Reviews: Veritas RS III • Caterham Seven Superlight R500 • Ford Fiesta
Features/challenges: Did the communists make a good car? • Ford Fiesta with the Royal Marines
Guest: Boris Johnson
Original air date: December 7, 2008
Clarkson and May can’t decide if imported Chinese-made cars will be any good, which got them thinking about whether the Communists ever historically built a good car, and are soon taking a look at a range of them, including the Lada Riva, Moskvitch 408, the East German Wartburg. Elsewhere, Clarkson decides to a proper road test like in the old days in response to a complaint, and does a “serious” review of the Ford Fiesta, while Hammond is seeing if the new, German built Veritas RS III is a better track-day car than the Caterham 7 Superlight R500, and Mayor of London (at the time of broadcast), Boris Johnson, tries to drive fast in the reasonably priced car on a wet track.
Note: For the first time in the show’s history, Hammond had to do the normal “Tonight, on Top Gear.” intro, after Clarkson lost his voice to an infection before filming of the studio segments. May also had to help with introducing the guest star for this episode. Clarkson was only able to speak a little in the studio, but was able to do the voiceover commentary for the ‘Communist Cars’ and ‘Ford Fiesta Review’ films when his voice began to recover.