Top Gear Series 1 Episode 2
On this episode, Jeremy drives a Ford Focus RS in Wales, Jeremy drives a plastic British supercar, Jason gives some money-saving tips, Jay Kay rocks Top Gear, Top Gear features some RS Fords, and the guys find out how many bikes a bus can jump over.
Segment 1: Ford Focus RS and its Competition
|Ford Focus RS|
The segment starts with Jeremy talking about the Ford Escort Cosworth. He says that Ford had an idea to put a big engine in an Escort, and created the boy racer. He then walks over to a Ford Focus RS and says that Ford promised a Focus with 300 bhp and all-wheel drive. Instead the Focus RS has 212 bhp and front-wheel drive. He then walks over to a Subaru Impreza and then the Stig drives the Subaru around the test track in 1:39.0. During the test lap, Jeremy says the Impreza is a tuned-down rally car is notÂ particularly good looking. The Stig then drives the Honda Civic Type R around the test track in 1:38.06. Jeremy says that his mother has a Civic. All but one Civic is a motherly car. The Civic Type R is a mother of a car. The Stig drives the Focus RS around the track in 1:33.8. Then the show cuts to Wales, where Jeremy is driving the Focus RS. Jeremy picked Wales because there is so much empty road. The Focus RS has sporty seats, a start button, a hideous steering wheel. Other than those items, Jeremy says the Focus RS feels like a normal three-door Focus. There is no cup holder. The Focus has 2.0L turbocharged engine and is fast. It does not feel like it has the oomph that the Impreza has. The Focus had a faster lap time than the Impreza because the Focus handles very well. The Focus can go fast around corners. The Focus RS cost under 20,000 pounds. It brings power to the people. The Focus has some issues. It is not a very firm ride, does not pick up Radio 2, and it has problems going uphill on curvy roads. To end the review, Jeremy says the camera crew and drive the Focus back to the studio as Jeremy gets into the Subaru. Jeremy says the problem with the differential is that when the Focus accelerates, it goes in the direction the differential is pointing in. The driver has no control of the car. The car has horrendous torque steer. Jason then says that no dealership has a Focus RS. The customer who wants to buy one cannot take a test drive in one. Jason then explains how a someone can use an ad that says he/she is selling a Focus RS for 12,000 pounds and suckers a customer into giving him/her the customer’s credit car information. The customer waits for months and then is forced into buying the car at list price, instead of the discount price.
Segment 2: The News
|MG XPower SV|
The firts item is that LAPD is surprised that the number of car chases and car thefts have gone up since police car chases started airing on television. Jeremy says that there is a beeper that notifies people when a police chase is occurring. The second item is Vauxhall coming out with the Meriva. It is a smaller version of the Zafira. The Meriva is a five-seater with a removable rear middle seat and the seats in the back completely fold down. Jeremy says Vauxhall is bad at making cars, but great at making seats. Richard then brings up the Mazda RX-8, which will be powered by a rotary engine. As a safety measure, the rear doors on the RX-8 can only be opened when the front doors are open. Richard says that is not a safety measure, it is a major design flaw. Richard then brings up the Volkswagen Tuareg. Jeremy says it is a Porsche Cayenne with the word “Porsche” crossed out and with “Volkswagen” written in crayon. It has a V10 diesel engine. Jeremy says to stop everything because he saw a bus on the M4 bus lane. The last item is MG’s new car. Jeremy says he likes the car and Richard says the car is ugly. Jason says it has too many grills. Jeremy says it is a fantastic looking car. The audience is split 50/50 over the MG. The MG has a Mustang V8. You can get a standard tuned engine with 410 bhp and power can increase to 965 bhp. Jeremy says there is no way that MG could have developed this car since it has only been two years between the time when BMW sold MG and the time when this episode was taped.
Segment 3: How Many Bikes can a Bus Jump Over
The segment starts with a video of a daredevil jump over buses in a bike. Top Gear wanted to know if a Bus could jump over 14 bikes. The bus being used is a double decker bus. Richard does not know what will happen. The bus is on the ramp and the video stops just as the front wheels are off the ramp. The video will continue later on the show. Jeremy thinks the bus will jump 5 bikes.
Segment 4: Noble M12 GTO
|Noble M12 GTO|
The segment starts with Jeremy explaining the origin of the Noble M12 GTO and how it has a plastic body with a Ford Mondeo engine. Jeremy says it is not a bad car. The car is very comfortable and is a lovely ride. The engine sounds like Darth Vader is in the rear. The car has two turbochargers that take a few seconds to power up and 0-60 mph takes 4.4 seconds and it reaches a top speed of 165 mph. It is a quick car. It is also good looking. The car handles corners quite well. The car will not understeer. It has quite a lot of grip. Jeremy says the Noble is his favorite car he has ever driven. The car is a bargain at 40,000 pounds. There are a few problems with the cars. The break lights kept flicking on and off, signaling left-foot breaking, something that Jeremy does not know how to do. You would need a screwdriver to open the front or the back. The windows are hand-cranked. The windows do not go all the way down. The turning radius is quite large in the Noble. Jeremy is then licking the wing of the Noble. The audience like the car. The Stig then takes the Noble around a wet test track in 1:32.9.
