Top Gear (2002–…): Season 1, Episode 4 - Episode #1.4 - full transcript

Against the backdrop of Die Another Day (2002), Damon Hill chooses between the Aston Martin Vanquish and the Ferrari 575M Maranello. Richard Burns talks with Jeremy, and Steve Coogan is the next star.

On tonight's Top Gear,

Steve Coogan has a go in our Reasonably-Priced Car.

Buying a used Nissan Skyline,

and we give world rally champion Richard Burns
a taste of his own medicine.

But first, has it launched this month
of a new British film

in which a very British hero
drives a very British car.

I am, of course, talking about Harry Potter,

but since we couldn't get a Ford Anglia in time
for this week's show

I thought we could have a look at
one of these instead.

It's the Aston Martin Vanquish,

and it's the kind of car
you wanna take to the Riviera.

But this is Britain, so we don't have a Riviera.

So I took it to the Isle of Wight instead.

And here we are, in Cowes.

This is old school Britain.

Shops selling heavy jumpers,
pubs selling heavy food.

So the Vanquish seems out of place.

It has a new type of chassis
which is theoretically very very light,

and the body is made of carbonfibre
for the same reason.

You might imagine, then,
that the Vanquish is like modern British cuisine.

Juice drizzled on to a spot of rocket.

But no, it's a proper old State & Kidney pie, this.

It actually weighs more than the DB7

and that is made of Angle Grinders, and Church pews.

For locals, didn't see unduly bothered
about the excess weight, though.

And that's the best thing about driving a Vanquish.

Even though it costs about 158,000 pounds,

every one loves it.

How much house can you get for that
in the Isle of Wight?

Really? So let's have a look in the
Estate Agent's Window.

What've you got for a price of Vanquish, then?

That house there, .. detached house, 3 bedrooms,

lounge, whatever one of those is,

three bedroom house, for about the same as the Aston.

Would you rather have that house or that car?

The car.

Good girl.

Definitely the car.

That's a six-litre, 460 horsepower V12 engine.

You could detach that to your house
and still do 0-60 in 5 seconds.

Just hurls you out of a corner.

Just flour it, and WAAFF. BANG.

Aw. That's a fast car. That's a properly fast car.

So much power!

It's not just the power, either. It's the noise.

Listen to this.

Woo. I could get all flowery now
and tell you it sounds like lightning.

But actually what it sounds like is

Tom Jones bending over to pick up the soap

while he's in the showers in Wandsworth nick.

Raaaarrrgh! That noise.


It is a wonderful noise.

And I love the way this car looks, too.

I love the interior. I like the badge.

I like the fact that Bonds has one.
I like its Britishness.

You find yourself willing up as you growl along

in a wave of nationalistic prime.

I Vow to Thee, My country.

It feels as, though,
I'm driving around in Douglas Bader himself.

But like Douglas Bader,
the Vanquish has something missing.

A gear lever. Look.

Instead, I've got these Formula 1 style paddles
behind the steering wheel.

Right-hand side to change up,
left-hand side to change down.

And that means you have to keep both hands
on the steering wheel.

Which is fine in Formula 1.

No one talks on the phone in Formula 1.

Or eats.

And you try doing a 3-point turn.

Here, look, I've ran out of island,
I've got to do one.

So, er, Reverse.

Pull both of them, that's neutral.

Push that. Wait, no, still hasn't..
Yep, we've got reverse.

Here we go, back up.

So I've got to get my foot off the brake,

and before we've rolled into the Atlantic,
I've got to hit the accelerator.

But I mustn't hit it too hard,

or I'll end up in the lifeboat hut
doing about 140 mph.


What a great gearbox.
What a wonderful invention.

Well done, whoever thought of this.

What was the matter with the manual?!

Why do we have to have this?!

There are other problems, too.

It judders in town,
and the clutch gives up completely

if you are trying to do a full bore standing start.

That means the Vanquish has to wade into the battle

with one arm tied behind its back,

and that's a problem,
because look what's attacking it these days.

This is the new Ferrari 575, fitted here with

an equally new sports handling pack.

It costs about the same as the Aston,

Both are two-seaters,
both are front-engined, rear-drive GT cars.

Both do nearly 200 mph,
both do 0-60 in under 5 seconds.

So which is the best?

Well, let's talk to the man
who's driving the Ferrari.

Damon Hill.

So, what's it like?

It's beautiful. Really?

Yeah. It's just a lovely machine,
it's.. Everything you expect from a Ferrari.

And it gives you that slight flizzle,
a slight nervousness. Scary.

It's like butterflies.

Is it scary? Yeah.

I mean, you have to put in some respect,
it's a prancing horse.

You know, you don't actually feel completely
comfortable in the car.

You're enjoying driving it, but at the same time

you are very wary of losing concentration on it.

Well, I tell you what, you drive that now,
I'll drive this.

Meet up at the end, see what we'll think.

And, um, if I flash, okay,
it means I want to come by,

you'll just pull over.
Just get out of the way, alright?

Right, okay, and you really think
that's going to happen, do you?

What if I don't?

This has the same stupid gearbox as the Aston Martin.

But unlike the Aston, you don't have to have it.

You can save yourself 8,000 pounds.
8,000! And have a proper manual.

It's a little difficult to use words like "Awesome"

and "Very very very impressive"
when you'are used to Formula 1 cars.

Cuz after that,
everything else is a little bit sluggish.

But for what it is,
this IS a very very impressive beast.

The nice thing is that you can dawdle around this car,

minding your own business going slowly,

and then just drop a gear, and suddenly,

You're in Schumacher mode.

I like to hear the engine again. Listen to this.

Now it feels like a sports car.

Then, with the driving over,
we met up to make a decision.

The Ferrari.

And for me? Ferrari. Yeah.

It's just more complete somehow.

I think it gives you that shot of adrenline,
doesn't it?

Which, really, the Aston doesn't.

And then it's the power of that Ferrari.

