Top Gear’s Season 16 Episode 1 is now available. On this episode: This is Middle East Special: Clarkson, Hammond and May retrace the steps of the Three Wise Men who, according to Christian lore, visited the Virgin Mary and the Baby Jesus in the manger in Bethlehem. The cars: a Mazda MX5, BMW Z3 and a Fiat Barchetta.
Along the way they test the limits of mechanical and physical endurance as well as asking the vital question, what exactly is myrrh and where do you buy it?
As about the cars, the MX-5 was first introduced in 1989 and continues to be a best selling convertible. The second generation Mazfa MX-5 was introduced in 1998 with a slight increase in engine power; it can be recognized by the fixed headlights and the glass rear window.
The BMW Z3 is the first roadster made by BMW. It was introduced 1996 and at first, only the 1.9 L M44B19 straight-4 engine was offered, but its 138 hp (103 kW) was not up to buyers’ expectations. A year later in 97’, BMW introduced a more powerful 6-cylinder engine.
Fiat Barchetta, or “ the little boat” in Italian, was produced between 1995 – 2005. The little roadster was based on the chassis of the Mark 1 Fiat Punto and was powered by a 1747 cc,131 PS DOHC petrol engine fitted variable camshaft timing.
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