Top Gear (2002–…): Season 18, Episode 4 - Episode #18.4 - full transcript

The Ferrari FF and Bentley Continental V8 are put through their paces at a unique test track on the edge of the Arctic Circle while May is in Florida where he meets up with AC/DC front man Brian Johnson.

James wears a hat.

And Richard is behind a low wall

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

Thank you. Thank you and welcome.

Now, last week you may remember we asked
James May to test an exciting, fast Vauxhall

and he ended up reviewing a slow, small Fiat.

Well, this week, we asked him to go to Florida
and try out a new type of electric car.

We said to him, "James, this time,
can you try to stay on topic?"

Here it is - it's called the Fisker Karma,

and let's not be having any debate,
it looks fantastic.

But maybe that's not surprising,

because the company that makes it was set up
not by an engineer, as usual, but by a designer.

He was responsible for the Aston Martin
V8 Vantage and the BMW Z8 roadster,

so obviously he knows his way around a pencil.

But it's not the looks we're interested in.
It's what goes on underneath that bodywork.

As with most electric cars,
underneath here is a great big slab of batteries,

and you can plug those into a socket
at your house or your office

and recharge them and then you have
a range of 50 miles -

which doesn't sound very good, does it?

But then, if I just touch this lever here,

I engage a two-litre petrol engine,
which is under the bonnet.

But unlike, say, a Toyota Prius,
the engine isn't connected to the wheels.

Instead, it drives an electricity generator.

At this point, the display is telling me
I only have nine miles of range left,

and normally I'd be going,
"Oh, God, will I make it?"

But no, because I know, with the touch of that
paddle, or even leaving it to its own devices,

the petrol engine will make more electric.

So, it's driven by electric motors,
but it has its own on-board power station.

You might be thinking you've sort of heard
something like that before.

Well, you have.

Yes, I'm talking about
the Hammerhead Eagle i-Thrust,

which, I might point out, was also
fitted with its own electricity generator -

and that was two years ago.

There is no polite way of putting this.

Fisker have, very blatantly, brazenly, I'd say -

copied my idea for a long range electric car.

Except they didn't have theirs styled by Jeremy,

but the technology is exactly the same.

As my lawyers will be
making very clear quite soon.

Admittedly, the Fisker is much better built
than the Eagle i-Thrust

and it's probably the most
politically correct car on earth.

It has solar panels on the roof,
because in the car,

all this stuff here runs off electricity
and that would drain the battery,

but that can produce a sort of
low-voltage circuit, if you like,

that can drive the radio and the sat-nav,
interior lights and your iPod,

and even the little system
that recognises this key -

This version I have here is called the Eco-Chic -

they have actually called it that,

because it embraces a lot of very right-on
and ethically-sound materials.

For example, the glitter in the metallic paint

is made with ground-up minute particles
of recycled glass

and on the inside, we find a piece of wood trim
that is only taken

from trees that have been burnt down
in forest fires or felled by storms

and it's not varnished, because
there is no varnish in nature.

These glass inserts have
in them a fossilised leaf -

a leaf that has fallen of
its own accord, not plucked.

And all of the interior fabrics
are very, very funky

and most importantly,
there are no animal products in there at all.

The only animal product in this car is me,

all of which ought to keep this chap here
very happy indeed,

and yet I'm told if I go any closer than this,

he'll still probably have my leg off...

Which just goes to prove
that animals are ungrateful.

Basically, if the Fisker was any more green,

it would be chaining itself to
a Japanese whaling ship.

But I like being in it.
It's just a very nice place to be, the Fisker -

it makes you realise that just putting leather
on everything is a terrible old cliche

it's what the Romans would have done.

And on top of that, I like driving it.

It's a nice-handling car, this.

It's not a Lotus, it's not a Ferrari 458,

it's a GT car. It's a GT car for long journeys,
but that's nice to drive.

And even though its arsenal of batteries mean
it weighs 2.5 tonnes,

it does shift along

The car will do 0-60 in just
a tad over six seconds.

It doesn't have a very high
top speed - only 125mph -

but the point is, electric motors produce
excellent torque -

1,000 pound-feet, in fact,
which is more than a Veyron.

I love electric-powered cars,
just the sort of slight whining spaceship noise.

Now, the price. All electric cars are expensive,

and the Fisker - at 86,000- is no exception.

This means it'll appeal only to
the well-heeled petrolhead,

so since I was in Florida, I went to see one.

Hello there, James, me bonny lad.
What brings you to this neck of the woods?

Yes, it's AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson.

It's the first car I think I've ever seen
that actually looks like

the drawings that you see before they come.

Yeah, it's good-looking, isn't it?

It really is a cracking-looking jam-jar,
look at the state of that!

Do want to try it? Absolutely!

Do you want to try mine? Yeah! All right, then.

Well... Mine's different.


This is a 1928 Le Mans-bodied 4.5-litre Bentley.

Brian really does use this every day -

he uses it to go down
the shop for a pint of milk.

