Top Gear (2002–…): Season 6, Episode 9 - Episode #6.9 - full transcript

Jeremy tests the Renaultsport Megane and the Vauxhall Astra VXR and compare both of them to the VW Golf GTi. Richard and James are having a game of "Road Test Russian Roulette", which involves them testing various cars while driving the car's owner back home (since the owners are drunk). Jeremy reviews the new BMW M5.

--CLARKSON: Tonight, Thunderberks are go...

We attempt a world record...

And the most annoying car   I've ever driven...

Shut up!

...turns out to be   one of the best.

Hello! And we're going to  start tonight  with hot hatchbacks.

Now for you,  they probably conjure up  images of a young man

with a tyre-fitter haircut

squealing around  a housing estate at 3:00  in the morning.

Something like him, really,  is what I'm thinking of.

You probably think they're boy racer cars

and that they shouldn't be  touched with a bargepole.

I'm not so sure.

I love hot hatchbacks because they offer drawback-free motoring.

You can put a chest of drawers in the back

and take it home   at a million miles an hour.

This makes them ideal   for the family man or woman

who's had to wave goodbye   to the sports car

because children have arrived.

And for a while now,   this has been our favourite,

the Mark V Golf GTI.

In fact, in 2004 we made this  the Top Gear--Car of the Year.

But now,  there are some newcomers  to consider.

Starting with this.

Now, I should explain  that Renault's first attempt

at making a hot Megane,  it's called the 225  and you can still buy it.

Was rubbish!

So now they've tried again and it's much better.

It doesn't have  the quality feel  of the Golf or the comfort,

but what you lose  on the swings

you gain when you go round  a roundabout.

Everything feels much sharper  than it does  in the Volkswagen,

the brakes, the turning, the throttle response.

It's an absolute riot!

And it feels like  quite an angry car as well.


"about having  such a big bottom!

"And I'm completely livid  about your EU rebate as well!"

Of course,  like all French things,  it smokes. Look at this!

Look! Look at this!  (LAUGHS)

(IN FRENCH ACCENT) I like to  smoke my front tyres!

Oh, yes! I like that very much.

It is fun, though, and it is fast.

With 222 brake horsepower   on tap,

it'll do nought to 60   in six and a half seconds.

Flat out, you'll be doing 147,

which is about the same as the Golf, actually.

The cost? Well,   the stripped-out cut   version is £18,600.

If you want some toys   and leather,   it'll be £20,000,

exactly the same as the Golf.

It's a tricky choice.

I mean, the Renault is  quite a loutish-looking car

and it isn't as well made  as the Golf

and it isn't as refined.

But it is more exciting.

And to make things even more complicated,

we must now meet  our third contender.

Yes, I know, I know,   it's a Vauxhall.

But is that such a bad thing   these days?

Obviously, the Vectra  does let the side down a bit.

It sits in the range like a big mound of dog dirt

on your brand new  sitting room carpet.

But the truth is that  these days Vauxhall is  on a bit of a roll.

There's the Luton futon,   the VX220,

there's the wonderful Monaro   muscle car

and the clever new Zafira MPV.

And now we've got this,   the Astra VXR,

which in a   hot hatch beauty contest

would certainly go home   with the tiara.

---(ENGINES REV)   -It really is Miss Iceland

up against   Miss Munich Beer Festival

and   Miss I've Had All The Pies.

And the Astra isn't just a pretty face, either.

All these cars   have turbo-charged   2-litre engines,

they're all the same size and they all weigh about the same as well.

But, though all the animals are equal,

the Vauxhall is more equal  than the others.

And that's because  its engine churns out  240 brake horsepower.

That is 20 more  than the Renault.

It's 40 more than the Golf!

As a result,   it'll hit 60 in six seconds.

And, unlike the others,   it'll sail way past 150.

-(ENGINE ROARS)  -Makes a good noise as well.

So, it's the best-looking,   the fastest and, get this,

it's also the cheapest.

Not just slightly, either.

This powerhouse,  this road rocket,

is £1,000 less  than the Golf and the Renault.


There are a few drawbacks, of course.

Because of the sloping rear end, our chest of drawers wouldn't fit in the boot.

And the stereo, navigation,   trip computer thing

is completely unfathomable.

And then there's the VXR's really big problem.

Putting this much power  in a front-wheel drive car  has a name.

It's called  "the chaos theory"!

You're asking the front wheels  to deal with the steering

and 240 rampaging stallions.

And, you know what?  They can't.


And so, if a butterfly  flaps its wings in China,

you're going into a tree.

Just... The wheel's  all over the place!

Driving this car is like  getting a piggy-back  off Richard Hammond

after he's had  a couple of pints of Stella.

You don't know what  he's going to do next  or where he's going.

I've got torque steer  when I accelerate,

I've got understeer  when I turn into a bend,

and if I lift off,  I've got oversteer.

Well, in case you don't know  what torque steer is,  let me just show you, okay?

Let me just pull up here.

Into first.  Hands off the wheel. Okay?

Just watch the steering wheel  here, as I accelerate.

Turbo comes in  and we turn left.

And again. Left.

That is torque  steering the car.

And it's good if you want to go left!

If you see one of these cars  burning rubber

and slewing round the estate  where you live,

don't call the police.

It won't be a yobbo.

It'll be  your next-door neighbour,  just trying to drive to work.

"I've bought a Vauxhall and it's mad!"

There are many options available for this car,

but there's only one   it really needs.

A straitjacket.

There you go.

Anyway, listen. See this?

-Yes, a Ferrari 308.  -Ferrari 308.

We used to dream about this, yeah?

I did actually have a poster  of one of these  on my bedroom wall, yes.

Absolutely. Let me tell you something interesting.

The engine in that Vauxhall produces exactly the same brake horsepower

as the V8 in the back of this.

That puts into perspective  how powerful that is.

That is actually... If someone  had come up to me  when I was 18 and said,

"When you're grown up, you'll be able to buy a Vauxhall

-"with the same power  as your supercar..."  -Startling!

Anyhow, we've now got to  find out

how fast the Vauxhall  goes round our track.

