Top Gear (2002–…): Season 7, Episode 1 - Episode #7.1 - full transcript

Richard tests the new Ascari KZ1. The boys travel to the Isle Of Man to test the new Aston Martin V8 Vantage and compares it to the new BMW M6 and the Porsche 911 Carrera 2S.

--JEREMY CLARKSON: Tonight,  -- how reliable is your car?

How will this new   British supercar   fare on our track?

-- And the new baby Aston! -- How does it perform as an Ark?

Hello and I'm delighted  to say this is not

a "Best of Top Gear" cobbled together to fill a gap.

Between the snooker  and the final of Britain's  biggest paving slab.

-We're back!  -(CROWD APPLAUDS)


And, um...

And what we've done  is we've put together  a montage

to show you what's coming up in the next six weeks.

Here we go.

More! More of that!

Come on, don't give up  on me now!



Whose is that?

Oh. Ah!


CLARKSON: I've lost brakes.



Sit back and read your book.

Hammond and May, you don't have a hope in hell.

Welcome to Greenpeace.



Now, as you probably  saw there,

now there was an awful lot  of very expensive,  mid-engined exotica.

So we thought the best  thing we could do tonight  was kick off with, um...

Well, another one.

If you're looking  for a supercar  around the £180,000 mark,

you're pretty well  catered for.


-- you'll get a  -- Lamborghini Murcielago...

-- ...or an Aston Martin  -- Vanquish.

-- And if you're aiming to spend  -- over £300,000

again there's   no shortage of choice,   what with the Pagani Zondas,

-- McLaren SLRs  -- and Porsche Carrera GTs.

But, there's a problem.

You see, our office  is constantly flooded  with letters from viewers

saying they want  to spend £235,000 on a car.

This is this week's batch.

Uh, "Dear Top Gear, £180,000 is too cheap.

"I'd like to buy a car  that costs £235,000."

Ah here's another one.  "Dear Top Gear,--£300,000  is too much.

"When will you 'experts' realise I want to spend £235,000?"

"Dear Top Gear, I want to spend £235,000 on a car", etcetera, etcetera.

They all go on  in the same vein.

And that's a gap  that's not been filled  until now.

This is the little scamp.

It's called the Ascari KZ1   and it's a brand-new supercar   that costs...

Yeah, you guessed it.

Now, at first glance, it has all the right ingredients.

-- It's fast, its low,  -- the door count stops at two.

And those humungous side vents mean the engine's where it should be.

In the middle.

So, job done then?

Well, actually, no.

You see, the supercar world  is like an elite club

with just a few  select names in it,

all of which have got  that certain something  that sets them apart.

It's very, very difficult  for a new boy to join  that club.

The first problem is the name.

It should have heritage.

-- It should really date back -- to the Normans.

-- And that's hard  -- when the car's new.

But don't worry, because Ascari isn't just a collection of letters

plucked from the Scrabble bag.  Oh, no.

This is the original Ascari.

He's a man, and a special one.

In the 1950s,   Ascari was the Formula One   world champion twice over.

-- So the name is well chosen -- and as befits the man,

-- the car has got  -- some serious poke.

There we go, 100 miles an hour  from standstill in just  over eight seconds.

-- 60 happened well over  -- four seconds ago

and it's claimed the Ascari   will hit "the supercar   Holy Grail",

of 200 miles an hour.

-- So, it has  -- the required performance

and there are two good reasons for this barn-storming turn of speed.

First up, the engine is this 5-litre

V8 four-way from the BMW M5.

Only, retuned to give 500 bhp.

It's brutal.  It sounds metallic.

-- And secondly there's not much  -- to hold it back.

The body is made  of carbon fibre.

The chassis is made  of carbon fibre.

So it's incredibly light.

In fact, this thundering  great monster  is half a ton lighter

than the McLaren SLR.

-- So, the Ascari  -- has a name with cred

and it boasts the speed   and technical prowess   of a proper supercar.

And there's another thing.

--HAMMOND: The owner,  -- he's an interesting chap,

a mysterious multi-millionaire  called Klaas Zwart.

Now, what image  popped into your mind  when you heard that?

Yes, and his address is  23, The Hollowed Out Volcano.

Bit of a worry, that.

-- Even so, -- he would probably agree

that obscure cars   made in small numbers   on industrial estates

-- are often let down -- by cheap and shabby interiors.

Open the door and you enter  a world of nasty glue  and Ford Escort switching.

Not so in here.

-- All of this switch gear  -- is bespoke to the Ascari.

It's certainly not   a collection of bits   they found in a wheelie bin

-- outside someone else's -- factory gates.

So far, so good.

-- But we're not out  -- of the woods yet

-- because a good supercar  -- has to handle well.

Now the basic car  comes set up for a little bit  of under steer,

that's a bit safer.

Because Klaas Zwart,

I think, rightly observes  that people's driving skill

doesn't necessarily  increase with  their wallet size.

As demonstrated here   by Britain's premier   supermarket ribbon cutter.

In the main though,   this is a very easy   supercar to drive.

There is no traction control,  nothing electronic.

In fact, the only thing keeping me on the track

right now,  it's certainly not talent.

Its grip.

Just unbelievable grip!

How is it staying?

I should be over there!  How am I still on the track?

I'll do it again. Turning...

I'm like, being an idiot now.

Now, right now, I should be  in those trees

where my eardrums  have gone, but no.

On top of that,   the steering talks to you   like it should

-- and the ride is, -- for a supercar, superb.

You can tell there's a real   depth of engineering   in this car.

So the Ascari has the power,   the handling,   the fit and finish

-- and the technology  -- that all supercars must have.

Surely then, its entrance   into the supercar club   is guaranteed.

Uh, no, sadly.

You see, there's only one name  that's managed to join  the supercar club

in recent years,  and that's the Pagani Zonda,

which did it by being as mad as a brush.

-- The Ascari  -- is just too sensible.

-- It's too much  -- the engineer's car.

What they should have done  is let the engineers do  their thing

and then give it over  to a 10-year-old kid

with a bag of felt tips  to finish it off.

You know, draw a few fins and guns on it. All that sort of thing.

Because that's  the whole point of supercars.

