Top Gear (2002–…): Season 7, Episode 2 - Episode #7.2 - full transcript

Jeremy road tests the new Porsche Cayman. Richard explains the history of British racing green. James and Richard play with life-size radio-controlled cars that is based on real life cars. ...

JEREMY CLARKSON:   Tonight, the best toys   in the whole world.

A car made on Memory Lane,

-- and Audi's new RS4 races  -- a thin man up a thick cliff.

Hello and welcome to the show.

And we start this week  pretty much where we  left off last week.

With Porsche.

They've just introduced  this new car,  and I've been driving it.

--CLARKSON: It's called  -- the Cayman,

-- and I know  -- what you're thinking.

-- You're thinking, -- "That's not a new car.

-- "It's just a Boxster  -- with a roof."

You have got a point.

It's got the same dashboard as the Boxster,

it's got the same mid-engined,

two-seat layout as the Boxster.

It is just a Boxster coupe.

They should have called it  the Coxster.

Now, I should explain  at the outset that this car  is...rubbish, I'm afraid.


There are many things  I'd rather be doing

than driving this, including  waiting for Bernard Manning

to come off the stage in a sweaty night club

and then licking his back clean.

Sorry, I'm really  only saying this

because the director  who's shooting the film today

has actually ordered a Coxster  as a sort of investment.

His little face!

He's so worried!

He's so worried I'm gonna  be mean about it!

Annoyingly, actually,  it does have some good points.

-- And the best point of all  -- is the sat-nav.

Look at that.

Doesn't just tell you  where you're going.

It also tells you where  all the traffic jams are.

And I went and checked  this morning.

It's right.

It's brilliant!

-- The next good point  -- is that it's a hoot to drive.

If you drive it  like a heffalump,

then it sort of responds  like a heffalump.

There's lots of very boring  but very safe understeer.

However, if you drive  this thing well,  if you really concentrate,

you just want to  get round the corner  as fast as possible,

then it's as crisp  as a frosty morning.



Chuck it in.

Mach starts to come out,   if you just hold it   on the power.

You can't argue with that.


And the engine's not bad either,

especially when it goes past 5,000 RPM.

Ooh, yes!

All the way to  a top speed of...

171 miles an hour!

The only dynamic criticisms  I have really are the brakes,

which are a bit...

Mushy, really.

And the gearbox, chiefly because when you put it

in what you think is first  at the lights,

it's really easy to actually  hit reverse sort of backwards.

That's the one.

-- Over all, though,  -- I have to say

it's a fine adrenaline pump.

-- But then, this particular car  -- does have one or two options.

-- There's adaptive dampers  -- for £1,030,

a Sport Chrono Package   with better throttle response   and a stopwatch for £507.

19-inch wheels, £1,260.

-- Fade-free ceramic brakes,  -- £5,350.

And so it goes on.

The rear windscreen wiper,  £230.

Metallic paint, £540.

The excellent satellite  navigation system, £1,800.

-- So, if you buy a basic car -- for £44,000,

what exactly are you getting?

Well, you get two boots,

-- one in the front  -- and one in the back.

-- You get some carpets  -- and, uh...

-- Oh, to improve visibility  -- in bad weather,

-- the Coxster's side windows  -- are said to be hydrophobic.

I think that means  they've got rabies.

You also get a little rear spoiler that comes up at 75 miles an hour,

-- which should help the police  -- with their enquiries.

-- The biggest problem, though,  -- is not the price.

It's the feel of the thing.

It's technically brilliant.

It's kind of like an Airbus.

It's an engineering marvel.

But there's no sense  of passion.

There's something else, too.

This is a chart showing  details of the current  Porsche sports car range.

As you can see,  the Cayman fits in  the middle perfectly.

Rather too perfectly.

I mean, look.  Engine, 3.2 in a Boxster.

3.6 in a 911. 3.4.

Power, 276, 321, 291.

Same story with torque,  same story with top speed,

even the price,  bang in the middle.


Yeah, right!

-- You get the impression -- the engineers

-- could have made -- the Coxster faster and better,

but they weren't allowed to,

because then it would have been faster and better than the 911.

So the Coxster, then, isn't quite as good as it could have been.

I couldn't live with that.

I like to think  that a car has been designed

to be as good as it can be,

not just to fill a gap in the market.

Another thing I couldn't live with is the styling.

I realise of course  that beauty is in the eye  of the beholder.

I mean, I, for instance, find  Esther Rantzen attractive.

But I'm struggling  to think of anyone

who'll look at the Coxster  and go, "Yes!

"That is a masterpiece!"

-- The back's just too long. -- Looks like a kangaroo.

And I'm sorry,   but if you're going   to have one of these things,

you really...--(BLEEPING)


Ooh. Director's not very  pleased with you, is he?

No, but I've got no time for people who buy cars

as an investment,  hoping that they'll  be a waiting list.

There's not going to be  a waiting list for that,  is there, after that?

No, after that film,  probably not.

And there's another thing  as well, he ordered his  without satellite navigation.

Who's gonna buy a £50,000 car  that doesn't have  sat-nav on it?

Do you know why he  ordered it without sat-nav?

-Because he's an idiot? -No.

It's because that's what  I told him to do.


So between us then,  we've pretty much ruined him,

and that means he's gonna  end up driving it himself,

and that's gonna be even worse.

Uh, why?

I'll tell you why,  'cause it's nowhere near  as nice to drive as a Boxster.

