Top Gear (2002–…): Season 18, Episode 1 - Episode #18.1 - full transcript

Jeremy, James and Richard return for a new series starting in Italy testing out super cars including the Noble, Lamborghini, and Maclaren. This weeks "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car" is musician Will.I.Am.

Sync and corrections by APOLLO


Thank you so much. Hello!

Hello and welcome.
Thank you, everybody. Thank you.

Now, even though this programme
has taken a terrible battering

in the newspapers
in recent weeks,

we have made every
effort we possibly can

to make sure this
series is unaffected.

Thank you. Thank you, really.

Thanks very much.

So, coming up now is a montage
of what you can expect

over the next seven weeks.

57 miles to the gallon!

So, spacious... and economical.

Going through the first corner...

And THAT is how a camshaft works.


There's been a bit of a mistake.

THAT is the tape we
sent to the newspapers

in the hope they'd be
fooled into thinking

that's what we'll be doing.
What we're actually doing is THIS!

Oh, no! That's not what I wanted to see
in the mirror! Heading to the side...


There he is! There he is!

Turning left into Acacia Avenue.

Over there. Over there.
Go over there!

Buffeting! Buffeting!

He's The Stig's Chinese cousin.

Hold onto your spine.

Johnson makes a good start.

Come on, you little bugger!

Man alive!
Are we getting some shots here?!

Thank you. Just browsing.

Stretch it, stretch it, stretch it!
Come on!


How's that possible?

Oh... That was beautiful.

All of that is to come,
but we kick off tonight with this.

Yes, because this is important.

Let's say you want a mid-engine
supercar but, for some reason,

you don't want a Ferrari 458.

What is best for you?

Now, naturally, of course, us three
could not agree on a solution on this,

so the producer said
we had to settle our

differences with a road
trip across Italy.

'The meeting point was the beautiful
town of Lecce, in the heel of Italy,

'and I was the first to arrive.'

This is the McLaren MP4-12C.

It's a car made with an almost
psychotic attention to detail.

It's very technical. It's why, I think,
it probably suits me quite well.

ENGINE ROARS Then Jeremy arrived in
a car that suits HIM quite well.

Morning, shrinking violet.



is a Lamborghini Aventador.

What I love most of all
about this is that

Audi did all the boring
engine and wiring bits

and then let Lamborghini
go mad with the styling.

It looks better than yours and,
therefore, it IS better.

I agree. As a poster, as Lamborghinis
always have been, it is superb.

It looks great.

But it's a bit of a dinosaur,
to be honest. It is. It is.

It's too big, it's too wide.
I'm sorry?! This, you just know...

All they ever talked about was G.
They were sitting going,

"How can we make it go round
a corner a little bit faster?"

It's a supercar. "So give it guns!
Let's give it guns! Space rockets!"

they will have had seven years of

meetings to get to
that windscreen wiper.

So it works properly.
What's wrong with that?

Lamborghini would've said,
"Why don't we use a laser?

"Why don't we have lasers shooting
heat onto the windscreen to...?"

That's why I love Lambos.
They're mental.

Have you had a lot of pop today?

'At that moment, Hammond arrived,
in a Noble M600.' Oh, yeah.

So, Hammond... Morning.
Let's just get this straight.

You think there are people
in the world who are going to say,

"No, I don't want something Italian
and exotic. Don't want a Ferrari.

"I want something built
on a light industrial

unit in Leicestershire"?
No, because...

No, wait a minute. Sorry.
You buy this, I think,

because it's got the
engine from a Volvo XC90.

No! Yes, the engine may be from
a Volvo, but it's made by Yamaha.

It's twin-engine, it's
absolutely magnificent,

and this car, above
everything else, is light.

Comparing these...
it's like comparing me with you.

The power-to-weight ratio is insane.
541 brake horsepower per tonne in there.

That's Bugatti Veyron territory,
and you know it!

This is going to crush you guys like
beetles under its feet.

Soon, our cars started to draw
a bit of a crowd...

so the producer said we
should leave the town

and go for a little
drive in the country.

Bloody hellfire!


Quite good.

You are probably sitting
there, thinking, "Hold on!

Why would I spend £228,000

"on a car with no airbags or
anti-lock brakes, made in Leicester?"

But that's missing the point.

If I were to ask those two what the
best supercar ever made is,

I know what they'd answer.

Ferrari F40.

There's something
of the Ferrari F40 about this.

Something to do with the way it rides
on the road, the way it feels.

The simplicity of it.

I buy the argument for
a flamboyant supercar. I get it.

But maybe there is another
way of doing it.

There's a sort of joy
in things that simply

work really well,
like this gearbox.

It's sort of like a two-stage
trigger on a sniping rifle...

you can preload it with half
a ball... and then change.

It's very satisfying.

Maybe really anal attention to detail
will have a charm of its own. Let's see.

James and Richard can
make as many arguments

as they want, but
the fact is this.

They're driving about
in Virgin Cola.

It's not the real thing.
This is the real thing.

Lamborghini invented
the supercar with the Miura,

the world's first mid-engine
speed and dream machine.

I mean, yes,
this is the most expensive car here.

A quarter of a million pounds.
But who cares? It's a dream car.

