Challenges Cheap Car Challenges Top Gear Series 15

Top Gear: Series 15, Episode 2

  • The boys each buy a £5,000 car for both road & race track use.
  • James tests the Porsche 911 Sport Classic & Porsche Boxster Spyder.
  • Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Alastair Campbell.

Episode Guide

Watch this episode on Amazon Instant Video

Tonight’s show begins with a challenge – the boys each have to buy a £5000 4-door saloon which can be used everyday but would also be good on a track. They then meet up in Berlin to check out eachother had purchased. James arrives first in a Mercedes 190 Cosworth – a car, James says, that Martin Brundell proclaimed “had one of the best chassis ever fitted to a 4-door saloon. It is if you like, the thinking man’s BMW M3”. Richard was next to arrive in.. a BMW M3 series 2 – he couldn’t afford the series 1 as it is now considered a classic. Jeremy then arrives in a Ford Sierra Sapphire Cosworth, with James and Richard instantly rubbishing his choice. The bickering is interrupted by a challenge – they must drive down an unrestricted autobahn, and will receive 1 point for every 1mph they achieve over 130mph. Jeremy tries first – his Sierra starts to pull to the right as it passes 120mph, before he is forced to abort the run at 130mph due to traffic. Richard is up next in the M3, and passes 130mph with little fuss before he too was held up by traffic at around 135mph. James’ Mercedes hit the road and passed 122mph before 2 lorries driving side-by-side ended his run.

Traffic being the issue of the day here – but eventually the traffic thinned out and the boys had another crack at it. Jeremy hit 142mph in the Sierra which was beginning to overheat. James reached 140mph but the Mercedes had nothing more to give. Richard sank the boot into the M3 and reached 152mph before being slowed by traffic – meaning he wins the first round. The next challenge tests practicality – the boys each take turns at carrying a bunch of passengers, namely the members of a brass band complete with their instruments. After much squeezing, the band comes to that the conclusion that the BMW was easily the most spacious, followed by the Mercedes and the Sierra in last place. Not without problems though, James’ Mercedes overheats during the test.

Back in the studio, Jeremy begins the news by mentioning that he hopes the “Roonification of Britain”, based on the bling of Wayne Rooney, will soon come to an end. Jeremy shows us the Citroen DS3 Racing, James announces that he acquired some top secret film taken from inside the factory which makes the Dacia Duster, Jeremy also mentions that the credits to last weeks show actually had “MMXX”, or 2020 at the end. Jeremy then shows us the Knight XV, an SUV that costs £650,000, has internet, DVD, TV, a Cigar humidifier and can resist gunfire for 24hours. A video of the Stig attempting a power lap in a Reliant Robin is also shown but ends prematurely, with him rolling over in the first turn.

Moving on, James is out on the track in a Porsche Sport Classic, a car which he prefers to think of as “Now that’s what I call the best of the 911, Volume 1”. A car which shares design traits from various 911’s throughout the years. The Sport Classic will do 0-60mph in 4.6 seconds and go on to a top speed of 188mph. James goes on, “So it’s very fast, very good looking and surprisingly soft and comfortable – but there is a problem. It’s £140,000, twice what a Carrera S costs – and they’ve only made 250 of them, and you can’t buy one because they’ve all been sold.” So James moves on to the Porsche Boxter Spyder – a Porsche you actually can buy. It features aluminium doors, an aluminium engine cover, lightweight wheels and carbon fibre seats – making it 80kg lighter than the standard car. But it has no air-con as standard, no door handles or dashboard cluster surround – this seems strange, providing a car with less features and then charging £46,000 – £5,000 more than standard. But you do get 320bhp, meaning 0-60mph in 5 seconds and a top speed of 166mph. This sounds great – but one of the weight saving drawbacks is that the Boxter Spyder has a clip on soft top, which takes more than a few minutes to put together – and then limits the top speed to 126mph to prevent the roof from being blown off. This isn’t enough to put James off it – he loves the feeling of the car, and that it triggers a “fizzing sensation” in his groin. He sums it all up – “What Porsche has done is taken one of the most practical everyday sports cars you can buy, and turned it into a simple indulgence. And by making it simple, they’ve made it simply brilliant.”

Next, Jeremy introduces Alastair Campbell as the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car. Alastair manages a 1:47.00 on a dry track.

