Top Gear (2002–…): Season 23, Episode 5 - Episode #23.5 - full transcript

Chris Harris is with the new BMW M2, Rory Reid retraces a historic journey against the clock, delivering the Jaguar F-type SVR to the Geneva Motor Show, and Chris Evans and Matt Le Blanc head to Dingle to see whether the new Rolls Royce Dawn can out-class its ancestor, a 1976 Corniche. The Stars going head to head in the Rallycross Car are Absolutely Fabulous star Jennifer Saunders and Great British Bake Off's Paul Hollywood.

CHRIS: Tonight,
I audition for Countryfile.

Sorry to interrupt,
very nice sheep.

CHRIS: Matt considers
his Christmas list.

Feel like I need
a captain's hat...
Maybe a cannon.

CHRIS: And Harris has
an Einstein moment.

There we go.

Hello and welcome to Top Gear!

Yes, hello, now usually
when you hear the term
lightweight, you think

of bars and
drink and... Vomit.

Thank you, but on this show,
that term refers
to a very small special group

of British car enthusiasts.

CHRIS: These are the great
British super lightweights.

They're raucous,
they're uncomfortable

and most of all,
they're totally impractical.

Not that any of that
really matters

because the only thing
that does is how exciting
they are to drive.

And the fast track route
to the most thrills per gallon

is as little on as possible

with as much oomph

as your piggy bank
will stretch to.

On the racetrack,

these super lightweights
are an absolute riot.

They're pure and honest,
modest and humble.


back in the real world,

their lack of
creature comforts

means they can be a bit
of a physical challenge.

So, how does the new kid
on the block compare?

It's time to meet
the Zenos E10.

It's designed and built
in Britain

by two ex-Lotus
and Caterham guys

who still promise a
double helping of fun

without the
side order of scary.

There are three versions
of the E10.

The entry-level for 25 grand,

the top-of-the-range R

and this, the S.

Which boasts
a two-litre turbo engine

from Ford's
hot hatch department.

The 30 grand will buy you
250 brake horsepower,

145 miles per hour

and naught to 60 in about
four seconds.

And all this in something
that looks like

Darth Vader's weekend wheels.


The E10 S is blessed with
the gearbox, engine
and other mechanical hardware

from the Ford Focus ST,

which is not a slow car.

But stick all of its guts

in a four-wheeled,
bobsleigh Superleggera

and this
is what's gonna happen.


If Mo Farah were a car,
he may well be a Zenos.

Supreme performance
with a bare minimum
of skin and bone

to slow him down.

The E10 S weighs
a mere 725 kilos,

about half the weight
of the Ford Focus.

Partly because Zenos
have done away with all those
heavy non-essentials

like windows,

or a boot

or a roof.

But also because it's
built of something

called carbon fibre
reinforced plastic,

which is incredibly light
and incredibly strong, too.

Now, it could be said
that the E10 S's panels look
a bit flimsy and frankly...

...they are.

But it's all part of
that grand plan.

Think about these panels
as more

sacrificial than cheap.

Zenos have gone
all Lego on us,

so if you run out of talent
on a track day,

it's so much easier
to replace a bit

than a lot.


Whoa! (LAUGHS)


Because the rest of the car
is so solid and so light,

it's the perfect platform
for stability.


And enables the car
to remain planted...

...almost all of the time.



The way this car's set up,

it really will inspire

the inner Hamilton
in all of us.

The steering is
so tight and bright.




I love the whooshing
and the hissing

and the oozing and the urging

and the screaming and the...

"Come on, Christopher!

"Faster, my son!"

Here we go again.

The Zenos then gives you
all the thrills you want

from a proper British
super lightweight,

but without feeling the need
to have to beat you up.

This car really doesn't want
to fight you.

It wants to be your friend.

I mean, it has its downsides.

The gear throw's a bit long.

The brakes you gotta really
sort of stand on at first
till you get used to them.

But, compared to most
super lightweights,

it's like a blimming
Rolls-Royce Corniche.

When developing
their mini-masterpiece,

Zenos invited
potential customers
to drive the prototypes

and give their feedback.

So this car is more of what
super lightweight fans want,

rather than
what a manufacturer
thinks they should get.

But all those Ford bits
means it's got
part supplies sorted.

Reliability should be
boringly excellent.

Fixing it should be easy
and it's safe and it's noisy.

But most important of all,

it's still
respectfully impractical.

Which it has to be
because it's
a super lightweight.

And that's the law!


Wow. I love it.
That looked fun, that looked
great, was it fun?

No. Yes. What I meant,
no, I meant yes. Yes, no.

It is a lot of fun,
but the thing
about cars like this is,

they are painful. They hurt.
They hurt your back,

they hurt your arms,
they hurt your wrists.
They really hurt your bum,

and, and some people
have been known to ache
for the rest of their lives

after driving
a super lightweight
for just five minutes.

Yeah, but the people who love
these cars, the people
who own these cars,

they worship them, right?

They do, they do,
because they're
a bit mad!

I mean, I salute them,

but I wouldn't wanna
live next-door to one.

Okay. All right.
That's all I'm saying, okay?

Fair enough, okay,
so to see how fast a Zeenos
goes around...


To see how fast a Zenos
goes around our test track,

it's time to hand it over
to our tame racing driver.

Some say that on a first date,
he always clips the apex...



And that he's
touched every one
of the untouchables.

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


CHRIS: So, the Zenos E10S
then, a classically British
lightweight in

clasically British
conditions today...

