Episode 2, series 17 of Top Gear kicks off tomorrow night on BBC2 with hot hatches in Italy, the McLaren MP4-12C and Ross Noble as SIARPC.
Update 4/7/2011: No, we don’t know what happened to Jeremy’s McLaren MP4-12C piece either. The BBC told us it was on, but instead we got James May and the Aston Martin Virage. Not that there’s anything wrong with May and an Aston, but we had our juices going for the McLaren. Oh, well. At least we still have it to look forward to.
Back at the end of May we reported that Top Gear were in Italy playing with the Citroen DS3 Racing, Fiat 500C Abarth and Renault Clio RS in an effort to crown the best hot hatchback you can buy, and tomorrow night (3rd July) we’ll find out if they reached a conclusion.
That little jaunt in Lucca - a beautiful walled town in Tuscany - also meant driving up to Monaco to take the cars round the Monaco Grand Prix circuit.
That drive was with Bernie Ecclestone, Christian Horner and Flavio Briatore riding shotgun for Messrs Clarkson, May and Hammond as they try to get round the streets of Monte Carlo without ending up in the Armco.
Which of the DS3 Racing, 500C Abarth and Clio Renaultsport is best? We know what we think and there’s an outside chance the boys will all agree. We’ll see.
The big test tomorrow is Jeremy with the new McLaren MP4 12C on the track at Dunsfold. A week later than the Fifth Gear mob, it’ll be interesting to see if they reach the same conclusion – that the 458 Italia is a better car than the McLaren. A little bird tells us you may be in for a surprise.
Star in a reasonably priced car this week is Geordie comic Ross Noble, so expect plenty of comments about long hair and unintelligible North East accents (who mentioned Cheryl Cole?).
As usual, 8pm BBC2 (UK time).
Top Gear in Lucca, Tuscany with Hot Hatches Photo Gallery
(15 photos – click any thumbnail for full gallery)