Inside every supercar buyer,

no matter how many  petrochemical companies  they own,

there is a 10-year-old kid.

-- It's kids' stuff.  -- It's obvious.


-Very good.  -Thank you.

Very, very good. But...

I have to point out  that you did forget one very,  very important factor.


It's British.

Well, I mean  it's named after  an Italian racing driver.

Uh, the company that built these is owned by a Dutchman

and it has a German engine.

I know, but it was engineered  in Britain and it's built  in Bambury.

And if you look  in your road atlas,

I think you'll find  that's in Surrey.


-BOTH: Oxfordshire. -Yeah anyway...


The other point  I was gonna make  is that if you look

at all these supercars  at the top  of our power board here,

you will see that it is utterly dominated by Italians,

Germans, Americans...

The Swedes, for Pete's sake!

-Oh, that's true. That's true.  -(AUDIENCE LAUGHS)

So, this is in fact  quite an opportunity for us

to get a British car up there  towards the top of the board.

I mean obviously,  I don't think it needs to go

too high up the power board there.

Maybe to about there would be fine.

-Any higher and it's just  a waste, if you ask me. Um...  -(AUDIENCE LAUGHS)

This is clearly a matter of national importance,

and so, uh, we're not  being biased.

But if you take a look  at our race track as it is  at the moment

you'll see  it's a little bit damp,  a bit moist, so...

We'll maybe let it dry out  a bit and we'll do the lap in this car later on.

Okay, the news.

Ever since BMW announced the new Mini,

you know,  about four years ago,  something like that.

They've been saying,  "Oh there's going  to be loads

"of really exciting wild  and whacky versions of it."

We'll do like a Mini flatbed pick-up

and a Mini cement mixer  and a fire engine

and one of those things  for getting into aeroplanes.

All based on the Mini.

Well, they've finally got  around and done it.

A Mini new version,  and it is...

...a Mini Estate, which isn't...


-CLARKSON: Marvellous.  -...isn't quite as exciting  as we'd hoped.

But, what do you reckon  they've done?

It's a German car,  French engine, of course.

But they decided  to make it British.

They wanted  to give it something  quintessentially British.

So what do you think  they've given it?

-That just says...  -A blow-up Queen?

-No.  -A Beefeater?

-No.  -Edward Fox.

-MAN: A hearse?  -Uh, a what?

-MAN: A hearse.  -A hearse?


No, what they've done  is fit it with...

...some teaspoons and teabags.


-That's it. That's it.  -That sort of thing  really annoys me.

We should do  a car that's  quintessentially German.

-We'll just replace the spoons  with little sausages...  -CLARKSON: No, no.


Build in trafficators  that go like that.


A sat-nav  that only goes to Poland.

(IN GERMAN ACCENT) Und ein fan belt that will last for a thousand years!


No, I don't think so.

Now, this is very important.

Suzuki, I think,  may have come up

with a car to replace  our reasonably priced car.

You know our beloved Liana. It's very appropriate.

It's small.  It looks a bit cack.  And it's ridiculous.

-Do you want to see it?  -BOTH: Mm.

-Here it is. It's the Suzuki LC. -(ALL LAUGHING)

HAMMOND: Oh, that's not good!  CLARKSON: Did you say  it was called the Elsie?


Oh the LC.

At the Tokyo Motor Show  this year,

they've really got into their stride on names.

For cars, the Japanese.

I've got some here  which I picked out, okay?

-- This is called  -- "Mom's Personal Car".

-That's its actual name! -(ALL LAUGH)

"Mom's Personal Car".  And there's a van, okay?

-You wanna guess  what that's called?  -(ALL LAUGH)

Uh, Dad's Personal Van?

No, you're quiet wrong.  It's actually called  the Vamos Hobio Travel Dog.

-(AUDIENCE LAUGHS)  -That's its name!

-Why didn't we guess?  -(CLARKSON LAUGHS)

And my absolute favourite.

There's a picture of it here,  is the Honda Wonderful  Openhearted Wagon.


-Snappy. -That's great.

And the dog!  Perhaps it's a British  one, though.

They've got the Queen's dog there.

Tell you what though,  best thing about that car  isn't actually the name.

It's the interior.

You'll never guess  what they've fitted it  with inside, okay?

Here it is.


(STAMMERS)I don't know if you  get the dog or if you bring  your own dog.

I'd like to see you get my Great Dane in there.


Ah, right, now.  There's a new motoring  website come out.

It's for homosexuals.


-It's a motoring site  for homosexuals.  -What?

Do you know what they've called it?

MAN: Top Queer?  CLARKSON: No.

-Not Top Queer. -(CROWD LAUGHS)

-(AUDIENCE APPLAUDS)  -Though that's very good.

-Very good.  -CLARKSON: That's better than  what they've come up with.

It is actually better.

They've actually called it...  We got it here.

Top Gayer.


I really like Top Queer--more!

Yeah, we'll set up  a rival one.

The best thing  about this okay?

'Cause I went  and checked this one out...

-Did you? -Yeah.

The editor is called Rich.

-Oh, come on, it's not...  -(AUDIENCE LAUGHS)

-It's not a rare name!  -He's put a CV of himself in.

And he says he lives  in the Cotswolds...

-Well, yeah, I do.  -He's got a 4x4.

Yes, I have but...

(STAMMERING) I'm not moonlighting as the editor of a gay website, okay?

He's got a dog.

Yes, I've... (STAMMERING)

-Look, it's not me!  -He's had his teeth whitened.

-I haven't!  -(AUDIENCE LAUGHS)

I have not had  my teeth whitened.

What, they've just  become white?

In the same way that yours  have gone green!


It just happens to your teeth.


Anyway, listen,

if you are a homosexual  and you want to know about..., write to  Richard Hammond...

(AUDIENCE LAUGHS) Suspiciously Neat House,  Dog Lane, the Cotswolds.

HAMMOND: Thank you.

Hey, liberal democrats have got it in for us.

Um, they've actually summoned  you, have they not,

to the House of Commons  to answer questions

-about our attitude  to climate change. -CLARKSON: Yeah.

And I'm not going  because they'll just put  a custard pie in my face.


They do. That's what they do!

If you say  that I don't really think

that man is contributing  all that much  to climate change

you get a lemon meringue in your fizzog.