You don't dream about going
to Filey or Bridlington.

You dream about going to Tahiti.

Actually, Tahiti's terrible.
I went there once.

It was full of Americans
looking at dolphins.

'Half an hour later, we were told to
brim the tanks in our cars

'and pay careful attention to the
challenge we were about to receive.'

Hang on a minute.
"You will now see which of

your cars can achieve
the highest speed."

That'll be mine.
It's as simple as that.

It's the fastest.

"How fast your car can go is
not relevant." It sort of is.

"It's how fast you dare drive it."

'The location for this challenge was
the Nardo test track,

'a banked 8-mile circle of tarmac so
vast it can be seen clearly from space.

'No car can achieve its true top speed
here because it's one endless corner.

'But it is one of only
two or three places

in the world where
they can get close.

'Lamborghini and McLaren had both sent
technicians to make sure their cars,

'and especially the
tyres, could handle the

vast heat of constant
high-speed cornering.

'But as for Richard
and his car from Leicester... '

Do Noble not have a workshop here?
Not a workshop, no.

I suppose if we were doing this at
Mallory Park, they'd send Geoff over(!)

I've done it. It's all right.
All four tyres are the same makes.

That there's air in 'em.

'James and I were feeling fairly

'until we started chatting to a man
called Max Venturi,

'who is one of Lambo's
test drivers.'

We do a lot of testing here but
we don't do too much the top speed,

because it is very bumpy.

You... you could jump from one lane
to the other lane,

so is... That sounds bad.

And also, today, it is windy,

so you need to take care
about the wind, as well.

What, do we need to tack(?)

'Because speedometers are never
absolutely accurate,

'the producers fitted each
of our cars with hi-tech telemetry

'so they could see how fast
we were really going.

'And then we were sent on to
the track for a sighting lap.'

I have the most to lose here.

My car is the fastest...
top speed 225mph.

Jeremy's Lambo... 217,
James's McLaren 205mph,

or to put it another way,
a walking race.

Now, I have 691 brake horsepower
at my disposal.

That's almost 100 more
than James has.

And it's proper horsepower.

Blue-blooded, real horsepower.

Thanks to emission regulations,

this is probably the last V12 engine
that will ever be made.

From now on, they'll have to be
smaller and turbo charged,

like they are in the Noble
and the McLaren.

Yes, my engine is the smallest.
It's a 3.8-litre V8,

but it has the highest specific output,
that is, of all the engines here,

it produces the most BHP per litre,

because it's been intelligently
designed by engineers in Woking,

not just put together
to impress yahoos.

Those two keep banging on about, "This
has got the engine out of a Volvo XC90."

Yes, well, OK,
but let's not forget, Yamaha make it,

and they produce some pretty amazing
motorcycle engines,

and Noble have then strapped two turbos
to it, so it makes 650 brake horsepower.

I say that,
but I can change that.

With this button down here, I can
have 450 for road, 550 for track,

or 650 for race. I'm going to
have the full 650, I think, today.

I do have quite a lot of respect for
the Midget doing this, because...

Well, the last time he tried to go fast
on a test track, it didn't go well.

With the sighting lap over,

we were told to put some distance
between ourselves and go for it.

I'm moving up into the outside lane.

It's 250kph.

Now we're in 6th speed...

Moving up a little bit...

It does feel a bit wobbly.
I don't like it.


My God, this surface is shocking!

There's the wind!
There's the wobble!

There's the jump!

Ooh, God!

See, that is 280, and it's
really starting to weave now. 290...

'Max from Lamborghini had warned
all of us

'that it would be too dangerous
to exceed 300km per hour.

'And all of us chose to ignore him.'

My foot is hard down now.

300 and... Oh, crikey! Moses.

I'd a lift there. Bit of a panic.

300km per hour indicated.
I can feel the car jumping.

Buffeting! Buffeting!

There's a scare? Whoa-ho-ho!

340... 360...

And every fibre of by being
wants me to lift off!

Oh, God Almighty!

God knows what those
tyres are going through.

God, it's hypnotic.

Don't look at the line,
don't look at the line.

Come on!

Please, just another ten!

326 indicated!

327 indicated.

329 indicated!
Come on... 330!


Come on, give me
a bit more than 330!

Just give me a bit more!

A bit more!

This is BLEEP quick!


I'm backing out of this.

That is...


Pretty bloody alarming.

'With the test over, it was now time
to find out which one of us

'had the biggest testes.'

The top speed of your car is 225mph.

You achieved 204.8.


Who have you got?
I've got James's. James's? Yes.

In the slowest car, in the slowest
car. 200... Oh!

And 1.6.

217mph IS the top speed
of the Lamborghini.

You did it at

204.3. Oh, God.

No! Yes!




Right, we will, of course be picking
that up again later on.

Can I just say, half
a mile an hour?

That's all there was in it
between you and me. Yeah.

If I'd just kept my foot down...
Yeah. But you lost!

Hold on a minute. Hold on.
I think you'll find

you both lost.
How did you work that out?

Because I got closest to
the theoretical top speed of my car,

and therefore
I have the biggest testes. No!

The challenge was to see who could
drive the fastest, and I did.

