Top Gear (2002–…): Season 17, Episode 1 - Episode #17.1 - full transcript

Tonight, Richard Hammond
buys a cup of coffee.

James May slips on some snow.
I hate snow.

And we show a picture
of Steve McQueen.

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

Hello! Hello, everybody. We're back!

Thank you so much. Thank you.

It is a whole new series
featuring many things.

We go to Las Vegas, Italy,
Monte Carlo, Albania,
Loughborough...

LAUGHTER

But we start tonight
with General Motors,
which is a big company in America.

Many people say that last year they
stopped making the Hummer because
it was too big and too silly.



However, Richard Hammond says
the reason it's gone west is because
it wasn't big or silly enough.

This is one of the deceased Hummers.

The H3.

And it is, you'll notice,
a pretty sizable car.

However, if you mourn its passing,

don't worry because happily you can
now buy something a bit bigger.

It's called the Marauder,
which is quite a scary sounding name.

But, hey, Buttercup didn't feel
quite right so, hey, live with it.

I can't imagine it ever having
one of those Christian fish symbols
on the back bumper.

The Marauder, which is built in
South Africa, weighs ten tonnes.

It's also 21 feet long
and 9 feet high.

So in traffic
it does tend to stand out a bit.

Ooh, don't people
get out of your way!

Don't they!



CHUCKLES
Yeah! Hmm...

Tell you what, you do get some people
telling you about how they feel
a bit nervous in Johannesburg.

I er... I don't, no! I don't.

It's a weird feeling because
I'm both worried about bumping
into things because it's big,

and NOT worried about
bumping into things

because, well, frankly, who cares?

Like the original Hummer, the
Marauder is a military-spec vehicle
that ordinary civilians can buy.

All you have to do is
pass a background check

to prove you're not a villain
living in a hollowed-out volcano,

and come up with
a cheque for £300,000.

That is Rolls Royce Phantom money,

for a machine that's not exactly
the last word in luxury.

Take the back seats, for instance.

There are eight of them,
which is good,

but I don't think you'll be
renting this out
as a wedding car any day soon.

And as for the dashboard, they
clearly decided not to go for the
walnut and leather option on here,

partly because they need to
leave room for the switches,

partly because the wood might clash
with the machine guns.

However, the Marauder
does compensate in other areas.

Take this annoying slow traffic
that I'm stuck in now.

Normally this is where you need
some expensive sat-nav system
to give you alternative routes.

The Marauder doesn't need sat-nav.

There you go. There you go.

Oh, yeah!

It really does control
its immense weight very well.

Yes!

It really is like offroading
quite a large building.

Right, now...

That gap's big enough.

I-It is now.

Oh, Lord!

ALARM WAILS

This is a good town car.

In fact, the Marauder has several
benefits as a city runabout.

Imagine, for example, that you nip
off to get a coffee and this happens.

Oh! That's not nice, no.

Now, normally the towaway people
leave you powerless and penniless,

but not this time.

The Marauder has got
290 brake horsepower

and a top speed of just 70 mph,
which admittedly isn't brilliant.

However, the torque figure
is astonishing...

1,100 Newton metres of it,
which is... a lot.

And that makes it pretty good
in a towaway tug-of-war.

We're going this way.

Yes, there you go.

Another everyday irritation,

popping into the supermarket

and coming out
to find yourself blocked in. Again,

no problem for the Marauder, thanks
to its vertical climbing system.

Low range, four-wheel drive,
div lock,

drive, handbrake off.

It's really kind of
the ideal shopping car.

But let's not get carried away
because, like everything,

the Marauder has its weak points.

Visiting a drive-through,
for example.

Normally at about this point
you'd roll down the windows

and get ready to say,
"Cheeseburger and chips, please."

But the problem is the Marauder's
windows are for tough situations,

they're 90 mm thick.
They can shrug off an RPG

and as a result you can't open them,
so this is where
it gets a bit awkward.

Good morning,
can I take your order please?

Hello? If you're there...

BOOMS OVER LOUDSPEAKER: ..I'd like a
cheeseburger and some chips, please.

This isn't a riot situation,
don't be alarmed.

But the real problem comes when you
drive around to collect your order.

Right.

Don't be alarmed, I'm not shooting.

So, a mark against
the Marauder there.

And if you happen to
visit a safari park...

you might find that the windscreen
wipers aren't that tough.

But is this the only weak spot?
Let's see.

Now, this is where we're going to
do a little test you won't find

in the NCAP ratings, and we start
not with this but with that.

Our old friend, the Hummer...

whose underside was packed with
seven pounds of plastic explosive.

Oh, dear.

Really not much point trying to
see if it'll start because some
pretty important bits are missing.

