Top Gear (series 10)

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Top Gear (series 10)
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 10
Release
Original channel BBC Two
Original release 7 October 2007 (2007-10-07) – 23 December 2007 (2007-12-23)
Series chronology
List of Top Gear episodes

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.

Episodes[edit]

Total No. Title Reviews Features Guest Original air date UK viewers
(million)[1]
81 1 Series 10, Episode 1 Volkswagen Golf GTI W12 Road trip to find the greatest driving road in the world: (Porsche 911 GT3 RSLamborghini Gallardo SuperleggeraAston Martin V8 Vantage N24) Dame Helen Mirren 7 October 2007 (2007-10-07) 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.)[2] 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.

Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Dame Helen Mirren posts a time of 1:52.8 in the Chevrolet Lacetti.

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.

Road Trip: The presenters each took a light-weight supercar to Mainland Europe to find the best driving road in the world. Clarkson drove a Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera, Hammond a Porsche 911 GT3 RS and May an Aston Martin V8 Vantage N24. While Clarkson's Lambo and Hammond's 911 were quick and civilised to drive, May's stripped-out Aston race car was intolerably hot and uncomfortable to drive (May had to use a pillow to ease the discomfort he suffered). While searching across Italy, they found a good road, a search for one in Switzerland proved problematic, but eventually, they ended up finding the "best driving road in the world", which ran from Davos to the Stelvio Pass. In the studio, May admitted that his Aston was terrible, while Hammond and Clarkson found their cars were brilliant but could not recommend buying the lightened versions since the performance of either was not superior enough to justify the price jump. Hammond evaluates their decision by stating that they are "back in business — ambitious, but rubbish!"
82 2 Series 10, Episode 2 Audi R8Porsche 911 Carrera S Amphibious Cars Challenge II Jools Holland 14 October 2007 (2007-10-14) 5.53

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.

Car Creation Challenge: The team are challenged to create and drive improved amphibious vehicles, over the ones they made before, and take them to Dover, where they would travel from the port, across the English Channel to France. Clarkson used a 1996 Nissan pick-up nicknamed the "Nissunk" with a 225 hp Honda outboard motor, attaching two lightweight oildrums to act as buoyancy devices, following his earlier problems with the Hilux. Hammond modified a second 1981 Volkswagen Transporter (nicknamed the "Dampervan") by using a fibreglass hull and adding sealant. May used 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 overheat, with Hammond suffering from smoke entering his van and suffocating him slowly, while May's emitted a buzzing sound and also started to smoke.

May was the first to launch his car, the day after arriving in Dover, but the keel insert failed and the car sunk on its first attempt. Clarkson's Nissan works well on the water, but couldn'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 suffered a broken mast on the second attempt and was no longer usable. Hammond's new "Dampervan" successfully floated well, but the choppy waters eventually damaged his steering on his first attempt and despite fitting a 2.3 hp outboard to the back (along with taking on May), the Dampervan subsequently sinks during the next day's attempt, much to Hammond's disappointment. All three eventually set off, the next day, 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 (and safely getting onto the shore), Clarkson declares, "The pick-up had landed."
83 3 Series 10, Episode 3 Ferrari 599 GTB FioranoFerrari 275 GTSRolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé Bugatti Veyron vs Eurofighter Typhoon race • Peel P50 around the BBC officeLexus LS600 Auto-Parking System Ronnie WoodFiona BruceDermot MurnaghanJohn Humphrys 28 October 2007 (2007-10-28) 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: May 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 Clarkson and the audience.

News: 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: 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.

Star in a reasonably priced car: Rolling Stones' Ronnie Wood posts a time of 1:49.4.

Review/Feature: Clarkson decides to review the Peel P50, the World's Smallest Car (back then), and to see whether it would be practical in daily life, highlighting its usefulness in office buildings. The car, made on the Isle of Man, 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, in the studio, Clarkson even reveals the "Sports" version of the car; a Peel Trident.

