Top Gear (2002–…): Season 14, Episode 7 - Episode #14.7 - full transcript

Richard tests the new Lexus LFA. In the news segment, the boys discuss the cars that they are looking forward to in 2010. Jeremy travels around the world to test the BMW X6. James road tests the new Vauxhall Insignia VXR. Seasick Steve is the Star In A Reasonably Priced Car. Top Gear Awards 2009.

JEREMY: Tonight...
The stupidest
car in the world...

A Vauxhall you
might actually like...

And who's won what
in theTop Gear
awards ceremony?


Hello, everybody!
Hello, hello.
Welcome, and a happy New Year!

Happy New Year to everybody.


Now, like many of you here,
I suffer from insomnia.

I've tried
everything over the years.

I've tried eating lettuce,
counting sheep,
I even resorted last night

- to James May's
new talking book.

That didn't work either.

Now, however, Richard Hammond
seems to have
accidentally uncovered

what might be a cure.

RICHARD: This is a Lexus.

It's called the RX 450h,
and it's
everything you'd expect

from what Alan Partridge
called the Japanese Mercedes.

It's quiet, it's well-made,

it's got a lentil-matic
hybrid engine,
all very clever.

All things you'd expect
from a car company

that has won many
awards over the years.

Neatest Panel Gap Consistency
in the Executive
Saloon Sector award.

And the coveted That's A Nice
Paint Finish award.
Three years running.

I think you're getting the
picture. All Lexuses are
beautifully made

and impeccably
engineered to achieve
unmatched levels of dullness.

So when they
announced recently,

"We've made a sports car,"
how we laughed in the office!

Right up until
the moment we saw it.

Yeah... Egg on face.

Foot in mouth. Humble pie...
for breakfast,
lunch and dinner.


It's called the LFA.

And, despite being a Lexus,
it doesn't have
many Lexussy features.

There's no
eat-your-greens hybrid
hiding under the bonnet.

There's no golf clubs
hiding in the boot.

It's even got a spoiler.

It's the real deal.

And if you're
still not convinced
that this thing is a supercar,

then let me give you
some nerdy-licious numbers.

552 horsepower.

Same as a Gallardo.

0 to 60, 3.7 seconds.

Same as a Ferrari 599.

Top speed, 202 mph.
That's faster
than an Aston Martin DBS.

OK, I think what I need to do
here is just find out
how that works.



Ooh, yeah!

That I like.


Um, go!


It's immediate.

There's no
waiting for a second.
It is just stop, wham, going!



Yeah, that's
really quite a fast car.

Now, this being a Lexus, you
might expect it to be
not just a supercar,

but a supercar full of immense
attention to detail.

You'd be right.

4.8-litre V10, and yet somehow
the Lexus boffins have
managed to make it

only the size of a V8
and as light as a V6.

But that's not the most
amazing thing about it.

No, the most amazing thing
is the way it revs.


The engine is so lively,

they've had to fit this
computer game-style
virtual rev counter...

...because a normal
analogue rev counter
can't keep pace

with how quickly this thing
gains and loses revs.

And then there's
the beautifully nerdy
flappy paddle gear change.

The paddle to change up is
lighter to use than
the paddle to change down.

Just so you know you're
going in the right direction.


Amazing stuff from a company
that's never built
a supercar before.

Which is why they took their
sweet time over this one.

Nine years, in fact.

At first the body
was made of aluminium.

But then, after years of work,
it was deemed too heavy,

so it was scrapped and they
began all over again,
using carbon fibre.

Lightness was an obsession.

The steering wheel,
for example,
is also made of carbon fibre.

The pedals are milled
from a single
piece of aluminium.

And even
the complex Lexus stereo
has been on the Atkins.

Geekiness is everywhere here.

These mirrors are
specially shaped

so they funnel air
into these air intakes.

The designers were so obsessed
with good handling

that even the water bottle
for the windscreen washers

is buried somewhere
deep down in there,
next to the petrol tank

to try and keep as
much of the weight
as low as possible

and inside the wheelbase.

Just like an F1 car.

Don't be fooled by this gap.

That's not shoddy build
quality, that's
a specially designed intake.

So, it's definitely a Lexus,
and it definitely
looks like a supercar.

The question is,
does itfeel like one?

- It's lively...

The brakes are ferocious.

After caning it
around this track,
no sign of getting tired.

There is an initial lead from
the front end.
It's quite a soft feeling.

The thing just wallows in,

then you can
give it a boot-full
with the rear end.




Oh, no.


Oh, God.

Get it wrong and it takes
absolutely no prisoners.
It just spits you out.

Get it right, though,
and you'll be laughing.


Oh, yes! There you go!


So there we are. What a
turn-up from the librarian
of the car world.

Which brings me
to the obvious question...

Would one buy one?

That all depends
how much it costs.

£50,000, ooh, yeah!

£100,000, yeah. 150,000?
Well, it's expensive,
but it'll be exclusive.

As it happens, though,
the LFA doesn't cost £150,000.


The LFA costs £340,000.

That's 130,000 more
than a Ferrari 599.

For a car that's no
faster than a 599.

And you know what?
Even at that price,

Lexus won't make
any money on
each one they sell.

What this car is, then,
is an engineer's wet dream.

It's a brilliant creation,
and praise
the Lord that it exists.

But price-wise,
it's on a different planet.

And there's
another slight issue.

At the end of the day, and
here it is,
the actual end of the day,

yep, I'm in the Lexus.
Oh, God.

Can never get away from that.

"Will the owner of the
£340,000 Lexusmove it?"

"Yeah, that's me. Sorry."

