Top Gear (2002–…): Season 21, Episode 4 - Episode #21.4 - full transcript

Captain slow drives the new 620R super-lite Super 7 320hp, gets hit by a bug. Complains. Jeremy drives a custom built Alfa 8c Disco Volante in Italy. Hammond does the Mercedes 6 wheel SUV in a pool and sand, in UAE.


I sit on a rock...

James gets something in his eye...


And Richard says, "Mummy!"

Oh, Mummy!


Thank you, hello!

Hello, good evening,
thank you so much.

Thank you, now...

Now, tonight's show...

Tonight's show is interesting

because we have all
sort of reverted to type.

Later on, Hammond is in the desert
driving like an idiot

in a large and flamboyant

I'm in northern Italy driving
a rather elegant sports car

and James, well actually, we are
kicking off with James,

who really is in his comfort zone

because he is on
a Second World War air base

talking about a car from the 1950s.

This is The Stig taking
a Caterham to the ragged edge

on our track back in 2008.

That particular lap is
something of an Internet sensation.

It's been viewed over 100 times

and one of the reasons
it's so popular is

because that is the Caterham R500,

the most powerful and extreme car
they have ever built.

Or, rather, it was.

Because its crown has just been
stolen by this.

The brand new Caterham 620R.

Where the old 500 had 263hp,

this has 310.

And since it weighs just 545kg,

it has a better power to weight
ratio than a Bugatti Veyron.

But I have driven a Bugatti Veyron

and I have to say
it was very civilised.

Let's see how this compares.



Bloody Nora! Oh!


Argh! Argh!


I can't see!

Oh! Ow!



God above, that's not...

That's not like acceleration,

that's like being in a football
and somebody kicks it.


'With a helmet and goggles
deputising for the windscreen,

'I tried once more to get to
grips with the 620R.'

Obviously, you can tell from the way
I'm screaming at you,

the racket in here is tremendous.

It's quite difficult to breathe.

'That's hardly surprising
since 0-60 takes just 2.8 seconds.

'And it's not like you can get your
breath back in the corners.'



Right, this time, watch this.


Oh, not again. Sorry.

There'll be a lot of editing
to do on this piece.

'Stick at it for several months
and you can bring the 620R to heel.'

Whey, hey-hey!

I've done a whole circuit!

'And when you get your eye in,
it's not a bad car.'

It's still a Caterham.

It's all very crisp. Very nice.

Fantastic sequential gearbox.

'It's just that it's too much
hard work.'

The trouble is this is power
piled on power.

It can barely contain itself.

It's like a teenager left alone
with the Internet.

The wheels and the suspension
can only just

keep up with what's going on.


It's not supposed to be like this.

It's just a little sports car!

'However, I think
I have an answer to the problem.'

You see, I think if you're going to
build a minimalist car,

you need to take a minimalist
approach to performance

and handling, as well.

It's no good just piling on more
and more power,

that's like trying to improve
a curry

by putting more and more
chillies in it.

What I'm trying to say is, well,

Caterham needs to find a better
Indian restaurant.

Fortunately it seems
they're ahead of me on this one.

Alongside their new, most
powerful car ever,

they've also come up with this,

their least powerful car ever.

It's called the 160

and it has just 80hp

from a tiny turbocharged
three-cylinder Suzuki engine.

So the engine is much smaller
but then so is the price.

The 620R is £50,000.

This is just £17,000.

Admittedly, 0-60 takes
a gentle seven seconds

and the top speed is only 100.

But that's not the point.

Top speed, 0-60,
they're just numbers.

They are meaningless in themselves.

What matters is whether or not
they add up into a sensation

and this delivers
a tremendous sensation.



The key to the 160's sense of fun
is a set of super skinny tyres.

They are only a tiny bit wider
than a space saver.

So you only have to twitch
your foot a little bit...


..and you can slide
around like Mika Hakkinen.

Oh, lovely! Look at me.


When you have worn your tyres out,

they're only 40 quid each
to replace.

Even The Stig, who normally
turns his snout up at anything

with less than 500hp,
had an absolute ball.

It has a windscreen.

It'll do over 50 miles
to the gallon.

As far as I'm concerned,

it's the best car
Caterham has ever made.

In fact, there's only one thing
wrong with it.

The way it looks.

Next to the latest stripped out
sports cars like the Ariel Atom,

and the BAC Mono, it sits
a bit like a typewriter

in an Internet cafe.

I wonder if they could do
something about that?

As it happens, they're ahead of me
on that one, too.

This is the AeroSeven.

It's been developed with
the help of the Caterham F1 team.

The great thing is, it isn't some
static papier mache one-off

built for a motor show stand.

What do you think of this, then?

Positively down on gastrique
by Caterham standards.

The next thing you know,
they'll have a fax machine.

The AeroSeven isn't going
into production for a year or so.

Before it does, there's one major
thing they need to fix.



It hasn't got a windscreen!



The best car they've ever made?

According to him, it is.

The best car they've ever made?


So, James, er...

So you don't like cars
without windscreens?

No, I hate cars without windscreens.
That is the most idiotic idea

in the whole history of motoring,
isn't it? What is the point?

What advantage is there of building
a car without a windscreen?

You might as well have a snorkel
mask with no glass in it and you get
hit in the eyeball by fish.

It's that idiotic.

