Top Gear (2002–…): Season 12, Episode 3 - Episode #12.3 - full transcript

James goes to Finland to see why the Finns are more suited to motor sports. Richard tests the newest form of transport in Japan. The boys attempt to modify a second-hand car that can go ...

(Jeremy) Tonight,
James goes racing in Finland.

Richard tries out
the future of motoring in Japan.

And I cut up some wood near Godalming.

(Cheering and applause)

Good evening!
Hello! Hello, everybody!

And welcome. Welcome
to what's a great show for me.

But, first, OK, every year, Toyota,

which, as we know, makes
everything from Formula One cars

to big desert-bashing off-roaders
for the United Nations,

says to its engineers,
"Have a couple of weeks off."

"Let your mind roam free. Go mad.
Let's see what you come up with."

And what they've come up with this year
is, as I've been finding out,


(Richard) To get to this new car,
I had to go to Toyota City,

which is a whole city
owned by Toyota.

Imagine Birmingham
but full of Toyotas.

The car was held here

in their brand-new
Fortress of Excellence headquarters.

So things were looking good.

Right, er... here it is.

And there's no getting away from it.

What we have here

is a chair.

It is quite a special chair, though.

They have said I can drive it.
Today, here, in this room.

But they are quite nervous.

Put it this way, this is usually
an office full of people and desks.

It's called the iReal

and Toyota are hailing it as the future
of personal transportation.

Before I drove it, though,
I was taken to meet its inventor.

He explained the concept
and the philosophy.

(Speaks Japanese)

And then he waited for me
to ask a question.

Trouble is it's a while since
Top Gear has done a grown-up interview.

Will you make a big one
for fat people?

Interview over, I was briefed
on how to use the toggles

that control the throttle,
the steering and the brakes.


- Horn.
- (Woman) This is the horn.

- Wow! That's the horn?
- Yes.

And then I was off.

They are very polite people
so I'm saying this quietly.

We have had something similar
in the UK for some time...

...called a wheelchair.

However, when no one was looking,
I left the room and discovered

that it was so much more
than a wheelchair.

In this mode, for example,

the electric motors are trolling me along
at walking pace.

And if I want to go faster,
I just press this button.

And then it drops down
into sleek, aerodynamic mode.

Top speed then, 20mph.

Now most creations like this

are built just to get
some coverage at motor shows

but Toyota aims
to put the iReal on sale in 2010

for around L2,000.

The plan is that we'll be using them
for short journeys around town.

And don't think 0AP mobility scooter.

Hip young things
will forsake walking entirely

and cruise around in these at night,

downloading tunes
to their iPod from their iReal.

And these machines
can talk to each other too.

Say I want a coffee.

Well, I can tell
the machine "coffee".

It'll then find
the nearest coffee shop.

Tap it again and it'll tell
other iReal users in the area

that I'm going for a coffee,
ask them if they want to join me.

So I'm now sending a message out
to other iReal users,

"I'm off for coffee. Come with me!"

So you'll have a whole community
of futuristic wheelchairs

going around talking to one another,
communicating about one another.

Like a sort of
Stephen Hawking Facebook.

So, there you are,
the future of motoring,

unless you're fat.

(Jeremy) Well done, you.

Unfortunately, then,
that means you can't have one.

- I'm sorry.
- Because I've got too much dignity?

No, fatty. You couldn't fit in it!

I'm not interested.
I'm not bothered about that.

Because Honda has made
an even better car, right?

- Here it is. Now check that out.
- What?!


(James) How does that work?

Well, basically, these things,
the silver things

kind of move up and down
and operate your legs.

So for going upstairs
or even walking on level ground.

Now guess who this is aimed at.

Well, I'm guessing people
with disabilities with legs.

No. Wrong, wrong.

- It's aimed at the able-bodied.
- Well, why?

It's the Rotherham robot.

You don't even have to
walk to the chip shop anymore.

Now you're just... carried on that.

- Well, what's the point in that?
- How fast does it go?

- Dunno.
- Cos I was at school in Rotherham.

I could have done with that
in cross country.

If you had one of those,
I'd love to have the remote control for it.

- Yeah, Captain Blur!
- Look at him go!


James, not in the scissor factory!
You'll hurt yourself!

- Can you kick yourself in the nuts?
- You'll find out.

Many times! Bang, bang, bang!

We'll get you one of those.

- With a remote control.
- Yeah.

Now, Geoff Hoon, OK,
is the transport minister, yes?

And he announced this week

that he wants to have more average
speed cameras on the roads, OK,

cos he says they're good for safety
and they reduce fuel consumption.

Now this is the same Geoff Hoon
who, when he was Defense Secretary,

said, and I'm quoting,

"We know that Saddam Hussein
has weapons of mass destruction."


He must be right about
the speed cameras as well, then.

Yes, absolutely.
I'll tell you what he's done.

He claims he goes on the M1 a lot
in those roadworks.

You know, around junction six, eight.

- They've been doing them since 1850.
- (Richard) Forever.

Average speed cameras on that

and he says,
"There's hardly been any accidents."

That's because the roads
are jammed up.

- Not moving.
- You can't crash when you're stationary.

Soon, though, we'll have
that Tory transport bloke.

- Whose name is?
- (Richard) Er...

- (Man calls out)
- Who?

- Theresa Villiers.
- (Richard) That's a funny name for a bloke!

- Theresa?
- (Man) Villiers.

- How can you know that?
- (Laughter)

Because he is Theresa whatever!

Because there's only
a finite amount of space

for information in your head.

