the series. The "Top Ground Gear Force" special also aired as part of the series.
|Total||No.||Title||Reviews||Features||Guest||Original air date||UK viewers
|82||1||Series 10, Episode 1||Volkswagen Golf GTI W12||Road trip to find the greatest driving road in the world: (Porsche 911 GT3 RS vs. Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera vs. Aston Martin V8 Vantage N24)||Dame Helen Mirren||7 October 2007||6.27|
Main Review: Clarkson reviews the Volkswagen Golf GTI W12 Concept. He says it has been rushed in eight weeks, constructed out of parts from various brands, thus most onboard electronics do not work and it "cannot go round corners," rendering useless its unbelievable power output of 650 bhp (480 kW). The Stig posts an underwhelming lap time of 1:29.6. Clarkson says that "If you want a slow car that looks like a Golf, get a Golf."
News: The three presenters discuss the Top Gear arson incident, blaming Fifth Gear. (A fire occurred on Sunday, 12 August 2007 at Hill End Farm, destroying a barn used as a storage facility for Top Gear props.) They point out the "new" furniture in the studio as the old equipment was burnt in the fire. Hammond and May introduce the new supercars showcased across the year, including a more powerful Ford GT and the Lamborghini Reventon. Clarkson rants about new rules banning smoking cigarettes while driving.
The Cool Wall: Hammond and Clarkson talk about the burnt down Cool Wall, then try to familiarise themselves with some burnt leftovers of car stickers that were once on the board. The segment ends with the abandonment of the old Cool Wall.
|83||2||Series 10, Episode 2||Audi R8 vs. Porsche 911 Carrera S||Amphibious Cars Challenge II||Jools Holland||14 October 2007||5.53|
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 had landed."
|84||3||Series 10, Episode 3||Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano • Ferrari 275 GTS • Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé||Bugatti Veyron vs Eurofighter Typhoon race • Peel P50 around the BBC office • Lexus LS600 Auto-Parking System||Ronnie Wood • Fiona Bruce • Dermot Murnaghan • John Humphrys||28 October 2007||6.73|
Introduction: Jeremy Clarkson reads another letter demanding that Top Gear review more cars that are affordable. The letter is purportedly signed "R. Abramovich of Chelsea."
Review: James reviews the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé. He finds it to be his favourite car of the year, and admires it for being contemporary and stylish, much as he perceives himself, to the laughter of Jeremy and the audience.
News: Jeremy Clarkson attempts to demonstrate "Pay by mobile phone parking fees" in London. They also offer a peek at the Lamborghini Reventón.
Review: Hammond tests the auto-parking system in the Lexus LS600 without reading the manual, and finds the system "rather complicated to use".
Main Review: Jeremy Clarkson reviews the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, concluding that he respects its technology, but is not excited by it and would prefer a Ferrari 275 GTS. The Stig takes the 599 round the track in 1:21.22.
Review: Jeremy Clarkson reviews the Peel P50 to see whether it would be practical in daily life, highlighting its usefulness in office buildings. The car is small enough to be pulled into BBC White City, with the Top Gear team more excited by the tiny Peel than by a Koenigsegg or a Ferrari. Clarkson, late for a meeting, decides to drive into BBC Television Centre from inside the White City office, sitting in the car throughout his journey and the meeting. The segment features cameos of several BBC broadcasters including John Humphrys, Fiona Bruce and Dermot Murnaghan. At the end of the review, Clarkson even points out the "Sports" version, a Peel Trident.Challenge: Richard Hammond races a Bugatti Veyron against a Eurofighter Typhoon to see which one can travel two miles (up and down a runway) faster. The Typhoon flies vertically for a mile, before returning to the start/finish point, while the Bugatti drives down the track for a mile before quickly turning around and accelerating back to the start/finish point. The Eurofighter Typhoon wins by about two seconds. This is Hammond's first race on Top Gear after his accident. Clarkson interrogates Hammond for failing the race, but praises the Bugatti for its greatness.
