Top Gear (2002–…): Season 23, Episode 1 - Episode #23.1 - full transcript

The new team test the Dodge Viper ACR against the Corvette Z06 Stingray, Matt and Chris go head to head in a roadtrip with Matt as team USA and Chris as team UK, Matt tests the new Ariel Nomad, two guests drive the new car around the track and new features of this new Top Gear are revealed.

Welcome to Top Gear, with our all-new, improved audience.


- Tonight: I get chased.
- Right behind us.

Matt gets chased.

See if I can shake 'em in these twisties.

And then, in a bizarre twist, I chase Matt.

Come on, Great Britain!

And Matt chases me.

We're going to get smashed.


This is brilliant!

Marvellous, amazing, beautiful.

All right, before we go any further, would you like to meet

the first-ever non-UK host of Top Gear?

- Yes!

Brilliant, please welcome Matt LeBlanc.


Matt LeBlanc, everybody!

All right, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Oh, you're too kind, too kind.

All right, and with that, back to you, Chris.

LAUGHTER Thank you very much, Matt.

OK, right, well, if it isn't all the guys and girls

from my local Indian restaurant.

- Hi, guys.
- Hi, Chris.
- Hi, guys. CHEERING

- Good evening.
- Good evening.

- Boss man.
- And, firstly, thank you for your continued custom.

Well, you're very welcome, you're very welcome.

Now, anybody got any idea why these guys are here?

- New caterers.
- What?

- New caterers.
- New caterers.


By the way, by the way...

we don't talk about catering on this show any more.


In fact, to be honest,

maybe questions from the floor was a bad idea.

Actually, Muno, you tell everybody why you're here.

What are you here to represent?

We represent the equivalent of one metric ton of downforce.

That's what they are, one metric ton of downforce, ladies and gentlemen,

which apparently is enough to turn an old-time US muscle car

into a lap-time destroyer.


This is Fallon US Naval Air Station, deep in the Nevada Desert...

..home to the US military's finest array of warplanes,

and something called

the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center,

better known as...

Top Gun.

# Highway to the danger zone

# Highway to... #

This is where the best of the best get even better

in the most fearsome aircraft on the planet.

The perfect place, then, to test America's latest killer wing,

which happens to be attached to...

..the brand-new Dodge Viper ACR.

Now, you might take a look at the ACR

and think, with its giant long body and front splitter and scoops

and rear diffuser, "my goodness me,

"that's going to be a handful to drive."

Thing is...

you'd be absolutely right!



0-60? Just over 3 seconds.

Top speed? 177mph.

Noise? Tooth-shattering.

Listen to that. ENGINE PURRS

Basically, it's a road car, but it's got to be said,

it's as close as you can come to a race car without having to wear

fireproof knickers and a wristband with your blood group on it.

All highly exciting, but the Viper formula has barely changed

since God was a boy, and you can tell.

We all love a manual gearbox, but this one's a little bit tight.

It's offset at a weird angle, which means that third

can often become fifth if you're not fully concentrating.

And then there's the Viper's prehistoric power output.

An 8.4-litre V10 chucks out 645 horsepower.

But, at its heart, it's a quarter of a century old.

Modern supercars produce far more power from engines half the size.

It's about as cutting edge as a rusty crowbar.

But Dodge have at least polished their crowbar up a bit.

The ACR has bespoke sticky tyres, brakes as big as dinner plates,

race car suspension and, most importantly, the wing.

This piece of carbon, like the inverted wing on a fighter plane,

actually jams the Viper into the tarmac with phenomenal power.

On the straights, it actually slows the car down,

but going into the bends at top speed, over a tonne of air

presses the Viper into the floor.

A tonne!

And it really works.

The Viper ACR holds 13 track records,

more than any other car in production right now.

So, after all these years,

it seems Dodge has finally perfected their Viper.

Good for them.

Or at least it would be

if the competition hadn't been busy making this.

The Corvette Z06...

or, as the Americans have it, the Zee 06.

It's more powerful, it's quicker to 60,

its top speed is higher, it's cheaper to buy

and it looks better.

But which one, then, is the king of muscle cars?

Viper or Vette?

It was time for a dogfight.

Our cars have been equipped with guns - laser guns.

Manning those guns will be Top Gun instructors

call signs JoJo and Syphin.

And at the wheel of the Vette,

Top Gear's top girl, Sabine Schmitz.


I feel the need, the need for speed.

The rules are simple. First to get missile lock wins.

Ginger, I don't like you because you are dangerous.

We've got a rule here at Top Gun -

it's a 10 fine every time you quote the movie.

JoJo, I think Sabine's ego is writing cheques her body can't cash.

This is going to be an expensive day.

Whoo! Rock and roll, JoJo!

She's right behind us, she's right behind us.

- Get behind him.
- I'll get closer.

Time for a little...evasive action.

I'm going to hit the brakes and watch her fly by, OK?

Have you got him?

Three, two, one.




There she goes!

Go, go, go.

Son of a...

The hunter has now become the hunted.

He's on our tail!

- Get closer, get closer.
- I'm going to reel her in.


Don't let her get away from you.

The Viper's wing is doing its thing, baby.

