Synopsis: The new Danish supercar is tested and the boys – Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond – take a road trip to Ukraine before it became ironic and Kiev was burnt and the Ukraine president was sacked.
Details: While the second episode of the new series featured the lovely Alfa Romeo 4C, the third episode knocks some sense back into you with the feature on the new Danish supercar – the Zenvo. As expected, Jeremy draws the supercar testing honors and spends the next few minutes speeding around the Top Gear test track, alternating between spinning out and trying to get the rear wheel-overpowered Zenvo to behave like a proper supercar. Alas, his efforts are wasted as the Zenvo loses its brakes, clutch and a cooling fan – with the latter setting the car afire. The Danes send him another one – they cost $1.3 million – and The Stig attempts to keep it on the track for a very wet lap go that results in an ultra-slow [for a supercar] time of 1:29.9. Zenvo = fail.
From there, it’s The News: Hammond talks about the impending arrival of the Porsche 918 and reminds Jeremy about his previous episode pledge of being referred to as “Jennifer” if the Porsche 918 is able to beat the McLaren P1 in Top Gear track lap times. Jeremy blames actress/comedienne Miranda Hart and for people watching her show [“Call The Midwife”] instead of “Top Gear” so they would know how to handle a hovercraft in the event of flooding and all three mostly mock the new Lamborghini Huracan for not being outrageous enough in its styling.
The main theme of the episode is a Little City Car Challenge that morphs into a road trip to Ukraine – well before the capital was set afire and the president was sacked. Clarkson drives the most expensive – an underpowered electric Volkswagen Up!, Hammond drives a Ford Fiesta and May drives the cheapest, a Dacia Sandero. They take their “miserable little shopping carts” on a twisty, turny road to Sebastopol where the wiggly road ends at an abandoned Cold War-Era Soviet nuclear submarine base and they drive their tiny cars around inside the base for a bit before making a brief stop at the Crimean War site of the Charge of the Light Brigade and driving 750 miles to the northern Ukraine site of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster. The challenge being issued is for each to try and get their car to run out of fuel before actually arriving at Chernobyl. Hammond, by first attempting to weave about [and getting pulled over by the Ukrainian rozzers in the process] and then, stopping and starting a lot, is able to get his Ford to run out of fuel well before Chernobyl. Clarkson and May, however, are not so fortunate, and each must drive into Chernobyl where Clarkson’s VW finally runs out of power and leaves May as the victor.
Back in the studio, singer James Blunt is the man taking the Reasonably Priced Car around the track for a spin but first recounts how, when he was a member of the British army, was part of a unit that made U.S. General Wesley Clark look like a buffoon in Serbia. Blunt records a very wet lap of 1:49.4 which is not too shabby considering the conditions.
The Poop and Skinny: Top thing to remember from this episode…
There may be some controversy about nitrogen dioxide which you probably do not care about.
The coveted ASN Best Line of the Episode Award goes once again to Richard – three times in a row! – in a conversation about what it would be like if Queen Elizabeth were drunk and he declares – “I would really like to be a drunk Queen!”
Courtesy of the BBC, here is Top Gear Series 21, Episode 3.