Top Gear (2002–…): Season 7, Episode 5 - Episode #7.5 - full transcript
Richard reviews the Marcos TSO GT2. James compares the new 4WD Porsche 911 Carrera 4 to the RWD Porsche 911 Carrera 2 by having the Stig doing a lap in both cars around the indoor exhibition rally track of World Rally Championship at the Millennium Stadium. The boys are having another epic race from Italy to England with Richard and James using a light aircraft (since James has a pilot license) against Jeremy in the Buggati Veyron
--CLARKSON: Tonight, we drive -- the new Bugatti in Italy.
-- We drive the new Bugatti -- in Switzerland and France.
-- And we drive the new Bugatti -- in London.
Hello and yes,
tonight we're having one of our biggest races ever on Top Gear.
But first, we must hand over to our engine correspondent,
--HAMMOND: The small-block -- Chevy V8.
It is a phenomenon.
-- The most popular -- engine of all time.
And now, this amazing workhorse has been given another assignment,
-- to help bring back a famous -- British car name from dead.
This is the TSO GT2.
-- The badge on the front says -- "Marcos."
Now if you're 22 and your idea of an antique is a PlayStation 1,
then that name won't mean a damn thing to you.
But for the more mature viewer
-- this is, frankly, -- a bit of an occasion.
-- For 40 years, men with pencils -- behind their ears turned out
Marcos sports and race cars
until four years ago when the company went bust and shut up shop.
-- As seen in this -- dramatic reconstruction.
But now, Marcos is back!
New car, new light bulbs.
So is this just a fleeting visit? Or are they here to stay?
-- Let's start with -- what we've got.
-- The recipe for this car -- couldn't be simpler.
It's the classic sports car layout of front engine, rear wheel drive,
-- long bonnet and -- a sloping back.
-- It's textbook. It could be -- straight out of the '60s.
These might catch on though,
windows that are electrical.
Inside, it's more of the same. Sort of retro in feel, but with modern touches.
So you've got these quite old-fashion dials and chunky steering wheel,
but then it's all set against this really rather modern, clever dash.
I like it in here. It's a nice place to be.
All these knobs and switches have a bespoke, custom-made feel.
It is quite cramped though.
Even for me.
-- But the looks -- are the easy bit.
This is a £50,000 car,
the same as a TVR Sagaris.
So, it needs to perform.
Well, one thing's for sure,
you won't be wanting for speed.
That old warhorse up front today is chucking out 420 brake horsepower.
And in a car that weighs about as much as a teabag,
that means it's fast!
-- Nought to 60 takes -- 4.8 seconds.
Top speed 170 miles an hour.
-- And when such high speed -- brings you to a corner,
it goes round it.
That is so easy.
Puts me in mind of our old friend the Monaro.
So it's quick, looks right and handles well.
And we could end there. But plenty of cars have speed and can take a corner.
But this has more.
It has a definite character.
-- That, I think, has something -- to do with the new owner.
The optimist in question this time is a Canadian multi-millionaire
-- whose mum was -- born in Lancashire.
He's Mid-Atlantic then,
a man who likes Lancashire hotpot with maple syrup.
But that is a good thing.
-- Because what the Mid-Atlantic -- man has made,
is a Mid-Atlantic muscle car.
That engine up front,
is part of what gives it its distinctive character.
It's lazy, low-revving. Most of the power comes in at about 2,000 rpm.
From 50 miles an hour to 70 takes just two seconds.
So you get American muscle,
but it isn't pushing along some cart-sprung American dragster.
-- No, It's powering a classic, -- light, British sports car.
-- What we have here then is -- the way the world should be.
-- in the safekeeping -- of British hands.
So it's a good car?
Well, it's a lot like an old school TVR, you know,
big simple engine in a small simple car.
Er, that's, um...
That's a tooth-whitening kit!
It's a plant!
-It's a plant! -It was just a theory until a moment ago.