It's just immense, isn't it?

I don't think I can remember ever
having been in a road car

when my head's been thrown back.

Really? Yeah, second gear,
it's doing that with your head.

I mean, that has got some serious acceleration on it.

First of all, it's got 515 horsepower.

The Aston has only got 460.

Yeah, and the Aston is a lot heavier.

It's one thing that kills the acceleration,
its weight.

The thing is though,
there are certain aspects on the Vanquish

that I'd quite like to see on the Ferrari.

I love the way it looks.

And the sound. And the noise.

I have to say,
I'm actually disappointed to get back in the Ferrari.

You can't hear it.
It sounds like a Ford Fiesta.

If you'd have those looks, and the noise,

and the something that makes people like you more
if you are in an Aston

I think you would be allowed out of more side turns

than you would if you had the Ferrari,

when you are a bit of a.. Schumacher.

We don't want that!

Jeremy, you were doing 40 mph there.

Absolutely, we never exceeded the speed limit once

in the entire making of that film there.

I have to say, though, it was, for me,
one of the greatest days.

Honestly, truthfully, Ferrari, Aston Martin,
Sun shone, Damon Hill.

It was just heaven.

And, what made it particularly exciting was that

the local Isle of Wight radio station decided,
in its wisdom,

to broadcast the fact over the air that

Damon and Jeremy were down there
with an Aston and a Ferrari,

why don't you all go along and have a look!

So I came around a corner, at 40 in the Ferrari,

and there he is with his hair greased down,

"I brought me brother out"

Oh, God.

We got to herd them down off the road.
It was just heaven.

You loved this. You love the 575.

575 is a fabulous fabulous car,
but it must be stressed,

the one I drove there had the
Fiorano Handling Pack on it,

which transforms the car apparently.

Standard suspension - a bit wallow-y, a bit soft.

But this one was spoiled by the gearbox.

The gearbox, just, honestly..

How bad was that?

It just ruins it.

You just think, just change it.

Cuz it's affecting the second-hand values. Oh yeah.

I mean, If you went out with a slug of money,
you'd struggle to buy a 575.

What's the waiting time for that now?

Well, least price, it's kind of 12, 18 months.

Really? Yeah, I mean,
if you want to pay a Premium, you'll get one before.

But, with a Vanquish,
I can get you one next week, this price.

Really? Yeah. And second-hand, well,

I've just seen them advertised. Strong money.

If you try to trade one in, it's a different story.

The story of these cars's going 6 months sold

would like 50 grands of depreciation.

So, 170 new, 120 second-hand.

So basically, then, the Ferrari is a winner

as far as investment's concerned,

it's a winnner on the road.

But, what about on the track?

And it's 1:36.

Now, into the Ferrari.

The CD again.

1:36 to beat. The final corner here.

Is it gonna do it? 1:36, and..

Predicably, it is quicker than the Aston, okay.

But - this is amazing - by 1 second.

The time is 1:35.

Now I'm gonna put that on the board, there,

the both are behind the Noble,

but, remember, it was, I've underlined, W for Wet.

It was that wet. It really was horrendous out there.

Don't think that put The Stig off, though,

He really tried. Cuz this happened.

About 140 mph through this corner.

That's not bravery doing that, that's just stupidity.

We've got a bit of a Formula One theme
going on tonight,

which is why this has come into our little world.

You see, Formula 1 teams are forever telling us that

the technology and gismos on their cars eventually

filter down to the cars that you and I buy everyday.

Well, on that basis, we'd all be driving around now

in the 1988 McLaren, as driven by Aryton Senna.

Of course, we are not.

In fact, the only technology that
I can think of that Formula 1 has

given us are those stupid gearboxes
that we don't want anyway.

Now, Rallying, that's a completely different animal.

Sure, it has contributed one word
to the English language.

Does anybody want to hazard a guess
what that word might be?

Anorak. You'd know, sir. You'd know.

Absolutely right. It's not an Eskimo word,

it's what people wear on the Welsh hillside
when they are sitting in the rain.

But, rallying has given us quite a lot more, besides.

Turbo charging. Four Wheel Drive.

And, if you walk into a BMW showroom
and say "Can I buy this,"

They'd say, "No. You can't."

But, you can buy a Mitsubishi Evo VII.

You can buy a Subaru Impreza.

And this has been going on for ages.

You could buy an Audi Quattro
or an Escort Cosworth or a Delta Integrale.

Rallying gives us the cars.

And there's a something else that gives us,

a World Champion. And he's here.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Richard Burns!

How are you, Richard? Good.

So what are they going to do about Formula One?

Um, try to make it more interesting.

Try to make it as interesting as Rallying.

Well, that's the.. You know, cuz Rallying is always

seemed as the poor relation, isn't it?

But actually, it's coming quite good now.

I think it is. As more manufacturers are in it,

there's a lot more people
who can actually win a Rallying now

than there is in Formula 1.

And I just hope that some of the people
who stopped watching that

are gonna start watching this.

Yeah, that's true.
It's been kind to you, let's be honest.

Let's be honest.

I was seeing two papers this week,

twice as much your earning now as Jenson Button.

Ah, really. Well, I'm twice as old as he is!

And you are a tax exile. I am.

Got a house in Andorra. I have.

Got a girlfriend. Yeah,
which you need money for, obviously.

And you still got ginger hair,
you haven't spent any of that.

I haven't cut mine off.

Why do you try one-handed?
That's what I can't understand.

It looks like you are really not trying!

You pop both hands on the wheel, man!
You'll go faster!

Got power steering! It's easy.

But why do you do it?
You've always just got one hand on the wheel.

I use to, but now you've got
the gear change on the wheel then..

Oh, you haven't got that as well, have you?

It's rubbish, it doesn't work!

That's why you've lost the Championship!
Because of the gearbox!

Actually, why have you lost it?

Um, we've had a fairly average year,

and our teammate is another spectacular one.

Simple as that.