So if he's got that in it,
what's come out?

How to dress properly.

Well done. So it's Theresa...
So this man's actually a woman.

She hasn't really got any policies across
that we've ever seen.

Not that we've heard of, obviously.

What's next, guys?

Aston Martin brought out a new car.
It's the 177. Here it is.

It's a striking-looking thing, I know.

I think it goes to show just how in tune
with the times Aston Martin are.

It really is a car for the moment.
7.3- Liter V12.

Oh, I'm glad about that!

I must get 100 calls a day
from people saying,

"I've got to have
at least 7.3 liters.

"That's what I want right now."

Very much of the moment.

Price, L1.2 million.

(James) Good thinking!

Literally, this morning
30 people called up.

"I'm not spending a penny more
than L1.2 mil on my next car!"

Aston have got it bang-on

because the world
is full of stockbrokers

desperate for something
to blow their enormous bonus on

- and there it is.
- Pretty soon Aston Martin

are going to be selling
more key rings than they are cars.

Or making more money from them,
at least.

Actually, they say that a hundred
potential customers have written to them

to express their interest.

- A hundred?!
- Yeah. Written in crayon, I suspect.


Great news!

They've done an off-road version
of the Dacia Sandero!


Don't be fooled by the Renault badge.
That's the Dacia, that baby!

What the hell are you on about?

It's a Dacia.

It's a Dacia! I know it says Renault!
I've just said that!

Have you got a beard
in your ears as well?

Why do ginger people always grow
more of it on their faces?

(Richard) They don't.
(Jeremy) They do!

Can I just ask,
did you see the show last week?

Will Young was the guest.

I don't know if anybody else noticed,
but when he first sat down,

Jeremy was not really bothered.

He didn't know his name.
He didn't know what to talk about.

Next minute he's going
all doe-eyed looking at him,

talking about interior design.

"Will, I love cushions as well.
I'm having my house done up."

"Really? And you had a Mini?
They're lovely, Will."

(James hums Our Tune)


# Jeremy's in love! #

Are you suggesting Will Young is gay?


Yeah, yeah. He is.

- Are you kidding? Is he?
- Yes!

To be honest,
it was beautiful to watch.

It's just my gay-dar doesn't work
as well as yours, obviously, I think.

- That jacket. How big was the bet?
- Pretty big. And I won.

I want you to look at this.

This is a field
of unsold Range Rovers.

Now, do you know why they're unsold?

Nobody's got any money at the moment.

No. Look at the colors.

That's the range of color
that Land Rover does.

Now, if you go down to Homebase
to paint your walls,

you can have any color you like
for a fiver.

You can go in with that jacket,
well, maybe not.

You could go in with this shirt

and say, "I want that color
but a bit more orange,"

and they scan it with the thing.

It's not good enough. Look at this.

What I've got here
is the Audi brochure, OK, for the A8,

a L70,000 car here, OK.

Range of colors available,
there you go.

(Richard) They've printed it
in black and white!


- That's it, OK?
- They're not colors.

For an extra L2,400, they will
paint it in any color you like

from that chart.

(Richard) That's just a spectrum.

Oh, sir wants it
in visible light, does he?

If you want your car in color,

If you want it in black and white...
It's just ridiculous.

What you need to do, look,
is buy a BMW X5

cos they understand this problem.

They have a special range
which they call,

"BMW individual -
the higher your standards,

"the less room there is
for compromise."

As an upshot of that, they offer it in

black, silver, silver and black.

As you're getting all hot
under your tweed collars about this,

can I just say I know
a little bit about this

and the reason
that car manufacturers...

Well, they have to plan
their paint colors years in advance

because they have to test
to make sure

that each color works
on the plastic, say, of the bumpers

and on the metal of the body,
on those two materials.

So it has to be the same color
whether it's on plastic or metal?

(Richard) Yes.

No, cos I was painting
my sitting room

and the paint was exactly
the same color on the wall

as it was on the wooden skirting board

and on my hand, and on the sole
of my shoe and on the stair carpet.

All the same color.

I really want to show you this.
This is the Mercedes CLK.

Can you see down here?
These are soft-top fabrics, OK.

Do you want to know what
it says underneath? "Cabriolet only."


I was going to have that
on my hard top!

Now, in a couple of weeks,

James is doing his first ever
supercar test out on our track.


Now, shall we be honest?

James is not
the fastest driver in the world

and nor does he have
the best sense of direction

so before letting him loose
on our track in a very fast car,

we thought it would be a good idea
for him to get some training.

So we said, "James, go anywhere
you like for your training,

"just not Finland."

(James) Finland.

According to a study
by Leicester University,

the sixth happiest country
in the world.

Finns also top the world league table
for coffee drinking

and they borrow
more library books, per head,

than any nation on earth.

Which is all very interesting
but it doesn't explain... this.

There's a popular saying
in motorsport,

"If you want to win, employ a Finn."

This sparsely populated country
has produced

more rally champions, seven in total,
than any other nation.

It has also produced
more F1 world champions, per head,

than anywhere else.

So what's going on up there?

One of the reasons
for Finnish driving prowess

must be, quite simply,
they take driving very, very seriously.

Right from day one.

This is Petko.

He's not a hoodie in a stolen car,
he's having a driving lesson.

Like everyone else in Finland,

he has to spend six of them
on a skid pan.

He will also have lessons
driving in the dark

and it will be three years
before he gets a full license.

It's all very strict.

It needs to be, to be honest,

because this is
a typical Finnish back road.

