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Spanish Supercar Road Trip

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TOP GEAR spain

Top Gear trio in Spain

The Spanish Supercar Road Trip was featured in the third episode of the twentieth series of Top Gear. The film saw the presenters heading to Southern Spain for a journey across the Iberian Peninsula in three of the latest convertible supercars. Their aim was to travel from Gibraltar to the capital city of Spain, Madrid. Beginning in Gibraltar the trio rode across Spain in a McLaren MP4-12C Spider, Ferrari 458 Italia Spider, and an Audi R8 Spyder. The presenters travelled into the mountains, raced at an abandoned airport, rode through ghost towns, and converted a Madrid suburb into a street circuit.

OverviewEdit

The presenters began their journey in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, in Southern Spain. The presenters explained that they had each chosen a 'budget' convertible supercar to reflect the poor economic situation of Spain at the time. The presenters began their journey, driving north into Spain and heading for Madrid. They introduced their cars; Richard chose the Ferrari 458 Spider, Jeremy the McLaren MP4-12C Spider, and James the Audi R8 Spyder.

For their first challenge the presenters pulled into Puerto Banus, a small town seemingly unaffected by the economic crash because of high levels of British tourism. James suggested that they should each drive around the harbour to see whose car was the most understated saying that this was an essential element of a budget supercar. The winner would be the one who was the least photographed. As James set off in the Audi Jeremy and Richard typed out tweets to send out telling the people of Puerto Banus to photograph James. While James' run was relatively photograph-free Richard's Ferrari attracted quite a great deal more attention. However, Jeremy's run was the worst, he was photographed almost constantly in his yellow McLaren. After completing his run, Jeremy gathered with the presenters to reveal the scores; James was photographed 22 times, the least, Richard 47 times (including one from James), and Jeremy 438 times.

The following day the presenters left Puerto Banus and entered "what people call the real Spain". On their journey to the next challenge location James discovered that the Audi's 'cabin' was blustery, something that annoyed him. To cure this James added a bandana which Jeremy noted made him "very manly". The presenters pulled into an abandoned housing estate for their next challenge, a noise test; the presenter would start at the end of deserted road and accelerate towards the other presenters holding a decibel-o-meter. James and Jeremy both scored 105 decibels while Richard scored 107. Thinking he'd won the challenge Richard began to celebrate however James and Jeremy decided to change the rules saying the least noisy car should win as it is the most understated. 

To test their supercars the presenters headed up a mountain road in Sierra Nevada. Jeremy, James, and Richard all expressed their love for their supercars, climbing higher and higher up the mountain and into the snow. The presenters eventually reached a height of 2000m above sea level. As they neared the top of the mountains the road abruptly ended; as it turned out it was a road to nowhere.

The next day on the outskirts of Granada the presenters were looking for a venue for a speed test. After deciding that they shouldn't try the challenge on the motorway, even though there were no cars, the presenters encountered an abandoned international airport (Ciudad Real Central Airport). The presenters decideded to investigate the airfield in the hope that they might be allowed to use the runway for their test. The presenters headed inside the main terminal to look for someone in charge but found no one. After playing around in the customs area the presenters decided to improvise, pretending Hammond was in charge of the airport. Hammond lined up at the end of a quarter mile straight reaching a final speed of 193 miles per hour. James was next, reaching 186 miles per hour. Finally, Jeremy lined up for his run, reaching 198 miles per hour, winning the challenge. 

The presenters then decided to do another test, a combination of a speed and practicality test. The presenters would each run the quarter mile again however would have to start with their roofs down at the start and end with their roofs up. Because of the Ferrari's systems Richard would have to remain still while the roof was raised. Jeremy could do 19 miles per hour while the roof took 14 seconds to raise. In the Audi, James could drive at 30 miles per hour while his roof was rising however it would take 19 seconds to do so. In their first run, Jeremy was victorious however his roof has not latched properly while James' roof had jammed. They lined up for a second run with Jeremy ultimately being victorious again, James came in second, and Richard was last. After the challenge, James argued that his Audi should technically be the winner of the challenge since it sustained no damage from the runway; Jeremy and Richard meanwhile had paint chipped and wind screen chips as a result of the test.

As the presenters rejoined the motorway they began to look for a hotel. Jeremy decided that in the next two the trio should go 'house-hunting' instead of finding a hotel. James and Richard agreed with Jeremy's idea and after finding another ghost town (Seseña) the presenters began looking for a nice house. Eventually they settled on moving into no. 55 and while Jeremy began cooking dinner the three discussed whose was the best, reaching a decision to disagree.

The following morning the presenters set off once again. Unfortunately, upon exiting the town Richard hit a bollard, damaging the front of his Ferrari. As a result, James and Jeremy ridiculed him all the way to Madrid where they discovered yet another abandoned housing estate. The empty streets gave Jeremy an idea for another challenge; the presenters would convert the town into a street circuit and 'ship' the Stig over to Spain in order to set a time in a supercar that the presenters would try and beat. Jeremy went to collect the Stig while James and Richard set about setting up cones and barriers to outline the course. Having done so, the presenters lined the Stig up on the start line in a Jaguar XKR-S Convertible. He set a lap time of 57.5 seconds. None of the presenters managed to beat this time however Richard's Ferrari was the fastest with a 58.5s (Jeremy did it in 59.1s while James did it in 1:00.8). 

ResultsEdit

Category Winner
Speed Audi & McLaren & Ferrari
Quietness Audi & McLaren
Discretion Audi
Economy Audi
Value Audi
Equipment Audi

Despite the comprehensive win for the Audi the presenters all unanimously agreed that they would all rather have the Ferrari 458 Spider.

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