That's what they do  when they summon.

-Boof. Right in the face.  -Not this time.

They're serious.  It's all down to this  MP Tom Brake.

-He's their shadow Transport Minister... -No, he isn't.

-He is. He's the shadow...  -He isn't the shadow.  He's the shadow of a shadow.

He's not really there.  He's meaningless.

Look, look, well,  either way, he has tabled  an early day motion.

-And that...  -A what?

An early day motion.

I don't want to see  a Liberal Democrat's  early day motion.


-Oh, it'll be all leaf mulch.  -Oh!

I don't want to see that!

Why, don't you invite  him to one of your  early day motions?


"Come in, Mr Brake. Sit down.  Make yourself comfortable..."

Make it two hours.

That's terrible.

Hey, hey, hey, hey.

Hey. Now, the other day, okay,  I was driving along behind  a BMW Z4, roof down,

bloke driving along, okay?

And he had a bit  of a comb-over. Okay?

Now as he accelerated  onto the M40,  his speed built up.


HAMMOND: Oh, he got lift-off?

Yeah, he got lift off. Now he's thinking, "I look like Tom Selleck in this car."

It's kind of like a pedal bin.

Puts his foot down  on the pedal... (WHOOSHING)

-(AUDIENCE LAUGHS) -Anyhow gave me an idea, okay?

I thought, "Wonder if the Z4 is particularly bad for that."

What would be the best sports car convertible

if you've got a bit of a Charlton going on there?

-Good question. -So we are looking for volunteers.

-(AUDIENCE LAUGHS)  -If you've got a comb over

and you'd like to know  which sports car is best,  get in touch with us please.

And I'm being serious.  No, silly addresses.

It's BBC Top Gear,  201 Wood Lane,  London, W12 7TS.

Mark your envelope "I've got a bit of a Charlton."


Oh, now, most important car  to be launched

while we were off the air  was, of course,

the brand-new  baby Aston Martin V8 Vantage.

Now, this is supposed  to be the small, tight,  hard Aston Martin.

So obviously,  we needed somewhere  fairly special to test it.

Somewhere with no speed limits for a kick off.

So that'll be the Isle of Man, then.

Pretty, isn't it?

And loud.

We did a test the other day   and found that you could   hear that thing

from two miles away.


-- There's no need to phone  -- your wife

to tell her   you're coming home.   She'll know.

The strange thing is though,

that when you're driving along normally, it's not noisy at all.

It's only when you  bury your foot deep

into the carpet that you get  the heavy machine-gun noises.


-(ENGINE ROARS) -Oh, exciting!

That is a great soundtrack,   but then it does have   quite a lot to shout about.

The grip, the steering,   the whole feel of the thing   is just magical.

It's much harder than the DB9.

Much more pointy and aggressive.


Oh, yeah!

Oh, yeah!

You can have fun with this!

Thing is though,   unlike most sports cars   of this type,

it's comfortable as well.

-- And would you look  -- at that interior.

-- Yes, I don't like -- the way it says

-- "power, beauty and soul",  -- every time you turn it on.

-- And yes, some of the fixtures  -- and fittings are from Volvo.

But overall, it's fantastic.

Though not quite   as fantastic it must   be said as the exterior.

God, it's a good-looking car!

So, it's beautiful.

It sounds great.

It handles like a dream   and above all,   it's an Aston Martin.

Which means it comes   as standard with half   a hundred weight

of pomp and circumstance.

At this point then,  you're probably expecting  me to cue the Elgar

and disappear off into those

heavy, leaden skies  on a wave of national pride  and exhaust noise.



Afraid not. You see,   this car does have   one slight problem...

That. It starts out in life  as a Jaguar V8.

Then it's taken  to Aston Martin's  engine plant in Germany,

where it's upped  from 4.2 to 4.3 litres,  and that's fine.

A 4.3 litre V8 in a small car made from aluminium

and helium.

Sure, you get 380 bhp,

so you can go from nought to 60 in under five seconds,

and on to a top speed of 186.

The thing is, though,  it doesn't feel that fast.

You drop a cog on the big,  heavy, manly gearbox,

put your foot down,  the noise comes and you're  expecting Armageddon.

But it never really comes.

-- I'm not gonna call it slow,  -- that would be ridiculous,

but it's not... Ugh!


It's not as fast  as I was hoping it would be.

Agh! Ugh!

That means this car   has to wade into battle   with slightly damp powder.

Which is a problem,  because for the same money,  look what you can now buy.

The new BMW M6.

What they've done   to create this, is take   a rakish 6-Series,

-- and garnish it with the V10  -- engine from an M5.

And the result is, uh, startling!

In that Aston,  you get 380 bhp,  in this 501!

It is immensely powerful.

Stamp on the accelerator  and it's like you have  stepped on a bomb!

I'm doing a 140 mph.

It feels like  I'm just toying with it.

-- And it's not just the power.  -- It's light too.

-- The suspension  -- is nearly all aluminium.

The roof is carbon-fibre,  and that alone saves 45kg.

And it's very, very clever.

The onboard computer  monitors the position  of the accelerator pedal

200 times a second.

It can make 200 million calculations a second!

It's got seven gears.

I mean, any more  and it would be  a mountain bike.

In terms of acceleration,  right up to its  limited top speed of 155 mph,

it's got the Aston Martin  not just beaten,

but smashed.

-It's not as pretty as the Aston, though, is it? -Oh, no.

No, but I mean it's imposing.  It's got presence.  Just 'cause it's big!

The other problem  you've got with it

is no-one will ever let you out of a side turning if you've got a car like that.

-What, an 80-grand BMW?  -Yes.

They'll just pretend  you don't exist,

whereas with the Aston,  "Come on through!"

Yes, that's true.

It is fast, though.

Well, you say that.

It is. nought to 60,  4.7 seconds.

I'd like to see you do that.

-Well, that's what they say...  -Nought to 60 in 4.7 seconds,  you go and try it.

-Go on. Up that hill.  -All right.

I'd go and make a cup of tea if I were you, because this may take a while.


Right, so hang on.  I've got my diff.

I've got to set up  my differential.

CLARKSON: Three settings.  HAMMOND: Yeah.