Then we refilled the cars,
we brimmed them, to

see which had used the
least fuel doing it,

and guess what?!
Well, the Lambo did 7mpg,

the McLaren did 8mpg
and the Noble did 9!

So the Noble wins AGAIN! I know!

Just stop it! Let's just...
No, no, no. OK.

Let's just... just to work out where we
are, so that's two challenges so far,

two wins for the Noble,
and for the Lambo...

Now, let's see. Let's not see.
Let's do the news. All right.

Actually, before that, those of you
who saw our Christmas special

will remember we left our three cars
on plinths high in the Himalayas

on a road between China and India,

so that people passing between these
two great economic superpowers

would forevermore be
reminded of Great Britain.

Well, unfortunately,

it turns out that the plinths
were built on

an ancient burial ground

with deep religious significance,

so a man came and told us
to take them down immediately.

Yeah. So we did.
Where are the cars now?

They're not in the Himalayas.
But where are they?

Hampshire. Really? Yes. That's where
it is. Anyway, the news.

There was a man in the
papers this week who

has failed his driving
theory test 92 times.

92?! I don't want to be rude,
but he must be an idiot...

I mean, 92...
Interestingly, you say that.

Have you seen the theory test?
I didn't have to do one.

Has anyone here seen the theory
test? Anybody? Yeah. You have?

Because most people of our age

and none of the questions
have anything to do...

as far as I can work out...
with driving.

Can I give you some examples?
You can answer this.

"An elderly person...

"An elderly person's
ability could be

affected because they
may be unable to...?"

Eat toffees. No.

Get an erection.


Wear jeans!

Funny(!) "Where's the safest place
to park your vehicle at night?"

In a police station.

Right, we've got a picture here.
Bring up this picture. Right.

This is a real question, OK?

"You must not stop
on these road markings

"because you may obstruct... what?"

Landing aircraft(!) I mean,
seriously, that is a question.

He's managed to fail
92 times on that one.

Those are not questions
to pass your driving...

Do any of them say, for instance,
can you drive a car(?) No, no.

I'm in the book now.
This is what you buy your

teenage child when they're
learning to drive.

"At an incident,
a small child is not breathing.

"To restore normal
breathing, you should

breathe into their mouth,
A sharply, B gently,

"C heavily, D tenderly?"

It doesn't say "tenderly"!

I made "tenderly" up.
Nothing to do with driving!

That's enough driving
test rubbish.

We'll have to move it on,
or we'll be here all day.

Let's talk about cars again,
because the mighty Alfa Romeo,

they are reduced now,
to a full range of cars,

they make two. Two cars.
Really? What, the Mito and...

The Giulietta and the Mito.
They don't make the 159 any more?

No, two Alfa Romeos
on the market,

but that's about to change as they
have just announced this, the 4C.

I know. It's tiny, it's a small,
lightweight sports car.

Very lightweight. Carbon fibre,
all sorts of clever technical stuff.

Mid...engined... it's only a 1750CC
engine, but it's turbo charged,

so it will be quick, because it's
so light. It looks fantastic!

It's wrong, is what it is.
What Alfa Romeo should make

is a small convertible two-seater,

engine at the front,
rear-wheel drive.

They could call it, I don't know, the...
Spider? Spider's a great name.

And maybe they could get Dustin
Hoffman to appear in a film with it,

to etch it into the
world's consciousness.

They could, they could
live in the past.

Or they could make something modern and
forward-looking, like that. No, rubbish!

What if you two had
been at Alfa Romeo when

they came up with the
original Spider?

"That's no good!
Where's the horse in front of it?

"It's not wood. That'll never work."
It's not modern. It won't work.

Make it go away. I've got something
more important to talk about.

A new Maserati. Really(?) OK.
This is the new Maserati 4x4, OK?

I think it looks fantastic but there
are some odd things about it.

Maserati say that, unlike any other
big 4x4, it has a luxury atmosphere.

Cos every time I get in a Range
Rover, I always think, "Oh, no!

"I've accidentally
got into a cowshed."

And then they say,

"There are no off-roaders
that give a sporty feel."

What about the Porsche Cayenne?
Or the Mercedes ML63? BMW X5?

All of those?

I think Maserati...
they're the sort of company

that go, "We've invented
a new type of watch.

"What makes it really good is,
you can wear it on your wrist!"

This is quite awkward,
because somebody'll have

to tell them, "Hey,
Maserati, it's been done!"

What I love about
this, though, is it's

called the Kubang, which,
being a Maserati,

is the noise it'll make
the day the warranty runs out!

We received a press release
from someone who wanted to

get their name on the
television, I've always said.

Now, they say that the
standard of your driving

gets worse if you're
suffering from a cold.

The thing is, they go on to say that
it's no good taking a cold remedy,

because the police say
that's the same as driving

while under the influence of cocaine.
Is it?!

Sorry, I mean... It's cheaper,
though. It isn't, is it?

I mean, cocaine and Day Nurse
are different products entirely.

They're in a different price bracket.
Entirely different.

I bring all this up, OK,
because when did it

happen that somebody
decided that driving

was so unbelievably hard, you can't
do it while doing something else?