"Car Vs. Something" Race: 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.
84 4 Series 10, Episode 4
Botswana Special
None Botswana Special None 4 November 2007 (2007-11-04) 6.84

Episode 4 is an full-length feature special, that took place in Botswana, Africa, similar to the American challenge of Series 9.[3] The episode was shot in early July 2007, and saw the trio buy a used car within Africa, on a budget of £1500, to see which could be better used than the "Chelsea Tractors" for delivering children to school and driving up leafy lanes. The rules for the car's that were to be bought were that had to be two wheel drive, and not designed to go off-road in any way. Clarkson bought a 1981 Lancia Beta Coupe (because of Lancia's history with Rally racing), while May bought a 1985 Mercedes-Benz 230E (A car that was favored and loved by Africans), with Hammond buying a 1963 Opel Kadett (which he nicknamed "Oliver"). The group's main challenge was to drive across the spine of Africa, starting from Botswana's border with Zimbabwe (which the BBC were not allowed in), to it's northern border with Namibia, which would take them a distance of 1,000 miles (1,600 km), with additional challenges provided along the trip. Along the way to their first camp site for the night, the trio discover their back-up car for the journey was a Volkswagen Beetle, a car that all three hated.

During the night, the trio are told of their first challenge - to cross the Makgadikgadi Pan, with each having to strip and lighten their cars. Clarkson and May do so with their cars, but Hammond doesn't do much (except removing the spare wheel and "something else"), with the other two noting that he has developed an attachment to 'Oliver'. 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. The first leg of the trip over the flats proves troubling for Clarkson and May, who are forced to strip out more parts from their cars to stop them bogging down; they still do so, but manage to reach their next campsite along the way, where they learn that dust would be an issue on the next leg; Hammond manages to cope well with his unmodified Cadet, but the other two, despite making adjustment to their clothing, suffer badly. Further issues hits Clarkson car, which breakdowns, but he manages to regroup with the others, before they finally make it over the pans towards life (cows mainly) and the Kalahari.

The next day, the trio are told to pull over at a village, where they learn of the next challenge - "The Stig's African cousin" would do a timed lap around a rally course a few miles away, with each presenter's car. Once again, Clarkson's Lancia breaks down, but makes it to the course. Hammon's Cadet achieves a time of 1:12, while May's Mercedes achieves 1:06. Clarkson's fails to start, leaving the African Stig to walk off. After fixing the car, the group learn that fuel is rather low, with Clarkson and Hammond needing to find leaded petrol for their cars quickly. The group travel on as straight a route as they possibly can, over the Kalahari, towards Maun, where Richard's Oliver, suffers alternator problems, but manages to reach a fueling stop, along with the other two.

In Maun, the next day, the trio are told to "animal-proof" their cars for the next leg of the journey, which would see them cross the Okavango Delta. Although Hammond needs no work to be done with his car, Clarkson and May are forced to search around for things to prepare their cars, with the Mercedes receiving replacement parts thanks to its popularity in Africa and some makeshift bits where needed, while the Lancia has jury-rigged doors ade from wood, corrugated iron, and soft drink cans, while attaching a megaphone. While May paints a few slogans to both Clarkson's and Hammond's cars, the other two hide a cowbell on May's, along with several cuts of meat and a cow's head. The group managed to reach the safari portion of the Delta, where rough roads damage the Lancia on the first day in the Delta, while on the second day, a river forces the trio to ford it, with Hammond choosing to find a better spot than Clarkson and May do, only to flood his car out. Repairing it during the night, it returns to life on the third day, where more issues hound the Lancia.

As the cars near journey's end, the Lancia breaks down, leaving Clarkson and a couple of film crew members fixing it, while Hammond and May reach the border. Clarkson soon rejoins, where all three discuss who won; Clarkson eventually admits the Lancia was rubbish, while May admits his car was good, but was altered a lot. Although Richard expects the Cadet to win, Clarkson shocks him by revealing that the Beetle was the better car, since it never broke down or was modified at all during the trip. 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.
85 5 Series 10, Episode 5 Caparo T1Aston Martin V8 Vantage RoadsterMercedes-Benz GL 500 London race Simon Cowell 11 November 2007 (2007-11-11) 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.