We, no you have.

Me and Robert. We are a team.
Oh, of course you are a team.

I have to listen to him. Yeah, exactly.

And he caused you to have a good crash, didn't he?

That was totally his fault. Yeah.

I had a quite big accident
a few weeks ago, in New Zealand.

When it was totally my fault.

The speed was right, but the corner was too tight.

When you were younger,
you didn't like going to pubs and discos,

and you preferred the company of Rally people.

Yeah, but then I grew up,
and I had that money you were talking about,

and found out what all that was about.

So now I do go to the pub.

To be honest, I think if you don't like yourself

to live a slightly normal life,

You're gonna wanna shoot yourself
fairly quickly, I think.

I saw a picture of your great rival,
Colin McRae, the other day,

tucking in, on a race, to curry sauce and chips.

Now, I've never seen a Formula 1 driver going,

"Ah, I like the curry sauce on that."

They are not cultured enough.

Anyway, of course, it's the.. um..
what's it called now?

Network Q Rally GB Stars next..
well, later this week, isn't it? Yeah.

What day is it? It starts on Friday.

Friday. Okay. And you've won that.. Three times.

You've done your research.

You sitting in your car..
You've got a heater, haven't you?

We've got a heater. So you are quite comfortable.

Have you ever thought, what would it be like..
Come with me.

Have you ever thought what would it be like

for the people who have to turn up
and spectate on the..

I remember.. I used to do that.

You did? Yeah.

But I'm not sure that you've really
got it on the full front of your head.

So I wanna give you a flavour of

what it's like to be a Rally spectator, okay?

If you just like to step out there,
thank you very much.


Now, we are leaving him out there
until his whole heads turn blue.

What about a car that's got nothing to do
with Formula 1

and nothing to do with Rallying?

The Nissan Skyline.

It's basically a huge PlayStation
with an exhaust pipe on the back.

And if you are interested in buying a second-hand one,

There's a few things you need to know.

In the world lead table of supercars,

Japan has only made one real contribution.

The Nissan Skyline.

It may not have the looks and
the pedigree of an Aston Martin or Ferrari,

but then, again, it never have the price
of that either.

But it certainly have the pace.

Whenever it went racing, it crushed the opposition,

in fact, in the Australian Touring Car Series,

they changed the rules so the car could be outlawed.

The Skyline's strength lies under the skin,

where you'll find 276 brake horsepower, twin-turbo,

and an incredible computer-controlled chassis
that can be

two wheel drive when you want it,
and four wheel drive when you need it.

But it's all over for this technical titan,

because this year they stopped building Skylines.

And Japan's cut-priced supercar
is now available only as a second-hand buy.

In all, there were 3 models to choose from,

the R32 which was built in the first half of the '90s,

the R33 which comes around from '96-'99,

and finally, the imaginatively named R34,

which with a 0-60 time of 5.2 seconds,
and a top speed of 155mph.

It's the best of the breed.

That was nice.

Not only is it blisteringly quick,
but it's almost idiot-proof to drive

with that computerized chassis capable of

turning Maureen into Michael Schumacher.

A really clever torque converter,
you've got active yaw control.

The sense is all around on the wheel,

the gyroscopes taking how fast
you can cornering and accelerating

It checks all that information to
a 16-bit process, that.

And the outcome is the car kinda looks after you.

You don't have to make it corner quick.

Look all that displaying here, look at this. Wow.

That's where driving along we can check

how many G while going around corners.

We can check the turbo boost.

We can check the torque to the front wheels.

I mean, that's going to keep you occupied for minutes.

Fantastic bit of kit. It really is.

A car for the PlayStation generation.

Big fan of the car. We all are, obviously. Great car.

Which one should you buy?

Well, the first thing
you've got to realize about Skyline is that

they're mainly bought as play things.

So, if you go and look at one,
you can find a car with quite a low mileage.

It's got 3 or 4 owners on it.

Cuz basically, wheel it out, do a track day,
drive it home. So you'll understand that.

The other thing is you gotta be aware that

there are a lot of the Grey Imports.

And the problem is,
when you bring a car over from Japan,

you'd lose the service,
but often you'd lose the mileages.

A little haircut on the mileage there?

Yeah, a little haircut.
Somewhere coming around past Dubai,

"I'll just trim a couple of 1000 miles off it."

That's what's happening, is it? Well.. Yeah. It is.

Okay, and what should you look for?

What kind of things are they known for?

I mean, they are well put-together cars,

lot of things about them are very very good.

But, depending on the model,
there are things that do get wrong.

The R32s, for example,
the brake discs on them sometimes explode.

Explode? Explode. Bang? Bang.
Well, just kinda disintegrate.

and they're 500 quid a pair to replace.

You don't want that. Don't want that.

And the later cars, the 33s,

you also get synchro problems
on the gearbox on third and fifth.

You can sort it,
but it'll cost you about 1,000 pounds.

Okay. And this one, the 34?

The 34 is pretty much bullet-proof. Really?

Yeah. But it's a lot of money to buy.

Is it? How much is it?
You are looking at 40,000 pounds for one of these.

Well, that's the cheapest it'll go?

At the moment, about 40,000 pounds.

I mean, it'll drop. But at the moment.

And what about the question of tuning them?

Cuz most of them..
I mean I've driven one that's got a 1,000 horsepower.

Well, I mean, the standard car has got 276 horsepower,

which, to be fair, is plenty.

The minute you start putting chips on them,

you can start getting turbo wear.

The normal turbo will last about 60,000 miles,

and it costs you about 1,500 pounds to replace.
Twin turbos.

the minute you put chip on that,
you start bumping that power up,

you can shorten the life of the turbo.

So you really wanna find one
that's unchipped, unmolested,

which is actually pretty hard.

One another thing to know on this,
see, obviously they are 4WD.

When you're checking the tyres,

the tyres on these are about 250 pounds apiece.

So 1,000 pounds for all four. 1,000 pounds for a set.

