The fourth episode of Top Gear 17 just aired and there seems to be a little confusion as to what these guys think a good episode constitutes. There were only a couple of notable segments for the episode, highlighted by a track review of both the new Jaguar XKR-S and the Nissan GT-R as well as an entertaining interview with British comedian, Rowan Atkinson, followed by one of the best laps a celebrity has had on-board the Reasonably-Priced Car.

The whole episode, however, was dominated by a rather confusing challenge between Jeremy Clarkson against James May and Richard Hammond on who could build the better automotive-pulled train. It sounds weird just thinking about it and trust us, it gets a whole lot weirder once you watch the segment. We love these guys to bits, but for all their great segments, they’re bound to have one or two that just aren’t as entertaining as we hoped.

What makes it even worse was that they decided to allot a significant chunk of this week’s episode on a forgettable challenge.

Check out full details of Top Gear Season 17 Episode 4 after the jump.

The New Nissan GT-R Puts The Jaguar XKR-S To Shame

Top Gear Season 17: Episode 4
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The Jaguar XKR-S was supposed to be the company’s official entrant to the world of high-octane, adrenaline-spanked world of high-performance cars. Unfortunately, they pretty much left out all of their core values to do it. Known for being classy, safe, and visually appealing, the new XKR-S, at least according to Clarkson, is all about horsepower. To its credit, it does give us a lot of things we want to see in a powerful sports coupe. It’s got a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 engine that produces 550 horsepower and churns out a top speed of 186 mph. Impressive numbers, right?

Clarkson agrees, but felt that they took away so much of what made Jaguar what it is to release a car that clearly isn’t what the company is all about. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; it’s the brand’s first time in the high-performance circuit, but it’s still got ways to go to blend all of its core qualities with the brand’s newfound preference on power.

By contrast, the new Nissan GT-R is exactly the car that gives you everything you need at a fraction of the XKR-S’s price tag. Thanks to the car’s launch control system, it blows out the British Cat in a quarter-mile race. It’s got the look befitting its ’Godzilla’ nickname, and most of all, it costs one-third less than the XKR-S. So when you’re in the market for a car with plenty of power and speed, the obvious choice appears to be the car that has a history and tradition of being built specifically for that purpose. That’s the GT-R.

The Stig Drives The GT-R Around The Top Gear Track

Top Gear Season 17: Episode 4
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We knew that the new GT-R was fast, but we didn’t expect it to completely annihilate the lap times of some of the most powerful European supercars in the market today. As clean as any lap we’ve seen from The Stig in a while, the GT-R handled magnificently around the track on its way to a blistering lap time of 1:17.8, clocking in the same time as the Pagani Zonda F Convertible and faster than luminaries like the Bugatti Veyron (1:18.3) and the Ferrari Enzo (1:19.0). Unbelievable!

Rowan Atkinson Stars In The Reasonably Priced Car

Top Gear Season 17: Episode 4
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Mr. Bean himself was the guest on this week’s episode and quite frankly, he pretty much stole the show. More than his unique ability in drawing facial expressions, Atkinson is a bonafide car nut and a race car driver at that. Putting his skills to good use, the British comedian drove the reasonably-priced car around the Top Gear track about as perfect as anybody could, posting a new record time of 1:42.2! Well done, sir!

The Sports Train Versus The Three-Class Locomotive

Top Gear Season 17: Episode 4
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There wasn’t a whole lot about this extended segment that really bears notice so we’ll spare you all the details. The gist was that Clarkson wanted to prove that his so-called invention, ’The Sports Train’, would be much better than Hammond and Mays’ more subdued, multi-trailer express. Amidst all the creativity and jokes, it wasn’t all that entertaining. It looked scripted to a fault and basically, we didn’t see the whole point of spending close to half the entire episode on what inevitably became a pointless challenge among the hosts.

Parting Shots

The show had some good words to say about the new Nissan GT-R, which should be of good use to us hear who love the Japanese sports car. But other than that and Rowan Atkinson’s scintillating lap time, this week’s show fell pretty much flat on its behind.

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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Show Comments


  (647) posted on 07.25.2011

I’m not surprised that Rowan Atkinson is a car racer. You will notice in the show Mr. Bean that he is a fast driver and always bumping that 3-wheel car. By the way, are those cars pulled that train?

  (503) posted on 07.20.2011

For me, that Super Sports Train is really interesting. But Mr. Bean really really turn down the table there. haha! That guy is really funny as he can be...and he is a car racer? quite interesting.

  (599) posted on 07.19.2011

Pagani Zonda F winning over the Veyron and Enzo is quite unbelievable. Knowing that the Bugatti has around 10000 hp, well, that very impressive. BTW, Japanese tuning really makes an amazing high speed performance.

  (257) posted on 07.19.2011

Well, I really don’t think that the Jaguar XKR-S is more powerful compared with Nissan GTR. We all know that the GGTR was called the bad beast in Asia. It has an impressive traction system performance that makes the car to run faster.

  (257) posted on 07.19.2011

Well, I really don’t think that the Jaguar XKR-S is more powerful compared with Nissan GTR. We all know that the GGTR was called the bad beast in Asia. It has an impressive traction system performance that makes the car to run faster.

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