So the H3 is, like Hummer itself,
very dead.

But the important question is
what happens to the Marauder

when you put the same amount
of explosives underneath it?

Right, well, clearly, what has
happened here is there was a fight

between the Marauder and the earth,
and the earth lost and the explosives
have just dug a big hole.

The question is,
can it still be driven?

OK, fingers crossed.

ENGINE STRUGGLES

ENGINE STARTS

Ha-ha-ha-ha!

That was definitely an inconvenience
but really nothing more.

Oh, yeah.

APPLAUSE

Good car.

It was great.

Useful bit of consumer advice there.

Can I just say, though,
I was looking carefully.

The last little bit there as it came
out of the hole, I noticed the rear
tyre had been blown off the rim.

Seven pounds of plastic explosive and
all it did was below the tyre off.

But a car with the tyre blown off
is as useless as a car that has
been blown to smithereens, really.

Well, no, seven pounds...
He's right because it's like saying,

"My watch survived the explosion
completely unscathed.

"The hour hand has come off,
but apart from that..."

It's like saying, "I survived
the explosion apart from my head,
which is over there."

Would you two please
just stop saying things?

I think it's an excellent car,
and now the news.

Yes, news. Yes, it's the news. For
people who think there's literally

too much room in the back of a
standard Mini, don't worry because
there's now a coupe. There it is.

Whoa-ho-ho!

Any details? I can tell you it's, er...
It's between £18,000 and £24,000

and the top model
has 208 horsepower.

A lot of people have been talking
about its roof, unsurprisingly.

Mini themselves say it's styled
to look like a baseball cap
being worn backwards.

Why would I want that as my roof?

I think this is a car
that, probably, at night
when you leave it,

entertains itself by
spitting at the elderly.

They should have called it the Lout.
The Slob.

Steal its own wheels
and put itself on bricks.

I like the idea of the Slob. Now,
hey, you know when you're pregnant?

Er, no. No.
Yours is coming on nicely.

And you go for a scan and
they're able to tell the sex? Yes.

Well a very kind lady has sent us a
photograph of a scan she's had done

of her forthcoming arrival,
and it seems to suggest she's
giving birth to a Stig. Look here.

She is! Oh, look!

All curled up, that's nice.

We're worried about this because
we've told him time and again
to stop impregnating people.

It's awkward. He made Michael Gambon
pregnant twice.

If there's any consolation,
it'll probably be a fairly
quick birth, I imagine.

Unless it comes out sideways,
like that.

Good news! Actually, it's not
good news, it's just some news, OK?

MG is back.
This is the new car, here he is.

It's called the MG 6, you can have
it as a saloon or as a hatchback.

It's supposed to be very modern
in every way but I don't think

the factory where it's being made in
Longbridge is modern at all because
I've got the press release

they sent out here and it says the
first car was driven off the line
by the only woman who works there.

That's not very modern, is it? No.
Did they go on to say,

"And best of all she has a
smashing pair of knockers!"?

Very modern.

Don't tell me. It says next,
"Don't worry, chaps, we'll let her

"drive it off but we won't let her
park it." Oh, God! Welcome to 1950!

The thing is, the car has gone away
for some reason. That's not a joke.

The thing about this is, OK,
we know this is made in China

by the lin-king wan-king
don-king non-king...

Them. Yeah. Them. Keep going.

Heavy corporation
industry, right, OK?

It's shipped over to Birmingham,
where they fix an MG
badge on it and sell it.

But they say in the actual
brochure, which I've got here,

it talks about Le Mans
and breaking land speed records.

It says the MG embodies
British sporting style.

It doesn't. No, it doesn't.

I think the only British sportiness
in that is the glue they use

to fix on the badge is made
from a dead British racehorse.

That's the only sporty
thing in that car, I reckon.

Wait a minute.
I should add, the press release
they sent us has got a typo on it.

Here it is, look. "Ear"?

MG ear. I think this indicates
the car will be a bit hit.

It might be complete rap.

Absolute ollocks!

Yes.

Now, I've always wondered, I've
always thought there was someone

in Britain now driving
around in, let's just say,
a Renault Fuego Turbo. OK?

How do they know that's
not the last Renault Fuego Turbo
in the whole country?

Well now there's a website
called howmanyleft.co.uk,

where you can go on it and find out
precisely how many examples

of each model are left
in existence, OK?

It's unbelievable.

So how many Fuego Turbos are there?
I went on it, there were three.

Just three?
There were only three Fuego Turbos.

That makes them really special.
It's an incredibly rare car.

No, I went on it, and did you know -
because somebody doesn't - there's
somebody driving around

in an Austin Maxi 1750 automatic
and probably doesn't realise
it's the last one?