Go on, me son! Born to do it!

Despite the mangled gear changes,
I was very much enjoying living in the past.

I can feel a moustache growing!

God, the smell is tremendous. Hot castor oil.

Well-known laxative, I'll have diarrhoea
by the time we get there.

Brian, however, wasn't coping so well with
living in the future.

Oh, Christ, now what happens?

I'm getting near the bottom of me battery level,
oh my word.

Right, now... And... That means
I have to do something, and I'm... Bugger.

What the heck is that?

I'm trying to follow James's instructions,
which were as clear as mud.

There he goes, flying by with his thumb up!

He's having a whale of a time and
I'm trying to figure out this computer thing.

Soon, the famous Geordie hat model
wanted his Bentley back,

I've put it in sport mode -
that means as I pull away,

every bit of electricity available
to this car goes to maximum acceleration -

1,000-pound-feet of torque in the back wheels.

Yellow, yellow, yellow... Green!

Johnson makes a good start!

This could take it!

Come on, you little bugger!

I'm afraid Thunder Guts is a bit of a
dwindling speck, ladies and gentlemen.

Did you enjoy that, me son?
I did, although to be honest, I felt a bit cowardly.

Not as much as I enjoyed
myself in this, I'll bet you.

Tell you what, your car looks heroic
in my rear-view mirror.

But also, I'm afraid, quite small. Yes!

But it's starting to rain. It is, isn't it?

And I don't have a hood. Well, I do,
but it takes 45 minutes to erect.

See you back down the other end.
See you back down the other end.

Thanks guys, for that.
Got to start the BLEEP now.

May! What? What's wrong with you?
You've done it again!

You're supposed to be driving a Fisker,
then you're in a Bentley with a rock star!

Next week, James is reviewing a Saab, OK,

and halfway through, he'll break off
for a spot of scuba diving with Fergal Sharkey.

Can I just... The Fister, right.
It's Fisker - it's a K. It's a K.

I THOUGHT that was a stupid name!
Let's just move on!

Fisker. Can I just clear it up?

You have the traditional all-electric car,
like a Nissan Leaf and a G-Wiz,

now that's just batteries and you have
to charge them up at night, yeah? Yes.

Then you have stupid hybrids,
like the Toyota Prius,

which are normal cars that have electric
motors for a bit of extra power, yeah? Yes.

So the Fisker is... What?

It's actually a petrol-engine car,
but in a normal car,

you get the power from
the engine to the back wheels

through a gearbox and a shaft and so on,

on this one you use the generator
and the electric motors.

I'm lost.

It's a more efficient way of
tapping the energy in the fuel.

That's why it accelerates like a 400hp GT car,

but it only uses as much fuel as a...

I don't understand how it works.

I can't dumb it down to your level,
cos I'm scared of heights.

Listen. It's energy,
you use it to drive the wheels.

You get more of it by using that system.

People get confused.
They talk about electric energy..

Just tell him it's magic. It's magic.

It's magic electric pixies.

That's all you needed to say.

That's not how it actually works.

I'm not bothered, actually. I am not interested.

Let's just do the news.

There are proposals
in the corridors of power that

anyone who passes their driving test must be
accompanied for the first few years on the road

by an experienced, sober person who is over 25.

You can kind of see why
they think it is a good idea.

a stupid idea, the stupidest.
I have spent 17 years ferrying my daughter about.

Last month she passed her driving test,

which means it is her turn to ferry me about,
specifically to the pub.

What is the point if she gets to the pub
and can't run me home if I have had a drink?

It is more complicated than that.
She could not drive to the pub on her own.

So she would have to get an older boy friend.

Hello, Dad, have you met Keith, he's 53!

Why are you looking so excited?

He has brought his teenager with him.
Are you her experienced driver?

This is embarrassing for you.
Think of him as an experienced driver.

government ought to recognise that
without the young people

who tear around in cars we would not
have won the Battle of Britain.

That is a fact. That is a fact.

Teenagers, they sleep and tear about,
that is what they do.

And they have more sex than us.
They don't get fat or have hangovers.

Basically everybody else, the rest of us
are just old and bitter.

Young is better. Young is better and
the government should not say

children should have older people,

they should just say to my daughter,
go to the pub and pick up your dad.

Cadillac has made a concept car,
and here it is, it's called the CL.

It looks astonishing. It's got a twin-turbo V6,

and they say it is going back to their roots.

What, so it will rock for 5 hours
after you get out of it?

Does it have a 400-year-old
woman from Florida in it?

It is about grandeur, splendour, scale.

It is 19 feet long, enormous.
It is only 50 inches high, long, low and mean.

They have built a plinth.

Yes, but it comes with a cigar humidor.

What, in America?

It is like saying there is a new car
for Saudi Arabia with the mini bar.

One for Israel, the bonnet is made of bacon.

Don't smoke cigars in America.

It is a magnificent looking thing.

Now, a couple of years ago, Ferrari brought out
a car called the 599XX.

