Top Gear (2002–…): Season 25, Episode 4 - Episode #25.4 - full transcript

Matt LeBlanc tests the world's fastest accelerating car, with a little help from NASA. Chris Harris pens a heartfelt love letter to the Citroen 2CV, while Rory Reid samples some exciting ...


Hello, and welcome to Top Gear.
Let's play

who forgot to sign the producer's
birthday card?

Here's a clue. On tonight's show I
drive one of the fastest cars of all

time, Chris drives one of the most
iconic cars of all time,

and Rory drives a Kia.


All you had to do was sign your
name, Rory. Yeah. I know.

Thanks. That was literally
all you had to do.

I know! Now, we all know the car
world is full of outrageous claims.

For example, Chris Harris still
insists he's five foot eight.

He isn't. Well, you're not five foot
ten, are you?

All right. Now, here's another
outrageous claim from Dodge.

Dodge says it's built a car
that will outrun anything on

the planet. Like these.


And, apparently, you can buy
this fastest car

in the world for 84,995,

that's about £60,000.

I'm five foot ten, Chris!

It's called the Demon...

..and, as you can see, it doesn't
look like a supercar.

It looks like a muscle car.

A muscle car with
a muscle car motor.


A big, noisy, 6.2 litre V8
with a big, noisy,

supercharger strapped to the top.

In fact, the biggest supercharger
ever found on a production car.


Oh, yeah! Listen to it scream!

It sounds like Satan
passing a kidney stone.

That might be the most addictive
throttle pedal

I have ever experienced.

And, as you'd expect from a car
that's limited to 168mph...

..out on the road, the Demon
does feel pretty fast.

But supercar fast? Hyper car fast?

I don't know.

You know, this isn't
some stripped down sports car,

this is a big, comfy cruiser.

Two metric tons of big,
comfy cruiser, to be precise.

There's no hybrid, energy recovery
gizmo, there's just a big motor.

And there's no supercar spec,
double-clutch gearbox.

It's just a big automatic.

To be honest, it's kind of
just a Dodge.

But I've got to say, I've driven
quite a few Dodges over the years,

and they're not my favourite.

The interiors are very plastic
and cheap feeling.

And, while it's no supercar
on the inside,

it doesn't corner like one either.


If you try to go around this corner
in the Demon as fast as you go

around this corner in the LaFerrari,
you wouldn't go around that corner.

On a road like this,

the Demon just would not see
which way a supercar went.

It pains me to say it,
but it's true.

So, there you go, question answered.

For 84,995,

you can't buy a car that will
outrun anything else on the planet.

However, for 84,996,
you might just be able to.

Because, when you buy a Demon,

Dodge will also give you the option
to spend 1 more

on a crate of stuff.


You get tools, skinny front tyres,
a high-flow air filter, a new ECU.

Loads of cool stuff.

Because Dodge didn't build the Demon
to go quick on a winding,

alpine pass or a tight street
circuit. No, no.

The Demon was made to do one thing.

To tear up the drag strip,
a quarter-mile at a time.

Bolt all those crate parts on,
feed it some decent fuel,

and it will give you 840 horsepower.

This is the most powerful V8
production car in history.

Dodge says this car will run
the standing quarter mile

in 9.65 seconds,

which, if you know your drag racing,
you'll know is really, really fast.

But if you don't know your drag
racing, here's how it works.

First, you need to warm the tyres.

The Demon has a function called line
lock, which brakes the front wheels,

so you can spin up the rears.

Oh, they're done.

And, once you've warmed the tyres,
you're ready to go.

Well, almost.

OK, so, to launch this thing
is pretty easy.

Left foot on the break, hold in
both these paddles, add some revs,

release one paddle,
foot off the brake,

release the other paddle
as you bury the throttle.

See, easy.

Jesus Christ!

That is incredible!

That won't get old, ever.

You literally could not fall off
a cliff faster than that.

Oh, hell, I'm doing that again.

And you can.

Because, unlike most cars
with launch control,

where you do a couple
of full-bore starts,

and then it has to go and lie down
for a bit... making the Demon,

Dodge had one do over 5,000 launches
without a single glitch.

That is addictive.

OK. Now that I'm warmed up,
how about a little race, huh?

That is a Lamborghini Aventador,
four-wheel drive, V12 engine,

four times the price of the Demon.

Let's do this.

I've just roasted that Lambo!

Damn! That is big American balls,

Big, fat, American ice cubes.

Is that a Lamborghini
way back there?

I think it is!

When you hook everything up right,

you know how fast this car
does zero to 60?

2.3 seconds.

This is the fastest accelerating
road car in history.

So, there you go, if you're the kind
of person who wants to live life

a quarter mile at a time,

you don't want a couple of
hundred grand supercar,

you want a Demon.

And if you think driving very fast
in a straight line

is a bit pointless,

you'd be wrong. Because the Demon's
very specific set of skills makes it

the ultimate candidate for the
coolest job in the world.

Back in the '50s,
in the depths of the Cold War,

America launched the Lockheed U-2.

