Top Gear Season 20 Episode 3 But that’s half the pleasure of watching Clarkson whizzing through the countryside in a long red blur. That and seeing him reduced to a babbling imbecile (some might say that, in itself, is not a long journey) by the sheer intensity of driving such a mechanical work of art. He even managed to stuff a crafty tennis analogy in, about how driving the F12 had a similar effect on the senses as being hit by a barrage of balls. Not entirely unlike the effect of Top Gear itself.

After a delay of 20 minutes in which all of Twitter thought the world was ending due to a tennis match, Top Gear's second episode of its 20th season (or series, depending on how you look at it) has finally debuted. Thank Gawd.

In tonight's episode:

Jeremy drives a car with a van engine
Jeremy drives a car with a Ferrari engine
There are taxis
And a motorcycle

Of course, please post any links to relevant videos or clips in the comments below, as well as your thoughts on what is exactly that went down. Enjoy.

Even for those of us happy to regard Top Gear (BBC Two) as one of the most entertaining shows on air, tonight’s edition had the world’s toughest TV act to follow: Murray winning at Wimbledon – can television get any more emotionally exhausting than that? Still Clarkson & Co managed to crank our wrung-out pleasure centres up through the gears again with an opening review of what looked to be another British triumph – the BAC Mono, a fine looking amalgam (if the Top Gear commentary is to be relied upon) of van engine, F3 gearbox and robot-design, which not only fulfilled its billing as “the best thing to come out of Cheshire since the cheese” but also managed the more astonishing feat of getting around the legendary Top Gear track in the second fastest time, ever. Always eager to appeal to the show’s female demographic Clarkson went to enormous lengths to point out how they, especially, might enjoy the remarkable “tingling, vibrationy” quality the car exhibited at higher rev levels. That’s about as classy as this show aims to get.

Obviously no Top Gear is complete without a spot of wanton destruction, in this case supplied by Richard Hammond’s efforts to determine which of the world’s taxis was the best. His highly “scientific” test amounted to subjecting a selection of global people ferriers– everything from a Russian stretch limo to a Mexican VW Beetle – to a stock car race. Rampant aggression, chaos and a vast –even by this show’s high standards – amount of onscreen carnage followed. All of which was perfect post-tennis stress-relief and, no doubt, absolutely necessary when it came to proving that London’s black cabs are no match for India’s virtually indestructible Hindustan Ambassador.

A rather dull, mostly engineless and rather pointless tribute to BBC Television Centre was balanced out with a charming appearance by A-list Hollywood film director Ron Howard in the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car slot. As ever this was accompanied by some shameless pluggery; but at least Howard’s latest, Rush, was more relevant to the show than most – the 1970s rivalry between F1 drivers Niki Lauda and James Hunt, a subject likely to provoke insane levels of excited anticipation among many of the show’s petrol-head viewers.

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Test driving the Volkswagen up!

That was certainly the only sign of anything reasonably priced in this edition, as the final segment was Clarkson’s blistering review of the latest supercar from Ferrari. A snip at a mere £240,000 the Ferrari F12 is not a car most of us will ever get behind the wheel of, let alone queue up to buy. B

Jeremy Clarkson tests the sensational 730 horsepower Ferrari F12 in the wide open spaces of Scotland, Richard Hammond harnesses the power of motorsport to find the world’s best taxi, and James May pays tribute to BBC Television Centre using a motorcyclist and a pair of parkour runners. Meanwhile, the extraordinary BAC Mono is put to the test on the track and movie director Ron Howard is the star in the brand new Reasonably Priced Car.