Into the first corner,
the Zenos looking
locked down as you like.

The Stig, crafty happening,
happening crafty.

Chicago! Listen to the turbo
engine suck and blow,
hiss, pop, bang.

Very neutral, through
Hammerhead. Not a sniff
of a slide there, immaculate.

Happening crafty, crafty
happening, the Zenos!
For the honour of Norfolk,

bouncing past the tyre wall,
sacrificial panels

Bit of a squirm as Stig
stomps on the brakes.

And finally through Gambon,
little skid on the exit
and across the line!


before I post this time up
on the Power Lap Time Board,

we're looking at other
lightweights, we've got
the Caterham 620R, 1.22.3,

and then we go
up the board,
the BAC Mono,

the king or queen
of lightweights, 1.14.3,

and the Zenos E10S,
on a mildly moist
and damp day,

has come in at 1.25.1,
which is just about there.

It's okay. That's okay.

While Chris was dealing
with the pain of the Zenos,
I was dealing with the pain

of the new Rolls-Royce.


MATT: The Rolls-Royce Dawn.

Seventeen feet and £250,000

of very British convertible.

And yes, 17-foot long,
£250,000 convertibles

can sometimes,


run the risk of being
a bit attention-seeking.


Case in point,
way, way out in front,

a twin turbo, 6.6 litre
V12 engine will,

at your request,
serve up 563 horsepower.

It'll proceed
from a stand-still
to 60 miles an hour

in under five seconds.

Which is very invigorating.

But the rest of the messy
physics of driving are kept
well and truly below deck.

Generally, when you buy
the convertible version
of an expensive car

with a large engine
and many cylinders,

it's so you can hear
that large engine
with many cylinders.

But the Dawn
is far too diplomatic

for anything so uncouth
as engine noise.


And it's far too polite
to concern you
with nonsense like feedback.

The steering tells you
pretty much nothing

about what's
going on with the tyres.

Just occasionally

you get the merest hint

through the chassis
that you may have run over

something fairly significant.

Like a buffalo.


And that's a good thing.

If you want to feel
every inch of the tarmac
through your fingertips,

buy a Lotus.

And if it's all still
a bit intrusive,

you can always
deploy the roof.

You could hear
a cricket fart in here.


Even though the Dawn
will do 155 miles an hour
if called upon,

you get the sense

it would prefer
to call ahead and let them
know you'll be late.

It's a car that'll go as fast
as you'll ever need,

but makes you
wanna take your time.

Delve beneath its bold,
sleek lines,

and you're met
with a level of detail

that is second to none.

The doors open
the wrong way because...

Well, it seems like there's
no practical reason,

other than the fact
that it's really cool,

but it makes it easier
to access this.


Your umbrella.

And when you're done
with your umbrella,

the Dawn circulates
warm air

around its little scabbard
to dry it off.


And if you think
that's a bit over the top,

how about this little gem from
the promotional literature.

(READING) "The rear passengers
do not merely 'get out'
of a Rolls-Royce Dawn,

"but rather stand
and disembark

"as if from a motor launch
onto a glamorous,
private jetty."

Let's give it a go.

I can almost smell the ocean.

And then there's the Dawn's
most imposing feature.

Whoa, that's tight.

Oh, wow.

And that's, well... It's huge.

Sorry, buddy. Ah!

And that leads to the small
matter of parking it.

Ooh. That's tight.

Oh. Let me try that again.

-She's definitely big!

Oh, I'm on the kerb.
One more crack at that.

Ooh. Ooh. Ooh!

Okay, gotta be careful now.
We don't want
to scuff the wheels.

They're about £2,000 a pop.


At least nobody saw that.


Not what you'd
call subtle, then.

But get the Dawn out
on the wide,
very wide open road,

and it really starts to get
under your skin.

You don't drive this thing,

you captain it,
as you would a cruise liner.

Feel like I need
a captain's hat,

maybe a cannon.

Delusions of grandeur?


But that's what the Dawn
does to you.

Okay, maybe it is
a bit attention-seeking,

a bit shouty, but, hey,
it's got plenty
to shout about.

It's so nice.

(CHUCKLING) So, so nice.

I like it. Call me crazy.

Call me ostentatious.

Call me whatever
the hell you want,

I'm driving a Roller
down the road.



It does pain me to admit this,
but he does suit the car,
doesn't he?

Thank you.

This car is
undoubtedly a five-star,
magnificent example

of British engineering,

Two glitches in my book. Two.

First of all, why do Rolls
always insist on sticking
their granny's brooch

on the most beautiful,
futuristic grills imaginable.
Why do they do that?

What? The Spirit of Ecstasy?
What's wrong with that?

Well, why don't they make
it more contemporary so,
so you look at it

and you think,
no it's all part
of the same thing.

You don't like it?
No, I hate it.

You don't have to look at it.

I know it's still there.
That's just like sweeping
the problem under the carpet.

That's the way
you're supposed to deal
with problems.

Answer this question then.

Have Rolls come up
with a button
to make the whole

back end of the car disappear,
look at this, it's awful,
it's hideous!

It looks like a blue wall
that somebody just stuck
a number plate on.

What's the matter
with the back?

The back is terrible.
You won't know this, right,
but the back of this

brand new Rolls-Royce Dawn
looks like a Rover 75.

CHRIS: Look!
What's that about?

That looks all right, too.

What's the problem?

Look, you've got
these gorgeous, sweeping
lines. You've got

these really muscular
haunches, you've got
a really tight torso

for such a big vehicle,
and then... They, they went
home and the designers forgot

to come back
and we're left
with this.