It's slightly unusual, this, because
it cost you a million quid,

but you couldn't take it home with you -
Ferrari kept it.

Nor could you drive it on the road,
even if you wanted to, cos it's not road legal

AND you couldn't sell it
without Ferrari's permission.

The only thing you could do was ring Ferrari and
say "could you take it to such-and-such a track",

have a couple of laps on it then
they'd take it away again.

Yeah, did anyone actually fall for this?
Yeah, 30 people.

30 people went, "that's a good deal.
I'll have one of those."

And now, Ferrari are saying to these 30 people,

"if you give us another 200,000, we'll fit the
car you don't actually have with a rear spoiler."

200,000 pounds?
200,000 pounds for that rear spoiler.

What's it made from? Spoiler material.

It's one of those special, well -
you won't know -

it's a DRS spoiler, like you get in Formula 1.

I know that, they sell sofas.

It opens and closes, depending on whether
you're going round a corner or down a straight.

Who are these 30 people that bought those things?

I want their e-mail addresses,
because I'd like to sell them a clock.

What clock? It's really big,
it's like, on a tower, in London,

next to the Houses of Parliament,
and I can sell it...

Can they take it home? No, they couldn't
take it home, but it'll be their clock.

Good marketing.

Oh, no. Here we go. Ready? Standby, everybody.

Exciting day today, because this morning
I had my first drive in the new 911.

And it's a very good thing.

It's not new, Richard. It isn't new.

It is new! It isn't.

It is! That's the new 911.

Okay, right, we've got a photograph here
of the one before.

And let's have a look at the one before that.

And the one before that.

That one is blue,
but they are all exactly the same.

They look similar, if you can get
your head around that concept.

It is an entirely new 911,
and it is a very good car.

I drove it, it had a very good engine.

It sounds brilliant. The steering was rubbish.

It's not rubbish! What have they done to it?

It is different,
it's electric for the first time.

So they put electric power steering on
and ruined it.

They have ruined it. It's less 911.

There you go.

Would you agree the steering is rubbish?
It is awful but I agree with you.

It is brilliant. And the steering is not appalling
but it does not feel like one any more.

If you take away a 911's steering feel,
you've taken away everything.

It's a bit like... Does anybody remember,
we sold Fawlty Towers to the Americans, OK?

They were going to remake it there and
couldn't make it gel with audiences

and they said one of these characters isn't working,
so guess which character they got rid of?

Sybil. Not Manuel. The major!


They got rid of Basil Fawlty, so that Fawlty Towers
would work in America and that's what they've done.

They've killed the thing that made it unique.

So that is the end of the news.

So, moving on, normally, when a new Ferrari is
launched, we test it on our track,

but with this, the new FF,
we decided to push the boat out.

So we decided to take it to the largest,

most advanced automotive
test facility in the world,


Arjeplog used to be a small Swedish mining town,

slap-bang in the middle of Europe's
last great wilderness.

But since the 1980s, it's become the
winter home of Mercedes, Volkswagen, Toyota,

General Motors, Ford and Fiat
and Peugeot and Renault.

Whatever you drive, chances are,
it was developed here.

Ordinarily, the population of this
little town is 3,000,

but every year, as the snows begin to fall,
9,000 car engineers descend on the place

to make sure that next year's models
start, stop, steer and continue to work

even when the temperature falls down
to -30 degrees.

So why have we brought this fragile
thoroughbred here?

Well, that's simple - because it's the
first Ferrari ever to have four-wheel-drive.

This means you can take it onto the test track,
which is on an enormous frozen lake.


And when you're there, you can do this.

I'm pulling shapes, I'm pulling shapes now.

Now, I have had more fun than
this in my life, I know I have,

I just can't remember the moment when that was.

Normally, you wouldn't dream of driving a 6.3-litre
650 horsepower V12 Ferrari, even in a light shower

they're for cruising around Juan Les Pins
in your carefully designed topless swimsuit.

But this? You can take this to San Moritz!

Drink Napoleon brandy without
getting your lips wet.

I'm on ice! I've got the traction control off

and I'm doing 100 miles an hour.
Yeah, that's what I'm doing.

And thanks to the four-wheel-drive system,
I'm fine!

Although actually, I'm only sort of fine,
because, if I'm honest,

this thing does have
some slightly odd characteristics.

It's so... Darting and... Aargh!

God. This is very twitchy.

It's a dead straight line, but look how much
steering I'm having to do in this thing.

I'm endlessly adjusting the throttle,
endlessly sawing away at the wheel

just to try and keep pointing
in the right direction.

The reason it feels odd is because
Ferrari's four-wheel-drive system

is unlike anything we've ever seen before.

I'm going to sound like James May now,
but bear with me.

In a normal four-wheel-drive car,

the engine sends its power through the gearbox
to a transfer box, mounted somewhere here.

That splits the power.

Some of it goes down the shaft
to the back wheels,

some of it down the shaft to those at the front.

