Top Gear

Top Gear: Series 25 Episode 2 Preview

In Britain, a “weekend away in the country” generally means a welly-clad tramp across a muddy field, a poke around an antiques shop, maybe even a teacake or two. In America, however, they take the whole “weekend away in the country” thing rather more seriously. Barbecues the size of bison, tents the size of even-larger bison and, most importantly, a trailer full of off-road toys.

We’re talking ATVs, dirt bikes, personal tanks. These off-road toys are big business in the States, and Matt LeBlanc said he wanted to know which was the most fun for a weekend away in the country.

So he rounded up a literal truckload of the things and headed deep into the Californian wilderness equipped with nothing but a house-sized tent, several hundred kilos of meat, and a Chris Harris to help erect the former and eat the latter. Upon arrival in the wilderness, Matt disclosed he may have had an ulterior motive for bringing a bunch of all-terrain vehicles into the forests of upstate California. Things got a bit… Revenant.

Also in this week’s episode: it’s Mac versus Mac in a McSpecial McRace round McPortimão.

A few years back, when he lived in the internet rather than being shackled in the belfry of Top Gear Towers, Chris Harris was the first journalist to bring together the modern hypercar trinity of McLaren P1, LaFerrari and Porsche 918 on track. That track, specifically, was Portimão, on Portugal’s Algarve coast. The fastest of the trio, in Harris’s annoyingly able mitts, was the McLaren.

Now, two years later, Harris is back at Portimão to answer a supremely interesting question. Just how close can the new McLaren 720S get to its track-optimised big brother P1 around a race circuit?

On paper, it should be an easy win for the P1, which has more than 200 horsepower extra, clever hybrid gubbins, and costs four times the amount. But the 720S is lighter, and boasts a bunch of clever aerodynamic stuff… and a snazzy flip-down instrument binnacle, which has to be worth at least half a second a lap for show-off factor alone. Can the upstart McLaren get within touching distance of the big daddy? Harris straps on his fastest driving shoes to find out.

Plus, Lee Mack is our Star in a Reasonably Fast Car. Tune in this Sunday, 4 March at 8pm, BBC Two, BBC Two HD and BBC iPlayer (in the UK). Rory is your host for TG’s companion show Extra Gear, which kicks off at 9pm on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer.

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