"City-Cross" Race: The presenters race each other across London to try and beat the London rush hour traffic towards London City Airport. Clarkson drives a Cougar powerboat on the Thames, and is only able to drive at 9mph until Wandsworth Bridge, after which there is no speed limit; Hammond uses a Specialized Sirrus Limited carbon fibre bicycle, spending 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 pulled over by the police when they wish to check the camera car has a permit to film; finally 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 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.
86 6 Series 10, Episode 6 Honda Civic Type RMercedes-Benz E63 AMG EstateBMW M5 TouringAlfa Romeo 159 Motorhome racing • Alfa Romeo 159 vs. tall man across the Humber estuary Lawrence Dallaglio 18 November 2007 (2007-11-18) 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: 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.)[4]

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.

Motorsport Race: Hammond introduces 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 remarks on what he would have brought to the race: a super-sized new German motorhome called "The Performance" with a luxurious interior. Clarkson describes it as being perfect for motorhome racing, countering a point about the vehicles weight by revealing it's "piece-de-resistance" - it stores a Wiesmann MF in its cargo space. Although the motorhome is attractive, the price tag is huge and described by Clarkson as being the same price one could "afford a small home in".
87 7 Series 10, Episode 7 Aston Martin DBS £1200 British Leyland cheap-car challenge (Rover SD1Triumph Dolomite SprintAustin Princess) Jennifer Saunders 25 November 2007 (2007-11-25) 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.

Cheap Car Challenge: The Top Gear team celebrate the 40th anniversary of British Leyland, by buying a Leyland car with a budget of £1,200 (paid "out of their own pockets"), with Clarkson buying a Rover SD1, Hammond getting a Triumph Dolomite Sprint and May driving a Princess. After meeting each other, they then drove to one of British Leyland's old factories, only to learn that the facilities were either sold to another company, turned into another function (a hotel for example) or were demolished. Initial challenges tested them on how many breakdowns they suffered and reaching their next destination, the MIRA car testing facility, with money earned back towards the purchase price of their cars for each challenge passed.

The trio were then given a few more challenges once at the facility. The first, designed to test performance, saw them attempt to beat a time set by The Stig in a Datsun 120Y, which was 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. The next challenge tested each car's handbrake, after it was parked and put in neutral, while left on a 1 in 3 slope, with each earning £100 if their handbrake holds them in place. May managed the feat without any problems, while Clarkson's car emitted a large cloud of obscuring smoke, allowing him to claim he had succeeded. Hammond's Dolly, however, rolled backwards down the hill and nearly knocked over the grade sign, thus failing the challenge.

For their third challenge, to test ride comfort, each had to drive their car over a cobbled road at 30 mph (48 km/h), with several eggs suspended in a colander over them each; they would earn £10 for each gram of egg left in the colander after the test, while losing £10 for each piece of trim lost. May and Clarkson lost two interior mountings (Clarkson, in particular, losing his left rear door), with both having 4 grams of egg left, earning them £20 each, while Hammond lost 6 pieces and had no egg remaining, costing him £60. Clarkson, having not liked getting egg in his hair, used MIRA's skid pan to wash it, inventing a new world's first (driving while washing one's hair).

After the challenges at MIRA, the trio reported back to the Top Gear test track, where they received one final challenge. After each donned wetsuits, their car would have their doors taped, before being filled to the brim with water, submerging each underwater (while using a snorkel to breath). They would then drive around the track as far as possible, stopping when the water leaked out to a level below the steering wheel; 20 pence was earned per yard covered. Hammond completed half a lap (1500 yards), while May did over 1½ laps (4,500 yards), much to the surprise of the other two. Meanwhile, Clarkson's Rover could not be filled to the brim (it used several tankers of water), and so was sent off, where it completed only 10 yards (9.1 m) before the right rear door fell off.

After the final scores were tallied, Hammond finished last, as the high initial price of his car was enough to cancel out his better performance, with him out of pocket, while Clarkson found he was second, but was out of pocket as well. May was declared the winner by earning back his entire car's value plus making £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.
88 8 Series 10, Episode 8 Vauxhall VXR8 Renault R25 Formula One Car • Automobile history investigation • GPS satellite self-controlled BMW 330i James BluntLewis Hamilton 2 December 2007 (2007-12-02) 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.