-Anyway, listen. You say it's like a TVR, okay? -(LAUGHING)
Yeah, it is. It's like a TVR.
So, if it is, did it break down?
-Oh, yes! Yes, it did. -Really? How many times?
Oh, several. Yes. It did.
is it going to be able to do a lap of our track?
Well, let's find out, shall we?
It's time to put it in the hands of our tame racing driver.
Some say he can swim seven lengths under water,
and he has webbed buttocks.
All we know is he's called the Stig.
--HAMMOND: Okay, away he goes. -- Loads of wheel spin there.
-- This is a simple car so no -- traction control, of course,
-- just the precise programming -- of Stig's right hind leg.
Down to the first corner, and oh, dear, front wheel locking under braking.
All very slithery, lots of tyre squeal, not a great start.
-- Oh, no! Almost on the grass -- straight away.
(PIANO PLAYING ON RADIO)
-- And yet, Inside, -- all is baroque classic car,
-- with a spot of Schubert's--Trout there.
-- Coming up to Chicago. Looking -- more controlled here. Steady!
Oh, dear! The tail's gone very wide on the exit, there. Hammerhead is next.
-- Locking up under -- braking again!
Stig did say this car really needs better brake balance. And you can see it here.
At least that very loose back end kills any chance of understeer.
-- Very nice. Down to -- Follow Through now.
This is where the Marcos' small-block power should help it to make up some lost time.
-- With all that sideways -- stuff earlier.
-- And yes, -- it's looking very fast.
-- And very fast past the -- tyre wall! Two corners left.
-- Two corners of rampant -- oversteer I suspect.
Now he's wrestled it into shape through there. That is nice work.
Only Gambon left.
Keeping it neat.
And across the line in 1.28.2,
which is pretty good because that means
it's actually faster than a Dodge Viper.
So, it's better than what the Americans can do
when they get hold of an American engine.
Okay, the news. And we're starting tonight
with some Christmas present ideas that we're not interested in.
Absolutely. Here's something I'm not interested in. It is a tie.
It gets worse. It says "Skoda" on it.
-(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) -Ooh.
It's revolting, and that's why it's for you, Jeremy.
-Oh, you got me a present. -Pitiful, yes.
-That's really very unpleasant. -Not as bad as yours.
-Oh, no. I don't want a tie with "Skoda" on it. -Here, have a tie.
There we are. That's got rid of that. What have you got?
Ah, well now, you know parking sensors?
When you can have them fitted to the back bumpers of cars? Have you not tried it?
It's just like a little radar, so as you reverse up to something, it goes
(IMITATES BEEPING) and tells you how close you are so you don't hit it.
Well, there's now a company that's making an after-market version.
'Cause when you have them fitted to a car they're like 300-400 quid, aren't they?
here's an after-market version. This costs 15 quid!
-That's not promising. -What are you going to trust to that?
You see, it is a worry. 15 quid worth of plastic, and you're trusting your car.
Not only that but I looked at this a bit more closely, and it turns out,
you don't attach this to your car.
You attach this to the thing you're parking next to.
-(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) -CLARKSON: Well, how does that work?
Well I don't know! I presume you sort of pull up, um, park,
get out, stick this on what you're parking next to
and then park.
I think it's probably, isn't it for your garage wall
-at home, so you know how close you are to it? -Yeah it is,
but there's another thing. It's battery powered, so at some point,
you are going to come home and the battery will be flat,
and you're going through the wall. That's gonna happen.
-You know those mail order catalogues, yeah? -Yeah.
Well it was "Wave goodbye to the misery of" whatever it is.
You can now wave goodbye to the misery
of putting the wrong type of fuel into your car.
'Cause you know diesel's really quiet now and it's easy to forget.
Well there's a new thing, okay? You open up your petrol filler cap,
light gets in there, when light hits it, ready?
--DEVICE: This vehicle runs -- on diesel fuel.