Only one Maxi 1750... One.
He's not here, are you?

It's a Maxi 1750 automatic and it's
unique. Still crap though, isn't it?

It's terrible. It's uniquely crap
because there's only one.

Whenever we're told
there's one Amazonian
green-backed nose turtle left...

God, is there? We're all supposed
to have these candlelit vigils

and eat mud and not drive cars
and turn our central heating down to
save it because it's going extinct.

There's only one Vauxhall Chevette
GL automatic left, that's it.

There's only one left. Look at it!

What's being done to save this car?

I put it to you,
nothing is being done.

Actually, in the Victorian era,
chaps used to go off, when something
was about to become extinct,

they would go off, find it
and shoot it as a trophy.

"The very last one, blam! Ha-ha!"
And then nail its head to the wall.

Are you suggesting
then we go out and hunt?

Yes, nail its head to our wall in
here. The last Chevette, like that.

We've just thought of something to
do in programme six of this show.

We're going hunting the Chevette
GL automatic. It's out there.

Moving on, there was a poll recently
to find the most important car

from the 20th century,
and I went for the Golf GTi

because it was fast
and practical, and classless.

And it's been much the same story
with all the models that have
come along subsequently.

But none of them have ever
managed to capture, somehow,
the magic of the original.

Until now.

Now, I'll admit
it's not actually a GTi

or a Golf,

or even a Volkswagen.

What it is a BMW - the new 1M.

What BMW has done to create this
is take a standard one-series
and pump it up a bit.

The wheel arches are flared, the car
is slightly lowered, and, at the
back, there are extra pooh chutes.

Inside, there's a splash of suede on
the dash with some orange stitching.

Otherwise, it's humdrum, normal.

Not showy at all.

Apart from the orange paint,
you simply wouldn't guess
that it can do this.

Whoo! Whoo, yes!
Blimey, this is good.

So what have we got here?

Well, there's a straight-six
engine at the front,

a manual gearbox in the middle,
and drive goes to the back.

That's page one, chapter one
from the petrosexual handbook.

It just feels so...
beautifully balanced.

Of course, all BMW M cars
feel this way, they just feel

better than Mercs,
better than Audis,
better than pretty much anything.

And just when you think it can't
possibly get any better than this,

you push the little
M button on the steering wheel...

and the whole car shimmies.

It's like a shiver of excitement.

The feeling you get if someone
suddenly gave you permission to set
fire to Piers Morgan. Ooh, yes! Ooh!

In M mode, it's even more
of a tyre-smoking mentalist.

Honestly, I haven't driven anything

this sort of perfect since...

I don't know, since the original
Golf GTi, in fact.

And what makes that quite surprising
is that the 1M is like a turkey
curry on Boxing Day.

It's made from leftovers.

The door mirrors
are from the current M3,

the rear axle is from the old one,

the engine is from a Z4.

It's a recipe that shouldn't work,
but it does.

As we shall now see.

What we have here is a new, lighter,
more powerful Porsche, the Cayman R.

And this is the new supercharged
Lotus Evora S.

Both these no-compromise
ground-huggers are purpose-built

to go like hell, so they should
cream the sit-up-and-beg Beemer.

However, while the three-litre
engine in this is from a Z4,

it's boosted to 340 horsepower
with two tiny little turbochargers.

So, let's see how we get on.

So, £50,000 Porsche, £60,000 Lotus,

and the £40,000 BMW is showing them
its many pooh chutes! Ho-ho-ho!

A bit depressing if
you've just bought a Lotus.

And there's more.

The Porsche and the Lotus are
effectively two-seaters and there's
hardly any luggage space at all.

You get the speed at a price.

But there's no price to
pay with the 1M.

There's space in the back
for two children,
and room in the boot for two more.

It's a family saloon.

This, then, does to today's sports
cars what the original Golf GTi did
to the MG and the Triumph Spitfire.

It renders them... pointless.

Drawbacks?

Pfff, erm...

Maybe the sat-nav screen is a bit
far away, and perhaps the ride

is a tad firm, but that said
it's not as uncomfortable
as my AMG Mercedes.

Actually, falling down a
flight of stairs isn't as
uncomfortable as my Mercedes.

Sustained machine-gun fire
would be better than
popping to the shops in that.

And anyway, you won't really
notice the stiff suspension,
partly because the seats

are so comfortable
and partly because you'll
be having such a good time.

This is a brilliant,
brilliant, brilliant car,

and that's all, really,
I've got to say. The end.

Unbelievably good.

It's one of the most spectacular
cars I've driven in a long time.

Fair enough, but hang on,
hang on, hang on!

£40,000 for a one-series!

I'm sorry, were you not listening?

I just said it's a brilliant
car and that was the end.
There was nothing more to say.