Obviously, the shaft going to the front
has to go underneath the engine,

which means the engine has to be raised.

Ferrari say that if you raise the engine,
that's bad for fuel economy, bad for styling,

bad for handling, bad for everything
which they say matters.

So in the FF, the power going to the back wheels
comes out of the back of the engine

and the power going to the front
comes out of the front.

This means it has to have two gearboxes.

Because the one at the front is only very little,

it can only ever handle 20% of the engine's power

and if you go into fifth,
it shuts down completely.

What it all means though,
is that for the first time ever,

you can do this with a Ferrari.

But is Ferrari's very complicated solution
really worth it?

Bentley would argue that it isn't.

This is the new Continental GT.

It's a lighter, nimbler, sportier version
of the car Wayne Rooney drives.

Instead of the massive, thirsty,
heavy six-litre twin turbo W12 engine in his car,

this has a positively microscopic
twin turbo four-litre V8.

It also has a conventional
four-wheel-drive system,

so does that mean the engine's in the sky

and the car wallows about like
an elephant perched on a beach ball?

Tell you what, let's find out.

Right now, it's very hard to see
why Ferrari has gone to

all the trouble of reinventing the wheel,

because... if I'm honest, this does not handle
like the Natural History Museum.

For a big, old bruiser like this, it's good.

I've never been a fan of the Continental,
but I'm loving this.

Makes a good noise as well -
a dirty, dirty noise.

That is a rude sound.

So what we have here are two cars
that appear to be very similar.

They're both red, they both have two doors,
four seats and four-wheel-drive -

but there are some differences.

One sings baritone,

one sings tenor.

The interior of the Bentley is simple,
classical, elegant.

The interior of the Ferrari is a mess -

all the knobs are on the steering wheel,

there's a rev-counter in front of the passenger

and most of the dials make no sense at all.

Weirdly though,
the Ferrari is the most practical.

It's got a bigger boot than a Renault Scenic

and if you fold the back seats down,

it's long enough to accommodate
what pass these days for skis.

However, the Ferrari is 227,000-
that's 100,000 more than the Bentley.

So, what about speed?

Well, the next day, we carved a quarter-mile
drag strip into the lake to find out.

If this were a dry piece of Tarmac,
the Ferrari would monster it.

650 horsepower, this has 500.

Ferrari has more torque and it's lighter.
Much, much lighter.

Yes, traction control working well
for a blinding start for the Bentley.

Oh, my word, it's in the lead!

Come on, Bentley, come on!

Getting a bit wobbly now,
and the Ferrari's coming!

Oh, no, I can't deal with that power.
Oh, he's got tankslapper on! He is wobbly.

But it's closer than I thought!

In a straight line,
then, the Ferrari is the quickest,

but how would they compare on a circuit?

Well, to find out, we need a track,
and luckily, we have one -

because what you see here,
bulldozed from the snow,

is an inch-perfect replica of Silverstone.

Copse, flat-out in a Formula 1 car,
I'm doing 47... And I've got a big slide on.

Come on!

Right, Chapel. Chapel's a long right, followed
by a gentle left onto the Hangar Straight

this is uncanny.

Why don't they have Formula 1 races here?
That would be proper comedy!

Silverstone on ice.

Braking point's a lot earlier here...

Argh, surely not! Don't get stuck...
Oh, you stupid, STUPID thing! Man.

Having established that our ice version
of Silverstone was all in order,

we could now see which car could
get round the fastest.

To find out, we need a man skilled in the potent
cocktail of big horsepower and little grip.

And luckily, just such a man is arriving now.

He's not the Stig's Alpine cousin,

he's just The Stig.

Apparently he's come all the way
across the North Sea in that.

Soon, we had him out of the hovercraft
and into the Ferrari.

5, 4.7, 2.3, one, go!

So, here we go. A genuine 208mph racehorse
on one do-or-die lap.

Did you go into fifth gear?

You went into fifth, didn't you?

I said don't go into fifth, it'll just become
rear-wheel drive, and then this'll happen.

Eventually, we had him back on track
and look how hard he's having to work.

The Ferrari has incredibly complex electronics
and that weird four-wheel-drive system,

but this is not a car in which you can relax

you have to drive it. You have to work.

So, four minutes and four seconds.

Then, it was the turn of the Bentley.

5, 4.8, 2.7, 1, Go!

but mostly cos it's simpler.

It has that conventional four-wheel-drive system
and a normal automatic gearbox,

rather than a flappy paddle manual.

This is a car in which you can sit back
and let the machine do the work.

Its V8 will even run on just
four cylinders to save fuel,

but not here - not with Stig at the wheel.

Look at him! Not doing anything.

But will it be faster? Can it be faster?

Coming round Club now, so we'll know soon enough.

You hateful imbecile!

Now that is actually a surprise -

the Bentley did it in 3.51,
so that's 13 seconds quicker.

When you are dancing on ice in Lapland,
the Bentley is the fastest.

And I am glad about that because,
of the two, this is my favourite.

I like it a lot.