It just isn't as delicate.

And if you pull up  at the lights  next to someone in a 911,

it's like going to the urinals  next to a horse.


Ooh! I don't wanna  look at that!

I'm embarrassed!

-Shall we see what  it does on the track?  -Yeah, good idea.

We'll hand it over to our  tame racing driver.

Some say that he has  no understanding of clouds

and that his earwax  tastes like Turkish delight.


All we know is  he's called The Stig.

Okay, he's off in a cloud   of smoke there   with a boot-full of power.

-- Now, there are small patches  -- of wet on the straight there,

but the rest of the track   is pretty dry,   so no excuses on that front.

-- Barrelling into  -- the first corner...

-- Oh, he's already  -- getting it sideways!

Come on, Stig, steady on!

Drifting nicely on the exit.


Ah, right.   Yes, Stig continuing   his new obsession

-- with Baroque classics.  -- Bit of Bach there.

-- Chicago, nicely poised -- on the way in,

-- but look at that  -- rear tyre smoking!

That is 'cause the Coxster doesn't have a limited slip diff.

Porsche won't fit one because   it'd make the car faster   cross-country than a 911.

-- Stig told me the car really  -- suffers for it.

-- Still, he's looking  -- neat round there.


-- Radio 3 listeners  -- will recognise this

as the concerto   for harpsichord and strings,   Number 7.

-- More wistful, I think, -- than Number 6.

Now, coming up   to follow through,   let's see how fast it is.

Pretty quick.

Two corners left.

-- Getting rather bobby -- under braking.

This car doesn't have the fade-proof ceramic brake option.

That could hurt the time.

Into Gambon.

-- Oh, getting very sideways! -- And across the line.

He did it!

He did it in one minute, 26.7.

So it goes...




In front of a Corvette.

Interesting you should  have made a space, actually,

because I reckon,  if you'd sent a 911

and a Boxster around as well,

-the 911 would have gone  about there...  -Yeah.

...and the Boxster,  I don't know, about there.

CLARKSON: Yeah, exactly right.  I'm just looking at this.

1.26, that's what it's worth!  (CHUCKLES)


Now, uh, on average,

every year, four people  crash into my garden.


That's more than  the national average.

-It is, you're right.  -Not many people have that

many people crash  into their front garden.

It gets worse. This week, two.

-Two in a week. -HAMMOND: In one week?

Two in a week.

And I think the problem  is they know I live there,

and they're sort of, "Way-hey! Look at me!"

And the problem is...  Can I just explain this?

I have been  driven round Fiorano

in a Ferrari by Michael Schumacher.

That was impressive.

Watching a Vauxhall Nova  bouncing across  my front lawn


doesn't float my boat.

There's a perfectly simple  explanation for this.

You bought a house  on a tight bend. Didn't you?

What have you been doing for the last 15 years?

Driving round tight bends  on television,  going, "Power!"


Then you're surprised  when you wake up

and there's a Peugeot 106  in your potting shed.

-I wouldn't be.  -That's a good...

Thank you, James,  for that one.

Um... Oh, now, Volvo has  introduced a new convertible.

Uh, we've got  a picture of it here.

-There you are. -Yeah, these things start from £27,000 up to 33.

-- This is the T5 version. It's  -- got a 220-brake horsepower,

-- 5-cylinder,  -- turbocharged engine.

--CLARKSON: Best thing,  -- though, is this roof.

-- Because look, they've been -- to IKEA, haven't they?

-- -That's a flat-packed roof.  ---(AUDIENCE LAUGHS)

-- You can tell it's Swedish. -- That's very good.

Uh, now, yes, the Alfa Romeo Brera. Remember that?

It was in the studio  last series.

You two were getting a bit  tumescent about it?

-Oh, it's fab. The Brera... It's just a fab car. -HAMMOND: Beautiful!

Quite a nice-looking car.  I've got some more details.

Let's have a look at it first.  There you are, very pretty.

2.2-litre version.

The price will be £25,000.

CLARKSON: That's a lot. JAMES MAY: It is a lot.

That's £3,000 more  than a Mazda RX-8.

Naught to 60...

-8.6 seconds.  -That's a lot, too.

That's slow, he means.

In fact, it's the same  as a 1976 Rover.

-You still want one?  -(AUDIENCE LAUGHS)

Yes, I do!

Well, it's like Cameron Diaz, isn't it?

We know that  she's a vegetarian.

We know she's  a committed eco-mentalist.

Would you say no?

-No.  -You might.


That is Cameron Diaz  with wheels on, that is.


Have you seen this?

There's a survey  out this week, okay,

that says 25% of British men

would rather be a passenger  in a car with Jeremy Clarkson  than with Angelina Jolie.

Oh, for God's sake!


-What?  -Let's have a look at

Ms Jolie, so we can see  what we're on about here.

HAMMOND: The world  has gone mad!

-You're with me, aren't you?  -Yes, Jeremy.


CLARKSON: He'd rather  have me than her.

-Quite possibly.  -I put that wrong.

I'd have guessed that.  Look at him.

Now, listen, 25% of British men,

I have been in a car  with Jeremy Clarkson.

To be honest, I haven't been  in a car with Angelina Jolie,

but I'm prepared to take a punt

than Angelina Jolie  is the better option.


Hey, now, Smart, you know  their little plastic cars?

They're in serious  trouble financially.

They're bringing down Mercedes and Chrysler,

they're joint owners  of them.

