Top Gear (2002–…): Season 22, Episode 7 - Episode #22.7 - full transcript

Clarkson compares the Jaguar F-Type to a remastered version of the legendary E-Type, Hammond tests an all new Mazda MX-5, May drives a rallye car against Top Gear US presenter Tanner Foust ...


CLARKSON: Tonight,
I try a classic Jaguar
on our track.

Hammond has a blast
in Mazda's new MX-5.

And James says,
"Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow."

Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow!


Thank you, everybody.
Thank you so much.
Thank you.

Hello. Good evening.

Thanks, everyone.

Now, a couple of years ago,
Jaguar gave us the
F-Type convertible

and now there's
the F-Type Coupe.

You can have it with a choice
of two V6 engines

or, for £85,000,
a thumping great V8.

So, guess which one
I've been driving.

Beautiful, isn't it?

Beautiful enough
to cause dribbling.

And aggressive as well.



And unlike the soft-top
F-Type, it comes with a boot,

into which you can
put many things.

All you can get in
the boot of a convertible
is a peaked cap.

But in here, there's room for
every conceivable type of hat,
all at the same time.

A boater, a fez,
a pith helmet,

a trilby, one of James'
special hats.

And there's still
room left over

for a busby.

There you go.

And the good news
keeps on coming,

because Jaguar has fiddled
around with a supercharged V8,

so it now produces
542 horsepower.

That is 54 more than you get
in the convertible,

which means this has
a top speed of a million.

It is outrageously fast.

I mean, that is
160 miles an hour,

and I've got 17 hats
in the boot.

But even more impressive
than the speed is the way
this car is made.

They haven't simply
bolted on a roof.
The whole side is new.

And this is it.
It's one piece of aluminium
and it only weighs

three and a bit kilograms.

And because it's one piece,

there's more strength,
more safety

and less flex.

And less flex means
better handling.

I thought the convertible
was good, but this...

This is even better.

It's actually got tougher
springs than the convertible,

which doesn't do much
for the ride,

but, God, it makes it fun
to drive out here.

It's like driving around
in some poetry.

Ted Hughes poetry,
but poetry nevertheless.

This actually has
an electronic differential,

which can overheat
if you go too mad,

but providing you stay
within the parameters of
reasonable common sense,

it's fabulous.

I just don't know of
another car quite like this.

And that's half throttle.

Yes, you're good!

So it's pretty
and violent and fast

and more practical
than you might imagine.

Inevitably, however,
there are a few niggles.

Number one,
at oblique junctions,

it's really hard to see
if anything is coming.

So I'll pull up here
at the edge of our runway

and look.

The only way I can
pull out safely

is by crossing my fingers
and hoping for the best.


Stupid idiot!

There are other issues, too.

If you push the seat
all the way back,

and if you're tall,
you'll want to,

the leather squeaks
on the bulkhead.
Can you hear that?

-Really irritating.

And then there's
the control system,

which is touchscreen.
Now that sounds fine,

but it's so bumpy in here,
at low speeds particularly,

that it's very difficult
to get your finger
to go in the right place.

-If you're not very careful

when you try to change
the radio station,

you can end up
altering the colour
of the interior lighting,

or engaging Mad Mode
on the dynamic driving system!

Aah! I wanted Classic FM!

But the biggest problem
with this car is that it
never stops shouting.


You can push this button here
to quieten the exhaust system,

but every time you go
near the throttle, it'll burst
back into life again.


This car's a little bit
like a child that can
play the violin.

For five minutes, it's fine,
but after a month,

you might start to suggest
that if it doesn't stop,

you will shove the sound box
right up its...


Peace and quiet,

that's not something
this car can ever do.

Happily, however, there's
another new Jaguar
which is a bit less...


A few years ago,
we tested this,

the Eagle Speedster.

And now the company that
created it has come up
with something else.

It's called the Low Drag GT

and it's a recreation
of a one-off racing
E-Type prototype

that Jaguar made in 1960.

Except recreation
is the wrong word

because what Eagle
has actually done

is taken the basic design and
the spirit of the original,

and then brought them
up to date.

Think of it then as
a Georgian house with Wi-Fi,

and perhaps one of
those Georgian Clooney
coffee machines.

Let's start with the engine.

Like the original,
it's a twin cam straight six.

But unlike the original,
it has fuel injection
rather than carburettors.

So it works.

It's made from aluminium
rather than cast iron,

so it's light.

It also has cooling
so it doesn't overheat.

And it's bigger
than the original...


...which means
it's more powerful.

The original car had
3.8 litres and produced
265 horsepower.

This has 4.7 litres

and produces 345 horsepower.

So it's faster...

Much faster!

To give you an idea
of what a rocket ship
this car is,

I'm going to have drag race
with Toyota's idea of
a modern-day sports car,

the GT86.

Right, so a child of the '60s

versus the 21st century.



Three, two, one, go!

It's a smoking start,

and we are away!

That's incredible!

Janis Joplin is punching
Justin Bieber in the face.

And there's
the finishing line.

Yeah, it's an easy victory.

I've always said things
were better in my day,

apart from the rickets.

And the diphtheria,
and this proves it.

It's even pretty good
in the corners.


I'm not going to say
this feels modern
because it doesn't.

The F-Type would
run rings around it,

but crucially,

it doesn't feel as old as me,

which is what it is.

But it's not the handling
or the power

or the 170-mile-an-hour
top speed that impresses most.

It's the attention to detail.

I mean, because this car
has a five-speed gearbox

rather than the four-speed
you got in the original,

Eagle has even made a special
gear knob to reflect that,

with a five on it.

I'd have just used Tipp-Ex.

And look at these sun visors.

They're fabulous, and somebody
had to make them

and the bracket and the bolts
that hold it together
and the hinge.

That's, that's just...

It's all just
too incredible for words.

And there's more.

The wheels,

they look like
they're made out of steel

and they came from
a motorist discount store,

but actually, they were
specially made by hand
out of magnesium.

