Top Gear (2002–…): Season 17, Episode 3 - Episode #17.3 - full transcript

Jeremy and Richard look at some amazing second hand bargains you can buy for the price of Britain's cheapest brand new car, the $9,900 Nissan Pixo. Meanwhile, James tests the toughness of the new Range Rover Evoque by driving it through Death Valley and then gauges its stylishness by using it to chauffeur a global megastar across Las Vegas.

Tonight, I talk to two old ladies.

Richard makes a phone call.

And James sniffs his own armpit.


Good evening, hello.

Hello, everybody.
Thank you so much, thank you.


..we start tonight with the big one,

the all-new, all-British
McLaren MP4-12C.

And there are two questions.

One, why have they named it
after a fax machine?

And two, how can it possibly
be as good as a Ferrari 458?

'McLaren themselves admit
that the 458 is a great car.

'But they say that,
scientifically and mathematically,

'they can prove that,
in every single measurable way,

'their new car is better.

'Well, certainly at £168,000
it is a tiny bit...'

I was going to say cheaper,
let's say less expensive
than the Ferrari.

'It's also a tiny bit kinder
to the environment,'

a tiny bit lighter,
a tiny bit more economical.

'It's also quite a lot
more powerful.'

The Ferrari has to make do
with just 562 horsepower,

whereas the twin turbocharged
3.8 litre V8 in this
churns out 592.

'The result is simple.

'0-60 takes 3.1 seconds.
The top speed is 205.

'And though it's close...

'the Ferrari cannot live with that.

'And it's a similar story
when the going gets twisty.'

'I love that Ferrari, and it is
as quick round here...' an Enzo.

But I think this is quicker still.

Ferrari has been in the Formula One
game longer than anybody,

but McLaren, amazingly,
has a higher hit rate.

'They've won one in every four
Grands Prix they've ever entered.

'Which shows they certainly
know how to make a car
go round a corner.'

My God, they've
worked their magic with this.

Can you see the Ferrari waggling
its tail there? This isn't.

This grips onto the road
like a terrified toddler
grips on to its mother's hand.

So, Lewis Hamilton, watch and learn.

'This is how you pass a Ferrari...'

..without crashing into it.
Oh, yes!

'One of the reasons
the McLaren is so fast
is its traction control system.

'A system that really
comes into its own in the rain.

'It lets you drive hard,
but it won't let you kill yourself.

'And that is just the tip
of a technological iceberg.

'There's a flap on the back
which raises when you brake hard,

'so you can't see what's about
to crash into the back of you.

'And then we get to the suspension.

'A computer has replaced
the anti-roll bars,

'so all four wheels are truly
independent of one other.

'This gives you better cornering
and, more importantly,
a better ride.'

Over the years, we've seen
the Stig cutting this corner,

putting two wheels on the grass
to get the best possible lap times.

But if you ride a bump like that

in the sort of hunkered-down,
firmed-up cars
that he drives...

..the jolt is horrific.

It's like being dipped
in liquid nitrogen and
then hit with a hammer.

You just sort of shatter.

'In the McLaren, though,
it's a very different experience.'

There we go,
two wheels off the track.

You'd get more of a jolt
if you drove a Rolls-Royce
over a Jaffa cake.

'I've never driven a supercar
that's even half

'as comfortable as this.

'Or as well-trimmed.

'It's all exquisite leather and
stitching and beautiful graphics.

'It's a simple, elegant,
a truly lovely place to sit.'

So, yes, in every scientific
and mathematical way,

this is better than a Ferrari 458.

It'll even do 30 miles
to the gallon.

But there's something missing,
something that can't be measured,

something you can't really
put your finger on.

There's no...zing.

'This is the factory
where the McLaren is made.

'It's like a laboratory.
It's quiet, ordered,

'a magnesium and titanium
Trappist world

'where perfection
isn't quite good enough.

'It's very nice.

'But you can't imagine anyone
here has ever put a whoopee cushion

'on the managing director's chair.

'You sense this lack of joy
when you're behind the wheel.

'When you drive a Lamborghini,'

it's like you're operating
a horse with some mustard
stuck up its bottom,

'but when you drive this,
it's like you're operating'

the sort of machine they use,
I imagine, in ophthalmic surgery.

'We see the same problem
with the way the McLaren looks.

'There's nothing wrong with it,
but there's no art.

'You get the sense it was styled
by software and shaped by science.

'Which it probably was.'

I'll give you another example.

You can turn
the traction control off,

but it'd be easier to launch the
missiles from a nuclear submarine.

You have to push that button and
hold it down for 10 seconds,

then you push those two

and I said to one of the engineers,
"Why does it have to be
so complicated?"

He said, "Why would you want to turn
the traction control off?"

I said, "Well, it'd be fun."

And you could see him thinking,
"Hmm, fun?

"I must look that up
in a dictionary."

'The McLaren, then,
is like a pair of tights.

'Very practical and very sensible.

'The Ferrari, though,
that is a pair of stockings.'

What are you on about?

Well, tights and stockings are
designed to do exactly the same job.

But they don't.