But it doesn't matter  because they've got a new car,  and here it is!

Oh, everything's okay.

CLARKSON: Everything's okay.

-Now take it away  and bring Angelina back.  -That's better.


If Smart made that,  their financial problems  would be over.

"We've launched a new car.  It's called the Angelina."


Now, we get literally,  no letters a week,  every week,

from people saying,  "Look, I want to go to work

"but I want to leave a trail  of blue and red smoke

"in my wake while I'm going along."

Yes, it's not easy  if you can't afford  a Red Arrow

or if you have no ability to fly one.

However, help is now at hand  from Japan.

Where they've come out  with these.

These tyres, they say,  if you spin them,  will emit coloured smoke.


Yeah. Now, the thing was  is that this morning  to test this out

we bolted some of those tyres  to the back of a TVR,

put The Stig in it,  and this is what happened.

-- There he is, look,  -- and away he goes!


CLARKSON: Now, we are told...

HAMMOND:   That's like a Red Arrow.  CLARKSON: It is.

We are told that these tyres   do affect handling   and performance somewhat,

-- -and braking.  ---(AUDIENCE LAUGHS)

HAMMOND: Oh, yeah,   but what a way   to arrive at work!

--CLARKSON:  -- And look at The Stig.

-- He's sort of enjoying  -- himself in there.

Look at him.

MAY: That's a happy Stig.

--CLARKSON: "I'm a Red Arrow.  -- I'm not a Stig.

"Look at me."



It's a happy Stig.

They're about 200 quid a pop,  aren't they? 200 quid.

So if you want to do that,  there you go.

They could use those  when they need a new Pope.

-What, have  the coloured smoke in there?  -Yeah, up the chimney.

What, so you get some little Italian pikey in his Fiat Uno

in a fireplace  somewhere in the Vatican,

"Is he ready yet?" "Right, now..."



-Now put Angelina back. -Hmm.

Now, there is some  talk at the moment about the BBC

dumbing down.


So, we're gonna try and do  something about that.

Sorry, mate.

So do be warned that this  next item may contain  some information.

--HAMMOND: Today, -- France is blue.

Germany is silver.

And Italy is, of course, red.

Every major motor   racing country   has its own national colour.

Ours is British racing green.

-- And this is the story  -- of how it all came about.

Our green connection starts  bizarrely with an American

called Gordon Bennett, a rich  newspaper baron from New York.

And we can be pretty sure  that the newspaper he ran  wasn't the Socialist Worker,

because he once set fire  to a large roll of money

complaining it wouldn't  fit in his pocket.

But Bennett also organised some of the world's first Grand Prix.

-- These were road races which  -- pitted nation against nation.

And for the 1903 event,

-- each country was told  -- to choose a national colour.

The French picked blue,  the Italians black,  and the Belgians yellow.

And the British, well,   we were actually due   to host the race that year,

-- but because Parliament had  -- set the national speed limit

at a giddy 12 miles an hour,

-- we switched the location  -- to Ireland.

And there, as a mark  of respect to our Irish hosts,

the British cars  were painted green.

As you can see from this rare archive.

-- Ah! Uh... -- Yes, sorry about that.

-- Anyway, look,  -- here's the proof.

This is a 1903 Napier,

-- the very car that raced  -- for Britain in that event.

-- It's a priceless  -- 102-year-old car

-- that's capable of  -- 80 miles an hour.

But that's not what matters,  what matters is

this is the very genesis  of British racing green.

And then from there,  things sort of  jumped around a bit.

The Italians nicked red from America.

Meanwhile the Germans,  they switched to silver,

ditching white,  which went to Japan.

Meanwhile, us Brits,  well, we stuck to our guns.

We stuck to good old green.

-- There was never  -- one particular shade.

The 1930's Bentley Blowers   of Le Mans fame, for example,   used a rich, dark tone.

The colour is known  as Brunswick green

and it can trace its roots  back to 18th-century  British riflemen.

You know, Sharpe,  Sean Bean, all that lot.

-- And in the Bentley's wake  -- came Astons,

Coopers, Lotuses,

Sunbeams and Jags.

-- Everywhere you looked, -- it was a sea of green.

But if this story  has made you all nostalgic

and in the mood for a piece of that history,

I've got some good news.

It may not look like it   but this is Britain's   newest sports car.

-- It's a Vanwall,  -- or more specifically,

-- a recreation  -- of the Vanwall F1 car

-- that won the 1958  -- World Championship.

I'm driving  a 1950s Formula One car.

Whoo! (LAUGHS)

As you can see, though,   this one is completely   road legal.

And as you can also see,

it really blends in.

Oh! Sorry!


-- But even though it's got  -- the 1950s heritage,

-- it shouldn't have  -- the 1950s headaches.

So underneath this Brylcreem  and Bill Haley exterior,

it's got a Jag XJS V12.

It's got Jag suspension.  And it's got brakes

that aren't made out of  old nylons and bits  of Messerschmitt.

-- I mean, yeah, it's a bit  -- twitchy around the back end,

-- but 6-litre V12 on the car -- weighs less than a ton.

Come on, what do you expect?

It's loud, it's brutal,  it's mad! (YELLS)

-- Things calm down a bit, -- though, when you take a moment

-- to appreciate the sheer level  -- of craftsmanship.

Fibreglass? I don't think so!

-- The whole body is hand-rolled  -- aluminium plate.