James, before you have an aneurysm,
there are one or two points

that Hammond and I
would like to make

about some of the things
you said in that film.

Hammond, do you want to go first?

Yeah, four minutes and 58 seconds
into your film,

whilst referring
to acceleration figures,

you say, "they are just
numbers, they're meaningless."

They are. You would say that!

James, but a car that accelerates
from 0-60 in 2.8 seconds

is better than one that does
it in seven seconds.
No, what I was actually saying...

Also, at three minutes 51,

you say and I'm paraphrasing here,
that giving it more power

is like trying to improve a curry by
adding more chillies. Mmm.

That is how you improve a curry!
No, it isn't. It is.

Remember the chicken
curry from school,

it was screaming for more spice,
it's what it needed is more.

Yes, then James at five minutes
and 29 seconds,

you said you were sliding around
like Mika Hakkinen.

I was. Yes, but you see Mika
Hakkinen is a Formula 1 driver

and they don't slide around.

Yeah, but when Mika Hakkinen
took me out for a drive,
he did slide around!

Yes, but he's not known for
sliding around. No, exactly.

He might collect porcelain frogs
but you don't go around saying,

"I'm collecting porcelain
frogs like Mika Hakkinen right now."

It's not relevant. Exactly!

Have you quite finished?
Well, not really

because there's a
lot to go through but,

sadly, we must now find out how fast
these cars go round our track

and that, of course,
means handing them

over to a man who can
actually drive!


Some say that he once put Helen
Mirren in a dishwasher.


And that at the Winter Olympics
he was disqualified

from the skeleton event for riding
down the hill on an actual skeleton.


All we know is he's called
The Stig!


And they are off.

Oo, it's a bit damp out there,
that may slow them down a bit.

620R building up a command...

Oh, no, there was
the other one coming into shot...

at the last moment.

First corner in, the 620R,
he's handling that well.

No, still...

Yes, we just saw the other one.

And here he is, no music,
obviously, to listen to today.

Just the sound of that

two-litre Ford Duratec engine,

supercharged in the 620R.

They don't use the 2.3 that they use
and the BAC Mono.

Here he is at the back!

Cos it's too tall.

He is actually struggling to
get the power down.

But he is getting it down.


Right, Follow Through next.

Here he is, definitely lifting off.

This is a magnificent example
of car control

from The Stig,
in one of them at least!

The other one simply not there.

Right, just...

Oh, good God, look at that.

Nearly losing it at the exit
of the Follow Through.

Handling it nicely coming
through into Gambon.

Getting some opposite lock on
before the corner

and across the line!

We just have to wait now for James's
favourite car to finish.

"The best car Caterham have ever
made"... there it goes.


Any minute now,
it'll be across the line.

OK, talk among yourselves.

And there it is!


Wet lap,
so we're not expecting any records,

we certainly haven't got them.

Right the 620R, the car you didn't
much like.

That did it in 1:22.3.

Similar conditions, similar time
to the magnificent Lexus LFA. OK?

Now your favourite car...

Not quite so fast.


There's no other way of saying this,

it was a 1:45.5, so it's there.

It's actually five seconds slower
than Morgan's wooden tricycle.


Good. And that's your
favourite car?

Of those two, yeah.


And now the news

and the news is that later on
in this programme

Jeremy is going to try and prove
to James and me

that cars are better than bikes.

Well, that's because they are.
Well, they're not.

Oh, yes they are.
They're warmer than bikes,

they stand up by themselves.

You don't have to wear
rubber trousers.

They're faster.

Not faster!
They are round corners.

Well, not in a straight line.

Yes, you see, that's what
I'm going to prove later on

that they are faster
in a straight line.

Really? Yes, I am. Really?

Yes, I am, but now we're going to do
the proper news, OK?

Now you know all around the world
there are museums for all

sorts of silly things. There's
a pencil museum in, is it Cumbria?

Yeah, it is. Yeah, a pencil museum.

There's an umbrella museum in Spain

and a museum of the vagina in Japan.

There is a penis museum in Iceland.
Been there.

It's very cold,
all the exhibits are very small.

The reason I bring this up
is because,

in America
there is a Corvette Museum.

There's a photograph of it here.

Now, as we know, the Corvette
enthusiast in America is quite...

Heavy. Yes, they're bigger gentleman.

Well, one of them visited the museum
this week and this happened.


Must have been a big one!
That was a big hole.

And apparently,
eight cars fell into it.

There's a shot actually
looking down. Look at that.

Oh, God, that's painful to see!

Damage was estimated at 37. Was it?

Was it?
But actually, we shouldn't mock

because you know there was
a sinkhole, which is what this is,

that opened on the M2 this week, did
you see? On the central reservation?

They closed the motorway
for 18 hours.

That, they kept the museum open.
They did!

Well, you can still see the cars.
Yeah, you just...

I think we should applaud
the Americans for that

because that's a good attitude
to health and safety.

It is. Well done, you.

Oh, now, I tell you what,
I've just remembered something else.

Recently, we were talking about, um,

those motorway gantry signs that
flash up idiotic nannying messages.

There was a sign photographed
in America this week, OK,

I think it was in Texas.

There was a light snow flurry
and some wag,

and this is brilliant, posted this.

"Oh my God! Is that snow?
We're all gonna die!"

That's more like it!
It's just fabulous.

But actually, that is what we should
do. Because that is the British way.