It's full of sudden crests
and hidden dips

so as you drive along it you need
to know about power on, power off,

feeling the car go light
and the grip disappear.

You're going to become
a racing driver.

So to find out how the Finns wrap
all this up into one big bundle of skill,

I went for a drive
with one of the locals.

Unfortunately, the only person
I could find was a retired bloke.

Mind you, he's still quite sprightly.

It's H?kkinen.
He's going through the left-hander!

(Tires screech)

Mika H?kkinen won
the F1 World Championship twice,

on both occasions beating the most
successful driver of all time.

Michael Schumacher said
that you were the only driver

he really feared.


So where did you learn car control?

Because they say the Finns,
they have an instinct for it

that other nations on Earth don't have.
You can just do it.

We start doing this sport
very, very young.

So automatically
we learn car control.

I'll give you an example.
If you put a British person

learning to play cricket when he's 25 years old,

it's too late to understand
the name of the game.

Are you thinking
through these corners

or do you just feel it and you know?

No, honestly, what's going on now,
we are going really, really slowly.

- Are we?
- Yeah.

Sitting next to Mika,

you get a fantastic demonstration
of Finnish car control,

but if I was to learn more,
I couldn't just be a passenger.

in the interests of science,

though probably more
for your entertainment, I suspect,

the office has entered me
in an amateur race on a rally circuit.

Thankfully, though,
Mika has offered to train me up.

There's something else about Mika.

He's not just helpful,
he's quite modest.


Last year,
I went out with Jackie Stewart

and he won the World Championship
three times, I think,

instead of just two.


But he taught me to be quite smooth
and fast on a tarmac circuit.

But could you teach me to be
Finnish-fast on a loose surface?

I can indeed.

The first and most important thing
Mika would teach me

was a cornering move
known as the Scandinavian flick.

And because he didn't want his mate's
rally car wrapped around a tree,

we started off with some cones.

When we come with the car,

how to drift the back end
to touching all these cones

to find a perfect slide.

OK, this is how we get
the back end around.

Then it was my turn.

A little left, a little right.
On the gas. Get the back end loose.

That's not enough, is it? Sorry!

(Mika) Yeah, and action!

Better than the first one.

And then finally...

You did it! You did it!

That's the Finnish way!

After we'd demolished all his cones,
I took Mika out on the proper course,

which he found relaxing.

So now the second turn-in.
A bit of a flick.

That wasn't bad.

(Both) Whoa!

Sorry. I forgot which way
to go there. OK, third.

And then with Yoda's guidance...

Now back end out nicely here.

Stay on the gas.
Yeah! Good! Really proud! all came together.

(Mika) Whoo-hoo! Good! Excellent!

Lesson over, we stopped
for a cup of hot reindeer blood

and talked about why the Finns
are so suited to motorsport.

Tell me a bit about sisu.
What's sisu?

Sisu in English means courage.

What is Finnish courage?
Let me give you an example.

OK, climbing a tree
and jumping down from there,

that doesn't mean sisu.

- That's not courage.
- That's stupidity.

That's it exactly.

Sisu we can relate very much
in motor racing.

Example, you drive a rally car
in a forest extremely fast

and you need courage
to be able to brake late,

to go throttle really early,

go very close
to the apex of the corners.

And they're also quite reserved,
the Finns.

You, famously,
when you were a Formula One driver,

they'd ask you a complicated question
and you'd just say, "Yes."

- Yes.
- That's right, is it?


The reason I'm asking
is I wondered if I might be... some way a bit Finnish myself.

I don't like noisy people. So does
that make me Finnish, do you think?


At home, I quite like to have
the spanners in my tool box

in order of size so that I can
always find the right one.

- Is that quite Finnish?
- Yes, it is. Very much.

Personally, that's what I'd do,
if you're talking about a tool box.

Everything has to be very organized.

I quite like to have
the air vents on my car

all pointing the same way exactly.

- Is that Finnish?
- Er... no.

The next day it was time for me
to mix it with the Finns.

I'd been entered
in one of their folk races,

which are run
on part tarmac, part gravel,

and take place every weekend
all over Finland.

The Finns had kindly sorted me out
with a typical folk-racing car.

A 1967 Volvo Amazon.

Now, in actual fact,
it has 200 horsepower,

but in every other respect,
it's scrap.

There's a very good reason for this.
There's a clever rule in folk racing.

All the cars in the race are given
a nominal and equal value.

Let's say it's 1,000 euros.

Then at the end of the race,
you can go to any competitor and say,

"I want to buy your car,"
and he or she has to sell it to you.

It stops people
spending too much money,

getting sponsorship
and generally taking it too seriously.

It also means
that the cars stay equal

and the racing stays close,
which, in turn, sharpens the skills.

But, frankly,
when the other drivers arrive,

I stopped worrying
about their skills.

The bloke over there is about 85.

And alongside him,
the grid featured some housewives,

a child, a teenager

and Bill 0ddie.

Surely this can't be that difficult.

That girl next to me
should be doing her maths homework.

Here we go!

By the time we hit the first corner,

it was obvious that these
were no ordinary pensioners,

children, housewives and Bill 0ddies.


After you, Grandad!

Have a Scandinavian flick,
Finnish person!

Damn! Damn! I've lost it!

I'd forgotten what Mika had said

that these guys start doing this
as soon as they can see over the wheel.

I'm getting mullered!

I started to fight back.

I've passed the BMW!

That was an overtake
on a Finnish person!

She's only 12
but that's not the point.

But the 12-year-old wasn't having it.


Normally I'd have been happy to stay there
in the nice comfy ditch,

but that's not what Mika
would have wanted.