Yes, but that's a big price tag.
There's nothing more to say.

But there's something more to do.
We have to find out how fast it goes

round our track and that of course
means handing it over to our
tame racing driver.

Some say he doesn't know what
dogs are for, and that he recently

took out a super-injunction to
prevent us from revealing that he...

SILENCE

..with an enormous goat.

All we know is he's called The Stig.

And he's off.
Wipers on, it's drizzling out there.

Hopefully that won't
hurt the time too badly.

Let's see, coming up
to the first corner.

Very tidy on the way in,

tidy through the middle,
tail out, there it is.

The limited slip diff
allowing him perfect control.

♪ Ro-mah, rom-ma-ma

♪ Gaga, ooh la... ♪

For some reason the Stig is
listening to Lady Gaga in French.

Weird. OK, tidy through Chicago now,
down to Hammerhead.

I have a sneaking suspicion
BMW have tried to

make this car slow so it doesn't go
faster than the more expensive M3.

Look at that,
tail really out there.

Stig looking where he's
going out of the side windows.

OK, follow-through.

He's even sideways through that.

BMW only bringing 450 1Ms to
Britain, 300 of them already sold.

OK, hard on the brakes, penultimate
corner, still very greasy out there.

Into Gambon and there he is
across the line.

I have the time here.

It did it in 1 minute 25 dead

so, even though it was a damp track,
it was faster than an M3.

Very good, but hang on, because I
think there was a bit of film there
we didn't see. No, there wasn't.

There was, from the final run.
I think the audience would like
to see it. No, they wouldn't.

Yes, they would. Let's have a look.

There he is, you see,
just past the tyres.

He's doing about 115 mph and,
oh, look, it's spat him off!

But even on the wet grass
it's still in shape.

No, that's just how good
The Stig is, not the car, you fool.

It spat him off.
AUDIENCE: Oooh!

Big price, small car,
big price, fell off.

LAUGHTER

Now time to put a star in
our reasonably priced car.

My guest tonight was
christened Vincent

but then he became a rock star
and decided he needed a rock-starry
name so he changed it to Alice.

Ladies and gentlemen, we're not
worthy. Please welcome Alice Cooper!

I can hardly believe you're here.

Alice Cooper!

A legend. Have a seat.

Thank you.

Why is it Alice?

Why Alice? You know,

you had to come up with a name
that was going to piss off
every parent in America.

It translated across the ocean so,
you know, and Mary Whitehouse just
hated us. Because you were banned.

Oh yes, she banned us for no apparent
reason but it was the best thing
that ever happened to us.

School's Out came out, we went
right to number one, sold out...

Because the British public said,
"How dare you tell us what we
can see and what we can't see!"

So the British public was all for us
but there was the one lady
and we sent her flowers...

Mary Whitehouse - in essence,
she was the Daily Mail but
in a pearl necklace really.

She was a terrifying woman.

It was the stage shows, I think,
that made everybody say,

"Hang on a minute,
why are these people coming here?"

There was the story, which
I don't believe is true,
that you ripped a chicken in half.

No, that was Colonel Sanders.
Made a chicken die anyway.

Somebody threw a chicken on stage
in the middle of a concert.

I'm from Detroit, I've never been on
a farm in my life, so I picked it up.

It had feathers,
it was a bird, it should fly.

I threw it and it didn't fly
as much as it plummeted

into the audience,
and the audience tore it to pieces.

Then the next day
it was "Alice Cooper rips
a chicken apart and eats it."

Because in your shows,
you often got decapitated, hung.

I got killed four times in my
last show, but I play the villain.

I always play the villain, so
the villain has to get it in the end.

The Darth Vader, the Hannibal Lecter,
always has to get it in the end.

So when's the next time
we can see you in the UK?

We'll be here in Halloween, of course
because I own Halloween, it's mine.

It is. The Prince of Darkness. We're
doing a big show at the Ally Pally.

I think it's kind of interesting,
Alice at the Palace.

Will you be killed many times?

Just once in this show, one good one.

Although you've been killed many
times, obviously on stage,

you didn't die in the '60s and '70s
when so many of your
contemporaries did.

Yeah, well my big brothers were Keith
Moon, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix.

I can go right down the list
of everyone that died

at 27 years old, and I was the little
brother trying to keep up with them.

It almost got me.
Who was the biggest?
Nobody can compete with Keith Moon.

I've heard this many times,
that Keith Moon was the maddest.

If you think of it this way,
about 40% of what you've heard

about me or Iggy or Ozzy or anything
like that is probably true.

Everything you've ever heard about
Keith Moon is true.

LAUGHTER
And you've only heard a tenth of it.

He'd come to Los Angeles and stay
at the house for a week, you know.