It just doesn't...

It's a Lexus. It just is.


I'm baffled. I'm more baffled
than I've ever been.

Hammond, does this car...?

Does it do 1,158 mph?

- Yes.
- Really?

- No.

So it isn't six times faster
than a Nissan GT-R?

- No.
- But it costs six times more?

- Yeah, it does.
- Why?

Well, it's made of
exotic materials.

It needs to be!
It needs to be
made out of myrrh!


Is this windscreen wiper
made out of saffron?

No, but there's
a lot of carbon fibre.

Hammond, my bog seat at home
is made out of carbon fibre.

It didn't cost 340,000 quid.

Honestly, I just don't
understand this car.

But, hopefully, our tame
racing driver willbe able to
make sense of it.

Some say

that he has to
take his shoes off
with an Allen key...


...and that his
New Year's resolution
is to eat fewer mice.


All we know is,
he's called the Stig.

And he's off!
It's wet out there, yet again.

Thank you, Copenhagen!

Let's see how the confusing
and expensive

Lexus copes in
these conditions.

Here he comes...

Look at that,
through the first corner.
Locking up a bit there.

A little bit of oversteer
on the way out.


Stig, still enjoying
a Cockney knees-up,

which is strange because
his knees are on his face.

OK, there's Chicago,
a little bit more oversteer.

How is it going to cope
on a moist Hammerhead?

Will that clever
weight distribution help?

Running a bit wide,
a bit slithery.

You can hear he's having to
use the throttle very gingerly

as he gets out of there.


Right, now he can
really mash his paw down.


This thing sounds
like an old F1 car.

Let's hope it's not using
know- how from the Toyota
team, or it'll be rubbish.

Two corners left,
spearing into
the second to last one.

Just a flash of
corrective lock.
Gambon, that's clean.

And across the line!

Boring lap, but we shall see.

- Do you have the time?
- I do.

It did it in 1:22.8,
which puts it there.

But critically, I've got to
write on there that
it's wet, very wet.

That's the fastest wet lap
we've ever had.

By a long way.
Cos the next
one's Lambo Gallardo.

The Gallardo, there.
Look at that!

Three seconds a lap faster
for three times the price!

Yes, it's a bargain!

At the beginning of every
year, the BBC gives us
a big lump of money

and tells us to go away
and make 14 programmes.

What we do is we divide that
lump of money by 14,

and that gives us
the budget for every show.

It's very simple! But
unfortunately, and I don't
know how this happened,

we've made a complete
Horlicks of it.

Which meant that when we got
to make thisshow, we had,

and I'm not joking, I really
am not making this up,
almost no money at all.

And you didn't actually help
with your Lexus film.

- Eh? Well, why?
- Well,
it had a spaceship in it.

It wasn't actually there
when I filmed it, was it?

- So, it was added?
- Yeah.

And that's cheaper than just
using a real spaceship?
I don't think it is.

That stuff costs
a bloody fortune.

We know that now
the bill's come in.
I'm sorry, I got carried away.

stop bickering, you two.

We now have to do the news
and that's impossible,

because it isn't
the week you think it is.

No, it's actually December,
December 9th.

Yes. It really is.
We had the studio
booked for today,

and we've had to
use it even though
weknow you're in 2010.

- This is the past.
- This fly flying around here

has actually died
by the time you watch this.

The real problem is obviously,
between now and when
you're watching this,

really anything
could have happened.

Somebody could have invented a
car that,
I don't know, runs on jelly.

We might have declared
war with France...


So instead of the news,
what we're going to do,

is we're going to take a look
ahead to some cars
that are coming out

- this year.
- This year. This year.

Um, lots of them, in fact.

There's the new Jaguar XJ,
looking forward to that.
The Aston Martin 177 -

million-pound Aston.

But the one that really caught
my eye is this.

It's the Honda CR-V,

and I think you'll agree,
it looks absolutely fantastic.

However, I then read the bumf.

It has a 1.5-litre engine,

and a boot full of
lithium-ion batteries.

Oh, God. It's not
a bloody hybrid, is it?

Yes, you see, what they've
done here - this is organic
tofu dressed up

as a juicy steak.

But don't be fooled,
don't be fooled, people.

Now, James.

Yes, a car I'm really looking
forward to is the new Saab 95.
Here it is.

of course, Saab went bust
in the last two weeks.

Which is a real possibility,

It is, yes...

James, do this two ways,
we'll edit it.


A car I'm really looking
forward to is the new Saab 95.
There it is.

A car I was looking forward to
was the new Saab 95.


- That's what it was
going to look like.
- They said...

- They say... What?
- They said.

Oh, yes. They say,

or said,
that it's based
on a jet fighter,

or was, but it isn't wasn't.

- It's actually
based on a Vauxhall.

You can or could get three
engines, or maybe you can
get three engines.

The best of which
was or is a 2.8-litre V6.

That will start
at about £25,000.

- It looks great.
- James,
why haven't you got a Saab?

- Because they've gone bust.

But if they haven't,
then it is
a very good question because

I do actually
quite like a Saab.

They are
a little bit alternative

and they tend to be driven by
quite interesting people.

- That's why he
hasn't got one, then!

Here's a car I'm looking for.
I can't wait for this.
911 Turbo Cabriolet.

What?! Hammond, sorry!

I want that. It's twin turbos,

double-clutch gearbox,
flappy paddles.

I love that. I want one.

Uh-huh. How old are you?

- 39.
- And 361 days.

- Technically, yeah.
- You know what
that means, don't you?

The mid-life
crisis is arriving.

Pretty soon you'll be growing
your hair, you'll be
whitening your teeth...


