BBC Top Gear goes to Cuba in search of petrolheads

In the newest BBC Top Gear episode, one of the kings of Nürburgring Nordschleife – the Mercedes-AMG GT R – gets the Matt LeBlanc treatment on the Top Gear airstrip track.

Fittingly, LeBlanc sees it as the perfect counterpart for a 911 GT3 RS, and proceeds to find out how exactly AMG has improved the coupe as its power output has jumped all the way to 585 horsepower – by fiddling with the nine-stage traction control adjustment, LeBlanc is able to find the muscle car from underneath the lurid green paint of the AMG track machine.

But the real treat of the episode is a scenic trip to Cuba, where Chris Harris and Rory Reid travel in search of local petrolheads, while incorporating some elements of a classic Top Gear Cheap Car Challenge, but happily without any wanton destruction. Most everyone is aware of the 1950s American metal still doing daily driver duty in Cuba, and those, especially souped-up ones invade the screen – both polished and detailed, and dented and dog-eared classics get their share of program time. And it's not just about cruising in style, as the guys find out: Cuban drag races are inspiring stuff.

The guest this week is stand-up comedian Ross Noble, a tremendously boisterous character who readily admits to driving a murdered-out ICON Land Rover Defender, and who manages to spectacularly lose control of the Toyota 86 on his training lap – and the track isn't even wet! Noble and LeBlanc also take charge of some earthwork machines that turn out to be quite handy in destroying useless Volvo S40s. It's another well turned-out TG episode worth watching.

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