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 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?
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.
-(ENGINE REVVING) -RICHARD HAMMOND: For that price,
-- 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.
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.
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.
-(WHISPERS) Oxfordshire. -(AUDIENCE CHUCKLING)
-BOTH: Oxfordshire. -Yeah anyway...
-(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) -Um...
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,
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?
-(AUDIENCE LAUGHS) -It's the LC.
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.
-CLARKSON: Snappy name. -(AUDIENCE LAUGHS)
-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.
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.
if you are a homosexual and you want to know about...
...cars, write to Richard Hammond...
...at 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, no! -(AUDIENCE LAUGHS)
-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.
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?
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.
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.
-- (POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE MARCH--PLAYING)
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
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.
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,
-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.
-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?
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, 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.
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?"
(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)
-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.
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...
(APPLAUSE AND WHISTLING)
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.
-(ENGINE ROARS) -(TYRES SCREECH)
-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,
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?
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!
(APPLAUSE AND CHEERING)
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.
(CLASSICAL MUSIC PLAYING)
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...
(AUDIENCE CHEERS AND APPLAUDS)
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!
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.
-WOMAN: Jaguar X-Type. -You just look up Mondeo, it's exactly the same.
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)
-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?
(POP MUSIC PLAYS)
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?
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.
(POP MUSIC PLAYING)
-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.
Oh, yes! What was it?
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.
(POP MUSIC PLAYING)
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.
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.
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.
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?
(CHUCKLES) Well, on that bombshell, ladies and gentlemen,
it's time to end.
See you again next week. Good night.