Top Gear: Series 19, Episode 1

  • Jeremy attempts to build a car that’s even smaller than the Peel P50
  • James tests the new 205mph Bentley Continental GT Speed
  • Richard power tests the Pagani Huayra
  • Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Damian Lewis

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First up we join Richard out on the track, reviewing the Pagani Huayra, the latest supercar from the Italian manufacturer. The car is capable of savage acceleration, with a lot of attention placed into the bodywork, interior and utilising cutting edge technology. Despite the massive twin-turbo engine and horsepower, thanks to its sophisticated aerodynamic package, the car can easily be driven hard without the risk of spinning. The Huayra also set the fastest time on the Top Gear Test Track in the hands of The Stig, 1:13.8, beating the previous record, set by the Ariel Atom V8.

Back in the studio, James starts the news by announcing that the Dacia Sandero is now on sale in the UK. The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black has been updated to produce extra horsepower, but the handling is still challenging. Jeremy claims that he has found a male equivalent version of Fifty Shades of Grey, presenting a kid’s book about tractors. The new Corvette Stingray is announced. James May turned fifty the previous week. Also, the rally team composed of war amputees (previously mentioned in series 17, episode 6) finally completed their challenge of finishing the 2013 Dakar Rally.

Next up, James reviews the new Bentley Continental GT, and notes the new engine and subtle ride characteristics. Believing that the Bentley, with a four wheel drive system and a big, powerful engine, can handle things worse than a Welsh countryside road, James takes the car onto a Welsh stage of the World Rally Championship, with Kris Meeke behind the wheel, and James being the co-driver. Despite the car having less grip, more weight, an electronic handbrake (unsuitable for usage on a rally stage) and James not being proficient at giving pace notes, the Bentley was actually faster than one of the full WRC cars.

Tonight’s Star In A Reasonably Priced Car is Damian Lewis. Damian drifts the Kia Cee’d around the snow-coated test track and crosses the finish line sideways, setting the slowest ever time of 2:09.1. Jeremy cheers Damian up by making a separate board for snow (he justs put the time underneath and to the side of the fastest lap time on that board) and says that he is the fastest driver ever on their “snow board”.

Lastly, Jeremy attempts to build a car smaller than the Peel P50, naming his creation the P45. It was based on a quad bike, with aluminium bodywork fitted, designed to wrap around the driver. He then took it on an excessive road test,when at the end he presented his idea to the ‘Dragons’ in a Dragons’ Den style format. All of the dragons declare themselves “out” and back in the studio, Richard and Jeremy concluded that for the P45 to be put in production and succeed, Jeremy would have to be dead.


“Some say that we have at least thought of a new way of introducing him, but we haven’t. He’s the Stig!”


Pagani Huayra


Damian Lewis


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Rating: 9.1/10 (74 votes cast)

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