And the other thing is where the geometry
is on the Skyline.

They don't wear out on the outside of the tyre,
they wear out on the inside.

So, like an Escort Cosworth?

5,000 miles on the Escort Cosworth,
tyres are gone on the inside.

The thing is, when people look at tyres,

they normally just go,
"Okay, there are some treads on that."

So what you need to do is,
turn your right on full lock,

get your hand in there,
feel the inside, feel the tread on that.

cause otherwise you're in to a 1,000 pounds. Good tip.

Okay, so we've got the 32, 33, 34,
which one do you reckon?

Well, the 32 you can pick up for about 10, 12 grand,

but, to be fair, they are quite long in the tooth now,

they are quite old cars.

The 33, well yeah,
you can pick one of those up for about 20 grand,

and the 34, as I said, is 40 grand.

So probably on balance.

The best find you car is gonna be the 33.

Because it's about the same as the 34, isn't it?

Yeah, absolutely. Same brake, Brembo brakes,
same engines, same twin turbo,

okay, a little bit older, but half the price.

Let's do some news. Okay.

The news this week for petrolheads
dominated largely by

the continuing saga of Formula 1
and how to make it more interesting.

And what they've decided,
as far as the racing is concerned,

is to do nothing. At all.

No, they are gonna sit there
with their fingers crossed

and hope it's more interesting.

Couple of weeks ago,
you came up with a theory, though, to improve it

which was basically to get rid of
all the electronic gismos

and effectively give us F1 unplugged.

Not a bad idea. We've got a better idea.

What we are gonna do is,
you've 1 point for qualifying on pole,

you've 1 point for winning the race,

and you have a point every time
you overtake someone. Yeah.

It's brilliant, you see,
the thing is, it is brilliant, this.

Michael Schumacher would still be World Champion.

He'd qualify on pole, get a point,

then at the start of the race,
he'd have to engage fourth,

slow start, drop to the back,

then he'd spend next two hours overtaking everyone.

We see overtaking manoeuvres. Perfect.

It's brilliant.

Yeah but, if,
Coulthard and front runners are slowing up. Yeah.

Conceivably some idiot in the Minardi gets away,

and Boof, by the first corner they got
20 points in the bag, take everybody.

Yeah, it'd be better to start in the back,
couldn't it?

So the Qualifying would be funny,

it would be how slowly could you drive round.

But then maybe the lights go green,
and no one will go anywhere at all.

You're right, they'll just be sitting there,
the lights have gone green.

It's a good job Murray Walker
wouldn't still be commentating on this one.

And no, hang on, the light would go green,

Nobody move at all,

And you'd sit, and the one who would be chicken,

"I'm gonna go NOW." First corner..

They won't work. They won't work.

Here's one, you might've seen this.

This lad, uh, 19-year-old lad.

He's just gone out of the jail,
he's got one of these electronic tags on him.

He's been joyriding so much, stealing so many cars,

so he's under curfew, he can't go anywhere.

He has just won 9.7 million pounds on the lottery.

And your point is? My point is this frankly, Jeremy,

That, and that alone, proves there is no God.

Talking of God, we put a request out
last week for man of the cloth

to get in touch if you wanted to
come and drive around our track

as we are looking for the
world's fastest religion here.

No, really, we are. We've had lots of email responses.

A particularly good one here, from, uh,
the Reverend Danny Whignle,

who writes to say that he wants to give it a try,

"and by the way,
did you know that Jesus drove a Honda?" he says,

"Jesus says, in John's Gospel Chapter 12, Verse 49,"

"For I did not speak of my own 'Accord,' but.."

There's a man who knows his Bible.

No no, it gets better.

The Reverend Philip Sutern is
also keen to come on the show,

he says that King David..
"I'm driving fast cuz of the fine biblical tradition"

"for the Bible makes clear that
King David rode a British motorbike."

The quote is "The roar of David's 'Triumph'
was heard throughout the land."

The thing is though, they are all kind of Anglican.
They are all vicars.

We've got one Methodist, which is good.

We're okay for Hindus,

we've even had the Hare Krishna, which is good.

But we are still down on Rabbis,
and we're down on Imams..

Buddists. No, we're okay for Buddists.

It's basically we're down on Rabbis.

So if you are a Rabbi, come and have a go.

This week's Insider Dealing.

Well, it's the funny ol' time of the year,

because it's about this time of the year

that all the manufacturers are looking back and saying

'we had this target, we had this subjective
to sell this many cars this year'

'we are 7 weeks from the end of the year,
are we gonna hit our targets?'

And they're all sort of..
They're all hanging on to see if they will.

But what will happen, it happens every year,

in next couple of 3 weeks, they'll go,
"Oh no, we'll not."

And they'll suddenly start do some blinding deals.

So a simple advise is, if you are gonna go out
and buy a new car in the next couple of weeks,

and you happen to have it this side of the New Year,


Let them sweat, yeah? In the next 2-3 weeks,
they'll be offering some blinding deals.

And presumably some manufacturers this affects
more than other.. some haven't sold their targets.

Yes, it's the people that are down,
basically, on the year.

I mean, we spoke about Alfa Romeo,
their deal, last week.

Fiat is a little bit down,
Subaru doing deals already.

You're not gonna walk into a BMW dealer
and find a great deal, cuz they're up.

Jaguar are up.

So it's people that are suffering
a little bit in the market place.

But it happens every year.

If you hold your nerve, go in the next couple of weeks,
you're gonna get real bargain.

One manufacturer that has been announcing
about good deal,

the Ford Focus came out in October '98 in the UK,

it's been out for 4 years now.

When that car came out,
it was actually 12,500 pounds for the base model.

It's a 1.4.

4 years only, they're doing the deal,

we can go out and buy a brand-new 5-door 1.6
with air conditioning for 9,995.

That's the same as our Suzuki!

That's a reasonable price!
It's a reasonably-priced car!