HAMMOND: What? Every time you open the fuel filler?
Every time you do it. How much do you want this broadcasting across a petrol forecourt?
I'm mean. I'm a tightwad. I've got a diesel! That'll be me.
Does it go on? It didn't even opt for leather, it's a cheap awful...
-(DEVICE BEEPING) -Oh, that's ridiculous.
-That'd drive you insane. -This vehicle runs on diesel fuel.
Insert diesel fuel only.
(CRACKLING ELECTRONIC NOISE)
I think you've made it angry.
Shut it! Shut up!
Does it come with the mallet?
Oh, yeah, that's part of it.
Hey, now, eminent scientists have been busy at work,
and they've announced this week that a cow produces 500 litres
of methane every day.
Just 'cause you've come dressed as a farmer, I don't see why...
Bear with me on this, 'cause I've been doing some maths.
-(LAUGHING) What? -Methane 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide,
okay? As a global warming agent, yeah?
So that means a cow does more global warming than a Range Rover.
Honestly. A Range Rover, 10,000 miles a year, produces less in a day
than a cow farting.
So something's gotta give.
Cows or cars. Gotta be cars.
Uh, no. I think we get rid of the cows and we keep the cars.
No, we've got to get rid of the cars.
-No, we're getting rid of the cows. -(STAMMERING)
No, look. Milk, I can't do without that. Shoes, burgers. -You get cheese, I suppose.
-Eggs. -Not eggs, no, James. You live in...
HAMMOND: There's a man who lives in Hammersmith.
No, no, you're wrong. Eggs come from the milkman.
Yeah, but the milkman doesn't lay them.
Anyway, forget all of that. The thing is,
if you get rid of cars, how are you going to get to work? You can't go to work on a cow.
You can ride a cow.
You can't ride a cow!
You can ride a cow. Can anyone see a flaw in my plan?
-I can! -What?
We'll be out of a job!
-We won't, we'll just call it Top Steer. -Argh!
And we'll have a power board, and we'll have all the different cows
and how fast they can get around our track.
The only drawback I can see are is cattle-grids.
-Oh, yeah. -Cattle-grids are a problem,
and also if it's about to rain,
they'll all lie down. Other than that...
I can't imagine that, the M1 just lined with people all on their cows.
Waiting for it to brighten up before they continue their journey.
What can you do? Wait until a police cow comes along.
I think you're talking nonsense and you've gone a little bit mad.
I have no idea what you two have been talking about for at least five minutes.
Right, that's enough news. We must now get on and answer one of the biggest questions.
Something that's occupied the minds of some of the greatest thinkers in the land.
Just what is the fastest way of getting a truffle,
like this, back from where it grows in northern Italy, to London?
Now obviously, we had to find out by having a race.
Now, normally when we have these races,
Jeremy goes in the car and says "power!" a lot,
and Richard and I will go on a ferry or a train or an airliner or whatever.
But this time it's slightly different,
because I've been learning to fly.
So you see, the scene was set. Okay?
It would be Captain Captain Slow and his Hammond hand luggage,
in a private plane.
Versus me in a car. And we would be racing
from Alba, which is here, just south of Turin in northern Italy
to a restaurant on top of the NatWest Tower here in London.
Now, sit back, 'cause this is a good one.
(MAN ENCOURAGES DOGS IN ITALIAN)
CLARKSON: We began by sending a dog into a wood to find our truffles.
And while he was doing that,
I went to get my car.
(CLASSICAL MUSIC PLAYING)
This is it.
The new £840,000
It's the fastest, most powerful, and most expensive
-- road car the world -- has ever seen.
So you two really think you can beat that, do you?
-Yep. -Well, we've got our truffles. 65 quid, that cost,
for something that looks like a mummified testicle.
-Now we've gotta get them back to London. So, you ready? -Yep.
Confident men. Best of luck. Try not to crash.
See you, uh, see you there.