However, if I was going on a skiing holiday,
I would not use either of these.

Because, if I wanted a car that would
get me to St Moritz,

and then keep on working when I got there,

I would use what the crew has been
using to film me here - A Range Rover.

That was about as much fun as you can have.

13 hours to get there but, God, it was fun.

Interesting conclusion, though.

I have actually driven
the Ferrari on a dry track,

and to be honest,
it is not really a driver's car.

Neither is the Bentley, and this is why
I arrived at that conclusion.

If you don't want the last word
in handling precision -

you just want four seats and
something that works on snow -

you might as well have the Range Rover.

Fair enough. Can I get back to the Ferrari?

They have given it that wantonly
complicated four-wheel-drive system,

just to lower the engine a bit?

I will not dumb it down any more for you,
but that is the essence of it.

It does seem a bit mad. It is.

I think this is too complicated for its own good.

Too big and expensive. It will depreciate like
a chest of drawers falling off a cliff.

They should have called it
the Ferrari India Special.

My guest tonight has appeared
in Inglourious Basterds, Shame, X-Men, Haywire,

in fact, pretty well every film
that has come out in the last six months.

He is half-German and half-Irish,
so, ladies and gentlemen,

please say, "top of the morgen",
to Michael Fassbender..

Now, in the olden days, and
I note children watching will not believe this,

it was possible to go to the cinema and see a film
that did not have Michael Fassbender in it.

You first came to my attention,
at least, in Inglourious Basterds, with your...

Does everyone do that to you in the street?

Yeah, exactly. And it still takes me..
I'm like, what's he doing?

"I have done 18 films since then!"

But Shame is the one people are talking about.

You had to do, honestly,
a full frontal nude scene.

Was it hard?

I mean, this is an impressive sausage.

I don't know what to say to that!

So, can you say to your mum,
"Would you like to see my new movie?"

Exactly, she was actually going to come
and see it in Venice

and I said to my mum,
"Sure, come and we will watch it together."

Enough months had passed for me to
think it wouldn't be that bad.

Luckily, her back was playing up,
she has a bad lower back,

and whether that was psychosomatic or not,
I do not know.

But, thankfully, she didn't make it,

because the first thing my dad said,
because he was behind me,

he leaned over and said,
"Thank God your mother isn't here."

I have been doing this show for ten years,
and I think in all of that time,

only three or four of my friends
have ever asked for tickets for the show.

This week, when people discovered
you were coming on, I had to get a minibus,

and they are all girls.

"Can we come and look at his...?"

Lap time. Yes, exactly.

Anyway, you have just done Shame,
where you spend the entire time naked.

Now you are in a film where you get to
spank Keira Knightley. Yes.

That is called Dangerous Method?
Dangerous Method.

What is that about? It is sort of focusing
around Freud and Jung,

and one of their mutual patients,
Sabina Spielrein, played by Keira,

and basically, that sort of relationship,
the meetings of minds between Freud and Jung,

and then the fracturing of that relationship,

and she is kind of in the centre of it all.

I think we have a clip of the trailer,
let us have a look.

Sex? Male.

Family? Child.

Divorce? No.

Why should we put so much effort into
suppressing our most basic natural instincts?

There is a rumour that you have
taken a real patient as a mistress.

Don't you think we should stop? you want to stop?

Sometimes you have to do something unforgivable
just to be able to go on living.

I'll have some of that.

I like a bit of psychoanalysis.

When you were reading the script for that

and you got to the bit
where you spank Keira Knightley,

how much more did you read before
you rang your agent to say you'd do it?

It wasn't in the script.

I sort of insisted. "Then I'll do it!"

But you began, I think I am right in saying,
on Holby City.

And then you were in a Guinness advert,
which must have been, well, perfect for you.

Yeah, I mean, I said to them, "Is there anyway
you could give me a Guinness credit card,

with a white line along the top,

which means I can have free Guinness
for the rest of my life?"

And did you get it?

That's annoying.

Because you are not wholly Irish.
I am half-German.

Half-German, half-Irish.
That is quite an odd combination.

Like, "This must be done absolutely perfectly...

It is that slightly different...

One part of me wants to,
you know, be very efficient

and the other side is a little bit reckless.

And you are a Formula 1 fan?
So, is it Irvine or Schumacher?

Schumacher. Schumacher?
So the German side comes out?

Still Schumacher,
or have you now switched to Vettel?

You know, I gotta say I'm still a Schumacher man.

I mean, I would still like to see him get the car

I don't know if it would be possible for him
to get up to Vettel's level.

He has got it in him.
He is seven time world champion.

I am with you. I think he is brilliant.

Have you met him? I was lucky to get invited
to Silverstone last year

and he did come out of the Mercedes garage

and I was running behind him, like a stalker.

And I was like, "Schumacher, Schumacher?"
And he kept walking.

And he was kind of looking at me
with a bit of a smile

and there was a lot of fear in his eyes.

So, I did get the chance.