Frankly, nice though, the Suzuki is..
Looking dodgy.

That deal as well,
that deal actually runs till January 15th.

So you haven't got the car this side of Christmas,

You can get it on the new plate. In the new year.

that helps the value as well.

Now, anybody else who's fairly young
and looks to buy a car

would find the insurance premiums are
really really high.

You'll be looking at quotes on
even a reasonably small car

up to 2,000 pounds for the comprehensive.

So if you can get free insurance,
that's worth a lot of money.

Now, Renault at the moment are
doing the deal on new Clios.

So on their sort of entry-level models,
cars called the Dynamic and the Extreme,

A 1.2 and a 1.5 diesel. We've got a picture of that.

Very pretty little car, very nice to drive.

If you're between 19 and 80,
subject to a few conditions,

you can go and buy a new car and get free insurance.

If you're only 19, it's probably worth
a couple of thousands pounds.

So that's a good deal.

One thing that really really bugs me,
this is kinda my soap box now,

You see these deals, advertised in the paper,

it'll look like you can buy
fantastic car for like no money.

I saw one recently for Lotus Elise,
which is a great car,

and it said,
"you can drive a Lotus Elise for 199 pounds a month,"

which is like, "wow," you know, "let's all get one."

And then you look at the small print,
and then the deposit is 8,000 pounds.

On that basis, we can have anything..
If you put a big enough deposit,

you can have anything for any price.

So this week only, I'm offering new
Porsche 911 Turbos for 99 pounds a month.

Phone me up, I can supply you with it, of course
there is a small deposit if you've 84,000 pounds, but..

99 pounds a month, you can all have a 911 Turbo.

Bargain. Right, big story from me this week
comes from the world of film,

and I'm not talking about Harry Potter, all right?

My children are talking about Harry Potter,
nothing else but.

Yes, I know. I'm talking about James Bond,
new film, Die Another Day.

And great news, because after 15 years
of unforgivable disloyalty,

Bond is back in an Aston.
And this is it, Bond's Aston Martin Vanquish.

Now obviously, a Bond car is gonna
do clever stuff, and it does.

We've got the obligatory ejector seat in there,

and then down here at the front,
the grille drops down,

and out come two machine guns,
and then.. ooh, thank you.

And then, four missiles. Thank God.

Four missiles? Well for once,
Bond is completely outdone by the buddy.

This is his car, a Jaguar XKR,

and it doesn't have four missiles in the front,

it has 18 missiles that come out there.

It also has spikes in the tyres,

and we can peel down the bottom of the door here
to reveal two heat-seeking missiles.

It also has central locking,
you can lock both doors and a boot

with a simple press on a button on the key phone.

Then, behind the driver seat and the passenger seat,

it has a bullet-proof screen which rises up like so.

A gatling gun, obviously. Listen to that.

That's a great Bond noise, isn't it? Mmmmmgg.

I love things that do that.

But piece de resistance is here, in the boot.
Open it up.

Mortar bombs in the back!

Aw, I love it.

You absolutely had to, didn't you?
But that's just fire power.

Bond has sophistication and brains on his side,

so yeah, the baddy fires his motar bomb,

from here emerge two shotguns, especially designed..

..with a rather pitiful noise,
to shoot them out of the sky.

But interestingly, it was those
along with the missiles at the front

that gave them a rather interesting problem
when they built this car,

because so much space was taken up,
that underneath here,

you can see.. Oops, there they go, it's gone away.

They had to get rid of the original
V12 Aston Martin engine,

it was too long,
so they replaced it with this Mustang V8.

It's that much shorter, there's more room.

And the really good news about that, of course,

is because the Aston engine is gone,
so is the stupid gearbox.

Look! Bond gets a proper Automatic!

Which is a good job, cuz of course,

if you have to do a 3-point turn
with the stupid flappy paddles,

the world'd blow up by the time you'd finished.

Interestingly, despite the rather depressing
difference in fire power between the two cars,

under the surface, they're really very similar.

They've both got that same Mustang V8,

and they've both been converted to Four-Wheel-Drive,
which they had to be,

because in the film, they had to be driven on ice.

The thing that really excites all of us about is,

is that in this world of computer generation,

they could've just got some boffin at a computer
to type a way and computer animate things,

but they didn't.
They built them for real, here they are.

Actual real Bond cars in the metal.

Well, that got us thinking, cuz we thought,

well, you know, if they can do it,
we are Top Gear, we can build a Bond car.

There was one problem, obviously.

It took 20 men, 8 months to make these cars,

and they had a budget, well,
for the 4WD system alone, a 1.5 million pounds.

And our budget was... Well, Jeremy, it's 300 quid.

Exactly. And that has to include the car.

Um, now we bought that already,
a Rover 820, that costs us 200 quid.

So we basically got 100 quid for all the gadgets.
So if you got any ideas...

Cuz it's really difficult.

Jeremy's got some ideas, but all of your ideas are,

without an exception,
well potentially lethal for everybody involved.

They are quite dangerous.
We need some ideas that will work.

Particularly in need, ejector seat department.

We've got a budget of 50 pounds for that.

And it's quite tricky to get that to work.

So if you have got that or
any other idea for our Bond car,

write to us at, um, 'I've got a really good idea
for your Bond car on the cheap.'

BBC Top Gear, ..White City, ..

201 Woodlane, London, W12 7TS.

Or you can visit the website on the Internet.

Or text messages.

Now, the marriage between James Bond and Aston Martin
is one of the greatest ever.

Really, it was perfect.

That photograph of Sean Connery
leaning against his DB5 in the Alps

publicity picture for Gold Finger
was just wonderful. Really was.

But, I think it's fair to say that since then,

there has been an even better automotive marriage.

It's 3 days before Christmas.

And I drive the Rover Vitesse Fastback
to the Royal Norwich Hospital.

You can't park here. I've got special permission,

because I'm distributing a large box of
second-hand toys to the sick children.