And because the body
is Eagle's own design,

this windscreen had to be
specially made.

Now, that meant going
to a glassmaker and saying,

"Can you make one windscreen?"


It cost £15,000.

And the back window?

That was £15,000 as well.

As a result of all this,
the Low Drag GT

is quite a lot more expensive
than the F-Type

and it's less nimble
and it's more slow.

But I know which
I'd rather have.


Thing is, though...

The tragedy is that
the only people who know

how to make a windscreen
like this, a one-off,

are all now in their 70s
and 80s, and when they retire,

they will take their skills
with them.

Which means that
in the very near future,

it just won't be possible
to make a car like this.

No, I know, and that'll be
a real shame. It really will.

One thing I've been
trying to work out,

'cause you didn't actually
say it in the film,

if that windscreen
costs £15,000,

how much is it
for the whole car?

-A lot.

How much "a lot"?


-Ooh, that is a lot.

Well, that does include VAT,
I should be clear on that.

Yeah. Nevertheless,
you'll have to agree

the F-Type does represent
better value for money.

It does, especially the V6,
which is the one I'd buy.

Because the V8, I mean,
as I said in the film,

it just never shuts up.
It would drive you mad.

Yeah, it would.
Something never shuts up,

shouting constantly,
all day long, "Rah! Rah!"

And opinions and noise.

Well, I'm just saying, I mean,
it'll drive you mad.

I can be quiet.

Yeah, but only when
you're asleep, and thankfully,
I'm not there for that, so...

Listen, I just decided

that I don't want to
talk to you any more.

But what I do want to do is
find out how fast that F-Type

goes round our track.
And that of course means

handing it over to our
tame racing driver.

Some say that he wishes
there was someone

he could talk to about
his mis-sold PPI.

And that he spent
all week making a stairlift
for Madonna.

All we know is
he's called The Stig!


CLARKSON: And he's off.

An unsmoky start,
which is a surprise,

but very shouty, which isn't.

Up to the first corner.

Lots of squealing
for the Pirelli tyres,

but he's keeping it
all in check nicely.

That is neat.


An appropriate slice
of The Carpenters there
on this crisp, dry day.

Very together through Chicago.

Let's see if there are
any tail-happy antics
round the Hammerhead.

Into the second part.
No, nothing so far.

No, that is
incredibly neat again.


Now a chance to unleash
noisy, supercharged fury

through the Follow Through.
He's right on the edge there.

That won't raise the pulse of
either of The Stig's hearts.

Hard on the optional
carbon ceramic brakes
for the second-to-last corner.

Through Gambon,
and across the line!


HAMMOND: Up there.

What did it do?

1.21.6, which is fast
as an Audi R8 V10

and a Cayman GTS and...
What are you doing?

I'm being quiet.

-I'm being quiet.

-This is...
-I'm letting you know what
it's like to sleep with me.




And now, the news!

And a couple of weeks ago,
we reported that Ferrari were

warming to the idea of a test
to see which is the fastest,

the Ferrari "The Ferrari",

the McLaren P1
or the Porsche 918.

And the good news is

Ferrari have warmed.

They have indeed.
There are a few stipulations.

They've said that the test
must happen on neutral ground,

which his fine.
It's what McLaren
wanted as well.

They've also said it must be
a factory-prepared car,

which was a sticking point
with McLaren,

but McLaren are now saying,
"Mmm, that's okay.
That's fine."

And that means, ladies
and gentlemen, this...

I think the most important
test this century

is now going to happen.


HAMMOND: Oh, that is good.

CLARKSON: I'm telling you,

we should go and sort out
Ukraine, 'cause after this,
it'll be a walk in the park.

So, when are we gonna do it?

-What, sort out Ukraine?
-No, the race.

Oh, the race? Well, as soon
as Porsche can find us a car.

-Find us a car?

-Well, they made 918.
-I know. Well, they've
obviously lost them.

-Have they?
-Well, yes.
They're now saying,

"We haven't actually got one
at the moment,

"but as soon as we do have
one, we'll let you have it."

And then we can go ahead
and actually see

which of those
three incredible cars
is the fastest.

I cannot wait.
I really cannot wait.

That's excellent.
Looking forward to that.

So, that is good news.
Er, now, not such good news.

You might have heard in
the news last week that
Top Gear was attacked

by Labour's transport
spokesman, a Mr Dugher.

He says that Top Gear
is not representative of the
motoring public in Britain.

-Well, I know.

We're not representative?

I know! 'Cause only
this series, we have,
if you think about it,

we've raced a hovercraft
across St Petersburg.

-How representative is that?

We've turned a Porsche
into an ambulance,

we've driven a Bentley up the
side of an iron ore mine...

-Exactly. Australia.

Exactly. Did he not
enjoy these features?

Difficult to say because
he says he doesn't
watch Top Gear.

Well, hang on.

How does he know if
we're representative or not
if he doesn't watch it.

It's a good question.
He may have special powers.

-He could be a witch.

The Tories aren't much better,
are they?

Nice balancing work.

-Good work. Thank you.
-Thank you.

This is excellent,
BBC even playing field.

The Tory transport bloke,
he said that he didn't support
the idea of an 80-mile-an-hour

speed limit on the motorway
because of the road casualties

-on one road in
his constituency.

-Which is the
Derbyshire Dales...

...which doesn't have
any motorways in it.

That's 'cause he's not
a witch, he's an idiot.

-All right, okay.
-That's it.

That's the difference.
The annoying thing is, though,

that actually if you look
behind the anti- Top Gear

Dugher is actually talking
a deal of sense.

Because he says that
when they're deciding
on transport policy,

every government,
Labour and Tory,

they talk to anti-car lobby,

You know, the cyclists
and the ramblers
and the bus drivers

-and so on and so forth.
-Yeah, and he's right.

He is right
which is ridiculous.

He also says that all the
people who make the decisions

are in central London
and have no idea

what it's like for people
trying to get around
in the regions.