So we must hand it over,  of course,  to the tame racing driver.

Some say that his voice  can only be heard by cats

and that he has  two sets of knees.

All we know is  he's called The Stig.

---(TYRES SQUEAL)   -Away, away he goes,

bouncing off the limiter   with a puff of smoke.

All going well so far. But that's because he's going in a straight line.

Here comes the first corner,   though.

This is where it's going to get interesting.

Turns in hard,   tyres squealing in pain.

Not crashed yet.

The Stig shaking his head there.

Not even the sound of camel   can sooth it.

Driving on the brake and   braking very hard   into Chicago.

Very neat so far through there,

but what's it gonna be like   on the way out?

Oh, a little bit messy!   On the grass.

He's trying to oversteer   on the way into Hammerhead.

Look at that understeer!

It's understeering   like a shopping trolley   full of logs.

This car is completely bonkers

but Stig's bravely keeping   his foot down   through the Follow-Through.

And looking quick through the tyres. Very quick.

There are two corners   left now. Here he comes.

He's going to be sawing away   at the wheel.

No kerb left unclipped!   On the grass again!   Sweaty paws now.

He's going across the line!

Very good driving  from The Stig, there,  'cause it is potty.

I have the time!

And it is one minute  and 33 seconds, dead,

which is in there.

Now, as you'd expect,  that is 2.1 seconds faster  than the Golf GTI, okay?

But it's half a second slower  than the Renault.

-Really?  -Yeah. Unbelievable!

It just shows how much  of this engine's power  is being wasted.

I mean, you could give it  a million horsepower,

if the chassis can't put it on the road, pointless!

Sort of exciting, though,  isn't it? Come on.

It's exciting  in the same way that  being shot at is exciting.


Okay, what about the Renault?

Renault's tempting,  no question about that.  It's a very good car.

But you know what? I'd have still had  the Volkswagen.

I would 'cause it does  what a hot hatchback  is supposed to do.

It does everything.

And don't think it's boring.

Who would like to see  what happened

when The Stig tried to  get it round our track? Yes?

-ALL: Yes! -Play the tape.

Here he comes.   Look, it's the final corner.   Clips the curb,

thinks he's gonna   understeer off,   uses the handbrake

and... Oh, no! Oh, Stiggy!

We nearly killed him!

He nearly died.

Rolled it over.

So you see,  it is a great car. Brilliant!

Anyway,  we must now do the news.

Yes, and big news!  We've just seen a round-up  of hot hatches there.

Well, we've just got news  of another one that's arrived.

It's this from Ford,  the Focus ST.

Now, that has  222 brake horsepower,

which is exactly the same  as the Renault, I believe.

It's gonna be pretty brisk. Top speed over 140 miles an hour.

Nought to 60 about the  six and a bit seconds mark.

-222?  -Yup.

So, less mental  than the Vauxhall, then?

Yes. Kind of in between.  That could be a very good car.

-How fast?  -I've just said,  if you'd been listening.

But I can understand  you're not.

-I was over there!  -Yes, and at your age...

I don't know how fast it is.  How fast does it go, then?

-How fast?  -Why do I bother?

-Does anybody listen?  -Why do I bother?

I've just told you and  everybody else here, it's...

I didn't... I was  walking over here!

No. You're old and deaf.  You've got an excuse.

-MAN: Over 140.  -Over 140.

One person heard!

How fast does it go  from nought to 60?

MAN: Over 140!

-No, that's not true!  -(LAUGHTER)

Why do we do this?

"Over 140." If you go from nought to 60 in "over 140",

that's bloody slow!

-That's poor!  -Well, that's that covered!

Hey, now, you know  we're always banging on  about speed cameras, okay?

Well, I've got some facts  that you might like to digest.  Okay?

Last year in Hertfordshire  the number of cameras they had  went up by 24%.

Deaths went up by 34%.

Wiltshire, cameras went up  14%, deaths went up 22%.

It's the same story in Avon  and Somerset,  same story in North Wales.

Okay, now, County Durham,  no cameras,  deaths went down 24%.

And North Yorkshire as well.  No cameras, deaths down 9%.

And there's a good reason  for this.

'Cause if you're driving  down a road  that's got loads of cameras,

all you look at  is your speedometer  and into bushes.

And you're never looking  where you're going!

You know The Institute  of Advanced Motorists,  this lot...

-The wheel-shufflers!  -The wheels.  They always drive...

What did you think I meant?

They always drive... Anyway... Yes!

-Wheel-shufflers.  -Yes, the wheel-shufflers.

Even they are now saying that they want more warning of speed cameras,

and they've said why  can't they put the speed limit

that is prevailing  at the time,  on the back of the camera?

-That's a brilliant idea!  -That is a brilliant idea!

'Cause how many times do you  see a camera and think,

"I don't know  what the speed limit is!"

-Anyway, chaps, very, very  bad news, I'm afraid.  -CLARKSON: What?

-The Clio V6...  -Yes?

You know, the mid-engined  really bonkers one?  There it is.



-Going, very soon.  -I love that car!

-HAMMOND: They're brilliant!  -I mean, it had the worst  turning circle in the world...

Oh, yeah, you had to  go into Germany  to turn it round.

You had to go  round the world  to actually turn it around.

But I don't...  Why are they dropping it?

Well, because  there's a new Clio.

We've got a picture  of the new Clio in fact.

-There it is. -HAMMOND: Yeah.

And they say that  the regular hot  front-drive version of that

-is gonna be good enough.  -Rubbish!

-Well, it won't be mad enough.  -It's wrong.

Renault are wrong.  You're wrong, wrong, wrong.

And there's more bad news,  'cause you know the Honda NSX?

-MAY: I love that car. -Going as well.

Honda have announced that  they're dropping the NSX.

So thank you very much, Mr Blair!

Why are you blaming him?

Well, he takes the credit for  the Olympics and the economy,

which he had  nothing to do with,

so he can  take the blame for that!

Fair enough.

Hey, now there's a new version  of one of our favourite  supercars on Top Gear.