-Have we really got our own plane? -Yup.
Fantastic! Let's go.
HAMMOND: To get to the airport, we weren't allowed to use a car,
-- so we went for a -- couple of scooters.
This is fast. This is fast!
Never ever, ever experienced anything like this.
You see, this time, because we're using a private plane,
there's no check-in, no queuing, no waiting around.
So this time, we're gonna win. And we're gonna win well!
--CLARKSON: So let's have a -- look at the route.
The Bugatti has got to head north from Alba, round Turin at rush hour,
-- through the Mont Blanc Tunnel -- into France,
across car-hating Switzerland,
back into France, to Calais
-- through the Channel Tunnel -- and up to London.
-- Meanwhile, 633 Squadron have -- to ride to the local airport
and fly to England.
--CLARKSON: This car is like -- nothing I've ever driven.
Nothing I've ever been in,
nothing I even sketched as an eight-year-old in a maths book.
I mean, it has two 4-litre, V8 engines
pulling together to make an 8-litre W16,
and then they gave it four turbo-chargers!
The result is 1,000 brake horsepower.
Forward to victory! (LAUGHING)
It does 0 to 60 in two and a half seconds.
That's, er, now to now.
-Okay, that'll do. -Go!
Sadly, they have had to limit the top speed, to, uh,
252 miles an hour.
That's 370 feet a second.
Hammond and May, you don't have a hope in hell.
HAMMOND: Hang on a second. Is that it?
Well, it's a Cessna 182.
James, it's pathetic. It looks like something a builder would leave behind.
It's not. Honestly, it's a good kite, this.
-(MOBILE RINGING) -CLARKSON: Hello?
He's trying to make me go in the sky in something you see poking out of a skip.
What is it? What's it called?
A Cessna 182, whatever that is.
182 refers to the number of quid it cost, I suspect.
--HAMMOND: And that was -- only the start.
What are you actually doing now? What's happening?
Well, you have to do pre-flight checks.
Make sure the stuff's all working properly.
Well, how long's...
If you're really interested, I'm going to turn on the battery master switch,
and I'm going to check the landing lights, the stall warning vane
the pitot heat and the flap operation...
They're likely to have broken, since it was parked?
Well, you don't know.
What, like, plane-pixies came and nibbled away at all the wires?
How long do these checks take?
-20 minutes? Half an hour? -Not today, mate.
There must be a way of doing this more quickly.
Why don't you shut up, and go do what aeroplane passengers do,
which is sit in the terminal, have a cup of tea, complain how expensive...
You don't go into 7th gear in the Veyron until you're going 215 miles an hour.
And at that speed, the engine is sucking in 10,000 gallons of air every minute.
I swear, he enjoys the checks more than the flying.
Nice, very nice.
-(MOBILE RINGING) -HAMMOND: Hello, how you doing?
If I tell you that I'm already within sight of Mont Blanc...
God, we're really gonna have to get a move on.
James, James, I've just noticed, the wings have come off.
Oh, no, no. They're still on. You can tick those. They're all right.
Yep, that's on. That's on.
These are on, look.
Tyres, are they all up?
Well, I wish this was a late-night programme, 'cause then I could be honest
about what this thing's like.
It's a (MIMICS BEEPING) and it goes like a...
Heaven is a place on Earth!
Because it's been standing overnight, you have to make sure there's no sediment or
-water in the fuel, which would cause... -Is there any sediment or
-water in the fuel? -Well you have to check it like this. I'll show you.
-These are drain points. You use this special cup, -Good good.
-Oh, look, it's clean! -Take a sample out and make sure there's no water in it,
which you would see as a separate layer. See? Clear.
Good. Go. In the sky!
But there are five of these on each side and two under the engine.
Okay, I'm doing 80 miles an hour now, the limit,
and I'm, according to this,
using 50-brake horsepower.
So that's 950 to go.