And I'd go out to a recording
session, come back and he'd be
dressed like a French maid.

And your car was in
the swimming pool.

And my wife would go, "Who is this?!"

How did you manage to survive,
then, when obviously
so many people didn't?

I woke up one morning, and instead of
just throwing up beer, it was blood.

But real blood. I mean, not...?
Yeah, it wasn't fake blood.

You know, throwing up blood
on stage is very theatrical
and it looks great.

In your Holiday Inn room, you know,

where the only person
who can see is the maid

and she's really not impressed
because she has to clean it up,

that was a good message for me
that this is really it now.

If I keep drinking, I'm going to die.
So what did you replace it with?

Golf.

That would clear Keith Moon up.
Golf and cannibalism.

I don't want to talk about golf.

I want to talk about Detroit,
which is where you're from. Yep.

A lot of people think of it as
the music town, obviously Motown and
the Motown acts, but the amount of

rock-and-roll stars that have
come out of Detroit
is simply unbelievable.

Iggy Pop, Ted Nugent,
Bob Seeger, Madonna is Detroit,
which a lot of people don't realise.

The MC5. White Stripes.

Bits of the Eagles, everyone
thinks they're from California.
They're Detroit.

Detroit, yes.
Behind this music, which was huge,

obviously cars were also big
and there's no question, you're a
big car freak. Massive petrolhead.

Yes, I love cars. And they
give me a Kia to drive!

Yes, we do. Down-to-earth, it's the
star in the REASONABLY priced car.

How many cars do you think you've
owned over the years? At least 100.

I'm assuming most of your cars
you've had over the years,

I guess are American.
Would that be the case?

Yeah, well, we were always addicted
to the Mustangs and Camaros.

Detroit.

Yeah, the Detroit muscle cars. And
you know, of course the Hemi Cudas.

What's the Alice Cooper Corral
that you read about all the time?

I'm so into the cars and in Phoenix,
Arizona, where I live, we build cars
and then... This is the Corral.

Yeah. Then we put my name on it
and I go and help sell it.

So we have a picture of...

That was a Lincoln Zephyr.

That's billion-dollar
bills burning up the flames

and we said, "Who would buy a car,
the billion dollar babies car?"

We said, well, Trump, maybe?

What would make it

really appealing to them?

You open the trunk in this car and
there's your own private ATM machine.

Oh really?
Yes, your own bank money machine.

A cash machine in the trunk.
Yeah! You open it up and...

So when you're touring,
are you looking for
these unusual cars to buy?

I just found a really nice
little '65 Mustang that
looks like it came out of

the shop in Nashville. I drove by
it every day going to the studio

and I finally went in and said
"What do you want for this car?"
They said 22,000.

Because that's cheap. Absolutely.

You didn't have the heart to say,
"You do realise cars like that
are worth a lot more these days"?

I didn't tell them.
LAUGHTER

OK, so, anyway, you came over here
to try your hand at a lap

and I guess a lap is quite unusual
with corners for an American.

Yeah. No, you're really right
because in America we drag race.

We go from light to light.
You pull up next to a car.

This is the sign, this means race.

Really? You go, OK, you rev it up,
put it in first gear and whoever gets
to that light next is the winner.

But you burn rubber up,
it's just drag racing so you
don't even think about turning.

But this was interesting
for me to get in a car,

the shift on the left side.

It was like dyslexic driving

because I'm going 3rd, 9th? Opening
the door, no, it's not there.

So they gave me an automatic and
it was a really, really fast Kia!

Who would like to see
Alice's lap? Yeah.

Here we go. Let's have a look.

Oh, that's pouring with rain.

Look at that thing go.

Come on now. All right.
That's an intense stare
you've got going on there.

Clint Eastwood for a second.

And into the first corner.

This can go as a very, very wet lap.

No brake lights there, that's good.

Trundling.

Come on, you pig. Keep going.

Did I say "Come on, you pig"?

Yes, I think you probably did.

The Cee'd gripping well as it...

Where are you going? I've no idea.

It's tricky.
Now the Hammerhead, was this OK?

You managed to stay
between the lines?

Yes, come on, get the back around.
TYRES SQUEAL

A bit of understeer and some
tyre squeal despite the conditions.

Yes, you're moving, just.

Come on, come on, come on!

Come on, Kia.

How many people say "Come on, Kia?"
Now where are you going?

Left! Left! Left!
I was getting a big...

That's not fast there,

not fast at all.

I was floored right there.
I had it floored.

There's obviously something stuck
behind the accelerator pedal.

Come on, spin a little bit. Come on!

Where are you now?

And you're being a rock star there,
all over the place. But across
the line, there we are!

So...

here is the board
with many, many names on it.

