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Saturday 9th December
Speed Week 2017

The cars of Top Gear Speed Week 2017

From £14k, 113bhp Up GTI to £450k, 647bhp Ford GT, our contenders in full

  • Speed Week 2017 is here. Top Gear’s performance car contest has moved to Scotland this year, and every day until November 1 there’ll be track tests, galleries and videos going live on

    Yesterday we brought you the trailer, today comes a rundown of every contestant. From affordable hot hatches to 600bhp-plus supercars, via track specials and sports saloons, we’ve got every hero and potential superstar of 2017.

    So scroll down, pick your favourites, and tell us which you want to see crowned winner in the comments box below…

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  • Volkswagen Up GTI

    Yep, it’s a £14k hatchback attempting to rub shoulders with the year’s greatest sports cars. But the humble little Up GTI channels the spirit – and modest power and grip – of the original, mk1 Golf GTI. The hot hatch that started it all.

    While it’s not going to set any lap records at our Knockhill Circuit base, the rainiest Speed Week yet could shine a real light on how accessible its performance is. We know which car will have the longest queue when the circuit lights go green for the first time, and it’s not the Ford or Lambo…

  • Volkswagen Up GTI

    Price: £14,000 (est)
    Engine: 999cc 3cyl turbo, 113bhp, 170lb ft
    Transmission: 6spd manual, FWD
    Performance: 0–62mph 8.8secs, 122mph
    Weight: 997kg

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  • Lamborghini Huracan Performante

    The Performante set a (since surpassed) lap record on a dry Nürburgring earlier in the year. It won’t be as quick on a sodden Scottish race track, but its mixture of 630bhp V10 and all-wheel drive could make it a formidable track weapon.

    It also ticks all the important supercar boxes. Bright colour scheme? Howling engine note? Absurd materials inside and out? An exhaust system that glows at full pelt? Tick, tick, tick and tick. What a thing.

  • Lamborghini Huracan Performante

    Price: £207,925
    Engine: 5204cc V10, 630bhp, 443lb ft
    Transmission: 7spd dual-clutch, AWD
    Performance: 0–62mph 2.9secs, 201mph
    Weight: 1382kg

  • Honda Civic Type R

    The internet’s favourite/least favourite hot hatch (delete as applicable) is here and ready to go giant killing. The last Civic Type R was a very good hot hatch hamstrung by some usability issues. None of its rivals were so uncompromising when it came to wet-weather grip or ride comfort.

    The new one is comfier and more practical than ever, but faster, too. It’s one of the best hatches on sale, and one of the most accomplished front-wheel-drive cars ever. Underestimate the five-door with the big boot and comprehensive warranty at your peril.

  • Honda Civic Type R

    Price: £32,995
    Engine: 1996cc 4cyl turbo, 315bhp, 295lb ft
    Transmission: 6spd manual, FWD
    Performance: 0–62mph 5.8secs, 169mph
    Weight: 1380kg

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  • Mercedes-AMG E63 S

    Shockwaves resonated when Mercedes first revealed its E63 mega saloon was going to deploy four-wheel drive. Would it be too sanitised? Had AMG gone all sensible as it turns middle aged?

    Lord no. With 603bhp, it’s one of the most powerful cars of this whole test, and with a RWD-only Drift Mode, one of the nuttiest, too. Alright, it’s big and heavy. All the more reason to manhandle it and misbehave rather than laser in on lap times. Some of the biggest grins of the test will emerge from this car.

  • Mercedes-AMG E63 S

    Price: £88,490
    Engine: 3982cc V8 turbo, 603bhp, 627lb ft
    Transmission: 9spd automatic, AWD
    Performance: 0–62mph 3.4secs, 155mph
    Weight: 1955kg

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  • Porsche 911 GT3

    No performance car of the year shootout is complete without a motorsport-bred Porsche. Last year the Porsche 911 R proved victorious, the year before that the Cayman GT4 finished highly. So you’d be a fool to bet against the latest GT3 putting in a rather sound performance.

    And 'sound' is a pretty key word. No other car on this grid will rev past 9,000rpm, a point at which the 911’s new 4.0-litre flat-six makes a sublime noise. In fact, nothing will stir the soul of those watching like the GT3 at flat chat on the pit straight…

  • Porsche 911 GT3

    Price: £111,802
    Engine: 3996cc 6cyl, 493bhp, 339lb ft
    Transmission: 7spd dual-clutch, RWD
    Performance: 0–62mph 3.4secs, 198mph
    Weight: 1505kg

  • McLaren 720S

    It’s McLaren’s coming of age. The company, in its modern guise, has only been producing supercars for seven years. Now the core of its range – the Super Series – has entered its second generation, and it’s blasted past 700bhp in the process.

    Yep, Speed Week 2017’s most powerful car isn’t the racetrack-refugee Ford GT, but the McLaren 720S. A supercar that mates ballistic performance with staggering usability. Its rival supercars will need to be on their A game to keep up.

  • McLaren 720S

    Price: £208,600
    Engine: 3994cc V8 turbo, 711bhp, 568lb ft
    Transmission: 7spd dual-clutch, RWD
    Performance: 0–62mph 2.9secs, 212mph
    Weight: 1419kg

  • Lexus LC500

    Yep, a Lexus in a performance car contest. But the LC500 is very worthy of inclusion. Not only is it the most interesting looking Lexus since the LFA – perhaps it’s even more striking – but it has the same howling V8 you’ll find in the RC F and GS F.