Self-deprecating, make fun
of the situation, have a laugh.

Make fun of the rules
and regulations.

I don't know who did this,
but if you're watching

and you ever come to England,
I would like to buy you a beer.

I'll put a strawberry on it for you.

Yes. Now, I've received a letter.
May I just read it to you?

"Dear Mr Clarkson..."
You're going to love this.

"I'm writing to you on behalf of the
world-famous Madame Tussauds."

Oh, they're not going to...
Yes, they are! Oh, you're joking!

Oh, no!

They say I have been highly
requested, highly requested,

to be immortalised in wax.

You sure that doesn't say
immersed in wax?

No, immortalised in wax.

How are they going to
immortalise you in wax?

Where are they going to get
all the wax?

Presumably they'll have to
melt down everything else

in Madame Tussauds, to make one
massive hideous wax dummy...

of a hideous dummy.

It's easy, they just get
a very big candle, they light it,

let it drip down the edges
for a couple of hours,

then just draw a face on it
with felt tip.

That would look a bit like him.

What are they going to do with it
when they've got it?

Imagine children, "We're going to
Madame Tussauds! What is that?"


It's going to be the first waxwork
in history

to be sculpted with a pickaxe.
Yes! And a hammer.

I want to see them sculpting it,
cos imagine,

once they've melted down enough wax,
which is a lot,

the size of the urn, it'll look like
a scene from Lord Of The Rings!

With all these little orcs
walking around the bottom,

getting ready... a big pour,
to create this hideous, hideous,

grotesque, enormous thing!
How are they going to fit it in?

No, don't put it there,
put it in the Natural History Museum.


Better still...

Next to the big brontosaur!

Just a big skeleton.

Just a big skeleton
next to the brontosaur,

a big tyrannosaurus-

And then people can go and watch.

Ladies and gentlemen, the sound
of bitterness and jealousy.

My colleagues, there.
I wish I hadn't brought that up.

As you probably noticed last week,

a Danish supercar called the Zenvo
came down here and caught fire.

A lot of people were very shocked
by that but actually,

it's not unusual for expensive cars
to catch fire

when they're first released.

Ferrari had a problem with the 458.

And then just this week,

we've been hearing about
Porsche GT3 problems.

There's a shot here of one in...
of one in Switzerland.

The internet is awash with rumours
of other examples of this.

Porsche themselves admit
it has happened in Italy as well.

And have now suspended deliveries
of the new GT3 to customers.

Yeah, but what if you'd already
taken delivery of your brand-new...

your brand-new and expensive GT3
that might catch fire at any moment?

Well, we really need to ask
a customer,

don't we, who's just done that?

Hammond! What? You've just had
a GT3 delivered, haven't you?


Shut up!
Shut up, stop talking about it.

Thank you, move on. It must be
so depressing. Oh, God. Yes, it is.

To have worked so hard
to buy your dream car

that is then immediately valueless.
Oh, God!

So to try and cheer you up, Hammond,
I've bought you a small present.

Oh, have you? Thank you,
I love your gifts.

We don't often buy each other
presents on this show

but I've done just that today.

Mono... They're actually GT3
branded driving gloves.

Oven gloves.

Thank you.

Funny. Ha-ha-ha-ha(!)


Doesn't just stop there.
Oh, please let it stop.

I think we need to coat your car

in the most fire retardant material
known to man. Pizzas.

Oh, not your pizza theory!
It's one of his stupid theories.

Come on, Hammond, come with me.

Now, this is your actual GT3.

Yes, it is, actually, yes.

We know this because there's
a fireman standing next to it

with an extinguisher
in case it suddenly combusts. Good!

Now, what I'm planning on doing, OK,

is I'm going to take these pizzas,
pop them on the car.

And then apply a blowtorch.
No! No, you're not, no, you're not!

I've seen you do this and
you're not doing it to my car. No.

But the ladies and gentlemen
want to see if pizza is...

I don't care! Not to my car! No.
Can we attach them to you?

Well, if you must, yes.
Right, well, first of all,

we need to establish...
James, can I borrow you? Yes.

First of all we need to establish
that these are pizzas, OK?

Have a look.

You will see
there's no asbestos in there,

they're real pizzas. Yes? Yeah.

James, perhaps
you'd like to just take a bite?

Yes, let me just pull a piece off.
Is that a pizza?

Tastes like the cardboard box
it came in, so it must be.

There you go.
So those are the pizzas.

If you'd like to attach those to
Hammond, that would be tremendous.

To his face? Um...

His vegetables. OK. Oh, really?

Come on!

Oh, not... That's ambitious, mate.

That's by my knees!

Now, I'm going to fire up
the blowtorch. There we go.

Oh, God, come on, no!
This is ridiculous!

James, how hot
is the tip of this flame?

Probably the best part of 800
degrees C. Enough to melt aluminium.

Enough to melt aluminium.
This is a real blowtorch.

Look, I can demonstrate it.

Fire on there, you can actually

see it burning the table nicely. Oh!

This is a real, well, two layers of
pizza, and a real Richard Hammond.

Everybody ready?


Wouldn't do it to him.


Oh, yes, I would!


Oh, no!


Jeremy, that's quite a long time,
isn't it? Not really.

Stop it!
I can smell burning sausage.

Is that alarming?

Can you see? Pizza.

Pop it on your car. No!