-- And it's stitched together -- so beautifully

-- that the entire thing -- looks like one piece of metal.

Not all of this car was designed on Memory Lane, though.

-- There are some fantastic  -- modern touches, too.

-- Like these cunning  -- tyre-tread mudguards

and these--Flash Gordon  -- projector headlights.

-- It's all handmade by a little  -- company in Peterborough.

-- And I suppose you think it's  -- going to be very expensive.

Well, it is.

-- It starts at about 50 grand,  -- which is TVR Sagaris money.

But the Sagaris just can't  create this much sensation.


Listen to that massive V12 sucking away through those  six downdraught carbs.


What a fantastic way  to mark 102 years  of British racing green!



I tell you what.

I do like those.

Oh, great. It's a £50,000  hand-built aluminium replica

of a 1950s race car

-and you like the mudguards  because they look like tyres.  -I do.

-The thing is, you know  that new A1 race series?  -Oh, yes, yes.

That's nation versus nation,  so why aren't they racing  with national colours?

Well, let's think. There are  25 nations competing.

There aren't enough colours to go round.

Ah, I see your point.

Because Japan's got white,  so we'd have Cyprus going,

"No, it's white  with a hint of apricot".

-Exactly. -Yeah.

And Ethiopia, "That's white with a hint of apple".

Um, anyway, nice car.  Now we must move on

and put a star  in our Reasonably Priced Car.

I should explain, at this point,

I don't know anything about football, at all.

But I'm told that  when my guest tonight

used to play  for Arsenal United...


...he scored more home runs,  than anybody else.

Let's meet him.

Ladies and gentlemen,  Ian Wrong... Wright!


CLARKSON: Hello, mate.

-Good to see you.  -How are you doing?

-Very well. How about you?  -Welcome.

Ian Wright is here.

Have you been doing some painting?

No, but it's fashion,  something that you might get  involved with at some stage,

-I'm not sure.  -(AUDIENCE LAUGHS)

I'm over that curve now  into the part of my life  where I don't care.

-Now, normally when...  -I can see that,  to be honest, Jeremy.

No, I'm only joking. I'm only taking the mickey.

You're not joking.  No, I'm rubbish.

Uh, first to admit it.  And the other thing  I'm rubbish at is football.

Normally, you get a guest on,

an actor, you go see the play  before they come out

or if they've written a book,  you do that.

I can't just go out  and play a game of football.

Looking at the shape of your body...


Get a shot of that.

Your legs look  out of proportion  with the top half.

What are you saying here?

Your head's really quite big  for a footballer.

But, I don't know, you didn't  play football as a kid?

No. No. Because they said,  "You want to play football

"or do you want  to have detention?"

"Detention, thanks."

"Detention is warm  and I can read a book

"as opposed to very big boys  kicking me in the side  of the head."


-Whereas you've been playing  since you were...  -Eight.

But you were late coming  to the professional game, weren't you?

22, yeah.

Because it didn't happen for  me through my teenage years,

my adolescence.  It was...

I was running with the guys,  having some fun.

And then it came to a stage where I had to actually

find out if I was going to  earn some money  for the rest of my life.

I had to concentrate  on doing something,

so I tried to do plastering and I was really bad.

I can see.

You've got it all over your trousers.

One thing I do know about  football is, footballers,

on the whole,  tend to buy quite bad cars.

Manchester United, have you seen the cars they buy?

'Cause they must be on, what,  90, 100 quid a week, that lot.


They can afford a decent set of wheels.

I mean, why would a footballer  buy a Lincoln Navigator?

Becks is the first person  I saw with  a Lincoln Navigator.

And, I don't know,  it's just kind of like  a fashion thing.

John Oshea?

-O'Shea. O'Shea.  -Him.


He's got a Lincoln Navigator.

And so has...

Oh, no, Philip Neville.

He's got a Cadillac Escalade.

And then... Oh, Ryan Giggs, he's got a lot of cars.

And then...  Oh, wait a minute.  Wes Brown?

-Uh-huh?  -Lincoln Navigator.

It's almost like they're  deliberately choosing

the worst car  that you could possibly buy.

Well, I don't know,  I suppose... I don't know.  I can't say anything,

because my son's actually got  a Lincoln Navigator as well!


You've always been a car fan,  haven't you?

Ever since you were a wee lad.

You know, I think it was... And this isn't a joke. This actually happened.

I got run over by an MGB GT.

-(SNIGGERS) Oh, I love those!  -Yes.

But afterwards, when people told me what it was,

I just loved the sound  of the MG.


So after you'd been  run over by the MG

and thought,  "That's a nice sound  of my bones breaking there",

what happened after that to foster the car love?

When I was 17, I bought  my first car. A Vauxhall Viva.

I got into quite a lot  of trouble with that.

It cost me £60 so you can  imagine what it looked like.

And... I didn't have no tax  and no insurance and no MOT.

And I used to drive around  with my mates in it,

five or six of us coming back  on a Saturday night,

smoke coming out the windows and...



I've got...

And the police would  stop you and you say,  "Why they picking on us?"

You know what I mean?

But it was literally like that  and in the end, it's funny,

because when I actually had to spend some time

at Her Majesty's pleasure for a week, it was for car offences

because I kept getting  stopped by the police,  I kept not producing

because I didn't have  nothing to produce and...

They didn't seem to grasp that.

I said, "What's the point  of coming out to  produce anything?

"I haven't got anything."