Did you do that? No, no, he didn't know
who the hell I was!

Obviously, you are a big Formula 1 fan.

As far as I can work out,
you have only ever had one car?

Yes. It was a Peugeot 306 turbo diesel
Spinnaker special edition.

What is that? Was that just a local dealer
putting "Spinnaker" on it

and charging an extra 500?

Pretty much.
I think it had different coloured seats.

I crashed it. I did it in.

And that's that. Yeah.

And I said to the guy when I brought the car up,
"These damn Peugeots".

He was like,
"Well, the fellow at the Peugeot said

they're not designed to go
over the kerb at 50mph."

So what do you get around on, then,
if your Peugeot is being crashed?

I use the motorcycle.

I knew you would be happy about this

I started with a Speed Triple,
and then I got the GS1200 BMW Adventure..

May's got one of those.
It's an amazing piece of equipment.

For the weight of it, when it is moving,
it is so well-balanced.

Are you allowed to ride bikes
if you are involved in films all the time?

Cos I would say, "No. They're too dangerous."

Sometimes. I drove the Speed Triple
to Berlin for Inglourious Basterds.

They were like, "We have the ticket..."

And it was, "No, he will make his own way there."

They were like, "OK."

And I turned up on the bike,
and they went, "What the!"

So, I couldn't ride when I was filming that.

No, I just wouldn't allow anybody I knew
and liked to ride a motorcycle.

That is why I encourage May and Hammond
to ride theirs as much as possible.

So, obviously you came here to do your lap.

How was the Stig out there? He is amazing.

I think he was probably getting
a bit fed up of me

because he is giving me the information
and I'm not putting it to use.

He's jealous, because your helmet
is now more famous than his.

I am talking about the one he wears in X-Men,
the Magneto helmet.

Before you arrived, we had a bit of a problem.

We have some footage of the preparation
which we have never had to do before.

This is the second to last corner
and it was just sheet ice.

We sent our boys out there to
try to get rid of most of it and it didn't help.

Well, I mean,
I can't blame the ice, to be honest.

Who would like to see the lap? ALL: Yes.

Let's have a look.

It looks dry. Was it slippery?


It was only really the second-to-last corner
where the ice was really playing.

A few times, there was a bit too much squealing,
it was like a pig.

That's good.

Keeping that tidy, very tidy, actually.

This is always a tricky one.

A little bit wide. Yeah, way wide on that.

A little bit. Not too bad.

Hammerhead. How are we going to cope there?

I cut that a bit by the looks of it.
A bit wide again.

I would say that was all right,
actually, I'll reckon.

Yes, all looking smooth as hell.

Sweating like a cornered nun.

Sweating like a cornered nun?!
Where did you get that from?

That is where you spun off, on the slow lap?
Yes. Drifted over there.

Yep, two wheels off.

You can't cut that corner, can you?

No, that's tricky. I kept cutting that.
That was a problem.

That was all right through Gambon.

And there we are, across the line!

Where do you reckon?

I say I would be happy at about 1:45.

OK, 1:45. Somewhere around there.

I do not think it will happen now.

Well, it was...

That ice on the second to last corner...

Letting me down gently, I like it.

Michael Fassbender, you did it in 1...



..point 8.

That is... The third fastest time we ever had!

That's all right!

With ice on the second-to-last corner!

I was not expecting that at all.

That is a fantastic time. I am happy with that.

I am thrilled you could come.

Ladies and gentlemen, Michael Fassbender!

In this country, we like to do everything
we possibly can

to make life more pleasant for disabled people.

We have Pelican Crossings that beep,

and we have ramps in front of public buildings,

Yes, and there is even a range of
off-road mobility scooters

so that people with disabilities
can get out into the countryside and do rambling.

Problem is, they don't look very off-roady to us.

I mean, this is hardly
a Toyota Land Cruiser, is it?

And they are fantastically expensive.

This one is 6,500.

Yes, and that gave us an idea, could we
do something genuinely worthwhile for once.

Could we build an off-road mobility scooter
that does not cost a fortune?

Yeah, well, the producers told us
we should go and do exactly that

and then meet up in Wales for a series of tests.

This is exactly the sort of damp,
muddy countryside that ramblists love.

Ideal conditions, then, to test our machines.

This is what I have created.

I built it from two scooters so
I have ended up with two engines,

four-wheel drive, the four at the back

and four-wheel steering, the four at the front.

It has lawnmower tyres, a sound system
and binoculars for bird-watching

and with that in mind, check this out.

This is a hide,
that fits over the top of the scooter

so I can sneak up silently
without frightening birds,

like the pied wagtail
and the... The coot.


Stephen Hawking has arrived.

Weren't you listening to the challenge? Yes.

It said mobility scooters, off-road.

Forgive me for taking it seriously

but as far as I can make out mobility scooters
of the people who have difficulty walking.

I'm concerned with people who have no choice
but to be in this, which is a wheelchair.

Why shouldn't people in wheelchairs
be able to go rambling?