Until I found out there's a limit to how much "thing" it can do.


Oh, he spun! He spun off.


You can be any time my wingman.

- Wait, what is wingman? Not wingman?
- Yeah.

Whilst I was recovering from my aerodynamic overconfidence...

..Schmitz disappeared.

Where would the enemy most likely come from?

- Probably where you're not looking.
- Really?

Have you ever had an angry German on your tail before?

I've never had that.

She so wants to win.

Go, go.

I follow you, buddy.

- Eyes left.
- Oh, oh.

We're on his tail, we're on his tail!

The smiling assassins were all over us.

Get closer.

Or at least, that's what they thought.


Missed him.

That's when she can't keep up with us -

round the corners, the Vette is killed.

She's all over the place.

The suspension's awful... like a Ferrari.

There's so much more grip than this piece of sh...

Jeez, this car's good!

She will not be able to make this corner.

We missed it!

- Where is he?
- I don't see him.


She's dead, man, she's dead.


Boom, she's dead.

Oh, holy moley.

I might need a break, Sabine.

- Huh?
- I might need a break.
- You need a break?!

- I might need a break.
- What?
- Yeah.

Oh, sh...

- Sorry, I... My Top Gun pilot is a little bit, er, in trouble.

Oh, did he throw up?



Is it time for a new call sign?

- Er, yeah.
- Upchuck.

Yeah. Pukes on Top Gear.

Oh, no!

And so it's the Viper that is officially Top Gun.

Fast, agile, and once you know how to use it, absolutely devastating.

- Top Gun, clear to take off...


Fly safe, my friend.

Fly safe.

- That was good.
- That was good fun, wasn't it?
- Great.

CHEERING Thank you, thank you.

And thanks to the US Navy, and Sabine Schmitz,

now undoubtedly the queen of the Vomit Comet.

OK, now, just...hang on a second.

Do you seriously expect all these people to believe

that she made a guy who flies fast jets in wars

throw up after just, like, a half an hour in a Corvette?

Yes, because that's what happened.

Are you sure that it wasn't just a ruse that you came up with

to cover up the fact that she made you throw up in an Audi?


OK, just chicken...checking!

- Did you say "chicken"?
- No.
- All right, anyway...

Here is the Viper ACR in the flesh, everybody.

- And now... AUDIENCE:
- Woo!

..we need to see how fast it can go around our lap,

which means only one thing.

Yes! It's time to bring on our tame racing driver.


We got custody! We got custody!

Some say the day he was born,

he drove himself home from the hospital,

and that he's being investigated for irregular emissions.

All we know is, he's called...

- ALL:
- ..the Stig.

OK, here we go, he's off.

The Stig back in the saddle and armed with 8.4 litres of engine.

That's 15 pints of displacement.

Into the first corner and the first test of the ACR's massive wing.

Stig keeping it tidy there.

Let's see how happy he is to be back in the groove.

Oh, look at him beaming! He's ecstatic.

Right, very clean through Chicago, heading into Hammerhead...

on those massive brakes. Can the Viper keep it tidy?

Very neat. Little skid there. Little slip on the exit.

Into the fastest part of the lap.

Stig and Viper in perfect harmony.

Follow Through, that wing shoving the ACR into the tarmac.

Serious speed past the tyre wall. Look at that.

No expense spared on the white paint.

Second-to-last. Very stable under braking.

Stig can smell the finish now. Come on!

And over the line. There you go!



Here we have the time.

OK, we're holding out a lot of hope for this.

It if goes 1:16.8 or less,

it's up there with the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport.

Can it beat the Lamborghini Huracan - 1:15.8?

I can tell you the Dodge Viper...


.1 - there it is with the Ariel Atom.

Rock and roll!

So I join Top Gear. They say, "How about a road trip

"and a UK/USA challenge?"

I say, "Sure." They say, "Head-to-head with Chris."

I say, "Bring it on." They say, "Blackpool." I say, "Where?"

They say, "In fibreglass three-wheelers." I say, "What?"

We'd be driving to Blackpool in these...

..stunning Reliant Rialtos.

Oh, wow, look at that.


Successor to the Reliant Robin and equally as terrible in every way.

Worse still, the producers had kindly chosen

to chop off their roofs.

Nice wheels, Matt.

Great paint job. LAUGHS

They've told me that one of these costs double the price

of the other one, so I suppose we could try and guess which one.

I mean, mine looks nicer, to be honest.

- Don't you think?
- Yours is nicer, yeah.

I think this was the more expensive one. I'm sorry, but... I don't know.

- I don't know, I'm just guessing.
- Yeah. Looks like it.

- OK, and you know where we're going?
- Yeah. We're going...

- The route?
- Yeah, we're going to Blackpool, so we'll...

We'll come out of central London here and we'll turn left

at Regent's Park, look out for Birmingham.

- If they start talking in a Braveheart accent, we've gone too far.
- That's too far.

- Yeah.
- That's too far north, OK.
- Yeah. But it's about 250 miles.

All right, let's roll.

With zero idea what challenges awaited us in Blackpool,

we set off on our very first Top Gear road trip.