Like listening to Ken Bruce's pop
master, or talking on the phone.

Honestly, I can't think of anything
that I couldn't do while driving...

apart from reading
a broadsheet newspaper.

I wouldn't be able to do that.
Sawing a piece of wood.

I could do that. You'd... No, no,
you put it between your legs.

You can still operate the pedals.
You could saw.

It's like sewing on a button.
You need both hands...

I could do that.
You could not! I could!

You know you can't sew on a button
with a hammer? I know how to sew.

While we're on the subject, did you
see that case recently...

a woman who was stopped
by the police after they

caught her driving down
a motorway while...

causing herself to have pleasure.

I bet you can't drive
in a sleeping bag.

Actually, I'm not sure.

I'm going to take that back. I think
you could drive in a sleeping bag.

You couldn't drive in a sleeping bag.
I bet I could. Can't!

I bet I could drive in a
sleeping bag. Right, you're on!

Some time this week, before next week's
show, I'll take you on round the track.

You drive in a proper cocoon
sleeping bag... Yeah...

and race me, and I'll sew
a button on my shirt.

Let me guess... I've got to drive
whilst performing an act on myself.


No. It'd be a short race!
We'll leave you out of it.

Can we make it a 50-yard sprint?!

Right, that is the end of the news,
so let's get back to the action.

Tonight, for those of you with
very short memories,

we are trying to answer
an important question...

which is the best mid-engined supercar
if you don't want a Ferrari 458?

James says it's the McLaren MP4...12C.

I say it's
the Lamborghini Aventador,

and Richard says
it's the Noble M600.

Yes, and so far,
I'm being proved right.

It achieved the highest top speed
and is the most economical.

But having tested those
sort of things,

we were then told to leave the test
track and drive north to Rome.

So, three supercars,
lovely weather, drive across Italy,

what could possibly go wrong(?)

'Certainly, as the day began, the
rather smug Hammond was very happy,

'making up his own little games.'

I'm going to make some more
turbo noise. It is addictive.

Put the foot down
and then lift off. Ooh!

Turbo noises are sort of
for children. You do know that?

Right, I'm going to
come alongside and give

you a turbo noise.
Drop your window. God...

Three, two, one.

This is like indulging a six-year-old
child who's learned a simple card trick.




I hate to say this, but I believe
I have clutch or gearbox issues.

Oh, dear.

I can't understand it
myself, cos you know

when you see the legend
"made in Leicester"...

It's a byword for reliability
and quality. Absolutely.

So what are the other things that
are made in Leicester?

Leicestershire cheese?
They make pork pies nearby, don't they?

Yeah. Pork pies are
always reliable(!)

Have you tried pumping the
clutch, to see if...?

Well, no, because the
linkage is to cock as well.

the Noble wasn't going anywhere.'

Let me just think a minute. Sorry.

When something goes wrong
with my car,

Richard Hammond always... helps you.

No, the opposite of that. No, he
just gets in his car and drives off.

You're right. Yes. Let's do that.
Goodbye. Goodbye.

'We were leaving Hammond
200 miles away from Rome,

'and that made us
feel quite sorry for him.'


For two months, he's been looking
forward to driving his Noble

right across Italy,
and he's only gone 30 miles!

'As our cars ate up the miles,
we got to know them better.'

Bloody hell, it's good, this.
It really is good.

It's very clever.
It's active, this car.

It doesn't have big metal anti-roll
bars, or anything like that.

Everything is controlled by its brain.
It works out what each wheel is doing.

It can even brake an individual
wheel as you corner.

In the olden days, supercars were
very, very hard to drive,

and the hardest of them all
were the big Lambos.

Changing gear in a Countach
or a Diablo, you needed two hands.

This, though, it feels like a Golf.
I mean, I'm doing, what,

80mph now,
and it's almost completely silent.

I can see where I'm going.
I can see roughly where I've been.

I think it's important to
stress at this point,

every single thing about this car
is new.

Body, interior, engine, suspension.

It's brand new, and it feels it.

after a two-and-a-half-hour wait,

'my knight in shining armour
finally arrived.'




This is the car.


Please talk to me.

Please just say hello,
or just... Or see me, even.

Ah, now,
there's a big tunnel coming up here.

The irresponsible thing
to do would be to

turn the power train
into the track mode

and change down unnecessarily.
Three, two, one, go!


Oh, what a sound!

HE CHUCKLES 'James's car made a great
noise, but mine was making fire!'


It's a shame Hammond isn't here
to enjoy the moment.



Does he need that many words?

Oh, God.

The thing coming off the bottom
of his phone is actually a wire...

into his jacket,
and then that's ALL batteries.


Yeah! Ohh...

Um... erm... Um...

Right, um...

Oh, back to six! Ha-ha!

'Our day, meanwhile,
was just getting better and better.'


That's not a bad view, is it?

It's just suddenly hit me, that I'm
driving across Italy in a supercar,

and I've got another one to look at!

Buonasera! Buonasera!

Oh, yeah... No idea.

Parlate Italiano? No.

Inglese? No! French? No.

Oh, no, he's going on the phone.
Oh, no. Oh, no...

Well, that's that, then.