I don't know,
I only wear socks, Jeremy.

Can we just move on from the hosiery,
chaps, back to the car?

Is the ride really that good?

Like a Rolls-Royce.
Unbelievably smooth.

And do you know why?
Wasn't developed at the Nurburgring.

Oh, God, he's off again.

True fact, it was developed,

at the Top Gear test track,
this car was,

so it should be able to set
a blisteringly fast lap time.

Of course, to find out we have to
give it to our racing driver.

Some say that he refuses
to acknowledge

the existence of Nottinghamshire.


And that he recently received
a very strong e-mail

from his fiancee's mother

saying it's bad manners to sit
at the dinner table in a helmet.


All we know is
he's called the Stig!

'And it's off.

'MP4-12C may sound
like a fax machine,

'but this car is fast,
no doubt about that.

'Double clutch gearbox
shifting seamlessly,

'going through the first corner,

'no dramas whatsoever.'


'Stig listening to ABBA
in Spanish, very weird.

'Almost as weird as the way it takes
Chicago, strangely calm, that.

'Squirrelly under-braking
into Hammerhead.

'Now the meat of the corner,
and it's regained its composure

'McLaren have actually been fiddling
with the car since I drove it,

'so the ones you buy
will have a sharper throttle.


'And more noise.

'OK, follow-through,
a chance to really open up
the twin-turbo V8.

'How much is he going to
clip the corner?

'A lot,
but he won't have felt a thing.

'Just two corners to go now,
air brake helping out there,

'tyres squealing,
only Gambon left.

'Millimetrically perfect,
and there he is, across the line!'



Here is the Ferrari 458, 1.19.1.
The Ferrari Enzo 1.90.

The MP4-12C, 1.16.2.

It is the second fastest car
we've ever had here!

Wow! That's amazing.

Right, now, we must move on
because it is time for the news,

and we start with news
of an event coming up,

the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power.

The what?
Cholmondeley Pageant of Power.

Excellent. We're the world's
biggest motoring show,

and we begin the news
with an item about a village fete.

No, it's like a northern
Goodwood Festival of Speed.

So a Goodwood with pies
and gravy? No!

Anyway, the point is
there's going to be a car
at it I wanted to show you.

It's this, it's called the Brutus.

Yeah, it's magnificent.

Basically it's a 1908 BMW chassis,
made in the 1920s

and it's got a 46 litre
12 cylinder aeroplane...

46 litre?! 46 litre 12 cylinders.
Here's the actual engine out of it.

Look at that! Holy cow!

It's like a Turner painting,
all this steam, speed and fire.

It's magnificent. I'm going
to send that to Greenpeace
to hang up in their foyer.

They'd love it, actually,
because it does 0.18 miles
to the gallon.

You're kidding?

I love the engine,
but what fascinates me
about old cars like this

is why people feel compelled
to get into period costume
before driving them.

I mean, you live in a 1970s house.

Do you feel the need to wear a shirt
from the 19... Yes, you do.

He does, actually, yes.

Anyway, we have more news.

A few weeks ago
I held a small birthday party
for the E-Type Jaguar.

Yes, I recall, it was subtle.

Somebody else is having one
at Silverstone on
the weekend of 22nd July,

and they say 1,000
E-Types will be there.

I think what they mean is 1,000
E-Types will attempt to be there.

On that particular day,
1,000 E-Types will try and start.
Yeah, some E-Types will be there.

Why will they be there?
I've never understood that.

You drive hundreds of miles
in your car to look at some cars

that are exactly the same
as the car that you
just drove there in?

Well, is there anyone here
from a car owners' club?

You are?

And this is which club? Marlin.
The what? Marlin. That's a fish.

That's a very lonely owners' club.

He goes and stands in a field
all by himself.

Is there anybody here
from a car club that's got
more than one member?


Renault Clio.

Renault Clio owners' club?!
How can there be a club for that?

Do you go and meet
and stand in fields? Car-parks.

Car parks?

Oh, I want to join!

"I've got a Renault Clio."
"So have I!"

Any other car makers here?

Anyone from the MG owners' club?
Not here, obviously.

That's a good point,
they won't be here, they'll be
on the A3 going, "Oh, no!"

I wonder sometimes,
do people who are MG enthusiasts

buy them hoping they break down?

They do. They do.
"That way I can get underneath it
and get my fingernails all dirty!"

No, cos if all they wanted
to do was drive around
in an open-topped two-seater

they'd buy a Mazda MX-5,
cos that'll always work.
I think they're mad.

It's like being an amateur vet
and saying,

"I'm going to deliberately
buy a dog that's poorly

"in the hope it goes wrong
and I can fix it."


Now, there is a new BMW M5, we can
tell you several things about it.

First of all, it'll cost £73,000.

Secondly, it's based on
the current 5-Series,

one of the best-looking cars around.
That looks even better.

Thirdly, the engine, for the first
time, is turbo-charged
because of some air problem,

carbon dioxide,
it has to be cleaner,

and it'll also, even though
I haven't driven it,
be fantastic to drive.

I know that. It will.