It's this, the Pagani Zonda  F version, and it is stunning.

7.3 litre V12,  602 brake horsepower.

Nought to 60 is now down to 3.6 seconds, 215 miles per hour.

That will cost you... (GULPS)  £390,000.

-What would you sell?  -Everything.

-Really?  -To have one of those? Yeah!  Oh, yeah, obviously...

-House?  -Oh, house, kids, wife,  all of that! Yeah!

-Horse?  -Dogs, horses, cats.

No, I've been  thinking about this.  It gets down to...

You see, you don't need  two kidneys and you don't need  two to drive that,

and you'd get a lot...  So I'd sell a kidney.

-And you only need one lung.  -Yeah, get shot of a lung.

Ears. Perhaps you don't  need the outside bit, do you?

-Nose.  -Yeah, like, I don't think you  need these two fingers.

I mean, 'cause you could  drive like that.  (MIMICS ENGINE)

-Sell those.  -Yeah, you could  sell all of those.

-What about your penis?  -No, I need that. No.

Not if you haven't got  a nose. You won't need...

No, I will. I do.  I've got a plan.

-Sperm banks. 25 quid a shot.  -(LAUGHTER)

-You get paid, as it were.  -Is that true?

-Is that true? -Yeah.

Four of those a day.

You could pay for your petrol  and your insurance quite  easily. You could run it.

I mean, you'd be a bit,  like, slumped at the wheel...

Put my hands on the...

You could splash out  on a Zonda.

Hey! Yeah, I could!

If there are any children  watching, ask your mum and dad  what we're on about.

Right. Now, let's move on.  The other day, James and I came up with a new game.

It's called Road Test  Russian Roulette.

This is the headquarters   of scooterMAN,

somewhere deep   in the beating heart   of London.

Every day, the people here   play a vital role   in keeping the city running.

Without their tireless   and caring work,

the capital would   quite literally fall apart.

What scooterMAN do is this.

If you've had  a few too many down the pub,  you ring them up,

pay a few quid, and then a man turns up

to whatever bar  you're slumped in,

and drives you safely home  in your own car.

So then you enjoy  a late night Pot Noodle,

watch pornography  on Channel 5,

and fall asleep  on your own sofa.

So what we're going to do is work for them on a busy Friday night.

The beauty of this is that  we get to drive lots of  different cars and test them.

The downside is that  we've got no idea what those  cars are going to be.

All we know for certain,  of course, is that  the owners will be drunk.

And that they'll probably laugh when we turn up,

because our scooters...   Well, they're not   exactly butch!

I think we might have  overdressed slightly.

-I think I might have  overgrown slightly.  -(LAUGHS)

What time are you looking at  travelling, sir?

--HAMMOND: As the bookings   came in for the evening,

I was getting worried about   the issue of plain   and simple good manners.

-We've got to  road test these cars.  -Yeah.

But we've got to road test it  with the person who owns it  in the car.

Well, what if we think  it's rubbish?

You've got to be polite.  It's their car.

No, I disagree. I think  you owe it to the viewers

to be honest about the car. That's the point. This is road testing.

Right, I've got an idea.  I think what we do...  I'm gonna give a codeword.

If I think the handling's rubbish, I'm gonna say it's a bit salty.

That means it's rubbish.  They won't know what it means,

but you'll know  I mean it's rubbish.

So condiments are bad?  That's what you're saying.

All condiments are bad news.

So if I'm loading the scooter  into the boot,  and they're within earshot...

-The boot space is...  Horseradish?  -Yes!

He's gonna think  you've been drinking as well.

-Possibly. -I'm just gonna tell it like it is.

-What, you're gonna  be straight with them?  -Yeah.

--HAMMOND: The clock   ticked away.

The first drunken SOS's   came in,

and we hit the highway.


What? What? What?  What do you suggest?  That's all I've got!

Well, it's Friday night,  it's about 10.30,  but at least I'm out!

Ow! God! Someone should fix the suspension!

MAY: I'd arrived at my first job, and a bit of a result,

the latest Mercedes A-Class.   With a diesel engine!

-MAN: Hey, you all right?  -I'm fine, thank you!

-How you doing? -Hello!

-Are you Julia? Hello!  -Yeah, I'm Julia.

-I'm Richard.  -Hi, Richard.

--HAMMOND: I got lucky as well.   A Citroen C4.

It'll go in there, I'm sure.

Right. Just give me a minute  with the motorcycle over here.

Mind you,   when I said "a minute"...

Remove fuel...

Disconnect the throttle linkage...

Right, I'll just move the seat  forward...

-Remove the pin...  -You need any help out there?

Yes, fine, thank you!  I'm just draining  the carburettor.

Well, that's good.  You can get a motorcycle  in the boot of an A-Class.

--HAMMOND: Meanwhile,   I was wooing the ladies.

A Citroen C4 costs,  you know, just mentioning it,  £12,895 with £1,100 cashback.

10.6 seconds to 60,

-which is not exactly class,  really, but it's enough.  -Yeah. It's okay.

-That was road test stuff.  What do you think?  -(LAUGHS)

-Road-test chat.  -Not very cool, is it, really?

MAY: I had this vision of  climbing into cars with people  being sick on my head, or...

But I suppose  you've been to a dinner party,  haven't you?

You haven't been clubbing.

Which wasn't a very good  dinner party.

-Er, thank you. It was lovely!  -Was it?

-Are you huffing at me?  -Yeah, she's gonna kill you!

-Who?  -Her.

It won't come out,  honestly, if we're not...

-After I kill you.  -They would...

They would never put that on  anyway 'cause they know  that would cause trouble.

And I'll tell them  not to put that on.

HAMMOND: You do know you could get these with a vibrating seat.

GIRL 1: Oh, my God. GIRL 2: Really?

What is the, uh, the point of  the vibration in the seat?

The seats vibrate if you  wander out of your lane  on the motorway.

GIRL 2: Can you put it on  automatically?


--HAMMOND: James, meanwhile, true to his word,

was giving the A-Class and its owners a thorough going-over.