-And he's right on that.
-I know, and the tragedy is

we're telling him he's right
and he's not watching

'cause he's tuned into
the Midwife thing
on the other side.

Yeah. Almost certainly, yeah.

Which, incidentally, is not
representative of midwifery.

-Have you watched it?
-No, never.


I'm a witch as well.
I know these things.

Ooh, now you may remember
a little while back

we made some ambulances, okay?

And James turned up
to make his ambulance

out of a Cosworth-powered
hearse, yes?

-Do you remember that?

Well, somebody else,
it turns out, is also using

a Cosworth-powered hearse
as a hearse!

Got a picture.


The same thing happened to
you. It's a design fault.

-I could have warned them.
-Yes, exactly.

I have news!

-What news?
-Vauxhall has a new car!

MAY: Wow.

Yes! And here it is.


They have called it the Viva.

-They've brought the name
back. Yeah, Viva.

Does anybody remember
the original Viva?

-Oh, yeah.

The original. Did anyone...
You were probably too young.

Let me remind you, okay?
There's a picture of it here,
the original one.

Oh, God.

CLARKSON: Look at it!
MAY: Look at its silly,
little wheels.

-It was a style-free car.
-CLARKSON: It is ridiculous.

Interestingly, though, if they
were gonna revive a name

from Vauxhall's heritage
and all that, why would
they choose Viva?

I know. 'Cause they had some
great names. They had Cresta,

-they had Victor, they had...
-MAY: Viceroy.

They did a car called
the Prince Albert.


No, it was the Prince Henry.

-No, it's Prince Albert.

Prince Albert, that's a...
It's a ring they put
through your chap.

-What, Vauxhall put it
through your chap?
-No! No.

People who for,
I don't know why,
but they do.

It's a ring they put
through their chap.

I thought it was a rod.

Look, whatever it was,
it's not a Vauxhall.

It wasn't a Vauxhall.
They didn't...

Right. That's cleared that up.
There was no Vauxhall
Prince Albert.

Er, oh, now, it's the
Geneva Motor Show
is currently on actually,

which is an opportunity
for all the carmakers to
demonstrate new concepts,

all of which have
ridiculously large wheels

that will never see the light
of day in production.

Got some of them here for you.

We have the Infiniti Q60.

Look at the wheels on that.

-That's never gonna
happen in real life.

-Nissan Sway. Again, no.

Look at the Audi Prologue.

MAY: No.

The idea is, of course,
we look that, we go,
"Wow, that's fantastic."

Then, of course, the
accountants step into the mix

and the accountants say,
"You can't have 46-inch rims."

And you end up with a car
that actually looks like this.

HAMMOND: There it is.

Supercar news from Geneva.

A couple I want to talk about.
There's this.

It's called
the EXP 10 Speed 6.

Oh, so EXP won against Speed.

Oh, you know,
it's like football results,

EXP, 10,
Speed, 6.

BOTH: Yeah.

It's actually well spotted.
Two-seater sports coupe.

And they say, and I'm
quoting now, that "It is..."

Er, make sure
I get the quote right.

"...unmistakably a Bentley."

But if you look at it
from the side,

you'll agree that is
unmistakably an Aston Martin.

Er, it is. Yeah, that's
an Aston Martin.

-Yes, it is.

Well, meanwhile, actually,
the real Aston Martin
have come up with this,

which is an 800 horsepower...
It's a track-day car.

But they've called it
the Vulcan.

-The Vulcan?
-The Vulcan.

So, it only takes off
from RAF Waddington

and then it refuels
in the Ascension Islands

-and then carries on...
-HAMMOND: Erm...

-No, let's not go there.

-I don't think... Leave that.

Have you seen this?

It's a Fiat 500.
It's a limited-edition thing
they're doing,

but what puzzles me is that
they've chosen to put

an image of the original 500
on the side of it. That's...

That's just idiotic 'cause
that's like saying, "Look
how fat I've become."

Well, yeah. It's...

You don't see
Eamonn Holmes sunbathing

with a diagram on his belly
of what he used to look like
as a teenager.

"Look at me.
I used to be only this thin
and now I'm enormous."

Which is what they've done.
I don't know what that's for.

Er, oh, now, big news.

There's a car called
the Suzuki Celery.

-Er, isn't it the Celeriac?
-Whatever, you don't want one.

We've got a picture
of it here.

-Now there's a British...
-HAMMOND: I don't want one.

CLARKSON: No, it's hideous.

A British motoring magazine
was testing one of these
the other day

and they had total
brake failure, so Suzuki
sent them another one to test.

Exactly the same thing

The pedal went to the floor
both times.

-Very nasty.

So Suzuki took it away
to work out what was wrong

and they discovered that
there's a safety system
on that

so that in the event
of a crash,

the brake pedal is pulled
away from your foot

-so it doesn't bounce up
and damage your shin.
-Oh, yeah.

But if you were braking
very hard,

it would assume
you were going to crash

and then pull the brake pedal
away from you.

In that yawning instant,
I mean, we've all been
there at some point,

-when you think you're
gonna have a crash...

...they take away
the only thing in the world

that actually is of any
consequence or importance...

The only thing you understand.

Yes, exactly. Suzuki admit
that was a mistake.

Well, it was. I mean,
it was a mistake.

They do admit that
was a mistake.

And all credit to them,
very quickly in just 10 days,
they've, er...

They've got them all
sorted out.

They did a recall,

And they've said,
I love this,

they've said,
"Sales won't be affected."

What, erm, er, really?

No, they say, "Most
of our target audience
is more mature.

"The public understand
that recalls happen

"and they'll see through
the stories."

Yeah, just to translate that,
what they're actually
saying is

"Most of our target audience
is old and daft
and won't notice."

Now, let's move on

and it is time now to talk
about the Mazda MX-5.

When this, the original model,
came out 25 years ago,

it immediately saved the small
roadster from extinction

and went on to become
the most successful two-seater
sports car of all time.