Shall we meet the man, then,
who puts Alan Partridge in a Rover Vitesse.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Steve Coogan!

How are you? I'm very well.

Good, have a seat. Thank you.

And, of course, the great news is, Partridge is back.

Is he? Yes. Oh, great. Good.
He's on our screens. Oh, alright, super.

Is he still in his Rover?

Uh, no, Alan is not in a Rover any more.

Because we thought we laughed enough of Rovers,

by right, Alan will probably in a Jaguar by now.

The small X-Type, is it? Small?

He'll probably in one of those, but that's not funny.

So we thought we'd put him in a Lexus.

A Lexus? A Lexus,
because for some reason the word 'Lexus',

the word 'I drive a Lexus' sounds funnier than

'I drive a Jaguar', which is not quite as funny.

We'd like to see a clip of
the new Partidge thing, yes.

Come on, let's run it and have a look.

Look, a Lexus. It's a better one than yours.

What's interesting about it is
that since owning a Lexus,

it's amazing the number of 'Lexi' you see around.

That's the plural.

Daily Mail? Yep.

Arguably the best newspaper in the world. Oh, yeah.

Nice Lexus. Yes, I..uh..I love 'Lexi.'

It was always a thing that
I said about Lexus is like the..

Japanese Mercedes.

Well, I hate Mercs.
People who drive them are just sa-a-ad.

Are you wearing lynx? Well smelt. Voodoo.


Alan Partridge. Dan Moody.

Nice to meet you.


So this is where he hangs out now? In petrol stations?

Well, yeah, I use to work in petrol stations,

and it was one of those old-fashioned ones
where you were going,

we still served the customers,
so people who liked to have their oil changed,

their windscreen wipers,
they'll come to our garage.

One of the guys that was coming
was Bernhard Manning.

He uses to come in a white Lincoln Continental,

with white plastic seats and white steering wheel,

just all white.. and white vinyl roof.

He'd come in, and I think probably
cuz he couldn't get himself out,

the electric window will go down, and he'll go,

'Fill her up sunshine, and watch the paint work.'

The thing about Partridge is.. you made a video. Yeah.

Which I can hardly wait to see.

Well, it's one of those videos where
they sort of couple together loads of car crash stuff,

There is a little bit of Alan's
delivery in the car crash video

that, you know, I should probably owe you
some money for, because you inspired it.

Oh, God.

These videos are car-crashes are called things like,

One of those is basically called
"Crash, Bang, Wallop, What a Video"

It's one of those things where the camera
speeds toward your head and goes


And you go, "Crash, Bang, Wallop, What a Video."

It's that intonation that says,

"I'm finishing off a sentence,
and going like that at the and of it."

So actually, I've created this monster?

I wouldn't give you that much credit. Oh, no.

But you are partially responsible for it.

Now I have to say, my favorite pairing you ever did,

Man and Machine, was Gareth Cheeseman.

Do you all remember Cheeseman? Okay.

Cheeseman, top character.

In fact, should we just show a clip
to remind those of you

who can't remember the magnificent show,
I shall be nice to you.

Here it is.

You are the best, you are Number One,
you are the tiger.


Now, does anybody remember what car he drove?

Exactly, he drove a Ford Probe, didn't he?

Do you know what happens to
the sales figure of the Probe

after that programme was broadcasted?

Well, I know it wasn't a hugely successful vehicle.

Nobody was a hugely successful vehicle.

That was November '95, I think, that went out.

Now, the year before that went out, they sold 6,200.

Shortly after that went out,
or immediately after that went out,

2,400. Really.

You killed the Ford Probe.

And if anybody's watching tonight from Lexus,

don't bother going to work in the morning.

You've had it.

How much of an anorak are you, then, to be able to

put Cheeseman in the exactly right car, and Partridge?

Unfortunately, I'm a lot of an anorak.

I went to a motor show this week,

and I was looking down on those people

with their carrier bags full of brochures

thinking, "God, you sad bastards."

And I looked down, and I was carrying one!

And Volvo is you're particularly good on?

Well I am, cuz my dad has always
driven a Volvo in his all life,

so I'm sort of quite good on details.

Okay, well look, this is what we've got here,

it's a pile of Volvos, okay?

I'm gonna pass bits to you, and I promise faithfully,

we aren't cheating. He's not seen these things.

And we are gonna find out
if he's as good as he thinks.

Hardest one to start with, okay?

Alright, okay, that's the hub cap of,
I'm pretty certain, it's a 1...uh..

The 122? No, later. Later? 1...

You are right with the '1',
I mean, I'm impressed of the '1'.


It's a hub cap from the 144!
Can you remember the years? The 144?

The 144 went from, I think, '69 to about '7.. uh..

about '76 when the 2 series took over.

This is amazing! Alright, then this.
First of all, do you know what it is?

It's an interior arm rest of a 2 series. So 245?

No, it's earlier again, I'm afraid.

It's of a 145? 144? Yeah, it's of a 144.

Well, okay, but let me just advise that,

this may be from a 144, b..but.. earlier.. Hang on.

Earlier they had a.. No. I'm mistaken, it's a 144.

It's a door. I know, yeah. I know that.

You know it? Yeah, cuz the seals
used to go here and here.

Should be a frame that's attached to it,

these used to be rust spots here and here.

But interestingly, the frame,
I think I'm right in saying,

was only attached on later models, was welded,

and it was bolted on this one. Ahhhh.

I believe that to be the case.

I didn't know that, and I'm very impressed.

But that part is common to both
the 144, 145 series and 16..

Oh, no! Because the handle.. Ahhhh.

Because there was a chrome pull door..
chrome door handle that stood out from the door

rather than flush like that. Yeah.

So it's either a late 144, 145,
but it could equally be..

you could fit that to a 244, 245.

But, of course, you have to bear in mind that
the 244s did have the welded door frames..

So it's a 144.. Late one, late model.

Okay. That's a steering wheel of..

It could be of an early 240 series,
but it more likely to be of, again, a 140.

