Top Gear (series 6)
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (June 2012)|
|Top Gear (series 6)|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of episodes||11|
|Original channel||BBC Two|
|Original run||22 May 2005– 7 August 2005|
The sixth series of Top Gear aired on 22 May 2005 and concluded on 7 August 2005. A total of 11 episodes were broadcast, the most of any Top Gear series. It also began the, "Some say..." introduction to the Stig
|Total||No.||Title||Features||Guest||Original air date||UK viewers
|49||1||Series 6, Episode 1||Mercedes-Benz CLS55 AMG • Honda Element • Toyota Aygo Football • Range Rover Sport vs Challenger 2 Tank||James Nesbitt||22 May 2005||4.51|
Main review: Clarkson tests the Mercedes-Benz CLS55 AMG, a stylish and comfortable four-door coupe with a throaty 500 hp (370 kW) supercharged V8, brakes from the SLR supercar, a luxurious interior, and "fabulous handling." The Stig does a lap time of 1:26.9, currently the fastest four-door saloon ever tested. Jeremy adores it as a "thug in a silk dressing gown" and says the only thing that would keep him from buying one is fear of the recent reputation for dodgy Mercedes-Benz build quality.
News: The collapse of MG Rover. In response to a protest by environmentalists who broke into the Land Rover factory where Range Rovers are built and chained themselves to the production line, Jeremy, Richard and James staged their own protest at the Hammersmith bus station in London by chaining themselves onto a bus, only to be sent away by police.
Review: May tests the Honda Element, which is not for sale in the UK. He brings it to a community of retirees to see what they make of it; he proclaims it cool after the stereotypical old Honda drivers don't like it.
Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: James Nesbitt discusses guns with Jeremy and what it is like being 40. Lap time of 1:51.3
Cool Wall: Clarkson is annoyed that Kristin-Scott Thomas likes the Honda Civic and a red Bentley and thinks the DB9 is uncool, so he replaces her with Fiona Bruce as the expectation. Jeremy and Richard fall in love with the Alfa Romeo Brera.Challenge: Clarkson attempted to see whether a Challenger 2 tank could lock its main cannon onto a Range Rover Sport. The Range Rover was good on the rough stuff, but the tank was better.
|50||2||Series 6, Episode 2||Maserati MC12 • 2 door coupé for less than £1500 that isn't a Porsche (Mitsubishi Starion, Jaguar XJS, BMW 635CSi)||Jack Dee||29 May 2005||3.67|
Review: After destroying the disappointing Maserati Biturbo and lauding the Maserati 250F for its performance in the hands of Juan Manuel Fangio in the 1957 German Grand Prix, Clarkson announces the £412,000 Maserati MC12, saying it is "An Enzo in Drag". Fastest car of 1:18.9. He is impressed with its speed, but, like the Biturbo, doesn't consider it to be a proper Maserati.
News: The recently released Honda FR-V, with its distinctive "3+3" seating arrangement, is discussed. The upcoming Saab 9-3 SportWagon, Hummer H3, third-generation Mazda MX-5, eighth-generation Honda Civic, and Ferrari 575M Superamerica, a convertible version of the 575M Maranello, are discussed. Clarkson disputes Ferrari's claim that the Superamerica is the "world's fastest convertible", naming several other convertible supercars (such as the Porsche Carrera GT) which are faster.
Challenge: The team was asked to buy a 2-door coupé that wasn't a Porsche for under £1,500, mirroring a competition they had in series five where they each had to spend £1,500 to buy a Porsche. May bought a Jaguar XJS, Hammond a BMW 635CSi, while Clarkson went for a turbocharged Mitsubishi Starion. They were then sent to the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire for a series of challenges to see who had got the best deal, scoring points for each challenge. The challenges included trying to get to 140 mph (225 km/h), having to drive at 30 mph (48 km/h) over Belgian cobbles with a bucket of water on their lap. They then had to drive to Oxford and meet up at the QI Club. Clarkson arrived first, followed 47 minutes later by Hammond. May never made it; his Jag broke down five times en route. Finally, the team were allowed to spend the remainder of their £1,500 on upgrading their cars prior to an endurance race in a farm's field. The overall winner turned out to be May, followed by Hammond, but with Clarkson out of the running. May, however, offered to give the title to Clarkson if he admitted "I'm a clot and I ruined my car", because he had installed a highly uprated turbocharger (said to be from Pentti Airikkala's Group A Rally car), without any change to the cooling system. (and also because Clarkson almost tricked him into saying that the best 2-door coupé for less than £1,500 was "a V12 car made by communists") The result was that during the endurance race, the engine coolant boiled repeatedly, destroying power and putting Clarkson out of the running. Clarkson instantly said, "I'm a clot and I ruined my car," then celebrated his "victory".Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Comedian Jack Dee; Lap time of 1:53.5.