All right,
so you don't like
the back of the car?

Okay. Do you feel better now
getting that off your chest?

I'm okay for now.
For now.

Okay, all right, well we'll
come back to that.
Thank you.

Okay. I'm glad he's
done with that.

We'll be returning
to the Dawn later as it takes
on an icon from the past.

Right now,
it's special ops time,

as Top Gear's lone wolf,
Chris Harris, comes to grips
with BMW's latest tyre-slayer.

CHRIS HARRIS: If you lived
in the 1990s and you
wanted to buy a fast car,

but you couldn't
afford a Porsche 911,
you bought one of these.


It was quick,
it was rear-wheel drive,
it was affordable-ish

and most importantly,
on a wet roundabout,
it would do big skids.

It was, therefore, perfect.

Fast forward 20 years,
you can still buy an M3.

It looks like this.

Yes, it's very fast
and very impressive,

but the M3 isn't really
an M3 any more.

It's become bigger,
more complicated,

much more grown up.

So what if you want your
M3 like they used to be?


This is the M2.


Named in honour
of one of Kent's finest
stretches of motorway.

Not really. It's called the M2
because it's based

on the 2-series,
BMW's smallest coupe.

And what BMW has done here is
actually quite old-fashioned.

Just like that
old M3 from the '90s,
there's a manual gear box.

You can have
a paddle shift if you want,
but, trust me, you don't.

And just like that
old M3 from the '90s,

you get a 3-litre
straight-six engine.

Okay, it's turbocharged now.

But that does mean
365 horsepower

and naught to 60
in four and a half seconds.

A lot of modern
turbocharged engines have

clever software that limits
the torque at low revs

to stop you spinning
the wheels and to make it
more manageable.

The M2, however, is not
interested in manageable.

So full torque, that's
the stuff that gives you
the big shove in the back,

arrives at just 1,500 RPM
and it stays there
pretty much all the way.

So you don't have to
find the M2's sweet spot.

It's just there
the whole time.


And with all this
torque on tap,
you can slide about a bit.


A lot, actually.

It's a little, angry ball
of energy, this car.

It's like the pent-up
bloke in the pub,
who will start a fight

with just about anyone
for staring at his pint
the wrong way.

You! What you looking at?

Now, admittedly,
this kind of attitude

does tend to attract
a certain type of buyer.

There's no denying that fast
BMW Saloons still carry

a faint suspicion of
the mobile phone salesman
done good about them.

And the headlights actually
have three different settings.

There's dip beam,
main beam, and,

"Get out of my way,
I'm on business! Deal! Deal!"

And, image problems aside,

there are just a couple of
other minor flaws.

Complete geeks like me
will notice that there is
no oil temperature gauge.

I always thought M cars
had to have an
oil temperature gauge,

but this one doesn't, nor is
the gear knob illuminated.

I know, you're shocked
at the depths of my sadness,
aren't you?

But it's one of those cars
that makes you qualify
everything with a,

"But, what else can you get
for the money?" And also,
"What more can you expect?"

Well, it's not often you
introduce an Audi
as the budget option,

but this is the RS3.

It makes the same power
as the BMW,

and at £40,000,
it's four grand cheaper.

Because it's got four-wheel
drive, it will get from naught
to 60 much quicker.

In fact, it will get anywhere
much quicker.

It is a deliriously,
stupidly fast car.

Has bigger back seats,
too, if you care
about that sort of thing.

In fact, on paper,
it's just a winner.

But you don't
drive cars on paper.

Welcome, then,
to the Top Gear
one corner challenge.

In just one single corner,

I'm going to demonstrate
to you exactly why,

despite what the
official stats might say,

the RS3 is not the better car.

Which means I'll need
to strap on the patented
Top Gear Fun-O-Metre 3000.

Harnessing science
and numbers and stuff

to actually
quantify happiness.

(SIGHS) There we go.

Right then, the Audi RS3.

And we've got,
yep, understeer,

amusing, proppy,
foister noises
and understeer!


Ah, let's have a look
at the scores. Uh, 76.

That's quite happy.

And now, the M2.

-So, it scored 76 in the Audi.

What did I score in the BMW?

Five, one, four.
There you have it!

The BMW makes you, um,

very much more happy
in the corners.

There you are. Science.

It really is
simply brilliant, the M2.

It takes you back
to when driving was
still brilliantly simple.

It takes you back
to the 1990s.

In fact, BMW has made
a mistake here.

It's not really an M2.

It's an M3. There you go!

Okay, so now it's time for
tonight's stars in
a Rallycross Car.

Please welcome Paul Hollywood
and Jennifer Saunders.


CHRIS: How cool is this?


Look at you two.
Already friends. Come on.

-Well, this morning
we weren't.


Well, and we might not be
at the end.
I don't know.


Look at the body language,
isn't it perfect?

He just said to me, he just
said to me, "If you beat me,
I can't go back to Bakeoff."

-So, Paul, please tell us,
what is Jennifer doing here?

Jennifer's here because
Absolutely Fabulous

has finally been turned into
a movie.


Was it fun to make?

It was... Yes, it was
the best fun to make.

Over 60 cameos, well-known
cameos in the, in the film.

-But one cameo was crucial to
the film getting made.

Well it's not really even a
cameo, it's actually quite
a main part.

'Cause the whole plot revolves
around Patsy and Eddie
and Kate Moss.

And we needed Kate Moss.

And I'd sold and written the
whole film and forgotten
to ask her.