Designed to cruise at 70,000 feet,

twice the altitude of a
commercial jet,

it was the ultimate spy plane.

But, with its vast wingspan,
poor visibility,

and lack of proper landing gear,
it was a pig to land.

In fact, the military found
the only safe way

to bring the U-2 down was to

have a radio spotter chase it down
the runway, in a car.

And because the U-2 comes in at
over 100mph,

that meant using a muscle car.

Zoom, zoom.

60 years later, the U-2 has been

and modified in the name of
environmental science, by Nasa.

It's now known as the ER-2,
and it is still a pig to land.

And that's where me and the Demon
come in.

What better way to land the world's
hardest-to-land aeroplane

than with the world's
fastest-accelerating car?

Only one way to find out.

So, with the ER-2 taking off on an
eight-hour mission to research

volcanoes and glaciers and stuff,

I was sent for a briefing
with Nasa pilot Dean Neeley.

Call sign, Gucci,

who did nothing to settle my nerves.

When he goes up there today,

he's going to be the highest man in
the world, off for hours and hours,

flying 13 miles above the earth, and
coming back, exhausted, dehydrated,

in an aeroplane that's really like
landing a motorcycle coming off of

a jump. So, we've got to always be
ready to expect the unexpected.

All right, next slide.

OK, we're going to do our primary
duty, which is being visible to him,

where we roll in behind him and get
in position to feed him

useful information.

And, then, as you're accelerating
straight ahead, toward him,

fade in right behind his
six o'clock position,

looking right down the tailpipe.

What Dean was very thoroughly

was that I accelerate onto the
runway at 140mph,

right up behind the ER-2's
jet engine exhaust,

while talking the pilot down
over the radio.

Piece of cake.

Eight, six, four, two...

..two, two... The only thing that we can
fail at today

is hit the main gear first,

because he'll skip back into
the air. And he'll stall.

And then you get the cartwheel
manoeuvre, and it's ugly.


So, with the pilot now hard at work
on the edge of space,

and still not 100% clear on what
I was supposed to do,

Dean set up some practice runs,
where, instead of the plane,

we'd be chasing down a car.

You never know, he may come down
fine, and it would be no issue,

or he may do some manoeuvre
that kind of surprises you.

He's going to count on your
immediate response

to guide him back where he
needs to be.

So, that's the critical
part of this.

And with time running out on
the ER-2's mission,

the pressure was on to get it right.

Meet, Gucci, hit it.

There you go, go get him.

OK. You're on your own,
you're on your own.

It's tricky to get out there
that quick.

What was becoming obvious was that
to land the ER-2,

the drag strip-honed Demon
would have to corner at speed.


This was going to take practice.

Let's try that again.

Nice job, Meet, how about one more,
same thing?

Oh, that's a lot of power, OK.

I was just starting to wrestle
the Demon into line...

..when all too soon,
the call came in.

The ER-2 was making its descent.

Remember, the whole goal is for you
to be in position,

where you can give him good

So, it's pretty much now or never.

OK, so this guy's life is in my
hands for about 30 seconds.

Right? That's right.

SA-06, runway 22, wing 240,
vector 1-5, cleared to land.

Nasa Mobile, cleared to follow.

Here we go.

About 20 seconds until we go.


Three, two, one...

..hit it.

Get in there.

15... Get it, you're losing it.

OK, eight...




..two, two..


..and down.
Nice job. Nice job!

Good landing.

That is good stuff. That's exactly
what you needed to do.

It's huge.

Gucci, do you recommend we hire him
with additional training?

All right, man. I think you got it.

The Dodge Demon, the 85-grand,
undisputed king of the drag strip.

And now proven at Nasa.

A mega car.
Yeah, that was a lot of fun.

That looked pretty intense.

Honestly, were you scared?

Well, come on, your country comes
calling, you answer the call.

Land a Nasa plane, take down
a few bad guys, whatever.

Terrified, then. Yeah, I've never
been more scared in my life!

And, plus, if I didn't get the guy
down alive,

the wine and cheese thing with his
family would have been awkward.

Yeah, but at least you didn't crash
the Nasa spy plane.

Yeah, OK, Chris, Nasa was very
clear, it is not a spy plane.

Right, because if you've got
a spy plane,

that's the one thing you don't call
it, isn't it, a spy plane?

It's a research plane.

Research is a polite word
for spying, you know that.

OK, all right, I'm sorry, can we
please talk about the Dodge Demon?

OK. 85,000, £60,000,
for a car that's faster than

a Lamborghini Aventador.

Yeah, in a straight line.
Yeah, it does, literally, one thing.

What's wrong with doing one thing?

Did anyone care if Neil Armstrong
was a good salsa dancer?

No. We wanted him focused on
the moon stuff.

It's a one trick pony, the Demon.

So what? So what?

You show me a pony that can do
zero to 60 in 2.3 seconds,

and I will buy that pony.


Now, it's time to talk
South Korean cars

because they are
taking over Britain.