|51||3||Series 6, Episode 3||Aston Martin DB9 Volante • Maserati Bora • Wiesmann MF 3 • TVR Tuscan • Clarkson opens a public pool with a Rolls-Royce||Christopher Eccleston||12 June 2005||3.96|
News: Clarkson's Ford GT finally arrives and is shown in the studio alongside Hammond's dream car, a "half-timbered" Morgan. They talk about the sacrifices needed to make in order to enjoy owning "the car of your dreams", such as causing numerous traffic jams and things being stolen from the car.
Review: May drives the Maserati Bora, which is his favourite Italian 70s supercar, and his overall favourite except for the old Aston Martin V8 Vantage. The Bora had comfort and sophistication, but luxurious touches made it the slowest supercar of the 70s. May is vindicated as it is civilised and is still decent to drive in the modern era.
Main Review: Clarkson reviews the Wiesmann MF3 and the TVR Tuscan. The Tuscan is proven to be a very hard and complicated car to enter and drive. Lap times of 1:27.9 (Wiesmann) and 1:24.8 (TVR). But Richard (who hates TVRs) and Jeremy prefer the Wiesmann.
|52||4||Series 6, Episode 4||Cadillac CTS-V • Renault Modus • Honda Jazz • Peugeot 1007 • BMW 320d • Presenters' mums help evaluate cars. • Can a stretch limo jump over the wedding party?||Omid Djalili||19 June 2005||3.45|
Challenge: Can a 3-ton stretched limo jump over a wedding party? The party consisted of an outdoor wedding setting, a few caravans and the guests' cars. The obese Lincoln limo clears the wedding setting, but smashes into the caravans and one of the cars.
News: Clarkson's Ford GT and all the problems it has caused him during the week, starting from the engine not working when he wanted to set off home in it, continuing with the alarm starting off with no reason and the tracker device sending SOS calls while Clarkson was in the car. Clarkson concludes by threatening the people at Ford if they don't mend his car, after mocking the Focus diesel courtesy car they gave him.
Review: Clarkson tests the Cadillac CTS-V at the Top Gear test track. He initially mocks the claim that it handled like a European car (after development had been done at the Nürburgring), before racing it against an Audi S4 driven by the Stig. Despite a similar power output, and the Stig in control of the Audi, the Cadillac wins. Jeremy likes it, but doesn't recommend it over the Vauxhall Monaro muscle car, and expresses disdain over the constant "bong" sounds the car makes when the door is open, the key is in the ignition, and so on. The CTS-V does a lap around the test track in 1.33:4 in the wet.
Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Omid Djalili, the British-Iranian comedian, talks about the only car made in Iran and Clarkson suggests that Iranian nukes can't be very advanced if this is their idea of car technology. Lap of 1:51.5.
Review: Hammond tests the new BMW 3 Series on the M4 corridor, and describes it as "a great piece of machinery"; he also talks about the 3-Series outselling the Ford Mondeo, thus diminishing the "snob value" of the badge. Music from Coldplay's X&Y album, released earlier that month, is featured prominently in the film.Review: The guys hand over duties to their mothers to review three new small cars: the Renault Modus, Honda Jazz and Peugeot 1007. They're tested by seeing how much space there is, how fast they are (to which Hammond points out May's mother is much faster than May himself is) and how easy they are to get into. Their mothers' decision is that the practical and easy-to-drive Honda is the best, while the presenters favour the quicker and better-priced Renault. Everyone finds the slow and impractical Peugeot to be rubbish.
|53||5||Series 6, Episode 5||Aston Martin DB5 • Jaguar E-Type • Nissan Murano • Maserati GranSport • Which one is best avoiding bullets?: (Porsche Boxster S vs Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG)||Damon Hill||26 June 2005||3.66|
Review: James May takes a Nissan Murano to Hertfordshire and after an overall favourable review he concurs with Clarkson that the only thing he does not like about the car is the looks. Especially the front grille reminds Clarkson of the James Bond villain Jaws. Its positive points include comfort, ease of driving, and most of all extreme quietness.