But now there's a new MX-5

and I went to Humberside
to drive it.

Before I do that, though,

time for a quick refresher
with the original.

The reason this car is so
brilliant is that it's light,
it's small and it's simple.

Mazda were perfectly open
about cribbing
all the best bits

from '60s MGs and Lotus Elans

and leaving out
all the worst bits.

The recipe wasn't complicated.

Small engine at the front,

rear-wheel drive

and a perfect 50/50
weight distribution.

They were so obsessed
with that last point,

they even moved the battery
to the boot.

There isn't a lot on this car,
but everything that is
is done well.

The gear change,
short, snappy throws
from gear to gear

and a little click
as it goes in.

Twenty-five years on,

and this is still in
the top five all-time
great gear changes,

if there is such a thing.

God, these things were good,

which means the brand-new MX-5
has got a lot to live up to.

A hell of a lot.

Well, here it is.

And on paper,
the signs are good.

It's still usefully small.

It's still got an engine
at the front

and drive to the rear.

And since prices start
at around £19,000,

it's still more affordable
than most sports cars.

Another encouraging sign

is that they've resisted
the temptation to give it
a bigger engine.

The biggest you can get
is two litres.

And the one I'm in is 1.5.

That means 0 to 60
in just under nine seconds.

About the same
as the original.

And a top speed of 125,

which is absolutely fine.

In fact, it's good news.

An MX-5 shouldn't be
a snorting monster of a thing.

It's a car for driving
into the countryside

on a nice sunny day
to find a nice pub for lunch.

And it's great!

Squeezing every last drop
out of this little
1.5-litre engine.

Use all the engine's got
and... Come on!

Whip the pony a bit.

Then there's the handle.

The front suspension is still
double wishbones,

the weight distribution is
still balanced perfectly,

50/50 front to rear.

Immediately, you can
just sense everything
is in the right place,

the relationship between
where it all sits in the car
is correct.

This car isn't about wrestling
a monster through turns

and being relieved
when you survive.

I'm not trying to win a fight.

It's human being and machine
working together.

That... The way it changes
direction there, turn in. feels so nimble.

The reason the new MX-5
is so nimble is because,

whilst most cars get fatter
with every new generation,

this one is almost
100 kilos lighter

than the car it replaces.

A hundred kilograms, that's...
Well, it's nearly an entire
Jeremy Clarkson.

That's a significant

Mazda has achieved this feat
by employing something called
the "Gram Strategy."

Now, this is not
to be confused

with the business plan
from Scarface.

What it means in Mazda-land

is shaving off a gram
here and there.

For instance, in any car,
there's bits of the glass

that you can't see,
hidden inside the body,
hidden inside the doors.

Glass is heavy.

So Mazda have made holes,

taken out pieces
of that glass.

And if you just shave off
a gram here and there,

those grams add up
to become kilograms.

But despite the minimalism,
you don't feel like you're
sitting in a prison cell.

It's nice a place to be.
I've got, well,
everything I need...

Touchscreen, satnav, it
interfaces with my telephone,
all of that stuff.

It's a car.

So far, then, all is well.

But before I get
too carried away,

there are a couple of
not-so-good things
about this new MX-5.

The first problem is not
really the car's fault at all,
but I should mention it.

It's the image of the MX-5.

Put it this way.
If your business is
called A Cut Above,

Fringe Benefits
or Heir Apparent,

this has long been
the choice of car for you.

But if you run
a magazine called Belt-Fed
Machine Gun Enthusiast,

you probably wanna look

The second problem
is the looks.

I can see what they've done.
They've given a cute,
little car a frown.

It's the whole
angry puppy thing.

I'm just not quite sure yet.

But you know what?
These are tiny ripples

in what is otherwise
an ocean of brilliance.

Oh, I love this thing.
It's brilliant.

It's pure fun.

It's made of fun.


Listen to that.

I know when I get
back to the studio,

Jeremy's gonna be
standing there, pointing
at an Alfa Romeo 4C

saying, "This is the
lightweight car to have."

But it's 50 grand!

And they make a fuss
about it being light.

This is just simple.

I love this. I'm just
made up with this.


HAMMOND: See? There you are.

I knew it!
I knew you'd do that.

I said so in the film.

But look, the fact is
you could buy two MX-5s...
No, two and a half

for the price of one Alfa.

Yes, but the Alfa Romeo
is lighter.

How do you know?
Every time we ask Alfa
how much it weighs,

they send us
a different number.

They did, 'cause
they're not troubled with
specific details like that.

If you build a car
that's as much fun as this

with a carbon fibre
tub chassis,

you take it for a drive,
you don't weigh it.

When Leonardo da Vinci
painted the Mona Lisa,
he didn't say,

"I wonder how
much that weighs."
That is ridiculous.

The whole point
of the Alfa, we're told,
is its lack of weight.

That's why they tell us
it feels a bit flimsy
and a bit brittle

and it hasn't got
power steering
because it's so light.

But then they won't tell us
how light it actually is.

Because they're
too busy having fun.

Mazda made that.
And then they went,

"I wonder how many
horsepower it produces.

"Let's put it
on a rolling road
and let's weigh it."

Why don't they just
make the figures up?

That's what the
Italians always do.

-They do.

Right. Once Alfa finally
give us the convertible
version of this,

let's get it together with
the Mazda and we'll sort out
which is best.

Good idea. But now
we must put a star

in our reasonably-priced car.

Now, my guest tonight
came to fame as a boy.

And then he was
a sort of blue monster
and then he was a zombie.

All of which means
I don't know what he
looks like in real life.

So, ladies and gentlemen,
somewhere over there
is Nicholas Hoult.


-You. It's you.

It is you.

-How are you and your...
-Very well. Very well.

Hello, hello, hello.

-That's actually you.
-This is it.

Your ears. Your nose.
Excellent. Have a seat.

Yes, yes, yes. Thank you.

No, 'cause you very rarely
see you as you.