'Still, could be worse... '


Oh, dear.

Prepare to look at shoes.

This is my special face,
reserved for continental policemen.

OK? OK! Yeah.

Still, it is under four hours
to Rome. Just.



The only problem for them is
because today is holiday in Italy.

Interestingly, their
only real concern is

that we appear to be
working on a Sunday.

We need a permit for that.

That's why Italy's nearly bankrupt.

'Eventually, they told us
we had to stop working,

'so we went into Rome
for a lovely dinner.'

Somebody's farted.

'The next day, in a workshop
in the outskirts of Rome,

'I found out just what had gone wrong
with my Noble.'

This is the clutch assembly... and
this is the plate and, yeah,

that's pretty clearly
the component that failed.

Once that broke, that came away,
which is not supposed to happen.

The thing is, this is easily
replaceable. Noble don't make these.

They're bought in... it's a clutch...
but the problem now is,

because that was
whizzing around inside here,

that's damaged bearings and
shafts and all sorts of things.

What's it done to the gearbox?

'James and I decided the best way we
could help Hammond was to go for lunch,

'and since it was a Monday and we
were allowed to do a bit of work,

'we thought we'd find out
which of our cars was

best in traffic by racing
to the restaurant.

'Last one there would pay the bill!'

Right, let the race begin.

'Immediately, it was advantage Lambo,
because the Aventador has satnav... '

'Your route is being calculated.'
Thank you.

'..Whereas, on the McLaren, it's an
option... that hadn't been fitted.'



I'll come back to that.

'However, I did have some issues.'

The first problem is width.

It's five centimetres wider
than a Range Rover.

It's very nearly as wide,
in fact, as a London bus,

but the biggest problem of them all
is the gearbox.

Flappy paddle boxes were OK
on a track,

they work OK on the open road,
but in town,

all of them are useless.

It's uh-uh-uh-uh-uh,
jerking along, and then,

when you want to exploit a gap,
it's dim-witted and slow.

'This was especially bad in a city where
there are 117 road accidents every DAY.'

Haven't actually seen one car yet
that isn't dented.

Look at that one there.

A red light, but that actually
doesn't mean stop. Not in Italy.

It means, "We're trying a red light.
In a minute, we'll try a green one."

It's not relevant to
the actual traffic flow.

What happened to that?! Oh, dear.

What we're now going to do,
and this is quite cool, really,

is turn onto the Via Appia,
the ancient Roman road,

and the suspension, with
its no anti-roll bars and

its intelligent computer,
is doing quite well.

Excellently, in fact.

Why is nobody using that middle bit?
Yes! That's the ticket!

Ah, now, you see, I didn't actually
think it would get quite THAT Roman.


I'm going to by
overtaken by a Smart car!

'By this stage, I'd worked out why
no-one was using the middle bit. '


I've got myself on a railway line.

Now what am I going to do?

Sorry. Yeah, now I'm basically
going down a... Yes.

I'm now driving down
a railway embankment...


Ristorante Nino, Via Appia...

Yeah, the ground clearance
is very poor. OK.

'Soon, though, after a short drive
through a bit of history... '

No! God Al-bloody-mighty!

'..We were both near
our destination.'

I'm so close.


Now, the restaurant is coming up
in 30 metres. There it is.

'All I had to do now was park.'

That's Veneto. It's too wide.
You see, if I

park there, I just block
the whole street.

Oh, God. No, you're joking.


How do you park a Lamborghini here?


Is that the piazza? I think it is.
I'm right on top of it.

Via Vittorio. It's correct!

Right, parking space.

CRUNCH! Hell's... BLEEP ..
bum... BLEEP ..arseholes.

Parking, parking, parking, parking.

It's the easiest thing in the world,
reversing a Lambo.

You just get out of the car
to do it.

Can I go there? Why can't
I go there? There's no lines.

James May, get ready to lose.

Prego? Prego. Have you seen a very
long-haired man? An idiot? Here.

'After lunch, which I didn't bother
with, because I was paying,

'we decided to help Richard
some more by going shopping.

'And then, we got a bit
of a surprise.' That's Hammond.

No, but it's not...


That's a different car.
No, no. This is still wet.

Don't lean on it. I painted it.

Maybe you thought, "I'll put
the steering wheel on this side"(?)

It's always been on that side.
You were looking at

me in your rear-view mirror.
You have changed cars.

Hammond? What?

Oh, you're joking! Oh, come on!

This isn't my car. Mine's red.

You haven't caused a stir.

I think people have come to see...

Did that first delivery driver...

Did that first repair man
not say anything? No.

I don't think he could see me.
"Hello! I'm here." No, nothing.

Anyway, can we just ask... how did
a tiny little company like Noble

get another car out there so quickly?
I'm being serious.

Be serious.
Seriously, they drove it.

A bloke drove it from the factory,

all the way from Leicester
to Rome in one hit.

That's what I call service.
"Certainly, sir.

We'll send you another car."

But it is Noble... you mean, "We'll
send you THE other car"? Yeah.

Anyway, we'll pick that up later on.
Now, though, it

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

Let me list some songs. I'm Not In
Love, Wichita Lineman, Lady In Red.