And someone said, "So Kate's
great about this, is she?
She alright about this?"

I went, "Yeah... I think so."

And luckily, well, not
luckily, 'cause I thought
she'd be pretty cool...

And, uh, she said, "Yes."
And, uh...

-Alright, well it's out
on Friday.

And the whole of the country
is so excited about this.

Good. Go and see it.

CHRIS: They're so excited
about AbFab: The Movie.

Right, tell us why
Paul's here.

Baker Paul Hollywood has a
new cookbook out.


That's him!

And it's called
The Weekend Baker.

He's also currently filming
the next series

of the smash hit TV show,
The Great British Bakeoff.

CHRIS: Yeah.

Sorry, they weren't impressed
enough to applaud.


-The Great British Bakeoff?
-CHRIS: 'Scuse me.


-Smash hit!

-CHRIS: Couldn't be any
bigger, could it?

What we really want to know
The Great British Bakeoff,

we hear these whispers about
ITV backing lorry loads of

up to all your houses to try
and steal it from the BBC.

What's happening with that?

I've said, and, uh, I think
the girls have said as well,

we want to stay with the BBC.

-CHRIS: Yay!
-Is this serious?

-You're joking me.

-Well, that's
ridiculous, Christopher.

But as far as, uh, Mary, Mel,
Sue, and myself,

we want to stay
with the BBC.

Don't you think so,
it stays with the BBC?


-It's The Great
British Bakeoff...

...staying with the BBC.

Yeah, the GGB at the BBC.

Alright, okay, let's talk
cars. Now,
your best first car,

first of all, first car,
Jennifer Saunders.

The first car I bought was
an Alfa Romeo Spider.

CHRIS: Whoa, come on,
let's look at that.

-CHRIS: Oh, very nice.

That's exactly what...
And it was because it
belonged to this guy

who used to drive it down the

and my friends and I used to
go, "Oh, do you see that car?"

And he went, "Yeah, yeah."
And he used to show off in it.

And I'd go, "Oh, love it."

And one day, he said, "Well,
it's for sale." And I said,
"How much?"

He said 2,000 pounds.

I only had 2,000 pounds
in the whole world,

and I just absolutely
adored it.

Alright, so Paul, good luck.
Your first car up against
Jennifer's Alfa Romeo Spider.

-You can't do that.

Well, mine is an Escort 1.3.

-CHRIS: Sorry.

-CHRIS: Let's have a look.

You know what? Mine wasn't
even the L model.

So, when I got the car,
what I did was I bought
the XR3 wheels,

bumper overrides,
the spoiler,

front spoiler, stickers,

everything on it. It did
look like an XR3 at the end.

-And the stereo was so bad.

I went and bought myself a
really... I think it
was a Kenwood,

it was quite expensive, you
know, from down the shop.

But Kenwood's, Kenwood's...

Yeah, they don't just
do mixers.

-Oh, alright, I thought
they did.

By the way, good baking
credentials. Very good.

Yeah, I bought a KitchenAid
music system for the car.


And then would've
put it in.

Because the speakers were so
bad in these plastic doors,

I got these speakers which
are like cubes.

And the only place I could put
it was on a plastic dashboard.

So every time I took
a corner,

it just slid along and smacked
the passenger in the head.

It was ruthless.

So, uh, here we have Paul's
completely over-pimped 1983
Ford Escort.

-Okay, let's hear it for that.

Up against Jennifer's
Alfa Romeo Spider.


-Well, it's all going
beautifully, isn't it, Paul?

If I'd known then, I would
have saved up and
bought something else.

Alright, so,
best car ever, Jennifer?

The best car we ever bought,
I think, was a
Jaguar Sovereign.

-CHRIS: Really?

And I'll tell you why. It's
because I was getting pregnant
a lot and having babies.

-And we needed a family car.

And I, I didn't want to go for
estates for some...

We didn't want, wanted to
drive something a bit lovely.

-CHRIS: Yeah.
-And we tried this out and all
the kids fit in the back seat.

Dogs in the,
in the footwells.

Huge boot, and honestly,
it was the nicest,
softest drive ever.

But that's not as good as
your Alfa Romeo Spider.

You can have your Alfa Spider
if you like, 'cause it's
about winning,

it's about beating him.

Oh, okay, if I was to actually
choose, my perfect car,

it would be the Alfa, yeah.

Okay, the Alfa back then,
please. Thank you
very much indeed.

Okay, so here we go again.

Now, look at it,
it's gorgeous.

PAUL: You're a nightmare.

Right, Hollywood,
best car ever, please.

The best car I've ever owned
is the Aston Martin DBS
Volante in quantum silver.

-There. (LAUGHS)
-CHRIS: Oh, for heaven's sake.

Tongues off the floor,
if you don't mind.

Ok, tell us about
this one then.

Well, I'd always wanted
uh, a Bond car.

And I saw this um,
for sale and it was
the quantum silver again,

so it was the Bond one
from Quantum of Solace
and Casino Royale.

But it was the soft top
version. And I thought,
"Oh, I've got to have that."

And it, you know, we'd go down
to France a lot, the family,

we'd go down
to France driving round.
And it's beautiful.

Alright, where'd you
put the family?
That's my only question.

When you say the family...

are you towing them
in a caravan because I don't
see where the family goes.

That's a very good question.

You have no idea
how big that boot is.

Well, I can see it,
it's hideous.

The kids go in there,
give them a couple lollipops,
and away they go.

