Fifth Gear

Friday 29 October, 7:30pm on Five

The venerable car-based consumer show continues. In this episode, Tiff Needell pits a Vauxhall against an Audi, Vicki Butler-Henderson reveals all about a new luxury SUV, Jason Plato thrashes an Audi supercar and Jonny Smith enters his first ever competitive trackday event. Audi used to have the market for powerful 4×4 saloons cornered – but Vauxhall are trying to muscle in with their Insignia VXR. Tiff takes both butch saloons to the limit at the twisty Anglesey circuit to find out which is faster. Will it be the old hand or the young pretender? Vicki reveals all about a luxury SUV from a company that is brand new to the UK – Infiniti. After selling cars in America for decades, the Japanese carmaker is coming to Europe hoping to steal customers away from established SUV manufacturers. The FX30d has impressive gadgets such as 360-degree parking cameras and an onboard Michelin guide – but can it really drive as well as its rivals? The Audi R8 supercar is a ‘Fifth Gear’ favourite, but there has always been a gap in the market for a more hardcore version of the car. Happily, Audi has obliged and produced the R8 GT – a stripped-out lightweight model that costs �140,000. To find out just how good this extreme R8 is, Jason heads to the track to burn up some laps. Every petrolhead dreams of being a racing driver, but because motorsport is seen as an expensive hobby, those dreams rarely come true. To prove that the sport does not have to break the bank, Jonny goes through the training, driving tests and theory exams required to obtain a racing licence, before entering a competitive trackday event – all on a tiny budget. In a Porsche 944 he has borrowed for the day, he attempts to put all of his practice to good use – but will he be able to stay on the track long enough to snatch a victory?

Friday 15 October, 7:30pm on Five

Motoring magazine show presented by Tiff Needell, Vicki Butler-Henderson, Jason Plato and Jonny Smith. This week, Jason takes newbie petrolhead Comedy Dave for a lesson on the track, and Jonny gets a ride in Europe’s fastest street-legal car. Vicki heads to the glamorous Paris Motor Show, and Tiff races two of the sharpest supercars on the market. Last year, a very nervous Comedy Dave of Radio 1’s Chris Moyles show appeared on ‘Fifth Gear’ to receive some stunt-driving lessons from Jason Plato. Despite his shaky start, Dave was so inspired by what he learned from Jason that he has since gained himself a race licence. This week, Dave is back, but he still lacks confidence on the track. To help boost his skills, Jason demonstrates some techniques in a �100,000, 420bhp Aston Martin, before setting Dave a timed challenge. Meanwhile, Jonny meets the creator of Europe’s fastest street-legal car, before heading to UK drag-racing mecca Santa Pod to experience a thrilling ride – during which he hits 180mph in less than eight seconds. The car in question started life as an Audi coupe, but owner John souped it up in his humble Rotherham garage. Now the car is tuned to produce over 2,000bhp which, as Jonny discovers, makes for a phenomenal drive. Porsche and Lotus both have impeccable reputations for producing beautiful cars that handle sublimely, and both companies have recently released new cars that are in direct competition with each other. Porsche’s Cayman is one of the sharpest cars on the planet, but can the Lotus Evora outmanoeuvre it? Tiff heads to the Anglesey Circuit to find out. Finally this week, Vicki Butler-Henderson visits one of the chicest events on the motoring calendar. The Paris Motor Show is where insiders go to get sneak previews of all the newest, fastest cars on the market. British manufacturer Lotus has promised to unveil a raft of new models at this year’s event, while the latest Lamborghini supercar will also be on display. Vicki will be first on the scene to showcase her top picks.