Last year, Hyundai and Kia sold
nearly 200,000 cars over here,

and no-one even noticed.

Because all South Korean cars
are really, really boring.

Well, nearly all...

Now, this is a surprise.

South Korea has made
a rear-wheel-drive performance car.

It comes from Kia,
and it's called...

..the Stinger.

Terrible name, serious car.

365 horsepower of serious car.

The Stinger will do zero to 60
in under five seconds.

80, 90, 100.


Flat out, it will do 168mph.

It's the fastest Kia ever.

OK, that's not really that
impressive a boast,

when you think about it,

but you can only beat
what's put in front of you.

And it's certainly better
in the bends than any Kia

I've driven before.
Heavy on the brakes into Hammerhead,

throw it left, throw it right.

Oh, yes!

There's loads of power,
loads of noise.

A decent amount of grip.

You can feel that momentum, pushing
you out wide, but the tyres,

they do hang on.
Until, of course... switch everything off.

Yes, it will go sideways,
I'm doing skids... a Kia!

It's like moonwalking, in brogues.

It feels so wrong.

And, yet, so right!

This is the most memorable car
to come out of South Korea since...

I mean, that's the whole point,
isn't it? It's a memorable car

to come out of South Korea.

The Stinger is, in many ways,
a ground-breaking car.

But, in many more ways, it isn't.

When you think South Korea,
you think tech,

home of Samsung, LG,

a country at the cutting edge of
microchips, nanos and other small,

complicated things.

So, you might expect South Korea's
take on the performance car

to be a blue-sky thinking,
outside-the-box shower of ideas.

But the Stinger isn't
a different take.

It's old school.

Under the bonnet, you won't find
the next big thing in hybrid drive,

but a very ordinary twin turbo,
six-cylinder petrol engine.

The whole car is very similar,
in fact,

to the fast saloons you can
currently choose

from Mercedes and BMW.

And Audi.

Kia has looked at what the Germans
have done recently, and gone,

"Oh, that's interesting, we'll
do...we'll do, exactly that."

Just not QUITE as well.

For example, the centre console,

this isn't so much imitation
carbon fibre as

imitation imitation carbon fibre.

And these buttons down here,
they're more Matalan than Mercedes.

Yet, despite these slightly flimsy
finishes, somehow,

the Stinger weighs nearly two
tonnes. This is not a light car.

I mean, one way to look at that is
that you are getting

quite a lot of kilos
for the cash.

Until, that is, you find out
how much it costs.


Which is quite a lot for a Kia.

Now, don't get me wrong,
the Stinger is a good car,

a, HUGE improvement
over previous Kias.

But if South Korea wants to take
on Germany at its own game,

they'll have to do better.

So it's just as well...

..they've sent backup.

This is the i30 N, Hyundai's answer
to the Golf GTI.

Yes, as if a sporty Korean saloon
wasn't weird enough,

now Hyundai are going after

and the greatest hot hatch of
them all.

Just like the Golf, it uses
a two-litre turbo engine,

driving the front wheels.

Just like the Golf,

it costs just under £30,000.

And not just like the Golf... really is quite powerful.

Yes, where the Golf GTI has to
make do with 230 horsepower,

the Hyundai develops 270.

That is a hot, hot hatch.

0-60 takes six seconds.

Top speed - limited to 155mph.


Oh, my God, that's quick.

Hyundai's let its hair down.
Had a couple of pina coladas.

It turns out,
they DO know how to party.

The "N" stands for "Not as bad
as you might think!"

It is all good in here.

Manual gearbox - good,
adjustable suspension - good.

Clever electronic differential thing
between the front wheels.

Good. Nice, sharp turning.

This thing is a joy.

In fact, I was wrong.

The "N" doesn't stand for
"Not as bad as you might think" -

the "N" stands for "nutter"!

Oh, I see. Let's have some fun.

Right, late on the brakes, turn in.

I'm going to get him on the exit.

Too much sideways.

Oh, listen to the exhaust.


Oh, no, you don't.

He's got me!

Right, I'm going in quicker.

Yes! Yes!


Look at this! Look at this!

What we have here is a world first.

I'm having fun
in a South Korean car!

And together...

All right, all right, truce.
We're on the same side!

..the i30 N and the Stinger
raise a very important question.

Where, after all this excitement,

does this leave South Korea
on the Top Gear

International League Table Of
Countries That Make The Fastest Car?

Or TGILTOCTMTFC, for short.

Well, check it out.

Now, I'm expecting big things
from Botswana,

but, today, we're looking way,

way up there.

Using a highly sophisticated
and scientific algorithm

formulated by cross-referencing
countries and car-makers

that we could remember,

I'm excited to reveal that the i30 N
and the Stinger have pushed

South Korea three places from 11th

to eighth,
leapfrogging Australia, Czechia,

which is what the Czech Republic
prefers to be known as these days,

and Spain.

I'll just put that there.

This is highly precarious.

We don't need Australia.

Couldn't we get magnets?

Right, I'll just hold it there.

In your face, Spain.

