Powered Up, by Jeremy Clarkson
DVD, © 2011 BBC Worldwide, 87 minutes

Clarkson: Powered UpIn his latest DVD special, Top Gear’s legendary and controversial host Jeremy Clarkson sets off to the sunny climes of the south of France and to the legendary Paul Ricard Grand Prix circuit, where his mission is to find the most exciting car of the year.

The Le Castellet circuit is a perfect venue to test man and machine: its technically challenging will immediately highlight any deficiencies in cars’ handling characteristics, and its 1.8-mile-long ‘Mistral’ straight (so named because of the tailwind that blows along it off the coast, just fifty miles away) is ideal for ultimate straight-line speed comparisons.

Oh, and did we mention that the film stars former F1 driver Karun Chandhok?

The good-humoured Chandhok joins Jeremy in a series of tests to find out which of the selected cars – a huge assortment worth many millions of dollars – is the most exciting to drive.

Some of the candidates put through their paces are the Ferrari 458 and the Scuderia’s new monster, the 6.3-litre V12 FF, along with the McLaren MP4-12C supercar and the Lamborghini Performante. Other beasts to tame include the Nissan GTR, Porsche’s GT2 RS, and the BAC Mono single-seater gets its maiden workout.

The DVD also looks at some cars that you might have thought would have been confined to the scrapheap. But, as Jeremy points out, old is very much new again, particularly if the mistakes of the original can be ironed out.

Look no further than the Eagle Speedster, the modern twist on Jaguar’s timeless E-Type, as well as a revamped Jensen Interceptor. We could go on.

The DVD – beautifully shot, as ever – is another good effort from Clarkson, containing his usual hyperbole and classic one-liners. There’s also a great ‘behind the scenes’ featurette in the DVD’s extra features, which is well worth checking out.

Using our unique ‘Chequered Flags’ rating system, we award Clarkson – The Italian Job


Clarkson – Powered Up is available for purchase at major stores.

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.