Ok, once again,
it's up to the audience.
Paul is one-nil down,

best car ever, we have
have Paul's DBS Volante

up against
Jennifer's, once again,
the Alfa Romeo Spider.

Let's hear it for
Paul's DBS Volante.


Let's hear it for an encore
and the Alfa Romeo Spider.

Come on!


Paul you just got it, one all.

Perfect. It's down to
the laps, my friends.
Down to the laps.

Oh no!

Paul Hollywood, you have
a national A, B, and C
racing licence.

I've got an international C.

JENNIFER: What is that?

Well, apparently
it means he's done a lot
of driving competitively...

I have a swimming certificate.

CHRIS: What?
I have a swimming certificate.

Which is more useful today,
I have to say.

Paul, I put it to you,
is this or is it not true,
as Jennifer's going round,

and I don't know if
you know this, Jen,

Paul asked for a stopwatch
so he could time your lap.

JENNIFER: I do believe that,
I believe that.

I, I was timing the lap, yeah.
I know,

'cause I, I looked
and I saw your little face
pale as I sped past.


I went, I went white. Yeah.

Alright, now these
have been specified
as the worst conditions

conditions anybody has
ever seen on this track.

So basically it's just
between you two.

It's your own
special little competition.

CHRIS: All right? Okay?

Would you like
to see the laps?


Jennifer first,
calm down you two.

Oh God!

Jennifer on the start line,
here we go.

CHRIS: There she is,
Jennifer Saunders in
our mighty Mini Cooper.

Come on now,
I can see Paul Hollywood
has come out to watch,

so we've got to
bloody take it to him.

CHRIS: That's the spirit Jen,
a seriously soggy track,

the wettest our rally cross
course has ever been.

It's into the horrid bit,
into the mud.

CHRIS: Now that's
the water splash.

Where it starts,
where it ends,
we don't know anymore.

That is so serious
it's not funny.

Come on. That's it,
back on the road.

CHRIS: So focused into
Hammerhead, back on dry land,
Hammerhead, very tidy.

Come on,
put your foot down, woman.

CHRIS: Approaching
the hairpin, more water,
look at this.

Oh my, yeah come on,
that's pretty impressive.


Excellent control,
great technique.
Here comes the jump.

Any air? No air.

Sorry uh, Jen, no air today.

As fast as you can go,
woo hoo.

CHRIS: Tyre wall,
back on terra firma, okay.

Into the next to last,
nice apex cutting the corner.

Into Gambon,
how tidy will this be?

Anything's easy after
what you've been through.

What that a bit
of counter steering there,
you naughty girl?


CHRIS: Very nice. Cool girl.


Very good, Jennifer Saunders.

Thank you.

How do you feel about that?

Well it looks
a lot better than it felt.
It felt really messy.

We've actually classified
Jennifer's conditions
as 'appalling'

And Paul's,

yours we have
classified as 'very wet'
cos it was drying a little.



Well look at the amount
of water I displaced for you.

It was the same.

It wasn't the same,
it was 2 hours later
and the sun had been shining.

It was literally about
a minute after I followed you.

CHRIS: The track had
been in the oven
for at least another hour.

It was raining
when I was out there.

It wasn't.

Okay, would you like
to see Paul's lap?


Here we go. Paul Hollywood
on the start line
in the rally cross Mini.

CHRIS: Paul Hollywood
the wizard from the Wirral

on our wickedly wet track.
Let's go!

Right here we go,
this is for the Bakeoff team.

CHRIS: He's not in
the tent any more .
He's in our rally cross Mini

It may be a bit drier than
Jennifer's lap out there.

Come on,
you can see it's drier.

This is like a swimming pool.

Mary would go mad
if this was her garden.

Hammerhead, very nice.

Car draining off there.

This is a little bit nasty.

CHRIS: Now I've got to say
Jennifer was very impressive
around the hairpin

and what about Paul?

Not as dramatic
but very tight.

No air, sorry, sorry,
no air again.

Come back another day
for some air.

Right, so here we go.

CHRIS: Through the tyre wall.

Into the next to last
and foot down
all the way here now.

Coming up to Gambon.

Massive slide out
the last corner, a Hollywood
slide and across the line!


CHRIS: You should
see your face,
oh you lit up there.

You so lit up
at the end there.
I'm so pleased for you.

Let's look at the times.
So forget all that, okay
that doesn't exist alright?

CHRIS: They don't exists,
worst conditions of all time.

Jennifer if it's
under 3 I think you're
doing really well.

Jennifer Saunders
in appalling conditions,
2 minutes...


21.6, there you go girl!


Paul Hollywood,
very wet conditions,
not quite as wet,

it has to be said, as Jennifer


True. Civily?

It was appalling.

Paul Hollywood,
2 minutes again.


16.4, there you go!

Ladies and gentlemen,
Jennifer Saunders,
Paul Hollywood.


So ladies and gentlemen,
boys and girls,
salt and vinegar.


Gather round,
it's Top Gear story time.

Tonight, a true tale
from many moons ago

beginning in a mystical land
far, far away.

A place called Coventry.


NORMAN: Let me
tell you a story.


The night before
the Geneva Motor Show.

Jaguar is preparing
to reveal the E-Type.

Excitement from
the world's press
exceeds all expectations.

A second E-Type is needed.

A driver is dispatched.

Thirteen hours
to reach Geneva.

750 miles through the night.

He makes it with
10 minutes to spare.

The rest,
as they say, is history.

A journey
never to be repeated.

-RORY: Until now.

