|Top Gear episode|
|Series 1, Episode 4|
|Original airdate||10 November, 2002|
|Guest stars||Richard Burns, Steve Coogan|
To celebrate the release of Die Another Day a race between two classic Bond cars, Aston Martin Vanquish v Ferrari 575M Maranello (featuring Damon Hill in the 575). Track times: Ferrari 575 1.35.2; Aston Vanquish 1.36.2. The Aston makes the better noise and is more comfortable, but the Ferrari is faster, lighter, more fun to drive, will hold its value better, and has a much better gearbox.
Dawe reviewed the Nissan Skyline, showing stock footage of racing-modified Skylines. Dawe calls the car a PlayStation on wheels, noting the extensive electronic monitoring and feedback systems that are displayed on a computer screen inside the car. According to Dawe, the Skylines were so dominant in racing circuits that the rules were eventually changed in order to outlaw the car. He presents the R32, R33, and R34 models for comparison, underlining the fact that Skyline production has ended and that the only source for them now is the secondary market. He concludes that the R34 is the best of the breed but recommends the R33 as the best overall value.
The Vanquish and Jaguar XK from Die Another Day were featured in the studio. In order to make room for under-bonnet gadgets, the original engines were removed and replaced with Mustang V8s.
Hammond judged mid-range 2.0-litre four-door family saloons. After he decided that the Honda Accord was the best compromise, The Stig then took them round the track in the "Mid Range Olympics." On a dry track for all of them, the Jaguar X-Type came in last at 1:46 due to a soggy traction control system, narrowly beaten by the Toyota Avensis and the Renault Laguna at 1:45. The Honda Accord came in the middle at 1:44, which was in turn beaten by the BMW 3-Series and the Mercedes C-Class at 1:43. The Ford Mondeo, despite being front-wheel drive and down on power compared to the Germans, came quickest at 1:42 due to its chassis.
Star in a Reasonably-Priced carEdit
Coogan sets a time of 1:53.0 in the pouring rain, which is then used as a benchmark wet time for the Liana's lifetime. Clarkson lauds his ability to place characters in appropriate cars, and Coogan exhibits encyclopedic knowledge of Volvo parts and can tell between Porsche 911 models based on door-slamming sounds.