You're right, you are absolutely right, that's a 144.

This is stunning!

Um, sounds though, door sounds.

I can tell the difference between..
Not lots of door sounds,

but, I'm a fan of, I know you're not,
but I am a fan of the 993 Porsche Carrera.

I like the build quality, and also, interesting fact,

because they're all Porsches..
the bolts that put them together was this long,

and the 996, the bolts was this long,

cuz that was when the Number Crunchers came in
and made them share a lot of parts

and cut costs to make things..
So the bolts were shorter.

Can we play the sound of a door closing now?

A 996, the sound of a door..
I can tell the difference.

Okay, can we do that? Can we play that in?

Okay. The first one was a 993,
the second one was a 996.

He's right!

There's a very definite click,
tight click, to the 993.

That's what it is, is it? Yeah.

God almighty. I thought we would swap seats.

No, cuz then I've got to be Alan Partridge.

Then I would have to dress like you!

Now, of course, you're not just here to
identify bits of car, all the noises they make.

You're here to drive around our track.

Every week, as you know,
we have a star in a reasonably-priced car,

the Suzuki Liana, 9,995 pounds,
with a roll cage in there.

Earlier today, you did that,
how do you think it went?


Well, it was absolutely bucketing down.

So let's find out, let's have a look
at Steve on the track.

I should ride my wheel, I suppose,
but I really don't, cuz I...

Any idea on how fast you've got up to down there?

I've no idea.

Good, I'm glad that I cleaned my teeth!

There's a gradual build-up of terror
by the looks of things.

Start with mild panic.. That's quite neat!

And there you are!

Now, these are the times we've had so far

from all various people who've been on the show,

Stig still 1:46.

It was wet, remember, cuz some people
have gone that one in the dry.

we've only had 1 wet one so far,
it was Ross Kemp, last week,

did it in 1 minute 54 seconds, okay?

So that's really a benchmark time.

Do you want to know how fast you were? Yeah, go on.

1 minute 53 seconds! Yes!

We'll put that here.

Coogan, 1:53. Ross Kemp is gonna be
so angry about that.

I beat Ross Kemp!

Um, right, now..

We've got Richard Burns
standing outside at the moment,

we're sort of letting him know what it's like

to be a spectator on a Rally
in England, or Wales, or Scotland,

we're gonna see a picture of him out there now.

Yes, there he is.

Chilled a bit, and nothing much happening.

He's waiting for the Dewsbury Carpets Nova
to come bumbling by,

yeah, there he is, there are the lights,
and there is the face full of gravel!

A face full of gravel!

That's basically rallying, Richard,
that's what we have to put up there.

So we'll leave him out there
for a little while longer,

but Steve, time to part. Thanks very much for coming,

ladies and gentlemen, Steve Coogan!

Now, we've noticed something recently.

All of the Formula 1 manufacturers,
with the exception of Ferrari,

make a mid-range two litre-ish
four-door family saloon.

All of them. Honda, Toyota, BMW, the lot.

So we've got them all together to fight it out.

This is not F1. Look at that grid.

There are no girls dancing around
in their pants to keep us entertained,

There's no throng of celebrities
trying to kid on they know their drivers.

I'm wearing corduroy. No, this is real life.

Later on, The Stig will be driving
all of these cars 'round our test track,

establishing which really is the fastest
in our sales-rep F1.

But first, we need to set up the grid order

to see who's on pole, and who's lurking at the back.

And we're gonna do that according
to things that matter -

value, quality, image, and handling.

The Renault Laguna.
Well, Renault's Formula 1 effort boasted enough

technological innovation to win an F1 season.

So it's a shame that they didn't, really.

Just like in F1, the Renault is left lagging
behind the rest of the pack a bit on power.

And then, there's the handling.
All Lagunas, the model before this and this one,

have always felt as they aim
much more toward comfort than out and out speed.

But actually, it can always surprise a bit.

They roll and lean a lot.
But they grip, and they can get a move-on.

So it'll be interesting to see
what The Stig does with the Laguna.

Crucially, the Laguna was the
first car ever to win a maximum 5 stars

in the respected Euro NCAP crash test.

It uses clever technological gismos, too,

like key-card entry and
onboard tyre pressure monitors.

Alright, so the build quality is, uh,

well, it's French, which isn't a good thing.

But you gotta set against that.

The fact that it's loaded with technology,
and it looks pretty good,

it's distinctive, a chance to drive something
a little bit different,

in otherwise a boring type of car.

So all in all, the Laguna makes
a pretty good case for itself.

Ford, of course, have and have had
links with several teams.

Not all of them with big budgets.

Their latest Mondeo, though, has a distinctive feeling
of quality to it, inside and out.

It is still an excellent drive,
and as a true alrounder,

it has a lot to offer.

But it is still a Mondeo.

Toyota might be the newest team
on the F1 grid with a huge budget,

but their Avensis is the oldest car here.

It's also ugly.

And worst of all, it's endlessly reliable,

so you'll have to suffer
millions of boring miles in it

before it'll have the decency to lie down and die.

And those miles will be spent in an interior

that's only gonna become
even shinier and nastier with age.

Got a good engine though,
so maybe the Stig will like it.

But it will be starting
from the back of the grid.

Jaguar haven't exactly been shy
about spending money on F1.

They've gone through skiploads of it,

and it's only just showing signs
of starting to pay off.

So how will their cheapest car be?

As in F1, the Jag has one of the
most powerful engines,

so we've got a 2-litre V6 with 157 brake horsepower,
0-60 in 8.9 seconds.

And like F1 though, the Jag isn't blighted
by any particular handling problems,

and that is despite this being the cheapest

with just 2 Wheel Drive in the front,

rather than 4 Wheel Drive in
the rest of the X-Type range.

This 20-grand X-Type is Jaguar's attempt

to get an affordable prestige car
onto the sales-rep's shopping list.

Where all gets a bit miserable and misely is kit.

