Top Gear (2002–…): Season 13, Episode 3 - Episode #13.3 - full transcript
Jeremy road tests the new Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black. The boys attempt to find cars that are cheap and cheerful during this economic times. Jeremy chooses a Perodua Myvi, James chooses a Chevrolet Aveo and Richard chooses the Proton Satria Neo. But, they found out that these cars are cheap but not cheerful at all. However, the producers think the boys deliberately choose the cars they hated. So again, the boys have to find cars that are cheap and also the ones that they all like. Jeremy choose the Skoda Roomster Diesel, James chooses a Toyota iQ and Richard choose a Alfa Romeo MiTo.
TOP GEAR S13E03
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Tonight -we shout at the Government,
a man drives a Subaru through a building...
and a dog goes in a car.
Hello! Thanks, guys. Thank you.
Thanks very much.
Thank you. Now...
Now, as we know, as we know...
nothing in life is very good and appalling at the same time...
apart from the Jeremy Kyle Show...
..and Manchester United.
And all of Burt Reynolds' films.
And actually,now there's a car as well.
This is the latest creation from the skunk works inside AMG -
the Mercedes SL65 Black.
Good looking, isn't it?
In a Jean-Claude.I'm-going-to-kick-you-in-the-face sort of way.
Certainly, with those massively flared arches and all that ducting,
it looks like it might be pretty fast.
But it isn't.
It's mind boggling.
I have 660 horsepower at the disposal of my right foot.
That's 50 more than you get from a Ferrari 599.
Then there's the torque.
740 foot pounds.
That's 300 more than you get from a 599.
Of course, to protect the environment and other road users,
,the top speed is limited...
The engine that produces this almighty oomph is enormous -
a 6-litre twin turbo V12.
But the rest of the car is quite simple.
The brakes are steel,not carbon ceramic.
The gearbox only has five speeds,not the usual seven.
The traction control has two settings - on or off.
It even comes with run-of-the-mill suspension.
The steering in this is a bit woolly... No, not woolly,
more sort of nylon,
but because Mercedes has thrown away the silly electronic suspension,
gone back to a conventional set-up,it's very predictable.
In many ways, then, this is like an American muscle car -
fast, simple and, in some ways,quite cheap.
It costs P250,000 and, yes,I know that sounds like a lot,
but it's P100,000 less than the McLaren Mercedes.
And is the McLaren P100,000 faster?
Well, let's find out.
God, that McLaren sounds dirty.
If my children made a noise like that,
I'd make them sit on the naughty step.
I reckon, in a straight line,Mr McLaren IS faster.
Not by P100,000,but in the corners...
Smoke coming off the back end!
Ten more horsepower, I reckon,ten more, and I'd have him.
But the best thing about the Black
is that, despite performance
and the anabolic "look at me!" wheel arch extensions,
it's a normal SL in here.I've got satellite navigation
and climate control
and iPod compatibility.
I've even got an automatic gearbox.
All good so far, then.
But it doesn't last.
First of all,it is THE most uncomfortable car in all of human history.
There is no give at all in the tyre side wall.
There is no give, either,in the suspension. Look.
And look at these seats.One-piece carbon fibre
from the Mercedes Agony range!
You would honestly be more comfortable on a Georgian's kitchen wheelback.
I can't imagine what Mercedes was using for inspiration.
No, hang on a minute!
I can imagine what Mercedes was using for inspiration.
Look! A pile of stones.
This is almost identical to the SL Black.
I'll just try it out.
Oh, hang on.
Yeah, I would rather go to work on a cairn than in an SL Black.
A cairn would be faster, too.
The problem is,is that there's so much torque
that if you pull out to overtake a lorry and put your foot down,
the traction control comes down like an anvil
and you're not going anywhere.
Of course, you can turn the traction control off.
But don't forget -
those back tyres cost P358 each.
Really, the only way you can drive this car,
even when the road is dry,is slowly.
And I don't know, but I think that rather spoils the point.
Then there's the rear spoiler which comes up at 75mph.
So if it's up, you're speeding...and some policemen will come.
So if it's up, you're speeding...and some policemen will come.
There are other niggles, too,
like the fact it's out of fuel after 250 miles,
and it has the turning circle of a moon.
Look at this.
A normal SL can get round here no problem at at...
whereas the Black...can't.
That means you're going to run off the road
and damage that low-riding air-splitter.
And I haven't even got to the worst bit yet.
In a normal SL,which can turn round
and run up kerbs without breaking your back, or itself,
and go more than six feet without running out of petrol,
you have a roof which folds away into the boot.
In an SL Black, to save weight,the roof doesn't go anywhere.
And then we have to go back to the price.
Yes, the Black is good value compared to the McLaren.
But it's five times more than its little sister,
and I'm sorry...but it just isn't worth it.
Superb, sublime, brilliant,super-exciting rubbish!
But... -It is!