-Got your seat belt on, Hammond? -Is this more checks?
-No seat belt. Put it on. -Yeah, it's on.
Hello, this is Cessna 182 Golf Bravo X-ray Zulu Mike
request taxi for a VFR flight to Lima Foxtrot Mike Hotel, please.
--MAN ON RADIO: Roger. Line up -- zero-three. Report when ready.
I'm ready to go. Are you happy in the back?
To the skies!
(SWEEPING MUSIC PLAYING)
We're in the air, Hammond!
You love all this, don't you?
I quite like it, yeah.
-- James, we don't seem -- to be going very fast.
-- Well we're doing 80 knots, -- indicated air speed.
-- 80 knots is about -- 85-90 miles an hour?
Yeah, it's not that simple, 'cause we're now at a pressure altitude of nearly 7,000 feet,
-- so you have to consider -- the true air speed.
-- Indicated air speed's -- what you fly on.
-- That's the rate at which the -- air is hitting the aeroplane.
But because it's thinner up here, we're actually going through the air faster...
--CLARKSON: The pre-flight -- checks had taken so long that
-- by the time they'd left -- Italian tarmac,
I was leaving Italy itself.
This is the Mont Blanc tunnel, this is where they had the
terrible fire a couple of years ago.
So now they've got ferocious speed rules in here,
and there's a million speed cameras.
So I'll put it into automatic and relax.
(SWEEPING MUSIC PLAYING)
Should be able to see Mont Blanc behind you, Hammond.
-- -That's Mont Blanc, is it? -- -Yeah.
-- Don't know where Jeremy is -- in relation to that though.
You can't just put your foot down in this thing whenever the mood takes you.
Unlike any other car, you've got to prepare for it.
You've got to think, is there another car within a mile of me?
Is the road smooth?
Is it straight?
Only if you get a yes to all those can you really give it the biff.
Take it through Switzerland, see what they make of it!
(MOCKING SWISS ACCENT) Nein!--It is too noisy, get it out, get it out!
--HAMMOND: While Jeremy -- was thundering over the Alps,
-- James was making my life -- a misery again.
James, why can I see the Med?
Because we couldn't go over the mountains there, I didn't tell you this,
we had to re-route towards Nice and go along the coast a bit, and then we'll head up.
I'm sorry, we, the ones in the aeroplane in this race, can't go over the mountains?
No, mate. Sorry.
So, Jeremy's car can go higher than your aeroplane, as well as faster.
HAMMOND: This was a major blow, because while Jeremy had already cleared the Mont Blanc
tunnel and was steaming towards Switzerland, we were heading southwest,
over the French Riviera.
-- And whichever way you cut it, -- that's the wrong way.
CLARKSON: Yup! Car-friendly Switzerland, and sure enough, they'd sent a welcome party.
-Hammond! -HAMMOND: Hello, how are you doing?
I'm fine, how are you?
We're going the wrong way. We're headed southwest towards Nice right now.
You're heading toward Nice?
We have to go around everything.
Apparently there's a big tree that could be a bit tricky for us.
And, um, yeah...
But no, stop, Richard.
-Did you say you were heading for Nice? - Don't laugh.
-Just don't laugh. -(LAUGHING)
Is your car sounding like it might break down in the next 10 minutes?
No. You've no idea, mate. It's phenomenal! It goes like a (BLEEP)!
So, an update on the race for you. I'm winning. By miles.
-James, I've got no fork! -Yeah, it's not allowed on the flight.
Well it's just as well, because if I had any cutlery right now,
it'd be sticking out of your neck.
(SWISS FOLK MUSIC PLAYING)
--CLARKSON: The slow Swiss A -- roads gave me time to reflect
-- on the Veyron's -- difficult birth.
When the boss of Volkswagen turned round one day and said,
look, we have bought Bugatti,
let's build a car that has 1,000 horsepower and does 400 kilometres an hour.
A lot of people said he was mad.