    Still free of turbos, it sounds tremendous when you give it your all. And with lots of adjustable modes via some of the most intriguing switchgear you’ll find in a road car, it ought to be very interesting on track.

  • Lexus LC500

    Price: £76,595
    Engine: 4969cc V8, 471bhp, 398lb ft
    Transmission: 10spd automatic, RWD
    Performance: 0–62mph 4.7secs, 168mph
    Weight: 1935kg

  • BMW M4 CS

    Here’s a front-engine, rear-drive sports coupe from a carmaker you would expect to be here. The CS is designed to be the middle ground between the regular M4 and the uber-expensive M4 GTS track special.

    So its power output and pricetag split the two, while the driving experience is designed to meld some on-road usability with circuit focus. In the dry it’s a wondrous thing, precise and fun, but will Knockhill’s monsoon give its rivals an edge?

  • BMW M4 CS

    Price: £89,130
    Engine: 2979cc 6cyl turbo, 454bhp, 443lb ft
    Transmission: 7spd dual-clutch, RWD
    Performance: 0–62mph in 3.9secs, 174mph
    Weight: 1580kg

  • Audi R8 Plus Spyder

    Does a convertible – impeded by the additional weight and decreased structural integrity of its folding soft-top – belong in a track test? When it has over 600bhp of naturally aspirated V10 and a rear-biased Quattro system, absolutely.

    Even as a roadster, this is the R8 at its sharpest, the extra bits and bobs from the £13,000 upgrade to 'Plus' status elevating a very good sports car to genuine supercar status. Its all-wheel drive happens to make it staggeringly easy-going in the conditions, too…

  • Audi R8 Plus Spyder

    Price: £147,020
    Engine: 5204cc V10, 602bhp, 413lb ft
    Transmission: 7spd dual-clutch, AWD
    Performance: 0–62mph in 3.3secs, 204mph
    Weight: 1770kg

  • Volkswagen Golf GTI

    Perhaps it’s the least glamorous car here. But that’s only because of familiarity. Not including the absolute hot hatch benchmark would be remiss of us, and since the wonderful mk5 GTI of 2005, the fast front-drive Golf has been unfalteringly brilliant.

    Here it is in facelifted mk7 form, with the additional power and differential technology of the optional Performance pack. If the Civic Type R has any rough edges or glaring flaws, the most venerable hot hatch of them all will be ready and waiting to expose them.

  • Volkswagen Golf GTI

    Price: £31,505
    Engine: 1984cc 4cyl turbo, 242bhp, 273lb ft
    Transmission: 7spd dual-clutch, FWD
    Performance: 0–62mph 6.2secs, 154mph
    Weight: 1386kg

  • Ford GT

    Yep, it’s the big ‘un. Every single car on our Speed Week grid is fast, rare, exciting or a beguiling mix of the three. But the GT is the headliner, the car that we worked hardest to get here and the one that everyone spends more time than is helpful gawping at or poking around.

    It’s also the car everyone wants to ‘work up to’. A Le Mans-bred racecar with the stickers removed and the power cranked up from its race restrictions tends to do that to people. But can any other car even hope to be as thrilling as a GT in Track Mode around Knockhill?

  • Ford GT

    Price: £420,000
    Engine: 3497cc V6 turbo, 647bhp, 550lb ft
    Transmission: 7spd dual-clutch, RWD
    Performance: 0–62mph 2.8secs, 216mph
    Weight: 1385kg

  • Mercedes-AMG GT R

    The Porsche 911 GT3 has been in business for nearly 20 years, but genuine rivals have been rare. And never good enough to dethrone the king. But, in its first proper attempt, Mercedes might have done it.

    While the GT R looks for all the world like a harder, more boisterous AMG GT, it’s actually sharper, better behaved and more accomplished. Yes, it’ll be yobbish, but it’ll also settle down and be razor sharp when you’re in the mood. And we’ve not even mentioned its hot rod-esque V8…

  • Mercedes-AMG GT R

    Price: £143,260
    Engine: 3982cc V8 turbo, 577bhp, 516lb ft
    Transmission: 7spd dual-clutch, RWD
    Performance: 0–62mph 3.6secs, 198mph
    Weight: 1630kg

  • Audi RS3

    The 13th and final contender is the car wearing the ‘most improved’ sticker. Before its facelift, the current generation RS3 sounded great, went like stink, but was utterly ordinary to drive. Its mid-life fettle has seen some magic injected into its chassis. A chassis that’s now partial to oversteer, especially when grip levels are best described as 'moist'.

    It also has nigh on 400bhp, which is simply absurd for a hot hatch or small saloon. We’ve picked four-door RS3 rather than the five-door. It looks cooler and engineers say it’s actually a teeny bit sharper to drive…

  • Audi RS3

    Price: £45,250
    Engine: 2480cc 5cyl turbo, 394bhp, 354lb ft
    Transmission: 7spd dual-clutch, AWD
    Performance: 0–62mph in 4.1secs, 155mph
    Weight: 1515kg

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