Am I right in saying that they've only imported eight of these into the UK? - Yeah.
So that means they need to find eight people in Great Britain
with more money than sense? - Yeah.
So who does this one belong to? - Theo Walcott.
Go on, then.Now where are you going?
Anything I say now is going to belibellous, isn't it?
Yeah.Yeah.I'll tell you what we'll do.
We'll find out how fast this goes round our track.
That means handing it over to our tame racing driver.
Some say that he thinks crisps are animals...
..and that if he'd done well at Wimbledon once in a while,
he might have been able to raise a smile.
All we know is,he's called the Stig.
Away he goes!
Traction control off because,of course, he can put those tyres on expenses.
Into the first corner.Can't help thinking this is going to be a handful.
Oh, yes, it is.
Oh, dear. Yes, I'm sorry.The Stig has gone all Scottish.
He loves to Strip The Willow
with all those other Stigs that the Daily Mail's invented.
Just a very big mess in Chicago.So Hammerhead...
Lord alone knowswhat's going to happen here.
Under-steer...over-steer...Under-steer then over-steer again.
Every sort of steer,and all happening practically at the same time.
Is that bagpipes or is it the sound of someone deflating a cat?
Through the tyres -very, very fast.
Now he comes in to the second-to-last corner,
holding it nicely. Just Gambon left.
Seems to be juddering through that.
Across the line!
I have the time in my hand.
It did it...
It did it in one minute 23 dead,
so if we look, it's faster than the original Murcielago,
it's faster than the original Zonda,faster than the original Koenigsegg,
which means it's faster than a lot of cars that are now...
faster than it.
And now we must do the news,
and starting off with Citroen,they've made a new C3.
Here it is.And, well, it's a Citroen.
It looks like that, but the mostimportant thing about it is,
for this car, they've invented a new word.
Word?!They've put itin their publicity material,
and it's "visiodrive".
They confessed they've made that up.
It's a whole new word. Visiodrive.
I'm sort of sympathetic.Why?
Because none of the words you'dnormally use to describe a Citroen
would work very well in their ownpublicity blurb, would they?
Anybody else gotany thoughts on Citroens?
Box on wheels. What?Box on wheels.
That's not very good.That was terrible.
Anyway, the point is that if you want a car that is Visiodrive,7
that's your only choice,
even if you are the Sultan of Brunei.
Now, pay attention. OK?
As men, we all know you should never,
ever buy a woman something with a plug on it. Yeah?
We know that. Yeah.I did.What?
You bought your girlfriend an electrical appliance?
Yeah. I got her a power drill.
James! James,she's a ballet correspondent.
so I got her one.She SAID that!
Do you know nothing?! Women say they want a power drill but they don't.
they want soap. No...They always do, They do.
But it's impossible to buy soap for a woman.
Hang on.No, soap's soap.
Did you hear that, girls?Soap is soap! But it is.
Go on, then. Buy your wife some Swarfega.Well, that's...
That's an effective cleaning agent.She'd be chuffed, I'm sure.
However, the worst thing that you would ever have to buy,ever have to buy a girl,
is a handbag. That's bad.
because Even if,by some miracle, you got the right colour,
it'd be the wrong shape,
it wouldn't have the right number of pockets
it would be last season's handbag.
Is there a season for handbags?
Did you hear him?
Is...? Oh, yes!
What, at certain times of the year,I can shoot handbags? Yes.OK.
is that Ok?
No. The fact is, OK,
my wife has a handbag -I kid you not
it is this big, OK?
And in it, she'll go, "I've lost my mobile phone! Ring it!
"""Ring it!"" ""It's in there.You must be able to see it."""
"I can't see it!" The point is,"
salvation is at hand, OK?
New type of handbag out this week.Here it is.
Look at that. Yeah. Now,that is made from Camaro seats.
And it says in the bumph...and I'm going to quote, OK?
"""Try to picture your lady friend grasping it tightly"
"""and the next vintage car show you both attend.""Ohhhh!"
So this is made from seat clothof a Classic Camaro? Yes.
So that's had a Texan'ssweaty buttocks on it? Yes.
And now it's a handbag.
On the other side - you can't see it -are the skid marks...NO! No!
My bull mastiff keeps trying to mate with my Labradoodle.
Bear with me, I do get back to cars.It keeps trying to mate with my Labradoodle, and I think
I've worked out what the results of that coupling would look like.Here it is.
Is that a motorcycle and sidecar?
Sort of melted into one hideous lump. It's a Laverda 3CL.
The man behind this is a French medical technician.
Did he not, at any point whilst building it, just take one step back?
"""Agh! It's horrible!"""
If you know of anything uglier than that, you should write to us at
"""I live next door to David Guest"",Top Gear...
Can I say...? Sorry about this.Moving on.
On Tuesday, or it might have been Monday, the Government announced
what it call eda level 2 heat wave alert, OK?,
for what we used to calla lovely summer's day.