My guest tonight hasn't
recorded any of those.

That's because he's from an organisation
called the Black Eyed Peas.

Ladies and gentlemen,
please welcome


How are you? Good to see you.
Good to see you.


Your e-mail address must be
a nightmare!



I have never met anybody
in my entire life

who is apparently
as busy as you are,

because you're a fashion designer,

you've worked for Obama, starred
in X-Men Origins and Madagascar,

you run a scholarship fund for
disadvantaged youngsters,

you're a creative director at Intel,
you developed smartphones,

produce everyone in the
world, make your own music,


and you've started a car company.
Yeah. What is it?

Tell us about it.

So, um, when I was working at Intel,
I found out that a lot of the phones

and the things that you have

aren't really made by the name
that's on the phone,

so there's all these companies
in Southeast Asia that

make all the equipment.
You mean the components?

Yeah. Then you put them together, like a
sandwich, and then you got your product.

Then I got into my car...

I want to know how much it cost to
make this Bentley that I'm driving.

A Bentley? Yeah. About 38 pence!

Right. Cos it's just a Volkswagen
with some wood on the dashboard.

So, for the past two years,
we've been tooling...

I design things on my computer.

The first thing
I did was a Thundervet,

where you take a
Thunderbird and a vet...

We've got a photograph of it.

Yeah, that's a Thundervet.
Cos that looks like a '50s vet.

The white slash is
'50s vet, but there's

some Thunderbird in there, as well?

So, the groove and stuff. And those
wheels aren't white-wall tyres.

That's a white-wall rim,
with the five-spoke inside of it.

Oh, that's the actual rim?

Yeah. That's fantastic.
So, what engine has it got?

That has a super-sized
Corvette engine in it.

And have you designed your own
car now, with its own body?

So, that was just, you know,

let's test what we can do with this.

From there, we go on to something
that we built from scratch.

I think we've got a picture of it,
as well. IAMAUTO 88. That is...

It's a bit like an old Maserati
Quattroporte, except it's two-door.

And that's made in California?
That's made down

in the ghetto that I'm from.
Why...? Really?

Yeah. My whole thing was, "I'm going to
make music so I can take care of my mom,

"and move my family out the ghetto."

So, if that's what I want to do,
then it's going to keep me going,

so there's no "no" for an answer.

So, now that I've done that, and
every single person in my family...

cousins, uncles, nieces
and nephews... are out the ghetto,

I want to go back to my ghetto
and build a car company.

We all complain about underdeveloped

but who are the developers
in the first place?

So, I was like, "I'm tired of
complaining and pointing fingers.

"Why don't I aim that finger
to me and say,

" 'Hey, what are you doing to change
the ghetto you're from?'"

Do you know, you're one
of the most inspiring

people we've ever had
sitting in that sofa.

He is, though, isn't he?


If everybody thought like that,
we'd have 1.65% growth as well!

Um, can we just go
into your car history?

Where did it begin?
What was your first car?

So, I got a record deal when I was
17 and I bought myself...

cos I always wanted a Ferrari
or a DeLorean.

Those were my favourite cars.
I couldn't afford those,

so I got the poor man's Ferrari,
which is a Fiero.

Yeah, that's really poor.
That's even the poor man's MR2.

I had a yellow one.

so it was kind of like a Ferrari

if you were standing five miles away
and squinting!

And then my next-door neighbour
Pearleen snitched.

She told my mom, "Ooh, Debra, Willy
got himself a new car."

And then my mom calls me
in the house.

"Boy, sit your butt down
on this couch."

"What, Momma?
" "You got no business buying

yourself no G-damn car.
" "Yeah, but..."

"No but nothing.
Gimme them damn keys."

So she confiscated my car.

So then I couldn't drive
until I was 20.

So it just sat there?
A 2,000...Car. For three years?

For three years it sat there.

I couldn't wait till I was
20, then I could drive it.

Black Eyed Peas... how many records
have you sold? Millions.

To date, 40 something million
records. 40 million?

It is massive. And you've got...

Yeah! 40 million.

And you've now got a solo album out.

And it's called Squiggle Squiggle

No, it's just #willpower.

There are squiggles.
Oh, it's a hash!

I just thought it
was like a misprint. No, no.

Have you ever been interviewed by
somebody more old than me? Um... no...

Now, you came down here,
obviously... well,

looking at your gloves, to play
golf, but, um, it isn't a Golf.

No, no. The reason I have
fingerless gloves is

because I got touchscreen technology

so last thing you want is, in the cold,
I have to go, "My phone is ringing..."

No, cos you can buy
gloves that have got

fingerprint things, so wearing...
I've got a pair.

They're not fashion.

There you go! They're the ugliest
gloves in the world.

They look pretty poor, I admit.

You insisted, I believe,
in driving the

automatic car, rather
than the stick-shift.

Yeah. So, how did it go out there?

I think I did pretty good,
if you judge me on spinning.

Well, now, who would like to see
some of Will's spins?


We have a selection.
Let's have a look.

Yes, there we go.
Second-to-last corner.

Bold as brass. He's held it...
No, he hasn't! Ooh!

That's a tank-slapper, that one was.
Yeah. Here we go again.