Ladies and gentlemen,
Hammond is still here.


Stupid, stupid.

That is...

I think that is a Top Gear hot tip.

We're going to move on.

Because, you see, in the olden days,
when James was 43,

car makers would sell you
a complete car like they do now.

Or they would sell you
something like this -

an engine, a chassis,
and some suspension.

And then you would take this
to a coach building company

who would then fit a personalised
body, personalised interior,

you could have anything you wanted.

And in the '30s,

this meant there were some truly
amazing creations.

Back then, there were coach building
companies all over the world,

helping the wealthy
to fulfil their wildest dreams.

Anything was possible,
and everything was done.

Coach building meant that
Clark Gable didn't have to have

a car that looked like this.

It meant he could have one
that looked like this.

Today, though,
cars are built differently.

You don't get a chassis
with a body on the top.

Because the body sort of is
the chassis.

The pillars, the roof,
the doorframes,

they're all load-bearing,
so changing anything is a nightmare.

And this has meant that
for many years,

coach building has been a lost art.

Now, though, I'm delighted to say...

it's back.

Welcome, everyone,
to the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante.

One of the most striking,

and unusual cars I've seen
in a very long time.

It started out in life
as an Alfa Romeo 8C.

But was totally re-bodied
and re-upholstered

by an old coach building company
in Milan called Touring.

In the '50s, they styled and built
sports cars for Alfa Romeo.

Later, they designed the
Aston Martin DB5 and DB6.

Along with the Jensen Interceptor,

and the very first Lamborghini -

the 350GT.

That is quite a CV.

In recent years, however,
they've been reduced to making

mildly modified Bentleys
and Maseratis.

It's been like watching
Dame Judi Dench

reduced to appearing in
a regional pantomime.

But now, they've decided to bring

the lost art of proper
coach building back,

with the Disco Volante.

Certain structural and safety
related things can't be changed.

The seatbelt mounting points,
the windscreen,

the suspension mounting points,

they'll be the same on this car
as they are on this one.

It's like plastic surgery.

You can't change the skeleton,
but you can change the flesh.

And that is what they've done.

But has it worked?

The simple answer is, yes.

It doesn't shake, it doesn't rattle.

It doesn't feel like botched
plastic surgery.

You don't think every time
you go over a bump,

"Oh no,
my nose is going to fall off."

Doesn't feel like Michael Jackson.

Do you know what it does feel?
It feels...


It feels, and this is high praise
for a hand-built car, it feels...


That said, it does not feel like
the car that spawned it.

It doesn't feel like an 8C.

That's because they've
softened the suspension,

they've turned it from
a stiff, B-road barnstormer

into a comfortable cruising machine,
and I like that.

There are loads of cars
built specifically to attack

a road like this.

So it's quite refreshing to find one

that allows you to savour it.

Savour the views, savour the moment.

So, it doesn't feel like an 8C.

And it certainly doesn't
sound like one either.

Oh, it's the most...

..soulful-sounding car
I think I've ever heard.

It's as though
the entire exhaust system

is actually made out of
Otis Redding.

♪ Left my home in Georgia... ♪



♪ Heading for the Frisco Bay... ♪


It's Otis!

Don't get me wrong, though.

This is not a slow car.

It has a 444 horsepower
4.7 litre Maserati V8.

Couple that to a super-light
carbon fibre and aluminium body,

and you end up with a car
that accelerates

like it's fallen off a cliff.

The top speed is 181.

Thing is, though, driving a car
this exquisite, this elegant,

quickly, feels wrong.

It would be like pogo dancing to
I Heard It Through The Grapevine.

No, no, no, you can't do that!

This, this kind of speed, this is
where it's at its best. Half speed.

I don't even feel inclined
to drive it fast.

I don't want to hang the tail out
on the hairpins.

Just want to put it in auto, put
some tunes on the stereo, like so.

Pop on a pair of sunglasses...

and slow on down.

And pretty soon, you'll want to
stop altogether and get out.

Because looking at this car,

that's really what it's all about.

It's interesting how many elements
from other things are in that shape.

I can see a little bit of Corvette,
a bit of E-Type...

Then there's the, um...I think
it was called the Discovery,

the spaceship in 2001:
A Space Odyssey.

I see that at the front.

And I love the way
they paint it gold

before they paint it red
to make the colour richer.

Then there's the name -
"Disco Volante" -

picked out in the seats.

I know, in Italian, Disco Volante
means "flying saucer"

but to me, it's the name
of Largo's hydrofoil

in the Bond film Thunderball.

I love that car.

I really do.

I think it really is time now

to bring out my special,
"in love" face.

I was jealous of Hammond when
he came out to Italy the other day

to drive the new Alfa 4C,
because, to me,

that thing is special.

It''s the Angel Gabriel.

But I'm not jealous any more,
because this...

This is the full baby Jesus.

I'm not going to say
it's the best car in the world -

it certainly isn't
the nicest to drive,

the brakes are spongy,
you can see nothing out of the back.

But as a tool
for making feel special,

really, nothing gets close.

Nothing at all.

A Maserati heart,
an Alfa Romeo badge,

exhausts made out of Otis Redding...

..and a hand-crafted body
to die for.

That is one hell of a combination.

It really is.


No, no, no, no, no. No, don't...


What? Hang on.

You were having a go
at me earlier on

because I preferred
the slow Caterham to the fast one.