Have you bought
a Harley-Davidson recently?

- Yes, I have!
- Have you really?


All right, it's happening!
I agree!

I quite like the look of this.
This is the Citroen DS3.

That's going to be about
£12,000. It's sort of
the size of a Mini.

Shall I tell you
the biggest problem
with this car, OK?

When we buy cars -
and we all do this
whether we like it or not -

we tend to think most of all
about what it will be worth

when we come to sell it,
which is perfectly reasonable.

The reason why we don't buy
orange and lime green
cars is cos you think,

I won't be able to sell it
in a couple of years,

I'll get the grey one. I think
that's what's
gonna happen with this

because you will look at it
and go, I really like this,
but what if

nobody else does
and I won't be
able to sell it.

Or what if it's
as out of date as
Roger Moore's safari suit

- when he was James Bond?

That's a shame
because right now
it looks great.

It looks fantastic. I think
that's one of
the best-looking cars

that will be
coming out next year.

- No, you got it...
- No, this year.

- This... [BLEEP]
- Right, stop!


I thought I'd done that right!

- Oh, God!

Let's move on
because this is another car

I'm really looking forward to.
It's this - 911 GT3 RS.
Look at that!

Are you only
looking forward to 911s?

I am having a mid-life crisis,
it's my right.

I think that's a great car,
it's lighter, faster...

It would have been OK
when you were in
your 30s, Hammond.

- Um...
- I think...

I think it's bright and fun

and people will look at it
and think I'm young in it.

It's just a Beetle.

It is,
it was designed by Hitler
and it's a Beetle.

- It's a very special car.
- Yes, it was.

No, it wasn't. [COUGHS]

- Right,
who said they liked it?

Was it designed by Hitler?

- MAN: Yeah!
- You remember, you were here.


At least I'm looking forward
to something this year.

You're just saying
everything is
going to be terrible.

Not everything.

Not everything.
One car has caught my eye.

Ferrari 458.

This is
the replacement for the 430.

- JAMES: Hmmm.
- What do you mean, hmmm?

I already think
the Ferrari F430
isthe best car in the world.

It makes my little fizzy...
My root thing...


I guarantee, James, this is
going to be a lot
better than a 430.

If that's true,
it could explode.

Does anybody else
suddenly feel sick?

Yes. I don't want to see your
fizzy root penis blowing up...

No, no, arrrgh!
Let's just move on!
I don't want to know!

The fact of
the matter is this.

This has got a lot
more tech than a 430.
It's a lot lighter than a 430.

I think the 430 has
about 480 horsepower.

This has 562.

The thing I love
about it most of all
is that it's the first Ferrari

since 1975 that actually looks
properly pretty.

I'm just completely
bowled over by that.

we probably won't be allowed
to drive Ferraris because

a couple of weeks ago,
before Christmas...

Nice one.

A big meeting in Copenhagen
and many, many things were
resolved there.

One of them - I'm
pretty certain -

will be that we have to get
out of our cars more often.

And that brings
us on to something
we have over here.

In this plastic suitcase

is a folding,
electrically-assisted bicycle.
It's called the "Gocycle".

I think you'll find
it's called the Go Cycle.

- Not the "Gocycle",
you idiot.
- That says "Gocycle".

Anyway, never mind.

It costs £1,200 and,
as you can see, it is...


I thought it was
a folding bicycle.

It's a bloody bag full of
bicycle components.
Have I got to build it?

Would you like me
to give you a hand with it?

That's the most terrifying
thing Jeremy Clarkson
can say to anyone.


I wonder if maybe you two
should go away.

Yes, good idea, because this
is not the only
post-Copenhagen solution.

- Hammond,
what have you got here?
- I have this.

What it is is a skateboard for
people who can't be
bothered to skateboard.

I'm going to get it all
started up because it is
electrically powered.

- What's that?
- This device
controls your speed.

Why don't you give that to me
and I'll control it.

No, that's
the most terrifying thing
you can possibly say.

- Are you really
going to ride that?
- Yes, I am.

I'm gonna do it now.
Apparently this
has a KERS system.

Though how something can have
regenerative braking

when I can't see how the
brakes work, I don't know,
but it works...arghh!

This is much better.

It was designed
by a man who wanted
something that would combine

his love of
cross-country skiing

and his love of cycling,
and then converted
to run on batteries,

by someone who didn't like
either of those things.

It is quite pricey, £1,600,
around about the same as
a 1999 5 Series BMW,

but it is quite fast.
Top speed - 15mph.

- Yeah, mine's faster.
- I promise you
this is quicker.

All right, then. Race.

- Race?!
- Come on.

Anybody want to see a race?

- ALL: Yeah!
- OK.

- One lap back to here.
- OK.

- Lap of the studio.
- OK.

Three, two, one - go.

I've got wheelspin,
a lot of wheelspin!

Come on!
Come on, you stupid thing!

RICHARD: I'm a 40-year-old man
taking up skateboarding!

JEREMY: Come on!
I've got grip, I've got grip!


[BLEEP] I've
hit the cool wall!


James, are you still working
on that thing?

- Yes.
- D'you want a go on this?

- No.
- Great once you've
got the hang of it.

- No.
- Suit yourself.

I'm a bit bored with this.

I'm going to go and introduce
Jeremy's film on the BMW X6.

Now, normally, of course,
he would go and
drive it in a sewer

or blow it up or
something like that.

Unfortunately, Richard Hammond
spent most of what we had left

- on his stupid...
- Argh!



I've broken the tree a bit.

Richard Hammond, who has just
broken our Christmas tree,

spent most of what we had left
on his stupid Lexus film.