It was time to summon up some sisu.

I'm gonna have the Volvo!

Opportunity for overtaking!

Using Mika's training,
I overtook a housewife...

Chance for glory!

...and then Grandad...

...but Bill 0ddie was too much for me.

And in the end,
I finished somewhere near the middle.

I think all my top-level
Finnish motorsport training

has made me exactly average.

But that was average in Finland.

Anywhere else
and I'd have been brilliant.

Are you ready, then,
for the power test?


Let me get this right, to pass
your driving test in Finland, then,

you have to be able
to power-slide a car?

- Absolutely.
- That's brilliant.

But not as brilliant
as something I've just thought of.

- Oh, God!
- No, no. OK?

We know that nobody
is buying V8 cars anymore, OK?

And I find that very sad.

I don't want V8s to disappear
into the pages of history.

So how's this for an idea?

If you're not going to use V8s
to power cars,

how about using them
to power something else?

Like, for instance, a food blender?

This is what I've got here,
in essence.

This is the 6.2- Liter engine that
you would normally put in a Corvette.

I see no reason why
you couldn't put it in a kitchen.

So here it is.

There's the drive shaft going under
the petrol tank into the kitchen cabinet.

Obviously, you'll have to take out
the fondue sets that you don't want

because in here you've got the diff,

which sends the drive shaft up here
and into the blender.

Very good.
So what can you blend with it?

I could blend you if I wanted to.
But what I'm actually going to do,

under this high-visibility
shield here,

is blend some beef.

- (Richard) Beef?
- Beef. Yes, beef.

This is going to be a man's V8 smoothie
that I'm going to make now.

So I'm going to plonk that
in there like that.

Has that beef still got bones in it?

Yes. And then I'm going
to put some chilies in.

Got a few chilies. This is Bovril.

Because that's a V8 man's drink.

That's a collection
of manly ingredients!

- I haven't finished yet. Tabasco.
- Nice touch.

I'd... That wasn't... Yeah.

Just a dash of that in there.

And I think for added bite, brick.

This is actually a brick.
Oh, it's broken.

Pop that in there, OK.

Now we pop the lid on.

Perhaps you could give me a hand
cos it's quite complicated.

- No, those go on here like that.
- So then we do it up.

Is this going to work
or is the top going to come off

and we'll have a really hard time
explaining to the ambulance people

how he's got beef-bone antlers
stuck in his head?

- I'm just worried.
- Relax!

Yeah, relax! When you've got
the keys to a V8 blender! Course!

Right, this is the controls.

Oh, God! Tell me that's not
an accelerator pedal!


Hang on a sec. Safety precautions.


- I like it.
- Is it loud?

Is it loud, James?! Course it's loud!

Are we ready? Here we go!

This is in the kitchen at home, yeah?

(Engine roars)

(Engine off)

It does make a bit of a racket.


- Some of it came out!
- Yeah, some of it did.

Actually, on the noise, we're used
to vacuum cleaners at home,

so I think
you'd grow accustomed to that.

What I'd like to do is
whenever my wife puts The Archers on,

which she does around about seven,

- I'll fire up my food blender.
- Nice. Good.

Can you get the thing off?
I'll prepare the glasses. The label.

(Richard) So this is
a manly smoothie cocktail.

(Jeremy) Exactly!

- This is the moment!
- Yes!

- Wow!
- Look at that!

(Richard) That just is the business!

Fantastic and delicious!
Right, are we ready?

- What a creation!
- Mmm! Here we go!

(Richard) Get some of the bits.

- It needs a name.
- We should give it a name.

We should call it
Desperate Shag In A Skip.


Have some of that.

Quick One Round The Back
Of The Dust Cart!

(Audience groaning)


- (Jeremy) I think he likes it.
- I've got the name for it.

- (Jeremy) What?
- The Bloody Awful!

- Have you tried it?
- Yeah.

- You haven't! Have you?
- Yes!

Show me putting it into your mouth
cos that will put tes...


That will put testes on your chest,
that will.

It's put hairs on my eyeballs!

I'm not sure this works!

Look, I'm not giving up
with this V8 idea, OK?

Next week, old people.

You can't blend old people.

No, you know the Stannah Stairlift?
Very slow.

How about a V8 Stannah stairlift?

The old lady, she'll be on the bog
in half a second.

- Yeah, that's it.
- So I'll get working on that.

But that's then, this is now.

It's time now to put a star
in our reasonably priced car.

My guest tonight has had
an extraordinary life.

He's nicked a load of gold
from the Iraqis,

he's nicked gold from the Italians,
he has shot Matt Damon in the face,

he's died when his trawler
sank in a storm

and he's had
a very enormous penis.


Ladies and gentlemen,
please welcome Mark Wahlberg!


How are you?

Have a seat.

Oh, wow.


Mark, don't drink that.
Don't drink...

It's... don't... don't put it
in your mouth.

It's brick and beef.
It's not gone well.

Now, I've got
a couple of questions, OK,

cos it's very rare we get
big American Hollywood actors.

It's just cos Ross isn't around at the moment
so you're here.

I was on that show and I was on it
with Andrew Lloyd Webber.

His face is on inside out.
Have you noticed?

It's weird cos that's
my second encounter with him.

The first time I saw him
I was at a heliport going to Birmingham

with George Clooney,
and George Clooney goes up and tells him,

"Mark Wahlberg's over there.
He's a huge fan."

Andrew Lloyd Webber comes over, he's talking
to me, I didn't know who the guy was!