|85||4||Series 10, Episode 4
|None||Botswana Special||None||4 November 2007||6.84|
Main article: Top Gear: Botswana Special
Challenge 1: Buy a used car for up to £1500. Mocking the use of "Chelsea Tractors" for delivering children to school and driving up leafy lanes, rules for the challenge stipulate that the car purchased to cross the spine of Africa has to be two wheel drive, and not designed in any way for off-road use. Clarkson buys a 1981 Lancia Beta Coupe, May a 1985 Mercedes-Benz 230E and Hammond a 1963 Opel Kadett, which he nicknames "Oliver". Starting from the Botswana-Zimbabwe border, they must drive 1,000 miles (1,600 km) to the Namibian border. If at any time a presenter's car breaks down and cannot be restarted, he must complete the journey in a Volkswagen Beetle. While the Beetle turns out to be a suitable vehicle for such a challenge, the Beetle is the presenters' collective least favourite car of all time.
Challenge 2: Cross the Makgadikgadi Pan successfully. The first section of the Makgadikgadi salt pan has a thin solid crust, under which lies a mud like substance underneath. Almost immediately, May and Clarkson's cars begin to break through the crust. Desperate to shed weight, they strip down their cars to the basic shell, removing most of the interior trim and most of the panels. Hammond's car is light enough to cross the salt pan shedding only his spare tyre and radiator grill. Clarkson's car breaks down frequently, seemingly with electrical issues. For day two on the salt pans, dust becomes the problem, rather than the "gunk" underneath the salt crust. May and Clarkson cover their faces and re-dress to avoid choking on the dust, as each driver was now open to the elements due to having a bare shell. Hammond does not have to take such measures as he did not drastically modify his car earlier.
Shortly before beginning their trip onto the Makgadikgadi Pan, the Top Gear trio informally encountered Botswana's Vice President, Seretse Ian Khama, who displayed no qualms regarding the trio's journey across the flats. However, he did seem taken aback by the fact that the trio were attempting this in their old, used, two-wheel drive cars.
Challenge 3: Time trials round a rally course by "The Stig's African cousin". Oliver achieves a time of 1:12 before being beaten by May's Mercedes-Benz with a 1:06. Clarkson's car however, fails to start, so The Stig walks away.
Challenge 4: Cross the Okavango Delta; the presenters are told to make their cars "wild animal proof". May is able to replace several Mercedes-Benz parts, due to the car's popularity in Africa. Clarkson however cannot find any spare parts for his Lancia Beta so he jury-rigs new doors from soft drink cans, wood and corrugated iron, and attaches a megaphone. May paints "All Adders Are Puffs" on Oliver, and "Lite Bite Cafe" on Clarkson's Lancia Beta. At the same time, Clarkson and Hammond hide a cowbell as well as several cuts of meat (including a cow's head) inside May's car, to attract wildlife.
Final results: Both Hammond and May made it to the border before Clarkson, who had suffered two more breakdowns during the final run. Although Hammond's Opel had survived relatively intact (the only major repair being the car's electricals), and May's car had hardly broken down at all, both Clarkson and May, to Hammond's horror, declared the winner to be the Volkswagen Beetle, which had completed the trip with no documented mishaps at all.Similar to the 2007 Polar Challenge Special, the show's credits included each crew member's first name replaced with the words "Archbishop Desmond" (e.g. "Archbishop Desmond Clarkson, Archbishop Desmond Hammond and Archbishop Desmond May..."), in homage to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1984.
|86||5||Series 10, Episode 5||Caparo T1 • Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster • Mercedes-Benz GL 500||London race||Simon Cowell||11 November 2007||7.74|
Main review: The Caparo T1 is tested around the track by Clarkson. However, due to the Caparo's violent mechanical history and insurance company concerns, he is forced to suit up and is observed through the segment by a fleet of ambulances, fire engines, an air ambulance, and other safety personnel located around the test track. It gets round the track in 1:10.6 but is not allowed on the board as its ride height is too low to drive over a speed bump.