And in the end, I did...  Once I got a job,

I went after about three and a half years, four years,

of keeping getting stopped  to pay some fine,

and when I went to pay  the fine, they said,

"Could you just wait there  a second, please?"

And then two policemen  just came from nowhere and I got arrested.

And that was it. A week  in Chelmsford Prison.

Oh, nice.  Mind you, I tell you what,

I once saw you at a petrol  station in South London,

-a few years ago.  -Yes.

And I'd have locked you up  for what you were  driving then.

It was a DB7 with the worst body kit I've ever...

That was the  Alfred Dunhill kit.

Because the DB7,  the only...

Well, not the only good thing,  but it was the best thing  about it,

-was it was beautiful.  -It didn't need  all that skirting stuff.

And after driving it  and seeing it on the drive  for a few days,

you just think, "What the...  What the hell have they  done to that?"


Because we've both done that.

We've both done  the Ferrari thing.  You did the 355.

That is the best Ferrari.

It was... I mean,  the steering wheel  was a bit...

-But it was such...  -Absolutely awesome.

I ended up getting a Modena,  which was...

-The 360?  That was too twitchy.  -Yeah.

In fact, you found that out,  didn't you, to your cost?

-To my cost.  -We've got a photograph here  of your 360. There it is.

And we just know...  The two words he said  before that happened were,

-"Watch this!"  -(AUDIENCE LAUGHS)

I was actually coming up  a hill slowing down.

And then I took the...

You know the button  you can take off of there?

-Traction control. Yeah.  -Exactly.

What happened was,  I took it off

and I was coming off a hill and I changed down and the back...

I just lost the back.

It just hit the pavement  and that sent me in a spin.

-So you turned the  traction control off?  -Yeah.

That's just... Don't do that!

Yeah, you do,  because that was one of  the most adrenaline-filled

five seconds of my life.


You call that exciting?

When you're finished.  I mean, my first reaction was,  "Let's run! Quick!"

"No, wait! I'm sober!"

But then I realised I am sober

and I have got  all my particulars. So...


Um, anyway, you're here, of course, to do your lap.

How was it out there with The Stig?

The Stig's the man, man!

He's... You know, you can't see him which is really weird,

just talking to a helmet  all the time.

-Which is something... -Richard Hammond talks to my helmet all day long!

He was very patient and, you know,

because I'm a very excitable  guy and I'm right on the edge.

I mean, it was... I think it was really hard for him to try to keep me to...

"Can you just concentrate  for a second?

"Calm down a bit.  Let me explain to you  what you need to do."

You know what I mean?  He's very patient.

And hopefully, you know...  I mean, it went pretty well!

It was so exciting, man!

-You done any track stuff before? -No.

-Never?  -No.

-This is the first time?  -Yeah.

You'd like to see this lap?

ALL: Yeah.

You'd like to see Ian breaking his virginity?

Here we go. Run the tape.


-- I like the wave!  -- That's a new touch.

Come on, Ian, move it!

--CLARKSON:  -- That's pumping it up.

-- That's a hard corner,  -- that one.

WRIGHT: That's the corner I was having problems with all day.

--CLARKSON: That is really hard. -- That's... Oh!



CLARKSON: That's an interesting entry speed there, about 30 miles an hour faster.

--WRIGHT: -- This is the one with...


--CLARKSON: This is...  -- You've been taking tips...

This is wide!

-- That's the widest -- I've ever seen!

(BLEEPS) hell!


CLARKSON: No need to ask   if you lifted there   because the state of this...

Have you actually ever lifted   your foot off the accelerator   at all...

---WRIGHT: No.  -- this point?

-- I've never seen anyone  -- so aggressive ever!

Look at that!


--CLARKSON: I can't believe  -- I'm watching this!

Oh, my God!

I can't watch! Tell me when it's over!


What a lunatic!

You're mad!

You've got to go for it,  Jeremy.

That is...  I've never seen lunacy  like that on the track before!

It's just, to be set free,  to be able to do that legally

is just, for me, you know, like living the dream.

I'm not certain that was legal!

Even Johnny Vegas wasn't that mad

and he hadn't got  a driving licence!

Now that was stunning.

So... Oh! Pooh!

Where do you think

you've come on the board?

I mean, I have to warn you,

there was some  quite wide cornering there.

-I was a bit wide, wasn't I?  -Yeah.

You were quite wide  and quite mad  in some of those corners.

At some point, of course  when you're on two wheels,

you've actually only got  one-wheel drive!

That doesn't help, either.

As long as I'm above  Vinnie Jones,  I'm not bothered.

-Where is Vinnie? I can't...  -Down there. Down there.

There. 1.53.

Miles better than Vinnie!

A one forty...

-Ready? -Yeah. point eight!


Right up there!

Ladies and gentlemen,  Ian Wright!

What a boy!

-Thank you very much. Cheers!  -That was brilliant!

Now, we get a lot of letters  from boffins,

usually about something dreary  like global warming.

But one came in the other week  that was definitely,  well, worth a trip out.

You see, the boffin  in question has been

tinkering with radio-controlled cars,

but not the sort  you might find  under your Christmas tree.

Now, see that car, over there.

-James, if you would, please?  -Right. Ahem.


That is, in fact,

a life-size  radio-controlled car!

-(CRUNCHES)  -Soz, mate!


HAMMOND: The cars work   using an arrangement of solenoids and levers

all held together   with lashings of brain power   from Dr James Brighton

-- and his eggheads  -- from Cranfield University.

