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Speed Week 2021

Speed Week 2021: welcome to Top Gear's big performance car contest

Our mammoth 26 car shoot-out - with every price and performance point covered - is here. What's your money on?

Published: 04 Oct 2021

Welcome to Top Gear’s 2021 Speed Week: our annual supertest of all that’s fast, fun and ever-so-slightly bizarre on four wheels. Which car makes us smile more than any other this year? Time to find out. 

A couple of days of arduous testing at the world-famous Top Gear test track – followed by an on-road showdown in our favourite final five – will determine which car wins our 2021 Performance Car of the Year title, and a £2.99 trophy we’ve forgotten to buy. 

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Luckily, you can follow the entire weird and wayward thing, right here, this month, only on Want exclusive videos, brave opinions and behind-the-scenes nonsense? You’ve come to the right place.

The world of fun and fast is much more than hot hatches and supercars these days, so this year’s crop is diverse. And a little bit bonkers. We’ve got a 1,000bhp hybrid Ferrari alongside the super-serious Porsche 911 GT3. The lightest sports car money can buy – Caterham’s 170R – will duel a rally raid Dakar monster and a Mazda MX-5 in 1950s F1 car get-up.

We’ve got muscle cars, supersaloons, a controversial EV conversion, and casting a wary visor over all of them: The Stig. He's still a bit upset because his race-suit skin got a bit soggy when it started raining quite hard. Whoops. 

Ever wondered if the Golf R’s drift mode is more of a laugh than a Bentley Continental GT Speed doing the world’s poshest powerslide? We did. So we’ve been finding out. 

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Cleverly, we've split the contenders into appropriate groups: exotic supercars, retro heroes, fun-for-the-family, and tyre-shredding drifters. 

Then there are the outliers – the cars that defy pigeonholing, but deserved an invitation anyway. So we’ve borrowed the wonky-winged,1,178bhp Zenvo TSR-R, a McLaren 720S GT3X racecar gone feral and had a poke around Ireland’s idea of a future track day hero. It’s zero-emission, packs 1,000 horsepower and has 500kg of downforce… at 0mph. Yes, really. 
So, strap yourself in for this year’s festival of noise, speed and quite a few spins.

And choose a contender to root for – this year, it really could be anyone’s…

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