Top Gear (series 4)

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Top Gear (series 4)
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 10
Original network BBC Two
Original release 9 May (2004-05-09) – 1 August 2004 (2004-08-01)
Series chronology
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Series 3
Next →
Series 5
List of Top Gear episodes

The fourth series of Top Gear aired during 2004 and ran for 10 episodes, beginning on 9 May and concluding on 1 August. A Sport Relief charity special, titled "Stars In Fast Cars", was aired on 1 August after the series ended and later spawned its own spin-off, while a "Best Of Top Gear" special for Series 4 was subsequently aired a week later on 8 August.


Total No. Title Reviews Features/challenges Guest(s) Original air date UK viewers
301Series 4, Episode 1Lotus ExigeRover CityRoverAston Martin DB9Epic race: Aston Martin DB9 vs. TGV and Eurostar French fast trains – Surrey to Monte CarloApache Gunship helicopter vs. Lotus Exige – can the helicopter get missile lock?Fay Ripley9 May 2004 (2004-05-09)3.28
The presenters find out whether the train or the car is fastest at getting from point A to point B - Hammond and May travel to Monte Carlo onboard the Eurostar and the TGV, while Clarkson tries to beat them in the Aston Martin DB9. Meanwhile, Clarkson sees if he can evade missile lock-on from an WAH-64D Apache attack helicopter while in a super-lightweight Lotus Exige, May goes undercover at a Rover dealer to see if Rover's refusal to let them review the CityRover was because it would be found to be rubbish, and Fay Ripley steps in to the Liana to set a lap time on a mildly moist track.
312Series 4, Episode 2Mercedes-Benz SLR McLarenAlfa Romeo 166Cadillac EscaladeFord FAB-1A nun in a monster truck • Hammond gets hypnotisedPaul McKenna16 May 2004 (2004-05-16)3.31
Clarkson finds out how good the Alfa Romeo 166 V6 Selespeed is in West Yorkshire, compares the Volvo XC90 with the Land Rover Discovery and looks at an interesting fusion in the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren. Meanwhile May reviews the 2004 Thunderbirds movie version of FAB 1, Lady Penelope's pink Rolls Royce custom, to see how realistic it is to drive it on the road, while Hammond reviews the Cadillac Escalade in an orthodox way and finds out if a nun can drive a monster truck. Elsewhere, hypnotist Paul McKenna has a go in the Liana before causing mischief for one of the presenters by hypnotising them into thinking they have forgotten how to drive a car.
323Series 4, Episode 3Porsche 911 GT3 RSFerrari 360 Challenge Stradale1968 Dodge Charger 440 R/T£100 car challenge. (Volvo 760Audi 80Rover 416GTi)Jordan23 May 2004 (2004-05-23)3.36
The presenters each buy a road-legal car for less than £100 and put them through their paces at the track to see who got the better deal - Clarkson sees if his Volvo 760 is best despite the miles on its clock, Hammond hopes his quick but otherwise derided Rover 416GTi can beat the others, and May wonders if his Audi 80 1.8E will win regardless of its suspected crash history. Meanwhile, Hammond reviews the 1968 Dodge Charger 440 R/T, and Clarkson sees whether the Porsche 996 GT3 RS is a good car for a track day against a Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale. Celebrity supermodel Jordan is the latest star to head out onto the track in the reasonably priced car.
334Series 4, Episode 4Porsche Carrera GTAudi A8 4.0 TDIFord SportKa'Car darts' • Audi A8 4.0 TDI endurance challenge (London to Edinburgh and back on one tank) • Ford SportKa vs. racing pigeonsEvo vs. STi battle revisedRonnie O'Sullivan30 May 2004 (2004-05-30)3.24
Clarkson sees if a V8 diesel engine equipped Audi A8 can drive from London to Edinburgh and back on one tankful of fuel, to see if Audi's claims of good overall economy in their large, powerful executive car holds any truth to it, before stepping into the Porsche Carrera GT and looking at it from a "German point of view". Meanwhile, May sees if the Ford SportKa's satellite navigation system can beat a flock of racing pigeons by having a race between the two, before competing with Hammond in a game of "car darts". Elsewhere, there is a look at the revised versions of the Impreza and the Evo - the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII MR FQ320 and the Subaru Impreza STI WRX WR1 - while snooker player Ronnie O'Sullivan hopes to be fast with the Liana when he takes hold of it.
345Series 4, Episode 5MG ZT 260 • Hatchbacks: (Vauxhall AstraMazda3Volkswagen Golf)Shootout: Performance sport coupes (Jaguar XK-RBMW 645CiPorsche 911 Carrera 2) on the Pendine SandsVolkswagen Golf gets electrocutedJohnny VaughanDenise van Outen6 June 2004 (2004-06-06)3.39