-I want "sport".  -That's the one.

Uh, DSC, directional,  that's my traction control.

-Traction control, you want that off.  -Yeah.

"Power."  You're gonna need power.

-Whatever it is, just push it.  -Right.

Now, gear change ferocity...

-For crying out loud.  -There are six or seven  settings on that.

-You want full...  -I want fastest.

-Quickly.  -I've got it...  There's a lot to do.

-The clock's ticking,  here, man!  -I've got it on fastest.

-How many bhp has it got?  -501.

Nope, 400.

-It's...  -It's got 400 now. You have to  tell it you want 501.

Why would you...  So it's turned down?  Why would you turn it down?

I don't know.  Anyway, you've got to  go into the I-drive.


-Right.  -Into the computer.

HAMMOND: Yeah.  CLARKSON: "Vehicle Settings".

HAMMOND: Got... Got it.

CLARKSON: Now,  there's a sub-menu  in there. Reset to default.

Whoa, whoa! Go back  down again. "Power".

HAMMOND: Right, so 400...  "500 Sport,"

which is somehow  better than 500...

So far, it's taken him  three and a half minutes to go  from nought to 60!

And he hasn't actually,  technically left nought yet!

EDC Sport,  DSC in M Dynamic Mode,  SMG Drivelogic S,

but with five or six.

Right, I've done it.

It's gone foggy.

So, the Aston Martin  is a thing of beauty,

but it's not actually  that fast.

The BMW is rather vulgar.

It goes like hell,  but only if you  can get it going.

So now, to make this a little bit more complicated,

here's a third contender.

--JAMES MAY: You see, -- for the last 40 years,

-- the 911 has been -- the yardstick.

This is the measure  by which all sports coupes  have to be judged.

It's a combination of things   that make this car   such an absolute jewel.

I mean, it's got the power and the torque and the traction

and all that   sports car-y stuff,   but it's much more than that.

It's something about  the way it feels.

It's a real, living thing.  It's very, very difficult  to explain,

but once it gets  under your skin,

you've had it.

I love these things.

And I'm Captain Slow.

-- Now, Jeremy thinks  -- that Porsche's designers

-- are some of the laziest  -- in the world.

But I think this is   the prettiest 911   we've seen for a long time.

-- It's certainly  -- the most luxurious.

And because Porsche   have been building them   for over 40 years,

-- the 911 is as reliable  -- as a wood-burning stove.

So this then, is a car  that you can use  every single day.

But, unlike other   everyday cars, this will   amaze you every day.

It will thrill you every day.

And how's this  for a trump card?

-- The Aston and the BMW  -- are £80,000, but the 911?


CLARKSON: Mmm, tricky one.

-- Three cars and one  -- decision to reach.

-- So, that night, we went out  -- to catch our supper

-- and see if we could arrive -- at any worthwhile conclusions.

You guys are never gonna catch anything with sand eels.

You're on a spinner.  You'll catch nothing  but kelp with that, mate.

Look, shall we talk  about the cars a bit?

(SNIFFS) Yeah, 'cause I've got  a very big point to make.


You know they design  these cars, cars like that  for people who play golf?

More people fish

than, uh, play golf.

Yeah, but your average fisher

isn't going to be buying  an Aston Martin,  are they, probably?

Paxman fishes.

Chris Tarrant fishes.

HAMMOND: All right, well,  there are some exceptions.

Jeremy Paxman may want  one of those cars.

And I think he's gonna  have to have the BMW,

'cause in that you can get  a winter ram and two  boxes of mackerel.

I reckon in the Porsche, you'd  struggle, you wouldn't get  a lobster pot in, would you?

You can fold the back seats  down and put your lobster  pot in there.

HAMMOND: You don't want  a lobster pot inside!  They're gonna smell!

CLARKSON: Have you smelt a lobster pot?

-No.  -HAMMOND:  That's a stupid idea.

MAY: Look at that.  CLARKSON: He's sweet!

Look at him, he's like a dog,  only with no legs.

Do you reckon the BM's cool?

-No.  -No.

Too nerdy.

No, I was thinking, honestly,  I think that  there's a coolness.

You just have that sense  that anyone who  knows about cars,

will go, "That's an M6.  That's very cool."

HAMMOND: Yeah. You'll get  sort of a knowing nod,  won't you?

Eat my fish!

You know, the Aston?

-It's a footballer's car.  -It is.

-There's quite a lot of badge  going on in there.  -There's lot of badge.

-Yes!  -You don't fish  like that, James.

-You don't yank it!  -That was his strike!

-You'll pull its head off!  -No, I won't.

HAMMOND: Well,  he's gonna eat it.

-No, he's caught a...  -Fish!

He's caught a rass.

Did you see the way he did it?  It was like, "I've got one!"  Whoosh!

-(HAMMOND LAUGHING) -You could get it into the deep-freezer!

-Where's the freezer?  -Oh!

There it is! In!

CLARKSON: Plainly, we were never going to solve this tonight,

-- and anyway, all the fish  -- had gone to sleep.

Uh, we'll pick  that up later on,

but now it's time to put a star in our Reasonably Priced Car.

Uh, in a recent episode  of his TV series,   Waking the Dead,

he was driving a Lexus  and he hit a goose.

Unfortunately, it was  the actress, Claire Goose,  and she was killed.

-(AUDIENCE LAUGHS)  -So, let's see if his  driving's improved.

Ladies and gentlemen,  please welcome Trevor Eve.


-How are you? -Fine.

So good of you to come down.

-Have yourself a seat.  -Thank you.

I actually like to think of Top Gear

now really as just a warm-up for Waking the Dead.

-For us, yeah. You go on, and... -Yeah.

-'Cause you're on in a bit.  -Yep. We are.

It's not like  any police station  I've ever been in.

No, we're all  dressed in Armani.

-(LAUGHTER)  -Exactly.

And the doors do that Star Trek...--(EXHALES)

Yeah, but they don't really. There's a guy on a rope going like this!


It is. It is all  very beautifully lit,

and I've noticed every window's got a Venetian blind in front of it.

-Immaculately positioned.  -Yeah.

Um, but of course...  Well, yeah, it's obviously  a far cry, isn't it,

-from where you really made  your name in Shoestring?  -Yeah.