You know where they don't take

South Korea.

Right, can I get down, please?

South Korea, then, is heading up
in the world.

Not so long ago, you couldn't have
imagined Kia or Hyundai building

a serious rival to a Vauxhall Corsa.

And, now, here they are, taking on
the best in the business.

It's admirable stuff.

But I know what you're expecting me
to say here.

You're expecting me to say, "Yes,
well done, South Korea, good effort,

"you've made great strides,"
and then tell you to buy German.

And that is what I will tell you.

For the Kia Stinger, it's missing
that last bit of polish,

that sprinkling of magic.

It's just a bit too...fat.

But the i30 N?

Different story. Because, if it's
this, or a base Golf GTI,

I'm picking the Hyundai.

More power, more speed,
and, for me, more fun.

With the i30 N, the South Koreans
aren't just going up in the world...

..they've arrived.

Good South Korean cars. Great cars.

Let's talk about the cars.

So, we can forget about the Kia
Stinger, right?

Yeah, overhyped.

But you're telling me you'd rather
have that than a Golf GTI?

All day long. So, that badge
on your driveway

rather than a Volkswagen badge?

Yeah, I just, kind of, drive it, and
park it up right against the house,

no-one can see it. You know there's
a badge on the back as well?

I'll rent a garage, I don't know.

So, Rory reckons the i30 N
is better than a Golf GTI.

Well, it's time to find out
using science,

as we hand over both cars to our
in-house hot hatch connoisseurs,

it's the Stig's teenage cousins!

There they are, typical teenagers,
five yards apart,

still communicating by text.

The Hyundai's got the jump off
the line, but here comes the Golf.

Terrible weather conditions.

Side by side into the first corner.

How is he staying ahead,
that particular spotty Stig?

Can you smell the Lynx Africa
from here?

The Golf still ahead at this point,
the Golf has a power disadvantage,

I don't know how it's still ahead,
but it's doing a good job.

Oh, a bit sideways there.

Now, powering down the back
straight, Golf still ahead.

Round the Hammerhead.

Come on, that Hyundai looks
poised to me, here it comes.

Here it comes, all attitude,

Up the inside,
now that's a fast move.

Oh, my Lord. Look at that!

Yeah, that's full Asbo spec,
that is. Good driving.

Second to last, and the Hyundai
is out of sight now.

So far apart.

It's all over the place,
under braking.

Now we're going through Gambon,
over the line,

and that is a victory
for the Hyundai.




Much as it pains me to admit it,
you called it. You were right.

Mm-hm. OK. So, a victory to the
Hyundai, but what was the margin?

The weather was terrible, OK,
so don't judge them too harshly.

The Volkswagen Golf GTI
did it in a 1:39.3,

which puts it somewhere down
near the floorboards.

Very wet though, don't forget that.
The Hyundai, however...

..a 134.6.

Get in! That's an absolute...

That's a drubbing. There you go.

That's a crushing, crushing victory.


And now it's time to put not one
but two stars

in our Reasonably Fast Car.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome
Dara O Briain, and Ed Byrne.

All right, buddy. Welcome. Welcome,
welcome, take a seat.

Great to have you. Great to have
you. Now, you guys

are great friends, right? You were
best man at each other's weddings?

Yes, we were, yes.

I mean, are we cueing up how
naturally competitive we are?

Or are you thinking because we are
just pals, it's OK,

I'll be happy if he wins?
I won't be. He'll be raging.

Everyone says that.
"Oh, no big deal, no big deal."

And then when they get out there...
Well, he did that. That's the thing.

He phoned me yesterday, we were on
the phone to each other

yesterday, he was all, "It doesn't
matter. I'm not really

"that fussed about it. We'll a
laugh. The interview will be fun

"and stuff. I don't really care
about the lap."

And I know as soon as he got behind
the wheel, he was like,

"So long as I'm faster than Ed!"

Yeah, that's just to get you to let
your guard down.

Yeah. Exactly. It didn't work.

Did it not? No. So, you're both
on tour at the moment?

Yes. Separately, obviously.

We overlap in Aberdeen
and Newcastle.

Yeah. In the same night.

So, watch out!

We are going to have some drinks
in those cities.

That will be pretty wild.
We're both crisscrossing,

so, we're both on the motorway
a lot over the next while.

How's it going? Good?

It's going sweet, I'm on until June,
with a show called Spoiler Alert.

And I'm on until next year sometime.
Voice Of Reason until next year,

I started a little later than you.

Any competition there, like...
No. He's...

I rock up to venues,
and they're like,

"Oh, yeah, Dara O Briain here for
four nights, sold out last time."

And I'm like, right, here's me
struggling to just about

fill it once. I know my place.
Hopefully, I'll get a faster time

than him, and that will count
for something. Yeah.

There you go. All the ticket sales
are based on how we do here today.

So, that'll be great.

All right, let's talk about your
driving history.

You're both kind of,
late starters, right?

Mm. Yeah, I came to driving
quite late.

I started lying, and telling people
I'd lost my license

because there was less shame in
that than not having got it yet.