It is 55 years

to the night
since Jaguar test driver,
Norman Dewis,

burst out of the
Coventry factory doors

and on to this very road.

And, in 13 hours,
at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show,

Jaguar will unveil this car.

The F-Type SVR Convertible.

And when I say this car,
I mean this car.

This is the only F-Type
SVR Convertible in the world.

If I don't get there,

then the Jaguar boss
will unveil nothing.

Fresh air.

The F-Type is Jag's
spiritual successor
to the E-Type.

A two seat, rear drive,
proper sports car.

Now, Jaguar's elite SVO
skunk works department
has turned the F-Type

into simply the fastest
series production
Jaguar ever created.

The SVR.

What they've done
is they've taken
the standard V8 F-Type

and made it nastier.

More power,
less weight, more rage.

Hauling me across Europe
is a 567 brake horsepower V8.

It will clock naught to 60
in three and a half seconds,

on its way to a top speed
of 195 miles an hour.

And that is the kind of grunt
you need when you're
trying to outrun history.

With twice the power
of the original E-Type,

and 21st century motorways
to help me on my way,

matching Norman's time
should be, on paper, a breeze.

But I've also got
21st century traffic,

and 21st century
traffic police.

If there's one hold-up,
I'm not gonna make this.

And, as I arrived
at the Channel Tunnel,

I started to realise
the magnitude of my task.

I wasn't just trying
to keep up with
any old test driver.

I was trying to
keep up with a legend.

After serving in the
Second World War,

Norman Dewis joined Jaguar
as their chief test driver.

There, for the next 30 years,
he helped develop some of the

most iconic sports cars
ever created.

In 1953, Norman set a new
production car world record,

reaching 172 miles per hour

in a Jaguar XK120.

Then, in 1971,

during development
of the XJ13 prototype,

a rear tyre blew out,
causing the car to
barrel-roll three times.

It was completely destroyed.

Norman was back
at work the next day.

This was the man who
drove the E-Type to Geneva.

The man I have to
keep up with.

Tonight, I am following
in the footsteps of
an automotive pioneer.

I'm standing on the shoulders
of an absolute giant.

And this, the most
powerful of modern Jags,

is being driven by
an idiot off the Internet.


Yes. Entering France
with an entire large
country still to cross,

I was definitely
up against it.

And the consequences of
failure would be significant.

The Geneva show
is the centrepiece
of the motoring calendar.

And this car
is Jaguar's big reveal.

If I don't get there, I won't
just have failed Top Gear,

I'll have failed Britain.

Better get a move on.

Oh, I should probably mention.

That carbon fibre rear wing
deploys automatically
at 60 miles an hour.

In fact, if there are any
traffic cops watching this,

the wing deploys automatically
at 40 miles an hour.

Make that 30!

As the SVR ate up France,

it was clearly
more than capable of
keeping pace with Norman.

But, with the
night wearing on...

Push the ticket button.
There you go.

And only the occasional
local for company...

-RORY: I have no idea
what you're saying.

The car wasn't the problem.
It was me.

So tired. So, so tired.

NORMAN: It was tough.

But you get on
with it, don't you?

You have to keep going.

RORY: This is relentless.

How the hell did
Norman Dewis

do this journey
without energy drinks?

The man's a god!


And then, at last...

NORMAN: Daybreak. Welcome
relief from the darkness.

And the final stretch.

There's tired,
there's dead tired,

and then there's how
I'm feeling right now.

Fortunately, the SVR is packed
with a handy pick-me-up.

There's a new exhaust,
which is made out of Inconel,

that's the stuff they use
to build space rockets.

It saves 16 kilos over the
exhaust on the standard V8,

but, more importantly,
it makes a noise

like an industrial
wood chipper...


...being fed into another
industrial wood chipper.


Somewhere in the
small hours, though,
my schedule had slipped,

and with just two hours until
the SVR was due onstage,

I had over 100 miles
still to cover,

most of them
on mountain roads.

All right,
hold on to your hats!

Unlike the ordinary V8 F-Type,

the SVR is all-wheel drive.

And right now,
that's a good thing.

The acceleration on this thing
is just savage.

It's supercar fast!

And that noise!


I'm loving this thing!

The handling, you turn it in,
it feels sharper.

The frontal response,
more instant.

It just feels like a
much more hard-core version

of a car that is already
pretty damn hard-core.

That's exactly
what I need right now!

Oh, yes!

With the press gathering
on their show stand,

Jaguar bosses in Geneva
were getting nervous.

Come on, move! Thank you!

Merci beaucoup!

And my phone was going crazy.

Car has to be here, Rory.

Yeah, no, no, I get it,
I totally get it!

Okay. Bye-bye. Bye-bye.

I knew this was
a bad idea, man, I knew
this was a bad idea.

Approaching Geneva, I had
just 10 minutes till
the car was due onstage.

There it is
in front of me, I can see it,
I can see Palexpo.

ANNOUNCER: Ladies and
gentlemen, the Jaguar
Land Rover press conference

will shortly commence.

I need to find gate D, gate D.

Please let this be it.

I'm delivering
this car to Jaguar.
Super urgent.

Is this gate D?

No? No. No! I need to back up.

Ladies and gentlemen,

the Jaguar F-Type SVR.


RORY: And there,
to welcome me...


-Rory. Lovely to meet you.
-Nice to meet you.


It's about determination.

Believing you will do it.

I never doubted for a second.

Truly magical.

And of course there's one man
we'd all love to meet.

So why don't we do that?