Actually, we quite like a good heat wave here on Top Gear,
because it means we can play Car Sauna. It's really very simple.
You park the car with the enginerunning, turn the air conditioning off, wind the windows up,
turn the heater to maximum,and the first person to get outis the loser.
You think he's making that up,don't you?
Because earlier today, while we were waiting for all you lot to turn up,
this is what we got up to.
It's now 37.8 degrees in here,as you can see,
before the test begins.
Let's just make it fair, OK?
Whichever one gets out first pays the other a tenner.
Coming up to four minutes.Temperature check, please.
Oh, yes.It's 53 degreesin our Mercedes now.
Can you see my face?
Can you see my face now?I'm not sure they'll want to.
Given that we are made of...What percentage of us is water?
Water that then evaporates. So whatwe are breathing is each other...
Agh! Agh! You're breathing my chest!Agh! Agh!
This is a stupid game.
I've changed my mind.
Oh, come on.
You owe us P10 each!
A good idea.
Gordon, if you're watching,and you're probably not,
if you're going to set these ridiculous heat wave level alerts...
What was it we got up to?62. 62...62 degrees is your bottom...
It gets a bit toasty. Uncomfortable.Yeah. About there.
Gordon, they're something else I discovered in that test,
if you're watching, and that is,
I KNOW when I'm too hot.
I don't need the Government to tell me to have a drink of water
and put sun cream on.
Leave us alone!
You'll have to split it.I've only got a 20.
Don't worry.I'll put it on expenses(!)
Now, the recession.
We all know what caused it. Banks were lending money
they didn't have to people who couldn't pay them back
and now no-one can afford anything.Yes. And this begs a question.
In these difficult times, is there such a thing as cheap and cheerful?
I mean, when have you ever heard anyone say,
"Right! I'm going to deploy my cheap and cheerful parachute?"
"I could have had an expensive heart operation"
"but I decided to go for one that was cheap and cheerful!"
This Perodua Myvi suffers from the same problem.
It costs P7,600, so it is cheap,
but is it cheerful? No.
Brakes are rubbish.
Seats are rubbish.
Honestly, I would rather be inside Paul Scholes.
This is a car you drive with a long face.
Still, could be worse.
You could be in a Chevrolet Aveo.
I like a basic, underpowered car,I think they can be fantastic fun,
I like a basic, underpowered car,I think they can be fantastic fun,
so it amazes me that they can make this thing so dull.
The steering is meaningless,the pedals feel mushy,
the seats are flat.
The gear change is out of a...
I think it's out of a Mark I Cavalier.
No. That's not fair on the Cavalier.
And the cost of all this misery?P8,500.
The only reason you would buy this car
is not because it's cheap, because it's not that cheap,
it would be because you hadn't tried any others.
I have! I've tried this,the Proton Satria Neo.
It's actually not so bad when you're moving.
That's not cos it's in any way fun to drive -
it isn't.The gear change is awful,
the engine's got no power low down whatsoever,
but when you move it,
at least you're obliged to look ahead, out of the cabin.
Only when you stop do you think,
"I'm sure I saw a nice surround on that air vent!
I'll just adjust...
"Oh, no! It's horrible.And look at all this!"
"Ugh! That's not metal, either."
At nearly P10,000, the Proton is the most expensive of the three,
but you do get some unique features.
The wing mirrors have been made using fairground hall-of-mirrors glass,
so when I move my head like that,all the cars...blbl-bbb-blbl.
So that's either a bus, now it's skip
and now it's a big clown...
Soon, we all met up
and this was an ideal opportunity to show Jeremy one of the Proton's other unique features.
Now, it's a sunny day.Put the visor down.
Ha!You can't see a thing!
You can't make the seat go down?
You can a bit,but you have to open the door.
So every time the sun comes out,
you then have to open the door?Yeah.
Look. They've managed to make Allen-headed bolts out of plastic.
Cos I believe...
That's a disappointment.That's wrong!
Talking of fake, look at this.
Ooh! That's not a real alloy.
Are these fake, as well? Yes,they are.So fake wheel nuts?
A year ago, we'd have been here with a Ferrari,
a Lamborghini and an Aston Martin.
Now...This is it.
We'd chosen as our meeting point London's financial district,
so we thought it'd be a good idea,while we were there,
to introduce all the passing bankers and money men
to the motoring world they'd created.
What have you got now? XJR.An XJR?
And you've got a...? BMW M3.M3?
So, welcome to the future.Your future.
I'm not sure this is the right car for me..
It's the ONLY car for you.
You'd better get used to it.
Lavishly equipped with doors.
I'm not sure it's going to do the acceleration that the M3 does.
It doesn't. I can assure you!
You've been lending money to Mexicans
who haven't got enough to pay you back, haven't you?
You have! That's what you've done,and now look. Check it out.
That one any better? No.
Are all three terrible? Yes.
Do you have this every day going round?Yeah, it does.
