The second episode of Fifth Gear aired yesterday in the UK, providing some very interesting test drives, challenges and features.
The show kicked off with the first versus race in this season, pitting two small japanese coupes, the Mazda RX8 and the Nissan 350Z. An interesting race, won by Nissan’s superior power, developing 309 bhp as the Mazda’s 228 bhp, this reflecting in the times, but also in the 350Z’s bigger price tag.
Next up, quite a shocking report by Tim Shaw, about the fact that you, unless you’re a qualified and experienced mechanic, can’t really change the light bulb on a Renault Megane. Due to its almost impossible means of accessing the head lamp, it took an experienced mechanic almost 45 minutes (!), time in which Tim changed the light bulb on a VW Golf V (in one minute) and did a complete service to it. So pretty bad news for Megane owners, authorized services charging quite a lot for changing those bulbs.
On the next feature, Vicky Butler spent a day with British Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton, and not an ordinary day, the one before the Silverstone Grand Prix, which he won if you remember correct. This material only showed us what an important person he is in the UK, the pride of that country, and the gold mine for his sponsors, who never miss a chance to promote him, and subsequently, their products.
A recent statistic showed that british people spend almost £25 a week on alcoholic drinks. So Jonny Smith decided to find out what cars can be bought if people just stopped drinking and save up the money. This lead to some quite interesting offers, like a BMW M5, for those who like vintage and powerful cars, a Ford Street Ka, for those who like more modern cars, or a mark 1 Mazda MX5, as a cheap yet sturdy convertible car.
Next up, Jason Plato took Porsche’s brand new creation, the GT2 for a drive on the circuit. Being the most powerful Porsche ever made, the GT2 really had to live up to its claims, and, of course, to its nickname, the Widowmaker, because all the modifications made by the german engineers, like making it lighter, more powerful, and rear-wheel drive, made it quite a dangerous car for the unexperienced drivers. The car really showed off it’s handling and power, and because it is the most green-est car in the Porsche line-up, Fifth Gear recommends it for all those eco-friendly drivers :).
Tom Ford followed, by driving the new Mercedes SL 63 AMG, and putting it through it’s paces on normal roads. Although it impressed with its handling and suspension, the engine felt like it lacked power in the low rev range, forcing the driver to push it to its limits, to benefit from the power that the big 6.2 litre V8 developed, “not like a Mercedes should do” in the oppinion of the presenter.
The last part of the show hosted a crash test of convertible cars, but not those like you see at EuroNCAP, Fifth Gear wanting to test the cars in the case of a rollover. The new cars all have a lot of safety equipments to make sure its passengers are protected with or without the top down, so the team decided to take an old Peugeot 306 CC and roll it over to see how it protects it’s passengers. The results weren’t good, the side pillars which are now made from titanium or duraluminium, were immediately crashed and the passengers had no chance of surviving.
All in all, quite an entertaining show, worth your watch.