I was like, "Phantom Of The Opera?
What is that?"

He's never done
any rap songs, has he?

No hip-hop.
He's not really from "the hood", you know.

No. So the new film. I want
to talk to you about that, if I may.

Max Payne. What's it about?

I play a homicide cop,
the title character,

whose wife and child
are brutally murdered

and I basically get to go and destroy
everybody else that's responsible,

even remotely responsible.

It's one of those edge-of-the seat
proper action movies,

a nice Sunday afternoon
relaxing, fighty film.

This is the real deal.

Working with John, he's one of
the best action directors out there

and he really pushed the envelope.

- He's here. John Moore.
- He's here.

- He is The Stig.
- He is not The Stig.

(Mark) Oh, he's not The Stig.
He is The Stig.

(Jeremy) Not unless he can pump himself up!

Next question I've got,
and this is an important one, OK.

There's a girl
in this Max Payne movie, OK,

who is called Olga Kurylenko.

Kurylenko, yes. The new Bond girl.

She's in that Bond film and James Bond
doesn't do having sex with her.

- Why?
- Well, I'm coming...

In Max Payne, she's lying in your bed
wearing, let's be honest, not much,

and you go, "Ah, no."

Has she got a beard or something?


Again, another John Moore question

because we could have easily shot
the sex scene

and not put it in the movie.
There's many other scenes...

- There's many other scenes...
- Good answer.

...that ended up
on the editing-room floor.

Are you the first action hero, really ever,
to have a side parting here?

I don't...

I was looking and I was thinking,
"The side parting..."

(Woman talking)

- Does he look great?
- Fantastic.

Oh, thank you.

Now, I just want to talk to you
about the remake of The Italian Job.

Was there a certain nervousness
about doing a remake of a classic film?

Uh, no. Only coming over here
to promote it

because, obviously,
it was a British film.

People in America don't give a (bleep)
What you do with their movies

but, obviously,
you know, Michael Caine...

It was a big deal coming over here

and we wanted to make sure
we could make a really cool movie.

To be honest,
I thought it was a very cool movie.

I've heard there's going
to be a sequel to The Italian Job.

They've been trying to make a sequel
for quite some time

but I don't want to do it
for the sake of a paycheck.

If we can't make it better than the first,
then I don't want to do it.

They haven't been able
to get the script in shape.

- The worrying thing is the title.
- The Brazilian Job?

The Brazilian Job. You see...

Now, why...

- Does that translate? You know what?
- Yes.

- You've got one?
- No.

- You've got one?
- I thought you were asking me?

- Yes.
- Come on up here!

What's the most enjoyable film
you've worked on, excluding Max Payne?

Probably The Departed.

It was? Cos the talent in that one,
there's you, there's DiCaprio,

- there's Jack Nicholson, there's Matt Damon.
- Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen.

What made it so much fun?

Because it was my neck of the woods.

I've had a lot of experience
with the Boston Police Department.

And, finally, being able to put all that
to good use, you know.

Playing a cop instead of being
arrested by them was a lot of fun.

I was going to say, you did have a...
How can I phrase this?

A wild upbringing, shall we say?
Is that fair enough?

Yes, yes.

Let's put it like this.
Your first cars, you didn't buy them.

Not all of them.

Actually, the first one
that I kind of owned,

I bought it from a friend
but I was, like, 13 years old.

I didn't have a license,
wasn't registered, insured.

But, yeah, I stole
quite a few cars in my day.

- Didn't you steal the same guy's car?
- I did. He was...

How many times did you steal his car?

Probably, like, 10 or 15.

We'd drive around the neighborhood,
he or the cops would find it,

bring it back and I'd walk down
and jump in the car and pinch the window

and unlock it,
jump back in and start it.

He'd start chasing me. I'd be like,
"Hey (bleep)! See you later."


But I probably caused him
a lot of heartache.

He probably missed work a few times
because I was joyriding in his car.

Then it got even more wild, didn't it?
You did some time?

Yes, I did do
a brief stint in prison.

And then this is the bit
that fascinates me.

You're out, your brother's
then in New Kids In The Block.



Cos I could have done that instead!

They went on to make
millions and millions of dollars.

The funny thing was,
the first time they came on TV

to do one of their big performances,

I'm sitting in the rec room in jail.
I'm like, "I could have been in that group."

And they said, "Well, you're a dumb (bleep),"

because here I am
sitting there with them,

trying to protect myself.

Um, you are what we call over here
a petrol head.

What do you call them
over there in America?

- Gear head.
- That's what I was looking for.

Your cars have been good.
Looking back through their history.

- What was the first one? SL?
- Yeah, that was the first one that I bought.

A brand-new car,
that was the first one I bought.

- Now you have...
- A Maybach. The big one. 62 inch.

On purpose, or was it
cereal packet or something?

No! And then I have
a Brabus, Mercedes 550.

Tom Cruise is
a big Brabus fan, isn't he?

- I don't know.
- Do you not know him?

We attend different churches
so I don't know.


I'm at the one, you know...

- He is...
- I'm at the one with Jesus, baby!

OK, you came down here,
presumably utterly bewildered

that there's a bleak airstrip
in the middle of England

with a man who won't
take his helmet off called Stig.

He takes you out
in a not very exciting car

with the steering wheel on the wrong side
and a lever sticking up out of the floor.

- Did that baffle you, by the way, the lever?
- It did. What was that?

Is that why you didn't treat our car
quite as well as,

let's say, other people treat it?

I'm sorry.

- Did you break our car?
- I broke a couple of them, I think.