This is perfect. You wrap up warm, you've got blue skies, it's nice and fresh.

It's not that bad, this little car.

You know what, honestly, gearbox, nice and smooth.

- OK to give you a little love tap?



Despite our first impressions, we were loving our three-wheelers.


Listen to that.

Hey, there's fourth gear now.

Oh, I haven't tried fourth gear. Tell me about it.

Very luxurious.


Thing is about Matt, is because he's such a superstar,

he actually looks cool in his Stars and Stripes Reliant.

- He-hey!

- I just look like a

And with London traffic behind us, things were actually looking good.

At least, so I thought.

Chris, what's that smell?


'Just 26 miles into our journey, my Reliant gave another hint

'that it might be the cheaper car.'

The temperature gauge just started going up, up, up.

It's just water, coolant, it's overheating. It's not oil smoke.

- That'll be it.
- That's the problem.
- That's it.

- That's the problem.
- Be fine now.

Problem solved. Soon we were back on the road.

- Hey, Matt, how's the car?
- Running like a top now! Runs great.

Blackpool, here we come!

'And then...'

The temperature gauge has pinged. It's all the way high again.

If you don't want to go to Blackpool, just say.

'Frankly, this was getting a little suspect.

'A UK versus US challenge in British three-wheelers on a British TV show

'and the car they'd given to the American

'decided to roll over and die... again.'

You know, you watch Top Gear on TV and you see them

driving Bentleys and Porsches, and they invite you

to be on the show, you say, "Sure, that sounds great."

And they make you drive this... from here to eternity.

And his runs fine.

You all right?


- Honestly...
- Does it look like I'm all right?

- It's nothing to do with me.
- I'm happy.
- Are you?

Don't I look happy? That's my happy face.

It's a good face. You're a great actor.

It goes up on the corners, like this.

Still 200 miles from Blackpool, we put our heads together

and got Matt's car back in the groove.

Drives itself, this thing, really.

But as we pushed north, the chilly winter air started to bite.

It's now raining, it's much darker, it's much colder.

I'm dressed like Captain Birdseye. Matt is dressed like a bear.

But, ever the professional,

LeBlanc soon got stuck into his first-ever Top Gear car review.

Let's talk about this gem of an automobile here.

Acceleration - can't tell.

Handling - can't tell.

The clock works, apparently.

It's midnight.

I wonder when they finished the first prototype,

did they shine it all up, step back, look at it and say,

"Oh, yeah, nailed it"?

Do you think that was the conversation?

'Delirium was beginning to take hold.'

'And by the time we got north of a place called Birmingham...'

Do we have to pay for the one that's on the truck?

'..morale had hit rock-bottom.'

Oh, it's really raining now.

Hey, listen, you know what?

Between the cold weather and these flashing yellow lights,

I'm going to lose my mind, man.

'Time for decisive action.

'I figured my Reliant had about ten miles left in it,

'and while I hadn't been able to drive TO Blackpool,

'I could at least drive INTO Blackpool.'

So this is what we're going to do - we're going to pull over,

get the car off the truck and, hopefully, she lasts into Blackpool.

You're going to last, aren't you? Honey? Come on.

'Despite being lumbered with the worst car in the world,

'Matt was determined to get there under his own steam.

'Or, as it turned out, his own smoke. Lots of his own smoke.'

That's more smoke than I've ever seen

coming out of a car that isn't on fire.

I'm not stopping again.

I'm going to go until it blows up.

- If I see an actual flame, I will tell you.
- Thanks, bro.

Matt, we are so close to Blackpool. Please make it.

Come on, baby.

We're going to do it. We're going to do it.

Oh, it just died!

Come on, we're there, Matt! We're there! You can't stop!

- It won't restart.

'There was only one thing for it.'

CARS CRUNCH 'The love tap.'


- It's running! It's running! Go!
- Come on, Matt's car!

Purring like a kitten. Woo!

Thanks, Chris. Thanks for the start.

Come on, Matthew! We're going to make it.

OK, come on, baby. Hold it together. It's about 500 metres.

Blackpool, here we come!

- Yes!
- All right! We made it! Woo!
- Woo!

LeBlancpool! Genius.

- Yeah-heh!
- Yee-haw!

Matt LeBlancpool. It doesn't get any better than that, does it?

No, it doesn't. No, it doesn't. No, it doesn't.

- But as you and I both know...
- Oh, yes. did get wetter, windier, wilder and weirder. That's right.

More Top Gear presenter torture I really did not sign up for coming up.

- Yeah, sorry about that. See you later.
- Yeah, OK.
- OK.

All right, how about we now meet tonight's

Star in a Reasonably Priced Car? CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

Well, we can't. GROANING

How about we meet tonight's Two Stars in a Reasonably Priced Car?



..that's not going to happen either, I'm afraid.

But how about we meet tonight's two stars

in a brand-new rally cross car? CHEERING

We can do that! Please welcome Gordon Ramsay and Jesse Eisenberg!


Jesse, how are you? Gordon, how are you? Come and sit down.

- Thank you.
- Come on, guys.
- Thank you very much.

- Jesse Eisenberg, Gordon Ramsay.
- Thank you.