Yeah, I have a habit
of wearing a lot of make-up.

In films.
Not in real life. Generally.

This was you in
About A Boy, obviously,

when you were...


-Sweet is the word
I'm looking for.
-Thank you.

And then you were blue.

-Oh, yeah. Yeah.
-Again, hard to recognise
you now from...

Is this a good thing?
Does the anonymity...

Well, I did sneak around.
I did get off on the streets
in that costume a little bit.

Um, I ran across
a golf course.

At one point,
I went hooning it...

Three people were playing,
and I went running across
this golf course,

and they turned
and saw that coming
and they were like,

"Oh, Lord, it's happening."

-Zombie invasion.
-Finally. And I pulled up
and I said,

"Remember to swing
through the ball.

"Keep your eye on the back
of the ball at all times."

And then I turned around
and ran off again.

You could see them
just so confused.

Was that while you were
actually filming

or is that something you
keep at home for fun?

Well, I've got the feet
from that at home.

-Have you?
-Erm, yeah.

Well, actually, no, I haven't.
My mum kept them

'cause she likes to wear them
as slippers.


Now, you've been, even from
when you were a boy-boy,

-you've been a petrol head
since you were that age.
-I have. Yeah.

I grew up watching this show.

So, you were watching this
as a...when you were in
About A Boy?

-God, that makes me
feel about a thousand.

'Cause it's weird.
I haven't changed.

I mean, you've changed a lot.
But I'm exactly
the same now...

(LAUGHING) I was when
we first started.

So, you must have
been thrilled, then,

if you were a car enthusiast
from a young age,

to have been offered a part
in the new Mad Max movie,
I presume.

-Which is, as we know
from the early ones,

-a lot of cars.
-Yeah. Yeah.

That was supposed to be
an Australian accent. Rubbish!

Yeah, 'cause I loved
the original films.

And then,
it's the weirdest thing.
You'd be there on set

and they'd have these armadas
of all these vehicles

that they'd specially
made for the shoot.

All these V8s, V12s,
all roaring.

And you'd be sitting there
in your car

and flames of all these
other cars would
go flying past you,

guys on bikes,
and you'd just get chills.

But the only problem with it
is you can't hear anything

'cause the engines
are all so loud.

You'd sit there and then
you'd see the camera

kind of come in
to your periphery.

And then you'd hear
a bang on the roof.

And that was maybe
someone saying their line.

So you're just kind of
guessing when to act,

And just hoping for the best,
not knowing exactly where
you were in the film.

-We've actually got a clip.
-Oh, okay.

Let's have a look.
Let's have a look at
the new Mad Max movie.

My name is Max.


Oh, what a day!
What a lovely day!



That does look like my
kind of film. I think
all our kinds of films.

We would... Yeah, no, I'll be
queuing up for that one.

But the car has survived,
the Mad Max...
It's a Ford Falcon.

Yeah, that's still there.
It gets adapted a little bit
in this one.

This was amazing, like,
the attention to detail
in all of these.

Like, my car, they had
four versions of it,
'cause they had to flip

and roll and do all sorts of
stuff, but each one had, like,

my character's name, Nux,
engraved into the brake pad

and all these sorts of things.

When you got in there,
everything worked

and had a reason to be there,
they had really thought
about everything.

So there's no CGI
in this, then?

It really is roll a car over?

Yeah, they were really
going for it, yeah.

Well, I mean, that just sounds
like my idea of heaven.

It was... Yeah, you think
it's your idea of heaven

until they're crashing trucks
into the back of you.

And you do the first take
and you're like,

"Yeah, I'm fine.
Don't worry about it.

"Do it faster.
Cool. Go for it."

And then the next time
you turn around mid-scene,

you look over your shoulder,
and there's this truck
just flying at you,

and you're like, "Boof!",
getting thrown around inside,
trying to act.

You are quite accident-prone
on films, are you not?

'Cause when you were in X-Men,
'cause you got Fassbender,
haven't you on...

-Yeah, yeah, Fassbender.
-'Cause he told some amazing
stories of what you got...

About racing golf buggies
when he was...

Oh, the golf buggies, yeah.
Him and James crashed
the golf buggy,

caused quite a lot damage
to themselves and
one of the cars on set.

Yeah, they did.
He did mention that.

You didn't get involved
in the golf buggy race?

We'd do... Well, they
took them away after that.

We'd do a little bit
of golf buggy racing.

So then, our next one,
on the last film,
we got, erm...

Me and James went
and bought BB guns

and we'd shoot each other.
So, you'll be riding to set
in the morning,

you put your goggles on,
load your clip,
you get out of the car,

and then before you knew it,
there were three people, like,
chasing you to your trailer.

-Shooting you?
-Yeah, but then
we had to stop that

'cause people got
shot in the face.

-And you'd bleed.

I was gonna say it would
leave an ugly mark.

Yeah, it would, like,
welt or bleed,

so we got told
we weren't allowed to
do that any more, so...

-Don't know what we're
gonna do on the next one.

Is that why you've now
taken up knitting?

Well, the knitting, yeah.
That was quite...

On Mad Max,
there was a lot of
hanging around,

so one of the make-up artists
was knitting one day
and I was like,

"That seems like
a good way to kill time."

So I'd sit there knitting and
then getting really frustrated
with myself when I'd mess up.

And, like, storming around
the set, being like, (ROARS)
"Can someone fix my...

-"...knitting? Please."

And then they'd fix it
up, I'd go, "Thank you,"

and I'd go back off to
my corner and sit there.

I started, like, taking orders
from other people.


-And then, two of the girls...
-Beast can knit.

Two of the girls on
Mad Max asked for hats,
and I was like, "Okay."

I had one day off
and I was like, "I've got
to make these hats."

So I knitted straight...
I knitted straight for
10 hours that day

without really stopping.

And then I quit,
I haven't knitted since,
'cause I was like,

"This is too much.
It's not fun any more."

Have you heard
of Call of Duty?
That's brilliant.

