Throwback: When Top Gear went racing in £5000 sports saloons

36w ago


If you remember back to Series 15 of Top Gear, you may remember one of their feature films about £5000 sports saloons. Clarkson had a Ford Sierra Sapphire RS Cosworth, Hammond had a very broken BMW M3 and May had a Mercedes 190E Cosworth.

The cars were put through a series of challenges which included a max speed run, a practicality test with a brass band, a strict road worthiness test by ADAC and then finally a track day at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz where the cars were driven by The Stig's German Cousin. The final test was to get as many views as possible by uploading videos of themselves driving their saloons around the EuroSpeedway.

The track day videos were not faked and they still can be found on YouTube, 8 years later. Each of their channels were appropriately named after their cars in a style that was popular in 2010.

May's 190E Cosworth Lap

First up is May's video of him getting lost around the track. It's quite hard to get lost on a race track unless you have no sense of direction, like James May. His video is also the longest coming in at nearly 10 minutes.

Funnily, May originally got 71 views by the time when the episode aired on BBC2, and now it has just over 458,000 views.

Clarkson's Sierra Sapphire RS Cosworth Lap

Next we have Clarkson's video and unlike May, he actually went the right way around the track. Clarkson's video isn't as long as May's but it is probably the funniest to watch as Clarkson puts on one of his well known accents. He also brags about how fast his car is in comparison to the M3 saying it can go over 180mph which is a slight exaggeration of the truth.

The video originally got 137 views by the time the episode went live and it now has just over 553,000 views. That's not bad considering Clarkson spins out on basically every corner.

Hammond's E36 M3 Lap

Lastly, we have Hammond's video of his M3 going round the track. Well, we do but we don't as the M3 never got to round the track for a second time as it broke down. When the M3 was tested by ADAC, it got an impressive score of 6 out 150 points making the car dangerous to drive on the road. There isn't much to say about the lap as Hammond couldn't do it. However, he got around this by simply doing a rather echoy voice over.

Hammond's lap video got the least views with it only getting 7 views. Now it's sitting close to 546,000 views.

But who won the challenge?

Clarkson took home a win for the YouTube category but overall, James won the whole thing as his car was the cheapest out of the three. The Sierra is my favourite out of the three and now, they are worth much more than £5000. Same goes for the M3 and the 190E. If you can find good examples of these cars, you're going to be paying at least £20,000.

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