Every day, constantly down? Yep
Thought about jumping out of a window?
It's a bit plasticky.A bit?!
What are you doing at work today?
We are looking into new markets in European gas.
That might not be a bad thing for you lot - just flip it down,
you wouldn't see the bridge coming up - everybody's happy.
Have you noticed this?
I put that back on earlier.Thanks(!)
It just disintegrated while I was looking at it.
What's the 0-60?
Excuse me. Good news.What?
You know we're here? A distraction?See the crowds?Yeah.
That means that none of them
can actually get into their offices and lose all our money!
It's safe! We're providing a service to the nation.
And then, after we'd moved on,I came up with another service for the nation.
All the banks that go to the Government for OUR money,
to keep going, make them have,as company cars,
RBS - you've been really bad.
You can have a Proton "septic nappy".
Yeah, Fred Goodwin,
you keep your pension.
Just one thing.
Of course, bankers aren't entirely responsible for the problems...
..which is why we pulled over,decorated our cars a bit
and went to shout at the Government.
-What do we want? -Aston Martins!
When do we want them?ALL: Now!
V8 not G8!
Give us a Rolls-Royce Phantom long wheel base now!
2, 4, 6, 8, Jacqui Smith's husband likes to mast-...
I can't do that one.
Supercars not ministers...I'm not very good at this.
Mind you, compared to James...
Acceleration not nationalisation...of the banks.
Although it's easy to make a case for state ownership of other industries,
such as utilities.
Ker-ching! Hit the banks not our tanks!
He means your petrol tanks,if you were confused.
Although, whilst we're at it,
the Armed Forces are under-equipped for the job they have to do.
A policemen then came to tell us off.
Please don't hit me with your riot shield.
But it was quite hard to understand him.
I think that policeman's quite cross.
In fact, he was so fed up that he told us to leave.
That's not gone well, our protest.
But we were fed up too...with our cars.
So we left them in a stupid place and went home on foot.
This tunnel handles better than my car
and the interior is a lot more welcoming.
It's a fact!
Um...I should point out
the producers were very angry with us about that,
because they said we'd deliberately just gone
and chosen three cars that we didn't like.
Yeah, but we said we'd made a film to show
just how many terrible cheap cars there are out there.
And that buyers need to be careful.
Exactly. Yeah. But they didn't buy that.
They said we had to go out and make that film again
and this time, choose three cheap cars that we actually like.
Yeah. And we'll be looking at that later on.
Now it is time to put a starin OUR Chevrolet.
Er...over the years, 105 different people have driven round our track,
and yet, unbelievably, only three ofthem have ever been called Michael.
Well, don't worry -I can tell you're concerned -
because that's all about to change.Ladies and gentlemen,
put your hands together for Michael McIntyre!
Jeremy Clarkson! How are you?
Hello. Thank you, Top Gear.
Why do announcers always say,"Put your hands together"?
You'd just go like that, wouldn't you?
I think it's like, "Put your hands together and pray that he's funny!"
I gather that, on the way down here,people were offering you advice
as to how you should drive..
I got endless advice. From everybody.
There was a woman at home... There'sa woman at home?!
She's my wife!
Yeah, my wife gave me advice.
The drycleaner told me to turnthe air conditioning off in the car,because it makes it go faster.
The drycleaner is talking sense.
The guy who drove me here said,"Don't brake."
I think he didn't like me very much.He just said, "Don't brake!"
Let's have a look...Cos you have just boinged into the public consciousness.
Two years ago - Michael who?.
And now all these girls...
They've been queuing here all day., Hi, girls.
It's being going well lately.
My show is on the telly on Saturday night after Casualty.
# Do-do-do-do... #
That's when my show starts.
What, after it goes,do-do-do-do?
I'm trying desperately to get on Casualty to publicise my show.
I'd just like to be on a gurney and then sit up and go,
"""Watch my show afterwards."""
That'd be ideal.
Anyway,your early life. School, obviously.
University. Is it true you can'tremember what degree you did?
That is true, yes.
I did biology or chemistry.I've narrowed it down to two.
But you don't know which you did?
I know it wasn't physics.Is that good enough?
How can you not rememberwhat you did at university?
I remember being in the lab.I remember there was a lab...
I remember finding a girl attractive on the first day
and thinking,"That'll be the love of my life,"
then they gave me a lab coat and huge specs.
I realised the odds wereagainst me.Was it a girl thing?
Um... University?Well, it didn't work.
If you did biology,it didn't work.
My voice didn't breaktill I was about 23.
When you sound like your mother onthe phone... Hello?
It's not Mummy, it's Michael.
I'll get Mummy for you. Mummy?Phone!
She'd come in...Hello?
I actually had hair under one arm for a year. That was an odd...
It was a difficult transition to manhood.
But I did buy my first car to try and seduce women.
Which was a...?
I got a Triumph Spitfireconvertible.