-I might kill weeks
with Call of Duty.

Knitting? Well, there we are.

No, so let's get onto your
cars, 'cause we've established
you like a car.

-You've driven a Murcielago
as well, haven't you?

Oh, I did, yeah.
I got to drive one of those
in Singapore.

I was shooting a film
in Singapore last year.

That's a beast.
It was a proper
Lambo beast, that is.

Yeah, it shifted.

But your first car wasn't
any of those things?

It was similar.
It was a Fiat Grande Punto.

-In red, yeah.

-It's a mean car.
-1.4 litres of mayhem.
It was good.


Oh, that's a beast.

And then, presumably,
in a Fiat Punto,

police interruptions
in your driving?

Er, yeah, yeah, one in the...

I've never got a speeding
ticket on anything,
not on my bike, nothing,

apart from in the Punto.


And the max speed
on that thing is 103.

And I think I was doing
under that, I'm pretty sure.

And I suddenly saw
the blue lights and
I was like, "Oh, no."

Pulled over, he was like,
"I've been chasing you
for a while now,

"and I had to do
120, maybe 130
to catch up with you.

"Right. So you were definitely
doing faster than that."
And I was like, "Oh."

The logic is off.

He said he was doing 130
to catch you up, so you must
have been doing more than him.

Yeah, and I was like,
"This doesn't make any sense."

Of course, you were
going faster than me.
You were chasing me.

Did you say you had a bike?

Yeah. Yeah, a Ducati 899.

Not interested in bikes.
Anyone interested in bikes?


-Oh, God. Erm...

Erm, do you ride it?

Yeah, I ride it around,
it's lovely. (LAUGHS)


Is it... What colour is it?

-It's white.


Can we stop talking about
bikes now? 'Cause I wanna
talk about his laps.

-Oh, no.
-No, no.

-You know, last week, we had
Gillian Anderson here.

And she did set a new record
of 22 practice, or attempts,
at the fastest time.

Do you know how many you did?

-Er, no, I wasn't...

-Did I?

No, but you know, I don't know
what going on, so...

But it is...
It's an awful thing
to say, I know,

but it was
a beautiful day today.

Well, yeah, it looked
beautiful. Strong headwinds
throughout, the whole lap.

-Not a breath of wind.

It's got a crisp, cool, sunny,
beautiful, perfect day
for a car to go.

That's what everyone
kept on saying.

And I was sitting there in
the car with my all my hair
and I was sweating,

and everyone's first thing
out their mouths was,
"Perfect day for it."

-And you're like, "Oh."

Who would like to see
Nicholas' lap?


-Let us have a look.


HOULT: Loves it. Loves it.
CLARKSON: Vigorous.

Race mode engaged.

Idiot driving. Perfect.

CLARKSON: Well, we shall see.
Coming up to the first loop.

Oh, crikey!

Oh, God almighty,
that is quick.

HOULT: It looks quick,
but I don't know
if it actually is.

CLARKSON: That does look
quick through there.

HOULT: It felt like I was
going as fast as I could.

Up to third, hang it out,
turn it in.

CLARKSON: And, I have to say,
sometimes we say

if you go slowly it
looks quick, but...

I saw Ricciardo bouncing
up and down. I don't know
if that helps the speed.


CLARKSON: No, 'cause
normally when a car is
apparently going slowly

it's sometimes quick, but this
looks faster than normal.

And that's very nicely done.

That was a gear change.

Strong winds.
Not visible on screen.


Flat through there, obviously.
HOULT: Yeah.

that is right to the edge.

And that's
cutting it fine nicely

and now,
just two corners left.

Coming in on a shallow angle,

but no real problems at
the second-to-last, Gambon.

A lot of understeer there,
but across the line.


What do you think, then?

Where do you think you've come
on the board?

I'd... I mean...

Obviously, for X-Men
bragging rights, I'd like
to be somewhere around

Hugh Jackman,
but that's really high up.

CLARKSON: Where's Hugh?

He's 1.46.1.

Yeah, I'd like to be
in the late 1.40s somewhere.

-Late 1.40s. Well,
let's have a look.
-I don't know.

-Nicholas Hoult,
you did it in 1...

-Okay, that's all right.


HOULT: Oh, that's good.
CLARKSON: Told you
it looked quick.





Tenth off, a tenth off.


But there...

Come on.

Come on.

That is a tenth...

-Olly Murs is like...

But that is a very...
I mean, it looked quick.

It looked quick.

It's really difficult
to get a lap where
everything goes right.

No, that is... That's a time
to be proud of, 1.44.7.

-Thank you so much
for coming.
-Thank you.

Absolute pleasure
to have you here.

Ladies and gentlemen,
Nicholas Hoult!


Now, a few series ago,

the three of us tried our hand
at amateur Rallycross.

And we decided that,
pound for pound,

it is the most exciting
sport in the world.

And because we enjoyed
the amateur event so much,

the logical next step was
for one of us to take it
to a professional level.

Clearly, there was only
one steely-eyed helmsman

to take on
this challenging job.


MAY: When we did our
amateur Rallycrossing,

we raced here,
at Lydden Hill in Kent.

And our cars were plucked
from the pages
of the classifieds

for just a few quid.

Well, the venue is the same.

This is where the event will
be taking place tomorrow.

The car, though,

that's a bit of a step up.

It starts out as a VW Polo,
but then becomes this.

A two-litre
turbocharged Tornado

with 600 horsepower

and more torque
than a Ferrari 458.

And to keep the drivers
on their toes,

helping hands such as
traction control, ABS

and electronic differentials
are banned.

Now I know what you're
thinking. You're thinking,
"That's not a racing car.

"It's merely a vehicle
providing Top Gear viewers

"with hilarious Captain Slow
cock-ups." But no.

I might actually
be okay at this.

For starters, the circuits
are small and easy to learn.

The cars do have
four-wheel drive.

And then there's the calibre
of the drivers.