Now, these boffins claim   the cars have the same speed   and handling performance

as they would in person mode.

-- So naturally, -- we had to test them out

-- somewhere  -- with plenty of space.

Somewhere where it wouldn't matter if we had a few knocks.

Think of the floor  of this quarry  as a sitting room carpet.

That cliff face,  that's a giant skirting board.

HAMMOND: Our plan was to set ourselves a couple of challenges

-- to see just how good -- the cars were,

or indeed, how bad we were.

-- James organised -- the first test.

Right, what I've devised here  is a sort of  auto-test type thing.

-You start here in this bollard parking space.  -Yes.

Then you have to do  a full circle

around this priceless Ming Dynasty bird bath.

-Nice. -There.

And then you're into the slalom, which is like a slalom.

-You come to a complete stop... -Okay. reverse,  come back out of the garage,  drive over here,

-and then you reverse back to hitch up to the caravan.  -Okay.

In the meantime,  the bloke who's in the back...

-Of the car? -Yeah.

-That you're driving  by remote control?  -Yes.

HAMMOND: Yes, James   had decided that whichever   one of us wasn't driving

would have to be a passenger in the car that was being driven.

But there's a...  No, there's a good reason.

You get out here and you go  sprinting off down there...

Well, I won't.  Obviously, I'll walk.

And there's a big plunger  that you press

and that starts the  demolition ball of death.

All right. What happens  when you press the plunger...

-Of death!  -Of death. this swings backwards and forwards

and the bloke  who's driving the car  has to get through

without being hit  by the ball of death.

You know, I love your course,  but I think you've missed  a trick with that garage.

-What, windows?  -No, something else.

--HAMMOND: Hello, yes. -- We'd like to buy, uh...

Well, everything, please.

Right, Double Jeopardy.  Hit any of this lot  and it's extra points off.

Okay. But can I just point out  that Charles Dickens's head  is already broken off.

-All right.  -So, there's  no points for that.

How did my life bring me to this point, getting into this car driven by him?

Right, Hammond, mate, I'll do my best to be gentle with you,

but obviously, I've got to  make some effort to go quickly  'cause it's against the clock!


Oh, my God!

-Far too wide. -What was that?


Priceless Ming thing!

That was completely wrong.

-(LAUGHING) -HAMMOND: All in all...

You're supposed to miss the mount!

...James wasn't that good.


Sorry, mate!

You are utterly useless!

--HAMMOND: And obviously,  -- I would be so much better!

Oh, that's very weird!


Not very easy, this.

No, drive between  the bollards, you halfwit!

Okay, James, I'm going  to go for the garage now.

He's doing it good. Well done.

Brake, man! Brake!


-No, no! -Sorry!


I've got to get you out  to the caravan, which should  be the work of but a moment.

That'll do. I think  we'll get that hitched up.

HAMMOND: Whilst the caravan   was being hitched up,   James took control

of the plunger of death   which would release   the ball of death.

Okay, here I go.

For the first time in my life, I wanted the caravan to survive!

Plunger of death!

Ball of death!

Yes! Yes!

--MAY: We'd got our eye in  -- with the auto test,

but now it was time   to see if these real-life   radio-controlled cars

were any good at speed.

And to add a bit of jeopardy,   we've brought in   some competition

-- in the form of  -- a 13-year-old girl.

This is Kristy Rosenberg

and she's the Under-15   Remote-Controlled   Car Racing Champion.

Right, for this next task, we gonna try something  a bit more straightforward,

but I think it's gonna be  a lot faster. It's a race.

Basically, it's a big oval.  So along this, straight here,  curve at the bottom,

and then it gets quite tight  on the back straight,  quite narrow there,

round that other end and  up to the start line again.

We'll do three laps,  but then, at the end, there's  a sort of grand finale.

Note over there the ramp,

on the other side of which  is a caravan.

I think you can see  where this is going.

You jump up the ramp,  over the caravan,

and, let's say, 10 points  for whoever goes the furthest.

-Got it?  -MAY: Yeah.


MAY: Now, just so you know,   Richard is driving   the Vauxhall,

Kristy is driving the BMW, and I'm driving the lovely Ford Scorpio.

HAMMOND: This is impossible!

HAMMOND: After just 50 yards,   James brought my race   to an end.

Whoa! What have you done?

You've destroyed my car!

How come your car's  just going round properly?

HAMMOND: She said nothing.

Partly because   she's a teenager, but mostly   because she was busy.


-- Now, that might look like  -- James in the lead,

-- but in truth, Kristy was  -- coming up to lap him.



-Oh! -Overtake him now! Yes!

--HAMMOND:  -- Kristy had a brief scare.

Kristy's going to crash into your car!

--HAMMOND: But was her face  -- bothered? Nope.

-- And then it was a clear run  -- to the jump of death.

--MAN: # Push the tempo  -- Push the tempo #

--HAMMOND: Here she goes. -- Will she clear the cara... No.

-- Never mind. -- Maybe James will clear it. No!


Yeah, well done.


Well, I have to say, though...  Wait a minute.

Now, look. Look.

You two were rubbish!

Ah! Uh, yes.  Well, yes, we were.

Now, I'm afraid, I'm going to relieve myself all over your bonfire,

because I've brought along a radio-controlled car

that has a rather special  party piece.

-Okay. Can it play the piano?  -A bit better than that,  James.

Okay? Can we dim the lights?  Can we just get  the lights down?