News: The presenters discuss the new Mitsubishi i and Hammond announces that he is shipping "Oliver" (his Opel Kadett from the previous episode) to England. His announcement is accompanied by May playing the theme from Romeo and Juliet by Nino Rota on his portable keyboard.
Challenge: The presenters race each other across London to try and beat the London rush hour traffic towards London City Airport. Clarkson drives a powerboat on the Thames, and is only able to drive at 9mph until Wandsworth Bridge, after which the Thames has no speed limit; Hammond uses a Specialized Sirrus Limited carbon fibre bicycle, and spends most of the race complaining about buses and traffic lights; May drives a Mercedes-Benz GL 500, ends up paying the congestion charge, and is also pulled over by the police who check the camera car has a permit to film; and the Stig uses public transport (buses, the Tube and the DLR), leading to many jokes about his complete ignorance of the real world. Hammond comes first, Clarkson a close second, the Stig third and May last. Fearful that this result would ruin the reputation of cars and Top Gear in general, the presenters therefore facetiously disregard the results, claiming things like that Clarkson had died in a violent crash, and that London doesn't even have a river.
Star in a Reasonably Priced car: Simon Cowell returns to the top of the leaderboard with a time of 1.45.9, filmed two weeks before the rest of the show because of Simon's busy schedule.Review: The Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster, driven by Hammond, takes on, and defeats, a German on roller skates with a 300 hp (220 kW) turbo powered rocket backpack in a straight half-mile drag race.
|87||6||Series 10, Episode 6||Honda Civic Type R • Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Estate vs. BMW M5 Touring • Alfa Romeo 159||Motorhome racing • Alfa Romeo 159 vs. tall man across the Humber estuary||Lawrence Dallaglio||18 November 2007||7.24|
Main Review: Clarkson reviews the third Generation Honda Civic Type R. He notes that the previous generation is much better than the new one, due to the increased weight of the new model but only a modest 1 hp (0.75 kW) gain in power. The new model also lacks the independent rear suspension system found in the previous model. These factors result in a drop in price. The large spoiler, which obscures rear visibility, is ridiculed by Clarkson. Clarkson races it against the old model, which seemed faster. The Stig laps the track in 1:33.5.
News: James May announces that Clarkson has a cold but Clarkson jokes that he contracted Bird Flu. A survey was conducted and Clarkson notes that on country roads, 4% of accidents are due to speeding, while 96% remain unknown. They mention that it might be due to animals on the road and Clarkson concludes that speeding on country roads is relatively safe.
Review: May reviews the Alfa Romeo 159 and he must put a pound into the 'Top Gear Italian Car Road Test Cliché Swear Box' if he uses any fake Italiano to describe the car (e.g. soul, passion). He races against Graham Boanas to cross the Humber River without using the Humber Bridge. May loses the race by seconds. (This segment was originally filmed for Series 8, but was rescheduled for broadcast.)
Star in a Reasonably Priced car: England rugby international star Lawrence Dallaglio posts a time of 1:47.4.
Review: Clarkson encourages drivers to ditch their Range Rovers and Porsche Cayennes for the 500 bhp (370 kW) BMW M5 Touring and 507 bhp (378 kW) Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Estate because of similar practicality, superior comfort, and far superior power. However he admits he'd still prefer to own a Range Rover so that he can annoy environmentalists.
Challenge: Richard Hammond debuts another innovative, and wildly destructive, form of motorsport: motorhome racing. The justification is that most racers tow their race vehicle behind them in a large travel trailer which often doubles as their accommodation for the racing weekend. Thus driving to, racing, and then driving back in the same vehicle streamlines the process.
The race was held at the Essex Raceway with a field of six entrants. These included Hammond driving a Ford Midas, Matt Neal driving a Mitsubishi L300, Anthony Reid in a nimble Toyota LiteAce, Tom Chilton in a large Chevrolet, Mat Jackson driving a Fiat Ducato MV70 Globetrotter and finally a "Desperation driver" in a Ford Transit.