I heard. There's a cameraman over there
and some poo came out of him.

The crazy thing is
I went so far off the track,

and then next time around,
he was in that same exact spot.

I said, "Oh, he's got balls!"

- I'm just...
- Who'd like to see? Go on. Sorry.

I'm just glad this isn't how
I make my living cos I'd be broke.

We don't know.
Shall we have a look at the lap?

- (All) Yes.
- Let's play the tape.

(Tires screech)

(Jeremy) Here we go!
That's an aggressive start.

So angry and, bloody hell,
that's aggressively turned in there!

And there!

This is a hunk of crap!

(Jeremy) And this... That's drive gone mad!

You got balls standing there.
I just ran over that grass.

(Jeremy) And that's cutting the corner!

And that's cutting the corner.
And is he going to kill this one?!

Were you just aiming
for the cameramen?

(British accent) Here we are
on a racetrack in the UK.

Mark Wahlberg.

(Jeremy) That's Jason Statham,
is who it actually is!

That was quick! That's nice.
Close to the tires. Yes, moved those!

Now... Oh, not quite so quick there.

That's a good line across.
That's not bad, though.

Coming up through Michael Gambon corner
and there we are! Across the line!

You made it.

This is the board.

Since we've had that car,
these are the people.

Most of whom you won't have a clue
who they are.

I don't any of them, really.

Well, you know him. Simon Cowell.

- Ray Winstone too. I worked with him.
- Ray Winstone in The Departed.

- Brian Cox.
- Yeah, he was really dreadful.

- So you want to beat Brian Cox?
- That'll do it.

I've got the time here.

You did it... It was a mad lap.
I've got to be honest.

I mean, super aggressive.

You did it in one...
So you're better than Brian Cox.


So he's under the 1:50.
Give him a round of applause as we put him...


That's not bad.
Somewhere in the middle.

That's good. To say your steering wheel
was on the correct side...

That's really good. It's been
an absolute joy to have you here.

- Thank you, I appreciate it.
- Ladies and gentlemen, Mark Wahlberg!


Now, in these dark and difficult times,

very few people can afford
a Mitsubishi Evo.

Even the base model, the 300,
is best part of 30 grand.

However, the other evening,
we decided...

In the pub!

Some beer helped us to realize
that whatever car you've got,

you can make it as fast as an Evo Ten
and at a fraction of the cost.

The producers said that sounded
like a challenge for us,

so they said
they'd provide some sort of car

then we'd have two days to modify it

and try and make it faster
around our track

than a Mitsubishi Evo Ten.

Now, we were very excited about this,

as you can see
from the way Jeremy arrives

in someone else's Aston Martin.

(Richard) The three of us turned up
on day one not knowing

what car the producers had bought.

I reckon it'll be something like a Focus
but a really small engine.

No, I give you Hyundai Accent
three-cylinder diesel.

He's right. That or the Kia Rio.
They were over 20 seconds to 60.

You can't start with something
like that and get it that fast.

- Have you met our producers?
- Yes.

When was the last time
they ever said,

"Here's a job for you to do
and we've made it easy"?

- Never.
- They're not going to now.

No, it'll be something...

(James) It's not a Ferrari F430.
(Jeremy) No, it's not.

(Jeremy) Here we go.

It is... What that is,
is a Renault Avantime.

I wasn't expecting that.

(Richard) Introduced in 2002,

the Avantime
was a monumental failure.

0nly 435 were sold in Britain

before it was dropped from
the price list after just 18 months.

Weirdly, however,
it's one of the few cars ever made

that us three all like.

- Right, so cars that we all like - this...
- Yes.

...Ford Mondeo...
- Ford Mondeo. Good one.

- This.
- Subaru Legacy.

- Yes.
- Yes.

- It's not a big list!
- That's it!

That is it!

So the most impressive thing
in the whole car

is just... there's more air in here
than there is in Montana.

It's very spacious!

(Jeremy) Let's just have
a systems check on everything.

Heated rear window works,
heated seats work.

- All the lights working at the back?
- I have a selection of lights working.

So this is six years old
and everything works,

which is odd because most Renaults...

Six minutes!

(Jeremy) Then there's
the Avantime's party piece.

Give it a whirl!

Oh, yeah!

I'm outside!

Look at this!

This is what it's like being a dog.

(Richard) There's more cleverness.

To make getting into the back easier,
the doors were very, very long.

So you'd imagine they'd open this wide,
which would make it useless in car parks,

but, no, they fitted it with clever
double hinges that they call kinematic

and, look, in a gap just that big,
wide open.

Very clever.

(Jeremy) So, this was
a very intelligent, very unusual

and very comfortable car.

However, while it can turn heads,
it struggles to turn corners...

Ease it round here. Check it out! The Stig will now demonstrate.

Three, two, one, hit it!

Even though that's the
top-of-the-range model, the Privilege,

had a three-liter V6,
do you know what the 0 to 60 was?

Nine seconds.

What's an Evo? 4.5?
It's about twice as long.

And the suspension is designed
for ironing out bumps,

not smashing them down
with a steel fist.

(Richard) It's not designed
to corner level and flat.

(Jeremy) 0f course, we knew
this front-wheel-drive box

would be nowhere near
as fast as an Evo round our track

but we didn't realize
how nowhere near.

Go on.
This is the size of our challenge.

- What was the Evo?
- 1:28.2.


(Jeremy) The Avantime
was more than 14 seconds slower.

And then things got worse.

"You know you have two days
to make your modifications.

"So now you need to know the budget.

