This week’s episode saw some messing around with big machinery, a very big SUV test and a car test that was made for “regular people.”
Although airports are slow, they could be speeded up much more by simply basing all the vehicles on the fastest one that is at the airport. Richard Hammond took seven or eight different airport vehicles and put some touring car champions into them. They then took to the track to find out which is the fastest. In the end, it turned out that the fire truck, minus the stuff that puts out fires, was the fastest. When these things were first shown on Top Gear, they were fun and exciting. Which bus was fastest or which camper van was the fastest were both very entertaining, but this test just didn’t do it for me for some reason. I don’t know what it is, but I think that Top Gear should get back to doing races or more extensive tests on actual vehicles. That’s not to say that they shouldn’t provide us with this information, but it just seems like this one was more for filler than anything else.
After the news, there was a very interesting test of vehicles actually. I have always wondered how the new X5M got on since it was introduced, and now I know. It is fast, though having a 4.4 liter V8 with twin-turbos and 550 hp is going to make anything fast, but is not that comfortable in the real world. So really… it doesn’t have any real purpose. Then Clarkson pulled out the big Audi. The Q7 V12 diesel. It has a 6.0 liter V12 that develops a gobsmacking amount of horsepower and over 700 foot pounds of torque. It leaps from 0-60 in less than 6 seconds and is a gigantic SUV! However, just like the BMW, it doesn’t really work on the road and is not economical – like a diesel should be. Clarkson then brought another SUV to the party in the form of the Range Rover. The Range Rover had the 5.0 liter V8 that was supercharged and produces around 500 hp. This was the one that makes the most sense, as it can still do the off road stuff that the others cannot, but the engine is the big problem. The one that the big Rangey should have is the diesel, as it is more economical and you still get all the same amenities. By the way, one of the coolest amenities in the Range Rover is the screen in the dashboard. I have never seen anything like it. It can show two images at the same time, overlaid onto each other. Depending on which seat you are in, you will see a different image. For instance, the driver can be watching the GPS directions while the passenger watches a DVD. It really is amazing. But the consensus on the vehicles is that they just don’t make any sense and that the ones that people should buy are the regular ones. These pumped up ones cost too much (over $100,000??!!) and are not good for off road duty for the most part. So there you go, three SUVs that were complete rubbish and took up a bunch of time. Nice.
The star in the reasonably priced car was none other than Madonna’s ex, Guy Ritchie. He has a new movie coming out called Sherlock Holmes and was there to do his lap. The main problem was the fact that he had to go out when it was raining and super wet. The lap was in the 1:52 region, but it was extremely wet, so it wasn’t all that bad.
The final test was a request from a viewer wanting to see a test of a car that a normal human being could afford. Lo and behold, Clarkson took to the city of Glasgow to run around the city streets in a very cool little Renault. The car was the Renault Twingo 133 with the Cup chassis option. This means it rides on 17 inch wheels, has stickier tires and stiffer springs. Apparently this turns the little car into something of a joy to drive, and that is good, because Clarkson really took the beans to the little thing by driving it into many objects, while having Ross Kemp in the trunk. They also did a little drag race against the competition in the form of the much better looking, in my opinion, Fiat 500 Abarth. However, the Abarth is more expensive and not as fun to drive on the road. I have heard good things of this little Renault in the past and this segment just goes to show that little cars can still be good fun to drive. Now if we could only get these things in the US.