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Recap: Top Gear series 25, episode 1, and the big V8 test

Video: our trio head to Utah to honour the mighty V8 engine... and escape the law

  1. The V8 engine. In the modern world of gastric-band-spec emissions regulations, the favourite of petrolheads worldwide should be a relic. Deceased. An ex-engine. But it isn’t. Because, gloriously, the V8 keeps evolving. Developing. Moving with the times. So with 2018 marking, as you’ll all know, the 116th anniversary of the most enduring sports car engine of them all, it seemed the perfect time for a little celebration. So Matt, Chris and Rory each chose their ultimate all-round V8 sports car, and headed to Utah’s Wild West for a series of challenges.

    Rory arrived in a Jaguar F-Type SVR, while Chris went practical in the shape of the McLaren 570GT. Which is a practical, spacious GT car in very much the same way a pair of rollerblades is a practical, spacious GT car. Matt, in patriotic fashion, opted for a Ford Mustang GT350 R. But not just any Ford Mustang GT350 R. Oh no. A Ford Mustang GT350 R tuned by a man called John Hennessey, that tune being approximately 800bhp.

    V8 weapons selected, the trio set off on a motorsport-inspired pilgrimage across the States, a pilgrimage including oval track racing, a visit to the Bonneville Salt Flats… and a moonshine run to the border. Being hotly pursued by Officer Kenneth Block.

    Yee, and, indeed, haw.

    Plus, Rob Brydon is our Star in a Reasonably Fast Car.

    Scroll down for the best pics from ep 1, and catch up on BBC iPlayer (in the UK) here. Rory’s hosting TG’s companion show Extra Gear - you can watch that here.

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