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.
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.
-- 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.
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...
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.
-- 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,
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.
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!
-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.
(CLASSICAL MUSIC PLAYING)
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.
(CLASSICAL MUSIC PLAYING)
-- 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.
Two corners left.
-- Getting rather bobby -- under braking.
This car doesn't have the fade-proof ceramic brake option.
That could hurt the time.
-- 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.
-RICHARD HAMMOND: Four? -Four.
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.
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!
-HAMMOND: Oh, look! -(AUDIENCE LAUGHS)
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..."
(IMITATES ENGINE REVVING)
-Now put Angelina back. -Hmm.
Now, there is some talk at the moment about the BBC
-Yep! -(AUDIENCE LAUGHS)
So, we're gonna try and do something about that.
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,
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.
As you can see, though, this one is completely road legal.
And as you can also see,
it really blends in.
-- 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".
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 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?
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.
-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...
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.
-This is the first time? -Yeah.
You'd like to see this lap?
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!
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. -- -...at this point?
-- I've never seen anyone -- so aggressive ever!
Look at that!
-(AUDIENCE EXCLAIMING) -Whoo!
--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'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.
Miles better than Vinnie!
A one forty...
...seven 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.
And then you're into the slalom, which is like a slalom.
-You come to a complete stop... -Okay.
...select 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.
...is 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.
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!
--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.
(AUDIENCE CHEERS AND APPLAUDS)
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?
-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?
-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,
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.
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)
...by your fingernails...
...a million feet above some pointy boulders,
HOULDING: Shh! Come 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!
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.
Ahh! (BREATHING HEAVILY)
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.
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.