News: The new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX is the same car as its predecessor, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII. Lamborghini introduces a spyder version of the Gallardo, James May promotes a retro-styled hand-free phone and the bold new Citroën C6 is in the studio.
Review: Clarkson returns to the 1960s to define cool with the Aston Martin DB5 and a Jaguar E-type. In standard, antique form they are terrible to drive, unreliable, extremely expensive, and slower in a drag race than a 2.4 litre Honda Accord. But he also recommends that nearly all of these problems can be overcome by spending somewhat more money on a modernised and updated version. The Stig takes both of them around the track; the original DB5 is the slowest car ever at 1:46, while the modernised E-type sets the same time as a V6-engined Audi TT at 1:32.
Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car: 1996 F1 World Champion Damon Hill tries to disprove the claims that he is the Stig, then talks to Clarkson about the 2005 United States Grand Prix 6-car fiasco; they discuss the bad tastes in cars of people that "have lived at 300 mph" (Hill's car at the moment was an Audi A3). Hill's time of 1:46.3 starts the F1 drivers' board.
Review: Richard Hammond drives the new Maserati Coupé, known as the Gran Sport, and attempts to get around the Autodromo Riccardo Paletti in Varano de' Melegari, Italy, faster than former F1 and BTCC driver Gabriele Tarquini. Hammond was four seconds a lap slower than Tarquini, which subsequently meant the latter would have, in an 70-lap race, lapped him five times.
Greatest Driving Song of All Time: For the remainder of the series, May will be presenting five songs the viewers nominated to find out what song is the "Greatest Driving Song of All Time." This week, it is Golden Earring's "Radar Love".Challenge: Snipers of the Irish Guards try to shoot Clarkson, as he drives the new Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG and Porsche Boxster S around a deserted village.
|54||6||Series 6, Episode 6||Aston Martin DBR9 • Epic race to Oslo: Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren vs. a boat||David Dimbleby||3 July 2005||4.55|
Review: The Aston Martin DBR9 racer is given a race around the track. It sets a very quick time of 1:08.6, but can't go on the board because it is not a production vehicle & it was on slick tyres.
Challenge: A race from Heathrow Airport to Oslo. Clarkson chose the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren because it was both extremely fast and completely comfortable. He embarked on a tiring 1,320-mile (2,120 km) drive via the Channel Tunnel, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Denmark, the Øresund Bridge, Sweden, and into Norway. Hammond and May took a flight to Newcastle upon Tyne, and then a 17-hour long ferry to Kristiansand. Initially, it looked hopeful for them as they planned to complete the trip by speedboat; however, in heavy seas, they broke down in two speedboats and had to complete the journey by bus after ending up in a town (which name is never mentioned) some distance from Oslo. Though Clarkson had spent the night sleeping at a service station just outside of Copenhagen in Denmark, he beat Richard and James by several hours due to the setbacks. Back in the studio, Clarkson admitted that his victory was a hollow one as despite the greatness of the McLaren, he was wasted after spending 24 hours inside it. He summed it up saying, "The weak point of the modern car is the squidgy organic bit behind the wheel. Me, basically."Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild"
|55||7||Series 6, Episode 7||TVR Sagaris • Fiat Panda vs marathon runner • Sabine Schmitz attempts to beat 10:00 around the Nürburgring in a Ford Transit van||Justin Hawkins||10 July 2005||3.75|
Main review: Jeremy drives the first and only non-terrifying TVR, the Sagaris. James contends that despite his great praise for the vehicle, Jeremy would rather have a Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG because he's a coward.
News: Jeremy has slipped two discs, which he describes as 'repetitive oversteer injury'; Proton have announced the Savvy, as a 'My First Lotus'; two new Mustangs, neither of which will be coming to the UK; Mercedes-Benz have styled a car like a fish; the Top Gear Survey.
Versus Challenge: Clarkson races the new 4-wheel drive Fiat Panda against marathon runner A.C. Muir around the London Marathon circuit during the morning rush-hour. After early success, the car gets bogged down in traffic and just as Clarkson approaches Tower Bridge, the gates are closed and the bridge rises. Muir wins the race by 10 minutes. Clarkson is impressed and back in the studio, Clarkson interrogates Hammond for failing to beat him on a train, a plane and a boat and commends Muir for beating him using "nothing except half a horsepower and some toast". Clarkson praises Muir again and gives a Top Gear Top Tip, "If you're looking for a faster way to get through London during the morning rush hour, don't use a car — run!"
Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Justin Hawkins recalls driving across America in a Reliant Regal. Lap time of 1:48.
