From the Top Gear Team
On cross-town traffic Top Gear, we tackled the automotive quagmire that is rush-hour London. Also, the alarmingly road-legal Caparo T1 was let out to play, Richard raced a rocket-powered German, and pop impresario Simon Cowell returned for another run around the test track.
In an attempt to find the quickest means to negotiate the virtually gridlocked streets of the capital, we organised a race. Starting in West London, with London City Airport the target destination, our presenters introduced their weapons of choice:
James made the case for the car. Unfortunately, the car in question was the massive new Mercedes GL500, which, at 17ft long and 6.5ft wide, is surely the king of the Chelsea tractors. Next to arrive was a Lycra-clad Hammond, who would be travelling by bicycle - a state-of-the-art, £1,700 bicycle, admittedly, but a bicycle none the less.
Next, we wheeled in the Stig, armed him with an Oyster card and told him to use public transport. Finally, Jeremy arrived and announced he would be using the river - and a 225bhp racing speedboat.
In a shock result that could spell the end of Top Gear as we know it, the bicycle came first, then the speedboat, then the Oyster card, and finally the car. Ahem.
Normal service resumed when Jeremy drove the insanely fast new Caparo T1. Thanks to its advanced carbon fibre construction, the Caparo has twice the power-to-weight ratio of the Bugatti Veyron and has rightly gained a reputation for being a bit of a handful. This didn't stop it from annihilating the Koenigsegg's lap time to become our fastest ever car.
Even confirmed Porsche-o-phile Hammond had to admit the new convertible version of Aston Martin's V8 Vantage is a bit gorgeous. It also drives like a peach, thanks to its ultra-stiff chassis. To see if it can still hack it in the straights, Richard challenged a roller-skater fitted with a rocket-powered rucksack to a drag race. The Aston won - but only just.
To complete a show of lapboard upsets, Simon Cowell monstered his way around the test track to become our fastest star in a reasonably priced car.
First shown on: 11/11/2007
- Jeremy Clarkson
- Richard Hammond
- James May
Available on: DVD or Video download
From suppliers: BBC Shop, iTunes