All M5s have always been fantastic,
there's never been a bad one.

No, there hasn't. There's a lot
on this as well, a lot of equipment.

It's got a rear-view camera,

it's also got a multimedia system
that can bring up Facebook
and Twitter.

I don't want one anymore.

Why would you want that
on your dashboard?

Driving up the A1, "Oh, look,
Lilly Allen's having sardines."

It's not relevant.
Is that necessary?

Do fighter pilots have Twitter
on their dash? Yes.

"I'm locked on to target. Oh,
hang on. Stephen Fry's just said
something brainy about a play."

You don't need...

I really do think we get
too much information
when we're driving now.

Those signs that say
'spray possible', which,
on a nice day in June, it isn't.

And you know those posters,
they used to be adverts that said,

"Drink food and eat beer,"
or whatever it is on them,
"Use toothpaste".

Now they've made them electronic,
and Sky News has one

and it gives you snippets
of news as you drive by.

I drove past one the other day,
it'd be OK if it was short,
but it's quite long,

so you're going,
"JK Rowling sacks agent after..."
Not looking where you're going.

I drove down the A40 just after you
and the headline was quite brief.

It said,
"Clarkson has massive accident."

Now, can I just say, as we know,

birds sometimes defecate
on your car.

At this time of year
that's bad for the paintwork
cos the lacquer is soft.

What? Where are you going
with this, mate?

Where I'm going is this.
A bird defecated on my car
this week. That's terrible.

That's not that unusual.
It'll have happened to people here.

Not like this.

OK, I've brought an iPad here,
I know how they work, of course.

Here is the bird. Yes, it's some
bird poo on your back window.

That's a significant quantity
of bird poo.

You'd say that's a big bird
that did that. Look at this.


It gets to there and you think,
"That must be the end."

That is a metre of faeces!

What bird can do a metre
of faec...?!

I'm two metres tall
and I can't do a metre of faeces!

You live in Oxfordshire,
you've got those red kites
there, they're big birds.

They are big birds,
and they are carnivores.

Now, I examined this faeces,
and there were seven
cherry stones in it.

Well, maybe it had a field mouse
in a cherry jus in Oxfordshire?
It didn't!

If the cherry stones
were in its gut, it must have
eaten the cherry whole,

which means it must've had
a mouth like a Peugeot!

What kind of bird can have a gallon
of guano in its gut

and still take off and achieve
sufficient altitude to defecate
on my Range Rover?!

A big one!
Maybe it was a flying cow. What?

James, you really do live
in Hammersmith, don't you?

We should bear in mind this is
the man who believes cows lay eggs,

and he does. He said that
on the show. You say that...

I said eggs come from cows.
Well, you see...

Can I just say, I want to have
a competition on this.

If anybody can find a bigger
piece of bird dirt than that

on their car, take a photograph
and send it to us at Top Gear,

London, where are we? W12 7TS.

Mark your envelope, "You really
are plumbing new depths this week."

Well, you are!

Now, there is a new Range Rover.

It's not as big as the real thing,
but does it work?

To find out, I went to the
United States. Which is in America.

'This is it.

'It's called the Evoque,

'and even though it's covered
in Range Rover badges,

'it doesn't look especially tough
or off-road-y.

'Little wonder, when the design
consultant for this car
was Victoria Beckham.'

This is one of those luxury
lifestyle off-roaders,

which is why the producers
have told me to drive it
to Las Vegas,

where I have a job for the evening
chauffeuring the cosmetically
enhanced Cher.

However, there is a small
obstacle in the way.

'Actually, it's quite a big

'because my starting point
is here.'

'Death Valley, one of the most
inhospitable places on earth,

'boasting some of the toughest
terrain a car could ever face.'

So, it's the perfect place
to decide if the new Evoque
is a proper Range Rover

or just a big
designer girl's blouse.

'The edge of Death Valley
was 150 miles away,

'and to get there I wasn't
allowed to use any tarmaced roads.'

Now, this is no small challenge
because the Evoque doesn't have
a massive separate chassis,

it doesn't have a low range gearbox,
and it doesn't have a big
fire-breathing V8.

What it has is a four cylinder
turbo diesel engine

making 187 horsepower,

and underneath it's based on
the old Freelander,

which is loosely related
to the Ford Mondeo.

I think the record temperature
for this area is something like 137.

If the car were to
break down out here,

I reckon it would be three,
maybe four minutes

before I got into the crew's Range
Rover and went back to the hotel.

'For the first few miles,

'the terrain didn't offer
much of a challenge.

'But I did find out something
pleasing about the Evoque.'

The ride in this car is excellent.

This surface is actually
quite washboard...

..but this is soaking it up

'That's because the dampers
are filled with a fluid

'that contains magnetised
iron filings,

'which can react in milliseconds
to alter the firmness
of the suspension.'

It's the same system, actually,
that they use on the Audi R8,

only in this they can respond
twice as quickly.

And if that was you
responsible for that, Mrs Beckham,

then can I say
thank you very much indeed?

'Mrs Beckham's suspension

'wafted me towards my appointment
in Las Vegas.'