Mm-hm. And here you are,
raving about a car

that's happiest at half-speed?
Well, yes.

You're an utter hypocrite.

No, no - you see, the thing is,

I'd prefer to drive to somebody's
house in a Lexus LFA,

cos I like the power
from that screaming V10 engine.

But I'd prefer to arrive in this,

because it's elegant,
it's beautiful, it's handcrafted...

How much is it?

Uh... well, do you know,
they won't tell me,

even when I lightly tortured them.

But I have heard
there's a man in Singapore

paid £1.5 million for his.

Now, there are a lot of import taxes
in Singapore - I mean, huge ones.

Even so, that's about 130...

That's still £600,000 for the car.

Yes, I know. And what's amazing
is that, in Singapore,

you're not allowed to drive
a left-hand drive car on the road.

So he's paid £1.5 million
for a car he can't drive.


He's completely mad.

He isn't - somebody's just paid,
what, £42 million

for a Francis Bacon painting.

You can't drive that, either.

It's not a car.

James, I haven't got time
for your pedantry.

Because we have to now put a Star
in our Reasonably Priced Car.

Now, my guest tonight
is extremely funny,

but he can't drive.

So he is the exact opposite
of Nigel Mansell.


Ladies and gentlemen,
Jack Whitehall.


How are you? Good, how are you?
Look who's here! Hello.

Hey. Have a seat.

Oh... Ooh...

Do you know, I haven't seen you
since you were in short trousers.

Yes, well, I mean, you know...

You were a big part of my childhood.

And that's not something that
probably everyone in here knows.

Jeremy was a father
at the prep school that I went to

and I have a lot of very vivid...

This is a big moment for me,
being here, with you, cos...

With long trousers.
With long trousers on -

tight, long trousers.

But you were, like,
the first kind of... real, kind of,

silverback, swinging-dicked
alpha male I'd ever set eyes on.

Every other father at the school
that I went to

was, like, a blubbering-faced
posh toff with a Barbour jacket.

Then you came striding across
the sports field,

a vision in denim, like...

It was amazing - we were all like,
"Oh, God, look at him!

"He probably eats his steak rare

"and doesn't bother getting out of
the bath to take a BLEEP."


And here you are.

It was always those book signings -

You had to go,
all the parents had to go,

if they'd written a book -

and almost everyone at this school
had... Yeah.

You'd be in this room
and there'd be Jeremy Paxman

with a big stack of books
he was trying to sell.

It was you and Paxman...

I remember it like it was yesterday.

There was one room,
it was a science lab,

you were at one end,
Paxman was at the other.

And it was basically a who's got
the biggest dick competition.


He'd have some really acerbic,
intelligent book

he'd written about the Reformation,

then you'd have,
you know... "Full Throttle",

or whatever it was.
It was. It was.

He'd got a queue of people
going, you know,

"Your observations on the
Plantagenets are most interesting."

And I got, "Do you think the Subaru
is better than the Evo?"

Now... we get many guests down here
who say, "Ooh, no, I can't drive."

And they mean,
"I've never done any track driving

"and I'm not very confident
and I'm not very good."

When we say you can't drive,
we mean... you CAN'T drive.

No. No, I can't drive at all.

I... I mean, I've been in a car
once, behind the wheel.

I've done passenger stuff
loads of times, I'm amazing.

But the driving aspect,
I've done, like, half a lesson?

My dad gave me half a lesson

and it became clear that
it wasn't really a lesson -

he wanted a lift to the butchers.

So we drove down the road
to the left,

he picked up a leg of lamb
and we went home.

So that's the only lesson
I ever had.

But I've never been behind the wheel
of a car on my own ever before.

So I thought it would be good
to come and do it... Here?

Which, of course,

meant that we actually had
to teach you to drive a car.

Yeah. When I say, "we"...The Stig.

Yeah, I mean, he wasn't... he's not
a great instructor.

He's not talkative,
let's put it that way.

Um... well, we've actually got
some footage

of Jack's first ever driving lesson
in an actual...

Was it a manual?

I mean, did it have, like,
a lever coming out there?

It had a pull-y thing
and then three pedals.

Three pedals and a pull-y thing.

This is known as a manual car.
A manual car, yes.

Anybody like to see
Jack's first ever driving lesson?


Never, ever done this before.
Here we go, let's have a look.

It should make a "vroom" noise,
shouldn't it?

Do I... am I turning it
the right way?

No? Right, OK, fine.

'Was he completely uncommunicative?'

He didn't even nod.




Stig, I might need a little bit more
from you than this.

OK, right, so that's not working.

By process of elimination,

if we come off the clutch
and press this...


Revving. Yeah, that's revving.
Getting ready.

And your handbrake's on.
That sounds good.

No, it doesn't.

OK, this is getting better.

Oh, Jesus...


I mean, well done.

But we had to go from that
to getting you round a lap

in the space of an hour.
I think my priorities were...

He didn't think that I was
taking it seriously,

cos when I first got in the car -
a perfectly valid thing,

it's the thing I always ask
when I get in a car,

is whether he had
an iPhone charger.

Because mine had died and I wanted
to get some photos of the journey

and he wasn't happy about that.

He's so moody!

I asked him if there was a Mrs Stig
and that didn't go down well.

No, it wouldn't.
That's what he needs -

maybe he's not getting
enough of it at home.