I had it for about six months and I hit a...a parked Volvo,
which was not...Of all the cars to hit...
It's not like I was picking them!
And then the owner of the Volvo -it was outside his house -
he ran out and said...He was very angry.
He came up to the car and said,"Are you drunk?!"
And I was so flustered and I'd beentold if you get into a crash,
don't admit responsibility,
so I just said, "Are you drunk?"
To which he said,"I'm at home having dinner.What are you talking about?!"
So, what are you drivingat the moment?
At the moment, I have... My wife'scar and my car -
we have two cars.That's allowed.
They haven't banned it yet.They will, but they haven't yet.
I feel a bit guilty about the car that I got her. because we thought...
You won't feel guilty, becauseI know you like these big cars.
I like all cars!Except for the three...
I got her an X5, 4x4 car.
I don't like that.Right. I do.A BMW X5.Yeah, I like it.
It's got seats and you go,"Urr-urr-urr-urr-uh" like that.
So it's got adjustable...I love that, though.
I've never had a car with that."Urr..."
I try and drivein the most awkward positions.
As far back... "Urr...urr!"
Another thing with the modern issuewith the car
is the parking sensors,which is brand-new to me.
It senses when the carsbehind you... I love it.Exactly.
It goes green and red."bup-bup-bpp-bpp-bb-bb-bb-BEEP!"
It screams, like there's a littleperson going, "Aaaaargh!"
It's like there's two little people,unseen, and they just go,"No, no, no, no, NO, NO! Stop it!"
Why did you describe motorwaysas the "highway of life"?
Well, after the Spitfire,I went into some really bad cars.
I had my wife's car after that -we shared that. That was the Mini,
Mini Mayfair.That's all right.Nice little car.
Then I had my Austin Metro Princess,1.0.
It had no fuel gauge, which was abit of an issue,
because it meant Ihad to look up the miles per gallon,
then count the mileson the milometerto work out how much fuel I had,
which worked until the milometerbroke. Then I had to guess
what a mile was... Then, ultimately,I ended up getting it wrong.
I ran out of petrol, and I knewthere was a petrol stationquite near and I ran there
and I didn't have a jerry can,and I presumed they'd sell themin the petrol station.
I was queuing up and I completelyforgot the word for jerry can.
My mind went blank.
There was quite a long queueand I went, "Hi, I need a...um...
"Ooh, I need a thing, you know."
".Oh, God, it's a thingthat you put petrol in?"
And the bloke just went, "Car?"
The closest I got to was"petrol suitcase?"
So this was why, I suppose, cos Ispent a lot of time
with the Metroin the loser lane, the slow lane...
Loser lane?..with the trucksand the lorries and the horses
and the old people.
The only way you could feel better about
having such a terrible car
is you would occasionally try andovertake nicer cars on the motorway.
It's quite a manly moment.
You're chugging along at 60,you're quite comfortable.
You'll see a Porschein the middle lane,
I'd say to my wife,"You see that Porsche?"
She'd say,"Yes, what of it?" "I'm having it."
She's like, "The Princess couldn'tovertake that Porsche, it's a 1.0!"
"I can do this!"
You pull into the middle lane,you start to get excited
then you get into the fast lane.
When you're in the fast lane in abad car,
you know you don't belong.
Big Range Rovers right up behindyou,
flashing, "Retreat tothe loser lane,
where you belong!"
There are horses in the slow lane,going, "I've gotta see this.What's going on?"
I think the top speed was about 76.
You put your foot down and the wholecar would shake uncontrollably.
It takes somewhere between 40and 45 minutes to pull alongsidethe Porsche.
My wife's going, "I told you!"
And you always have to look over,when you're overtaking,to see your victim.
"Who are you, Porsche driver?"
He's normally on the phone. He goes,"Hold on, I'll call you back.
"Some dick from the loser lane'strying to overtake."
I do that to people! "Get backwhere you belong!" I am that person.
When I'm in the X5 now,
if I get overtaken, even if I'm home,
I will get back out and...
"Get back to where you belong.
"I've worked hard for this car."""
I've driven hundreds of miles past where I live,
just to overtake someone back again.
Thing is, though, when we asked if you'd like to come on...
Yes...you told the person who rangyou up that you'd be incredibly fast
going round our lap.No,I don't know if I did. Did I?
I said I'll try hard to be fast.
You said you'd be very fast.It wasmore difficult than I imagined.
Who here would like to see the lap?
Yes!Come on, let's have a look.
Here we go. I suspect...
Go, go, go!
Heading down to the first corner...
Oh, my giddy aunt,that's...ambitious!
Ambitiously fast, Michael.
OK, now, into Chicago.
Again, I'm suspectingyou're going too fast.
Lost a lot of time with understeer.
That's a screaminglyBLEEP.
Straight into the Hammerhead.Trickiest corner.
Did you enjoy this?I didn'treally... I lost track of time.
There we go.Actually, that's not bad at all.