Ladies and gentleman,
please welcome,

with his new mate Rory Reid,

the legendary
Norman Dewis, OBE.



What an honour!

Don't you agree, Rory?

Definitely. this guy,
massive respect.

Look, I might have made it,

but in the spirit
of keeping it real,

this guy back
in 1961 did it

and he beat me by 10
minutes, ten minutes faster.

Now, Norman has worked
for Jag since 1952

in research and development.

And now, because
you were a test driver

in the most dangerous
era of motoring,

technically, you shouldn't
really be here, should you?

Well, no, uh...

I had three big crashes.

but those days we
didn't have seatbelts

or fireproof overalls
or proper crash helmets.

You just got in the car
and got on with the job.

I mean, I say,
I had three big crashes

C-type, D Type,


And every time I got
out of it, I was back
on the track next morning.

And recently I go up
a piece a bit of road

and trip up and
cut my bloody wrist.

So that's the worst
injury you've...

That's the worst injury
I've had, yes!

That's unbelievable.

Ladies and gentlemen,
Norman Dewis, OBE.


Okay, wow, awesome.

Earlier, you remember,
I was driving this sublime
Rolls-Royce Dawn,

a car I loved and a car that
Chris had a few issues with.

Yeah, so here's the real issue
with the Dawn though, Matt.

Okay, here's the deal.

With all brand new
Rolls-Royces, it's
the same thing.

Fresh out of the showroom,
they're just too flashy.

They rub people up
the wrong way.

I'm not saying it's fair
on the car or the owners,

It's just the way it,
it's just a fact.

You have to allow
several decades

between buying a new
Rolls-Royce and then
the Rolls-Royce becoming

classic, classy
and loved.


Do you believe me?

Okay, look.

Here is what
I'm talking about.
Look at this.

A 1976 Rolls-Royce Corniche.

Isn't this beautiful?

See, it's beautiful.

Isn't this your 1976
Rolls-Royce Corniche?

Yes, it's also mine,

but that's sort of
precisely my point.

People can't fail to smile
when this glides by

even with a tool like
me behind the wheel.


Okay, and the funny thing is
Chris actually believes that.

All right? So what
we decided to do was
put it to the test.

Okay? By taking the Dawn

and Chris's Queen Mary here,

on the campaign trail.

where we let the honest people
of Dingle, West Ireland,

decide for themselves.

CHRIS: So, welcome
to the Rolls-Royce Corniche,

one of the best
of the very best.

Okay, it may only be half
as powerful, not even.

Maybe a tenth as reliable,
on a good day,

but you know what?
None of that matters.

In fact, it makes the Corniche
more attractive.

Gives it vulnerability,
you know,
makes it more human.

Chris Evans cracks me up.

He's gonna be going
on and on about nostalgia

and how cars were
better in the old days.

I'm here to tell you
they weren't. They sucked.

Now, on a road like this,
do you have your traction
control on or off?


Well, it's sort of permanently
off because I actually
don't have traction control.


Discussions like this are
considered inelegant

when it comes
to Rolls-Royces, Matthew.

CHRIS: The question.
Old Rolls versus new Rolls.

The town of Dingle to decide.

They would vote
for their favourite
at the end of the day.

So, we had just a few hours
to garner as much support
as we could muster.


And the campaign trail

kicked off here.


Not knowing much
about Gaelic sports,

we waited for what we hoped
was half time.


MATT: Before targeting
the most qualified people

to judge between a couple
of swanky cars.

A load of footballers.

Bring in the teams!

What do you think?
New or old?

Come on, come on, Ref, get in.

I'll show you the boot.
You got the engine going on.

This one, the transmission
is hooked to the sat nav,

and it can tell what's coming
and puts you in the right gear

-for what the road
looks like in front of you.
-Oh, my God.

CHRIS: It became clear
that I was going to struggle

with Matt in full
showroom mode.

Push that.

That sells the car
right there, that button.

CHRIS: And even worse, I had
that Hollywood charm
to contend with.

-MATT: Hi, how are ya?

-Good, how are you?
-Good, good, good,
good, good.

CHRIS: Hang on, there's
nobody in my car any more.

MATT: Already confident
about the evening's big vote,

I called for an early
opinion poll.

What if we do this.
Let's say, all the players

go around the car
that they'd prefer.

Let's try that.


I think if it was a vote
between me and you,

you obviously would
become president.

I think it was the new "Dawn."

It was the "Dawn"
of a new day, if you will.

Oh, don't get
all poetic on me, please.

CHRIS: Gaelic football had
been a disastrous start
for the Corniche.

The Dawn's flashy gadgets
and the seemingly irresistible
draw of a free umbrella

had won people over.
But I really think
they were missing the point.

See, the thing about a Rolls
is you have to wait,

you have to wait long enough
for time to peel back

that stigma
of in-your-face ostentation,

"Look at me,
I'm Charlie Big Potatoes,"

to reveal a beautiful patina

riven into the leather
and the walnut and the paint,

and the very spirit
and essence of the car.

It's those more characterful
things about the Corniche
that make me love it.

I just needed to find someone
in Dingle to agree.

Luckily, our next stop
seemed more likely
to go in my favour.

We'd been challenged
to a smell test.

Your car just smells of new.
It's got that new smell,

you know, the smell
you can buy in a canister

and just spray it for,
like, two quid.

Does your nose work?

CHRIS: To settle the dispute,

we were meeting someone
whose nose works
very well indeed.

Dingle's head distiller,
chief whisky sniffer,

If one of your products
here were to smell
like an old wet dog,

would you just sell it?