- Thank you.

- Gentlemen, welcome.
- Thank you so much.
- Good to see you.

Welcome to the programme.

- All right, cars. Are you ready, boys?
- Sure.
- Yes.

OK, audience, you are going to decide who lays claim to,

first of all, as far as these two are concerned, best first car.

Let's go with Gordon first. Gordon's first car?

LAUGHTER A Fiat Strada.

That's shocking. Can I just apologise about the hair as well?

- Sorry. Jesus.
- Well, it may have to become best first car and hair, this feature.

So we have the Strada.

OK, best first car. Your first car, Jesse?

Yes, my first car was, like, a Honda Accord.

- Honda Accord! Here we go. AUDIENCE:
- Yeah!

- Yes, yes, yes.
- Once again, I'm feeling this is best first car and hair competition.

Yeah, yeah, I... See, I had a haircut at the time

cos I couldn't fit in that car with that haircut.

And...yes. No, that car, by the time I got it, it had probably been

through, like, 35 owners, including, like, Henry Ford.

And it was so broken down that the engine would overheat

every time I drove it, so I had to drive with the heat fully on

in order to extract the heat from it.

I don't even know if that's true. My dad said I had to drive with the heat fully on,

which now, in retrospect, seems like a practical joke

he was playing on me, but then seemed totally logical.

OK, so audience, you decide. Best first car.

Let's have a look at them both again, here we go.

It is a cheer for Gordon's Fiat Strada...

CHEERING ..and hair.

Or Jesse's Honda Accord and hair. ENTHUSIASTIC CHEERING

Ooh, Jesse just gets that one, don't you think so?

- He just gets it.
- One-nil, Jesse, congratulations.
- One-nil.

Are you ready for best car ever now? Gordon's best car ever.

- Oh!

The LaFerrari.

Yes, an absolute beast.

How long have you owned yours for?

I got delivery... yeah, about nine months ago.

- Right.
- I told Tana I was buying an electric car.

Well, it is a little bit electric, isn't it, I suppose?

- Isn't it?
- A little bit electric. So this is your best ever car now.

But you may have a sort of future best car.

There's one on the way. There's another little thing proving...

- What's this? What's this?
- So this is from Ferrari.

And I got it sent about three months ago.

And they're doing a limited edition of the LaFerrari.

- So what are we talking about?
- The LaFerrari Spider.

They made 499 of these beauties. These, I think, they're making 100.

- 150.
- OK.
- There's the key.
- Wow.

This is the first proof on TV, radio or in a magazine that this car exists,

cos anybody you ask about this car to do with Ferrari,

they go, maybe, maybe not.

But you have actually ordered one, and this is what they've sent you?

- Yes.
- So you've parted with a lot of money, and they've sent you a box?

- Yes.

Well, you're a very lucky boy, well done.

And if this is ever going to be attached to anything else,

- then good luck with that, too.
- It's great.

- So, Jesse, you are up for best car ever against LaFerrari.
- Yeah, yeah, yeah.

What are we thinking about Jesse's chances here, everybody?

Yeah. I need some kind of spaceship to compete with it.

- Remember, it's your vote that counts.
- I think I might win the sympathy vote.

The nicest car I've ever had was that Honda Accord from the previous image.

- No, come on, it's not. Come on.
- Yes, it is, it is. It is, it is.

No. I moved to... I moved to New York City, I ride a bicycle.

Didn't you have a Nissan once?

No, no, I learned to drive on, like, I think maybe an Altima, a Nissan Altima.

But it was also not a good car. I mean, not...

- At the time it was really... you know, had been used by several generations.
- All right.

So far, the LaFerrari or the Nissan Altima, what are we thinking?

Wait, wait, before they vote, can I just say, mine has an air freshener in there.

We need something better than a Nissan Altima.

Do you have any experience of another car that might be

- a bit better that we can represent you with?
- Yes, I was in a Porsche one time.
- A Porsche!

Shall we take the Porsche? Let's take the Porsche.

- What kind of Porsche was it? Why were you in it?
- I've no idea on either of those. I don't know.

No, I wound up in it for maybe 30 seconds - does that count?

Yes, of course. It's going to have to, cos we can't put this against LaFerrari.

Did it look a bit like this one, perhaps? 356, was it like that?

- Oh, that's nice.
- It looked nothing like that.
- Gorgeous car, by the way.

- Beautiful.
- Nothing like that?
- Nothing like that.
- OK, was it more like this one?

- 2.7 RS?
- No, no, it was much more modern.
- Really?
- Yeah.

- OK. Was it like this one? Carrera GT?
- Oh.

It was somewhere between the yellow one and this one, yeah.

THEY LAUGH OK, was it like this one?

- Just use your acting skill. Say yes...
- Got it.

- Was it like that?
- Yeah, it was exactly that one.
- OK, perfect! Perfect.


OK, so once... Once again, you're in charge.

- OK, remember, Gordon's one down here, everybody, OK?
- Yes. Come on.

Best car ever between Gordon Ramsay and Jesse Eisenberg.

Is it Gordon's LaFerrari, or is it Jesse's 918?

Let's hear it for Gordon's LaFerrari.