No, you can relax after that.
Ah!And you are doing!
You are doing...And that's pretty fast.
I'm impressed with this.And impressed with that!
God, you really had picked upsome... Second to last corner,
that's nicely done!Here we go, just Gambon...
It's gonna be... Oh, my God!
You nearly flipped it!
You nearly turnedthe damn thing over!I nearly did.
How close was that to rolling?I thought that was it.
I said my goodbyes.
That was pretty spectacular,wasn't it?
It was a very ambitious second half to the lap
and a very...
rubbish first half.
It was, it was. I know.Too fast into the corners.
Mmm, where do you think?
Where do you think you've come?
Anywhere in the middle,I'd be happy with.
As the Stig said,"conditions were perfect".
Michael McIntyre, you did it...in one minute...
..forty...I like that.I'm fine with that.
..eight point seven.
You're in here.
Marky Mark and Michael McIntyre.
That's not a bad time.
I'm all right with that.
That's right...Didn't I say in the middle?
It's in the middle of the whole thing! You are the most average man in an averagely-priced car
we've ever had.You are also one of the funniest.
Ladies and gentlemen,Michael McIntyre!Thank you.
Now... If you are any sort of a car fan,
and you own an internet,
you will most probably have come across a chap
called Ken Block on your "Youbook" site.
Young people tell me he is an internet sensation.
That's why I went all the way to the United States in America
to spend the day with him.
I was told to meet him not at Dunkin' Donuts,
but here, at Inyokern airfield in California.
I can hear him coming now
and I suspect he won't be arrivingin a straight line.
No, he's more like a game station character who has emerged intothe real world.
And that's why his films get more than ten million hits
Now, by day, Ken is a rally driver.
But what's special about him is the way he sharpens his skills.
You see, most rallyists prefer to practise in the forests of Walesor Finland.
But Ken prefers to use...
Thing is, Mr Block, I look at this sleepy old airfield and this hangar
and I think about preflight checks and the problems
of weather cocking in crosswinds when you get a castering tailwheel.
Looks like a playground to me. In what way?
There's not so many places where youhave a great mix of dirt and Tarmac and open areas...
And parked aeroplanes. They're nice obstacles.
Obstacles... I mean, the owners of them probably don't... Do they know?
I'm not really sure.
Ken has devised a course around this place,
but he wants to keep the details a surprise. All I know is
he'll be using his specially strengthened, 380 horsepower
Subaru Impreza rally car
and that today,there's a seat going spare.
I, Captain Slow, will be here,with my bum on the best seatin the theatre of petrol,
in the royal box of rallying,
riding shotgun withKenny from the block.
And I don't even have to do pacenotes, because he knows the route.
You do, don't you? Mm...
Where are we going?
Mind the aeroplanes!
Are you sure?
Here we go again!
God, that's unbelievable!
Mind the pole!
Wow, that was nice!
Where the hell are we going now?!
That's a fire station.
Next stop,Ken's eyeball spin dryer.
Tarmac session over,it was time for a dirt workout.
Oh, that's Mr Ricky Carmichael, a good friend of mine.
I think he'scome out to play with us.
As it happens, Ricky is the greatest dirt-biker in history,
15 times undefeated champion.
Go get him, Mr Block.
On the straights,Kenny was much faster,
but Ricky was a genius at finding shortcuts.
Where's he gone?
Kenny and Ricky wanted to play withsome more planes.'
No, no! Goodbye, viewers!
That's the nose of a DC-2.
He's getting away.
Not over there, that's a jump.
That's a motocross jump. No!
That was incredible!
Now look what you've done!
Am I right in saying he's coming to Britain later this year,
to play on our track?
We could use his aeroplaneas one of the obstacles.Yes! No.
The man's useless.He can't drive in a straight line.
Captain Slow rather missing the point there. Anyway,
earlier on, we sort of suggested that all cheap cars are rubbish
and the producers said that was nonsense and told us to go away,
put our heads in some books
and not take them out again tillwe'd come up with a cheap carthat we all liked.
After a solid 24 minutes of reading,inevitably,
we'd come up with three cheap cars that we liked.
So, it was time to go down to ourtrack to find out which was best.
This is my choice.
It's a Skoda with a microscopic diesel engine
and a top speed of 92.
That doesn't sound so good,but it's called the Roomster.
And that sounds great!
I like to think that's what MarcBolan would've called his lounge.
This is what I've chosen - the Mito.
At P11,500, it costs exactly the sameas Jeremy's diesel-powered van.
But this is an Alfa Romeo.
P11,500 for a brand-new Alfa Romeo.
You'd have to have a heart of stone and a soul of custard to turn that down.
Then James arrived...in a dishwasher.
This may have the enginefrom a dishwasher -
just three cylinders and 1,000cc -
but it is the most futuristic and modern car here.
It's called the Toyota IQ and it's the biggest leap
in small cardesign since Dinky went bust.