Can you clarify how it works having
a provisional licence in Ireland?

Because the research notes
slightly confused me.

I mean, are you thrown by the fact
it seems to be that if you have

a provisional licence,
you're allowed to totally drive
for free, in Ireland?

Yes. That may no longer be the case,
I can't guarantee,

but that certainly was the case,
because I had it for three,

four years, just on
it with a P, or an L...

So, what was the benefit in having a
full driving licence as opposed to

a provisional licence?
Bragging rights.

Yeah. That's all.
You put it like that, actually...

I mean, I'm surprised they didn't
just phase out the full licence!

And just make it all provisional.

Yeah, it was quite loose.

So, first cars? The first car
I bought was a Seat Ibiza.

And I couldn't drive it,
my girlfriend drove it.

That was, that was the deal.
The first car for me

was a Ford Fiesta, like,
a 1991 Ford Fiesta

that I managed to crash twice
in the same crash.

You have to explain that. Yeah.
There was a crash,

it was my ineptitude. I'd only been
driving a couple of months,

and I popped out from behind
a stop sign,

would be the discreet
way of putting it,

and much to the excitement of the
car who was on the road at the time,

so he nudged me into a wall, and
then my dad came round,

and went, "OK, fine, we'll take this
car off somewhere to be repaired."

I said, "Great," and we pulled out,
and I sat in the car,

and he attached a tow rope to
this car.

This already crashed car, and he was
ready to tow it, and I said,

"Brilliant," thumbs up, like,
whatever, and he pulled off, and I
pulled off,

and I'm pulling the wheel, but
nobody told me you have to put

the car into neutral when you're
being towed.

So, I, on the first move, it locked,

and then my dad pulled the car out
of this position, across the road,

into another wall.

So I hit two sides, two walls on the
side of the same road, twice,

with the same car, and just, it was
just gone. It was written off

at that stage. Have you ever seen
a Laurel and Hardy film?

Yes. Essentially that. That's all
you have to say. Ed, your first car,

having passed your driving test,
is extraordinary.

I think the audience will agree
with this.

The first car after passing my test,
the first car I got for myself,

was a Mercedes SL 350.

Yeah, not too shabby.

That was called Nora,
I called that car.

Cos Nora Batty, and it was
a tiny bit like the Batmobile.

I name all my cars, and they all
have silly names.

What came after that one?

A Volkswagen Golf
called James Golfandini.

And I think there was another
Golf called Revvy Ballesteros.

And I got rid of that, and I now
have a Jeep Renegade which is

called Lorenzo, after Lorenzo Lamas,
who played the title role

in the obscure, yet seminal,
'90s TV show, Renegade.

I'm good at naming cars.
That's my Renegade, there.

And that's the canoe on top
that's called Stinky Pete,

cos it's an old prospector.

I can't help myself.

You named your canoe? Yeah.

I name everything.

Can you imagine anything about him
he hasn't named?

Now, Dara, your car history
is a bit more exotic, right?

Well, I learned to drive with an
Audi TT. I thought

when I started again, I might as
well start with an Audi TT.

That's punchy, as well. Yeah, it's a
zippy little thing, yeah.

I got my test with that.
You fit in an Audi TT?

Not very well. I can't fit in one of
those! There's an element to which,

if you put to the roof down,
I look like Noddy.

But I was very happy
in the Audi TT.

It was very pleasant.
Now I have a Maserati Grancabrio,

which is the soft top,
with the four seats, which is...

Yeah, you're going, "Ooh!"

That's actually your driveway,
isn't it?

It is, actually.
Well, we opened it out.

I mean, most of the time,
West London doesn't look like that.

Who cleans your pool, by the way?

He's constantly at it.
Takes ages, to be honest.

It's a... It's a very pretty car.
It's a very lovely car.

And they're quiet? There's a nice
noise off it, you know.

What? Does it have a sufficient
noise to it? It's obnoxiously loud!

Yeah, there is a point where they
sold, I think, four

on my road and surrounding area,
they had a big push on them.

There was some sort of deal, and at
eight in the morning it's...


All the people leaving
at different times.

They are very loud.
It's got a lovely noise on it.

What's it like for carrying
a 16-foot canoe on the roof?

Not so good. And, interestingly,

a Venn diagram of people who drive
Maserati Grancabrios and people who

give a BLEEP about canoeing is...

There's surprisingly small overlap.

No, it's not really for people...

It's great for stepping out of a
private beach club in Monte Carlo,

but not so much for the canoeing.

All right, what do you think?
Take a look at your laps?

Yeah, go on. How did it go, come on,
let's have... What about conditions?

It was wet. First of all, can we
just say that, it was very wet.

I'm surprised you've any footage

because the lenses must have been
just pounded with water.

It was incredibly wet. I don't think
there's been a day like this.

I saw you in the production office,
you were walking around, I said,

"How did it go?" You said,
"It was good, but it's drier out
there for Dara now."

Yes, I went first.
I went first. It's always, always,

everything just comes up roses
for this dick.