Let's hear it for Jesse's 918! WHOOPING

- Oh, no!
- Nothing. Not even one person.
- Gordon wins.

I should have brought my mother here, she would have voted for me.

It's one-all. It couldn't be more exciting.

Shall we have the decider as the lap?

- Yes!
- Yes.

OK, let's go with Gordon first.

Here we go. Our muddy Mini Cooper, then.

136 horsepower of prime British beef.

- Come on.
- Can he handle it?
- Let's go, baby.
- nail this one.

First corner. Here it is.

All change, sharp right-hander now.

And straight onto our first dirt section, everybody.

And the water splash, brand-new.

Look at that, woohoo!

Oh, very nice, Gordon.

Into Hammerhead.

Oh, come on! Round of applause, ladies and gentlemen.

Excellent control. Right, our second off-road section.

- Heading towards the hairpin.
- Come on.

Apparently, the fastest way around this is with a handbrake turn.

Does he go for it? Yes, yes, he does go for it with a handbrake turn.

- Used the handbrake?
- Up.

Coming up, our jump. Our brand-new jump.

And...all right! Big air there from Gordon Ramsay.

More big air from Gordon Ramsay.

Right, back onto terra firma and approaching the tyre wall.

- Oh.
- Left, left, left, left.

- Get out of the
- way, bird. Before I eat you.

His next-to-last corner. This often catches lots of people out.

Very tidy. Bit of counter-steering there.

And finally round Gambon, and he's across the line.


- How did that look?
- Loved that.
- Yeah?
- Great.

- First-ever lap time.
- I know, thank you.
- OK.
- Thank you.

- OK. Right. Jesse.
- Yeah.

How did that look to you, compared to how you think yours turned out?

Well, that's how I pictured myself, but I'm sure I look a lot different.

- Shall we have a look?
- If you need to.

Jesse's lap. Here we go, come on, everybody!

- This is the one.

Into the first corner. Looking smooth.

No tyre squeal there. Slow and steady...could win the race.

OK, fight all instincts to go too fast, this is really slippery.

Towards the water splash, let's have a look.


OK. Bit of trail-braking there.

Call it what you like, I'm not quite sure,

never seen it before, to be honest.

All right, now. There he is through Hammerhead.

Enjoying the scenery as he goes.

Will he ever get to the second off-road section?

And, yes, he's on the second off-road section.

Now the thing with the handbrake.

Can we see the Scandinavian flick?

Actually, that wasn't bad, I don't think. That was all right.

Hey, thank you very much for your pity.

And air. There's some air! CHEERING

Nice through the tyres there.

Next-to-last corner, hard left.

Tight, good line.

And round Gambon, and Jesse is over the line.


OK, so...

What do you think, guys?

- I have an idea.

The thing about the conditions today was they were near perfect.

And so one of you could end up top of our leaderboard.

- Right, right.

Well, Gordon, this is automatically the fastest lap ever

until we have Jesse's, because it's the first lap ever.

Gordon Ramsay, you did our brand-new rallycross circuit

in our rallycross car... 1:56.3, everybody! CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

- Yeah. I'll take that.
- Well done.
- I'll take that.

- There for now.
- All right.
- Yes.

- OK.
- Yeah.
- Jesse, looking at 1:56.3 and seeing the film...

- Yeah.
- ..what would you like to be?

I think you could just move that colon over number.

- OK. 15 minutes, 63 seconds.

Would you like to be under two minutes?

- Would you like...? What do you think?
- I'm just happy I'm alive.

So, yeah, whatever you want to put me on. I don't care.

OK, well, I can tell you,

Jesse Eisenberg went round our course in one...

- Yes!
- Oh!

- I'm joking.
- Oh!
- 2:10.9 seconds. There you go, Jesse Eisenberg!

- Hey!

Going to be close together, closer together. Thank you, Jesse.

- You know what, that's not bad.
- Thank you, Gordon.
- Thank you so much.


I don't know about you, but I often lie awake in bed thinking,

"When they approach Top Gear to remake Lawrence of Arabia -

"which they will -

"what car are we going to replace the camel with?"

Well, those crazy Brits who came up with this,

the bonkers Ariel Atom, think they might have the answer.

Check this out.

It's called the Nomad.

And it's some sort of off-roader.

Look, I don't really want to start by picking apart

your strange British cars, but as an off-roader,

the Nomad does suffer a few tiny flaws.

'First of all, getting in.'

- No.


A door would have been nice.

'And where most off-roaders have four-wheel drive,

'the Nomad makes do with just two.'

So if you get stuck, you're probably not going to get unstuck.

'Worse still, as you can clearly see, the Nomad is full of holes.'

Yeah, getting wet here. Getting really quite wet. Yeah.

'So, as a conventional off-roader, the Nomad is completely useless.

'But conventional can be so...boring.'


On a surface like this, you simply shouldn't be able to go this fast.

Behind my head is the latest 2.4 litre four-cylinder Honda engine.

Makes 235 horsepower.

In an age of 600 horsepower family sedans,

that doesn't seem like a lot.

'And it's not a lot.

'But because the Nomad weighs as much as your mother's G-string...'