In order to sort out which is the best car,
we've each been allowed to choose one test.
I'm going first and I've decidedthe first test will be...
a drag race...obviously.
I'm not feeling confident about this,
because, although I have the samepower as James has in his Zanussi,
the Roomster's a lot biggerand heavier.
0-60 in 16.4 seconds.
And that, in English, is exactly...
He-he-he! Not bad.
And we're through. Ha-ha-ha!
Shortly afterwards,the Indesit finished as well.And then the waiting began.'
And in 1976, we went to Tenby,hired a cottage.
We went there. A cottage? Yeah.You must have been posh. We had a tent.
Ooh, look! Is that him, or is thatjust another car that's going past?
I don't know.
I've actually forgot ten what his car looks like.
Power, power, power, speed -irrelevant.
What's the excuse going to be?Ooh, tyre pressure.
You lost,in case you were wondering.
This car -faster than a Porsche 911 Turbo.
Yes, of course(!)How did you make that out?
Well, if a Porsche is doing 30, I'm doing 35, I could easily get by.
What about if it was doing 93?That would be against the law.
He'd hopefully havehis licence taken away.
There's another thing about this.What?
That is pure Lancia Stratos.
No, it isn't. I'll grant you...What do you mean?!It just isn't.
Says the man in the Indesit!What...come on!Chaps,
I'll just bring you back tomy point,
which is that only one of these three cars is an Alfa Romeo.
The Alfa Romeo, which, if you peel away the body, is a Fiat Punto.
It's an Alfa Romeo!It's a Fiat Punto with Alfa written on it!
This is a Stratos!
It was then my turn to dream up a test and, since I had a Toyota,
I thought we should measure quality.'
Right, each car is equippedwith one of these.
It's a decibel-o-meter. This will measure how loud your car is
through Lionel Richie's head in the 1980s.
You'll also be sitting onone of these -
this is a vibration and harshness-o-meter
and this measures vibration and harshness.Right! Let's do it.
It's got three axes of measurement...
Does it produce a numberat the end of the test? Yes.
Right, good.Good. Let's do it.
With the equipment installed,we set off at a scientific 50mph.
This may only have a three-cylinder diesel engine,
but it's so quiet inhere, I can hear my hair growing.
Jeremy, it's a noise test and the machine is picking up your voice.
After another run,we pulled over to see who'd won.
How big is my victory?
You two are neck-and-neckat 63 decibels of noise.
I have 61. So it's better.It's quieter?!Yes.
Low numbers are better. Vibration and harshness, Jeremy - 2.1.Yes!
Let's see. Hammond, 1.8.Ha-ha!
And I'm 1.5.
It doesn't matter,because it is now time for my test.
What we're going to do now is a lap of the track.
The Skoda van's going to cream that(!)
While carrying something.What?
A dog.Let me guess -is it a King Charles spaniel?
In fact, I'd lined up, Lance,an Irish Wolfhound,
Milly, a Great Dane and Alfie,a St Bernard.
OK, here's how it works, right?Start the clock,then you load the dog into the car,
you may have to lower your rear seats, yes?
Do a lap, cross the line,stop the clock.
I'll get my dog then.
There is one rule in my test, yes?
Don't drive like an idiot on the lap.
If, when you get back,this dog looks sad,
OK, Lance, come on.
But St Bernards always look sad.
I don't need that.
No, flat, flat.I can't get it flat.I've got to... Lance, mind out, mate.
Rearranging the innards of the Alfa was tricky.'
There are three bits to lift up?Yeah.
Are you in?No.
One minute 32 and the dogis still not in the car.
Up, up. Up, Lance. Two minutes,nine seconds.
In you get, in you get.There you go! Good boy.
Oh, that's awkward.This is quite embarrassing now.
Finally, Phil Drabble was ready to go.'
Now, there's a racing start...and there's that.
That's it, good boy!Your breath stinks. It's terrible.
This is a brilliant test.
There are eight million dogs in the UK.
23% of all households have a dog.
A car that can't handle a dog,frankly, is useless.
Oh, God, it's all right.You're all right. Oh, good boy.
It's the first Alfa to have Alfa Romeo's new DNA system.
It's the first Alfa to have AlfaRomeo's new DNA system.
What that means is you get a switch down here that says DNA.
They stand for Normal, Dynamic -which tightens up and sharpensthe throttle.
If you put it in All-weather,that lets the traction control knowit might get slippy.
But, anxious not to be disqualifiedfor upsetting the dog,
I left everything in very normal.'
Seven minutes...Yeah. Now,I happen to know that,
actually,that is a very good time
for an Alfa Romeo Mito with a wolfhound on board.
Does he look sad?
No, I wouldn't say that's a sad dog.
Bored out of his mind.
Maybe my Great Dane would havea more exciting time.'Go.
Come on, Milly, up, up.There you go. Look at that!
There's a water tray for you.Oh, it leaks a bit.