The rules of Motorhome racing state that all work on the vehicles must be completed prior to sunset on the day before the race and that a driver must spend the night before the race in their vehicle. This forced the drivers to choose between stripping down their vehicles and having a bad night's sleep, or leaving a heavy vehicle with a good night's sleep. Only James May declined to strip down his vehicle.
In the race, the Toyota LiteAce came in first, followed by the hulking Chevrolet second, and Hammond in third, despite having suffered massive structural failure. May came in last after both getting lost and then crashing into a roof-mounted air conditioning unit which had fallen off of Hammond's disintegrating vehicle, sending him into the barrier.Back in the studio Clarkson announces a super-sized new German motorhome called "The Performance" with a luxurious interior. Clarkson describes it as being perfect for motorhome racing as it stores a Wiesmann MF in its cargo space.
|88||7||Series 10, Episode 7||Aston Martin DBS||£1200 British Leyland cheap-car challenge (Rover SD1, Triumph Dolomite Sprint, Austin Princess)||Jennifer Saunders||25 November 2007||6.86|
Main review: Clarkson reviews the Aston Martin DBS, continually comparing it to the Aston Martin DB9 and saying that you should think of it as a DB9-S. He says it's the best car he's driven all year, but the other two can't justify the 50 grand price hop over the DB9.
News: Top Gear announces lots of new cars are released: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, Nissan GT-R, Subaru Impreza WRX STI, and the Morgan Aero Max. Constant review of Korean Cars such as the new Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Kia Picanto, as they have been sold in Korea. They also point out that Australia "bought" Top Gear, referring to the recent approval to create an Australian local version.
Challenge: The Top Gear team celebrate the 40th anniversary of British Leyland with a £1,200 car challenge (paid "out of their own pockets"), ending up with Jeremy's Rover SD1, Richard's Triumph Dolomite Sprint and James's Princess. Clarkson arrived first at the meeting point, followed by Hammond and May. They then went to a "secret" destination in England in the cars, ostensibly at one of British Leyland's old factories, only to learn that the facilities were either sold or demolished.
Challenges 1, 2 and 3 took place at the MIRA car testing facility, with money earned back towards the purchase price of their cars for each challenge passed.
Challenge 1, Performance: The trio attempt to beat a time set by The Stig in a Datsun 120Y of similar vintage to their cars. Clarkson's car was slower by one second, Hammond's was slower by 5 seconds, and May ended up getting lost on the track, after which Clarkson and Hammond didn't even bother reading out his time.
Challenge 2, Handbrakes: The cars must be parked, in neutral, on a 1 in 3 slope, earning £100 if their handbrake holds them in place. May managed the feat; Clarkson's car emitted a large cloud of obscuring smoke, allowing him to claim success; and Hammond's Dolly rolls backwards down the hill and nearly knocks over the grade sign.
Challenge 3, Ride comfort: The cars are driven over a cobbled road at 30 mph (48 km/h), with several eggs suspended in a colander over the driver; they would earn £10 for each gram of egg left in the colander after the test, and lose £10 for each piece of trim lost. May and Clarkson lost two interior mountings (Clarkson, in particular, losing his left rear door) and both had 4 grams of egg left, earning them £20 each, while Hammond lost 6 pieces and had no egg remaining, costing him £60.
Challenge 4, Build quality: This took place at the Top Gear test track. The cars were filled to the brim with water, then each (using a snorkel) drove around the track as far as possible, stopping when the water leaked out to a level below the steering wheel; 20 pence were earned per yard covered. Hammond completed half a lap (1500 yards), May did over 1½ laps (4,500 yards), and Clarkson completed only 10 yards (9.1 m) before the right rear door fell off.