So, our instructions to Jeremy
were very, very specific -

keep it cheap and simple.

One simple film coming up.

The X6 is BMW's
attempt to make a car

which looks and
goes like a coupe,

but has a tall
driving position
and a bit of off-road ability.

They call it
a sports activity vehicle.

It's available with a choice
of two petrol engines,

both of which will attract
the new £950 showroom tax...

and two diesels, which won't.

In the cabin there
is space for four.

But those in the back will be
awfully cramped due to
the sloping roof line.

Inside it's all typical BMW,

except for this rather clever
split-opening glove-box lid.

It works well here.

But what if you're
the wrong way up?

To find out, I went to Sydney,
which is in Australia.

Obviously, everything here
is upside-down

and yet it still
works beautifully.

And that is impressive.

So... does the X6 drive?

In many ways,
it's quite annoying.

You can't see out of
the back very well,
and it's got the iDrive system

which can only be
operated if you are 14.

Uh... No.

Eh... No. Gibberish.

I don't know what
any of that means.

Satellite navigation. Ok,
you are coming up to
a complicated junction,

trying to see which way it is.
You think, "It's a bit chilly,

"I'll just ease
the temperature up."
And the screen's gone!

Now I don't know
which way to go
because it's...

Why are you telling me that?!

Then there's the gear lever.

It's on back-to-front, cos if
you want to change down,
you push it away.

And if you want to change up,
you pull it towards you.

And there's no point resorting
to the paddles on
the steering wheel

because, unlike in a normal
car, where one changes down
and one changes up,

in this,
they both do the same thing!

And what was
the boss of BMW doing

when all the clowns
in the laptop department

were coming up
with this rubbish?

I can only assume
she was in a motel
with a Swiss spy.

that would be preposterous!

Still, for a big, tall car,
it's not bad in the bends.

to make it "not bad",

they have had to put
quite a lot of beef
and granite in the suspension.

In Britain that makes it
really quite uncomfortable.

But what about countries
where the roads are smooth?

To find out, I went to Spain.


No, it's
uncomfortable here as well.


The fact is this - it would
be more comfortable if it
weren't so tall.

There's a similar problem
with the performance.

Yes, the twin-turbo 3-litre
diesel that I've got in
this particular model

will get me from 0 to 60
in seven seconds,
and that's not bad.

But how much faster and how
much more economical
would it have been

if the body
wasn't so enormous?

You'd imagine, though,
that the advantages

of that big, high-riding body
would become clear
in the countryside.

But there's no
low-range gearbox,

there's no ride-height control

and there's no
locking differentials.


It doesn't take long
for those omissions
to have an effect.

Now, you see,

that really says a lot,
doesn't it?!

The only way round this

is to get out
and complete your
journey on foot.

That's the handbrake on,
and in "park"...


I'm stillgoing
back down the hill!

Maybe, though,
it can handle
snow a bit better.

To find out, I went to
the highest ski
resort in the Alps.


It can't.

So, it's too focused
on being a road car
to be any good off-road,

and it's too focused
on being tall and heavy

to be any goodon
the road either.

And that, I'm afraid,
is far from
the end of the story.

You see, the X6 was conceived
at a time when we all thought

the banks knew
what they were doing.

But it went on
sale moments after
we discovered...they didn't.

And, I'm sorry, but in a
recession a car like this
just looks ridiculous.

To explain what I'm on about,
I went in
search of a metaphor.

And, inevitably,
that led me to Hong Kong.


See that skyscraper?
The one Batman jumped off.

It's not
particularly beautiful,
it's not particularly useful.

It was built by
a world fora world

that doesn't
really exist any more.

Remind you of anything?

To sum up,
then, the Range Rover
is a much better all-rounder,

which is why we use them
as camera tracking cars.

The X6 is too cramped,
too complicated

and with prices
starting at £42,000,
too expensive as well.

Then you're going
to need at least
£1,500 a year to run it,

not including depreciation.

And I think I'd rather spend
that sort of money on
a Caribbean holiday.


To find out,
I went to Barbados.

I think...a bit more research.

This is definitely better -

- Thank you very much.

I pride myself on
my thoroughness.

- What?
- Excuse me.

- What?
- You are
an apocalyptic dingleberry.


- You went to the Alps.
- Yes.

- You went to Spain.
- Yes.

You went to Australia
to see if the glove-box works.

- Yes.
- You went to Barbados.

- Yes.
- You went to...Hong Kong.

- That was just for
a stupid metaphor.
- Yes, I did do that.

You're a bigger idiot
than Richard Hammond.

- Cos you know what it means?
- What?

Well, what it meant is that
there was virtually no money
left for myfilm,

which you can see later.

I promise I didn't
do it deliberately.

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

Now, because of the
budget issues this week,

we did have
a bit of a problem.

Tom Cruise, for example,
was going to charge us £150.

Bonio out of U2
wanted 175 quid
to come over here.

So, would you please welcome
a former tramp. Seasick Steve!


Sorry about this. Steve!

- Hi.
- How are you? Have a seat.

We had an accident...

We have
an accident every year,
and there it is.

I should explain, for those
of you who are thinking,
"And your tramp is who?"

This guy is a musical

I mean, Brit
nominee, when was it,
last year...?

- Yeah.
- Glastonbury...

My wife queued up for five
days to come and see
that show you did.

I'm sorry.

No, no.
It is... You have become
this amazing sensation.

Now, the instruments you play
aren't exactly
conventional instruments.

I mean,
your guitar, for example.

I don't play the guitar
but I know they
have six strings.