Where do you think you've come?

Oh, man, I have no idea.

If I broke two minutes
I'd be the happiest guy in the world.

I can make you
the happiest man in the world.

But not by much.
LAUGHTER

Because, Alice Cooper, rock legend,
all-round unbelievably nice guy,

you did it in one minute...

56.3. Oh, yes!

I don't know, really,
what to say about that
other than it was terrible.

But, you know what? I'm proud
of that. Do you know what I am?

I'm so grateful to you
for coming on because it's been

such an honour to meet you. You
were nothing like I was expecting.

I thought you'd eat the television
and kill someone in the audience.

Come and see the show, I do that.

I'd love to see it.
Ladies and gentlemen, Alice Cooper.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

Now, as you know, here on
Top Gear it's our job

to keep you up-to-date with
all that's new and cutting edge

in the ever-changing world
of modern motoring.

Hello, viewers.
James Paddy May Hopkirk here,

driving a rally version
of the original Mini Cooper S.

And that's quite a special feeling
because, even though it rose to fame

because of all that Swinging '60s
stuff, the Mini is actually the most
iconic rally car of all time.

If you're one of our
younger viewers or were hoping

to watch the Antiques Roadshow but
you can't find the remote, let me
give you a quick history lesson.

This tiny machine shocked the rally
world by winning the prestigious

Monte Carlo Rally in 1964,
'65 and '67.

The 0 - 60 time might have been a
dreary 13 seconds but its light,

compact body meant it
cornered like a go-kart.

It's bloody brilliant!

Everybody should drive a Mini,
everybody should own a Mini

at some point or you're
incomplete as a human being.

Now, like any form of motorsport,
rallying needs cars that are
stars in their own right.

It's why Formula 1 needs Ferrari.

And that's why modern
rallying needs another Mini.

And now, at last, it's got one.

This is the brand-new
World Rally Championship Mini.

But whereas the old car was
something of a giant slayer,
this new one is really...

just a bit of a giant and it's
because it's based on this car,

the Mini Countryman
which isn't really a Mini at all.

It's more of a trendy school-run
car with four-wheel drive.

But if you look down here,
you'll see it says Mini.

So it must be true.

Let's not get bogged down
in that now...

because this is the modern
Mini we're interested in.

ENGINE ROARS

Yes, what a racket!

Whereas the original Mini had 70
horsepower, this one has around 300.

It does 0 - 60 in 3.5 seconds.

And this brilliant sequential
gearbox, look at this.

And go!

In fact, I got a bit carried away
with the gearbox.

Bang! Oh! Go! Yes!

Oh! Yee!

By the time you watch this film,

the Mini will have taken part
in its first proper rally.

No, I've buggered it!

But, as I drive it today, it's yet
to turn a wheel in real anger.

So, we're here to find out how good
it is and we're going to do that

with a typically unscientific
yet informative and hopefully
invigorating Top Gear race.

And to do that, we've come back
to one of our old
Top Gear stomping grounds...

the Winter Olympics
site of Lillehammer in Norway...

where, several years ago,
we raced a rally car against
Richard Hammond in a bobsleigh.

And on that occasion it was the
men in tights who came first.

So the motor car was given a
bloody nose and has come back
with a score to settle.

And because of that,
the rally mechanics here have told

Captain Paddy Slow to get stuffed
and make way for their driver.

He's Kris Meeke, intercontinental
rally champion and quite possibly
the fastest ginger on the planet.

And as for the bobsleigh team...

They're not here.

Instead, the ice-sliding community
is fielding one of its biggest guns.

Olympic skeleton gold
medallist Amy Williams.

Right, in case you can't get Dave on
your telly, or for some other reason

you haven't seen the original race
between Hammond and me, here is why
Lillehammer is the ideal venue

for a rally car versus
skeleton bob shoot-out.

We begin here, and this red line
is the bob track,

almost two kilometres
of twisting, turning, icy terror.

And this blue line is the road -
almost exactly the same length,

nearly two kilometres -
and it too is twisting,
turning, yumping, icy terror.

And they both end here
at the finish line.

The first person there is
the winner. You realise that
the car must win this one

because the car is 1-0 down.

The car that has been
around for 125-odd years
now is being challenged by...

My two year-old sled.

A tea tray. Do you mind if I...?
I don't think people will
have seen one of these close-up.

This is a skeleton bob.

Your face goes that way. Face
this end and I steer here and here.

By doing what? By pushing my
shoulders in and moving the sled.

So your face is actually
over the end.

My chin and head and helmet will be
scratching the ice on the way down.

70 mph with your face...
Scraping the ice.

Our faces aren't going to
scrape along the road, are they?