After the final scores were tallied, Hammond finished last, the high initial price of his car being enough to cancel out his better performance than Clarkson on the final test. May was declared the winner by earning back his entire car's value plus £20, proving that his Austin Princess was the one good car that British Leyland ever made.Star in a Reasonably Priced car: Jennifer Saunders sets a lap time of 1.46.1, placing her second on the leader board, only 0.2 of a second slower than the lap time leader Simon Cowell.
|89||8||Series 10, Episode 8||Vauxhall VXR8||Renault R25 Formula One Car • Automobile history investigation • GPS satellite self-controlled BMW 330i||James Blunt • Lewis Hamilton||2 December 2007||8.35|
Main review: Clarkson reviews the Vauxhall VXR8, a rebadged HSV Clubsport R8. Although on the same pace as the BMW M5, the barn-door engineered Australian car is £30,000 less, because "it's about 30,000 times less complicated." Clarkson loves it, but wouldn't have it over an M5. Sets a time of 1:31.3 in wet and oily conditions.
Investigation: Clarkson and May set out to discover the first car to have the control layout that cars use today. After investigating many old cars, including a Benz Motorwagen, an early Royal Enfield car, a De Dion-Bouton and a Ford Model T, they name the first car with a modern layout to be the Cadillac Type 53 from 1916 which was then popularised by the Austin 7.
Star in a Reasonably Priced car: James Blunt posts a time of 1.48.3 on a wet track.
Challenge: Hammond drives the Renault R25 Formula One car, which took both the driver's (with Fernando Alonso) and constructor's championship titles in the 2005 Formula One season. He is to do two laps around Stowe Circuit at Silverstone. Hammond tries to get the car rolling with the anti-stall program kicking in eight times before completing half a lap and stalling again as he spins out from lack of grip due to lack of tyre and brake warmth. Hammond completes the required two laps around the track the second time. May comments that the telemetry shows that Hammond only hit full throttle in the car for 0.2 of a second. (This segment was originally prepared for Series 9, but was rescheduled due to Hammond's accident.)
F1 Driver in a Reasonably Priced Car: Lewis Hamilton, driving on a wet and oily track, posts a time of 1.44.7 in the original Reasonably-Priced Car, the Suzuki Liana, which has been kept to be used by Formula One drivers. This placed him third overall on the F1 racers' board.Review: Clarkson supervises a driver-less BMW on a lap of the track. The time for the lap was not revealed and Clarkson finds himself unable to stop the car as it continues to drive itself round the track with 3/4 of a tank of fuel left. After the end credits, Clarkson declares, "I'm bored now!" as the car continues driving.
|90||9||Series 10, Episode 9||Daihatsu Materia vs Ascari A10 • Fiat 500||Britcar 24 Hour Endurance Race • Race: Fiat 500 vs. BMX riders through Budapest||Keith Allen||9 December 2007||7.38|
Main Review: As Clarkson has been told by the producers that he is not allowed to test any more supercars for the rest of the series, he decides to review the Daihatsu Materia hatchback alongside a "close" rival - the new Ascari A10. He says the Daihatsu is far more practical and economical, but it is too boring around the corners and is nowhere near as fast as the Ascari. Clarkson then announces that he prefers the A10 and its engine tone. The Ascari goes round the track faster than the Koenigsegg CCX with a time of 1:17.3, taking it to the top of the Power Lap board.
News: There is no news in this episode due to "lack of time".
Star in a Reasonably Priced car: Keith Allen gets a time of 1:51.7 on what the Stig said was the wettest day on record.
Challenge: In the previous series, the presenters planted their own bio-fuel crop, which was rapeseed. Having harvested the crops they accidentally made 500 gallons worth of bio-diesel, because May had bought the wrong seed. In order to dispose of it they take part in the Britcar 24 hour endurance race at Silverstone Circuit using a modified BMW 330d. Arriving at the event, the team discover that it is not an event for novices as they had expected, but rather a fully professional endurance race and that the team would be competing alongside actual 200 mph (320 km/h) supercars.
For qualifying, each team member had to do three laps each. Hammond is very unfamiliar with the track, and May forgets to do his flying lap. The team reveal their secret weapon: The Stig. After his three laps the team are stunned to find that they are not bottom of the table.