MATT: So, we put
our roofs up
for maximum pungency,

and seeing as that would
take Chris until sometime
next week...

MATT: How you doing
over there?

Yeah, fine, thanks.
I don't need any help.

MATT: Michael started
in the Dawn.



He seems to be enjoying it.

Turns out a quarter
of a million buys you
the luxurious smell of...


MATT: Interesting?
What the hell does that mean?

(SIGHS) Okay,
time for a new approach.

Let me tell you
about the leather in there.

The leather is made
from twelve Bavarian bulls

that are raised at altitudes
too high for mosquitoes

so that they don't
put holes in the hide.

And treated

with a special treatment
that doesn't squeak.

Move your butt around.
It does not squeak.


-That nice?


MATT: Michael didn't seem
entirely convinced.


-Careful the door doesn't
fall off when you open it.

What do you get?

Well, there's the wood
and the leather, it's deep.

It's almost tobacco.

(MUFFLED) It is...
It is very luxurious.

It's complex, but it's...
It's good.

But I like it. I'm impressed.

Okay, and?


-Wanna have another go?
-That was... It was nice.

And the story of the Bavarian
cows and everything
was beautiful. It's...

-Yeah, bulls, uh,
to be precise.
-Oh, sorry, bulls.

-It's not always the case

that older is better,
but I think in this case,
Matt, I'm afraid

I'm gonna have
to go with Chris.


I was back in the game,
and Matt wasn't happy.

He was drunk.

He was swaying back and forth.
Did you notice that?

CHRIS: That last test
made me realise even more
why I love this car.

I didn't realise so much
when I get in the car

it's already got me
under its spell

because of the way
it smells.

Isn't that brilliant?


CHRIS: The heart and soul
of the Corniche was
my secret weapon.

So, I was also looking forward
to the next comparison,

how they sound.

This is a V8.

There's no finer sounding
engine note in the world
than a V8.

Everybody knows that.

But that car has
a terrible, terrible sounding
engine note.

It really does sound
like a portable hairdryer.

MATT: Hoping to avoid
any stereotypes about Ireland,

we picked the first group
of average everyday people
we could find.

And asked them which engine's
voice spoke to them.

Okay, ready?



Sounds like a hamster
trying to stifle a cough.


Okay, now listen to this one.

-You ready?
-GIRL: Yeah.


-CHRIS: Yes?

-GIRLS: Yeah.
-CHRIS: Whoo-hoo!

-V8, baby!

CHRIS: Dingle was beginning
to fall for the charms
of the Corniche,

and I was starting to wonder
why put so much faith
in the taste of footballers.

Which car?
This car or that car?

-Uh, your one.

But the vote could
still go either way.

Excuse me. Sorry to interrupt.
Very nice sheep.

-Which is the best car?

Would you have this one
or would you have that one?

I think that one.

I'm sure you're an amazing

-but you've got
a terrible taste in cars.

MATT: With not long left
till the polls opened,

the people of Dingle
were out in force,

so we hit the town for some
last-minute canvassing.

Vote with your heart!

Vote for smell, sound,
class and quality.

No need to vote
for the Corniche.

It'll only let you down.

Vote brand-new technology
at its finest.

Cast your votes now!
Cast your votes now!

With all the votes cast,

there was nothing more
we could do.

MATT: As the day drew
to a close, we made the most
of the incredible road,

and for just a minute,
the competition didn't seem
quite so important.

Look at that! Wow!

CHRIS: Do you know corniche
means a road cut into a hill?

The Corniche is now
on a corniche.

This is spectacular!

And these two cars,
40 years apart,
but together in spirit.


-Look at this.
-It doesn't get any better.

MATT: It really doesn't.


-CHRIS: What a day.
-Amazing. Amazing day.

You know, I gotta say,
when this whole thing started,
I thought, for sure, for me,

it was gonna be the new car.

But after spending
the whole day

seeing your passion for it

and seeing the people,
how they love it, the smell,

and the sound of it,

and just the patina
of the older car and your love
for that and everything,

at the end of the day,


I'd still take the new one.

-(CHUCKLES) I would.

-(MUFFLED) No way!
-(LAUGHING) I can't lie
to you, my friend.

-CHRIS: Honestly?

-CHRIS: I thought
we converted you.


Great scenery, great roads,
great people.

Yeah, sometimes paradise is
just a ferry away.

You don't have to go to
the other side of the world.

Thank you, Ireland.
Yeah, thank you.

Okay, we'll find out the final
result in a minute.

But first, let's take a quick
poll here. Chris, old or new?


Yes, alright, thank you
very much, indeed.

Whatever. (LAUGHS)
Rory, old or new?

You know what it is,
new, all day.

Yeah, that's what
I'm talking about.

CHRIS: Absolute crawler.
Norman, new or old?

It's gotta be old.

Of course it's gotta be old.

Norman knows.

Okay, well, thank God it
doesn't matter what
any of us think.

Because it's down
to Dingle.

Let's cross to Ireland for the
football referee and
the teams back in the bar.

I, Richie Williams, Gaelic
football referee and returning
officer for Dingle,

hereby declare that
the winner, with
68% of the vote,

is the Rolls-Royce Dawn.


I told you!

Whatever. I'm going
with Norman.

Shall we go
with Norman?

MATT: Yeah, no.

Sorry, Dingle. On next week's
show, a very special MGB.

The brand new Ford Mustang,
and Honda resurrects the NSX.

Goodnight, everyone.

Goodnight, everyone.