Weekly(ish) ‘Top Gear’ Roundup; Series 20, Episodes 03 and 04

Life gets busy sometimes…  I missed a week, but here’s a two-for-one!

So far, I’m enjoying this Series of Top Gear quite a bit.  These last two episodes were great!First, there was a great review in Episode 4.  The Mercedes SLS AMG. Clarkson compares the Black Series with the electric version.  It’s a pretty quick car (seriously, any car that puts out well over 500 hp is going to be quick!), and the electric version has some pleasant surprises!  He of course hands both cars over to their tame racing car driver, The Stig for timed power laps.  I was surprised by the results!

Most of Episode 3 was taken up by a challenge.  It was rather poignant, but in irreverent Top Gear fashion.  In recognition of the economic crisis facing Europe right now, they opted to eschew the usual $1,000,000 supercar races, and instead went for a more low-profile selection.  Three ‘budget’ convertibles.  Clarkson selects a yellow McLaren MP4-12C Spider, Hammond takes a red Ferrari 458 Spider, and May chooses a gray  Audi R8 V10 Spyder.  All in the (ahem – budget) $200,000 range!

They take these cars through Spain and run them through a series of tests to see which would be the best car to keep a low-profile in these troubled economic times.  All of the tests are interesting and whimsical.  It was certainly enjoyable to watch.  However, through it all, we get to see how dire the situation is in Spain.  Whole cities seem to be ghost towns.  But they are shiny-new ghost towns!  Brand new apartment complexes – some abandoned mid-construction – and newly-built homes all stand empty.  Nobody ever even bothered to lock them up!  An entire city stands empty, so Top Gear turns it into a road course for a race!  The most eerie of all is an abandoned airport.  It was only built earlier this century, and abandoned about a year ago.  Shiny.  New.  Lovely.  Empty.

It all sounds so depressing, but it’s still a good watch.  They also had a particularly funny news segment and a great interview and lap with Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Khan and Smaug).  Even better, though:  The Star in the Reasonably Priced Car was Hugh Jackman in Episode 4.  That dude is very entertaining!

Also in the fourth episode this season: They had a build challenge!  This time, they set out to solve the problem of flooding in the UK, by inventing a car that you can still use after your neighborhood has flooded!  Their solution?  The Hovervan!  All I will say is Hilarity Ensues.  And they may not have totally failed!

 

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