Cool Wall: The DB9 Cabriolet is cool in case you own one and it is called over a tannoy; Richard takes advantage of Clarkson's injury to place the Maserati Gran Sport in the cool section and the Peugeot 1007 in the uncool section; the Panda is cool because it is a 4x4 and annoys ecomentalists; the Range Rover Sport is uncool because a reality TV star wants one; the two disagree over the SLK55 — Hammond says it is too fiddly and the two use large audience members to fight by proxy — Hammond wins at first, but then Clarkson intervenes and it goes in "sub-zero".Time Challenge: To celebrate the Ford Transit's 40th birthday, Hammond goes to the Nürburgring to see if Sabine Schmitz can fulfill her word and do a lap of the infamous track in a Transit van in less than Jeremy's best lap in the diesel S-Type of 9:59. Sabine fails on the first try, so tries again after streamlining and putting the van on a drastic and radical weight diet, and achieves a 10:08.49 the second time, coming just 9 seconds short of the time Jeremy had set the previous year. Back at the hangar, Sabine is invited to take over oversteering duties from Hammond for the next series, being 'cheaper', much better looking, a better (quicker) driver, and most importantly taller, as well as speaking better English.
|56||8||Series 6, Episode 8||Ferrari F430 • Audi TT • Nissan 350Z • Chrysler Crossfire • Convertible versions of existing coupes in Iceland||Tim Rice||17 July 2005||4.10|
Main review: Ferrari F430. Jeremy claims it "about the best car I've ever driven". The convertible version of the F430 is just as pin-sharp to drive and comes only one-tenth of a second slower on the track. He can find nothing wrong with either version, but advises that unattractive people should avoid the soft top, so as not to create embarrassment.
Challenge: Clarkson, Hammond and May take some convertible versions of existing coupes to Iceland. Specifically the Chrysler Crossfire, Nissan 350Z and Audi TT. Clarkson likes the Chrysler because as a soft top it is attractive, comfortable, and cheap. Hammond likes the Nissan for its power. May likes the Audi because of its build quality and four-wheel drive. Two of them find the TT to be too dull, two of them find the Crossfire to be rubbish, and two of them find the Nissan to be too camp and idiotic. They cannot decide which is best, because each one is flawed.
Star in a reasonably priced car: Tim Rice has a Jaguar, but he and nobody who works for him know which one. Lap of 1:52.7.Greatest Driving Song of All Time: Meat Loaf's "Bat out of Hell". In addition, this song has been ridiculed by the presenters.
|57||9||Series 6, Episode 9||BMW M5 • Vauxhall Astra VXR • Renault Mégane Sport • Volkswagen Golf GTI • Road Test Russian Roulette • World record attempt for number of times a car has rolled at high speed||Chris Evans||24 July 2005||5.18|
Main review: The new BMW M5, priced identically with the Mercedes-Benz CLS. Jeremy admits disappointment, and points out the list of failures in great detail: confusing electronic settings for everything, annoying sat-nav, jerky gearbox, uncomfortable ride, ugly exterior, non-cancelling indicator, and disappointing appreciation of speed with the 400 horsepower (300 kW) standard setting. Though the review then appears to be over, Jeremy presses the M button and the engine delivers 507 metric horsepower (373 kW; 500 bhp), the suspension stiffens, and the gearbox goes to a default race setting. In this form, it is spectacular to drive, but very fragile- it had to be mended before a lap could be done. In the hands of the Stig, it does a lap time of 1:26.2, putting it slightly faster than the CLS, but worse as an all-rounder.
Review: Clarkson drives three hot hatchbacks, the VW Golf GTI, RenaultSport Mégane, and the Vauxhall Astra VXR. Clarkson thinks the Astra is too powerful for a front-wheel drive car, resulting in disastrous understeer. Torque-steer always yanks the front wheels to the left, and the extra power is useless as it is slower than the Renault. Clarkson likes the Mégane, but would still buy a Golf instead, reiterating his decision in Series 5, Episode 6.
Challenge: Hammond and May play a game called "Road Test Russian Roulette", which involved them having to test cars while driving the cars' owners (which are supposed to be drunk) back to their homes. Hammond tries to be polite and avoid telling people that some parts of the car are rubbish, instead talking about spices and that part of the car. Clarkson tells him that he has cocked it up because of this approach.
Challenge: A new world record was set for the number of complete sideways rolls in a car. A stuntman managed to make a Ford Sierra estate complete 6 rolls - and survived.