Friday 15 October, 7:30pm on Five

Motoring magazine show presented by Tiff Needell, Vicki Butler-Henderson, Jason Plato and Jonny Smith. This week, Jason takes newbie petrolhead Comedy Dave for a lesson on the track, and Jonny gets a ride in Europe’s fastest street-legal car. Vicki heads to the glamorous Paris Motor Show, and Tiff races two of the sharpest supercars on the market. Last year, a very nervous Comedy Dave of Radio 1’s Chris Moyles show appeared on ‘Fifth Gear’ to receive some stunt-driving lessons from Jason Plato. Despite his shaky start, Dave was so inspired by what he learned from Jason that he has since gained himself a race licence. This week, Dave is back, but he still lacks confidence on the track. To help boost his skills, Jason demonstrates some techniques in a �100,000, 420bhp Aston Martin, before setting Dave a timed challenge. Meanwhile, Jonny meets the creator of Europe’s fastest street-legal car, before heading to UK drag-racing mecca Santa Pod to experience a thrilling ride – during which he hits 180mph in less than eight seconds. The car in question started life as an Audi coupe, but owner John souped it up in his humble Rotherham garage. Now the car is tuned to produce over 2,000bhp which, as Jonny discovers, makes for a phenomenal drive. Porsche and Lotus both have impeccable reputations for producing beautiful cars that handle sublimely, and both companies have recently released new cars that are in direct competition with each other. Porsche’s Cayman is one of the sharpest cars on the planet, but can the Lotus Evora outmanoeuvre it? Tiff heads to the Anglesey Circuit to find out. Finally this week, Vicki Butler-Henderson visits one of the chicest events on the motoring calendar. The Paris Motor Show is where insiders go to get sneak previews of all the newest, fastest cars on the market. British manufacturer Lotus has promised to unveil a raft of new models at this year’s event, while the latest Lamborghini supercar will also be on display. Vicki will be first on the scene to showcase her top picks.

Thursday 12 August, 7:30pm on Five

The fast-paced motoring magazine show with expert hosts Tiff Needell, Vicki Butler-Henderson, Jason Plato and Jonny Smith concludes its 17th series. This week, Vicki is called upon as a judge at an exclusive motoring show. Tiff and Jason tackle a pair of feisty Japanese saloons. Jonny has a look at a new Audi, and Tiff gets up close and personal with a cutting-edge electric car. In the last episode of the current run, Vicki judges the Best Supercar award at the most exclusive motor show in the world, Salon Priv�. Tiff and Jason go head to head in the Mitsubishi Evo FQ400 and the Nissan GT-R to discover which is the best Japanese super saloon on the market. Jonny has the first TV test of Audi’s new rival to the Mini, the A1. And Tiff drives the latest electric sports car from Tesla.

Thursday 5 August, 7:30pm on Five

Fast-paced motoring magazine show with expert hosts Tiff Needell, Vicki Butler-Henderson, Jason Plato and Jonny Smith. This week, Jason takes the extraordinary Morgan Aero SuperSports for a spin, and Tiff pits two hot hatches against each other. Vicki meets McLaren design legend Gordon Murray to discuss his latest project, and Tiff and Jonny have another bash at the Ilkley Trial. The Volkswagen Golf R – an all-wheel drive, 265bhp hot hatch with a �31,000 price tag – is the flagship of the current Golf range and an incredibly desirable car. However, Volkswagenowned company SEAT has just released its fastest ever vehicle, the Leon Cupra R, which has an almost identical engine to the Golf, and retails at �5,000 less. Tiff hits the road to find out if the Cupra is any match for the mighty VW. Legendary British car company Morgan has been making flamboyant sports cars for over a century. Despite their traditional appearance, the vehicles are popular with speed demons due to their lightweight aluminium bodies and huge V8 engines. Jason heads to the track to put the new, ultra-luxurious Morgan Aero SuperSports through its paces. Elsewhere this week, Vicki meets Gordon Murray to talk about his latest ambitious design project. The professor is celebrated for designing the iconic McLaren F1, which until recently held the record for the fastest-ever production car. Now he has turned his attentions to creating the ultimate city car, the T.25. The lightweight, compact, environmentally friendly design, which even makes it possible for two T.25s to travel side by side in the same lane, promises to change the shape of motoring forever. Finally this week, Jonny persuades Tiff to enter the gruelling Ilkley Trial. After last year’s dismal performance -when the guys finished in last place – Tiff is at first reluctant to get involved, but he soon resolves to win the race. Over 22 stages of rocks, hills and mud, the intrepid presenters encounter a variety of problems, from faulty air compressors to a faltering relationship. Have the guys really got what it takes to win?

