Top Gear must be good again if they got a Mclaren Speedtail to race an F35

Rarely does a series ever have so-called ‘blunder years’ after its 22nd season, but that happened to Top Gear after the classic May, Hammond, and Clarkson trio packed up and moved to Amazon. For a few seasons it seemed like Top Gear had lost it’s way. Hosts came and gone, and nothing seemed to be working quite right.

Well, if you haven’t watched it lately, you should. It must be back to its usual self, as they’ve begun racing fighter jets and cars again.

The Top Gear Youtube channel just put out the full length film of the race between the speed-obsessed Mclaren Speedtail and the single most expensive piece of military equipment in human history, the F35B. Although I’m certain you’ve probably heard of both, the F35B is a stealth, VTOL-capable, multi-role fighter that can reach speeds nearing Mach 2. It can cruise supersonic without its afterburners, and right now it costs around $115 million.

The Mclaren, at only $2.25 million, seems cheap in comparison. Its twin-turbocharged, 4.0 liter V8 makes about a thousand horsepower with help from its hybrid system, and it’s styled to disturb as little air as possible. It may seem silly — even with the Mclaren’s 250mph max speed — to try and race a fighter jet, but that’s not the whole story. The jet gets a little betrayed by its speed when it comes time to make a tight turn.

Not the first Jet vs Car Showdown

This isn’t the first time Top gear has done this sort of race, either. Back in season ten they raced a Eurofighter vs a Bugatti Veyron. Surprisingly, the Eurofighter is actually more expensive than an F35B. That makes this latest race less financially risky. I knew these new guys were cutting corners.

As with the first race versus a jet, the winner here is pretty irrelevant. A race between a thousand-horsepower supercar and a fighter jet is just impressive. You can barely hear anything above the noise of the F35’s ferocious after-burning jet. If I was that Mclaren Speedtail, I would be a little humbled by the whole experience.

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5 responses to “Top Gear must be good again if they got a Mclaren Speedtail to race an F35”

  1. nanoop Avatar

    I get to see/hear about a dozen of F35s per year, because newborn type license owners are “allowed” to do one low alt. circle around the military pilot school HQ – which in the center of the town. At work we tend to look at them, murmuring “$1000, $1000, $1000…”
    The novice loops of the refueling planes are more impressive, since they are so slow and large.

    I have never seen any real McLaren. I hope they are as cool as I think!

  2. danleym Avatar

    Not to be pedantic, but the F22 was closer to $150 million per. The F35 isn’t exactly cheap, either though.

    1. Peter H Avatar
      Peter H

      yeah i was referring to program cost and then skipped over to unit cost. my bad

  3. William Byrd Avatar

    It’s been pretty good with the new cast. I was skeptical, the reboot with Chis Evans was dreadful, but had some good new hosts like Harris, LeBlanc, etc. Then the post Evans era was actually pretty good with mostly LeBlanc and Harris. I was sad when Joey left, and when the two new guys were announced I was like “who?” but it’s actually been really good. Their chemistry is pretty great already on season one, although they do seem to bully Harris a bit (but it’s funny). I’ve been looking forward to the 2nd season.

  4. Sjalabais Avatar

    Chris Harris is just the best car presenter there is at the moment, and the early aughts aesthetics of Top Gear still get me. It’s the first I’ve seen of this generation TG, and it’s well in line with my expectations. Cool race, and I hope it gets younger car guys excited, still.