- Yeah.
- Yours doesn't.

Well, I've got some
that have got one string

but that's just
a plank of wood
with a string nailed on it.

That's called a diddley bow.

And then I've got
this other guitar
that's got three strings

that I got from
a friend of mine
in Mississippi.

He found it at a junk store.

I brought it home and my wife
looked at that guitar,
she goes,

"That's going to
make you famous."

And it has! Because one day
a little-known
broadcasting organisation

called the BBC

called up and said,
"Could you come on
the Jools Holland show?"

I didn't even know
what Jools Holland was!


So your first album - the
first hit album,
I should say - was called

I Started Out With Nothing
And I've Still
Got Most Of It Left.


Which I think is
the best album title,
literally, of all time.

- The new one's called...?
- A Man From Another Time.

Again, pretty apt. We've got
to get on to this name
- Seasick Steve.

Forgive me for asking, cos you
must have been asked
a million times,

but why?

I just get sick on boats.

- Like, real sick.

So, I don't go out on
the boats too much.

I went on a ferry boat from
Norway to Denmark and
threw up all night long.

And the next morning, someone
thought it was funny.
"You're Seasick Steve!"

- And that stuck?
- Yeah, sort of.

Now, you may be Seasick Steve
but you can't be Carsick Steve

because what you probably
don't realise - we
haven't got to this bit -

is we've got
a serious car man here.

How many cars have you owned
over the years?

You know, I tried to count.
I know it's in the hundreds.

But, you know,
in America cars
are real cheap.

You can buy a late '30s,
early '40s car for 50 bucks.

So I'd buy it for $50 and
drive it for two or three
weeks till it died,

leave it on
the end of the road
and go get another one.

They were all over!

What was the favourite, then,
from this list of hundreds?

My favourite, truly, is a car
I have right now which
I've had for a while.

It's a '51
Chevy station wagon.

It's just
a complete beat-up car
but it runs good.

- Where is that now?
- It's actually over here.

- I've got it over here now.
- You keep it in the UK?

Yeah, I've got it over here.

I've got that and a tractor.

- You've got to do a bit of

- I don't care
about the farming part

but I like ploughing.

So, presumably, cos I was
listening to a comedian on
the radio the other day,

talking about the importance
of reliability of
getting to gigs...

- Yeah.
- You don't use the Chevy.

Cos presumably it's, "I'm
sorry, Seasick Steve can't
appear tonight

"because his
Chevy's broken down."

I've got one of
those big Mercedes vans,
like, a big white one.

It's got,
like, a wood-burning stove
and fishing gear.

It's got,
like, a log cabin inside.
It's real nice.

There's all these lines
of those big tour buses

and then my old beat-up van
in the middle.

"Seasick Steve's arrived!"

They saw me
coming a long way away.

So, you've not
caught the eco bug, then?

What's that?

There was a thing in,
I think, Copenhagen.

You've got to have
a Toyota Prius now - a hybrid.

No, thanks.

You know, my boy told me I
could drive my '51 Chevy
the rest of my life,

and all the life
I've had before,

and not make as much
pollution as one of them new
cars costs to make.

- I'll stick
with the '51 Chevy.
- Yes, good man.

That's the ticket.

One of the things I noticed,

looking back through the list
of the hundreds of
cars you've owned,

there's MGs,
S-Type Jag, E-Type Jag...

You dolike British cars.

- Yeah.
- Why?

I like the way... Well, not
all of them. But I like the
way they smell inside,

with the leather
and everything, you know?

What is a Morris
Minor doing in there?!

- That is Britain's Beetle.
- You know,
I was up in Liverpool,

playing up there a few years
back, and met this old
guy who had one.

- I think it was a '55.
A split window.
- Yeah, an early one.

And he asked me if
I wanted to buy it.
I said yeah.

Punch him! Punch him!

But my friend,
he has Morris Minors,

and he thought it
would be real funny

to make me a guitar out
of Morris Minors.

- Is that, seriously?
- This is two
Morris Minor hubcaps.

That's the best use I've ever
seen for anything on
a Morris Minor!

Go on, let's hear it.

So now you can
have something good
to say about Morris Minors.

- Yeah...
- Wait a minute, maybe not!

- Are you going
to give us a tune?
- No, I'll just make a noise.


Morris Minor!

I'm startled! A Morris Minor!

Best noise from
a Morris Minor, ever.

So, OK, the car man.

You came down here and drove

possibly the most modern car
you've ever driven, then.

My biggest problem
is the shifter's
on the wrong side.

Correct side.

So I kept rolling
the window down.

But it is. I have to say that
Lacetti is getting
a bit knackered now.

Yeah, I didn't
help it at all either.
And I apologise.

No, seriously,
we're thinking of getting
a new car for the next series.

You would be the last person
ever to go on the board.

I'm probably be
the last person
onthe board too!

That would be
like a double whammy!

Who'd like to
see Seasick's lap?

- Let's have
a look how it went.

Oh, gosh. I'm embarrassed now.

Now, I'm trying to remember
all the things Stig told me.

I can hardly even
remember what...

What day isit, actually?

I've no idea.

That is a beard in a car
and that is...

tidy line, cutting the corner.

Yeah. That's OK. A bit damp.

a lot of understeer there!

You sure make a lot of noise

but you ain't going very fast
when you make the noise.

JEREMY: That's true.
We've got more
understeer here. Yes.

Quite a lot through there.
That's slowing you down a bit.

- Now the radio's come on!

I don't want to hear no radio.

I'm busy racing, dude.

JEREMY: Dipping
nicely into Hammerhead.

This looks like a good line.