This sat-nav with its
touch-screen operation is gorgeous.

You don't get that, and you don't get the 32
other option extras fit in to this car.

In fact, when it's stripping back to basics,

you don't get much Jag for 20 grand.

It's a very good car, the entry-level X-Type,
and I like it.

It might be small, but it's enough Jag for anyone.

And there's the problem, it's enough Jag.

You don't want enough Jag,
you want much much more than enough Jag.

There's something for me of the rather annoying
social climber about the small cheap Jaguar.

Mercedes, really, haven't enjoyed
the best of years in F1.

Usually renowned for their engines,
it never quite measured up to the car's handling.

So it's interesting that
they put new motors in the C-Class.

From now on, all 2L C-Classes
all come with a supercharger,

which they kind of need; it's a heavy car.

But will that be enough to help it
take on its archrival - the BMW 3-Series.

If you took Ferrari out of the equation,
and plenty of teams would like you to,

BMW would've been left as the best in the season.

They've got the most powerful engine,

they just need a bit of extra research in development.

Or rather, their F1 partner Williams do,

cuz this season, the best engine on the grid
has been led down by the car's handling.

In fact, it's the complete opposite of the F1 car.

The handling is great, it's a BMW, they're good,

but power, it's well behind the rest of the pack
with just 143 brake horsepower.

It's heavy, too, so 60mph takes 9.3 seconds.

I'm being left behind.

As the third of our affordable prestige cars,

again, they're stingy with kit.

And it's the only one
with something of an image problem -

when did you last smile at a BMW driver?

It does start to catch up a bit with handling.

I mean, it's Rear Wheel Drive,
so obviously that's good fun.

And it grips, and the suspension setup is fantastic.

So it should do pretty well on the track.

Just one more car before
we're ready to rearrange the grid.

Honda have had a disappointingly
mediocre sort of a season, really.

Certainly a long way from their glory days in F1.

Meanwhile, back in the real world,
they've launched the new Accord.

It's never enjoying the most glamorous profiles,
the Honda Accord.

The words fuddy and duddy regularly attach to it.

They're not as posh as Beemer and Jag,

but they're not everyday as
a Renault Laguna or a Ford Mondeo.

They're certainty well enough put together
in the interior, the new one reflects that,

it's still not exactly exciting.

It's certainly not down on power with
a 2L VTEC engine and 155 brake horsepower

which places it pretty near the front of the field.

So it's got plenty of kit, it's got prestige,

in fact, unlike F1,
the Accord is a world of compromise.

So here it is, our starting grid,
rating according to our real life.

And on the very back, the Toyota.

It's old, it's ugly, and it's boring.

Surprised that the Mercedes C-Class
doesn't make it any further forward.

It's a handsome car,
but you get nothing for your money,

and it's not the best drive.

The Laguna's 5-Star crash test rating
and good looks bring it up to here,

but the interior build quality
and drive are a bit urgh.

The Jag, well it's nice to get
a Jag for not much money,

but you don't get any kit on it.

And then, here, the benchmark.

It may be the Milton Keanes special,

but the Mondeo is still
one of the best in the class,

well-built, and a good drive.

Also with an image problem, the BMW 3-Series,

but it is Rear Wheel Drive, and very well built.

And then at the very front of the pack,

if only to give it a sporting chance,
the new Honda Accord.

That's how we rate them,
but we won't have any bearing on

what Stig reckons when he gets to grips with them.

It's gonna be a different kind of F1,

the 7 cars, and only 1 Stig.

So it's the Honda then, is it?

Yeah, it's gotta be. In the real world,
it's all about compromise, isn't it?

And it's just right between the BMW and the Ford.

You've got a bit of prestige, enough kit,
and a good engine, that VTEC.

It's brilliant. And, of course, reliable.

They are very well made.

But, of course, if you want to specialize,
let's be honest,

if you want a safe car,
you're gonna buy the Renault Laguna,

If you want to show off to the neighbours,
you're gonna buy a Mercedes C-Class.

Yeah, if you want to take a minicab,
you're gonna buy the Toyota, aren't you?


Of course, most important thing we're gonna do now,

sensible stuff out of the way,

which is the fastest?

Yeah, time to see what The Stig did.

Unlike its Formula 1 sister,
the Jaguar has a good engine and a good chassis.

But it turned out to be the slowest,

probably not helped by a rather silky
Traction Control System.

The hateful Toyota Avensis and the handsome
Renault Laguna were about the same,

and both were narrowly beaten by
the favourite in the real world, the Honda Accord.

The next car The Stig tried was the Ford Mondeo.

We all knew it had a wonderful chassis,
but everyone was surprised

when it turned out to be a full
3 seconds faster than the Honda.

That leaves us with the two Germans.

The C-Class Mercedes, supercharged with
20 more brake horsepower than the Ford,

but amazingly, it was nearly 2 seconds slower.

So, can the German pride be restored by
the ultimate driving machine, the BMW 318i?

Rear Wheel Drive, perfect weight distribution,
and an astonishing result.

It was, right, a full 2 seconds
slower than the Ford. Slower.

So that's it, the Mondeo is the quick one to have.

I don't know, maybe they've got all
their race car engineers in Ford

working on the road car and
teaboys making the race car.

It is. That is amazing.

And I'll tell you something else that is amazing.

Most weeks, the guests come on,
and then as soon as their chats over,

they're in their limos and back up to London.

But I've just noticed, Dave, your shoulder,

Steve Coogan is still here
hanging on to the bitter end.

And I'm afraid it is the bitter end now.

Next week, we've got Jonathan Ross coming on,

he'll be our star in a reasonably-priced car,

though Heavens knows how he'll
be able to see where he's going

with that hair things that he has.

We'll be looking at the ultimate cars
that money can buy,

and I'll be doing this in a Bentley.

See you then. Good night!

Can I go now? What?

Can I go?

No! It's 3-day rallying. Stay there.

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