And Children of a Lesser God.

-That was a great film.  -Thank you.

-No, really, it was.  You had to learn to sign.  -I did, six months.

Forgotten most of it. But I  went to New York to learn  American sign language, yeah.

(STAMMERING) That must be... I'd love to be able to do sign language.

'Cause mainly  for talking to my wife  at dinner parties.

-(AUDIENCE LAUGHS)  -So, how do you do,  "Can we go home now,

"'cause I'm bored to death?"

-Well, that's "boring".  -Is that boring?


Now, you see we've told everyone, it's not going to work!

-(AUDIENCE LAUGHS)  -The next dinner party  I'm at...

Is there... What's that?  There's one which is  like that, isn't it?

-Uh...  -That's bull (BLEEP).


Isn't that bull (BLEEP)?

Well, that is, but they've  got great variations for  (BLEEP), you know?

"You're full of (BLEEP)."

"You're full of (BLEEP)."

They have... That's if you're a stuck-up, constipated (BLEEP).

But if you're  a sort of (BLEEP) who's  just a, sort of, (BLEEP),

the diarrhoea-ridden  (BLEEP) you want.


How do you say, "Can you get  that heap of (BLEEP)  out of the middle lane?"


Oh, dear!

-You spent some time  in the States, didn't you?  -I did. Yes.

Were you there when they had that earthquake?

-The '93, '94? Yes, I was.  -Yeah.

When it knocked down  that 16-lane freeway.

Broken, completely smashed,  four weeks later, repaired.

-You see Battersea Bridge  the other night?  -I know.

A barge bumped into it!  Yeah. A barge bumped into it!  It's closed for five months!

There's a picture of  the guy in the paper,  and he's smiling!

There are businesses  gone bankrupt  south of the river

-'cause no one can get there.  -No one can get there.

But it said it's gonna  be closed for five months  while we repair.

Except for buses!

I know.  The buses go over, I know.

How can a bus  be lighter than my...

Why do we all pay attention to these cones that are there?

Why don't we just throw the cones out of the way and drive over?

What are they gonna do?

I know. That's a good idea.

That's a...

People of Battersea,  you've been told what to do.  Cones in the river and...

We're so obedient, aren't we?  "There's a cone." "Oh, no!"


It does, it drives me.

I could not believe  when I saw the small  amount of damage that...

-"Oh, well, that's it,  close it for five months."  -Yeah.

Um, anyway, cars.

-Cars!  -Cars, okay.

-Now, in the States,  Mustangs, that's fine.  -Yes.

-Back here, Porsche 911, turbos, I think. -Yes.

-Good. -Just sold it.

Come on,  lamb to the slaughter, go on.

-It's all gone wrong,  hasn't it?  -Yes, it's all wrong.

'Cause you've got,  now, a Bentley...

Continental GT.  Your favourite car.

And your other  favourite car...

-Porsche. -Cayenne Turbo.


-Fat-boy cars.  -I would just like to say,

outside, there is a car parked  that belongs to Jeremy,

and it is a Mercedes SLK  shopping trolley.


Gotta say, the people in the office have started calling it the SL-Gay.

-Well...  -You, obviously,  know nothing about cars,

because your Bentley's  a Volkswagen.

It's only the block of the engine was a VW thing, that's the only thing.

-That car...  -And the four-wheel  drive system.

Which was designed  in 1997, before they  took it over in 2000,

-so the basis of it is...  -A Volkswagen!

It's hand-built at Crewe.

What bit of it is hand-built?

-The engine...  -The engine comes  from Volkswagen!

The block comes from there!

The rest of it's built.  The car, the interior...

You've been listening  to the salesman.

-I have! Who else  do I listen to?  -Me!

-They nail that... -But you've got an SLK!


Why would I listen to you?  You know nothing about cars!

I've got a machine.  You've got...


Did you all just hear that? "You know nothing about cars."

Why have you just bought a Toyota Prius?

Ha-ha! Get out of that  and stay fashionable.

So when I go somewhere, that I'm...

You know, where people might know where I'm going,

I can be a hypocritical celebrity.

They are. Have you noticed  how many celebs  have bought these things?

But the other thing... Yes, you have.

...but if you get a big car, like a 6-litre, you can buy a tree.

You can do a carbon exchange  programme with your car.

So, it costs,  If you do 2,000 miles  in a Bentley,

it costs you a tree a year.

Which is fair enough.

So, what're you gonna  do with your Prius?

Well, on the carbon exchange  base, I don't have to buy the  tree 'cause I've got a Prius.

You're never gonna  drive it, are you?

Just gonna go places  in America and say,

"Well, you know,  I've got a Toyota Prius"?

Same as Christian Slater,  who also has a Pontiac GTO.

Yeah, well, they all do, don't they?

-Paul Newman. -He's got one?

He's got a Prius!  He has a race team!

He has a Volvo with  a 400-brake horsepower,  Cosworth V8,

and says, "I drive a Prius".

It's, honest to God...  You know, Prince Charles...

(IMITATING PRINCE CHARLES)  "Uh, we must do more  for the environment."


...he's got an Audi A8 Quattro, several Range Rovers...

-And a Bentley!  -...a V8 Vantage,  and a Bentley, and a Prius.

(IMITATING PRINCE CHARLES)  "Yes, well, I drive a..."

He alone is responsible  for the mild autumn  we've been having.

Jut all by himself!

Anyway, let's find out  how good you are at driving.

-How did it go out there?  -Oh, I had a great time.

You had a great time?

Would anybody here  like to see Trevor's,

well, I think third  practice lap, it was.

Who'd like to see that?

Okay, play the tape.  Here we go!

Bound to be coming up  to the second-last corner,

'cause that's where  everybody goes off,  but no one as fast as that!




That was the most ambitious  entry speed to a corner  I've ever seen!

-Yeah.  -I think we've got a picture  of what the car looked like,

when you'd finished with it. There it is.


Who'd like to see the actual lap?

Yeah? Play the tape.  Here we go.


-So, not put off in any way  then, by the accident?  -No!

CLARKSON:   Now, that's The Stig's line   through that first corner.

The Formula One people   that come down   do it differently,

-- but he's adamant -- that's quicker.