Yes, looking very
tidy on the way in.

And on the way out...?

Very nice.

- This is embarrassing.
- No, it isn't.
Missed gear change was.

That's the worst.

This is the most fun
I've probably ever
had in my whole life

and that's
probably kind of pathetic.


JEREMY: Let's have
a look through here.

Let's see if you've got
any gentleman's...

This car...

is amazing!

JEREMY: Fast. Thatis quick.

Coming into
the second-to-last corner.

Don't go on the grass,
it's too wet.

You're on
the grass a bit there!

Go, go, go, Steve! Go, go, go!

JEREMY: And around Gambon.

A little bit slow on that one.

Across the line, everybody.

Very well done!
Very well done.

Oh, boy!

You care, don't you?

I really care.
But I know I
let down the side,

- but you got to
give it a shot.
- You gave it a shot.

I tried to get points for
being a little older but they
didn't go for it.

Well, I'd love to cheat here
and give you a fast time

but, unfortunately,
it was a slow one.

Yeah. I know that.

No, it wasn't a slow one.
What it was, was... Ready?

One minute and - bear in mind
it was moist - 51.8.

Which go there.

STEVE: Yeah!

- You're faster
than Tom Jones.
- That's enough.

Faster than Tom Jones.

I'll take that.
That's good enough for me.

And he was in the dry.
You're faster
than Helen Mirren...

- That's kind of it.
- Don't rub it in no more.

That's kind of it.
Steve, this has been
an absolute joy for me.

It's been a 100% pleasure
for me too. 100%.

- Ladies and gentlemen,
Seasick Steve!
- Thank you very much.

- Brilliant.

Thank you so much.

Great music.

Right. It is now time
for me to present my film.

for reasons that I am sure
by now are abundantly clear,

it's about
a medium-sized Vauxhall
and a nice old lady.

Right, here we go.

A lengthy yet
hopefully interesting
and value-for-money film

about a Vauxhall.

If you're a proper car bore,

you will know that anything
wearing the VXR badge -

I have one here on
the steering wheel -

is part of Vauxhall's
Turbo Nutter ASBO range.

And so it turns out.

The engine, for example,
a turbo-charged 2.8-litre V6

which produces
a meaty 321 horsepower.

That's a few horsepower short
of our old track favourite,
the VXR8,

but, nevertheless, this
executive-style car is good
for 60 in under six seconds.

And if it didn't have
the hand of nannying -

an electronic speed limiter -
it would do 170 miles an hour.

It does shift, this thing.

the performance modifications
don't stop with the engine.

321 horsepower is asking
a lot of front-wheel drive.

So this version
has four-wheel drive

to keep everything nice and
calm and civilised
and under control.

It also has a very clever
front suspension,

very similar to the one
used on the Focus RS,

as we know, is very good.

Also, the suspension
has been lowered by 10mm

and you can choose
from different
driver settings.

At the moment
I'm in normal mode,
which is the one I like,

but if I press
this button, "Sport",

now the suspension
is firmed up a little bit.

Can I feel that?


But lots of cars
have a sport button.

The Insignia, however,
has another one,
that goes up to 11.

This one,
which is marked "VXR"...

Whoosh! that and the
suspension gets even harder,
the throttle response

is sharpened up a bit,

but, most importantly,
the instruments become red!

I mean, that's just fantastic.

Now it's
a fire-breathing monster
with a spine of iron.

And the price for
all this VXR-ishness?

Just over £30,000,
which, in Top Gearmaths,

where we tend to round things
up a bit, makes it actually
pretty good value,

because the equivalent Audi S4
would be nearly £5,000 more.

And that's all you really need
to know about it.

But, obviously,
I have to keep going.

So I will, by explaining
that the Insignia VXR is
surprisingly restrained,

both to look at and to sit in.

It is, therefore,
the first de-chavved VXR.

The first fast Vauxhall that
would know which way round
a baseball cap goes.

This is actually
a very civilised car.
It's very quiet.

The ride is very good

and yet,
without the VXR button on,
it still goes like stink.

It's also very spacious
and it has a big boot

and much more equipment
than a pricier Audi.

And now I really have
run out of things to say.

But rather than go
back to the studio,

I'm going to
introduce you to someone
I've always wanted to meet.

A lady called
Margaret Calvert.

And here she is.
Hello, Margaret.

Hello, James.

You may never have
heard of Margaret
but, believe me,

if you are
a motorist in Britain,

she's one of
the most important people
in your life.

If it hadn't been for Margaret
and her mates,

I would now be going the wrong
way or possibly even
having a terrible crash.

You see, Margaret,
along with her
colleague Jock Kinneir,

is responsible for creating
something special

that we take for granted
every single day -

the road signs of Britain.

I think you've perhaps made me
more important
than I really am.

Oh, I doubt it.

Margaret's work
began in the 1950s
when car ownership was booming

and the Government,
alarmed at
the clogged-up roads,

decided to build
the first motorways.

However, existing road signs
were totally inadequate

for the new
high-speed highways.

No-one had designed motorway
signs before because we
hadn't had a motorway.


And the whole job of making
that system of
signs clear to the car,

which was still a new thing
for most people,

and at speeds
that were still new,

that all fell to a man and his
former student
from an art college.

- They gave you the whole job.
- Absolutely.

We were both on a crash-course
learning curve

to come to
grips with designing
road signs.

It wasn't a fashion thing.
We were
designing for permanence.

We were
designing for something
that wouldn't look dated

in five or ten years' time.

Margaret explained how
the colour system
of our road signs

was carefully designed to make
words and numbers as
clear as possible

at the high speeds
motorway-borne cars
could then achieve.