You are right.

I was with some disabled children the other day,
confined to wheelchairs,

This is not fast, if I am honest,
but it is versatile. It is going there.

Once you get into the countryside, don't do that.

You have a coffee machine.

I have everything, drinks,
sat nav, electronic tablet.

You mean an iPad? Exactly.

What is this on the back?
It is a gravel dispenser.

If you get stuck in a bog.

What is this handle for?

You are going up or down a steep bit,

you wind it and it changes the angle of the seat.

At this point the piece of the morning
was shattered by the arrival of the local boy.

That is him making that noise, isn't it?
He looks like an idiot.

He is an idiot. He's built a half-track.


I know.

Where did it say it is supposed to be electric?

Isn't it in the regulations?

Let me talk you through what I have done.

The chassis is composed of two vehicles,
a mobility trike,

and it is mated to one of those powered
wheelbarrows that builders used

for cutting huge amounts
of stuff over rugged terrain

and it has tremendous off-road capability

and in such an environment we will need a winch.

Not again. Have you mounted it
to the front wings?

To the chassis, this time. I have learned.

I've got incline-o-meter, because this can
achieve incredible angles of lean.

This way, and that way.

Jerrycans for extra fuel.

This is important. We not only had to
build machines that worked better

that what you can buy off the shelf off-road,

but were cheaper.
This is the most important thing.

Mine, all in, 2,700.


1,200 for the trek, 1,200 for the wheelbarrow,
the rest was just sweat and work.

Interesting. What was yours?


That represents a massive saving.

There we are. If you were disabled
and you want to go to the countryside...

Exactly. Exactly.

Obviously we would test our machines
in the hills later

but first we had to make sure they work in towns.

This is very important,

a Range Rover does not just work
in the countryside,

it has to work in the city as well.

And so must this.

What I normally do in towns is
going to the baker's.

Morning. Have you got an iced finger?

There are many regulations, as you would imagine,
this being Britain,

governing the use of mobility scooters
and this meets almost all of them.

I'm good for width, I'm good for length,
I'm good for speed.

But I do have a problem with weight
and so does my scooter.

Excuse me.

Would it be... I hate to do this...

I am trying to get down there and it is stuck,
I'm so sorry.

It is not quite as easy as it looks.

Again, sorry.


Police man, I must be careful of the speed limit.

I'm allowed to do four miles an hour
in built-up areas.

That's more than 4!

Feel the speed! The speed!

Four miles an hour, officer.

You look really uncomfortable in this.

It is my first time.

The first time you getting,
your feet are going like this.

It is all this little wizard's hat.

Just down there, come on.

Three, two, one, go.

Come on!

That is all I have got.

Here is the big test, will it fit in
a disabled lavatory?


Morning! Just browsing!

Ahh.. I'm sorry!

Despite the mishaps...

We decided our machines work well
in an urban environment

so we headed back out to the fields,
where my half-track was even better.

It seems able to tackle quite steep slopes
which is potentially good.

Easy. Plenty of torque from that petrol engine.

The suspension is working,
it climbed up there as if it was not there.

Check my wildlife screen, that is a blackbird.

I am driving in stealth mode.

You can't see that because
I am well camouflaged. And silent.

I have to say the four-wheel-drive system
is working magnificently well.

The ride is good, the grip is good.
I have built a Land Rover here.

Oh, no, I have run over my hide.

Since the hide clearly needed more work..

The producers told me to get rid of it
and then they gave us a challenge.

You will now report to...

Where you will take part in an off-road race.

Hang on a minute, it gets worse.

You will be working as a team
against a group of wounded servicemen

who will be using the
off the shelf off-road scooters.

The terrain we would have to cross was brutal,
wet grass, mud and steep wooded slopes.

The finish line was on a mountain
three kilometres away.

And this is who we were up against.

You are Nick. Mark. Ben.

Let's get your wounds worked out.

Spinal injuries.

Right leg. So that's nothing..?

Kick it as what you want.


And you are? Left arm, right leg.

Left arm, right leg? Yeah.

How did you do that?

As I was spinning down I landed on ground first.

Was it a bomb? Yes.

Despite their injuries they were confident.

Do you think honestly you will beat us? Yes.

They're just playing mental games.

Put some beers in it.

A case of beers. A case of beers.

The military boys used their orienteering skills

to map out a manageable route for their scooters.

Take it easy on the rocky bitt.

We, however, was so confident in our engineering,

we decided to go as the crow flies.

We are being started with the
traditional Welsh hunting horn.


Come on! James!

This is full speed!

I hate it when they make us do a race.
I should have known.

Let's get up this hill!

There is no question mine is faster than yours!

And quieter!

Oh, no, my steering's jammed.

I'm losing traction completely.

Go forward, go forward.
Do a bit of convoy formation here, lads.

That's a good effort.

Yes! Now I can just engage seat angle alteration.

While Sir Randolph May was stuck..

What have you done?

..I went to help the orang-utan.

Try and get the bodywork off the wheel.

