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Top Gear: Rowan Atkinson, Jaguar XKR-S & Caravan Trains

Sat, 16 Jul 2011

Rowan Atkinson is on Top Gear - without his McLaren F1 (above)

This weekend’s edition of Top Gear is the usual mix of daftness and octane, but the big news – after making overtures since the start of new Top Gear to make it happen – is the appearance of Rowan Atkinson as a Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.

Rowan is not just a major petrolhead, but majorly publicity shy. Which you would think is an oxymoron for a professional entertainer, but it seems Rowan is much more comfortable occupying the skin of a character he’s created than his own, particularly in public.

So having persuaded Rowan to come on as a guest is a big feather in Top Gear’s cap. There will doubtless be lots to talk about (is Rowan plugging anything at the moment?) even if the interview is limited to car ownership, because Rowan owns a McLaren F1 (#61 in Dark Burgundy – not a favourite car of Jeremy’s). He also owns a Honda NSX, classic Jaguars (another jibe from Mr Clarkson) and a Morgan Aeromax (praise from Hammond, jokes about Clarence from Clarkson) amongst others. Should be interesting.

On the car front the big test is Jeremy in the new, more powerful, Jaguar XKR-S with its more aggressive nose and an extra stable of horses added on to propel it to 60mph in just over 4 seconds. It’s a proper Jaguar stab at the supercar club, and it offers as much as the Aston Martin DBS at half the price. Which means you’re paying almost £100k just for how the DBS looks. Makes you think.

Jeremy is busy comparing the Jaguar XKR-S to the new Nissan GT-R, so instead of seeing the Jag as cheap in comparison to the DBS he’ll probably declare it expensive in comparison to the much quicker GT-R. We’ll see.

The daftness this weekend comes courtesy of an attempt to make a train with carriages made from caravans and towed by a specially adapted car. Could be funny, could be daft or could be a waste of space. We’ll see.

Still, the big deal is Rowan Atkinson as the SIARPC and it’s all on – episode 4 of series 17 – at 8pm BBC2 Sunday July 17th.

By Cars UK