And she and Jock horrified
the signposting establishment

by using upper- and
lower-case letters,

instead of
the accepted block capitals.

And that's to do
with word recognition.

You read a shape,
whereas if it's
all in capitals,

it takes you longer to read.

So you don't
actually have to read it
in upper and lower.

You see the shape
and you know what it says.

Exactly that.
So your brain fills in,
you know, the middle bits.

Most people wouldn't realise
how involved this is.

They'd think
it's just lettering
you stick on a sign.

- Absolutely, yes.
- And it still works.

It's still
basically the same system.

Margaret's work didn't stop
at motorway signs,

because she and Jock then went
on to design just about
every other road sign

you see in the Highway Code.

- So you designed
a new typeface...
- Yes.

- ...which became
known as Transport.
- Yes.

And then you had to design the
actual pictures for
your warning signs.


That's you, isn't it?

That was actually
a very difficult one to do.

The important thing
was to make it
look like an action,

that it would really alert you
to the possibility

of two children
walking across the road.

So, hopefully, you would try
to save lives by
getting that right.

The previous sign
had a grammar-school boy

with a satchel,
and the girl behind him.

And they weren't holding hands
or anything like that.

And I just thought
that this is
a little bit more caring

and so I switched it round.

I based that, actually, on me.

I based it on what
I wore as a child.

- So, is that actually you?
- It is, actually, yes.

At this point, I was starting
to run out of
intelligent questions.

What do you make of the car?
Cos I can't quite
make my mind up but...

- They always have faces,
don't they?
- Yes.

And I think some can
look very shark-like,

some can look very aggressive.

It looks like
a car that's been
designed by a committee.

And then I ran out of
intelligent things to say.

But would you agree with me
that it would look a bit
sexier in glasses?

That's a very interesting...
I think you're quite unusual.

Back on the road,

we inevitably came across
one of her most
commonly-used signs.

The story I read about you
was that you did that sign

and then the joke
emerged it was a man
struggling with an umbrella,

and that joke's
been around for years,

and that annoyed you and you
wished you'd done it
slightly differently.

Well, I would have put
a shoulder on it, just.
And I'd...

Huh? Oh, what,
you want me to draw it on?

- Yes.
- No!

- Come on.
- I'm not doing it.

I'll do it.
But I want you to direct me.


think of drawing a spade.

As if you're
drawing a spade, yeah?

- What do you think?
- Well, I think from here,

it's sort of, it's wrong.

Not only did she
not like my drawing,

she didn't find
my gear changes
very good either.

That was a bit of a...

Yes, sorry,
that wasn't very good, was it?

- No, that wasn't a good gear.
- Let's try that again.

- Yeah, do that.
- I was trying to be clever.

Oh, right.

Skipping the cogs,
so we're doubling
down into second.

Oh, right, yes. Even then,
it was a little bit juddery.

- Yeah, a bit...
- Is that better?

A bit better.
Could be smoother.


I decided to speed up,

and that didn't work either.

Oh, my gosh!

Margaret didn't like
this sort of driving.

And as we headed for home,
plainly, she decided to
get her own back.

- Big road sign.
- It is nice to
think that your legacy

- is spread all over the

- Well,
it is a legacy, I suppose.

And that's why I end up
sitting next to
people like you,

talking about road signs.

Did you put my seat heater
on for a joke?

No, I didn't...


RICHARD: Well done, mate.

Good work. Well done.

I have to say,
when Margaret came on,

it got better, OK?
The thing is,
though, I have got a question.

She really designed
all of the road
signs of Britain?

Well, her and,
what was it, four others?

Four or five
people in total, yes.

Cos I was thinking, if they
decided to change all
the road signs now,

how many people
would this Government employ?

A million.
They'd want 5,000
people just to decide

what the little girl
on the school
sign looked like.

yes, should she have a burka,
should she have a turban...?

And then that man in the
"men at work" sign
is clearly a man!


- And that's not right.
- No.

In the modern
"men at work" sign
there wouldn't be a man,

there'd just be
a pile of unused gravel.

- A queue of cars stopped for
no reason.

- It's OK,
we've filled the time now.

Er, so, let's move on

to the Top Gear
award ceremony!

- Oh, yes.
- This is the biggie.

Oh, yes!

- It's a big day.
- It is a biggie.

A big day in the calendar.
A big day for us all.

What are you doing?

- What...?
- What?

What's that?

It's an award ceremony, I'm
wearing a gold lame jacket.
It's appropriate.

It's quite sudden, isn't it?

Erm, anyway,
first award is
Injury of the Year.

And the nominations are...

Richard in our Headhammer
Thrust i-Eagle, Geoff...

We're going to crash!

Ow, my chest!

...Jeremy making
paintball art...



My plums!

...and James on
a gangplank in Bolivia.

It's like literally
being with Livingstone...

- Yeah.
- ...and...


It was a good one.
A good moment there, mate.

- Well done.
- Both of us did cough blood.

I have the winner here.

Injury of the Year award.
And the winner is...

It's actually none of those.

Now, I should say
before I announce this

that when we film
a car on Top Gear,
there is always a light, OK,

in the top corner
of the windscreen.

we've been doing this show
for years,

so it would be
impossible to forget

that that light is there
and that it's very sharp,

unless, of course,
you were a colossal anus.


...East Midlands airport.
You might have to...

- Ow!
- What?

- The camera.
- What have you done?

# Da-da, da... #


- It really hurts!
- Argh!

JEREMY: Well done, chaps!

- Gosh. It's an honour.
- It is an honour.