Segment 5: Jay Kay Rocks the Suzuki
Jay Kay of Jamiroquai is the Star in the Reasonably Priced Car. This guy is quite a car fan. Jay Kay has a Mercedes-Benz Pullman, a Ferrari 550, a Lamborghini Muira SV, a Ferrari 360 Spyder, an Aston Martin DB5, and a BMW 2002 Turbo, just to name a few. His first car was a BMW 1602. He also had an original Batmobile. Jay Kay explains his love for cars. Jeremy and Jay Kay play a game to recognize cars. The first image is shown and Jay Kay correctly guess that it is part of a Ferrari Enzo. The next image appears and again, Jay Kay is correct that the image is part of the new Mini. The third image is shown. It is a door handle. Neither Jeremy nor Jay Kay could guess that it was part of a Vauxhall Vectra, a car despised by Jeremy. Before the fourth and final image is shown, Jay Kay confesses that he has driven his Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon into his own moat. The fourth image is shown as a yellow item with a vent in it. Neither guy could guess it. Someone in the audience guessed Lamborghini. The image is revealed to be the front bumper of a Lamborghini Murcielago, a car that Jay Kay has not driven. Jay Kay’s lap will be shown later on. Jay Kay says he has driven a Focus RS and says he did not quite like it.
Segment 6: Different Ford RS Around the Track
Jeremy shows a clip of an RS Ford from The Professional. Then two RS Fords are driving around the track. Jeremy tells a guy that there is a phone call for him and the Jeremy drives off in his Ford Capri. Then another video is shown. Jeremy is driving a Ford RS200. Jeremy cannot handle the power and spins off the track and into grass. He did that in the first corner of the track.
Segment 7:Â AuditionÂ tape.
Jeremy says he was humiliated by the RS200 footage and by Jay Kay. He then says it is time to humiliate another person. He says that there were several applicants who wanted to be a presenter on Top Gear. He shows an audition tape for a guy called Gazz. Jeremy says that guy was very dull.
Segment 8: Inside Deal with Jason Dawe
It is time for Jason’s segment. He talks about a Citroen C5 Estate. Jason says it is not that bad of a car. The base model is not selling and is being offered for 10,000 pounds. A Rover 75 with a 2.0L V6 are being sold at bargain prices at local dealerships. The price was not specified. Jason then brings up superminis, such as the Citroen Saxo. There are going at very low prices because dealerships are swapping out their loaner cars. The time this episode was filmed, new models are being put on dealership lots. People could get a year old car for 4,000 pounds. The last bargain is the old BMW 7-Series model. The 2002 7-Series are bombing and are being sold at low prices. Someone who has a 2001 7-Series for nearly 46,000 pounds is selling it for 24,000 pounds. The guys do not feel sorry for that guy. Jason gives a tip for people who drive low mileage cars. He tells them not to be afraid of high mileage cars. Jason gave tips that could save people about 25,000 pounds. Jeremy ends the segment by showing Jay Kay’s lap. Jay Kay went around the track in 1:48.1. Jay Kay had a faster time than Jeremy. As payback, Jeremy shows Jay Kay spinning out during a practice lap.
Segment 9: Ford Escort RS1800
|Ford Escort RS1800|
Richard gets booed for saying he does not like all RS. Richard talks about the Ford Escort RS 1800. It was made for 2 years. Richard says that when he was little, he really needed the car. It is Ford’s most successful rally car. Richard finally gets to drive one. It was an advanced car for 1977. 109 Escorts were made into RS1800. Richard says the car is an “antique.” Richard was not going very fast because he was intimidated by the car’s owner.
Segment 10: Bus Jump Continue
The bus jump is finally shown and the bus cleared three bikes and destroyed the other 11 bikes. One audience member predicted three bikes cleared. That ends the show.
Overall, this was an okay episode, subpar for Top Gear standards. There was very little humor. The ending was great though. Seeing a bus trying to jump over bikes was very entertaining. I knew the bus wasn’t going to clear all the bikes. The destruction caused by the bus was great. The Jay Kay segment was entertaining as well. The RS segments were okay, but they were not funny. Jason Dawe segments have become outdated. He does nothing else but give inside deals. He does not take part in the actual reviews of the cars. The chemistry has yet to be fully developed between Jeremy and Richard. This episode was less than stellar. It is one of the worst episodes in Top Gear history.
Final Verdict: 44 Stigs out of 100. This is bad by Top Gear Standards. The Jay Kay and bus jump saved this episode from getting even less Stigs.
Originally written on July 30, 2011