As we can see, If we tip it  into a roundabout there,

it really does hang on  remarkably well.

-Are you hanging on well?  -I'm hanging on  very well, yes, thank you.

Now, of course, the downfall  of this car originally  was the so-called elk test,

whereby the car was likely to topple over in a violet manoeuvre,

-but just to be on the  safe side...  -Ooh.

As you can see,  it's now perfect.

-You all right, darling?  -(WOMAN CHUCKLES)

-I find the switch arrangement  and all this fixed hub...  -Futuristic!

-It's a bit salty. -Yeah, it's quite bold.

-Yes, very bold. Bit spicy. -Bit spicy.

--HAMMOND: James, as promised,   was not so diplomatic.

I really can't see the good case, sir,

for having the diesel version.

-Why not?  -Because it's rough,  grumbly, slow...

And probably tells other  people that you're  a bit tight.

-My wife doesn't mind that. -What do you mean I don't mind it?

Now, look, I don't want to  start a marital,  this is just a road test.

Not counselling.

I noticed the brakes on this  are a little bit, um...

(CHUCKLES) vinegary.

MAY: Overall, I found the new   A-Class   to be much more spacious,

and a definite improvement   all round over the old one.

The only black mark was the price.

This particular model   had extras like   parking sensors,

leather seats,   climate control and so on.

And the cost was   truly staggering.

-How much did you pay, if you  don't mind me asking?  -£25,000.

You're joking! For an A-Class?

Do you think that's expensive?

Well, of course  it's expensive!  Why do you have a gold one?

I think you got it because of  all the bits that were  attached to it.

-So this one was in stock  at the dealer?  -That's right.

He must be laughing his head off!

MAN: At the end of the day, who looks at the outside of their car?

-Everybody else.  That's the problem!  -(WOMAN GIGGLES)

--HAMMOND: As for the C4,   it had a lot of kit,

the ride was smooth,   and best of all   it looked great.

So overall, pretty good, then.

But, I had to tell the owner,   not the one I'd recommend.

The Focus is maybe a bit... (SOFTLY) better.

(WHISPERS) In every way!

-So do you take pissed girlies  home regularly?  -Yeah!

--HAMMOND: Whilst James powered   to his next job,

I tried to reassemble   my scooter.

All right, that's dropped off.  That's bad.

But at least it had   fallen apart   whilst it wasn't moving.

The seat's come off!  The seat's come off!  Hey!


MAY: As the night wore on,   we dashed   from drunkard to drunkard.


I don't want to go in.  It's full of lesbians dancing.

I love these.

I like a pickup.  I live in the country,  you see.

You've put a student amount of petrol in it.

Yeah, 'cause I am a student.

--MAY: One of the surprise treats of the night was

a seven-year old Renault Clio automatic.

Hey! It's good!

That's a smooth change!  That's a speed camera.  Yes, you're quite right.

The interesting thing about the French nation,

I think because they are  essentially peasants  and communists,

is that they are quite good at  the fairly small and  fairly simple car.

HAMMOND: Whilst James was giving his student a free sociology lecture,

I was racing towards   my last job of the evening.

Yeah! Yeah!

Bring it on!

Do you know,  I could have had him.

MAY: Meanwhile, I turned up to my last job and got off to a bit of a poor start.

Would you mind  holding my helmet?

-It's BBC2, so, um...  -(LAUGHS)

(SOFTLY)  It's an Audi A3 1.6.

You know what you need to highlight at some point, okay?

This is a huge design fault  in this car.  Do you see this armrest?

-Yes? -Do you know about this already?

-Yes.  -You probably do.

The fact that the armrest  and the handbrake...

You have to move the  armrest up  to put the handbrake on.

And isn't that a really bad design fault that needs to be highlighted?

Yes. You spoiled my  big moment.

So this is a Volvo V40 1.8.

Which, frankly, was a bit   of a problem for me.

And I've now run out of things  to know about the Volvo V40.

-It's Swedish.  -It says it's Swedish,  and it says 1.8 on the boot.

--MAY: But if Richard couldn't   get any words out,

I was having trouble   getting a word in.

Now, this is essentially the  entry level Audi A3 with  the 1.6-litre engine.

-And...  -Sport, actually.

-And it's a Sport.  -FSI.

-Yes, I know.  -So not entry-level at all.

-Well, it is, 'cause it's  the smallest one.  -It's not.

-Engine size-wise, but not model-wise.  -Yes.

-No, I'm talking about  the engine.  -Okay.

The criticism I've always had  about the more sporting setups  and the ideas

-that the ride is always  compromised.  -Suspension. Yeah.

I like driving it,  I don't like being a  passenger in it quite so much.

Well, you'll have to stop drinking.

Other things to say  about this.

Well, as you can see,  the steering operates

by this disc-shaped  object here.

Do you mind awfully if I stop here briefly? I'll be back in a sec.

Sorry about that!

So, it was launched in 1996,

with 115 brake horsepower.

And in 1998, the 1.8 litre  petrol engine was  upgraded to

to a 122 brake horsepower.

-That's an encyclopaedic knowledge you've got there. -Yeah, it's...

It's part of my job.  I have to know about  every car.

You can feel, especially at  low speed, that the ride in  this becomes a little bit...

Well, it's a bit like  cranberry sauce, really.

What, it goes with everything?


HAMMOND: In the end,   the Volvo was, well,   a Volvo.

A good-sized boot and pretty forgettable to drive.

What I can report, though, is this one had done 120,000 miles,

but it still felt as tight as a drum.

MAY: As for the Audi A3,   well, the 1.6 engine   was gutsy enough,

but with the rest of the car,   I was struggling to find   something interesting.

-Good quality indicator tick  in Audis.  -(GIRL CHUCKLES)

The most irritating thing   on this version, though,   was the choppy ride.

Naturally,   not everyone agreed.

The alternative to this one,  of course, at a similar price,  is the SE.

-And I...  -Which is the one  I would have!

I wouldn't.

Right. It is just gone 2:00 in the morning,

and I've got another one  to do. But first,  I've gotta build my bike.