Okay. It's over there.  If you look, it is  a Vauxhall Astra VXR.

Here it comes, moving towards us now.

And, uh, if you just watch carefully, you'll note that  it has now taken off.


-It is flying.  -MAY: It's floating!

CLARKSON: No,  it's not floating, James.  It's flying.

And there are no wires either,  before you say that.

It has no wires suspending it.

There is a man  controlling that  with a radio control thing.

MAY: That's amazing!


I mean, have you ever seen  anything like this  in your whole life?

That is a ton of Vauxhall  flying round the studio  over people's heads.

I will explain to you  how it works, okay?

Basically,  it weighs 10 pounds.

Which is about the same  as my Sunday joint.

And it's full of helium and it's got three little fans on it

that make it steer and move about.

HAMMOND: That is incredible!  Is it expensive?


It costs


-pounds!  -(AUDIENCE LAUGHS)

-No, it's 60,000 quid.  -HAMMOND: Really?

CLARKSON: 60,000 quid and worth every penny.

-Ladies and gentlemen,  the flying Vauxhall!  -HAMMOND: That's amazing!


Well, yes, that is...

I will concede, you have  the best radio-controlled car!

-That is amazing.  -It's stunning, isn't it?  It's stunning.

Now, last week,  Jeremy asked you to write in  if you've got a comb-over.

You know,  with your hair like that.

It's for a test we want to do  to see which cabriolets are  best for keeping it in place.

Now, how many people do you think wrote in?

-Ten?  -No.

-20 billion. -Nope!

None! Now, come on!

It's not like we won't notice  unless you volunteer, is it?

You can't "come out"  about a comb-over.

You can't go, "Children, I've got something..."

"We know, Dad.  We know it's a comb-over."


Maybe people don't know  what a comb-over looks like.

No, I've thought of that.  If you're not sure

whether or not you've got a comb-over,

I got some pictures here,  okay? So, if your hair  looks like this,


or this,

just get in touch with us.  If that is you,

or anybody you wanna volunteer  for our test, seriously,  we want to hear from you.

Drop us a line. We want a letter and a picture.

Jeremy, what are you doing?

I'm checking, just to see  if anybody here  has got a comb-over.

No, that's not...

No, I don't think  anyone has actually,  to be honest.

I might have a look around.  No, that's not one.

Oh, look at him.  Did you use to have one?

Well, I had to have something  to cover the back there.

Yeah, I know. Well,  we were paying anything  up to £100 for a comb-over.

You've blown it.  Is that one? No.  It's no good.

I'm afraid we haven't got  anybody, so let's move on.

Um, in the past,  if you wanted to buy a small,  very fast saloon car,

you bought a BMW M3. And why not? Great car.

But now, Audi has launched this.

It's called the RS4  and it costs 50,000 quid.

So, to try and find out why,  I took it to France.

CLARKSON: In the past,   hot Audi A4s have always been   fairly terrible.

Oh, they were beautifully  made, Audis always are,  and they were fast.

But they felt heavy  and lumpen.

A BMW M3,  that was a lemon sorbet.

Fast Audi, more a sort of  turbocharged spotted dick.

You have to say, though,   that this new one   certainly looks the part.

You know how George Bush walks around like that

with his arms out  and his hands backwards.

And Tony Blair  started doing it as well.

Makes you look bigger  and more powerful.

That's what that's doing.

-- And it's not just the outside  -- that's all anabolic, either.

-- Inside,  -- it's even more pumped up.

-- It has the wheel  -- from a Lamborghini,

-- lots of carbon fibre,  -- and look at those seats.

-- You're not going to get -- flung out of those in a hurry.

-- It's not all show -- and no trousers either,

because it has a 4.2-litre V8   which snarls like   a wounded tiger,

and goes like a bat.

I mean, you may have thought  the old BMW M3  was a quick car,

but this is just in  a different league.

414-brake horsepower.


That's 100 more than you got  from the old Beamer! A 100!

That's enough to give a man a whole new hairdo.

-- Naught to 60 is dealt with -- in under five seconds,

-- and naught to 100  -- takes less than 11.

-- But the figures  -- only tell half the story.

I've got a sneaking suspicion  that I'm sitting  about four feet

from one of the greatest  engines ever made.

I mean, it just loves to rev.

That's 8,000 RPM from a V8!

-- And of course, very little  -- of the grunge is wasted,

-- because, like all fast Audis,  -- the RS4 has four-wheel drive.


-- It all sounds wonderful,  -- but there is one small thing.

You see, for as long  as I can remember,

Audi has always  mounted its engines

as far forward as possible,  right up by the headlamps.

And that's great in  an ordinary four-door saloon,

'cause it means there's more space inside for people and things.

But, when you turn that  ordinary four-door saloon  into a hotrod,

mmm, it's not so great.

You don't want it   to be nose-heavy.   You want balance.

You don't want to be driving  along with the equivalent  of a big, dead horse,

nailed to your  radiator grille.

With this one,   the engine's way up front   as usual,

but it's a very light engine.

-- And the front wings  -- are made from aluminium.

-- And most of the power  -- is sent to the back.

-- So, has that solved  -- the problem?

Well, that's why I'm in a gorge in the south of France,

to find out.

We're going to have a race.

It's going to be me  in the car

versus those guys  who are climbers.

This is the route. We're here  and we're racing to there.

Unfortunately, there's no road  along there.