EVE: Oh, really? CLARKSON: Yep.

-- And, ooh, eating -- your own face!

That's okay, and Chicago.

-- Ooh, yes, now  -- that's very good.

-- Have you ever done  -- anything like this before?

Kind of, but  not for many years.

CLARKSON: Into the Hammerhead, tricky one. Are you gonna be aggressive?

-- The Stig did say you were. -- Yes.


-- You saw the cameraman  -- recoiling there.

Yes, he ran off the camera!

CLARKSON: Follow through.

-- That's what I like to hear,  -- no lift at all.

-- And then through -- the tyre wall.

It's good fun, that bit.


CLARKSON: That's slightly more realistic. You made it that time.

-- -Just Gambon to go.  ---(TYRES SCREECH)

And across the line.  There we are!  He's made it!



I went into (BLEEP)  fifth again! (BLEEP)


So, quite a competitive soul,

I'm suspecting.

What gave you that idea?

Go on then.  Where do you think?

Um, I've no idea.

'Cause I was... I...

You've no idea? Ready?

One minute

forty-eight seconds dead.

So, that's right up there.


Now, the thing is,

Stig said you could have gone  a hell of a lot faster.

-Yes.  -We could have been looking  at an all-time record today.


But the car didn't...

Well, shall we  see what happened?

-Yeah.  -Here we go.



CLARKSON: How about that?


According to those who were  witnessing what we call,  "Doing a Lionel",

'cause the same thing happened  to Lionel Richie,

that was up for a late 1.46, 1.47 lap,

so that would have  been the quickest.

-But, uh, it didn't happen.  -Ah, well.

I'd like to come back and go round it in something like a 997 or...

Well, there's  one here, actually.

I know. They wouldn't let me near it after that!

No, I mean, were you okay?  You weren't injured,

you're not going to sue  in any way, shape or form?

No, it's fine.  He's great, The Stig.

This anonymous man  who was just fantastic.  I had a great afternoon.

Yeah, and the great thing is we can cut back now to the picture.

Let's just see  if that tyre is still going.


-- There it is, look.  -- And still going.

This is how we've   managed to work out   how fast you were going,

it was 183 miles an hour!

That's now just outside  Edinburgh, that tyre.

He's better than Jimmy Carr  by miles.

There you are. That's official. It's on record.

Ladies and gentlemen,  Trevor Eve!

Thank you!



Now, earlier on,  it was raining  on our test track,

and as we wanted to send  this British supercar round,

we thought we'd give it chance to dry out

so that this would have  a sporting, fighting chance  of doing something good.

And I'm delighted to say  it has dried out.

Yes! So now it is time to put our tamed driver in the Ascari.

Some say his skin has the texture of a dolphin's,

and that wherever you are  in the world, if you tune  your radio to 88.4,

you can actually  hear his thoughts.

All we know is  he's called The Stig.

HAMMOND: Okay, and away he goes for Queen and country!

Although, of course,   many do believe The Stig   was actually born in space.

The track is a little damp   in places, still,   most of it drying nicely.

-- Down to the first corner.  -- Hard on the brakes!

-- Turning. Lots of tyre squeal.  -- That's a worry.


Ah, now, I should explain, The Stig has developed a strange obsession

with Baroque classics.

-- Chicago now.  -- Rather slow on the way in.

-- But giving it the beans  -- on the way out. Good boy!

-- Hammerhead now.  -- A big jittery on the braking.

This could show up   the Ascari's   natural understeer...

-- But, no, holding  -- it together nicely!

-- And kicking the tail out  -- on the exit.


I have to say, it's not looking supercar-quick so far.

-- Should see a bit of speed here -- on the follow-through, though.

Up towards the tyres next.

-- Oh, yes!  -- That is extremely quick!

Just two corners to go now.

Can the Ascari claim a place   for the nation at the   business end of our board?

Taking it easy   for a damp patch.   Back on the power.

Gambon now. Come on, Stiggy!

And the time is... Are you ready for this?

This is for the nation, this is very important.


Which is astonishing.  Look at that. It goes...


Number five!

The fifth-fastest car on our board is a British supercar.

That makes up for Tim Henman,  doesn't it?

Okay, what I've got here  are the results of  the Top Gear--survey.

Now, this is the biggest motoring survey

ever undertaken in the civilised world.

76,000 of you wrote in  to tell us what your  cars are like to own.

I'm going to start  at the bottom.  That's more interesting.

Uh, so, third from bottom,

in 157th place, from France,  it's the Renault Espace.

-(CROWD JEERS)  -Okay, second from bottom,

from France,  it's the Peugeot 307.

-(CROWD JEERS)  -And in last place,

the least satisfying car  that you can own,

from France, the Peugeot 807.  Yes!


Oh, no, don't clap. I really wouldn't clap.

Obviously, we did contact Peugeot and they were going to send one to us

but then we think they must have guessed why we wanted one here

and they said, "No, overnight  it had an accident".

So we've replaced it  with this bucket  of horse manure.


'Cause that's kind  of what it's like, really.

-Yeah.  -And that's the thing, really,  about this survey.

We can tell you what a car is like to drive.

And the 807 is like that to drive.

It is, absolutely.

Um, but, you have to tell us,  kind of,  what they're like to own.

Precisely. Hang on...

I've just noticed something here.

Of the bottom 13 cars in this survey,

-10 of them are French.  -Oh!

-10?  -10.

That's probably why  they're burning  so many in Paris.


You'll probably find  they're just catching fire  by themselves.

That's what it's all about.

Of the three in the bottom 13  that aren't French,

we've got the  Mercedes M-Class,

the Fiat Stilo,  and the Rover 25.

According to people  who own them,

the dealers have  just disappeared.

If you ring the factory, the phone just rings and rings

and no one picks it up,  you know.

-That's just rude.  -It is just rude.

Come on, Rover,  buck your ideas up. Really.

Answer the phone.  We should look at the other  end of the scale, really.

-The good cars.  -Yup.

The top three. In third place,  the third-best to own is

from Japan, the Lexus RX.

In second place,  from Japan, the Lexus IS.

And in first place, the best car you can buy and own in Britain today,

from Japan, it is...

Is it by any happy chance  the Honda S2000?