They were faced with a Herculean task, and what they've created
is something spectacular.
You can't really think of it as a car, you've got to think of it in terms of
Concorde, or the Saturn V rocket
or the SS Great Britain--. It's a huge, giant leap forward!
It is an engineering hammer-blow!
--CLARKSON: Certainly the -- Bugatti is more of an
-- engineering triumph -- than James' plane.
--HAMMOND: -- We've got no bloody forks.
-- Stop whingeing about -- the ruddy in-flight food, man.
And don't jig about, 'cause we're climbing. We're struggling a bit...
I am not jigging! How rubbish is this thing if I can't even lift a chocolate bar
-- to my face without it crashing -- into a mountain?
Even though there are these huge cooling ducts here,
and the engine has no cover at all,
that thing has 10 radiators.
Three to cool the engine itself,
three for the intercoolers, one to do the axle oil,
one to do the engine oil, and one to cool the hydraulic fluid
used to raise that rear spoiler.
It's got more radiators than my house!
--HAMMOND: With Jeremy storming -- through France,
James was preparing yet another lump of disappointment.
-- Hammond, -- we have to stop for fuel.
-- Well, why didn't you -- put more in?
-- Well, I filled it up. -- That's as much as it takes.
-- So we're gonna -- pull over for petrol.
--MAY: Are you familiar with the -- basic principles of flight?
-No. -One of the problems is the aeroplane is heavily loaded.
Is that we need, essentially, more lift, so we have to fly with the wings at
-- a slightly higher -- angle of attack.
CLARKSON: With those two looking for fuel, I was busy using mine up.
That isn't so much a throttle my right foot's on, it's a hyperspace button!
World's going backwards!
Now we're moving. This is fast!
Yeah, comin' at ya.
--CLARKSON: Things were -- looking peachy for the car.
I was storming toward Dijon while the Wright brothers were being refuelled in
-- in Saint Etienne, -- 150 miles behind.
Which wasn't pleasing James.
How do you say, "Stop being such a trade unionist and get on with it"?
One day those guys are going to find a means of transport that's better than a car,
but I don't think today is that day.
Well, we shall continue when we pick that up later on.
And that is not an excuse to switch over and watch Sports Personality of the Year.
-No, because Freddie Flintoff's won that. -Ugh!
Probably shouldn't have said that then, like that.
Well anyway, no need to watch it now.
Now, let's get back to the car. Yes, actually, getting back to this,
why is it such a massive step forward?
OK, I'll tell you why. Part of it is the phenomenal speed.
I mean, you might think it's not that much faster than a McLaren. The F1.
The last fastest car in the world. That did 241.
You put an F1 and this on the line together,
you can let the McLaren get to 120 miles an hour before you set off,
and you'll beat it to 200.
That is how quick it is, okay?
And then there's the fuel consumption. The trivia's just amazing,
but the fuel consumption is my favourite bit.
Flat out, it's got a 100 litre tank. That's £100 to fill it up.
-Flat out, it's all gone in 12 minutes. -HAMMOND: Whoa.
-Twelve minutes! -See, you said the aeroplane was thirsty.
No, and then you've got the brakes, on it, okay?
You can pull it up to a dead stop from 250 miles an hour in 10 seconds!
Mind you, you're still gonna cover some distance in those 10 seconds.
Oh, yeah, you start braking in Hampshire, you'll be through Dorset before you stop...
It is actually five football pitches to stop.
I'm surprised it can't fly!
You're the pilot, you should understand, that's the real genius of it,
is how you keep it on the ground at 250 miles an hour.
I mean, a jumbo is up and off at 150.
This is still down. It actually changes shape the faster you go.
For how long can you actually rave on about this car?
Weeks. Leave me alone. I will talk for the whole show about this stuff.
Well, you can't, you've got to stop. We will pick it up later on
because you've got to meet the guest.