One of the them is the son of
the bloke who owns this track

and another is just
a presenter on
American Top Gear.

And it's the Top Gear chap,
Tanner Foust,

who has kindly offered
to train me for this event.

Is it really 600 horsepower
or is that bar talk?

It's a full-on six.

It's 300 horsepower per litre.

Zero to 100 kilometres
in 1.9 seconds.

-It's quicker than a
Formula One car off the line.

Then the other things
about it, you know, you've got
all-wheel drive.

It's amazingly stable.

You'll see a jump and it just
completely absorbs them.

It's like marshmallow.

It's mostly carbon fibre,
Kevlar underneath.
There's a lot of contact.

I think it's the only
sport in the FIA where
there's not a rule saying

-you can't hit other cars.
-So, you can hit other cars?

It happens, yeah.

MAY: Tanner then pointed out
the most important thing
on the dashboard.

This switch here, this is
the monster switch right here.

This is the one
that is the ALS.

-For the anti-lag system.
-This is for the


Once you flip that switch,
all hell breaks loose.

Now every time you lift off
the throttle, it's shooting
flame through the turbo,

-keeping it spinning
over 200,000 rpm.

And it's a very violent thing
and that's really what
makes this car work.

-Once you cross
the finish line,

you flip that off and then
it's a normal car again.

So, that... Remember that.
Can I...

It's really weird talking
to someone who is
a Top Gear presenter,

but who is really helpful.

-Usually, it's sarcasm
and stupidity...
-We're team mates.

...but you're being
informative, helpful,

encouraging. It's quite nice.

Tanner then offered to take me
for a demonstration run.

I did meant to tell you,
actually. I fell off a horse
quite recently.

-The bones are still
a bit sore, so try not to,

you know, snap me in half
or anything like that.



MAY: Hold the brakes,
then lets it all off...

Holy shit!

Ow, ow, ow, ow!


Ow, ow, ow!

Forty-five seconds later,

my spin in the Rallycross
tumble dryer came
to a merciful end.

And then, it was my turn
to drive.

Full throttle, and release
the clutch a little...

Faster, faster,
faster, faster!

MAY: For the next few hours...

FOUST: Brake
and full throttle.

MAY: new friend
from American Top Gear

gave me some
excellent tuition.

Second gear. Second gear.

No, wrong way.

Brake, brake, brake,
brake, brake!

That way, that way.
Brake, brake, brake,
brake, brake!

-Sorry about that, by the way.
-Hey, no harm, no foul.

MAY: He then took the time
to explain the considerable
complexities of the racing.

So, there's 12 cars,
and then there's five heats.

-But there's four laps
in each heat.

You won't just drive
once, you go twice.

Like, maybe two
or three times.

So, it's 50 points
for the guy in first,

45 and then 40.

Then there's two semifinals.

MAY: Tanner said that no
matter how I did in the heat,

I'd be in one
of the semifinals.

Then he explained
the joker lap.

But in every one of these
you do the joker lap once,

which is the long outside,
outside of turn one,

with a bit of a jump
on the way in there.

Okay, so I have to take
the joker lap once per race?

Exactly. Here's the thing
with the joker, it's at least
three seconds slower.

Ideally, you would take
the joker lap sometime
if you're behind somebody

and you need to get
free track.

And what if you forget?

That's why
the spotter is critical.

What's a spotter?

So, on top of this building,

there'll be one spotter
per car, that'll be on
the radio in your headset,

and they'll be able to talk
to you while you're driving.

When to take the joker,
who's behind you,
what position you're in,

give you information
that you need while
you're on the track.

It's quite a responsible job,
this spotter then.

-Yeah, they have
to pay attention.
-They've got to pay... Yeah.

I think I've... Can you just
go through that again for me
to make sure I've got it?

Twelve cars total, we're
all here to race five times,
four laps each,

30-second penalty
if you take the joker
more than once...

MAY: The next morning,
as all the other teams
prepared for race day,

I was in Tanner's garage
getting to know a bit more
about my car.

Look at the size of this.

That's not a standard
air filter, obviously.

-None of that is standard.
This isn't standard.

HAMMOND: Morning.
CLARKSON: Morning.

What are you doing here?

Well, we're told you need
spotters, apparently.

-We are you spotter.
-No, no, no, no. No.

Spotting is a genuinely
important job.

You have to say who's in front
of you, who's behind you...

-Well, nobody's behind you,

When to do the joker lap.
Do you know about
the joker lap?

-Is there a jump?
-There's a jump.

-And we tell you
when to do that?
-Yes, so when do I do it?

-I don't know.

-Which lap do I
do the joker lap?
-I don't know.

-Well, do the second.

-How many laps are there?

I mean, can I just...

I got out of bed this morning
at 5:15 to be here.

He stayed in a Ramada Inn
last night with Lenny Henry.

And this is
how ungrateful he is.

Seriously, I've done a minimal
amount of practice yesterday,

and I don't want
two Muppets helping me.

I'm sorry to be rude, but no.

James, James, your door's
not shut properly!

-Good spot, good spot,

MAY: Since I seem to be stuck
with Pinky and Perky,

we went to watch
some of the other drivers
in the first race.

HAMMOND: They don't
half start off close together,
don't they?

-You could crash by there.

CLARKSON: This will be you.


MAY: Yesterday with Tanner,
I thought maybe a podium
was a possibility.

But now I was watching
the real racing,

I decided to aim a bit lower.

I think maybe a better
personal ambition would be
not to be lapped.

Does that happen
a lot in this?

I don't think
it's ever happened.

You can't be lapped
in Rallycross.
It's only four laps.

So in four laps, if they're
doing a 50-second lap,

you're more than
12 seconds a lap
slower than them.

You're in the Guinness
Book of Records

as the first person ever
to be lapped in Rallycross.

sobering thought, James
lined up for his first heat,

which featured drivers
of a higher calibre than
he'd been expecting.

Petter Solberg is an extremely
good, former world champion
rally driver,

-and a world champion at this.