..this thing hauls ass!

0-60 takes just 3.4 seconds.

And unless your other car is a superbike,

or a cheetah with a saddle on it, that ought to be enough.

'And so should its top speed. Sure, it's only 125mph...'

..but it feels like more. Much, much more!

This is not off-roading. This is low-level flight.

Because this car is from the same people who brought you the Atom,

the time they've saved on styling

has been spent on the important stuff.

The suspension is the same kind of stuff they use in World Rally cars,

so the Nomad can absorb bumps that'd split most cars clean in half.

Look at all that suspensioning.

Suspend! Suspend!

Oh! Oh, yes! Smooth, like a Cadillac!

And there's more cleverness.

This bodywork, if you can call it that,

is made of the same material as traffic cones,

so it'll bend instead of dent

if you were to accidentally bump into, say, a medium-sized mountain.

And look - unlike the Atom, there's a windshield. For obvious reasons.

Such as the wind.

But maybe the Nomad's neatest trick is that

it isn't just brilliant off-road.

Most of your hardcore lightweights - your Atoms, your Caterhams,

your Radicals - yeah, they're great on a race track,

but they can be pretty hard work on real world roads.

But the Nomad is more approachable.

You can really feel the suspension doing its thing.

You feel the limits of the tyres.

A really flickable chassis. I love it.

You really feel part of the action. You feel, I don't know, plugged in.

'And, OK, £33,000 is quite a lot of money for a car

'with no luggage space or doors...'

..but honestly, it's the most fun you can have in a car.


Well, the most fun you can have with your clothes on.

I remember one time, I was with this, er...

Well, there was two of them, actually...

'Ooh. They were supposed to cut that out.

'So, it's quick both on and off-road,

'which in no way begs the question,

'does this make the Nomad the world's best all-terrain getaway car?'

As we all know, one of the hazards of modern Britain is being

pursued by bloodthirsty evil villains.

'Or, to give them their Latin name, paparazzi.

'But can the Nomad outrun them?'

To find out we've assembled three of the most vicious,

cold-blooded villains on the planet.


This is Barry. Pure evil.

He's going to be chasing me with this kid's toy. Good luck.

This is Dave. Ruthless, heartless, homeless, probably.

He'll be on a dirt bike.

Meet Pete. Basically a lizard with opposable thumbs.

He'll be on...

..whatever that is. Put that down!

'The challenge is, can these villains get a clean photo

'of me in the Nomad?'

- Let's find out.

On my mark, get...

Nah, just go!

'We'd agreed I'd get a one-minute head start,'

'but the villains, being villains, didn't play fair.

'Dave's bike took off like a shot.

'Barry's camera drone took off like drone,

'and Pete took off like a...drunk puppet.'

So, how to escape the villains.

Tip one - weaving.


Tip two - keep them guessing.

Bike's gone, bike's gone! It's an all-aerial battle now.

Aerial Nomad versus aerial assholes.


Tip three - create a smokescreen.

That ought to do it.

'And drones, it seems, not great with dust.'

Drone down, drone down!

'So long, Barry.'

Then the drunk puppet man met his worst enemy - a moderate breeze.

Where's he going? I'm pretty sure that's Algeria over there.

- That's unlucky.

'But just as I was busy basking in my own smugness...

'..biker Dave was back.'

Sneaky. So sneaky.

'With the dirt bike hot on my tail, it was time to change the play.

'On tarmac the Nomad's extra grip would, in theory,

'give me the upper hand, especially here.'

See if I can shake him in these twisties.


I think I should be able to get a bit of a gap on him here.

'Sure enough, the Nomad's agility through the corners

'gave me some breathing space.'

So there you go. No match for the Nomad.

'Unless, that is, you hit traffic.'

Ah, man.

# Truckin' got my chips cashed in

# Keep truckin'... #

- Stig!
- # ..Just keep truckin' on... #

Stig! A little help!

Oh, yeah.

My man.

Thanks, Stig.

It's dark in here. Whoa, whoa! Something just licked me.

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE That was brilliant.

- That was fun, that was all fun.
- That was brilliant.

- That was a lot of fun.
- It was like a movie.
- Yes, it was.
- Wasn't it?

How great was that?

The Italian Job lives, starring LeBlanc,

LeStig and LeAriel Nomad.

And what you've got to love about the Nomad,

like the Viper, is that they are just built for pleasure alone.


Yeah, that's right. But now back to the pain...

AUDIENCE GROANS we re-join our USA versus UK challenge.

# With my little stick of Blackpool rock

# Along the promenade I stroll... #

We woke to vintage British weather, excited at our first challenge.

But what would we be driving?

Representing the US of A, the Willys Jeep.

Born in the Second World War, the daddy of all off-roaders,

the American definition of tough.

Representing the UK, the Series One Land Rover,

a reliable workhorse so indestructible

it lasted seven decades.

Soon and, I have to say, a little weirdly, a man in robes appeared.

Ladies and gentlemen, as Mayor, it gives me

great pleasure to welcome our two intrepid challengers.

Your first challenge today will be a simple race - the speed test.

1km of run-up. Fastest through the timing gate wins.

Gentlemen, to your vehicles.