Now... Spinny!


Why are we applauding?
Those were mistakes.

You probably want to have
a different spin award... Yeah.

Who would like to see
the finished lap?

Let's play the tape. Here we go.


Needs to spin with an automatic box.
Like to see it!

Right, here we go.

Here's the first corner.
Wide line, like a Formula 1 driver.

Tyre squeal... even in the wet!

Oh, that's nicely done.
That was nicely done.


A man of few words.

That's nice and smooth
through there.

Good wide lines, so you
can get the power down.

And up to the Hammerhead.

# Da-da-da-boom-boom-boom

# Brake hard, brake here... #

Were you singing?
To keep myself focused and stuff.

I was getting kinda nervous.

# The line and the lines... #
It's good.

C apostrophe D now.
Listen to that engine.

Wow! That's a sporty noise.

Go! Stupid car!

Looking good through there...

Oh, there's a bit of dirt
from an earlier spin coming out.

Through the tyres.

Are we going to get through the
second-to-last without a problem?

That was cut perfectly.
And Gambon...

Keep it in tight...
All right, don't.

And there we are!
And across the line!


So... Now, you're driving the automatic,
so that's slower, obviously,

and it's raining, so we're not looking
for a particularly fast time.

Um... but...
I'm trying to think, actually.

Automatic drivers... we've only had
two so far in this car.

They are John Prescott.

You don't know John Prescott? Hmm.

He's a fashion designer.


And Alice Cooper. OK?

Those are the only automatics, and
they're both 1.56. And they're wet.

Oh, yeah. Both had wet days,
both driving automatics.

Both in the 1.56.3 region., you did it in 1...




So, you get wet and auto,

and that's the fastest we've ever had
in that car in those conditions! Yay!

You are... there.

So, above Peta, 23, from Essex...
Below Jonathan Ross.

Stig did a good thing, then.
Oh, yeah.

That was impressive,
and you were trying.

It has been genuinely inspirational
having you here,

and an enormous pleasure.

Ladies and gentlemen,!
Thank you!

Thank you very, very much.
Was that OK?

Right, now, we must get back
to our big supercar test.

So far, we've established that my Noble
is the fastest and the most economical.

The most unreliable.
Yes, funny. We've also

established that the McLaren
is the best around town,

and that Jeremy's big,
idiotic Lamborghini

hasn't actually won anything.
Nothing! Zero.

Hmm. Nil. Zilch. Rien. Nowt.

The square root of Jack.
Nothing... we've established that!

Let's move on,
because it's time now for part three,

in which we three must face the most
dangerous thing we've ever done.

'As we headed north to our date with

'we started to think about how
our cars compare to the daddy.'

Three days ago, if you'd said to me,

"Which would you rather have,
an Aventador or Ferrari 458?"

I would have said, "The Ferrari."
I mean, it's the obvious choice.

But now... No, I'd have this.

I know a Ferrari 458 is just a technical
masterpiece and it looks wonderful,

but this has got something
the Ferrari doesn't have.

It has... It has a character.

It's like a big, daft orange dog!

Everybody wants a big,
daft orange dog!

It's won me over. Completely.
It's not just the best car here.

It's better than the Ferrari 458.

For me, it's one of the best cars in
the world now. I absolutely love it.

It feels like a race car but without
the impracticality and discomfort.

But, yes, they're a small make in the
UK that nobody has ever heard of.

Well, at one time,
so was Mr Pagani, making his Zonda.

So, that's two votes against the
Ferrari. But what about James?

This is brilliant. I'm really,
really growing to like it,

and let's not forget it's £35,000
or so cheaper than the Ferrari 458.

And that is a huge amount of money.

But there's still... I don't know.

The Ferrari, I think the gear change
feels a bit crisper,

and everything feels a little
better defined, somehow.

It's the fizz, I'm afraid.
I can't explain it. I just...

The Ferrari still gives me
more fizz.

'You have reached your destination.'

'The destination turned out to
be a racetrack...

'called Imola...

'..where, after a quick change,

'we were told to report
to the pits for a challenge.'

"You will now lap the
circuit, attempting

to beat the time set
by a Ferrari 458."

Who's driving a 458?
It says here he's not The Stig.

But he is The Stig's Italian cousin!

It's "Bunga-Bunga" Stig.

What's he been doing?!


'Whatever it was he'd been doing,

'he plainly still had
plenty of energy left for driving.

'And posted a daunting time
of 1.56.6.

'Before trying to beat that,
we thought it best to spend

'a little time learning how our cars
behaved on a proper racetrack.'

That gear change in track mode
is absolutely savage.

Ride that kerb!

Four-wheel drive system is

The power is constantly
moving around... front, back,

side to side... so you've always
got the grip you need.

The good thing is, I have carbon
brakes which will not fade.

Poor old Hammond has got
steel brakes, which will.

Focus. Smoothness.

A car like this, with no
driver aids, no computers

messing about, it's
just you and the car.

The only chance I stand here is to
get it out of the corners

in such a shape
that I can use that power.

Of course, the McLaren does have a
lot of driver aids,

but Captain Sense Of Direction had
more important things on this mind.

What's this one? I can't remember.