Star in a reasonably priced car: Chris Evans who tells Jeremy about trying (and failing) to take old people to the shops during his five-year hiatus, Lap of 1:47.9Greatest Driving Song of All Time: Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now"
|58||10||Series 6, Episode 10||BMW 535d • Bentley Continental Flying Spur • Driving over a lake in Iceland • What is the most fun off-road toy?||Davina McCall • Mark Webber||31 July 2005||4.92|
Review: Clarkson tests the BMW 535d four-door sedan, the first diesel car to be brought to the Top Gear test track. He finds that, compared to the petrol variant, the diesel is quieter at motorway speeds, it has much more torque, it is slightly cheaper, and the weight of the heavier engine doesn't affect the handling. The petrol version is more responsive, more fun to drive, and it beats the diesel on a track. The Stig takes the 535d to a 1:31.8 time.
Challenge: Hammond returns to Iceland (on the basis that the convertible test in episode 8 had been very boring, and he was not allowed to come home until he had filmed something interesting) to race a modified off-road vehicle against a Snowmobile over Lake Kleifarvatn.
Greatest Driving Song of All Time: A retrospect of the five finalists.
Star in a reasonably priced car: Big Brother host Davina McCall tries to invite Clarkson onto Big Brother and admits she owns an eco-unfriendly Range Rover, she also tells about her shoes and how the Stig said they were slowing her down and made her do a lap barefoot. Her lap time is 1:57.1.
Review: May drives the Bentley Continental Flying Spur in Dubai, as he can think of no other place to respectfully test the "New Money" car. May defies his "Captain Slow" nickname by bringing the Bentley to 180 mph (290 km/h) on roads specially closed off for him; he likes the car and finds that the addition of two more doors and a bit of re-characterisation has moved it successfully away from the Bentley Continental GT. Jeremy despises the new four-door Bentley, calling it "the most dreary styling" he has ever seen.
Star in a reasonably priced car, take two: Mark Webber complains that the wet conditions would hurt him, despite Clarkson's reassurances that he could have gotten 4 seconds faster in dry. His time of 1:47.1 is disputed after Clarkson suggests that he could have gotten a 1:43 in dry conditions. Afterwards, Clarkson gives Webber a shirt proclaiming, "I AM THE STIG."Review: The trio reviews several off-road toys, including quadbikes, the 8-wheeled Argo Cat, hovercraft, and specially-designed racing vehicles, among others, in a bid to find out which one of them is most fun. After destroying a field by driving quadbikes and many other off road toys (including the Argo Cat which can float, as proved by Jeremy), Clarkson slips two discs in his back after crashing his hovercraft.
|59||11||Series 6, Episode 11||Ford F150 SVT Lightning • Vauxhall Monaro VXR • Lamborghini Murciélago Roadster • Recreate Top Gear Theme Song using engine noises||Timothy Spall||7 August 2005||4.58|
Main review: Hammond tested the Vauxhall Monaro VX-R and was taught how to drift in the same car by D1 Grand Prix driver Yasuyuki Kazama, despite Kazama not speaking English (he had to teach using hand signals). Kazama then took the VX-R and showed Hammond how to drift properly.
News: It is revealed that Vauxhall has discontinued the distribution of the Monaro VX-R, making the former segment irrelevant.
Challenge: James May tries to re-create the Top Gear theme tune using car engine noises. Ranging from the supercar Enzo Ferrari to a classic Chevrolet Corvette to modern cars like the Suzuki Swift and the Mazda RX-8 and even a construction dumper, May's song is purist as he refuses to use computer effects to make it sound better, with results that fail to impress the others. Clarkson compares it to "a fat talentless shop assistant farting."
Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Timothy Spall talks about his movie roles with Tom Cruise, and manages to take the Liana to a respectable 1:51.1 time, despite going into the last corner too fast and swiviling around on the last straight.
Greatest Driving Song of All Time:
James presents Roger Taylor, Queen's drummer, with a trophy.
Review: Clarkson reviews the Ford Lightning, and considers the truck useless in England. From claiming it is made from old shovels and the interior is rubbish to getting something stolen from the bed of the truck, Clarkson closes his argument by mentioning how these trucks often appear to crash in police chase videos.
Cool Wall: Clarkson and Hammond could not be bothered to put up the BMW 3-Series on the cool wall, finding it too dull to be worth the time.Review: Hammond participated in the Pamplona Bull Run in Spain, where he was shoved into the path of a bull by a participant, before a segment in which he road tested the Lamborghini Murciélago Roadster.