If you try and turn the wheel to the left.

This is teamwork now, isn't it?

We're actually doing teamwork.

What am I thinking of?

I've got my gravel system to deploy.

Watch this.

Pulling the string dispenses gravel from the hopper
in front of the wheels, improving traction.


Hang a right.

Right, go, go, go!

Having mended Jeremy's scooter,
Thunderbird One then had to rescue me.

Oh, this is just...glorious. Tremendous!

Stop it!

They're down there, look. There.


How did you get there?

We'll see you at the end.

I feel a crate of beer coming on.

Hammond! They're ahead of us!


Left here, Ben!

Go on, go, go, go.

Worried by the progress of our rivals,

Hammond and I stopped to discuss our colleague.

I mean, look at him. He's pretty pointless.

There is a bit of a rise in the terrain, there.


Do we, in these unique circumstances,
merely leave him? Mm-hm.

Or shoot him and leave him?

Because we were working as a team,
we decided to just leave him.

I feel bad. I do. I feel bad. I'm getting better!

Right... I think... That way.

Pro Rider Road King is doing well here.
A moment of actual progress.

Mate, we're rolling.

I was rolling, too,
and had left Jeremy far behind.

It's getting very muddy now, but that's OK.

This is where tracks are absolutely perfect.

Nav check. Be careful, man.

That was that road we saw on top of the ridge.

We're doing well, we're doing well.

It's going to get tricky up there,
them contour lines.

Yeah. Keep doing what we're doing.

Sportster, this is Pro Rider Road King, come in.

I may need your winch a tiny bit.

Oh, God.

Once again,
I had to abandon my pursuit of our rivals

to go and rescue the orang-utan.

What have you done?

Let it rock. Go on!

Yeah, that's much better.

That isn't. Oh, no!

Lovely jubbly! Go, go, go.

The Pro Rider was eventually righted, but this
teamwork nonsense wasn't getting us anywhere.

Ram me!

Jeremy... Go.
It's going to be dark by the time I get there.

Mate, I'm going to. Go. Be the team.

And beat the soldiers on the Top Gear thing
that has suddenly become. Yes.

I'm not giving in, but I don't
want you to wait any more.

So long, Pro Rider.

Obviously, the servicemen were in the lead,

but they were still taking the long way round.

If I'm going to stand a chance
of preserving my team's honour,

I'm going to have to go straight up.

To help me, my rivals were starting to struggle.

We're through.

Lesser vehicles would have been
just stumped by that.

Landed right on my GPS.

Meanwhile, much further back...

Now that my weight is on
the back wheels, I have traction.

Oh, yeah. I'm surfing now.

If we bend it outwards...

Mark's control panel had snapped off in the fall,

and getting it fixed again had
cost them precious time.

Did you hear that? Yeah, I can hear some engine.

I can hear Hammond. Hammond?

There's no BLEEP way he could have
got up here that fast. Go, go.

Come on, don't stop, old Sportster!

I've got to pick my lines,
keep it as level as I can.

That's it, the summit's there.
That's it, that's the summit.

Wahey! It's a race to the finish line.

That's got to be the summit up there.

Come on! Ha, ha, ha, ha!

Last push now, boys.

I'm going to make it!

Keep going, keep going. Go, go, go.

Last little bit.

Yes! This is it. This is the summit.

All right, lads?


Well done, mate. Well done, well done.

It's just me.

Meanwhile, far, far away...

Now, look at this. It's a 17th-century pub.

And look at that step there. If you were
in a normal conventional electric wheelchair,

that would be game over and no pint.

But now, watch this. Full power.

Hang on.

Oh, cock.

Still, could be worse.

Fenton! Fenton!

Fenton! Oh, Jesus Christ!

Mine was terrible.

I'm glad I pushed it down the hill
and made Fenton jokes about it.

Because it was rubbish.

I'm sorry. What?

Mine was a lot worse.

I have to say, mine was brilliant. Er, it wasn't!

It was. It was the only one who made it.

I don't think you were, Hammond,
because you were beaten by these chaps.

I was, I was.

So, James, have you got something for them?

Yes, it is an absolute pleasure, gentlemen,
to give you, as promised, beer,

Well done, guys. Well done, chaps.

You've earned it.

Now, can I just ask, because, as you know,

Top Gear is famous throughout
the world for its consumer advice,

so which one of these three
would you say was the best?

This one wins hands down.

The trike? Yeah.

But that's still expensive. What is it, five...

5,000. It's 5,000.

I think I've got the answer to this, actually.

It's carmakers.

Because you know how
they are always branching out

and they make things like trendy designer kettles
and overpriced carbon fibre mountain bikes,

why don't they just stop all that
and concentrate on

making an affordable, off-road wheelchair
or scooter that works?

If you think about it,
this is a really good idea.

Carmakers making wheelchair, this is a good idea.

It is a good idea, and it's on Top Gear.

And that is a bombshell, so let's end quickly.

See you next week, take care, good night!