MUSIC: "Believe"
by Cher.

# Do you believe
in life after love? #

Stereo's good as well.

The interior is very good,
nicely trimmed and everything,

but then it should be because
this may be a baby Range Rover,

but even the most basic one
starts at £28,000,

and if you have the Prestige model,
like I have here,
then it's about £43,000.

'Soon, the going started
to get much tougher.'


'This is where you normally need
a low-range gearbox,

'but instead the Evoque has
an electronic off-road system
called terrain response.'

Difficult terrain setting.

'Now I'd find out
if it was any good.'

Find me some traction. There you go.

'Along with the terrain response,
there are other 21st century aids'.

I can use, look, these cameras,
there's five cameras on the car

which help me to look out for bits
that I might otherwise hit.

Going on this one,
I could miss that rock.

Loving your work, Mrs Beckham.

'Soon, I found myself in a narrow,
rocky canyon,

'and the Evoque
started to struggle.'

Make an aim for that bit.



Give me more of that!

I have to say,
this is pretty good for a car that,

let's be honest, most people
are going to drive to the shops

and occasionally across a field
to a Pony Club meeting

or Gymkhana,
or whatever they're called.

'But eventually the Evoque
had to throw in the towel.'

Oh, no.

I must be a bit of a chump thinking
I can get up that, must I not?

That is officially a small cliff.

Still, it's quite a noble effort.

I think we'll have to find
a different way round.

'Having retraced my steps,
I found another route

'and was soon flying along.'

Woo! This is better!

'Look at the speed I'm doing,'

I'm doing 70 miles an hour
on my way to Cher.

'But then...'

Oh, no! Oh!

'With the sand dunes sitting
slap-bang between me and Cher,

'there was no option but
to put my faith once more
in the terrain response computer.

'I have it in sand mode,'

and what it does is it changes
all sorts of things,

the suspension settings,
the throttle response,

and because I've got it in sand,
I get very peaky power delivery,

it holds it in the lower gears,
I can change manually in it,
it keeps me going through the sand.

That's steeper than I thought.

'As it turned out,
the baby Range Rover
coped well on the sand.'


What happens if I try
and go up there?

Crikey, that's a big climb.
You've got to be bloody careful.

'There was, however, a weak link,

'and, as ever,
it was my internal sat nav.'

Hang on, hang on.
Now I'm going the wrong way.

No. No, no, no.

It just looks like a sheet
of beige paper.

'And then some enthusiastic
locals turned up.'


Come on, then.

I don't know what the hell
the engines are they've got
in those things,

but they're massive!

They've done a wheelie!

'After they'd stripped the Evoque
of most of its paint...'

Thank you.

'..the Death Valley rednecks showed
me the way out of the dunes.'

I've no idea who these blokes are,
but they're good sports.

'Eventually, the buggy chaps
deposited me on a dry riverbed,

'but since I was now running
late for my date with Cher,

'there was no time to give
the Evoque a breather.'

Well, this is about as fast
as it will go, actually,

cos it's slightly soft.

I can get up to about 75 or so
before the car starts
squirreling around.

Again, Mrs Beckham, I have to
commend you on your car.

'As the sun set,
I came upon a marvellous sight.'


Oh, that's nice.

Mmm, lovely, lovely tarmac.

It's like a cool hand passed
across your fevered brow, tarmac.

'It also meant
I was out of Death Valley

'and on course to make
my appointment.'

'Right, I'm pretty sure
that Cher is not
going to be interested'

in the road test of the Evoque,
so here's a quick sum-up.

'Things I like.'

I think it looks excellent,
it's particularly good off-road,
as it turns out.

It has a nice, tasteful interior,
and the ride is excellent.

Things I don't like,
it's not that spacious in the back,

there are a few too many
buttons on the steering wheel,

and the door mirrors are too big.

Anyway, onwards to Cher.

'Eventually, my destination
came into view.

'Not that you could miss it.'

I've heard Cher's a bit of a diva,

I don't know how
she's going to take to...


..a man who's done this much
desert off-roading.

Hopefully she likes
a bit of stinky rough.

'Soon, I arrived at the venue.'

Temperature set to something

That's in the right mode.


Here we go, here we go.


Are you a bloke?

Um, yeah.

So you're not actually...

Cher isn't a man?

No, I'm a man that plays Cher.


# I got you, babe... #

I could really use a burger
right now.

Right. Well, that's my
kind of language.

I'll see what I can do, sir/madam.


Hang on, was that one of those,
um... What are they called?

Cross-dressing things? And then that
wasn't really Cher?

Yeah. Apparently that Cher
is actually called Steve.

But didn't you spot the difference?
I mean, the Adam's apple and the...

Never mind. No.
We'll gloss over that.

The Range Rover, is it real?
Does it feel like a proper one?

I think it does because it does
work really well off road,

and it does have that...
It feels special.

And I have to say, it looks
fantastic. I mean, really brilliant.

It does look fantastic
and it looks even better like that.

That's the three-door. Yes, that's
true. But there is a problem.

So you arrive at it - the
three-door one - with your toddler.