- Thank you.
- Thank you.

Now, as always,
we present an award

to the person
who's driven around
our track fastest of all

in the course of the year.

The fastest man
around the Top Geartrack,

the fastest celebrity
in the reasonably priced car,

from AC/DC,
it's Brian Johnson!

Sadly, Brian is in
Florida at the moment

and none of us could be
bothered to go over there and
give him his award.

But we did find a film crew
who very kindly
volunteered to do it for us.

Thanks very much for this
wonderful honour and for
this fabulous trophy.

You must have spent
a fortune on this!

Me name's Brian, not "Brain".

And that's
an ice-hockey player
on top of there. Never mind.

This'll do me for now.

So have a great
time at Christmas
and I'll see you soon, guys.

Thanks, everybody. Bye-bye.

- "Brain Johnson"?!
- Well, I'm sorry.

That's the worst
thing we've ever done.

It was cheap. It was cheap.

And now it's
time to get serious,

because it's time for our
Car of the Year award, OK?

This, of course,
is an extremely coveted award.

Manufacturers all over the
world will be watching
with bated breath.

OK, the nominations are...

the new Volkswagen Polo...

It's already won the slightly
less coveted European
Car of the Year award.

And the Kia Cee'd,
for its pleasing
equipment levels

and ground-breaking
comprehensive warranty.

JAMES: And the Suzuki Alto,
for its willing engine

and its attractive price tag
of just £7,495.

And the winner - for being
much, much better
than all of those -

is the Lamborghini
Gallardo Balboni!

- Yes.
- Oh, yeah.

- Oh, yeah.
- What a winner.

That's as it should be.

We were impressed
with its stripe,
its V10 engine,

its rear-wheel drive,
the savagery of its exhaust,

and its stripe.

No, seriously,
we think the Polo
is tremendous, OK?

Beautifully made and so on.

And that's OK if
you're an accountant,
but we're not.

What we look for in a car is -
and I'm loathe
to use the word -

it's an X factor, something
you can't really
put your finger on.

And that's what we look for.

Yes. And
the Lamborghini has something
you can put your finger on -

a stripe.

We should now move on
to the Golden Cock award.

Um... This,
of course, is awarded...
Here it is,

demonstrating for you now.
It's awarded to the member

of the Top Gearteam who has,
in the course of
making the programme

over the year,
been a complete,
clattering buttock.

Now, there were several cases
behind the scenes this year

that we had to consider.
There was
the time when James May,

whilst following
the Range Rover camera car,

somehow managed
to lose sight of it
for a moment

and then start following
an entirely
different Range Rover.

And he failed to notice for an
hour that it didn't have
a camera crew in it

and was,
in fact, nothing to do
with Top Gearat all.

Just to give you
an idea of the degree
of James's idiocy there,

here's a picture of a normal
Range Rover.
There it is, look.

And now here's
a picture of one
of our filming Range Rovers.

There is a giveaway there.

But, in the end,
there really could
be only one winner.

You may remember
the steam-train race
we had earlier on in the year.

four minutes before the train
was due to leave -

that's four minutes
before the race
was due to begin -

we were presented
with a Jaguar XK

with the keys in the ignition,
engine running...

and the doors locked.

So, the Golden Cock has to go
to that man who was
trusted to deliver

that priceless car
on that crucial day,

and left it with us
in that condition.

And that man was...

the Stig!

- Yes.
- Where is he?

- There he is.
- He's here!

Ladies and gentlemen...

Stig, the Golden Cock.


- Oh, it's great.
- He's touched.

He's touched, I can tell. I
should point out, Stig,
that is a rolling award.

We have to have it back now
to give it to
next year's winner.

So if I can have it... Ah!

No, you have to give it back
so it sits in our
trophy cupboard.

Stig, give me the Golden Cock.
Stig, give me the Gol...

Give me the Gol... I need...
Stig, I need the...
Give me the Gol...

- No, not that.
- Stig,
give me the Golden Cock!

Stig, give me the Cock.

- We've lost both Cocks.
- Have you got his Cock?

Some of it.
Yeah. It's amazing...

You're joking, is that all
we have left of the Golden...?

Oh, mate, it's weird.
He fights like a choirboy

but you can hear his jaws
just snapping shut

in his helmet all the time.
It's terrifying.

I've got some of
it back, anyway.

Well, well done, Hammond.
that was the Golden Cock.

- Um...what I'm
doing is I'm blathering.
- You are.

How short can you make
an hour-long programme?

I don't know.

OK, seriously, honestly, um,
because James's
film was so short,

we do actually have time
for one more award.

Yes, we do.
And since this is 2010,

we can give an award
to the Car of the Decade.

Now, we are taking this quite
seriously. There are a lot of
worthy contenders.

And we considered everything
from the Rolls-Royce
Phantom to the new Mini.

Another car that
does make our list
of those being considered -

Pagani for the Zonda.

Yeah, we also considered,
did we not,
the Range Rover TDV8,

simply for being all the car
you could ever possibly need.

And then
the light bulb went on,

because we realised
there could
actually only be one car

of what the Daily Mail
will undoubtedly
call "the noughties".

It was a car that just rewrote
the rule book, really.

An amazing piece
of engineering.
A genuine Concorde moment.

So, ladies and gentlemen,
the Top GearCar of the Decade

is the Bugatti Veyron.


Keep going, keep going.

- Yeah. More applause.
- Oh, yeah.


Yeah! What about that?



We're there! We've made it
to the end of the hour.
We've done it!

Thank you so
much for watching.

We'll see you again
later in the year.
Have a happy new year.

Take care, everyone.
Good night!