It's always, like, I'm there, I've
got the windscreen wipers on

and everything, going through this
monsoon weather, and as soon as

I get out of the car,
rainbows, sunshine...


There you go, Dara, away for an
hour, steam coming off the track,

on you go, dry as a bone.
I hate you!

I want a W next to my name.

And just a D, for damp, next to his.

OK, well, maybe, first, we'll take
a look at Dara's lap.

And, while we're watching that,

we can get a little marriage
counselling for you. Yes!

All right, let's take a look at
Dara's lap.

So, this is Dara, the track's
looking pretty dry.

Little bit of a stumbled start.

Operation crush Ed's dreams.

So, not remotely competitive!

Now, your line through here
was always pretty good.

That was just...
So many G forces!

It doesn't look fast.

OK, don't hit the tyres,
don't hit the tyres.

Don't hit the tyres.
You didn't hit the tyres.

The exit of Chicago, smooth again.

Oh, no, no, oh, no. BLEEP you!

The violent slap between the seats
indicates something else.

Now, driving the car really fast.

God, Ed will be so disappointed
when he loses this.

He seems confident, doesn't he?

Here, around the invisible

Why? What's supposed to be here?

Put some trestle tables with
custard pies on it, or something.

You've've got the
left-right bit

for the first time in the day,
I think, there. Bollards, anything.

Inflatable things.

Go into...fourth gear!

There's even a fifth and sixth,
we'll never use it,

it's hard to get out of third.

Stop that! Got this corner.

Follow Through, Follow Through.

That was good speed.
Now the tyre wall.

And this one, that you keep saying
don't brake on.

Has Ed broke on it? Well, then,
I'm not going to brake on it.

Good speed.
Oh, that was a brake light.

Coming in to second to last.

Tricky seeing this one.
Now onto the slippery bit.

Oh, whoa, whoa.

Through there, safely.
And now through Gambon.

Completely slowed down.

And over the line. OK.

Yeah, I think there's
very little in it.

Yeah? I think that looked pretty
racy, actually?

I think it looked smooth.

Honestly, the first turn,
I thought I'd lost it.

I honestly thought,
"Oh, you've screwed that up now."

I thought I'd gone way too wide
and lost control of it there,

because of the conditions.
You can see, from the driving rain.

And the sleet.
Which cameras can't pick up on.

It looked like you carried pretty
good corner speed,

I didn't see a lot of wheel spin.
Right, let's see Ed's lap.

OK. Well, that's wetter,
definitely wetter.

Cleaner start. Using more revs.

Yes, you might sell more tickets
than I do,

when you're on tour...

..but who, who will be faster
round the Top Gear track?

Slightly wider on the way in,
is he tighter through the corner?

He is. And more speed on the exit,

Perfect, nailed that.

That's for the time you opened
for me, and were funnier.

You really warmed to this!

That's for having
a bigger house than I have.

Stick that up Brian Cox's bum!

Exit of Hammerhead, I don't know
what to say after that!

OK, got a bit cocky there,
almost lost it.

Down the back straight,
through the Follow Through.

This is for getting me to be your
best man, and then doing a speech,

just before mine, and being even
funnier than my best man speech was!

No brake lights, all right.

There you go. Nailed it.

Nailed it. OK, brake,
and change down.

Unstable on the entry,
and now the super slippery bit.

Man, I can't wait for the next
episode of Mock The Week,

you ain't never going to live
this down. I have destroyed you.

And now Gambon, oh, a big slide,

Over the line, that looked quick.

Hey, not only...not only was that
a lot of very good driving,

I also thought you got
a lot out of your system.

That was very cathartic.
Very therapeutic.

Yeah. I can't believe how much I
care about numbers that are written

right there. It makes no difference
to anything, and I care deeply.

I'm looking at this, right here,

and I used to share a flat with
Ross Noble,

I know I'm nowhere near there.

But I'm looking at Lee Mack,
and I'm thinking...

Yeah, he's a realistic target.

What I'm thinking is we could
pretty much forget the lap board,

this is about head-to-head.

I mean, it's clear, is it not?
It's a grudge match.

Yeah, OK. So, you've got
the same car, same conditions.

Roughly the same conditions.
Roughly the same conditions.

Not being petty, just...

You don't even know the times yet!

No, I don't, but I'm already
making excuses.

All right. Are you ready?
Yeah. Yeah.

Dara. You did it in one minute...



You beat Lee Mack.
Beat Lee Mack.

I'm disappointed I didn't beat John
Culshaw, but I beat Lee Mack.

That's a good thing.
But, remember, we're wet.

Wet, yeah.

One minute, 53.2. OK. And Ed?

You did it... two... No, I'm kidding.

OK, you did it in one minute...


..point zero.

Do you see what you get?
Do you see what you get?!

Ladies and gentlemen, Ed Byrne,
and Dara O Briain!

Well done, mate. Hope you enjoyed
it. Great job. Great job.

That was funny, funny guys.

Now, big question.

