Features: Spanish road trip in “budget” convertibles: (McLaren MP4-12C Spider • Ferrari 458 Spider • Audi R8 V10 Spyder)
Guest: Benedict Cumberbatch
Original air date: July 14, 2013
The trio head for Spain for a road trip, to see which of the new “budget convertibles” is the best – Hammond believes it’s the Ferrari 458 Spider, Clarkson reckons it’s the McLaren MP4-12C Spider, and May attempts to show it’s the Audi R8 V10 Spyder. On their road trip across the country, the trio see how inconspicuous their cars can be when driving through the marina area of Puerto Banús, conduct a noise test near some abandoned, newly built flats, drive up a curving road in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, use the runway of the disused Ciudad Real Central Airport for a top speed test and a “start with the top down and finish with the top up” drag race, before squatting in an unoccupied house to discuss their cars. To end the trip, the trio convert the streets of a huge abandoned housing project in Madrid into a street circuit of their own design, and see if they can beat a benchmark time set by The Stig in a Jaguar XKR-S convertible. Elsewhere, Benedict Cumberbatch talks about his performance in the BBC’s Sherlock before seeing how he fared in the new reasonably priced car.
Note: An economy test for the ‘Spain “Budget Convertible” Road Trip’ film was mentioned in the show, but not shown in the episode.