Broadcast in the UK on the same night as the FIFA World Cup final match, the presenters figure that no one will watch the third episode of this season and consequently put in little effort!
However, this episode is a cracker and for the simple reason that Rubens Barrichello has a crack at being the latest F1 driver to have a go at eclipsing The Stig’s hot-lap time in the venerable Suzuki Liana. More on that later…
Richard Hammond does a muscle car comparison, pitting the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG against the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro. What is particularly interesting is that the power lap posted in the Camaro is slower than the Holden ute with which it shares the same chassis, – if ever there is an example that the Camaro chassis is a dog, then this would be it.
Continuing on the Reliant Robin antics from this season’s opening episode, American rally driver Ken Block wrote to the team and protested against Jeremy Clarkson’s repeated roll-overs in the three-wheeled car, calling the head presenter a “pussy”. Block sets the bold claim that he would be able to tackle a power lap around the Top Gear test track in the Robin without inverting it. Can he actually do it? You’ll have to watch to find out!
This episode’s “Star in a Reasonably Priced Car” is Harry Potter actor Rupert Grint, who is set the challenge of breaking the new lap record in the newly-obtained KIA Cee’d.
The main feature of this episode see Clarkson, Hammond and James May tasked with finding out which luxury four-door saloon is the best for the driving-passionate businessperson. Faced with the choice of a Porsche Panamera (deemed “too ugly”), an Aston Martin Rapide (deemed “too expensive”) and a Maserati Quattroporte (deemed “too fiddly”), their task is a rather unenviable one.
The trio meet in London – a beautifully shot sequence, I will add – and head to a business park on the city’s outskirts where The Stig is afforded the chance to thrash each car around a makeshift circuit.
They are then tasked with chauffeuring guests for a wedding and reception. This particular challenge is very enjoyable and contains the usual gaffes about the social mores of wedding ceremonies and the like. Look out for Clarkson strapping electrical tape to his jeans to make them appear more like suit pants in a bid to look like more of a chauffeur!
I will end with more comments on Rubens Barrichello’s appearance in the “F1 Star in a Reasonably Priced Car” segment, which I found an utter joy. Rubens is in fine form and obliges Jeremy with all of the politically incorrect questions thrown at him about his time as Michael Schumacher’s whipping boy. The prospect of beating The Stig’s record in the Liana is a feat desired by all contenders and (to-date) never achieved. Can the veteran emerge quickest of the previous F1 contenders to have graced the show, or will he be consigned to the role of number-two once again? I will tell you one thing: you will want to watch this bit!
[Original image via Daily Mail]