- OK.
- OK, is it all right?

Here's an interesting fact.

On this very stretch of promenade in 1906, a lady called

Dorothy Levitt set a women's land speed record of 91mph.

Come on, you beauty! For Britain.

Come on! Come on!

Oh, I tried, I tried, I tried, I tried.

Abysmal at best.

- All right?
- It was... It was terrible, wasn't it?

Well... I mean... wasn't that bad, Granny.

- What do you think?
- I think...

Please, over 50mph. Maybe 49... 48, 49mph.

Your guesses seem to be dropping.

All right, let's see it, come on.

- Oh!

Fine, not that quick.

But the signs weren't looking great for cocky Matt either.

Piece of cake, piece of cake.

Yeah, feel that American power, baby.

- Here we go. Yeah!
- Click it there!

Oh, that looked quick, didn't it?

Look at that face.

You know you've beaten us, don't you? Yeah?

- That felt... That felt pretty quick.
- OK, erm, 43.81 to beat, OK?
- 43.81.

For America's honour.

Oh! Oh-ho-ho-ho!

This is what happens when you mess with the Big Dog.

So that's one-nil to the States

and it was back to robes guy to find out what was next.

'I love this guy.'

It's time for our second challenge.

A British classic, the tug-of-war, here on Blackpool Beach.

On your marks, get set, tug.

With a rope tied between us,

the winner would be the first to spear their balloon

and this time, we'd each be backed by some home-grown muscle.

Helping me were local rugby superheroes, the Fylde Vandals.

And helping me was an American football team

from somewhere called...Blackburn?

The Lancashire Wolverines.

'Then it turned out robes guy had a friend.'


- On your marks, get set, GO!

Come on, boys!

- Come on! Come on!
- Pull! Come on, pull!

'Never before on Top Gear had so much effort

'produced so little movement.'

'Soon it became clear that neither of us was going anywhere.'

- Oh, no, no, no.

'And as Chris threw the rule book out the window,

'the tug-of-war was declared a no-score draw.'

So it remained one-nil to the USA with just one challenge left.


And so, back by popular demand...

Today's final challenge will be a traditional automobile drag race.

But this is Blackpool, so we're doing it bigger, better, brighter.

Welcome to the Top Gear triple-drag challenge.

- Can I go?
- No.

We would have to race across the beach, tow a stranded ice cream van

to safety and escort these lovely ladies to the finish line.

So it was drag, drag and drag.

- Three...
- Two...
- One...


Oh, no! The American's got the lead!

I can beat him on the reverse.


'As we hitched up to our ice cream vans,

'it was pretty much neck and neck.'

Come on, come on, come on. Come on, come on! Oh, no!

'Until Matt's superior torque started to give him the edge.'

Come on! He's got it absolutely nailed.

'And with just the ladies left to collect,

'I unleashed all 2.2 litres of my Jeep's power.'

See you later. Ha-ha-ha!

'With Chris flailing behind...'

He's already at the drag queens. No!

'..I picked up Miss UK and made a sprint for the finish.'


Jump in, jump in, jump in! Come on!

Quick, quick, quick! Jump in!

- How's it going?
- Oh, lovely.


- Ooh!
- Careful.

Here we go. Yeah!

We've lost the battle but we can still win the war.

'Yep, another defeat for the Brits.'

Two-nil to Team USA.

Victory, or so I thought.

"Congratulations, you have completed the qualifying stage

"of Top Gear's UK versus USA challenge."

- Qualifying?
- That's what it says here.

"Tomorrow, you and your respective cars will race

"to the top of a mountain.

"Matt, you have gained a one-second head start tomorrow."

You're kidding me. All that effort for a one-second head start?

I don't make the rules. HE LAUGHS

Our deciding challenge brought us to the magnificent Lake District,

and a race to plant our national flags at the top of Muncaster Fell.

Off-road hell awaited us.

And so did two old friends.

- Hey-hey!
- Oh.
- The Reliants are back, yes!


'Good thing I had my one-second head start.

'Still, at least I had backup, in the shape of professional strong man

'and world champion powerlifter Nick Best.'

- Hey, Nick.
- Matt, what's going on?

Good, good, good. Thanks for helping out.

- How much do you lift?
- Everything.

And helping Chris out would be some thin guy.

- Hiya.
- Alistair Brownlee, how are you doing?

- Good, thank you. How are you?
- Great, thanks.

I can lift a Jeep. I don't think he can.

Oh, I've been studying the old Ordnance Survey maps

and I've been looking at the tracks that we've got to go up

and hopefully I'll find the smoothest and quickest way up there.


Let's quit the small talk and get going. Come on.

Can we just have a little bit of respect

for my Olympic gold medallist?

I'll have Nick pick him up and throw him off the hill if you don't. Let's go.

'And so, for the honour of our nations,

'and with one more British thing I'm yet to figure out...'

Matt, you will go on my first cannon.

Chris, you will go on my second cannon.

Three, two, one.



- All right, Nick. Here we go, buddy.
- Let's do it.

Al, can you keep checking the Reliant's still there, yeah?

'With the summit looming way above us,

'we each took our own view on the fastest way to the top.'