So, I've got to drive along  here, round there along here,  which is

the second-most  demanding road in Europe,  and then up here,

which is the most  demanding road in Europe,

and then along here  to the finish point.

Meanwhile, the climbers  are going up that.

Obviously, we should now  meet the lunatics  who are going to do this.

We got Leo Houlding,  who is widely regarded to be

one of the 20 best climbers ever to have lived.

And he's going to be helped today by Tim Emmett.

-So, this is how tall?  -This one is about 1,200 feet.

How long do you reckon  that would take  a normal climber to climb?

They say  this particular route is...

The standard ascent time  is about six to seven hours.

Six to seven. But you're a speed climber, aren't you?

I reckon we can have it in two hours.

-Two?  -Mmm-hmm. If we're fast  and all goes well.

I've just looked at my route,

and I reckon that's 60 miles.  So if I have reached 30,  that's about two hours.

-Yeah, it should be  a pretty good race, mate.  -It should.

-You fancy a bet? A fiver?  -Why not?

You're on. Fiver.

Best of luck, chaps.  Get cracking.

Off you go, there's no rush.  No rush at all. Best of luck.

CLARKSON: I know that trying   to average 30 miles an hour   doesn't sound like much,

-- but on roads like this,  -- trust me, it's a tall order.

-- Mind you, the climbers had -- an even bigger problem.

-- They were going up  -- with no safety ropes.

He really thinks  he's gonna climb up there  faster than I can get this

to the top.

EMMETT: Go on!

CLARKSON: I mean, Audi made   its name in terrain like this   with the Quattro,

that fire-spitting rally car,

which, incidentally,   also had an engine   in front of the headlamps.

EMMETT: Go on!

The only reason  it won rallies back then

was because it was the only car with four-wheel drive.

And it was racing against  Ford Escorts.

Me, I'm racing against a sinewy, Johnny Depp lookalike.

I'm gonna have that Clarkson,  mate. Spanking him.


--CLARKSON:  -- The first thing you notice,

-- and this isn't strictly  -- relevant right now,

is that this is the first Audi I've ever driven that rides properly.

-- Yes, it's firm,  -- but it's not uncomfortable.

I mean, not compared to  hanging from a bird's nest...

-Go on, Leo. Go on.  -(GRUNTING) your fingernails...


...a million feet above  some pointy boulders,

for example.

HOULDING: Shh! Come on!

Go on!



Go on, Leo!


CLARKSON: A four-wheel drive  with V8 power versus

a man with a 14-inch waist  and a hair band.

Go on, Tim. We're cruising.

Get out of the way!

Go on!

CLARKSON:   The next thing you notice   is how good the steering is.

And that gives you the confidence to really stick it into the bend.

-- And when you do  -- stick it into the bends,

you find that all the nose-heaviness is gone.

-- This car really handles  -- and really goes.


Go on! Go on!

I wonder if our climber  has fallen to his death yet.

The vultures gave me hope.

But it was no good.

Go on, Leo!

All right, come on!

I will not be beaten  by two adrenaline junkies  who call everyone "dude".

-(SCREAMS)  -Come on!

Come on, man, last piece.

Go on!


1.57! I reckon we've got him,  mate. Come on!



Whoo! Come on!


I don't believe that.

-So that was what? One hour...  -HOULDING: 57.

You climbed that in 1.57?

And not even out of breath!

And I was what,  two hours three?

You guys. (CHUCKLES)

Tell you what, though,  this was a laugh,

coming up here in this car,  on this road. So, you up for  a race back down again?

Double or quits  back at the start?

Double or quits. You're on.

See you down there.


V8 power,  four-wheel drive grip,  brilliant build quality.

And 50,000 quid.

It's the bargain of the century.

This isn't just better than  all the old, fast Audis.

This is better than...  Dare I say it?  Better than an M3?

I think it is.

And to help me win the race   back down,   I had gravity on my side.


But unfortunately, so did Leo.

(LAUGHS) All right!  1,200 feet in 20 seconds!

Beat that, Clarkson!


You... You were...

You were completely stuffed!

I was stuffed comprehensively,  you're right.

Yes. And now, look,  are you sure,  because it's a big claim,

that this is better  than an M3?

Yeah. No doubt about it.  It's biblically good.  It really is.

Uh, you're not forgetting  either, there is a new  M3 coming with a V8 engine?

No, I'm not.  But that'll have to come  with a free moon, frankly,

to be better than this. It really will.

So thinking about it,  maybe our director

should have ordered one of these instead of the Cayman.

Yes, 'cause I suspect  there will be  a big waiting list for this.

You know, we put it round  the track this morning  with The Stig driving. Okay?

One twenty-five point...  Something.

It's over a second quicker  than the Cayman.

A second quicker.  A four-door saloon.

And yet, it can be beaten  up and down a mountain  by two thin men.

You're absolutely right,  and I'm glad you  brought that up,

because of course they are here.

A huge round of applause,  please, for Leo Houlding  and Tim Emmett.



What a performance!

It was a hell of a day, wasn't it?


Honestly, that was,  as days go,  it was a good one.

No doubt, yeah.

Actually, I owe you money.

-Cough up. -I do. What was it, a fiver on the way up?

A fiver and the keys  to this thing, wasn't it?

No, that was not mentioned.

So, there you are.  There's your £10.

Don't spend it all  on crystal meth.


On that bombshell,  it's time to end.

Thanks very much for watching.  See you next week. Good night.