The trio take to Pendine Sands to test out low grip, but high RWD power, of the BMW 645Ci, Jaguar XK-R and Porsche 996 Carrera 2. Meanwhile, Hammond compares the Vauxhall Astra, the Mazda 3, and the Volkswagen Golf and sees how safe it is to sit in a car when it is struck by lightning, while Clarkson reviews an up-rated version of the MG saloon - the MG ZT 260. Johnny Vaughan is driving in the Liana this time, with Denise Van Outen tagging along.
356Series 4, Episode 6Renault Clio RenaultSportJaguar XJSCadillac CTSNissan CubeCan you run a car on poo? Hammond Investigates.Sir Terry Wogan13 June 2004 (2004-06-13)3.19
Clarkson and Hammond review cars that aren't available in Britain - the unworthy to import Nissan Cube, and the rather good Cadillac CTS - before taking a look at a number of other cars not available and determining which they want to come to Britain and those they don't. Meanwhile, May has a go in a modernised version of the Jaguar XJS by Knowles-Wilkins Engineering and finds surprising differences between it and the original version, Clarkson takes a look at the Renault Clio 182, Hammond sees if a car can be run on "poo", and Terry Wogan sees whether he can be good around the track in the reasonably priced car.
367Series 4, Episode 7Spyker C8 SpyderMercedes-Benz CL 65 AMGMPVs as minicabs: (Renault ScénicFord C-Max)Lionel Richie11 July 2004 (2004-07-11)3.47
The Mercedes-Benz CL 65 AMG is given a through test by Clarkson to see how it fares against competition from Aston, while the Spyker C8 is reviewed to see how it looks when driven. Elsewhere, Hammond and May pose as minicab drivers to see if the Renault Scenic and the Ford C-MAX are good as updated hatchbacks, while Lionel Richie breaks a wheel off the Liana when he takes to the track.
378Series 4, Episode 8Ford GTMaserati QuattroporteDiesel versus Petrol hot hatch race • Blowing over cars using Boeing 747 jetblast • Tribute to the Rover V8 engineMartin Clunes18 July 2004 (2004-07-18)4.01
Clarkson finds out how much of an improvement his dream car, the Ford GT, is to the original GT40, while May tries to figure out whether the Maserati Quattroporte wants to be a luxury saloon or a performance car. Elsewhere, there is a race between a turbodiesel Škoda Fabia VRS and a supercharged petrol Mini Cooper to see if diesel technology has caught up to Petrol, Hammond bids farewell to the Rover V8 engine by entering an unmodified Rover SD1 into a Touring car race, a modern Ford Mondeo and a more primitive Citroen 2CV (both unmanned) are sent out into the jet wake of a Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 G-VAST's engines, and Martin Clunes takes the Liana around the track.
389Series 4, Episode 9Two Seater Roadsters: (Mazda MX-5Toyota MR2Fiat BarchettaMercedes-Benz SL600) • Convertibles: (MiniCooper CabrioletVauxhall TigraMercedes-Benz SLK350Audi S4 Cabriolet)Jaguar X-Type EstateCan you parachute into a moving car?Sir Ranulph Fiennes25 July 2004 (2004-07-25)4.01
There's a roadster comparison between the Mercedes-Benz SL600, the Mazda MX-5, the Fiat Barchetta and the Toyota MR2, as Hammond finds out which is best, before he and May travel to Lewis and Harris to compare cabriolets - the MiniCooper Cabriolet, the Vauxhall Tigra, the Mercedes-Benz SLK350, and the Audi S4 Cabriolet. Meanwhile, Clarkson drives the spacious, four-wheel drive Jaguar X-Type estate, May finds out if you can parachute into a moving car, and Sir Ranulph Fiennes tackles his biggest challenge yet - driving the Liana around the Top Gear test track.
3910Series 4, Episode 10Volvo V50Peugeot 407BMW X3Chevrolet CorvetteHammond drives the Peugeot 407 as a pace car • Car Olympics: long jumpPatrick Kielty1 August 2004 (2004-08-01)3.54
The Peugeot 407 is given a thorough test before Hammond sees if it is any good as a pace car, before tackling the Chevrolet Corvette C6 and seeing if it is an improvement on the older ones. Meanwhile, May tests the Volvo V50 and sees what he can get in its boot at an antique sale, Clarkson sees how good the BMW X3 is, Top Gear does its own version of the Long Jump with cars, and Patrick Kielty sees if he can put in a fast lap with the Liana.

Best-of episodes[edit]

Total No. Title Feature Original air date
S3CEThe Best Of Top Gear: 2004 #1Best Moments from Series 48 August 2004 (2004-08-08)
A look back to the best moments from Series 4, including the race to Monte Carlo, the review of the Jaguar XJS, and Top Gear's Car Darts game.

Spin-Off Special[edit]

Title Guest(s) Original air date
Stars in Fast CarsJodie Kidd, Patrick Kielty, Jimmy Carr and Darren Jordon1 August 2004 (2004-08-01)
Hammond and May host a special edition of Top Gear, in which several well-known celebrities take on each other in a series of challenges to see who is best. The show's competitors included Clarkson, Jodie Kidd, Patrick Kielty, Jimmy Carr and Darren Jordon.


  1. ^ "Weekly Top 10 Programmes". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board.