Feature: Clarkson and May set out to discover which was the first car to have the control layout that has been a staple in all cars right up to the present. 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 attempts to drive 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, to see what it is like to be driven, along with doing two laps around Stowe Circuit at Silverstone in the F1 car. 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.)[5]

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.
89 9 Series 10, Episode 9 Daihatsu MateriaAscari A10Fiat 500 Britcar 24 Hour Endurance Race • Race: Fiat 500 vs. BMX riders through Budapest Keith Allen 9 December 2007 (2007-12-09) 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".

Review/"Car Vs. Something" Race: May travels to Hungary to test drive the new Fiat 500. He races some youths on BMX bikes through the streets of Budapest and is just pipped at the finish.

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.

Feature/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. While Clarkson manages to do reasonably well, Hammond is very unfamiliar with the track, which is made worse when May is found to have forgotten to do his flying lap (He did only 2 laps). The team, however, reveal their secret weapon to cope with the race: The Stig. After his three laps the team are stunned to find that they are not bottom of the table. They soon learn that they have do three laps at night, which both Hammond, Clarkson and The Stig manage to do. 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. Although the team qualify in 42nd place, out of 59, their mechanics have to work on the car through the rest of the night. Despite doing the "fastest rebuild in history", the team still misses the race start, and have to start from the pitlane as a result. The car comes to life minutes before the completion of the parade lap with The Stig behind the wheel.

While the car starts in last place, the Stig performs well, climbing 20 places into 39th place. The car, however, breaks down again, taking 30 minutes to repair. As the Stig stepped out before his stint was up, May is forced to take 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, with his first racing lap of Silverstone in the dark. He performs consistently, but then collides with a Mosler race car which had been battling for the lead, sending him spinning off and forcing him to be towed back into the pitlane for repairs. This takes three hours, putting the team in last place. As May is sent out again, fog hits the track and eventually builds up so much that several cars crash and the race is halted. When it lifts, the Stig sets off and manages to put them back in the race, and despite their exhaustion and the front splitter falling off, the others then take their turns and manage to keep going well. 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. In the studio, Clarkson admitted it was the toughest challenge they had done in their life, especially having to be nice to each other and being sensible.
90 10 Series 10, Episode 10 Jaguar XF German Performance Saloon cars: (BMW M3Mercedes-Benz C63 AMGAudi RS4) • Top Gear Awards 2007 David Tennant 23 December 2007 (2007-12-23) 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. 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 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:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award - Traffic "Wombles" (officers) from the Highways Agency for blocking motorways after minor accidents.
  • Ugliest Car - Mini Clubman
  • Worst Car - G-Wiz
  • Worst Dressed Presenter on Top Gear - Jeremy Clarkson's drysuit on the British Leyland cars film (Episode 7)
  • Best Noise - Richard Hammond when Oliver sank (from Episode 4). Oliver was revealed to be in the studio.
  • Best Driver - Simon Cowell
  • Car of The Year 2007 - After much debate and indecision, either the Ford Mondeo or the Subaru Legacy Outback.

Challenge: Hammond tries to make the G-Wiz into a remote controlled car. In the end after a race with the Stig, Hammond blows up the G-Wiz using his model radio controlled car.

Special[edit]

Total No. Title Featured cars Guest Original air date
N/A SP Top Ground Gear Force N/A Sir Steve Redgrave 14 March 2008 (2008-03-14)
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.

Best-of episodes[edit]

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 (2008-01-01)

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 (2008-01-06)

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 (2008-01-13)

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 (2008-01-27)

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)

Reception[edit]

Series 10, Episode 4[edit]

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.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.barb.co.uk/viewing/weekly-top-10?
  2. ^ Top Gear props site destroyed by arson - Auto Trader UK - News and Reviews Hub
  3. ^ Top Gear Magazine, November 2007
  4. ^ "TGTV Series 9 Preview". Top Gear website. Retrieved 5 February 2008. 
  5. ^ "TGTV Series 9 Preview". Top Gear website. Retrieved 5 February 2008. 
  6. ^ "Top Gear 'damaged African plains'". BBC News. 8 July 2007. Retrieved 28 July 2007.