It's raining, you've got to get the
toddler in the back, and you pull
the seat forward...

Unless you're David Beckham

and you could just sort of pop
it in like that...

You are a half-wit. Look.

Press that. Oh, yes, still raining,
still holding your toddler, bored,
very bored.

Can't be bothered to wait any more.

Let's move on because
it is time to put a star -
a Grand Prix star, no less -

in our old reasonably-priced car.

My guest tonight is a German who won
last year's World Championship.

And this year's, he's already
put his towel on that as well.

Ladies and gentlemen,
Sebastian Vettel!


Here he is - the World Champion.

The World Champion is among us.

Have a seat, Sebastian.

Now, obviously, first of all,

huge congratulations on your win
this afternoon.

The problem is, obviously,
it's Wednesday now...

but when this goes out
on television...
I see. Now I've got it. OK.

I'm usually not that slow.
So we've just run a few options.

What a shame -
pipped at the last moment.

And then that mistake
half a lap to the end.

What were you thinking of, man?!

Who could have imagined a giant
meteorite would land on the track

and stop the race like that?

Now, a lot of people have been
saying it's a boring season,

you know that you're going to
win every time you watch.

But it probably isn't boring
from where you're sitting, is it?
Never, no.

I mean, I enjoy it, you know.

I think the races are
quite exciting, from what I see.

Obviously I can't follow them live.
Well, it would be tricky.

You probably could. A bit in the
monitors around. Do you actually
watch the screens?

Yes. You do? Sometimes, yeah.

It's not because I have so much time
and I am so much ahead,

but it's sometimes quite useful
to see what's going on.

Obviously, when they are
showing some... Crashes.
Some birds, then it's...

Valencia was, let's be honest,
a bit boring. I'm afraid
I was fast asleep.

Valencia, you just can't help...
May be that comes with age. It is.


Sunday afternoon nod-off.

Anyway, I'll run through some
of your achievements. The
youngest ever world champion.

The youngest person ever to win a
Grand Prix, the youngest ever to get
a pole position,

the youngest person ever to score
a point, and the youngest person
ever to score a fastest lap.

What were you like as a baby?

"And the first to use a lavatory..."

Were you always a competitive child?
I think I was always competitive.
I'm not sure about the lavatory bit.

I think it took me quite a while
to understand, you know,

where you should
and where you shouldn't...

We've got a picture - just to
demonstrate how young you were -

of you meeting our old Stig
for the first time.

There you go, look.

I think that's an endearing picture.
What was happening?

1995. You were...? Seven.

There was a championship in Kerpen,
which is Michael's hometown.

That must have been a special
moment for a seven-year-old, to meet
Schumacher. Was he world champion?

Yes, double world champion.
What's it like know
when you lap him?

Do you think, "God, this is
terrible"? I don't think
of this picture, for a start.

Is it weird?
It is a bit weird.

You know, for me, when I was
karting, Michael was the one
I was looking up to.

So, when you lap him now,
do you go like that?

No, I mean... It must be tempting.

You know, the thing is,
of course, he's a legend,

and there's things I can learn from
people like him, drivers like him.

Can I just ask you to be honest now?

How much of your current success
is down to that Red Bull car?

The one we've got over there,
in fact.

Because Lewis Hamilton said
it's just unbelievably quick
following the Red Bull car.

Again, it depends. Our car,
people know, and we know, our
strength is in high-speed corners

because we do produce
a lot of downforce.

But he didn't talk you through,
probably, other tracks where they
gain more than half a second

down the straights. You know
Adrian Newey because he designed
the car that you drive.

I got to know him, yeah.

I was at school with him.
He told me that.

Yeah, he used to copy me in physics.

Yeah, it was really annoying.

He didn't mention that bit.
Mention it to him because I remember
coming up with a double diffuser

and the KERS system,
just doodling, really.

And he was like... You know those
really annoying people at school?

Exactly. You might like to mention
that to him.

And you give all your cars names?

The racing cars.
Yeah. What are these names?

Brian? No. Not Brian? No. Roger?
No, this year is Kinky Kylie.


It's got a nice back end, you know,

Last year it was Luscious Liz.

Luscious Liz? Yeah. The year before
it was Kate's Dirty Sister.


Now, you're a big fan,
I understand, of Britain,

but British comedy in particular.

Is that right? Correct.

At the moment I'm quite into
Little Britain. I think that one
is very popular. Yeah.

I even went to London once to
see them live. Did you? Yeah.

It was quite funny up to the point
where they tried to play
that game, hide the sausage,

and he actually tried to...

And are you a Python fan?
Did somebody tell me you like
Monty Python? Yeah, I do.

The first time I saw was
The Life of Brian, the movie.

I saw it in German
and I found it was funny.

And then I saw the English version
and I loved it.

It's the same thing, actually,
this show, they show in Germany now
for a couple of years,

but you speaking German.


Yeah. And it...

No, I won't have that!
German? No!

And it just doesn't work, you know?

I can sort of believe that.

One of the reasons why it's easy to
appreciate British humour is, if you
speak really properly good English,

which you...