Oh, joy.

And the blunt Mr May?   Well, he'd met his match.

Well, I got her phone number,  so I can always  give her a ring

if I get stuck on any of my other road tests.

Yes, James,  you were very good!

You were marvellous.


-You were pathetic! -What? Well...

Just all that rubbish about  not wanting to tell people how bad their cars were.

All right, I was a bit...  Peppery.

Yes, um... 'Cause it's not  difficult, frankly.

I mean, he proved it, okay? I mean, for instance, what do you drive?

-An SD1.  -A Rover SD1?

You see, that's an awful car.

-You, what have you got?  -A Renault Clio.

You stole that, good.

Renault Clio was the car  that caused me  to leave old Top Gear

'cause it was so boring,  I couldn't think of anything  to say about it.

-See how easy this is?  -Oi, you, come out here.

Ask him! Ask him what he's got!

I've got a Fiesta.  I've got a Fiesta.

-What do you think  of that then, big fella?  -Good car.

-There you go.  -You what? Sorry?

-I drive it  from the back seat!  -You drive from the back seat.

This is terrifying!  I feel like... I feel like...

Have you ever seen Stonehenge  when the top bits drop off?

I've got to say, though,  that Audi woman you had,  she was amazing.

Yeah, I found her  strangely attractive.

Nothing strange about the  attraction there.  She was great.

Now before I finish,  that scooter, then,  was it expensive?

Um, ell, it works out about the same as, you know, a taxi trip home

and then one back to get  your car to take it home  from the pub, so...

So what did you two do  with your money?

We got drunk and then paid for some berk on a scooter  to come and pick us up.

Okay, it is now time  to put a star  in our reasonably-priced car.

He's a hugely successful DJ,

television presenter  and businessman.

And he achieved all this  despite being born  with a terrible affliction.

Ginger hair.

Ladies and gentlemen,  Chris Evans!

-How are you, mate?  -Nice to see you.

-Good to see you.  Have a seat.  -You okay?

-Now, you're going back on the radio. -I am.

-Radio 2.  -Apparently.  That's what I heard.

-That's the big one.  Land of the giants.  -Yup.

-Wogan, Ross, Bruce...  And now you.  -Uh-huh.

-What're you doing there?  -What does that mean?

Land of the giants,  the giants in broadcasting...

-Are you nervous about it?  -No. Not at all.

-Really?  -No.

It's what I do for a living.  Are you nervous now?

-No.  -Well, you should be, baby!

The other thing as well,  about Radio 2 is it  always finishes at 7:00.

-You noticed that?  -What, there's nowt on  after that.

Yeah, there's nothing on. It's folk or something.

So you turn to Radio 4  and then you've got The Archers.

--Yeah, which I've got to say The Archers--is not...

'Cause I live in a village...  Our village is far more  exciting than The Archers.

And the lesbian kiss  on The Archers...  You don't want that.

You want the giant vegetables.

-'Cause that's the real deal.  -A lesbian kiss?

-A lesbian kiss. -On the radio?

-Yeah, I mean, if you...  -How does that work?

Well, it doesn't work,  obviously not for me.  But you know, real drama...

Well, it does... (STAMMERS)

But, um, no, real drama in villages is like...

You know, We've got this guy  called Alan The Egg, right?

Who actually sells 24,000 dozen eggs every year.

We've also got this other guy  called Alan The Mole  who's a pest exterminator.

Now, I used to deal with Alan The Mole because I had some moles on me land.

And so I used to go in the pub  and they said, "Oh, have you  met Alan The Egg yet?"

No. I thought, "Isn't it weird  there's an Alan The Mole  and an Alan The Egg?"

But it's the same bloke!

Such drama. I mean,  that's what you wanna hear.

You wanna be educated  when you watch something  or listen.

--Yeah, I listened to   The Archers.

No, The Archers,  they just manage to drone on  for 10 minutes

about, you know, somebody's  walk down a public footpath.

I just can't listen to it.

-Well, don't then.  -I just turn off the radio  and sing.

-Radio 2 is there for when  you're sick of The Archers.  -Yeah.

But you can speed the traffic  up as well 'cause  you can play fast records.

-It does work. -It does work.

Do you drive faster  when quick records come on?

I prefer to drive in silence.  I love to drive in silence.

I love the sound of the engine  of the car.

And that's why  I bought a Mustang.

'Cause a Mustang is  the only car that sounds  like it does in the films.

Yeah, there's a couple.  A Triumph TR5 sounds a bit  like it does in the movies.

But I think the Mustang's  just about as good as it gets.

-What movie's a TR5 been in?  -Lots of movies.

-(AUDIENCE LAUGHS)  -On the television.

You did go a bit mental a while back.

You got to go mental.  You have to do it. You have to  go through the tunnel.

-How mental did you go,  do you think?  -In what aspect?

I don't know. You just kept reading weird stories about you.

Oh, well, they're gonna be  true, aren't they?

Well, they're not all that...  It's true.

I kept writing them as well.

You have admitted, I think,  haven't you, that  you got a bit off the rails?

Yeah, no, I did go off the rails, but I don't regret it.

I know my voice went  a bit high there,

which psychoanalysts would say  I have a problem with it,

(IN FALSETTO) but I don't!

No, no, I'm still off the  rails in that sense  of the word.

You even took up golf!

I like playing golf and  I think it's a great game...

-What?  -MAN: Quite right.

Look at him  with his Val del Este  golf resort on his T-shirt!

That's a poor look.

I've got to say,  the only thing...  This is not against you, sir.

The only thing I don't to do  is I don't like to look  like a golfer.


See what we mean?  Look at that. Check it out.

And that's no offence to... I just don't like the way they dress.

And you do, unfortunately, have to dress like that when you go on courses,

but I do not want to look  like a golfer.

We saw you recently  in the newspapers,  which may or may not be true.

-Getting rid of a whole load of belongings. -Yeah, that's true.

-That was true?  -That's absolutely true.

-Cars as well?  -Cars are part of it.  Still are.

So what cars  did you get rid of?