Thursday 22 July, 7:30pm on Five

The fast-paced motoring magazine show hosted by Tiff Needell, Vicki Butler-Henderson, Jason Plato and Jonny Smith continues. This week, Tiff and Jonny test two of the most stylish cars on the market. Vicki assesses the green credentials of Honda’s sporty new hybrid, and Jason gets to grips with a classic American muscle car. Peugeot has a well-earned reputation for making reliable vehicles with stunning styling, but the French carmaker’s recent efforts have veered a little towards the dull side. However, the manufacturer hopes to change all this with its brand new RCZ coupe, which boasts the good looks of a luxury Italian car. Tiff takes the RCZ for a spin on Anglesey to find out how the supercar on a shoestring compares to its nearest rival, the elegant Volkswagen Scirocco. While Nissan’s bestselling cars are simple runarounds like the Micra, the company also produces some of the quirkiest vehicles available. Enter the Juke – a new, masculine, SUV-style supermini that Nissan hopes will shake up the small-car market. Jonny heads to Germany to be among the first to test this stylish new model. Classic American marque Chevrolet has a new car on the market – the Camaro SS. The Chevy boasts some impressive-sounding assets, including a massive 6.8-litre V8 engine, but big American cars are notorious for sluggishness and poor handling. Jason takes the Camaro for a spin to see whether the meaty muscle car is any match for Wales’s notoriously windy roads. Elsewhere this week, Vicki puts the Honda CR-Z coupe through its paces. Marketed as the world’s first sporty hybrid, the CR-Z looks and feels like a far less environmentally friendly beast. But do Honda’s claims that a high-performance car can be green really add up?

Thursday 15 July, 7:30pm on Five

The fast-paced motoring magazine show hosted by Tiff Needell, Vicki Butler-Henderson, Jason Plato and Jonny Smith continues. This week, Formula One hero David Coulthard helps Tiff assess the Mercedes SLS AMG. Jonny and Vicki complete a mucky 4×4 challenge, and Jason puts one of the last great Ferraris to the test. Mercedes is all set to storm into the supercar elite with the awesome new SLS AMG. The AMG subsidiary has been supercharging the German carmaker’s executive saloons for decades, but the SLS is the first vehicle to be completely designed and made in-house by AMG. Tiff heads to the Isle of Man to put the SLS through its paces, before discussing the pros and cons of the new vehicle with Formula One legend David Coulthard. In response to the growing economic and environmental cost of owning a car, Lotus has recently developed an eco-friendly, more fuelefficient model of its classic Elise roadster. The new 1.6-litre engine is capable of an impressive 46mpg, which is comparable to most superminis. But have the green credentials cost the new Lotus Elise its sparkle? Vicki Butler-Henderson hits the road to find out. Meanwhile, in Italy, Jason puts one of the last great Ferraris to the test. The 599 GTO is only the third model ever produced by the Italian car company to wear the GTO badge – the other two are now million-pound collectors’ items – and carbon-emissions legislation means it will probably be the last. The badge marks the Ferrari out as a road car primarily designed for racing, and the 599 does not let the side down. With a top speed of 208mph and 661bhp, Jason should be in for a scintillating drive. Elsewhere this week, Jonny and Vicki don their wellies for an off-road challenge. The Land Rover Discovery and the Toyota Land Cruiser have both recently been given a host of new improvements, but which is really the toughest 4×4? The game presenters face a series of muddy challenges including a tug of war, a pond and a time trial to find out which one of the big names truly deserves to be crowned the best off-roader on the market.

Thursday 8 July, 7:30pm on Five

The fast-paced motoring magazine show hosted by Tiff Needell, Vicki Butler-Henderson, Jason Plato and Jonny Smith continues. This week, Tiff takes the exotic Lexus LFA hypercar for a spin, while Vicki road-tests the new BMW 5 Series. Jason pits two powerful saloons against each other, and Jonny visits Volvo’s hi-tech testing facility in Sweden. BMW’s 5 Series cars have long been regarded as the smoothest, most reliable drive in their class. However, Vicki Butler-Henderson is concerned that the carmaker might have sacrificed some of its classic features for hi-tech wizardry in the latest addition to the range. The new 5 Series boasts a cavalcade of baffling technological features, including self-parking, an on-board computer and a head-up data-display system originally pioneered for fighter jets. Vicki takes to the roads in the sunny south of France in order to determine whether the gadgetry improves or detracts from the ride. In this week’s shoot-out, Jason heads to the Anglesey Circuit to pit two of the most powerful saloons on the market against each other. The Mercedes E63 AMG boasts a V8 engine, 506bhp and 464lb/ft of torque – but its closest rival, the Audi RS6, runs on a Lamborghini V10 engine. The nifty 572bhp vehicle is capable of doing 0-62 in just 4.6 seconds. The Audi might sound like a dead cert to come out on top, but only Jason’s time trial will tell… Swedish carmaker Volvo already has a hard-earned reputation for making some of the safest cars in the world, but the manufacturer has recently set itself a huge goal. The company believes that, by 2020, no one will die or suffer serious injuries in one of its cars ever again. Jonny visits Volvo’s state-of-the-art testing facility in Gothenburg to witness how the company is using groundbreaking radar technology and in-vehicle protection to reach its ambitious goal. After ten years in the making, the extravagant Lexus LFA deserves the label of hypercar. Priced at well over �330,000 and easily capable of 200mph, this carbon-fibre beauty makes for an exhilarating drive. Can the LFA’s hardcore credentials match up to Tiff’s expectations on the track?

