Reviews: Lotus Evora
Features/challenges: Race to the North: (LNER Peppercorn Class A1 60163 Tornado steam train • Jaguar XK120 • Vincent Black Shadow) • Ferrari FXX Lap Time
Guest: Michael Schumacher (disguised as The Stig)
Original air date: June 21, 2009
f Top Gear had been aired in 1949, there would have likely have been a debate as to whether the car would be the fastest way to get from London to Edinburgh, Scotland, or if it would be either the motorbike or the train. The trio decide that they will find out exactly which would have been best in 1949 with a race to the north, with Hammond riding the fastest bike at the time and his boyhood dream, the Vincent Black Shadow, and May driving the “Bugatti Veyron” of the time, the Jaguar XK120, while Clarkson finds himself shovelling coal into the boiler of an LNER Peppercorn A1 4-6-2 locomotive no 60163 Tornado. Starting from King’s Cross, Hammond and May find themselves sticking to the A1 Road (because motorways have not been invented yet), while Clarkson deals with soot and heat, as the train thunders him to victory, with all three vying to be first to reach the finish line at the bar of the Balmoral Hotel. Elsewhere, Clarkson is testing out the Lotus Evora around the track, while the Stig takes the Ferrari FXX for a power lap before coming into the studio and finally revealing who he is.
Note: It was unknown until after the first film of the next episode, that the FXX had been using slick tyres, which was against the rules of the ‘Power Lap Board’; its time was subsequently disqualified in that episode.