I got rid of a Jag XKE,

I got rid of a Chevrolet Silverado.

I got rid of  a Series 1 Land Rover,  a Shelby 350 Mustang,

a 1957  190 drop-top California SL,

a Bentley Brooklands,

and I can't remember any more.  But I did sell those.

So a lot of cars.  So what are you  down to now, then?

I've got them with me.  Do you want to see them?

I took some Polaroids  this morning...  -Yeah, let's have a look.

Just so you could see.  This is what I had left.

-Okay, so... I don't know.  You take them, you take them.  -I'll take them.

-You be in charge. Go on.  -Okay, a Ferrari...

Maranello 550.

-550? That was a good one.  -Yeah.

-Another Series 1 Land Rover.  -No, that's, um...

-No, that's not Series 1,  is it?  -No, that's about

30 years after that.

-I've noticed the alloy wheels  and everything.  -And the V8 engine.

Yeah, I know, V8.  Yes, no, that's very good.

-It's a ragtop ??.  -No, no, no.

No, you said this. See,  a Morris Minor drop-top, yeah?

You want girls to like you, boys, get one of those.

-'Cause a bad man would never  drive one of those cars.  -That's true.

No, it's not!

What do you reckon?

The point is... What is that,  a '60, what, Mustang?

-'64 Mustang.  -A '64 Mustang  and a Mark II Jag?

Yeah, a Mark II Jag, yeah.

-3.4. -Yeah.

That's a lot of cars you've still got left.

-I've got a minibus as well.  -Why?

Because, I'll tell you  what happened  with the minibus, right.

So I had five years off, basically, and I thought,  well, what shall I do?

I thought what would be  really nice is to take some  old people to the shops.

-Right?  -WOMAN: Aww!

So I bought this... See, it works.

Country living!

So I went and bought a minibus

and I put an advert in the local paper,  the Surrey Ad.

"Free minibus travel  on Tuesdays and Thursdays  for OAPs."

-Not a single call.  -Not one?

-Not a single call.  -Not even a nutter.

Just nothing. So sod 'em.

They're all listening  to The Archers,--plainly,  at home.

-Waiting for the lesbian kiss.  -Yes.

I still can't get into the idea of a radio...

Maybe I imagined that.  Maybe that didn't happen.

Maybe it was Brookside.  I remember that one,  Anna Friel.

-One of your exes, wasn't she?  -Yup.

Was it the Morris Minor that...

No, no, no,  it was something smaller.

-You do love cars. -I appreciate the aesthetics of them.

The thing that turns me on  about a car is  if it's beautiful or not,

or if it's interesting,  or if it's got character.

But I don't, per say... I'm not a petrol-head,  you know.

-Really?  -No.

I don't know anything about the cars I've got at all.

So what about the driving?

Well, I am the slowest driver  in the world,

which is why  when I came here today,  I thought, you know,

"Please don't turn me  into somebody who says things  on the track

"'cause they think they really  care about how fast they go."  And guess what happened?

You were outed.

-You started to care.  -I actually said at one point,

out loud, "Focus."  "Oh, no! I said, 'Focus'!"

Well, who'd like to  see this lap

to see how it went? Yeah?  -ALL: Yeah!  -Okay, play the tape.

Let's have a look. (ENGINE REVS) (TYRES SQUEAL)

CLARKSON: Yes, a good start.  How many laps did he give you?

Oh, look at that!

And driving on  the red and white,

which is really slippery  on there.

That's brave, frankly.

Maybe I've peaked! (GASPS)  What if I've peaked?

You're starting to care now,  aren't you? You're starting

to care about your lap.  That's very smooth  through there. Excellent.

Why does it matter? This shouldn't matter!

CLARKSON: It does.  And into the Hammerhead,

where it could all go horribly wrong.

Ooh, that's excellent.

What do you mean  you can't drive?

No, I didn't say  I couldn't drive.

I said I don't drive fast.  CLARKSON: There you see...  Oh, gone across

the red and white lines.  -I daren't go along those.  -(WHOOPS)

CLARKSON: This bit here.  EVANS: Yeah.

Cut the corner nicely.

Don't look at speed,  I don't want to know

how fast I'm going.  CLARKSON: You turned in  quite early there.

Oh! Very neat.  That is brilliant!

Now, cut that corner properly  and across the line!


I'm not gonna lean forward like I care

about what the time is.  -It is...  -(SHOUTS) Well,

what's the time? -So where do you reckon? -I don't know. Well...

That was quick.  I reckon that was...

It looked...  -Top third. Maybe.  -Top third? Oh, yeah.

-Oh, really?  -Oh, yeah.

You did it in one minute...

-I'm leaning forward!  Don't lean forward!

-You were!  Every week, every guest,  "Oh, I'm not bothered..."

-Go on. What is it, Jeremy? -One minute, forty...

seven point nine.

That is unbelievably quick!

Fantastic. That was brilliant!

'Cause that car control  on that first corner,

most people would have spun it there.

But Stig's the man, isn't he?  I mean, he's brilliant,

the guy at teaching. -Oh, he is. -And what he does is, when

you go out on the track  on your own without him,  he listens

and he can come back,  and he said, "I think you

lost it on..."  He's about a mile  and a half away.

The guy's a genius.  -The guy's a genius!  -He's sadly not a genius,

he's a racing driver. -That's as far as it goes. -But he's so handsome.

-Have you seen him?  -Yes, in make-up

he's a dream. He's lying, he's lying, he's lying.

Well, it's been an absolute pleasure

having you here, Chris.  -It really has.  -Well, thanks for having me.

I'm glad you're going back  on the radio.

Well, I've really enjoyed it  and I really think

this show is ace.  You're too kind.  Ladies and gentlemen,

Chris Evans!  Now, the greatest driving song  of all time.

As you can see, we have four fabulous finalists

and Meat Loaf.  And here is today's top tune.


MAY: Our final contender   is a pop classic from those

monsters of glam rock, Queen.

--   ♪ Having a good time

♪ I'm a shooting star   leaping through the sky

like a tiger  Don't Stop Me Now   was released in 1978

and only reached number nine   in the charts.