I thought of the perfect person
for The Stig as well -

this is a match
made in Heaven -

him and the woman who does
the demonstrations on The Cube.

With the mask.


They would be perfect together!


What would the babies be like?

The babies would be amazing!
You could do it as a challenge -

send them to the Isle of Fernandos!

Talking of The Stig
not getting enough,

how, if you're a 17-year-old youth,

do you get any... at all from girls

if you can't drive them anywhere?

Yeah, it was hard.
Especially when I became a stand-up

and it was like, stand-up,
you're going around on tours,

quite rock'n'roll,
there would be groupies and stuff,

but it's very hard to pull a groupie

when your mother has driven
you to the gig.

Afterwards, you'd be like, "Yeah,
you want to go back to my crib?

"My ride's outside,
it's the Volvo just there.

"You'll have to sit in the back,
cos I ride up front with Mummy.

"Hope you like The Archers!"

So when you're doing your gigs now,

presumably your mum doesn't
take you around.

No - the best thing about
this latest tour,

it's the biggest one I've done,

and I'm going to be in a tour bus,
which is amazing.

Cos the worst thing, I find,

about doing a tour
when you're in a car

is having to use petrol
station toilets,

cos the lock on a petrol station
toilet door

is always broken.

They're always bust, then you have
to do that thing which we all do,

which I call "lavatory yoga"

where you work out how to keep
the door with a broken lock shut.


There's three main schools of it -
you've got the Tom Daley,

where you lean forward
with the arms like that.

Use the fingertips. Yeah.

But I can't BLEEP unless I'm playing
Candy Crush, so that doesn't work.

Then you've got the Bowing Monk,

where you put your head forward
and just use it as a doorstop.

But someone can, like, knock you out

if they're too insistent
on getting in.

Then your third option,
which is the best one,

which you should always use,
is the Woman In Labour,

where you plant two feet
onto the door.

But I committed to this recently
in a petrol station

just outside of Bolton,
and I'd fully committed,

but you have to be a master
of your surroundings,

I didn't realise the door
in question opened both ways!


This, like, hairy trucker
ripped it off and literally thought

I was kind of presenting myself
to him!


Now, I want to just go on to...
Are you playing the O2?

I'm playing the O2 on the...
Oh, I've forgotten the date!


Come on.

17th March. 17th March?

The 17th or 18th March.
Like, roughly.

17th, he's coming,
he's got a ticket. The 17th!

Oh, no, he works here.

And there we are, so...

It's not just going to be a tour,
there's plenty of surprises as well.

There will be the greatest ever
Segway entrance to a stand-up tour

the world has ever seen.
Somebody's putting you on a Segway?

I'm on a Segway, yeah.
Well, that's worth going to see.

It's got everything you'd want
from a stand-up comedy tour.

Anyway, the lap.

I ought to explain, you did actually
ditch the manual, didn't you,

for the lap and go to an automatic?

Yeah, I thought that was best cos I
wanted to get all the way around it.

The only trouble with an automatic
is you're not going to...

You'll probably not get very high up
that anyway, so...
Let's not worry too much about that.

Who here would like to see
the result of your driving lesson?

Here we go. Oh, dear.

Flying solo for the first time.

Come on, Jack.
You are a king of speed!

We shall see, you look a bit
frightened. I was very frightened.

You've steered round that one.
It sounds awful.

Oh, good God! And off.

That counts though, doesn't it?
Yes, yes, yes, you're still...

To be honest, a lot of what
The Stig says is BLEEP!

It's really just about... Oh!


I guess we'll never know,
as we do Chicago,

heading down to the Hammerhead.
Where are you going?

That's completely the wrong...
Oh, I feel so sick.

You made yourself sick!
I made myself sick.

And here we go,
round the Hammerhead... Whoops!

That was quite good.
Not really... Ooh!

The big circular thing is
necessary there in front of you.

Is it low on petrol?

Cos it kept beeping.

Right, so, it was beeping at you?

Don't go off there! Tyres.

This one was good.

Oh, braking there!

That's ballsy
because that can upset the rear end

in a front-wheel-drive car

and I may be talking French
as far as you're concerned there.

Only Gambon to go and can you do it?

Oh, wait a minute, yes, nearly,
you can! Across the line!


I got there.

When you bear in mind that you
arrived this morning having

driven a car once to the butchers
and back... Yeah.

And then you had a lesson
and then put that together,

I think that's pretty impressive,
I really do. Oh, thank you.

But how fast do you think
you did it?

Where do you think you came
on the board? Oh, I don't know.

In between Hiddleston
and Bonneville?

You're hoping to get between Tom and
Hugh? Around about the 1.50 mark?


You did it, Jack Whitehall...
You're leaning forward like a pro...

One minute...
One minute, that's good.


There's no kind way of saying this.



It's all right, you know...

Getting in the car for me
was a victory in itself.

Do you want to move it further down?

I feel like I'm sullying that person
by being there.

But that, I mean...

Maybe I could come back
after I've actually learnt to drive

and I would get a competitive time.

I'd like that because this was
woeful. Yeah, I know!

At least I'm on the board
and not at home crying in my pants,

which is where I should be
when it comes to driving.

No, I'd like to have you back
because it's been bloody
good fun having you here.

Ladies and gentlemen,
Jack Whitehall!