You're right, actually. You may remember last week we had Ellen MacArthur here
and she went to the top of our leader board. Well okay.
There's a chap, gave us a call, said he'd pay us a flying visit
to see if he could beat it, and he probably can,
because he was the Formula 1 world champion
and the American Indycar champion, at the same time.
And he was also Britain's highest-paid sportsman.
And he achieved all this despite being born with a moustache.
Ladies and gentlemen, Nigel Mansell!
How are you?
-I'm very well. How are you? -Have a seat.
What's happened to your face?
It fell off. (LAUGHING)
It just fell off?
It's a go faster stripe.
'Cause I always thought it was interchangeable with your eyebrows.
-You're back! You're back in a racing car. -This is awesome.
-That's what? 650... -About 650 horsepower, upwards of 200 miles an hour.
-So, it's pretty impressive. -Pretty slow compared to the Bugatti, but not bad
-for a race car... -I'll take you on.
-Actually, all right. -(LAUGHING) Not in a straight line though.
Not in a straight line. I was going to say, I can think of a really long runway,
and it's goodbye, Mr Mansell, in that Bugatti. No, I'll have that.
This is the master's thing, yeah?
And the idea is that it's like these Tennis Grand Masters things isn't it?
-A bit quicker, but yeah. -But you get the older guys who used to be on the circuit
-a few years ago, you know what I mean. -(LAUGHING)
So, it's you and Emerson Fittipaldi, and...
Well, you've got Jan Lammers, we got Derek Warwick,
Andrea de Cesaris.
So, it's the whole team. Does the smell of Ralgex hang in the air?
What's that? (LAUGHING)
You know exactly what it is.
(LAUGHING) I'm not quite there yet with Viagra either.
So you've done one race so far which is in South Africa,
which, of course, you won.
-Which we fluked, yeah. -Yeah, you fluked that one.
And what's gonna happen next? Is it going to be a proper series next year?
Yeah, we sincerely hope it's going to kick off in Qatar in March,
and then finishing in South Africa again.
-And you've got to be how old to do it? -Forty-five and over...
-I'm there! -But we're gonna have guest appearances,
-I'm there! -I'm offering you, today, in front of all this crowd...
-Yes! Count me in for some of that. -You'd like to have a go?
-Only if I can use a Bugatti, though. -(LAUGHING)
Please let me use that Bugatti, and then I'll cream the lot of you.
Oh, I don't think so.
Well, obviously you've had an immense career,
but tonight is the big one, isn't it? Frankly.
Out on our track. Should we have a look at the actual lap? Yeah?
-AUDIENCE: Yeah! -Okay, play the tape. Here we go.
CLARKSON: Aggressive start.
-Come on, let's go! -(AUDIENCE LAUGHING)
Okay, here we go. Coming up to the first corner now.
-- We've had a few Formula 1 -- drivers down here before.
-- They had a different -- line though.
Yours is the same as the Stig. Is that the quickest way round that corner?
-I hope so! (LAUGHING) -Yeah, because the others go wide and then cut that...
That's very smooth.
CLARKSON: You're still a competitive man, aren't you? MANSELL: Well, you have to be,
-- -that's the problem. ---CLARKSON: Even here.
MANSELL: Easing it off there and just keeping it nice and straight.
-CLARKSON: Concentrate, man! This is important. -(LAUGHING)
--MANSELL: I was happy I managed -- to change gear!
CLARKSON: You can't just take your hands off the wheel for the fearsome Hammerhead,
-and you kept it in the lines there. -HAMMOND: Oh, look at that!
CLARKSON: I know. I was hoping to mock you, but this is actually quite good.
Come on. Go, go, go!
CLARKSON: Right, did you lift here? I'm suspecting probably not.
-Oh, that's... -MANSELL: There's a bit of grass coming up, I think.
-Which is... -CLARKSON: Are you gonna cut this one?
Ooh! That's cutting it a lot!