Next, the cheap car challenge continues with the boys in Germany. The next challenge involves an ADAC check of each car, to find out just what faults they may be hiding. The ADAC man took James’ Mercedes into the inspection bay first. It overheated during the test, before things got worse as it went up on the hoist – namely a wobbly front wheel and a scary amount of under body corrosion. Even a call to Martin Brundell didn’t help James out – Martin failed to see eye to eye with him about the 190 Cosworth’s abilities. Jeremy’s Sierra was up next – which actually turned out to be mostly fine. Richard’s M3 was hiding a nasty surprise – it had been in an accident in the past and had been repaired poorly. Out of maximum score of 150, Jeremy scored 58, James – 19, and Richard – 6. This pretty much shattered Richard’s confidence in the M3, which didn’t bode well for the next challenge. After a night in Colditz Castle, the boys had to go to a track day.

The challenge – each of the cars are taken for a lap around the track by the Stig’s German Cousin (Stiggy Ray Cyrus) with the presenter in the passenger seat. The Stig took James Mercedes out first. Due to it’s lack of power, The Stig was on maximum attack, drifting the 190 around most of the turns on the wet track and returning a time of 2:19.30. Jeremy’s Sierra was up next, squatting down in the rear end due to its shoddy suspension – managing a 2:14. Richard’s crash damaged M3 under-steered around the track with a time of 2:06. Back in the studio, a series of shoddy scores on the Top Gear scoreboard meant James and his Mercedes 190 Cosworth is eventually crowned the winner.

Some say…

“Some say that there are seventeen different reasons why he’s banned from the North Hampton branch of Little Chef, and that his favourite airline pilot is Mark Webber.. mine too actually. All we know is he’s called the Stig.”

Stig Power Laps

Porsche Boxster Spyder

Star in a Reasonably Priced Car

Alastair Campbell


Berlin Cheap Car Challenge, Pt. 1:
01:32 – 01:35 – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Mama Taught Me Better
01:37 – 01:54 – Tykwer, Klimek & Heil – The International End Title
02:07 – 02:17 – Blondie – Rapture
02:40 – 02:49 – OMD – Enola Gay
04:41 – 05:50 – Franz Ferdinand – Can’t Stop Feeling (Instrumental)
06:10 – 06:26 – Ennio Morricone – The Verdict (Dopo la Condanna)
06:26 – 08:01 – Lank – Confrontation (Hybrid’s Soundsystem 01)
08:06 – 08:37 – The Courteeners – Will It Be This Way Forever (Instrumental)
08:38 – 09:31 – The Big Pink – Frisk (Instrumental)
09:31 – 10:05 – Massive Attack – I Am Home
10:14 – 10:25 – The Black Angels – You On the Run
10:35 – 10:39 – The Dust Brothers – Medulla Oblongata

Porsche 911 Sport Classic & Boxster Spyder:
21:44 – 22:27 – The Dust Brothers – Commissioner Castration
22:34 – 22:58 – Queens of the Stone Age – A Song for the Dead
23:00 – 23:20 – The Big Pink – Velvet
23:22 – 23:44 – Max Richter – Powder Pills Truth
23:52 – 24:07 – Coldcut – Everything Is Under Control (Instrumental)
24:08 – 24:29 – Max Richter – Kierling/Doubt
24:53 – 25:04 – Paul Haslinger – A Winner’s Game
25:04 – 25:30 – ?
25:30 – 25:53 – Biffy Clyro – Shock Shock (Instrumental)
26:55 – 27:55 – U.N.K.L.E – Ever Rest (Instrumental)
27:59 – 28:21 – Ludovico Einaudi – I Giorni

Berlin Cheap Car Challenge, Pt. 2:
41:44 – 42:08 – Danny Elfman – No Plan
42:20 – 42:43 – ?
42:52 – 43:15 – ? (same as above)
45:12 – 45:47 – Sunshine Underground – In Your Arms
45:48 – 46:19 – The Asteroids Galaxy Tour – Around the Bend (Instrumental)
46:37 – 46:46 – Gorillaz – Superfast Jellyfish (Instrumental)
47:31 – 47:40 – Yeasayer – The Children (Instrumental)
47:57 – 48:09 – Boris with Michio Kurihara – Fuzzy Reactor
48:09 – 48:29 – Ron Goodwin & His Orchestra – Where Eagles Dare
48:30 – 48:56 – Robert Farnon – Colditz March
49:12 – 49:31 – David Holmes – I Heard Wonders (Andrew Weatherall Vocal Mix)
50:13 – 50:27 – Scorpions – Wind of Change
50:29 – 50:35 – ?
50:39 – 51:33 – LCD Soundsystem – Daft Punk is Playing at My House
51:41 – 51:45 – ?
51:46 – 52:52 – Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart
53:22 – 54:24 – ?


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Shane Fell May 29, 2014 at 6:12 am

What’s with the black tape on Clarkson and May’s headlights?

Mark November 20, 2013 at 2:57 am

Does anyone know the song when they are on the autobahn ?


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