What's the most game-changing
car of them all?

Well, there's the Mercedes S class.

Introduced ABS, airbags,

like, a million tech firsts,

or the Tesla Model S,
electric pioneer.

Not even close, OK?

Because there's one out there that's
even cleverer than the S class,

or the Tesla. A car that defines
cutting edge.

Who are you talking to?

It's a quintessential
slice of France

that has amazed, delighted, and
charmed the world over for 70 years.

And, in my humble opinion,

it is one of the most perfect cars
that has ever existed.

Yes, it's the Citroen 2CV.

It may not be conventionally

or even unconventionally beautiful,
but this...

..this might be the most
ground-breaking car of the lot.

And this...this is just joyous.

Driving a 2CV on a minor,
rural, French road

is the same as driving
a Ferrari at Fiorano.

I'm in its element.

I'm in context.

I love it.

You want to know how much
I love the 2CV?

I love it so much I bought one.

This one.

This is my 2CV.

Citroen launched the 2CV in 1948, a
hardy car for both road and field,

developed for over a decade
to bring rural France

a better alternative
to the horse and cart.

And, boy, did they succeed!

With its simple but robust
air-cooled engine,

its pioneering all-terrain ride,

and its uncanny ability to carry
way more stuff than you'd expect,

the 2CV was an unprecedented feat
of less-is-more engineering.

In fact, so timeless was the 2CV,

they kept building it
for over 40 years.

They say that necessity is the
mother of invention,

and the wonderful 2CV is proof.

There's more ingenuity in this
single door panel

than there is in most car
companies' entire history.

This isn't just a car,
it's a revolutionary.

It's one of the most significant
engineering feats

of the...20th century.

Where did you come from?
Not important. What is important

is that you just called this one of
the most significant engineering

feats of the 20th century. Come on.
It's perfect. Are you crazy?

Look, it looks like it's made out
of car parts that...

..none of the other cars wanted.

It's a triumph
of...functional design.

Look at it, it's perfect.

What? Look, open your mind.
Don't be facetious.

OK? Can I take you for a drive
in it? Go on. No way!


So, let me get this straight.

This is your car, that you bought,
with your money.

Yes, I did. Why?

What do you mean, why?

Aren't you feeling it? Feeling what?
Claustrophobic? Yeah.

What does it have for a motor?

I mean, I assume it has a motor,
we're moving, but what is it?

A 425cc air-cooled flat twin.

Oh, two cylinders, wow,
they went big!

What does it make for horsepower?

12. 12!

You're an idiot.

Let me tell you about the 2CV's
original design brief.

Citron decreed that it had to be
able to carry

its occupants wearing their church
hats and it had to be driven over

a bumpy field without breaking
a basket of eggs onboard.

No way. Yes, way.

Stop the car.

Where are you going? Shopping.


Now. Hat for me, hat for you.

You're such a child,
I'm not wearing that.

Be a good church wife,
and put the damn hat on!

I'm pretty sure that 1940s French
farmers didn't wear stovepipe hats.

Well, this farmer did.

That's heavy. That's a very big
basket of eggs.

You're very pretty.

Shut up! Now, be careful.

So, Abraham Lincoln wanted to put
the design brief to the test.

Fine. Frankly, the eggs
are safer in the 2CV

than they are in the hen.

We're safe here, this car is going
to pass with flying colours.



None of those are moving.
This car is genius!

Oh, there they go.

There they go!

Oh, no!

No, you utter bastard!

That was a tip. No, I didn't...
That was a tip! I didn't tip it.

That's horrible!

All right, all right. All right!


Oh, they smell so bad.

They smell terrible.


OK, well, there you go.

So, as my own eggs will testify,

I would say that your car has failed
to meet one of its design briefs.

One very thorough jet wash later,
Chris decided it was time for lunch.

You want to sit down somewhere,
right? Check this out.

Ugh! It still smells of eggs.

Whoa, what are you doing?
This is our seating area.

This is the beauty of the 2CV.

Right, I'm going to find somewhere
cosy and romantic for us, come on.

Put your hamper down.

Come and join me. Take a throne.

You look like a homeless person.

Is this a date?

I suppose it could be.
Let's pretend it's not.


Try that.

What is this? That's gentleman's
relish. What?

And that was the end of lunch.

You genuinely do like this car,
don't you?

I love this car.

This is the essence of motoring.

This is... Wow, that's...
..essential motoring.

There's an essence in here, but I
don't know that it's motoring.

You'll like this.

The original design brief for the
2CV also specified that it should be

able to carry two adult farmers,

and 50kg of farm produce at 37mph.

Stop the car. Stop the car. Please!

Come on.

OK, here you go,
50 kilos of farm produce.

Meet Nicole and Papa.

Could have gone with potatoes.

Yeah, but potatoes won't crap
all over your car.

After all, the egg test had gone
so well, this should be a breeze.

Ow! OK.

Let's go.

Hey, hey, you over here,
I'm driving, my turn.

Oh, come on! This is my car.

I paid for it with my money.
I know! Still cracks me up!




