Episode 4 (new series)

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Top Gear, Series 11 Episode 4 of 6

Duration: 1 hour, 1 minute

Top Gear undertakes one of its epic races as Jeremy Clarkson attempts to drive a Nissan GT-R across Japan faster than Richard Hammond and James May can make the same journey on the legendary bullet train.

Plus, Richard tries Toyota's idea of personal transport for the future, the sensational Alfa Romeo 8C brings glamour to the Top Gear track, and news readers Fiona Bruce and Kate Silverton are the Stars in the Reasonably Priced Car.

  • From the Top Gear Team

    On domo-arigato-Mr-Roboto Top Gear, the presenters jetted off to Japan for the latest of our world-renowned epic races, Jeremy took a rolling art exhibit for a spin on the test track, and a pair of newsreaders drove our reasonably priced car.

    In creating the 193mph GT-R, Nissan has gone to extraordinary lengths. For example, to ensure there are no imperfections, the engine was built in the sort of laboratory normally used for the study of infectious diseases. The tyres are filled with nitrogen because normal air is considered too unstable. And, Nissan has spent more than six years making absolutely sure the finished product will soundly thrash a Porsche 911 Turbo in a race around the Nurburgring.

    Plainly, the GT-R deserved special attention, and what better way to test its capabilities than by having a race?

    The starting point was a small beach on Japan's west coast, while the finish line was a monument to the Buddha of road safety which is located half-way up Mount Nokogiri-yama, some 400 miles to the east. Jeremy would be piloting the Nissan along a network of motorways, before having to navigate his way through Tokyo's rush hour traffic. Richard and James meanwhile had to negotiate their way onto a series of trains, buses, and even a cable car, to reach their destination. So, while Jeremy was busy trying to break the sound barrier, the other two had to contend with the language barrier instead.

    Despite the best efforts of Japan's incredible public transport system and its 200mph bullet trains, Jeremy and the Nissan won. But only just.

    Style is a subjective thing. One man's meat is another man's poison, and so on. But if you don't think the Alfa Romeo 8C is by far the best-looking car around, then might we suggest you have your eyes tested and look again?

    Jeremy took to the test track in the 8C to see if the driving experience was anything like as good as its looks. Sadly, the answer was a big fat 'no'. But, as Oscar Wilde once said: 'All art is useless' - so maybe Alfa has just created the world's first V8-powered sculpture.

    First shown on: 13/07/2008


Jeremy Clarkson
Richard Hammond
James May
Star in a Reasonably Priced Car
Kate Silverton
Star in a Reasonably Priced Car
Fiona Bruce
Executive Producer
Andy Wilman


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