The fifth series of Top Gear began in the United Kingdom on 24 October 2004 and concluded on 26 December 2004. The series contained 9 episodes. The series was subsequently followed by one "Best Of Top Gear" special, which aired 2 January 2005, charting the best moments from Series 4 and 5.
Cars from the "colonies": the Vauxhall Monaro VXR from Australia and the Chrysler 300C from the United States take on the Jaguar S Type R on the beach at Pendine Sands in south Wales. Back at the Top Gear track, Jeremy is trying to tell the difference between the old Porsche 911 Carrera and the new Porsche 911 Carrera S. That could be the least of Jeremy’s worries, in the last series after looking at the prototype of the new Astra, he said he would eat his own hair if the car actually looked like the prototype when it was launched. With a guest appearance from chef Antony Worrall Thompson in the studio, things aren’t looking good for Jeremy. There's also time to destroy an ice-cream van and some bouncy castles and Bill Bailey is the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.
The new Ford Focus is tested (by Richard) and compared to its rivals. Pink Floyd’s drummer, Nick Mason lends Jeremy his new Ferrari F60 Enzo in return for a subtle plug for his new book. There’s a race between a grumpy teen on an all terrain board and a Mitsubishi Evo7 Group N rally car - and a Bowler Wildcat just for good measure. Ben Collins drives the cars - (Stig without his helmet?)
Jeremy compares super cars from the 1980s with their modern counterparts to see if the more modern up-to-date cars are really better. Pagani Zonda, Porsche Carrera GT, Ferrari Enzo are the modern super cars and the throw-backs are the, Jaguar XJ220, McLaren F1 and the Ferrari F40.
Geri Halliwell is the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.
Jeremy drives the new Land Rover Discovery to the top of Ben Tongue (all 1,700 feet of it), a Scottish mountain and gives us some handy survival tips such as: take some soup in a can and a can of lemonade. Richard travels to Switzerland to find the "maddest car" in the world - an amphibious vehicle with a hydrofoil made by Rinspeed. The Dodge Viper SRT-10 is driven by Jeremy and catches fire. A quality product.
Joanna Lumley is the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.
Richard drove the new, 218mph, £400,000 Pagani Zonda Roadster in Switzerland, one of only 40 that will be built. He compared it to the Wally 118 - a £14 million pound boat made of lightweight material such as carbon fibre. There's a game of Caravan Conkers between Richard and James; they also spent 24 hours in a Smart car. This was because the makers described the interior of the car as 'lounge concept'. Unable to leave the car, they relied on passers-by to get them things such as: tea, pasties and newspapers. They spent the night parked in the Screaming Woods in Pluckley, the 'most haunted village in England'.The village 'boasts' 12 ghosts including: the Highwayman, the Screaming Man and a monk. Jeremy drove the new Aston Martin Vanquish S and the Ferrari 575 with, Steve Coogan.
Comedian Jimmy Carr speeds his way to a surprise lead on the Stars in a Reasonably Priced Car leader board with a hair raising lap around the Top Gear test track!
The Morgan Aero 8GTN is driven by Richard and derided by, James and Jeremy. James and Richard pay tribute to the London Routemaster bus; Richard tries his luck at Historic People Carrier Racing and Jeremy takes a Jaguar S Type diesel to the Nürburgring in Germany, to see if he can complete a lap of the 13 mile circuit (with 147 corners) in under ten minutes. James gets all nostalgic about a musical instrument and Mercedes 300SL 'gullwing'.Christian Slater is the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.
Richard, James and Jeremy are set a challenge; buy a working Porsche for a maximum of £1,500. Richard bought a 924 (the one with the van engine) for £750, James a 944 for £900 and Jeremy - predictably a 928S for £1,500. They were then set a series of challenges to see who had bought the best car. Jeremy also drove the new Golf GTI and described it as a sensation (even though it weighs the same as "South Africa"). A Mini is featured in Restoration Rip-Off and Billy Baxter, a blind man, tries to set a faster time in the Liana than Richard Whiteley and Terry Wogan. Cliff Richard is the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.
Richard takes the new Mustang on a road trip - to Lincoln along Britain’s straightest road. The Prius, a supposedly eco-friendly vehicle is driven and hated by Jeremy, who said that a diesel Lupo will actually do more miles per gallon - 75 compared to the 45mpg of the Prius.The Lamborghini Murcielago is up against the Mitsubishi EVO VIII and the Top Gear Awards were announced, Jeremy was the winner of the Clot of the Year for leaving the Land Rover Discovery at the top of Cape Wrath. He was the recipient of the Golden Cock.Roger Daltrey is the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.
Another epic race pits the car against public transport. Richard and James travel by aeroplane and train in an attempt to beat Jeremy - driving a Ferrari 612 Scaglietti, to their destination at Verbier in Switzerland. In Lillehammer, Richard and James are having another race; with the help of the Norwegian Olympic Bobsleigh team, Richard tries to race down the bobsleigh track at Lillehammer, faster than James can travel down the road that runs along side the bobsleigh track. James is in a Mitsubishi Evo rally car driven by, Henning Solberg.
The Stig gets to take a F1 Renault around the track, old racing cars compete with modern road cars to see how fast they are and Eddie Izzard is the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.
BMW enter the small hatchback market with the launch of their 1 series - James drives it and wonders why they bothered. James and Jeremy test cars from Asia and hate them all and Jeremy drives the Ariel Atom. The Mercedes G Wagen gets the AMG treatment and Richard gets to drive it. There's also a race (on Top Gear I hear you cry?) between Jeremy in a Fiesta ST and Richard in a Citroën C2VTS. Trinny Woodhall and Susannah Constantine are the Stars in a Reasonably Priced Car.