-Yes, it is!  -Yes!

The car that Jeremy's  constantly saying

is the best sports car is the winner.

I've been banging on  about that for years, about  that's the best sports car.

And now, you've proved me right.

It doesn't say it's the best sports car. It says it's the most reliable.

Exactly. Who buys a sports car  to be...


All right, fortunately,  I'm not able to show you

what it says on this piece of paper.

But it's the new way  I've got for stopping  them talking rubbish.

So, there we are,  the Honda S2000 is the  best car that you can buy.

Now, anyone here got any cars  they wanna know where  they came in the survey?

-The what? Sorry, who said what? -Daewoo Matiz.

-The Daewoo Matiz was... -MAY: 131st.

131st most satisfying car  in Britain today!

Not only that, it's rubbish!  You haven't got...  Have you really got a Matiz?

Hold on a minute,  I've just got to come  and meet the man.

-You've got a Daewoo Matiz?  -I did have a Matiz.

Do you want to know  what that failed on?

-CLARKSON: What?  -Everything.

Everything. Handling, engine,  reliability, customer...

Every single aspect...  Colour, the lot!

-Was that your  experience of it?  -It was good.

It wasn't. It wasn't.  76,000 people  disagree with you.

How do you feel now?  Right. Anyone else?

MAN: C-Class Mercedes

-C-Class Mercedes?  -I don't need to look.  I bet it comes very low down.

-115th. 115th.  Has it been rubbish?  -No, superb.

-A satisfied  Mercedes customer?  -A superb vehicle.

In the immortal words of  Basil Fawlty, "We ought to  have him stuffed".

That failed out on,  again, everything.  Reliability, engine, gearbox,

the electrics, the customer service, comfort, practicality.

-The customer service is poor. -Finally! We're getting there.

-So, it's poor?  -Yeah, poor.

But you don't mind that.  How much did you spend on it?

-25,000.  -£25,000! You get  poor customer service

and you say it's excellent.

Anyone else?

-WOMAN: Jaguar X-Type. -You just look up Mondeo, it's exactly the same.

-Thanks.  -(LAUGHTER)


41? Was that good?  Has yours been good?

Yeah. It's only about a month old. Brilliant.

They aren't bad, actually.

I do like the four-wheel  drive estate. Have you got  one of those?


-Have you?  -Yes. I did have.

Damn! I was rather  hoping you'd say no.

If you want to see where your car has come on the survey,

it's on the Internet.  But unfortunately,  due to the unique way

the BBC is funded and organised,

it's not on our website.

This is slightly awkward.  It's a commercial thing.

But put it this way, if you went to Google,

and let's say you put in,  I don't know, "Top",

maybe "Gear",  and perhaps "survey",

-you'd find it quite easily.  -CLARKSON: You'd find it.

We just can't say  what the name of it is.  And I'm sorry about that.

Anyway, if you do that,  you'll be able to find out

whether the car you're  planning on buying  is good or French.


Anyway, earlier on,  we were on the Isle of Man  with the Porsche 911,

the BMW M6, and the new baby Aston Martin.

Yes, and we'd established that the Porsche was brilliant to drive

but useless  for fishing tackle,

the BMW was insanely fast  but stupidly complicated,

and the Aston Martin was the loudest and the prettiest,

but certainly  not the quickest.

So, all we got to do now  is find a winner.

CLARKSON: So, the BMW M6,   how would it stack up   to the Aston I drove earlier?

There is a lot to not like  about the BMW.

The grotesque carbon-fibre dashboard,

the enormous steering wheel,

and the fact that  this one is the colour  of a vet's forearm.

But there is an awful lot  to like as well.

It is a very good GT car.  It's quiet, it's comfortable,

it's spacious and, as Hammond was saying,

it is biblically fast!

This is so quick!


I'd become used to  impulse power in the Aston,

now I've got warp drive.


This may come  as a surprise to you,  but in many ways,

I prefer this to the Aston.

HAMMOND: I, meanwhile,   was falling in love   with the Porsche.

Now, I know the engine has always been in the wrong place in the 911,

but that's just made Porsche work harder to refine it, to hone it,

to make it good.

And now, it really is  very, very good.

This is not just about  how many brake horsepower  you've got.

It's how many of them  you can actually use.

And the 911 makes such good use of every single one of its horsepower.

It's... It's brilliant.

Do you know,  I prefer this to the BMW?

Now, I've just stepped straight from the 911 into the Aston Martin,

and, I have to say,  there's a good sense  of theatre in here.

There's that fabulous noise. This is an event.

--MAY: But as a sports coupe,  -- I'm not so sure.

-- I'm not so sure  -- it's as good as the Porsche.

To help us make up our minds   about which of these cars   was best,

-- we decided to bring  -- some science to the party.

We found ourselves a stretch of mountain road and hatched a plan.

-- Hammond was dispatched  -- to set up phase one.

Hi. Is that the Transport Minister?

Yes. Hello. Now, you know the  main road that links the east  and west sides of the island?

Could you close it for us  for an entire day?

Yes. Thank you.  Thanks very much.


MAY: With that settled, Jeremy went to the airport to pick up a special delivery.

So now we can settle this   properly with some   against-the-clock testing.

Oddly, though, Hammond had already come up with a winner.

I reckon the Porsche could win this.

Apart from anything else,  it's got the carbon-ceramic  brake option.

Yeah, it costs five grand,

but all four weigh less  than one steel brake disc

and they never fail.  James, you (BLEEP).

CLARKSON: Hammond wasn't   the only one turning nasty.   The weather was, too.

Frankly, what you needed to be fast here was a hull and an outboard motor.

-You done it?  -(HAMMOND CHUCKLES)

Don't laugh!

-HAMMOND: Jeremy's...  -No!

Has James... (LAUGHS)


--CLARKSON: Because this is part -- of the Isle of Man TT course,

there are timing loops   in the road. So, we can   monitor The Stig's progress.

The BMW went first.

-- And what's  -- he listening to in there?


Ah! The Bee Gees, of course,   who were all born   on the Isle of Man!

You can't see anything  up there!

He doesn't see like we see.

He doesn't see the fog.  He just has numbers  coming up in green.