So, 37mph with 50 kilos
of sheep in the back.

Time to see what
the 2CV was made of.

Right, here we go, downhill, tuck.

34. Come on, deux chevaux. Come on!

36. Come on, come on!


37. 37mph. There it is.

It worked. It works,
it meets its brief.

And, if driving sheep around
at medium speed

wasn't enough to seduce him,

as we bid au revoir to
Nicole and Papa,

I had one more trick up my sleeve
to convince Matt

that this really is
the greatest car of all time.

Take a left here. There, down there.

What are you doing?
We're going racing.


Against what? Pedestrians?

No, we'd be racing in what is quite
possibly the finest form of

the 2CV One-Make Championship.

So, here we are,
the world of 2CV racing.

Don't they look fantastic?

I think they're cool.
Look how low the rear is.

Yeah, those are way lower
than yours.

Here we go, then.
This is our racing car.

This? Oh, we're not using your car?

No, cos my car is mine.

Anyhow, jump in, you're driving.

Really? Oh, yeah. Yeah! OK.

With upgraded 602cc engines,

producing no less than
50 brake horsepower,

these race-modified monsters can
reach speeds of up to 85mph.

Yes, 2CV racing is serious business.

I noticed that you have
a neck brace.

I don't have a neck brace.
Do I need a neck brace?

No, you don't need a neck brace.

Why do you have a neck brace,
and I don't have one?

Don't get caught up in the details,
you look great.

We'd be up against some of the

fiercest drivers the 2CV world
had to offer.

And, as we took our position
on the grid,

we were completely focused
on the challenge ahead.

How's the water temperature?


I don't think we have
a water temperature gauge.

Maybe there's no water in...
There's no water in this, you BLEEP!

It took me a minute!


What a start! What a start.

Go over to the right,
get over to the right.

Squeeze him.
First into the first corner.

There's one coming,
there's one coming.

He's right there.

Brake late, brake late, brake late!

Get in there!

Where did he come from?
He's right there.

That's the famous Steve Walford... 2CV.

He was the one in the paddock that
was saying that Ross was funnier.

I think he's got it in for you.

But Steve was going down.

Oh, mate, you showed him there.

This is demon stuff, Matthew.

However, as the only two-man team
on the track,

our car had a weight problem.
Sorry, Chris.


That didn't sound good. No.

Oh, come on!

It's Rosie Racing.

They're well known in 2CV circles
as being brilliant.

And it wasn't just Rosie
who was out for blood.

Oh, no, come on. Got another one up
the inside.

It's the famous Steve Walford again.

What's this one doing...
Oh, my lord!

As the laps piled on, we slipped
further and further back.

Third, second, third, fourth -
we're sixth, come on!

I know, I know, it's the weight.
What do you mean, it's the weight?

It's not my fault!
Matt kept pushing harder...

Brake, brake.

..but our chances didn't look good.

We cannot come last!

I'm doing my best!

But, then, Chris stopped whining
and started helping...

Up the inside of Rosie Racing.

..and we started to fight back.

I got him!

One corner...

Use all the circuit,
all the circuit.

..and one 2CV at a time.

OK, we're P4. P4.

Heading into the final lap,

we set our sights on a podium

Standing in our way, the formidable
Jelly Snake Racing.

What's a jelly snake?

Come on, come on, come on!

Don't give it up. Don't give it up!

Down the middle,
down the middle, my son.

Down the middle!

We're third!

Final corner, dude. P3.

Come on, come on. We've got
a podium! We've got a podium!

That's not bad.
That's more than not bad!

Way to go, girl!
That was fantastic.

That was really fun.
I love this car.

So, there you go. The 2CV.

Everybody loves it in the end.

In a Ferrari, people hate you.

They love the Ferrari,
but they hate you.

In this, though,
people love the car,

and they love you for driving it.

This is a car
that makes people smile.

OK, I concede, you won me over.
Isn't it just brilliant?

It really is. And I've got
to say I want one.

How much is it? About seven grand.

Seven grand! Are you out of your
mind? Forget it.

Seven grand!


So, both of you actually agree
that this heap of junk... a work of genius?

Whoa, whoa, easy there.

This is Chris's heap of junk.

So, this is actually your car?

Oh, yes. Why?

I get it. It's refreshingly simple.

It breaks down, you fix it.

Gets a dent, you bash the dent out.

You have, like, a real connection
with the car.

I mean, I suppose so.
I mean, it's got potential.

I could straighten out the bodywork,
wrap it, slam it.

Throw on some dubs.

I could work with this. Yeah, right?

Yeah. Yeah.

Just don't open the door,
it smells awful in there.

I think it's the eggs and the,
what you call it, sheep dung.

That's the joy of the 2CV, you see.

I've given it a quick wash,
air freshener inside,

it's as good as new.

This is what it looked like
when it was new?


Ah, I still like it.

All right, that's all
we have time for.

Join us next week when we try
to speed up farming,

and Sabine tries to speed up Rory.

See you then. Goodnight.