Thursday 1 July, 7:30pm on Five

The fast-paced motoring magazine show hosted by Tiff Needell, Vicki Butler-Henderson, Jason Plato and Jonny Smith continues. This week, Tiff and Jason team up with Ross Noble and Charley Boorman for a motorcycle challenge. Vicki looks at the future of open-top motoring, and Jonny visits Volvo’s hi-tech testing facility in Sweden. When Tiff and Jason decide to indulge in a spot of motorbike testing this week, they invite along two well-known celebrity biking fanatics. ‘Long Way Round’ star Charley Boorman is no stranger to adventure after his numerous motorcycle trips across the world. He joins Tiff, Jason and comedian Ross Noble for a series of gruelling two-wheel tests in the Welsh hills. Swedish car-maker Volvo already has a hard-earned reputation for making some of the safest cars in the world, but the manufacturer has recently set itself a huge goal. The company believes that, by 2020, no one will die or suffer serious injuries in one of its cars ever again. Jonny visits Volvo’s state-of-the-art testing facility in Gothenburg to witness how the company is using groundbreaking radar technology and in-vehicle protection to reach its ambitious goal. Meanwhile, back in the UK, Vicki takes a look at the new Mercedes E-class cabriolet. Open-top cars are notorious for offering style over substance, with passengers experiencing major discomfort at high speeds. Mercedes claims to have the solution with its new E-class, which uses advanced aerodynamics technology to prevent passengers getting a battering from the elements. Vicki puts the German machine to the test and reveals whether this new droptop lives up to these claims. Elsewhere this week, Jason takes the phenomenal Porsche 911 GT3 RS for a spin. The �100,000 vehicle is a stripped-down, minimalist affair – but what this supercar lacks in frills, it makes up for in power. Track trimmings such as a roll cage and flame-retardant furnishings come as standard. The road-legal GT3 RS promises a top speed of 193mph, but how far can Jason push it?

Thursday 24 June, 7:30pm on Five

The fast-paced motoring magazine show presented by Tiff Needell, Vicki Butler- Henderson, Jason Plato and Jonny Smith continues. This week, Jason puts two exclusive executive saloons to the test, and Tiff takes a trip in the world’s most beautiful car. Meanwhile, Tiff and Jonny tackle the gruelling Ilkley Trial, and Vicki checks out the legendary Rolls Royce Phantom’s baby brother. In this week’s shoot-out, Jason pits two of the most powerful executive saloons on the market against each other. This class of vehicle may have a reputation for being staid, but the Mercedes E63 AMG’s V8 engine, 506bhp and 464lb/ft of torque belie its inconspicuous appearance. Likewise, in looks alone the Audi RS6 resembles a normal fivedoor estate, but its ordinary exterior conceals a monstrous 572bhp vehicle capable of doing 0-62 in just 4.6 seconds. Which powerful saloon will come out on top in Jason’s time trial? Meanwhile, Vicki experiences the luxurious new addition to the Rolls Royce family. Priced at an eye-watering �200,000, the Ghost is marketed as a value-for-money alternative to the classic Rolls Royce Phantom. Each lovingly hand-built Ghost takes a team of 60 people 20 days to make, and offers a staggeringly fast top speed of 155mph – but can this new kid on the block measure up to its big brother? Elsewhere this week, Jonny and Tiff participate in the famous Ilkley Trial. Held each year in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, the 22-stage, 75-mile trial cuts through the picturesque-yet-unforgiving terrain of the Yorkshire Dales. The intrepid presenters hope to find themselves stood on the podium at the end of the day, but the impossibly steep hills, freerolling boulders and deep muds that criss-cross the course are enough to make even the most experienced drivers weep… Finally, Tiff takes time out to test the elegant Aston Martin Rapide, which is widely regarded as one of the most attractive modern cars on the market. But can it deliver as much in functionality as it does in looks? Tiff takes to the road and the track to find out if the Rapide can match style with substance.

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