--CLARKSON:  -- With 500-brake horsepower,

-- the BMW, on paper at least,  -- is the fastest car here.

Oh, here he comes!  How he's gonna keep that on the road!

It can be quite  tricky here!


The run time for the BMW was 1.35.875.

CLARKSON: Its average speed was?

MAN: 78.853.

78 miles an hour  was his average speed?  Average?

-That's...  -That's a hairy car.

It hit 130. Top speed.

He was doing 130 down there?

A bike in the dry  is only doing 170 along here.

He can't even see  where he's going.

I'm not gonna see anything  if you keep poking  that in my eyeball.

CLARKSON: Next, the 911.

-Oh, my trousers are so wet. -Pull yourself together. You wimp!


--CLARKSON: This is the least  -- powerful of the three,

-- so it's down to the chassis  -- to make up the difference.


-So, he's got to get  that 911 round Black Heart?  -Yes.

Very tight left-hander.

I should explain, it is raining.

-Here he comes.  -That's fast.

That's quick.

Oh, yes! What was it?

MAN: 1.29.9.

That's six seconds faster.  Average speed of 84?

So, the Porsche's got  140-brake horsepower  less than a BMW.

But that's just down to how  it puts that power down.

You know, the other thing  it's got? Fantastic brakes.

It's true.  The BMW did cook its brakes.

-But now is the big test,  of course.  -Yes.

-'Cause now it's the Aston.  The reason we're here.  -Yes.

Traditionally, what should an Aston do now?

-Break down.  -Break down, yes!




-380 horsepower.  -So this is the middle  in terms of power.

CLARKSON:   Aston tested this car   endlessly at the Nurburgring

because they were determined   it was going to be   faster than the 911.


So, how will it fare here?

At least James's  umbrella's working.

Oh, thank goodness.


-Here it comes.  -You can hear him.

We're all stepping back!

Oh, that is such a good noise.

Oh, that was quick as well.

MAN: 1.35.8.

It's exactly the same  as the BM.

Average speed,  78 miles an hour.

Exactly the same as the BM.

So, what's all that power  doing in a BM?

-It's just throwing it away!  -You can't use it! Exactly!

It's using it  to drive computers.

-So the Porsche really is... -Better.

A long way ahead.

Do you know what I think  we should do now?

-BOTH: Go inside.  -Go inside.

Go inside.

CLARKSON: That night,   while gorging ourselves   on the fish we'd caught,

we discussed the findings.

Your fishing didn't go well, did it?

It wasn't brilliant, if I'm honest.

So, that Porsche  is six seconds faster  than the other two.

HAMMOND: Yes. Over a short distance.

Over a short distance. And that's interesting,

'cause that's the one car  I wouldn't have.

Now, that is interesting, 'cause that's the one car  I would actually have.

You're mad.  They're 40 years old!

-Come on, move on!  -No! Hang on!

The whole point of that car is  it's got German engineering

and character and personality.

-- Nothing else feels like a 911  -- to drive, does it?

I can't drive it in public.  People see you.

-MAY: I don't think  that's true any more.  -It just is.

No, it isn't. Because the 911  has become, as everything  else around it has become,

much more bling and showy.  The 911 has become  understated.

-(CLARKSON SIGHS)  -What would you have, then?


I have had a day where I've  vacillated more about this  than anything else.

"Get the BMW. I can't not  have this power in my life."

-You don't like it?  -Not in a million years, no.

The biggest problem  with the M6? The M5. What?

It's cheaper.  It's got four doors,  four proper seats.

-It's £20,000 cheaper.  -It's 20...

-Well, there you go.  -I know, but it's...

The whole point of a coupe  is looks.

I know what that's like,  comparing the M6 and the M5,

it's like comparing  Ralf Schumacher and  Michael Schumacher.

Which is better-looking? Hmm...

But the 6, every time I saw  one of you two driving, I was,  "God, it does look good".

But if you're looking  for a sports coupe,

-Aston.  -HAMMOND: Rubbish! I'm not...


I tell you what the Aston is,  it's an immense disappointment  every time I drove it.

It feels big. It feels  cumbersome. The interior  feels nasty, frankly.

-Inside...  -Beautiful!

What's coming next year? The Jaguar XK.

And traditionally, the Jaguar  that follows the Aston  is always a better car.

-All the way back to the '50s.  -Precisely.

--CLARKSON: Maybe I should  -- switch and have the BM again.

Talk me out of it, boys.

The carbon-fibre dash,  come on!

-And the carbon-fibre roof.  -And the carbon-fibre roof.

And the gearbox.  It is a computer.

I don't like  the computer stuff.

No! I'm not going... I love the BMW so much!

But the one I really love  is the M5 not the M6.  That's the one I'd have.

We're not doing saloons,  we're doing coupes,  and that'd be Aston, still.

And you'd have the Porsche.

HAMMOND: Every morning, I'd look at the Aston and feel a faint disappointment

-- that it isn't the car  -- I thought it was going to be.

And I'd look at the 911 and think, "My God, not only is it the best to drive

"and the best built,  it's now pretty."

What would happen is  you'd look out the window,  if you've got a 911,

you'd go, "Someone's poured  paint stripper on it again!"

-So it's you then, matey boy.  -(MAY GROANS)

If I was walking  towards the dealerships  with my own money,

at the last minute I'd think,  "Oh!" and I'd veer off  and buy the 911.

Yeah! It's two against one.  Let's imagine this  is a democracy.

It's a more clever choice,  it's finally  a beautiful-looking car.

CLARKSON: It's won. It's  the Top Gear--sports coupe.  I'm not going to deny that.

I mean, you're wrong.  For God's sake, if you're  watching this, don't buy one.

But it's won.

HAMMOND: By a majority verdict of two to one, here is your winner,

the Porsche 911.


Not a word!

Do not say a word. You lost.

I promise I'm not  going to say a thing.

Nothing. You lost fair and square, okay.

In fact,  I love this car so much,

I came back from there  and I actually ordered one.

-Yep, he did.  And I've got a Boxster.  -Yep.

So you've both  bought Porsches?

-Yes. -Yeah.

(CHUCKLES)  Well, on that bombshell,  ladies and gentlemen,

it's time to end.

See you again next week. Good night.