That was pretty disappointing   for the all-conquering Queen,

but frankly,   it doesn't matter.

Because this song   is your first kiss,

--   your first pay check,

it's passing your driving test and your A-levels

all on the same day.   ♪ I'm driving   at the speed of light

When this song is on, it never seems to rain.

The roads are empty.   You feel invincible.

♪ And having such a good time   I'm having a ball

--   Only the truly tone deaf

will fail to join in Mr Mercury's

high energy sing-along.   ♪ ...Just gimme a call ♪ Don't stop me now

♪ 'Cause I'm having   a good time

Not just a great driving song, then, a tonic for life.

--   ♪ ...stop at all ♪

So, to vote for Queen,  you telephone 09011986363.

That call  will cost you 10 pence.

You can also use the website.  (READING WEBSITE ADDRESS)

You can of course  vote for any song at any time,

although please do be aware  that your home may be at risk

if you vote for Meat Loaf.  (AUDIENCE LAUGHS)

Right. Time for another  of our feat of unfeasible daring.

This is a big, flat,   empty place.

Perfect for a spot   of automotive gymnastics.

The Guinness Book   of World Records

contains many amazing examples  of human achievement,

including one  for the quickest time taken

to make a sandwich with your feet.

Absolutely. And fair enough.

But we've found  a glaring omission,

because at the moment,  there is no record

for the number of times a car can roll over

at high speed.  So, that's what  we're gonna do today.

Now, there are rules to this  kind of thing.

The Guinness people  have defined a roll

as one complete revolution  of the car.

Like this. From its wheels  onto the side,

onto the roof,  back onto the side,

and back onto the wheels again.

And they'll only  recognise our record

if we fully roll the car  five times.

And there's one more thing.

To make the record official,  there has to be a person

inside the car.  And it's gonna be me,  who introduces you to Steve,

our stuntman.

So, what kind of car   is Steve going to

risk his neck in?   Is it some hefty Hummer   or some Renault, with

a five-star safety rating? Oh, dear, no!

In fact, it's a   1991 Ford Sierra Estate.

There is some logic   to our low-budget lunacy,

though.   You see, the Estate's curved,   tube-like shape

should help keep it rolling over and over.

-- Now, for this to work,

we also need   a massive amount of energy

going through the car when it rolls.

So, our stuntman is gonna  belt down the runway

at 60 miles an hour and  make a violent, sharp left.

Then, for good measure, he's gonna

yank on the handbrake.   But that's not   going to be enough

to give us the minimum of five complete rolls

that we need. So, once the car is into a skid,

Steve is gonna hit this button  and all hell will break loose

as it triggers this cannon,

which uses compressed air to fire a steel piston

which'll smash  into the ground,

flipping the car.   And remember,   this is not--You Bet!

We have no idea what's going to happen.

-Okay. So, the audience is ready.

---(ENGINE REVS)   Here we go!

For this stunt to succeed, timing is crucial.

When Steve hits   60 miles an hour,

he must pull the handbrake and detonate the cannon   in almost the same instant.

Well, obviously,  they're seeing if

his head's come off.  I'm assuming it hasn't,  because that probably

--renders it null and void.   In fact, Steve was fine.

But understandably,   he'd been too busy

to count the number of rolls.   So let's check again   in slow motion.

Oh, yeah!

We did it! We did it.

Yeah, we did.

We did it!

We only needed five and as you saw there,

we managed six.  So we did it! And look,  we even got a certificate

there and everything.  -Look at that!  -Look, Top Gear.

-Ha-ha! -Now...

I want to talk  about the BMW M5.

There've been loads of versions

over the years,  and I've loved all of them.

Because, in essence,  what you got

is a massively powerful engine  shrouded by the quiet  dignified body

of an ordinary 5 Series.  Now though, there's a new M5  and that's rather different.

For a kick-off, the new 5 Series

is an ugly car.   Fat at the back   and with headlights like

Edna Everage's spectacles.   So, to mask the horror,   they've festooned the M5

with a deep chin spoiler,   and big exhausts,

--   and M5 badges on every panel.

There's nothing quiet  or dignified about this.

It's a very shouty car.  "Look at me!

Look at how powerful I am!" (SNARLS)

"I'm a shark!  I've got a fin on my back!"

And things are even worse  when you get inside.

There's so much technology in here that you can't just

get in and go.  I mean, first of all,  you've got to choose

how ferocious you want the gear changes to be.

You've got a choice  of five settings for that.

And then there's  three settings

for the differential  and two for the suspension.

You can even choose  how long you want

the headlamps to stay on  after you get home at night.

And it's not like  10, 20, 30 seconds.

It's infinite. So...  Do I want 33 seconds

or 34?

Or 37? I don't know!

42? It's like being  in a coffee shop!

Do I want the skinny latte?  How much water in my espresso?

Oh, 37.

No, 38!

It's a good job this is a powerful car

because by the time   you've finished fiddling

with all the computer stuff,   you'll have a lot of time   to make up.

The engine, however,   doesn't sound very powerful

when you start it. --(ENGINE PURRS)

--   It sounds more like a diesel.

It is quick.

It's just that,  with the 5-litre

400 brake horsepower V10,  I was expecting more.

So far, then, things are looking bad.

The new M5 is too ugly,   to flash, too complicated,

--   and not very fast.

Then you get to a town   and it gets worse.

It doesn't really matter   what you do with the gearbox.

Manual, automatic,   soft changes, hard changes.

At this kind of speed,   it's slow and dim-witted

and jerky and you roll backwards and forwards on hills.

And the ride's rubbish.

And then, things get really bad.


So, you're driving along  and a tune you really like

comes on the radio,  so you think,  "Well, I'll turn this up.

"There's the volume knob.  I'll push it."


.  And I've got a fat bint  in a tent warbling.

So you have to go into the computer.

Entertainment.  FM or AM?

Who listens  to the light programme? Who?

Apart from the Queen and  the Queen hasn't got an M5!

Why are you giving me  this choice?