Now... If you want a car that's fast,
you're spoiled for choice.

Same story if you want a car
that's economical or cheap,

or has a big boot, but what if you're
a massive showoff and your main

requirement is for a car that makes
you stand out in your hometown?

Well, that can be a lot trickier

depending upon the town where you
live, as I shall now demonstrate.

Welcome to the United Arab Emirates,
where, as you can see,

it takes quite a lot to stand out
on the car front.

Out here, your common or garden
Ferrari or Lamborghini

can no longer cut the mustard.

So what do you do
if you want to turn heads?

Well, I think I may have the answer.


You see, everyone thinks about
blinging their wheels,

but nobody ever thinks of
adding MORE wheels.

This is the new six-wheeled version
of Mercedes's iconic G-Wagen.

And beside the extra wheels,
it also ticks the rarity box

because it's one of only two
in existence.

More will be built,
though I suspect not many

when you consider the price, which is
a trouser-troubling £370,000.

The six-wheel G-Class was originally
built for the Australian Army,

who demanded standard equipment
like seats and doors.

In this civilian version,
however, you get heated

and ventilated
electric leather chairs,

a leather-trimmed dashboard

and a bamboo-lined cargo bay.

You really do get a lot of car
for your money, as in A LOT OF CAR.

I mean, look at it.

It's nearly a metre longer
than a Range Rover

and it's got 37-inch wheels.

I reckon I could get my head in
the gap between the wheel

and the wheel arch.

Yeah, I can.
Try doing that in a Range Rover.


The six-by-six also weighs
three-and-three-quarter tonnes

or the same as three VW Golfs.

So, engine-wise,
it can't afford to mess about.

It's actually got a 5.5 litre,
536-horsepower twin-turbo V8

from Mercedes's
in-house nutterists, AMG.

Oh, we're getting a move on!

560 pound-feet of torque.

0-60 in under six seconds.

That's sports car stuff in something
the size of a shopping centre.

Fuel economy? Well, I doubt this
will be the official transport

to the next Greenpeace
annual conference.

All I'll say is they thought it best
to fit two fuel tanks.

You change over
using this switch up here.

And everybody loves
an overhead switch.

If I drove this down Ross-on-Wye
high street,

I would be lord of all I survey.

The undisputed king of Herefordshire.

Never mind Herefordshire, this thing
attracts attention even around here.




'Yeah, he's serious.

'As it turned out,

'the policeman had never seen
such an unusual car before...'

There's six wheels. I guess
it's the same on the other side.

'..and was on his way again
after he'd had a look.'


Lamborghini Aventador police car.
They don't have those in Ross-on-Wye.

Or these...

Ferrari FF.

That's an S... MG.

What a funny day.

Now, although the six-by-six is
seriously quick on tarmac and turns

policemen's heads, where it's really
built to shine is as an off-roader.

Let me give you an example.

A Land Rover Defender can wade
through half a metre of water

and that's very good.

This can wade through twice that.

However, this being the desert,
water is quite hard to find,

so if you want to test it,
you do have to improvise.

Morning, sorry.

Sorry. This is, unless I'm very much
mistaken, a metre of water.

And my six-by-six is...
wading through it.

Even dealing with the rubber rings.

Yeah, not having any
difficulties with this at all.

But how does it cope with sand?

Well, the good news is, sand is one
thing we're really not short of.

Welcome to the Empty Quarter.

The largest sand desert in the world.

Covering some 250,000 square miles.

Out here, temperatures hit
50 degrees centigrade

and there are dunes
more than 800ft high.

OK, we have six-wheel drive

with the power split 30-40-30
across the axles... check.

Stronger front springs from the
armoured version of the G-Class...


Locking diffs - oh, we've got those.

The most you'd expect normally
would be three. On here, five!

And you lock them using these buttons
in different ways.

Right, let's go.

These are big, big dunes.

This is more of a sand mountain
I'm on right now.

Oh! Three-and-three-quarter tonnes
of Mercedes

is doing this, it just
doesn't feel right!


This extra axle and these two extra
wheels, it changes the way the

six-by-six travels over the ground,
it undulates, it feels supple.

It's like blasting through
the desert dunes...

..riding a sinew.


Come on!



I got some air. Sorry, everybody.

'Intoxicated by what the Merc
could do,

'I drove deeper and deeper
into the Empty Quarter.'

Right, where's it go now?

Cos... Oh, my God! Oh!

Oh, for crying out loud!

I wouldn't ski down that!



Over the top, over the top...
Oh! Oh, very unpleasant, not nice!


It's vertical!

I'm in a car,
I'm having a plane crash!

I'm still going down!

Oh, what a stupid place, I hate it!

♪ Ahead, I saw a nice,
flat desert floor

'and decided that was
a much safer place to be.'


It's drifting!

Now it's a rally car,
a gigantic rally car.

And let's not forget,
I'm not having to shout over this,

it's not "Raaargh!" in here.

I'm still cocooned in luxury.

It's an amazing device.

Now, when you take an off-roader
across sand,

the standard practice, as I've done,

is to let some air out of the tyres
to give them a bigger footprint.

Now I'm going back on tarmac,
so I need to reinflate them.

All I've got to do is operate these
overhead switches.

I feel like a jet pilot.

Compressor on.

Going up.

And they can reinflate ALL of these
tyres in under a minute.

Oh, I love this.