P11,500, you can lift the rear seats out,
or fold them down. All I'm going to do is pull them forwards,
which gives Milly a bit more room.
Here we go.How do you feel now, dog?
Yeah! What do you think of that?
What it needs is a substantial snack halfway round the lap,
say a leg...A head.
This, of course,isn't really a Skoda.
Peel away the body and underneath,at the front,it's a Volkswagen Polo.
At the back, it's a Volkswagen Golf.The engine is from a Volkswagen.
And it's so beautifully made.
Now, building up speed -dogs don't mind speedin a straight line - they love it!
Dr Dolittle's on his way.
Oh, it's not a lumpy yawn!
Delighted! She's had light, space,air-conditioning...
slobbered on the car,she loved it so much.
.How do we know that wasn't you?
Just tell me the time.
Four minutes 13.Oh, God.
Three minutes faster than you?!
But would the Skoda be a match for the genius of the IQ?'
This is one of the most cleverly packaged small cars in history.
It is, in fact, the smallest four-seat car ever
and it's all down to very innovative stuff, like the fuel tank, which is very shallow and very long,
so it doesn't intrude in to the passenger space.
The engine is the other way roundfrom other front-wheel drive cars,
so the differential and the transmission are at the front.
That saves more space down here.
I think all this will stand me ingood stead with my enormous dog.
Three, two, one...go!
There's no space at all!The seats go down.
Can you stop interfering with my time?
He can't get in! He can!He can't!
He doesn't know whether to get inor mate with it!
Alfie, come on.Drive like that and hope he can keep up?
Alfie, come on. You can stick your head out the window.
What are you doing?!That's no good!
Alfie! Good dog.
Eventually,James's Hotpoint set off.'
Oh, you've got gobon the gearstick!
Of course, the IQ is a bit likea small, city supercar.
The wheels are right on the corners,it's extremely agile.
And it has a really small boot,like the Bugatti Veyron.
Thanks for that.
Nobody, unless they have no legs,could possibly sit in the back.
Hold on, there's a bit of a...Oh, bloody hell!
In James's hands, the dishwasherwas on a very slow cycle.'
Gambon corner - he could spin off here at any point.
Two dogs, coming across the line in a Hotpoint.Oh, no!
Oh, that isa miserable-looking dog!
Look at that face!Oh, that'smaking me sad just looking at it!That's his normal face!
You want to hear your time?
You beat an Alfa Romeo.
That's the saddest-looking spectacle I've ever seen and it's your fault.
If you're from the RSPCA, write tous at
"James May is a bastard,Top Gear, London".
With the score at one each
we left the track and headed out into the real world.
The idea's very simple.
We shall drive to London to see which one looks best
in the fashionable streets of Notting Hill.
Well, it'll be mine. It just will.
This is an Alfa Romeo, which is Latin for
"yes, I will, but only because of your special car"
Meanwhile, I'd unearthed a problem with this,
the cheapest version of the Roomster.
This just isn't powerful enough.
There's never a gap big enough for you to pull out
and get up to 70 before someone's caught you up.
Here we go...foot hard down...
Sorry, sorry. He's shaking his head and I don't blame him.
In London, we pulled over for another real world test
OK, we brimmed the tanks down at the track,
so now we're in London,
let's see who's used the least fuel.
I don't feel all that confidenton this one.
The three-cylinder diesel engine...Yes?Follow me.
Eh?What?! You have to mash your foot down
just to do 20mph.
And that's the result.
You're better off with a bigger engine.
Anyway, listen, I've got an idea.
First one to see another one of their own cars wins.
So, if in Notting Hill,you see an Alfa Mito...
I'll go with that.
As darkness fell, we began to near ciabatta central.
Cor, this is posh round here.
Richard Branson lives up here on the right-hand side.
Does he have a Roomster?
We're about to penetrate Notting Hill, James.
We'll go round that bend,
it will be a wash with brand-new IQs.
He was wrong.
We all were.
Fiat 500, Fiat 500...
Fiat 500, Fiat 500...Fiat 500.
Now, there's a very good reason why I chose the Skoda Roomster
rather than the Fiat 500 as the best cheap car in Britain.
rather than the Fiat 500 as the best cheap car in Britain.
It's because, quite simply,I forgot about the Fiat.
But...what if you want a car that begins with A?
So, there we are. If you want a small, cheap, good-looking,practical car
that's fast, economical and can carry a St Bernard, remember...
we know nothing.
If we'd have done more minutes of research...
we'd have remembered it.We are numpties, aren't we?
If we did a travel programme,we'd finish up by saying,
"And there you are, the best place to go on holiday in Europe is Belgium."
"Oh, no, we forgot France!"
I don't like the Fiat 500. Oh, God.Or France.
That really isn't a bombshell,is it?
But, we do have a couple next week,
because these two have a race with Postman Pat
and I declare war on the British Army!
See you then. Take care.Good night!