And when you're doing   all that, don't,

whatever you do,   hit the indicator stalk,

because it will not   self-cancel.

It won't go off.

And if you try to  put the stalk back

in the middle again,  the other one's gone on.

When you do finally get  the song you were listening to

-back on the radio again... Nice.


The SATNAV woman interrupts.

And she...  She cannot be turned off.

-Take the next road... -Shut up!

--   Turn left 200 yards ahead.

I had to pull over to see   if I could shut her down.

--   Please make a legal U-turn.

"Vehicle position,  journey computer,

"computer, exit assistant window."

That's not it!

I've had an idea! Oh, yes!

Turn the engine off,  that'll kill her.

I have to say, this M5  is a massive disappointment.

I mean, at £62,000, you would expect it

to arrive ready setup. You know, why should you spend all that money...

It's not flat-pack furniture.  You're not saving money.

It's expensive.  BMW are the experts.

They should sell a car  readymade...

Turn right onto B4602   a quarter of a mile ahead.

As I was saying,  BMW are the experts.

They're the ones that should  sell us a car readymade.

Not one where you have to go home and then

spend the rest of time  looking through the manual  and, "How do I want this

and how do I want that."   Take the next road   on the right.

It's almost as though they've  made every single button...

--   Turn left half a mile ahead.

-It's almost... -Attention. Traffic restricted

area is ahead.  It's almost as though  they've made every

single button in this car  deliberately complicated  and deliberately annoying.

Expect for this one.

Push this and everything changes.

--   You get a head-up display

showing a rev counter   and what gear you're in.

The seat bolsters close up in the bends

to hold you tight. The gear box goes to a BMW default setting.

So does the diff, so does the suspension.

-And so does the engine.  -(ENGINE REVS LOUDLY)

After you've pushed  this button,

the engine is no longer  producing

400 brake horsepower.  It's producing 507.  And that makes a difference.

In M mode,   this car stops being annoying

--   and becomes just magnificent!

In M mode, you're taken   to a time and a place

where there are no jams,   no compromises.

It's a world of motoring perfection.

A place where you can get   from nought to 60

in four and a half seconds. And if you remove the limiter, hits 204 miles an hour.

You wanna take it on?  Don't bother.

Doesn't matter  what you've got,

doesn't matter  what you've ever driven.

This is quicker, it's faster,  it's more astonishing.

You just cannot believe that

you're in a big  four-door saloon,

'cause it goes.

And it feels and it sounds  like a Ferrari 430.

And that's about  the best car I've ever driven.

Oh, yes!

When you're in a car this fast  and this tactile

and this responsive,  you no longer care  about the stupid indicators

or the SATNAV woman  or what's on the radio. Ooh!


The steering, the brakes, the power!

-And this noise!  -(ENGINE REVS LOUDLY)

The driving experience  just dominates everything!

--   Amazing, isn't it?

That this is one of   the ugliest and most annoying

cars in the world,   but at the touch of a button,   it becomes

one of the very best.   It becomes an M5.


Are you seriously saying,  seriously, that this is better

than a Ferrari F430?  -It's a big claim.  -It is a big claim.

Well, let me put it this way.  This is more powerful,  has twice as many doors

and costs half as much.

And it's about  twice as annoying.

That SATNAV!  I mean, I'm sure you can

turn that thing off.  I'm sure in the menu,  there's a sub-menu

and another sub-menu  and you can make it go away.

But why can't it just have  a big button

with "Off" written on it?  Or maybe a big hammer  with "Off" written on it.

"Off!"  That'd be quite useful  in everyday life.

"Mobile phones, off!"  Yes. Beggars!

"Have you got any spare...?"  Off!

See? Brilliant plan.

Anyway, we've got to find out  how fast it goes

round out track,  so let's bring him out again!

It's The Stig!

-(TYRES SQUEAL)   -And there he goes!

Plenty of wheel spin,   'cause of course The Stig has

the car's in M mode!   And that means the full   507 brake horsepower.

Here we go, first corner.   Look at it go.

That's on the way in.  -(TYRES SQUEAL LOUDLY)   -And a lot of tyre squeal...

--   And oversteer on the way out!

SATNAV: Turn left   half a mile ahead.


The SATNAV appears to have   distracted The Stig there!

-- Very wide into Chicago.

And very slippery on the way out!

Into Hammerhead.   Big heavy V10 lump

at the front.   Will it make it understeer?   No, it doesn't. Look at that.

That's very smooth.   Stig doing very well there.   A little bit of drift

on the way out there.   Van der Graaf Generator.   Not one of my favourites,

must be honest. It maybe a heavy car, feels light and nimble

round the track though.   Here it comes...   Ooh, look at that!

Very fast!   Stig's in the groove now!

I have to say, The BMW's ABS   is very aggressive.

Cuts in too early   for serious late braking.

Doesn't seem   to have upset Stig.

He's on the grass!   Coming around Gambon!   And across the line!

-Good time? -Yeah.

Well, I'll give you the time  in a minute.

First of all, though,  I must just explain.

When I drove this car  on a track,

the diff exploded and it had  to go away on a tow truck.

And then,  when The Stig drove it

this morning,  he finished his lap  and on the dashboard

big warning light, traction control gone all wrong.

So it is a bit fragile. Even so, despite that,  he did it in 1 minute

26.2 seconds, which is there.

-HAMMOND: That's good!  -It's good!

I mean, for a four-door saloon,

it's awesome! And nearly everything in front of it, look,

is a super car.  It's half a second quicker  than that Merc, the CLS 55.

HAMMOND: It's just I thought  it was going to be quicker.

I still think, despite  the fragility and that,

it's an epic car!  -I mean, just brilliant!  -I'm with you, actually.

So are a lot of other people.  There's a two-year waiting

list for one of those. There is. That's nothing though.

Did you know the waiting list  to get tickets for this show

is 19 years?  -It is!  -So, on that basis,

Top Gear--is nine and a half  times better than the M5.

-Yes, it is.  -And on that bombshell,

it's time to end.  Thank you very much  for watching.

See you next week.  Good night!