And you even do accents.

That's a yes, isn't it?
That was just a yes.

Not that I kno-ow of.


Can you do Birmingham?

Actually, Adrian brought me
close to that Brummie accent

because he told some stories
about Nigel Mansell in the past,

about the chicane in Monza where
he was, I don't know,

10 or 20kph quicker than
Piquet at that time.

And Piquet didn't understand,
and then Patrick Head went to
Nigel, Adrian obviously was there,

asking what he's doing. And he says,
"I just take my hand..."

BRUMMIE ACCENT: "I just turn
my knuckles around the wheel
and just go straight."


That's fantastic.

Anyway, obviously you've done
many Formula 1 races

and you've been successful
in a lot of them.

Today is the most important
day of your career so far

because you're here to do our lap.
Yes, yes.

How did it go out there?
I have no idea. I don't know.

Usually you have reference, people
tell you thumbs up, not so good.

Cos they don't tell you how your lap
was. The thing is you have got only
that car and, you know,

I cannot come into the pits and say,
"It's rubbish, change this,
change that."

You know, I can complain but...
Nobody bothers.

You did ask if you could check the
tyre pressures before setting off.

Yes. That's quite German.

Nobody else has said,
"Can we check the tyre pressure?"

Cos this is the only opportunity,
really, where Formula 1 drivers
get to drive the same car

to see how you compare
to all the others.

Yeah, so that's why I'm...

Who'd like to see Sebastian's lap?
ALL: Yes!

Let's have a look.

Lot of wheelspin.

Enough power to spin the wheels.

But not much after that.

Come on.

Must say it's nice to see
the old Liana back.

There we are, look,

a Formula 1 driver
again taking the wide line there.

Think I could have a cup of tea
before the next corner.

Chicago. Not running wide.

Well, it seems stupid...

With these things
you will never be on time!

Obsessed with punctuality
even there.

I don't want to say,
"Do you keep it in the lines?"

because you are the Formula 1
world champion, and you have.

And you manage to keep it under
control on the way out as well,


This thing is really slow.

It isn't. Listen to it!

Tortured tyres.
Going through the follow-through.

92, 93, 94 mph.

Pretty quick.

Very quick.

Did that hurt? The jolt?

It's a good car.

It is. Superb.

And into Gambon.
Any two-wheel action?

None at all. There we are.

Ladies and gentlemen,
across the line!


What's very funny now...

You just leant back,
but you did the interview like that.

Then you were like that.


Where do you think you've come?

It was very windy, did you see?


Can you imagine the headwind
accelerating when you have no power?

Any more excuses?

I have a couple lined up. Let's see.

You're leaning forwards.

Well, the fastest we've ever had
is Rubens Barrichello,

who did it in 1.443.

You did it in one minute...

Good start.






There you go!

Fastest F1 driver we've had!

Hang on. Hang on.

Wait. I just had a thought.

Why are we all surprised?


I'm surprised.

Come on! That you're faster
than a 62-year-old Brazilian?!

I met the Stig.
I'm faster than the Stig.

No, no, this is OLD Stig.
We should get rid of him.

New Stig hasn't yet been round.

Yeah, he said.

There's a rumour he can do it
in 56-57 seconds. A rumour.

Some say, you mean.

Some say.


Ladies and gentlemen...
Now I can lean back.

Now I can lean back.

You can lean back now.
You can relax. Well done for today.

It's fantastic to meet you.

Anglophile, good guy. Ladies
and gentlemen, Sebastian Vettel!

Now, this is the Nissan Pixo

and it is the cheapest car
on sale in the UK right now.

It costs just £6,995.

It sounds fantastic, but is it?

Jeremy decided to find out.

Well, here it is.

It's built in India and it has
a one-litre, three-cylinder engine,

so it's very slow.

Also it doesn't look very nice,
it isn't very spacious

and it comes with less equipment
that a cave.

You do get power steering
and anti-lock brakes.

Argh, ducks!

Missed them. Thank you, anti-lock
brakes. Working well there.

You also get a radio, and a dial!

But if you want
to get the window down,

you have to move this lever
in an anti-clockwise direction.

To get it up again, you move it
in a clockwise direction.

And it's a similar story
with the door mirrors.

They're operated
by these funny prongs.

You don't even get any carpets.

But if you pay an extra £37,

Nissan will sell you what they call

luxury velour textile floor mats.

If you spend £3 on top of that,

they will give you
a Nissan-branded toggle bag,

containing both a sponge
and a sachet of car shampoo.

Of course, you might say
that for less than £7,000,

you should expect to do without
speed and space and looks

and electric windows and carpets.

But do you have to?

Because what does £6,995 buy you

if you're prepared to ferret around
on the second-hand market?

This for a kick-off.

This is a Bentley Turbo R.

It's 23 years old,
it's done 122,000 miles

and this actual car is for sale
right now for £6,995.

For all this!

I mean, look at it!

Not a Nissan, no.

What it is is a Bentley that I'm in,
for the same money.

It's got five more cylinders
than the Nissan and a turbocharger,

so it is MUCH faster.