This is the bit where
I don't have to brake...

If I can remember this bit...

At the end of the day, we knew
the circuit and we knew our cars.

But still, we were not feeling even
remotely confident,

because this is Imola...

one of the most dangerous
tracks on Earth.

It's narrow, fast and ringed with
unforgiving walls and trees.

Gilles Villeneuve,

Gerhard Berger,

Nelson Piquet, Riccardo Patrese,
Rubens Barrichello...

at some point in history, every corner
here has claimed the ego of a big name.

And some corners have claimed
even more than that.

After Senna's death in 1994,

changes were made to the track
to slow the cars down,

but even so, if we were going
to beat that Ferrari,

we would still be going through the
first bend at nearly 200mph.

So, that night, each
of us spent a little

time alone with the
cars we'd be using.

YOU are Juventus.

And tomorrow, you're taking on
Woking Town and Leicester City.

And everybody in England

is going to want them to win,
because they're the underdogs.

But don't you worry.

We haven't won a single
challenge yet,

but tomorrow... that will change.

You're not going into battle armed with
a sophisticated computer and wizardry,

clever suspension, four-wheel drive.
You're just going in with an engine.

Doing it the old-fashioned way.

Underdog or not,
I know you've got it in you now.

I'd love us to win.

Just remember, as
we're going round and

you're despairing of my
terrible gear changes

and my bad apexes, and things,

you're made by McLaren.
You've got the best race pedigree.

You've got clever suspension,

you've got no roll bars,
you've got a computer,

you can brake the wheel for me,
you can virtually do it by yourself.

All you have to do is humour me a bit,
and remember that I'm Captain Slow.

Or Mr Slowly,
as the Italians call me.

'The next morning,

'we ventured onto this terrifying track
to try and beat The Stig's 1.56.6.'

God, this is quick!

Oh, my giddy aunt!

I'm off the road!

I'm on it again!

My God, I'm faster here.

This is outrageous. Oh, BLEEP.

Now, faster than you think.
Don't be a wimp.

Agh! A bit of wee may be coming out!

Don't brake too early.
Don't brake too early. Now!


'Unusually, we were all taking this
challenge very seriously... '

A 5.4 to a 4.9. Oh, no.
I'm still on 2.07.

'..But we knew we'd
have to try even harder

if we were going to
beat that Ferrari.'

Right, come on, May,
you blithering idiot. Avanti.


In... Braking down.


Get cocky!

The track WILL be there. Keep it in!


I'm going a bit mental here, now.

Brake... Ooh, that's messy.

I'm going to go for 5th.
I'm going to take

as much through here
as I bloody dare. Oh!





Come on!


OK, brakes have gone. Whoa.
Failure from the brakes.

After my brakes had cooled, and Hammond
had emptied his car of gravel,

we went back out for
one final attempt to beat the 458.

And the Lambo is only...
Here we go! Come on!

OK, this is it.
I'm doing this one for Leicester!

Right, beans!

That's it!


And now brake!

I've done the difficult bit!

It will go round, it WILL.

Come on!

And brake...

And back on the power as soon
as you can. Now. NOW! NOW! Power!

Stay right, stay right, stay right!
Stay right, now!

Stretch it, stretch it! Come on!
Come on!

Come on! Come on!

You can do it! Come on!


That looked as scary as it was.
Yes, it was scary.

It's that palpable sense of,
"Oh, my God!"

Because I have to say, as you go past
the pits, the track is not straight,

it's a curve, and you daren't
lift off, because the crews,

they can hear the engine note change, so
you have to keep your foot hard down.

It was terrifying.
It is 200 and...? Over 200.

All three of us doing over
200, and that's faster

than a Formula 1 car, was
going through there.

They could only do about 180.

I don't know, because
I had my eyes shut.

It was terrifying.

Anyway, it is time now to reveal who
was the fastest of the three of us.

Richard Hammond? I did it
in 2 minutes and 3.3 seconds.

That's the best I could do.

Mr Slowly?

2 minutes 6.4.

Yes! And you?

It's so difficult not to look
smug at this point. Oh, God!

It's not working.
1... Ooh! ..59.1.

Well done.

You're not pulling it off.

It's not working. It isn't.
No, I'll forget it.

Let me just straighten this out,
OK? Well done.

We gave it everything, each of us,
and we didn't beat the Ferrari. No.

Hang on.
That's not strictly relevant,

because the point of this
was to see which car

you should have IF you
didn't want a Ferrari.

Yes, it's the Lambo. No.
It isn't. It IS the Lambo.

I admit, it's not
a brilliant track car.

It IS a big, daft orange dog, AND
blue stuff comes out of the exhaust.

No. Look, that Noble taught me more
about driving in that one day

than any other car has
ever taught me.

It's about the real
undiluted experience. Silence.

The McLaren is the closest thing
to the 458, which is the best,

therefore the McLaren
is the best car here.

It's that simple. Does blue stuff
come out of the exhaust? No.

Exactly. Well, there you are.
The thing is, we can't agree.

And actually, we never will. No.

And on that bombshell, it is time to
end. Thanks very much for watching.

See you next week. Good night!

Sync and corrections by APOLLO