Reviews: Jaguar XFR • BMW M5
Features/challenges: Proof of three £1,500 rear-wheel drive coupés better than front-wheel drive: (Porsche 944 S2 • Ford Capri 2.8i • Nissan 300ZX • Morris Marina) • Clarkson’s inspired greenhouse trailer design to save the world
Guests: Sienna Miller • Olivier Panis
Original air date: July 19, 2009
Clarkson, Hammond and May argue that the producers are wrong in claiming that front-wheel drive is perfectly adequate for the driving enthusiast, so to settle the argument, each is given £1,500 and told to buy a second-hand car that is rear-wheel drive to prove to the producers that they are right – Clarkson believes the perfect weight distribution of his Porsche 944 S2 will help him, Hammond expects it will be the 3.0l Twin Turbo V6 of the Nissan 300ZX he bought, while May buys the Ford Capri 2.8L simply because he wanted one. Driving across France while trying to not break down, the trio engage in a series of challenges, including beating a lap time by a FWD car, getting their car to brake before hitting an item close to their hearts, and taking part in an ice-driving race at Val Thorens, with the team learning to their horror, that they have a back-up car just in case – a Morris Marina. Elsewhere, the new Jaguar XFR is given a thorough test by Clarkson against its main rival, the BMW M5. Clarkson does his bit for the environment at finding ways to reduce carbon dioxide emission (with varying results), and Sienna Miller may have only just passed her licence (at time of broadcast), but she’s hoping to be an expert at getting a fast time with the Lacetti.