And the luxury lambswool mats
are included in the price.

If I operate this button,

my window goes up and down.

With this button, I can move my seat
backwards and forwards.

With this button, I can adjust
my horns. I can have a twin horn.


Very nice. Or a single one. No.
I'll just have a twin one.

Back in 1988,
this car cost someone £79,000.

Here we are now and you can buy it
for less than a tenth of that.

I mean, look!

Leather, leather, leather, leather.
Wood. Leather, leather, leather.

Leather. Leather. Leather.

It is genuinely unbelievable

that that car costs exactly the same
as this car.

Of course, we're not thick.
Well, he is.

But even he knows that the Bentley
was hand-made in England

and saying something was hand-made
in England is just a way of saying

the door's going to fall off.

This isn't going to be
as reliable as the Nissan.

When stuff does go wrong with this,
the bills are going to be MASSIVE.

They are, they are.
Don't worry though.

It turns out
there are many, many alternatives.

All of the cars here
are on the market right now

for less than the price
of that Nissan Pixo.

The Honda S2000, for example.

This one is now for sale with 47,000
miles on the clock

for £6,500.

And you could have a Mazda RX8.

Look, four doors,
like the Nissan Pixo.

This one has done 28,000 miles.

It's new! It's a brand new car!

Subaru Impreza, in budget, in the
correct blue and gold alloys. Lovely.

WRX, this one. It is.

Could you get an STI in budget?

No. P1. No. RB5. Now you're
just saying letters and numbers.

That's the postcode for Stockport.

It's done 37,000 miles.


It's only done 37,000?

It's got everything on it.

Electric mirrors, air-con.
Air conditioning.


That's fantastic.

Of course, some of the cars we found
are cheap because they're rubbish.

But most aren't, like this Alpha,
this Jag,

all these BMWs.

We even found a Porsche.

It's done 88,000 miles
and it feels tight as a drum

and you are driving about
in a convertible Porsche.

That's what worries me.

Do you think we look a bit... Manly.

No. Tough.
No, the opposite of those things.

Hello there.

We're talking about football.

I'm just going to spit
out of the window.

Can we go and have a look
at some fighter jets?

Ready, go, go, go.


There. It just does
a sort of raaaaah.

It makes a great noise,
they are incredibly well-balanced.

It is hard to think of a better car
for £6,500, or £6,900, than this.

That gave us an idea
for a challenge.

Which one of us could buy
the most amazing car

for the price of a Nissan Pixo?

This is my choice.

A Mercedes CL which I found
on the internet for £6,995.

What makes that price particularly

is that this is the top-of-the-range
model, the V12.

It comes with just about everything.

It has a television,
it has radar-guided cruise control

that maintains a set distance
to the car in front.

It has voice-activated controls.

It has seats that massage you
as you drive along.

If you bought the equivalent
of this car today,

it would cost you £161,000.

And that makes this
the bargain of the century.

No, it isn't.

Because THIS is.

The BMW 850ci.

It too has a V12 engine.
Not the lesser V8-engined 840.

But what makes this car
better than Jeremy's is...

Pop up headlamps.

Simple as that.

How much did you pay for this?
£6,700. Yours?

£6,995. Less! How old is it?
'94... 17 years old.

Ahem, nine. Really?

Nine years old.
How many miles has it done? 127.

54,000. Rubbish!

Why does it have casters from a sofa
instead of wheels?

OK, it's period.
They were that size in those days.

What are they? 17? 16? 16-inch.

16-inch wheels.

And you know full well

that means fatter tyres
and that means a better ride.

It's got Smarties for wheels.
And is that ruched leather?

Oh, yes. Yes, it is.

Why do people from Birmingham
like a ruche?!

To find out which of us
had bought the best car,

we decided to conduct
a series of tests,

starting, not unsurprisingly,
with speed.

This is a 1.8 mile runway

and all we wanted to know is
who'd get to the far end first.

Of course, what matters most of all
in a race like this is power

and the simple fact
is I have more of it.

A lot more. And more talk.

Because my car has pop-up headlamps,
it is sleeker at the front,

more aerodynamic and, in a race
like this, aerodynamics matter.

3, 2, 1, go!

Yeah! Oh...

And that is a goodbye, Hammond.

His car is limited, top speed 155.

BMW, not limited. Top speed, 156.

I can still whisper.
130 miles an hour.


He's ahead, yes,
but soon he will hit the limiter

and I will surge past.

155 miles an hour.

But that surging thing
didn't happen.


What a machine!

We pulled over for a post-race chat.


Hello! Hello! Can I just say,
what happened there?

Well, obviously the BM lost.

The weirdest thing was, as we
crossed the finishing line
at the end,

mine changed up,

so I think given a longer runway,
like 50 miles longer...

Yes, yes, yes. I would have won.

Have you ever run a race
while carrying a television. No.

And a sideboard. I've got a
television and a sideboard in here.

Can I also say I want one of these
phones on a cord in my car.


To try and understand
why Hammond's car was so slow,

we put it on a machine that would
reveal how many horsepowers

had escaped over the years.