They then must do three laps at night. Hammond, Clarkson and The Stig all complete their 3-lap stints. However, disaster strikes when May is completing his. The turbo, clutch and flywheel break down and the fuel pump splits, thanks to the large amounts of methanol in the bio-diesel that had "eaten" away the seals. The team qualify in 42nd place, out of 59. The mechanics work through the night, doing the fastest repair job ever, but the team still misses the race start, and has to start from pitlane. The car comes to life minutes before the completion of the parade lap with The Stig behind the wheel.The car starts the race in last place but the Stig climbs 20 places in the board into 39th. The car breaks down again, taking 30 minutes to repair. May takes it out next. After being tired out only halfway (90 minutes) into his stint and nearly wrecking the BMW, May is brought in and is switched for Clarkson. Clarkson completes his 3-hour stint and Hammond is next. He collides with a Mosler race car, sending him spinning off and forcing him to be towed back into pitlane to have the car repaired. This takes three hours, putting the team in last place. During the race, the fog becomes very thick and the race is immediately halted. Clarkson got the crowd to do a Mexican wave. The Stig makes up for lost ground, putting them back in the race, and despite their exhaustion, the others then take their turns. During Clarkson's final stint, the front tyres start to wear rapidly so the car is brought back to the pits for new tyres. The car finished the race 39th overall and 3rd in their class.
|91||10||Series 10, Episode 10||Jaguar XF||German Performance Saloon cars: (BMW M3 vs. Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG vs. Audi RS4) • Top Gear Awards 2007||David Tennant||23 December 2007||7.15|
Review: May reviews the new Jaguar XF. He praises the engines, the modernness, the Ian Callum design and the interior design. However, he feels that the suspension of the SV8 he drives is a little stiff.
News: Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione and Koenigsegg CCXR. James May is Heat magazine's weird celebrity crush of the year, and Clarkson reveals that Hammond had won an award for the best celebrity hair cut of the year while James May had been voted as the worst. They also reveal car related Christmas "gift ideas", such as a "travel rabbit", a carbon-fibre shoehorn, a Ferrari branded sledge, a wobbly headed model of the former president of Nissan USA Yutaka Katayama, Lamborghini Christmas tree baubles, a £1500 Bugatti aftershave and carbon fibre carrying case, and a Tee-shirt featuring Nissan Z cars. The co-presenters proceed to destroy majority of the gifts "in the spirit of Christmas".
Main Review: Clarkson, May and Hammond take three cars to the Ascari Race Resort in Ronda, Spain: the new BMW M3, Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG and The Audi RS4. Hammond praises the M3 for its excellent drive and its "spectacular tailslides". Clarkson praises the Mercedes for its "lunacy" and how it is the most powerful with its 6.2 litre 450 bhp (340 kW) engine, calling it an "axe murderer with headlights" due to flaws with the traction control. May brings the Audi RS4 which he calls a very good car due to its subtlety and all-wheel drive system. Clarkson's Mercedes-Benz, which has the biggest legroom and boot, wins in a drag race, prompting May to start measuring parts of his Audi to see where it beats the Mercedes-Benz. Hammond set up a Powerpoint presentation which only proves that Clarkson's car has the best engine.
The Stig sets a time of 2:15.16 in his "hire car", Emerson Fittipaldi's 1972 F1 world championship winning Lotus 72 before testing the other cars. The BMW M3 was the fastest of the three with 2:38.9, the Mercedes-Benz a 2:43.5 and the Audi a 2:43.9. When The Stig claimed the handling of the Mercedes-Benz was too "wayward and uncontrollable", Clarkson claims the Stig was not trying hard enough and says he can hit an apple placed on the apex of a corner at full speed. Clarkson fails repeatedly; The Stig then hits it first time in the M3 forcing Clarkson to eat the splattered fruit. Clarkson then brings a "cock-o-meter" to show how much of a cock (idiot) an M3 driver looks. Unfortunately, the meter was not built to withstand cars such as the M3 and so was broken when it attempted to analyse it. In the end, when driving each other's cars, the Audi is described by Hammond as a "very nice place to be", and how the 4WD makes sense. The Mercedes-Benz is described as "chinsy" by May, but he likes the engine. Clarkson then admits the BMW is very good and that Hammond was talking sense. In the end all three agreed that the BMW M3 was the best, with Clarkson saying the other cars are just copies, as good as they are. However, Clarkson ends by claiming that he could not ignore the insanity of the Mercedes-Benz and would still have it himself. And Clarkson declares, "The truth be told, all absolutely brilliant."
Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Doctor Who star David Tennant posted a time of 1.48.8 and complains about being half a second behind Billie Piper as she cut the Hammerhead corner on the track. Clarkson defended keeping her time as Billie was wearing a see-through shirt the day she was interviewed. A parody of this segment was made where Jeremy Clarkson was commenting on Tennant driving the TARDIS.
2007 Top Gear Awards:
|Total||No.||Title||Featured cars||Guest||Original air date|
|N/A||SP||Top Ground Gear Force||N/A||Sir Steve Redgrave||14 March 2008|
|Challenge: The trio take on a special challenge for Sport Relief: attempting to re-design Sir Steve's garden. The plan goes horribly wrong, with a dumper trunk destroying the lawn (before getting breached in a hole), Hammond setting fire to a shed build by James, and a greenhouse—declared "the only thing that went right"—which is later destroyed by a large torrent of water.|
|Total||No.||Title||Featured cars||Guest||Original air date|
|N/A||SP||The Best of Top Gear 2007 #1||The Caparo T1 (From Series 10, Episode 5)||Ronnie Wood||1 January 2008|
Challenge: Finding The World's Greatest Driving Road (From Series 10, Episode 1), Hammond's F1 Car Challenge (From Series 10, Episode 8)Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Ronnie Wood (From Series 10, Episode 3)
|N/A||SP||The Best of Top Gear 2007 #2||Audi R8 (From Series 10, Episode 2), BMW M5 Touring vs. AMG Mercedes E-Class (From Series 10, Episode 6)||James Blunt & Jennifer Saunders||6 January 2008|
Challenge: Bugatti Veyron vs. Eurofighter (From Series 10, Episode 3)
Review: The Aston Martin V8 Vantage (From Series 10, Episode 5)Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: James Blunt (From Series 10, Episode 8), Jennifer Saunders (From Series 10, Episode 7)
|N/A||SP||The Best of Top Gear 2007 #3||Aston Martin DBS (From Series 10, Episode 7)||Lewis Hamilton||13 January 2008|
Challenge: Amphibious Cars II (From Series 10, Episode 2)
Review: Peel P50 (From Series 10, Episode 3)
F1 Driver in a Reasonably Priced Car: Lewis Hamilton (From Series 10, Episode 8)Challenge: Motorhome Racing (From Series 10, Episode 6)
|N/A||SP||The Best of Top Gear 2007 #4||Daihatsu Materia, Ascari A10 (From Series 10, Episode 9)||Simon Cowell & Lawrence Dallaglio||27 January 2008|
Review: Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé (From Series 10, Episode 3)
Challenge: Race Across London (From Series 10, Episode 5)Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Simon Cowell (From Series 10, Episode 5), Lawrence Dallaglio (From Series 10, Episode 6)
Series 10, Episode 4
In the African challenge, the Top Gear hosts were tasked in part to traverse the Makgadikgadi Pan in Botswana successfully in their bought cars. The Environmental Investigation Agency criticised the BBC for allowing Top Gear to film in environmentally sensitive salt pans. Responding to accusations by conservationists of "leaving scars across the Makgadikgadi salt pans by driving vehicles across them," the BBC denied that they had gone near any conservation areas, and had followed the advice of environmental experts.
- Top Gear props site destroyed by arson - Auto Trader UK - News and Reviews Hub
- Top Gear Magazine, November 2007
- "TGTV Series 9 Preview". Top Gear website. Retrieved 5 February 2008.
- "TGTV Series 9 Preview". Top Gear website. Retrieved 5 February 2008.
- "Top Gear 'damaged African plains'". BBC News. 8 July 2007. Retrieved 28 July 2007.