Ah, there's nothing like a Willys Jeep.

- Whoa!
- Think we're still on the right route here.

- Yeah?
- We're doing all right, yeah.

Alistair's route was longer, but undoubtedly more achievable.

Meanwhile, Team USA's more direct approach

was throwing up some obstacles.

- Oh, we've got some crap in the way up here for sure, Nick.
- Yeah.

Clearly he doesn't need my help.

That is a big dude.


It's good to have strong friends.

'Hang on, a friend that reads maps isn't exactly a disadvantage.'

200 yards straight and a gate coming up.

- Disengage the brain and just engage the power.
- Got it.

Here we go! Whoa!

Surely he's not going this fast in the Jeep. No way.

- Got to be, come on!
- No way.
- Come on, Britain!

'And he was right. Back on the short route, Nick and I were in trouble.'

We've missed the turn.

Why didn't you tell me we were supposed to turn back there?

- It's not my fault, you're the one that's driving.

I didn't say it was your fault, clearly it's my fault. Clearly.

Do you think you could pick that up and spin it around?

Yeah, yeah, I can pick it up.

- Uh-oh.
- That's not a good sound.

- We're going to have to get it up.
- Yeah, I'm sorry I yelled at you.

- It's all right, man.
- OK.
- It's all good.

Just go up and over, that'll get it past the tree.


'So after an incredibly hands-on U-turn...

'..America was back in business.'

And as we climbed higher, we closed in on the Brits.

- Where is he now? Is he close?
- About 20 yards off us.

'Then things got a little...competitive.'

- We're going to get smashed.
- Yeah.

I might have tapped you a little bit. Sorry.

- It's more than a tap.
- Slightly more than a tap, yeah.

I'm not sure that's within the rules.

- Come on, we'll find another way.
- All right.
- Whoa!

We can cut that out.

'Matt and Nick had muscled their way into the lead,

'but Britain never gives up.'

We are never more dangerous than when we're behind, Al.

Underdogs, that's where we like to be, isn't it?

Behind us, the Brits were gaining confidence and ground.

Then our route planning let us down. Again.

- Give me a push, Nick.
- Go on. Hit it.

Come on, baby, come on. Come on!

- Argh!
- Come ON!

Team GB were also closing in on the summit, and also stuck.

No, we're not going anywhere, I don't think.

- We're really struggling.
- Or at least they were,

until another skinny triathlete appeared from nowhere.

Look at him go!

- Jonny!
- Thought you lads could use some help.
- I think this is allowed.

Two Brownlees equal one American strongman.

- I think that's fair.
- And then Chris cheated. Again.

As long as we take a bit of the Reliant with us to the top of the hill, that's fine.

- Technically we've done all right.
- Yeah.

'So taking what I prefer to call a liberal interpretation of the rules...'

- Yeah, he's got it!
- Yes!

'..we grabbed a bit of flag, ditched the Reliant,

'and pushed for the top.'

- Great.
- Come on!

Straight up. Straight up.

- Come on!
- Come on.
- Straight up.
- Come on!
- Come on! We can do this.

I can't see, boys. Where am I going? I can't actually...

Right, go, go, go.

With the cheating Brits making a break for it,

Team Fair Play weren't far behind.

Go, go, go, go, go, go, go!

Get on it, get on it, get on it. Get on it.

'But our Reliant Reluctant had dropped anchor.'

- Give me a push, Nick.
- All right.
- Come on, we're almost there.

- This is it. This is it!
- All right. Keep going! Keep going!

- We can do it!
- Come on!
- Stop!

- Ye-e-ey!
- All right, come on.

Put the flag up, put the flag up!

YEAH! USA, where are you?

'We were close, so close.

'But even with the might of one of the world's strongest men,

'we weren't going to make it to the top without a little help.'

Come on, boys.

- # Let the sunshine in
- Let it shine

# Let the sunshine in

# Open up your heart and let it shine on in

# Let the sunshine in... #

Yeah! Woo!

You didn't bring a whole car.

- We brought...we brought enough of a car.
- No, no, no, no.


- That's our first-ever film together.
- That's our first one.

The end of the first film.

OK, well, now, thank you, Blackpool, thank you, the Lake District.

- Thank you very much.
- Yeah.
- That was a lot of fun, yeah.

OK, I know what you might be thinking here.

You might be thinking from the video evidence

it's patently clear that I may have cheated.

What do you mean you "may" have cheated? You cheated.

Yeah, all right, OK. I did cheat.

But after I cheated, I helped you to win.

- Well, yeah, that's true. Thank you.
- Oh.
- Thank you very much.

- You're very welcome.
- And on that bomb...

- No, no, no! We're not...
- I didn't...
- No, no, no, no!

- We're not doing that, no.
- I was just testing you.

- Just testing you.
- Phew!

Next week - the Jaguar F-PACE, the Porsche Macan,

the Mercedes GLC and the McLaren 675.

Cue the TV walk. Plus Eddie Jordan, Jenson Button, Tinie Tempah,

Sharleen Spiteri and Seasick Steve.

Goodnight, everyone! Goodnight! CHEERING AND APPLAUSE