Hopefully not. That's only if
we're going upside-down,
which we don't plan to do.

Right, let's do it.

As Amy imagined her
way down the run,

I imagined Kris going too fast in
the dark and the pair of us rolling
end-over-end in a huge fireball.

OK, here we go! Three, two, one.

And we're off.

Go! Go! Go!

For Amy, the start is everything.

Just a tenth to slow at
the top and she'll be two seconds
off the pace at the bottom.

Sadly for us, she had a great start.

To the left.

No sign of Williams
at the crossover.

That's because Williams was ahead.

Go! Go! Go!

At the halfway point, both Kris
and Amy were losing precious time.

Kris because of
the slushy ground,

and Amy because of rough ice.

Fortunately, Kris could rise
above the problem.

Here we go. Whoa!

Less than a kilometre to go,
Kris had closed the gap.

Yes, sir! Loving that.

Right.

Here it is, here we go.

Rrr!

AMY PANTS

Oh, no! What did you get?

Amy Williams, you did it in...

What is it? What is it?

You did it in 61...

Point? 61.04. Yeah?

We did it in...

59.73! No!

Sorry! Fair enough.

Congratulations to you too. It's
traditional, I'm really sorry...

It's bad manners, but... loser.

Well done.

Disappointing. Well done, Mini.

I hate snow.

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

So, Kris... Amy! Amy!

Can I first of all just say
what a pleasure it is for me
to have you back here on our show.

You always bring...
a touch of joy to my heart.

Thank you.

This steering thing -
you say you use your shoulders -
how does that actually work?

So the inside of a sled pretty much
is like a pivot point in the middle
so, if I steer one shoulder there,

the pivot point will move
and the runners grip the ice.

Do you have to do that really fast?

Sometimes, yes.

Sometimes slow, sometimes fast.

Is your hair naturally curly?

Yes, this is normal.

It's normal? Very lovely.

What's your favourite song?
Oh, for God's sake.

Kris. Sorry, we don't have
time to talk to the man.

No, we do have time to talk to
the man. How did it get on, the
Mini, in its first proper rally?

Well... Well, there we are, good.
Now I want to talk

about planning permission because,
if you want to change your house

in this country, you have
to go to the council for permission.

This is to stop people putting up
pink conservatories and generally
ruining the heritage of Britain.

It all makes sense but I think
the planners have overlooked
an important detail.

This is the pretty little
village of Chilham in Kent.

And careful planning means all of
the houses are still very lovely.

But look here. The owner of
this house wouldn't be allowed

by the planners to fit uPVC
windows or stone cladding,
but he's allowed to festoon

the parking space outside his house
with a hideous Chrysler PT Cruiser.

It makes no sense.

If I had my way, only one
car would be allowed in a
village as lovely as this.

A car that, this year,
is celebrating its 50th birthday.

The beguiling, bewitching, beautiful

E-type Jag.

Over the years,
there have been many pretty cars.

But Enzo Ferrari described the
E-type as the prettiest of them all.

And what makes that extraordinary
is that it was shaped at night

in a rudimentary early-days wind
tunnel that used so much electricity

it could only be operated when
the rest of the country was asleep.

And everyone was still asleep
when the car itself was tested

because the only place where
they could actually run it
up to its 149 mph top speed

was at 5am on the M1.

It was on one of those high-speed
runs they discovered the roof

would flap about so,

to weigh it down, a string of
lead shot was sewn into the canvas.

And there was a similar
make-do-and-mend attitude
to the rear suspension.

The chief engineer was given
just a month to design
an entirely new system.

The boss, Sir William Lyons,
bet him a fiver he couldn't do it.

He did, and Jag used exactly the
same set-up for the next 25 years.

Lyons, in fact,
was completely underwhelmed
by the finished product.

He didn't like the look
of the back end and didn't
think it would sell. He was wrong.

Because when
the E-type was unveiled at
the Geneva Motor Show in March 1961,

it was an instant hit.

Such was demand for test drives
that a second demonstrator

was driven through
the night from the factory
in Coventry to Switzerland.

And this is that very car.

OK, let's see
what the old girl can do.

I know it's genesis,
I know this is the very first
convertible E-type ever,

but I have to find out what it's
like when we give it some noise.

Oh-ho-ho!

Ha-ha! Ha-ha-ha!

Can you imagine what it must
have been like in 1961?

You've been to the bakery,
you've queued for a week for a loaf
of bread, you're on your way home

in black-and-white
in your Humber and you
were overtaken by one of these.

It must have been staggering.

"What was that?!"

It's the same age, this car
and me, give or take.

It has aged better.

Still looks good.

But it wasn't just the looks that
astonished everyone back in 1961.

Back then, the equivalent
Ferrari or Maserati was £6,000.
A little bit more, in fact.