If I did this in Ledbury
I'd be mobbed by now.

Leaving the Empty Quarter behind,
I headed back towards civilisation.

I'm not going to pretend
this is anything less than

a preposterous machine.

It's a six-metre,

three-and-three-quarter tonne,
£370,000, six-wheeled dinosaur,

but as dinosaurs go,
it is a magnificent one.

Magnificent to behold,
magnificently made,

it's one of the car world's
mad moments.

A day off from Priuses and Leafs.

And even in a country as chock-full
of showy-offy cars as this one,

it's still really rather special.

You can forget your chrome wraps
and whatever,

I don't think you can beat

just having more wheels
than anything else,

and I can say
with absolute confidence

that I have more wheels
than any other... Oh.

No matter, one thing I can say
for sure is that this is

the most extreme Mercedes out here.

I doubt there's anything with
a Mercedes badge in these parts

that can draw as much attention...
as that.

All right,
so I don't have the most wheels,

it's not the most extreme Mercedes
out here,

but the six-by-six does have
size on its side.

Bigger than any Range Rover,
bigger than any Land Cruiser,

bigger than that old Jeep up there
and that's the thing -

a car can be beautiful
but when it's big,

it's got presence and they don't
come much bigger than...

Oh... my... God...

I want this one.



Embarrassingly, whilst there,

I ran the Merc out of petrol

in the place where they actually
grow the stuff. Really?

It was awful, I felt an idiot.
Never mind that,

can we just look at that
picture of you at the end?


You do look like something
out of The Borrowers,

to be brutally honest. But I have
to say that Jeep is incredible.

Sadly, it was broken the day I was
there, but it does actually move.

And I'd like to see that one day,
but now it is time for me

to demonstrate that cars are better
than motorbikes. Oh, no.

Hang on. Jeremy, we've only got
a few minutes. Yes, yes, listen.

Come over here, because what we have
here is a table laid for two, OK?

And I'm going to remove this
tablecloth without knocking

anything over.
Where are you going with this?

Everybody, stand back behind me,

because you need to be...
quick to do this. Well...


Well, yeah. Oh, well done.

That's really cleared that up
for us(!)

Bikes are faster than a table!
Or something.

What's that got to do with anything?

It went rather well, better than
I'd expected, if I'm honest!

Anyway, the thing is, BMW once did
that trick with a much larger table,

as I shall now demonstrate
with this bit of film.



Well, that is tremendous, it's
amazing. Well done, the motorbike.


But what I'm going to do now is that
exact same thing only with a car.

You are aware, aren't you, that
a Superbike accelerates very fast?

Yes, Hammond, from say 10-150,
but to do that you need

the instant acceleration,
it's 0-10 that matters.

That is a very good point

because it's very difficult
to get a bike off the line.

Right, I'll admit, it usually spins
the wheel or it flips over backwards.

You see,
cars don't flip over backwards,

it's one of the many reasons
why they're better.

And the car I've selected
is this one. A Datsun?

A Nissan GT-R.

No, I approve of your choice of car,
actually, I have to say.

Yeah, cos May and I were playing
with one of these the other day

and the way it sets off
is simply unbelievable.

I mean, it really is,

there's no car I've ever driven
that goes from 0-10 faster.

It's got four-wheel drive and
an amazing launch control system.

So you put your foot hard down
on the accelerator, hard on the

brake, take your foot off the brake,
computer does everything

and you set off. OK, and this is
the table, yeah? Yes, it is.

So let's get this straight.

You are going to pull this tablecloth
off this, what, 18ft table? Yes.

Using this Datsun? Listen...
Without breaking anything?

Without knocking a single thing
over. Really? Yes.

The words "stand" and "back"
spring to mind.

Ye of little faith.

OK, I'm using the same length
of rope that BMW did.

Same amount of slack that they did,

we're pulling from the same place
that they did.

Everything is... What?

Have you actually measured this out?
A bit.

You've got to go 18ft to get
the tablecloth off the table,

plus the length of that bit
off the end... Yes. you got to account for
the amount of rope

and you've got to stop before you
hit the other side of the studio.

No, I haven't. You have. I haven't,
because I'm not going to drive it.

He is.

Ladies and gentlemen,
The Stig has come among us.


Very rarely in the studio.

Hold on a minute. Very rarely...

Hold on a minute. Yes, what?

So you are saying he is going to
drive across our darkened studio,

peering through his darkened visor?

Yes. Is this how this Stig dies?


Has he done a book?

No, he hasn't. Right, is he ready?

Are you ready?


Everybody here ready?

Oh, God!

We have no idea
how it's going to work out,

but I have hope in my heart.

In three, two, one, go!



Well? That was mostly incredibly
successful. How, in what way?

He didn't hit the wall,
as we can see.

But everything else has hit
the floor, it's smashed to bits!

Yes, but look! There's a whole
cup and saucer, not damaged.

It didn't work. It didn't...
It is most odd actually.

Can we see a replay of that,
maybe work out what went wrong.

Oh, there's the problem. What?
He's doing it too slowly.

No, that's in slow motion, you idiot.

Well, if he hadn't have done it in
slow motion, it would have worked!

For crying out loud! But now look!
It's a disaster. It's a bombshell.

And that means we can end. Yes. Mm.

Thank you ever so much for watching,
we'll see you next week.

Take care and good night.