It’s largely because of crazy segments like this that I feel Top Gear outclasses Fifth Gear as the British car show of choice. Who else would try something quite as ambitious as trying to get an old Renault to compete against a new Evolution X?
In the segment embedded below, which has been divided into two clips, you can watch as our good friends Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May take their hands to a 2002 Renault Avantime. Their goal? To turn this “monumental failure” into a bonafide race car.
More specifically, they put the Stig behind the wheel to put the Avantime through the Top Gear test track. They also have the time achieved by the new Mitsubishi Evolution X on hand. After putting the Renault through its paces, the boys are given a rather sizable budget to modify the car so that it can best the track time achieved by the Evo.
For the challenge, the Top Gear guys are given a budget that is half the price of the Evo. The Mitsu rally car, which normally competes against the likes of something like the Subaru Impreza STi, goes for 30,000 GBP. In this way, our British blokes have 15,000 GBP to spend, including the price of the used car.
Can Hammond, Clarkson, and May transform this used peoplemover into a competitive track car on such a budget? Can the Renault Avantime go toe-to-toe against the Evo? Let’s just say that some cars are built for racing and others, well, they’re built for grocery-getting.