This was £2,098, and this,

thanks to its 3.8 litre
straight-six engine, was faster.

Oh-ho-ho!

This is just heaven.

Even by today's standards,
that's a lot of go.

Small wonder the E-type became a
must-have accessory for the jet set.

Princess Grace, Steve McQueen,
Tony Curtis,

Britt Ekland, Frank Sinatra,
George Best,

Roy Orbison, Charlton Heston,
Count Basie.

They all had E-type Jags.

No car before
ever caused such a stir

and no car has since, really.

Until now.

This is called the Eagle Speedster.

Made by a small engineering company
in Sussex, it looks like an E-type.

It's even based on an E-type
but there have been some changes.

The aluminium body is deeper,

the windscreen is lower
and more steeply raked.

The wheels are new,
and the tyres, and the brakes.

And the interior.

If someone had come to me asking
for planning permission to alter

an E-type Jaguar, I'd have said no,
don't be stupid, you'll mess it up!

But they haven't.

I think this, by a long way, is the
most beautiful car I've ever seen.

It might actually be the most
beautiful THING I've ever seen.

And the surgery isn't just cosmetic.

Under the bonnet there's a
fuel-injected 4.7 litre straight-six

which sends its power to the rear
wheels through a five-speed gearbox
and an aluminium differential.

As a result of all the aluminium,
which doesn't weigh very much,

this has a better power-to-weight
ratio than a Porsche 911 Turbo,

and, as a result of that,
it can do 0 - 60 in 5 seconds.

Flat out, it'll do 160.

And then there's the noise.
ENGINE ROARS

Ha-ha-ha!

It's spitting fire.

It's a spitfire! That's what it is.

The looks, the noise!

This, to me, is...

absolute perfection.

I'll put my hand on my heart
and say here and now

I've never ever driven a car,
ever, that I've wanted more
than this one.

I yearn to have it.

There is, however, a problem.

Because every single piece of this
car, pretty much, was hand-made,

the price is fantastic.

Enormous. Eye-watering.

I didn't know numbers went this
high, but it turns out they do,
so sit down, I'm going to say it.

Here we go. The Eagle Speedster...

is half a million pounds.
Half a million.

That's a lot for a toy.
A car that doesn't even have a roof.

But this is more than a toy.

It's a modern take
on the E-type Jag.

And the E-type, with
the possible exception of Concorde,

is almost certainly the last
truly great thing Britain made.

I think we should be more proud
of it than we actually are.

Its 50th birthday was marked
by a small piece on page 16
of the Daily Telegraph

and I don't think that's right,
which is why I've organised
something a little more substantial.

BAND PLAYS
I've organised something which
recognises that this is the soul,

the spirit, the beating heart
of all that we can be.

The E-type isn't a plucky Brit
that's happy to come home second, it
wouldn't be humiliated by Barcelona.

It wouldn't simply
wave Sebastian Vettel by.

And if you asked an E-type
to organise a royal wedding,

it wouldn't ferry the guests
to Westminster Abbey
in a fleet of minibuses.

The E-type doesn't know
what a minibus is.

Every country has an icon.

The great nation of France
has the big brown pylon
in the middle of Paris.

Australia has a rock.

The Belgians have
a urinating infant.

Well this, I put it to you, is ours.

Our Jerusalem, our chariot of fire,
the maypole around which the people

of this funny little rock
in the North Atlantic can gather,
to remind ourselves

that, once upon a time,
we really were as great...

as we think we are now.

ENGINE FAILS

It won't start.

APPLAUSE

A stirring but nicely understated
tribute there, I thought.

But you said something that worried
me - with the possible
exception of Concorde,

the E-type was the last great
thing Britain made. Is that right?

Can you think of anything
we've made since which you
go, "that's a world-beater"?

The E-type was a third the price
of the Ferrari, as I said,
and faster, and better-looking.

The only thing I can think that even
gets close really is Monty Python,
that moved the world on.

What about those vacuum cleaners
with no bags in them?

We invented those and they're
pretty good, they're clever.

Hammond, I'm not sure that, in 50
years' time, people will be having

a big birthday party on
Beachy Head with people going,
"These Dysons are brilliant!"

I'm not sure that's going to happen.

Moving on, the Eagle Speedster -
is it really that good? Look at it.

Seriously, just look at it.

It's beautiful to behold, yes,
but how can it really be worth

five times more than an
immaculate original E-type?

I can demonstrate that, Hammond.

I can demonstrate that because,
if I step in here, OK? Listen.

ENGINE FAILS

LAUGHTER

ENGINE STARTS

CHEERING

It starts.

On that bombshell, it's time to end.

Thank you very much for watching.
Good night!

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