Firing up Gene Hunt: Jump They Say

Where is the follow-up to the excellent Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes TV series? It’s been too long since Alex Drake, Gene Hunt and that Quattro fired up our screens. When the final episode of Ashes to Ashes aired in 2010, we were told it was the end for Hunt and co. All the loose ends had been tied up, there was nowhere left for the story to go.

Which probably explains why The Laughing Gnome prequel rumour began to gather pace. But we don’t want a 1960s version – we want something from the 1990s. And PetrolBlog is firing up a half-hearted campaign to get it commissioned. Right here, right now.

The quite brilliant Life on Mars was set in 1973, with the equally great follow-up, Ashes to Ashes moving from Manchester to London and set in 1981. PetrolBlog suggests that the new series is set in the mid-1990s – perhaps 1996. Keeping with the tradition, a David Bowie track should lend its name to the series, so the 1993 hit, Jump They Say, would do just fine.

In fact, considering this was Bowie’s last top ten hit until 2013, it would be rather apt.

But actually, what really matters to PetrolBlog, is the choice of Gene Hunt’s car. His red Audi Quattro became synonymous with Ashes to Ashes, much more so than his Ford Cortina in Life on Mars. In fact, it almost managed to upstage Keeley Hawes. Almost.

Gene Hunt: Audi Quattro

Choosing Hunt’s car for Jump They Say is rather tricky, so it’s probably best to list some of the no-nos. It’s hard to imagine Gene Hunt driving anything French, or Italian for that matter – he needs something with more grit, more bite. He doesn’t strike PetrolBlog as a convertible or small coupé kind of guy either. Face it – Gene Hunt needs something big, brutish and brash. Come on, “Fire up the Ka” really doesn’t work, does it?

How about something from this list?

BMW M3 E36 Evo

So what if the E36 M3 was considered a little soft when compared with its E30 M3 predecessor. You can rely on Hunt to toughen things up a little. Naturally he’d take the 321bhp Evo version – just the thing for taking the Hangar Lane gyratory in a sideways manner. Photo © BMW.

Gene Hunt: BMW E36 M3 Evo

Audi S8

The perfect machine for a more mature, grown-up Hunt? He’d naturally revel in being one of the first people in the country to get behind the wheel of Audi’s flagship motor. What’s more, he’d get one over on Robert De Niro and Sean Bean et all, getting to showcase the S8’s many talents a full two years before Ronin. And, perhaps crucially, he’d still get to shout “Fire up the Quattro”. Just lowercase the ‘q’ this time, Gene, ok? Photo © Audi USA

Gene Hunt: Audi S8

Audi RS2

By now you could expect Gene Hunt to be settled down with a couple of children and a loving wife. Ok, perhaps not settled down. It’s more likely that he’s coming to terms with a failed marriage and only getting to see his children at weekends. So naturally he’d need an estate car – step forward the Audi RS2. Photo © Ed Callow.

Gene Hunt: Audi RS2

Jaguar XK8

This one just works. It really isn’t hard to imagine Gene Hunt rolling in a recently-launched Jaguar XK8. A big, throbbing V8 engine would suit Mr Hunt perfectly and the big, long bonnet will stir up memories of the Ford Capri. Naturally he’d upgrade to the supercharged XKR in two years… Photo © Jaguar.

Gene Hunt: Jaguar XK8

Ford Mondeo V6 Ghia

Think about it for a moment, Gene Hunt in a Mondeo isn’t too hard to imagine. After all, he did start off in a Ford Cortina and would have probably had a Sierra Sapphire Cosworth. A sub £20k flagship Mondeo may even suit Hunt’s mid ’90s pay-grade. Having said that, it would be amusing to see Gene Hunt in a Ford Probe – “Fire up the Probe”. Eek. Photo © Ford.

Gene Hunt: Ford Mondeo V6 Ghia

Volvo 850 R / T-5R

Could Gene Hunt go Swedish? Faced with a leggy blond named Nathalie, the answer would probably be yes, but a Volvo estate? Well if it’s the 850 R or T5-R, Mr Hunt would probably stand up and take notice. Enough power to keep a supercar honest, plus enough space in the back to chuck in a load of crims. He’d love it. Photo © Volvo.

Gene Hunt: Volvo 850 T-5R

Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec

A case of Gene Hunt ‘Turning Japanese’. In the 1970s or 1980s, the merest suggestion would probably have resulted in a fist sandwich, but come the 1990s, things were a little different. The 2.4-litre, straight-six turbocharged monster would be the perfect companion for our favourite DCI. The lowlife scum could run, but they couldn’t hide from this. Photo © Nissan.

Gene Hunt: Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec

Toyota Supra

Our final suggestion also comes from the Far East. It’s the Toyota Supra – the perfect chariot for the medallion man on the move. It may prove to be a bit of a handful on London’s narrow streets, but there’s no denying this car’s presence. Hunt would love it. Photo © Toyota.

Gene Hunt: Toyota Supra

So that’s the list of potential cars to choose from. All we need now is for Gene Hunt to choose his favourite and the small matter of the BBC commissioning the series. Just make sure ‘Bolly Knickers’ gets a starring role, eh?


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Gavin Big-Surname
The chief waffler and founder of PetrolBlog in 2010. Has a rather unhealthy obsession with cars from the 80s and 90s, and is on a one-man mission to collect the cars nobody else wants. Also likes tea and Hobnobs.


  1. June 24, 2013
    Darren Leslie

    Interesting concept. I think an M5 would be more Gene Hunt than the M3. I’d also like to throw in the Mercedes W124 E500. Pricey? Yes. Would it suit Mr Hunt? Absolutely.

    • June 24, 2013
      Gavin Braithwaite-Smith

      Great suggestions!

      E500 is a winner.

  2. April 16, 2014

    Ok so I realise this is very late, but gene’s next car actually heavily alluded to in the close of the final episode. Gene picks up a brochure for a Merc 190 in the final scene, after he reruns to Fenchurch east.

    • April 25, 2014
      Gavin Braithwaite-Smith

      Oh, good memory. I have a vague recollection of that now.

      Off to YouTube…

  3. June 10, 2014

    Nice idea. I remember there were rumors of a possible film to finish off the story. Seeing as there was an 8 year jump between Mars and Ashes (73-81), I’d say it would make sense to do roughly the same for the leap between Ashes (which ended in 1983) and whatever this might be called (I think Miracle Goodnight would be a fitting song to name it after). I’d like to see it set somewhere in the EARLY, grungier 1990s- between 1991 and 1993. Lets say 1993 just because that would fit with Both our choices for Bowie songs (actually the iconic 90s band Nirvana did notably cover a Bowie song, “The Man Who Sold The World” [again in 1993) so that might even make for a clever option). And call me nuts but for some reason I just think it would be hilarious and not actually that far-fetched to see Gene Hunt bombing through the streets of London in a 91-93 Chevy Caprice police package. American? Yes. Enormous even by American standards? Yes. But not really unlike Hunt in it’s brashness. Also just a very good patrol car all-around. And if that seems just a bit too off the wall (I won’t be offended) then I think a more sensible suggestion would be a VW Corrado… yes that might me better.

    • June 14, 2014
      Gavin Braithwaite-Smith

      “The Man Who Sold The World” – now there’s a cracking idea. Especially if the Nirvana option was used.

      And the Corrado? Well that’s a bit left-field. A VR6 Storm, of course!

  4. August 28, 2014



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