There's no need to tether it.

Got to shackle this beast down.

It took nearly an hour to get down
that runaway. No, it didn't.

Soon the machine gave us an answer.

How many was it?
296 when it was new.

296 horsepower
for your five-litre engine.

How many years old? 17 years old.
269 at the flywheel.

27 horses have escaped.

Less than two a year. You could
eat that many horses a year.

Perhaps you're just
a rubbish driver.

We then decided
to test the Mercedes.

Jet noise. That's not the car!

To start with,
362 brake horse power. Yes.

Today, after nine years... Yes.



So my car has lost
fewer horsepower than yours,

is faster than yours,

has much more equipment than yours.

It hasn't got pop-up headlamps
and the leather is NOT ruched!

We then checked out
our cars' interiors

using our old friend Mr Manlove

and his team of forensic experts.

You know the last time we tested
cars like this on Top Gear,

didn't we find that yours
was full of blood and mucus?

Yeah. And faeces.

After a microscopic examination,
Manlove was ready with the results.

Why don't you go first,
since you usually lose these.

All right then.

With the BMW, first of all,
we're lacking faeces this time.

No faeces for me! No faeces.

We do have plenty of saliva,
which you would expect.

It's on the car phone.

When you talk, obviously little
spatters of saliva...

I held it.

We also had a lot of material

which looked like
rolled nasal mucus again.

What nasal mucus? Rolled.

As in... Picking and flicking.

there was an odour of urine.

Somebody has wet themselves.

It was a general pervading aroma.

I'm in another lavatory!

Right, the Mercedes.

There was some white powder found
on tapings,

as was some herbal material

that looked like it had been cut
or chopped.

We didn't do any further testing on
that. White powder sounds like talc.

Could be talcum powder. Flour!

Moving on to the front passenger
seat, there was a rhinestone.

We had chemical reactions
that we would frequently find

if we were examining different
types of cases

on potentially vaginal swabs.

Material on the passenger seat.

Mine was a drooling businessman
flicking bogies,

wet himself. Yours...
Was an interesting bloke.

Could the rhinestone
come from a vajazzle? What's that?

They don't have them in
Herefordshire where you live.

I'm seeing a magic stick
that you wave at things.

No, it isn't that.

With Manlove's test complete,

we took our cars onto the road to
see what they're like on the...road.

Oh, yeah. Headlamps popping up.
Ooh, yeah.

I'll put them away.

Just feels great.

It doesn't feel old-fashioned,
outdated or second hand.

There's just not a clue
that this is anything other

than an incredibly expensive car.

Rear roller blind, yep,
that's working well.

Put it in sport mode, that works.

Raise the suspension up, lower it,
turn the traction control off.

Cruise control.

In some ways, it's not really
a rival for the Nissan Pixo,

but it is a rival
for a brand new Mercedes.

You do have to ask,
why would you buy one?

Let me just try the linguatronic,
make sure that's working OK.

Radio Two.

'Capital. Radio 4. News Direct.

That's working brilliantly.

Exactly like every linguatronic
system I've ever encountered.

Total disobedience!

Soon, we pulled over
in the town of Market Harborough

to conduct a little experiment.

This Mercedes, V12, how much
do you reckon? 20, 25. 20 or 25.

27 grand. 27 grand?

12 or 13. 12 or 13?

It's a V12 BMW, what would you think
that was for sale for

if it was for sale today?

About 12,000. 12,000?

40 to 50,000.

What about this car, sir?

It's a V12 also.
It's done 54,000 miles.

20, something like that.

If your neighbour
put that on the drive,

you'd think,
"They've done all right."

It's as we thought.

People think these cars are worth
far more than we actually paid.

So what we have here
are two V12 super coupes,

blasting through
the heart of England

silently, quickly,
comfortably and cheaply.

If the Nissan's done one thing
for us,

it's let us know that these cars are
out there for that kind of money.

It's a complete no-brainer.


I know. I know.

I honestly believe...

I believe we really are
on to something here.

They are both brilliant. What?!

Have you two taken
complete leave of your senses?

Why?! Because anybody who buys
an ancient V12 coupe

instead of the economical
three-cylinder little hatchback

is going to end up bankrupt
and living in a skip.

Listen, Captain Killjoy!
How do you know?

A modern Formula 1 car doesn't
break down, so what makes you think

that a relatively modern
road car is going to break down?

Because Formula 1 cars

are not owned by people
who fill them with...

with snot and lady juice.

Nelson Piquet did.

Anyway, we anticipated
your objections

and we didn't just borrow these cars
to drive, we actually bought them.

What, with money?

Yes, and we're going to run them
for a while and report back

and inform the viewers
on just how reliable they are.

Really? I am prepared to bet you two
all of my hair

that within two weeks,
one of these has gone bang.

James, there will be no bombshell.

And on that bombshell,
it is time to end. I do apologise.

Tonight's show has been about cars.

Even the guest.
Even the guest was a driver.

Don't worry, next week,
normal service is resumed.

There are many accidents
and a light fire.

We'll see them. Good night.

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd