From the Top Gear Team
On waste-of-three-plane-tickets Top Gear, our presenters went to Iceland to find the best convertible while the new Ferrari F430 came to our test track.
We sent them there with three new convertibles, the Audi TT, Nissan 350Z and Chrysler Crossfire, to find out which one is the best. They spent ages blasting back and forth amongst some of the world's most amazing scenery, before coming to their decision.
We were therefore a little surprised to hear that their chosen winners were the Mercedes SLK, BMW Z4 and Porsche Boxster. Cheers guys.
Seeing as he clearly can't be trusted overseas, we made Jeremy test the latest small Ferrari on our test track. He thought it was motoring perfection. Only one problem: do you get the coupe, or the convertible?
Our star in a reasonably priced car was West-End legend, Sir Tim Rice. Things got off to a good start when Jeremy found out sir Tim owns a Jaguar. Unfortunately, he didn't know which one.
First shown on: 17/07/2005
Production Notes: Koenigsegg CCX test
We tested the ballistic CC8 several series back, but we still weren't prepared for the hysterically fast CCX when it arrived at our test track.
The CCX is the latest creation from Swedish independent supercar manufacturer Koenigsegg. It's a very pretty, well-proportioned thing. But, unbeknown to us, the Swedes hadn't fitted it with an engine as such. It seemed to be powered by an atomic bomb.
• One of the reasons for the Koenigsegg's incredible top speed is its slippery aerodynamic shape. Unfortunately, when we first tested it, that shape didn't include a big rear wing like you see on many supercars, which meant the CCX had little rear downforce. This, combined with a very oversteery suspension set-up, resulted in the Stig's biggest ever crash when he lost control on the follow-through and smashed through one of the tyre walls.
• Koenigsegg dutifully took the CCX back to Sweden, fiddled with the suspension and fitted it with a small rear spoiler, before returning it to our test track. It behaved itself and this time the Stig smashed the previous lap record.
• Koenigsegg's owner and founder, Christian von Koenigsegg, made his first millions by importing frozen chickens into Estonia. Glamorous or what?
• In February 2005, a Koenigsegg CCR set a new record for fastest production car with a speed of 242.9mph, beating the McLaren F1. Koenigsegg held the record for seven months before the Bugatti Veyron came along and spoiled all the fun.
• When we tested the original CC8 a few years ago, we had to share it with Top Gear magazine. Koenigsegg only makes 40 cars a year, so test mules are pretty hard to come by. The magazine boys sat by the track for most of the day, waiting patiently for Jeremy to finish filming his review. When Jeremy finally handed over the keys and the magazine's test driver set off on his first high-speed run, the supercharger belt broke and the car came to a shuddering and expensive halt. Sorry chaps.
• Koenigsegg's novel approach to the thorny issue of environmental awareness comes in the form of the CCXR - a bio-ethanol powered version of the CCX that actually produces more power. A scarcely believable 1004bhp, in fact. We doubt it will be exempt from the congestion charge.
- Jeremy Clarkson
- James May
- Richard Hammond
Available on: Video download
From one supplier: iTunes