Top Gear/Season 3 Episode 7
Episode Seven of the third season of Top Gear, and is episode twenty-seven overall.
Guest Stars: Rory Bremner
Porsche Cayenne Turbo
Jeremy Clarkson reviews the Porsche Cayenne Turbo. It's a huge 2.3 ton monster yet hugely fast. The turbocharged 450 bhp version Clarkson is reviewing can do 160 mph. It just shrugs off its weight and flies, 0-60 in 5 seconds. Clarkson says he has no fear of the Cayenne rolling over if he needs to make a sudden turn and it feels like very similar to an Audi RS6. It's big, fast and stunning to drive. To test the Cayenne, Clarkson takes it to where the British Army tests their tanks. He finds it even more impressive traversing the rugged trails there than driving it on the road. There's not much space inside and the trunk is tiny. It's not the most practical car nor the most inexpensive. The base model costs 45,000 GBP (about 82,800 USD) and the Turbo version costs 70,000 GBP (about 128,800 USD). As an engineering exercise the Cayenne is astonishing, but Clarkson thinks it's hideous to look at.
Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren
Richard Hammond travels to Cape Town, South Africa to test drive the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren. It has a Formula One inspired nose, doors that open upwards, and the starter button is tucked away inside the gear knob. Like an F1 car, the SLR is made almost entirely of carbon fiber and has a flat underbody for high-speed stability. It also has an electronic airbrake on the back. The SLR has a 5.5 liter supercharged V8 that develops 626 bhp. 0-60 in 3.8 seconds, 0-120 in just over 12 seconds, and a top speed limited to 207 mph. Is it the ultimate supercar? Hammond doesn't think so. For spending 313,460 GBP (about 576,600 USD) on a car, the SLR just doesn't blow his mind. The suspension is too firm and the brakes are either on or off. The brakes are ceramic, supposedly allowing them to be nearly fade free, and the discs are constantly massaged by the brake pads to keep them dry. The SLR doesn't know whether to be a race car like a Carerra GT or an Enzo, or a GT cruiser. And Mercedes proudly say the SLR can hold two sets of golf clubs, which worries Hammond. It's a brilliant car, but Hammond wishes it were a bit more McLaren and a bit less Mercedes.
Star in a Reasonably Priced Car
This week's Star in a Reasonably Priced Car is Rory Bremner, a British impressionist and comedian. Rory Bremner takes the Suzuki Liana around the test track in 1.47.9.
Jeremy Clarkson reviews the MG SV. It has a chassis made in Italy, an all carbon fiber body, and a 4.6 liter V8 that comes from the Ford Mustang. Inside it's hopeless. Clarkson complains that the SV has no satellite navigation, no electric seats, no airbag, and it shifts poorly. The SV was designed to compete with Porsches and Lamborghinis, and the base model is going to be 75,000 GBP (about 138,000 USD). Flat out at 165 mph, the SV is consuming a kilo of fuel every minute. The base model SV produces 320 bhp and the one Clarkson is reviewing has 400 bhp, yet MG will sell you a nitrous kit to boost the SV to 1,000 bhp. Clarkson says the MG SV is fabulous to drive, even after hitting his head against the door frame while driving it. The only problem he had was with the interior.
The Stig takes the MG SV around the test track in 1.28.6.
Can Clever People Do Burnouts?
Richard Hammond sees if clever people can do burnouts in a Nissan 300ZX.
Morgan Plus 8, Noble M12 GTO, Rover 75
What is the best British car? Richard Hammond chooses the Morgan Plus 8. It has a 4 liter Rover V8 and is made of wood. Jeremy Clarkson chooses the Noble M12 GTO with its twinturbo 3 liter engine. Clarkson challenges Hammond to a race around the track, claiming he can get around it and read a book before Hammond finishes. He does it, albeit by reading a very young children's book. The Noble has 352 bhp to the Morgan's 190 bhp, goes from 0-60 in 3.7 seconds while the Morgan takes 6.5 seconds, and has a top speed of 170 mph to the Morgan's 135 mph. Meanwhile, James May says Clarkson and Hammond brought the wrong type of car as he chooses the Rover 75. He believes the best British car not a sports car, but a comfortable saloon car.
The group sit down to discuss which is the best. Hammond claims the Morgan Plus 8 is the best since it's finely crafted, rather than riveted together like the Noble M12 GTO. May says the problem with the Morgan Plus 8 is that it's a car Morgan forgot to stop making back in the 1940's, and the problem with the Noble is that the engine is in the wrong place and that it's a toy and not a car.
Back in the studio, they decide to leave the vote up to the audience. May gets a handful of votes for his Rover 75, Hammond gets a smattering of votes for his Morgan Plus 8, and Clarkson gets an overwhelming number for his Noble M12 GTO.
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