"A Mitsubishi Evo Ten costs L30,000.

"You can spend half that
to make the Avantime as fast."

Well, that's not bad, actually.

L15,000. We could do loads with that.

(James) There's more.

"L5,200 was spent
on buying the car itself.

"So you have L9,800 left."

How much do they spend
in Formula One?

Well, they say that to cut a second a lap,
it's L10 million.

Right, so we need L140 million.

- (Jeremy) Is there anything behind it?
- It's just James. Don't worry.

(Jeremy) With a lot less than that,

we backed the car
into a borrowed workshop

and immediately ran into a problem.

(Richard) No, there's a...

(James) How do you make it do it?

(Jeremy) Where's the thing?
Shall I get a hammer?

No, there it is! No, it isn't.

(James) That's where the spring is.

- It must be...
- Press the middle of the...

(Jeremy) Eventually, we got the bonnet up

and then immediately decided
to have an argument.

It's not just about power!
There's a lot of other stuff to deal with.

What? What?!

The way the thing handles and drives.

Why don't we just put nitrous on it?

Do you remember
what happened to the first Stig?

- He fell off an aircraft carrier.
- Because?

Yeah, we used nitrous. We won't use...

(James) Cornering is where it matters.

Look at the lesson of the lap board,
the Lotus Exige, not a particularly powerful car,

goes round quickly
cos it goes round the corners quickly.

GT Mustang, loads of power, slow,
cos they won't go round corners properly.

- That's more important than power.
- So where do we start?


(Jeremy) James insisted on buying new ones.

Right, this is the standard front disk
of the Avantime.

This is the one
we're proposing to put on.

Bigger area, vented, keep it cool,
make it more efficient.

(Jeremy) For sure, all this would mean
The Stig could brake later into the corners

but there was a downside.

How much do these brakes cost?

- L3,000.
- L3,000?

So we've used nearly a third
of our budget on brakes?

The most important thing
you can do, though.

(Jeremy) While I wasn't helping,
something began to worry me.

Any minute now,
Monkey and Wrench over there

are going to realize
they've made a catastrophic mistake.

(James) Oh, hang on.

(Richard) What?

(James) The calipers
are too big for the wheels.

(Richard) Oh...

(Jeremy) So we had
to blow more of our budget

on bigger wheels and tires.

- How much were they?
- A lot.

- L600.
- (Richard gasps)

Still as The Stig was inserted
into the Avantime for another lap,

James and Richard were convinced
it was money well spent.

You can see it's faster already.

We've learnt from our racing experience,
which we all share,

and we've applied it to this
and we've improved.

- What?
- What was it? 1:40...


What? Is it broken or something?

No, he's gone round
2.1 seconds slower.


(James) This was baffling.

We decided we'd bought
the wrong tires

so we spent another 600 quid
on better ones.

We've got some road-legal
but very sticky-track tires,

which could be worth several seconds.


(Jeremy) Hit it!

(James) The new rubber was sure
to get us going in the right direction.

He can brake later
and he has more grip in the corners.

- He can get on the power sooner.
- The tires will enable the brakes to work.

15 seconds, this will be.

The one thing I know about is tires.


So with better brakes and
better tires, we are traveling...

0.2 of a second slower
than we were originally.

This doesn't make sense!

How does motor racing work?

We could try another driver.

(Richard) Having blown half our money
and got nowhere,

we decided we should spend a massive
L2,000 on some new suspension.

Hold on! Stig's still in it!

(Jeremy) We haven't got time
to get him out!

(Richard) Fitting the new suspension
was a job for James

and the boffins from the Top Gear
technology centre,

which left Jeremy and me
looking for something to do.

- (Muffled) Shouldn't we lighten it?
- What?

- Shouldn't we lighten it?
- What do we want to take out?

- Seats. Take out the back seats.
- No, cos then it's a two-seater.

(Jeremy) Hammond, though, was right.

- Just feel this.
- Oh, you bugger! That's...

- (Laughs)
- Yeah, that's heavy!

The amount of fuel needed
just to move an electric-heated seat...

That would cost you
a noticeable number of quid a month.

(Jeremy) In order to keep
the Avantime as a family car,

we borrowed two race seats
from our 24-hour BMW racer

and two from Hammond's stretched MG.

And then we set about replacing
the heavy glass roof.

It's four and a half hammers across.

With our weight-shedding completed,

I went to ask James
about his suspension,

which was a mistake.

The springs are stiffer
and the dampers can be adjusted

so that the rate of compression
and rebound changes.

If you alter that very finely,

you can keep the tire in contact
with the road more.

The instant the weight goes off,
you lose grip,

which will lower your cornering speed,
and we know that cars are faster...

You asked!

(Richard) With our car now lighter,
lower, firmer, grippier

and fitted with better brakes,

it was time for another lap.


(Richard) It was now almost the end
of our first day

and we had to have something
to show for all our effort.

Come on, Stiggy. Come on, Stiggy.
Come on, Stiggy.

Look at that, cornering flat.

- This is faster, this is faster.
- Oh, that's better.

Come on, come on, come on!


Which means we're exactly ten seconds
away from our target time.

Now I suppose at this point
you two will kill me if I say power.

Why don't you say it and let's see?

No, look.
James, just old-fashioned tuning.

Cylinder heads. Cam shafts.

Inlet manifolds.
You'll get filthy dirty.

Think of that. All night long.
An all-nighter in the workshop.

Bolts you could name and line up.

Take spanners out.
Put spanners back in order.

- You'd love it.
- And we wouldn't cock about.