HAMMOND: Timmy Hansen,
he's 22.

He was third in European
Rallycross last year.

CLARKSON: And James May.
HAMMOND: James May,
52-year-old piano player.


Interested in lathes.

As the drivers
prepared for the off...


...we were testing the comms.

-Put him in the mood.

Yeah. Yeah, it's fine.


MAY: Turn the radio down.
You're blowing my ears out.

Gosh, why did I agree to this?

I've got Petter Solberg
next to me and a load
of drivel in my ears.

HAMMOND: Oh, this is
unbelievably exciting.

-CLARKSON: Is he going?
-Oh, my God!

-He's going,
he's going, everybody!
-James, it's about to start.

They've started,
they've started.

They've started.
James, they've started.

Quite muddy there, James.
It is quite muddy.

Shut up!

CLARKSON: James. James,
so that you know, the car
behind you is French.

-That was good spotting
there, Jeremy.
-Shut up, you two!

CLARKSON: Whilst James
bumbled around at the back,

the other four drivers were
giving us a sensational show.

Oh, big accident!

But how can he still be going?

As the other entered their
fourth and final lap,

James was being caught.

Gas! And brake!

Turn in.

CLARKSON: Hang your arse out,
James. Hang your arse out.

-Seagull, James. I've
spotted a seagull.
-MAY: Shut up!

Inside line! Inside line!

CLARKSON: Amazingly, though,
he got away with it.

Yes, you haven't been lapped.

Ha, ha! I wasn't lapped!

I'd like to see those
other two Muppets do that!

I hope we weren't
distracting to him.

No, I shouldn't think so,
because he knows
we're there.

-We're with him.
-It was reassuring noises.

It's like racing in the car.
It was like we're all three
in the car.

-All three in steering wheels.

CLARKSON: As the winner
of the heat, Petter Solberg,

we went to check
on James' times.

CLARKSON: He was 32 seconds
off Petter Solberg's time.

-Eight seconds a lap slower.

Right, should we give him
a strong team talk?

-Or should we support him?
-He just needs to learn
to drive faster...

Faster than the other people.

Yeah. Well, faster than
himself would help.

MAY: I was determined
to do better in the next heat.

But my spotters
were even more useless
than in the first one.

CLARKSON: What time
have you got to go tonight?

HAMMOND: Uh, well, I just
want to beat the traffic.

Which bit of the M4
do you go down?

Uh, off, at junction 15.

That is near the M5, isn't it?

17 is Chippenham.

-HAMMOND: It's Bristol.
-Shut up, you two!

Now for the joker.

CLARKSON: It's definitely 17,
is Chippenham.

I can't believe you don't
know, you do that...

Yeah, but I don't go to 17,

I go to 15,
so that's Marlborough...

MAY: Shut up! (SCREAMS)

No thanks to my colleagues,

I managed to finish
another four-lap heat
without being lapped.

Ho-ho! Come on!


But then it was time
for the semifinal.

And I realised,
I had a bigger problem.

-The semifinal is six laps.

So it's half as long again.

And I've worked out,
my good laps,

of which I've done maybe two,

were sort of four seconds
off the pace.

But quite a few of mine
slightly cocked-up ones

were sort of eight
to nine seconds off.

So, in a six-lap race...

-Six-lap race...

...eight seconds,
that's 48 seconds.

And it's a 50...

It's a 50-second lap.

-Oh, ho-ho! You're in danger.
-It'll be very, very close.

-This will be quite close.
-This is the test.

MAY: With this
terrifying maths
playing on my mind,

I took my place on the grid.

Do us proud, James.
Do us proud.

Don't let us down.

MAY: Right, here we go,
semifinal, six laps.

So, if you'd like
to place your bets...

I decided to get my joker
out of the way on lap one...

...which, obviously, my
eagle-eyed spotters noticed.

James, you are
11 seconds slower than
the lead car on that lap.

But wait, did he
do the joker?

Oh, he might have done.

MAY: Upfront, Tanner
was fighting for the lead,

and the racing was intense.

a bit further back,

I was managing to
stay out of danger.

Right, down to second,
keep the power,
keep the inside line!

That's not bad.
That's genuinely not bad.

CLARKSON: When James
still had two laps to go,

we realised he was about
to be stabbed in the back
by his new best friend.

-May, it's Tanner.
-Is that Tanner on his tail?

James, it's actually
Tanner behind you.

I've got to hold him off!

James, do not let
American Top Gear
lap British Top Gear.

MAY: No, I'm
getting that wrong!

Come on!

Well, he's right up
behind you, James!
Make your car wide!

Make it as wide
as I don't know what.

It's right there! Aah!


CLARKSON: On the inside,
stay on the inside,
go on the inside!


-Oh, James, he's gonna...



-Let's gloat at him there.
-Studio, yeah.

-Studio. Back to the studio.
-Back to the studio.

-We'll gloat at him there.

'Cause I wanna go home,
frankly. I don't wanna
be around here.


CLARKSON: So, he'll go here.

First person ever to be
lapped in Rallycross.

-Nice, though, name in print.
-Yeah, exactly.


we have to say,
even with him in it,
Rallycross is brilliant.

It is fabulous to watch
because, basically,

from the start line
to the finish line,

all the drivers drive
as fast as they can.

Yes, that's it. There's no
conserving their tyres,

there's no looking after
the fuel consumption,

there are no stewards
with moustaches going,

"Oh, no. You've
bumped into him.

"You've got to spend
10 seconds on the
naughty step."

(IN NORMAL VOICE) I tell you
what Formula One is.

Formula One is like
having some money

and putting in an ISA so that
it matures in a tax-free way.

Rallycross is like having
some money and going
to the pub with it.

-Yeah, just blow it on one
big night out, all at once.

-Can I just say...
-No, you'll just make yourself
look more ridiculous.

Yeah, you will. He's right.

And on that bombshell,
it is time to end.

Thank you so much
for watching. Good night.


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