We'd do everything
you asked us to do, I promise.

- Anything?
- Anything.

Including leaving the workshop
and not coming back until I finish?

Leaving you alone.
All through the night.

- Can I have a bag of chips?
- Yes, I'll buy you a bag of chips.

- All right.
- Yes!

(Jeremy) Before James
set about his all-nighter,

we put the Avantime on a rolling road

to see how much power
it was actually producing

after six years of hard graft.

- That's astonishing.
- That is astonishing, actually.

- Are you sure that's right?
- Yes.

- It started with 210. It's now got...
- (Man) 157.

(Jeremy) 157, as it turns out.

All our figures have been gained
with about 150 horsepower.

We should be able to get it up to 210
just with effectively a good service.

(Humming cheerily)

(Jeremy) So we filled James up with chips
and left him to it.

Come the dawn,
the engine had a new air filter,

new injectors
and a new inlet manifold.

He'd even stiffened the chassis
to improve the handling.

0nce more, the Avantime
went on a rolling road.

Is that the HP?

- (Man) 206.
- (Richard) That is 206, is it?

(Jeremy) 206?!

(Jeremy) Hopefully,
with all this shiny new power...

Three, two, one, go!

...our Avantime would flyl

Listen to that power!

- Some of your heart and soul's in that car.
- Yeah.

We are a bit stumped after this.
How much money have we got left?

- Only about 300 quid.
- Yeah.

(Jeremy) Here he comes.

- 1:36.2.
- (James) There you go.

(Richard) Wow! All night and your face...

Is there anything more
to come out of that engine?

No, cos I think the gearbox
will just break.


Did you say you bought a spoiler
the other day?

- Well, at a charity auction, yes.
- What sort of spoiler?

- A Formula One one.
- Well, it is a spoiler.

Fetchez... Fetch the spoiler.

That's the next thing!

(Jeremy) 0nce it was on, though,
James and I had our doubts.

(Richard) Look, spoilers
make things go faster, fact.

F1 cars have spoilers on,
they go like the clappers, ergo success.

Among your friends with
their baseball caps in Cheltenham,

that is, I know, a generally held belief.

You think it's going to push down
onto the rear wheels?

- Yes.
- And this is a front-wheel drive car.

(Jeremy) Go!

I think the word is optimistic.

I think the word is ridiculous!

(Richard) Nonsensel This would be
the final piece in the jigsaw.

(James) Yeah!

- 1:35.
- An hour of your life.

- Yes.
- 1:37.03.

Nearly a second added by the spoiler.

(Jeremy) However, while
Hammond's spoiler was a dead loss,

it did give me an idea.

Do you remember
when we did the Britcar race

and we had that splitter
on the front?

When it fell off,
we were two seconds a lap slower.

- Yes, we were. It made a big difference.
- So why don't we put a splitter on?

(James) In theory, a well-designed splitter
erases understeer,

but ours wouldn't be well designed
because Jeremy insisted

he'd make it out of wood.

So it had come to this.

All our hopes now rested
on Jeremy's carpentry.

That plywood has,
in essence, on this lap

got to take off
eight and a bit seconds.

(James) But then...

(Jeremy) There's smoke,
there's smoke, there's smoke!

(Richard) Oh, it's on fire!

(Jeremy) Stig, out! Out of the car!

Turn the engine off!

Go over there.

Your stupid plywood splitter
has caught fire!

(James) It's still on fire.

(Jeremy) It is the splitter.
(James) That's on fire.

Hey, wait a minute.
This is something I've wanted to do.

I've worked in television for 20 years
and never had the chance yet.

- Back to the studio.
- That's my line!

That's what I wanted to say!

May! May, you (bleep)!

What I thought I'd do
is put the fire out and then say...

Back to the studio!


(Jeremy) Gearbox leak in the manifold.

So, anyway, we failed.

But we decided not to give up,

and in our spare time,
we kept working on the Avantime.

Little details to see how fast
we could actually make it go.

Now, we didn't have any money left

so we spent our time
fine-tuning adjustments,

getting the suspension
and the brakes right,

getting the camber
on the wheels exactly lined up.

We even gave The Stig
a plate of his favorite raw pork

for some A-level heroics
in a last do-or-die lap.

And here comes that lap now.

And he's off! So this is it!

Come on, Stig!

Look at that!
It looks like a touring car!

A French plastic touring car
but a touring car nevertheless.

Look at that! Looking at the brakes,
which shows they're working well!

Brilliant-looking thing.
Now coming up to Chicago.

Here he is. More brilliant braking.

Taking that quite wide.
Probably a Formula One line, that.

Now going down to the Hammerhead.
This is the real test!

Look at it squirming under braking!
Very effective!

Gets the tail out nice and one way.
Back the other.

Understeer a bit there

but the MDF aerodynamics
keeping it on the tarmac beautifully!

Now, this is James's engine tuning here,
coupled with my exhaust, obviously.

Look at the power!

Stig would be looking impressed
if you could see his face,

assuming, of course, he has one.

Two corners left.

Ooh, he's lost it!

No, no, wait!
That's not out of control!

That's drifting like a Evo Ten.
It's impressive!

Here he comes through Gambon,
as controlled as it got,

and across the line!

This is what we're aiming for.

Or rather this is - 1:28.2, OK.

We did it in 1!

Oh, it's down here. It's a disaster.

That is completely baffling
because every year in this country

we spend L906 million modifying cars

and as far as we can tell,
it's all money down the drain.

All wasted!

And on that bombshell, it's time to end.
Thank you for watching. Good night!