-No! -That's cutting it, I'll let you off, since you're here.
-- And that's cut the lip, -- but that's all right as well.
-- And into Gambon. Ooh, -- it's looking a bit wobbly!
And across the line.
Obviously, those who've raced in F1
aren't allowed on our proper power-board, 'cause it's just not fair.
So, we have a special power-board here for F1.
-Where do you think you've come? -(LAUGHING)
I have to tell you, Damon was in the dry. 1.46.3
Mark Webber came down. He did 1.47.1 but it was pouring with rain there.
I've no idea!
I think it was probably close to Damon's, if not a bit quicker, maybe, hopefully.
-You were nowhere near Damon's time. -Oh, in that case, then...
-(LAUGHING) -You were a hell of a lot faster.
You did it in 1.44.6.
I can't believe that!
I genuinely cannot believe that time, 'cause
the Stig has always told us that track would give a 1.44 in that car,
and I've always thought, I don't think...
You look at Damon and think, I'm not sure.
And he's only about half a second quicker than Ellen MacArthur last week.
-Oh yeah, but Isn't she a wonderful person? -She's a goddess, that girl.
-She is. -She's a wonderful lady.
There was a security guard at the BBC, soon as I pulled up and he went,
"A woman! A woman!" (MUTTERS ANGRILY)
I'm so glad you came, Nigel. It's been great fun having you here.
Thanks ever so much. Ladies and gentlemen, Nigel Mansell!
That is awesome.
Now this is our favourite sports car, the Porsche 911,
but now there is a completely new version. The four-wheel drive one.
As you can see, they look exactly the same.
So, to find out which is best,
I took them to a stadium full of the Welsh.
This is the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
Now, normally it's host to great Welsh events,
such as rugby or Charlotte Church concerts.
But today we'll see something a bit more melodic.
--MAY: You see, this year, -- the 75,000 capacity arena
was turned into a special stage for the British leg of the World Rally Championship.
-- Drivers were timed -- over a 1 kilometre circuit
constructed on the pitch.
-- And it also provided the -- perfect level playing field
-- on which to answer a question -- of global importance.
You see, some Porsche bores are now saying that the ordinary 911 Carrera
is so good, that the new, four-wheel drive 911 Carrera 4
is completely pointless.
MAY: However, there are others who insist that four-wheel drive is essential
to get the best out of a car that's always had its engine hanging over the back.
-- So, we're going to settle this -- once and for all.
And by pitching them head-to-head, around this amazing indoor rally stage.
But to do that, we need an independent adjudicator.
--MAY: Yes, -- who else could it be?
-- And first off, he's taking out -- the two-wheel drive 911.
According to the Stig, the Carrera 2 felt light, agile and easy to steer.
-- Its party piece was to change -- direction superbly
-- in tight turns like -- this hairpin.
-- Overall, a very, -- very easy car to drive.
Right, that's one minute 12, dead.
That's the time the Carrera 4 has to beat.
Come on, Stig.
--MAY: The Carrera 4 was -- a different animal.
It was heavier and more ponderous through the tight corners.
But on the plus-side, it was fantastic at putting its power down,
-- and getting away -- out of the bends.
So, swings and roundabouts it is then, but which one is the fastest?
I'm dying to know the verdict,
but first, something more important.
Your hat! What were you thinking?
You looked like the dog car out of Dumb And Dumber!
Listen, that hat is haute couture in rallying circles.
Yeah, right. Either way, the thing is
was the Carrera 4 fastest?
Yes it was, half a second!
But the Stig says, and I agree with him,
that the two-wheel drive car is still the nicer one to drive.
Yes, yes, yes, can we get back to the Bugatti?
-Oh, God. -No, no, please let me get back to the Bugatti
because you see the thing is, you might not need four-wheel drive
with a puny 350 brake horsepower,
but trust me, you do need four-wheel drive when you've got 1,000 horsepower.
Okay, now just think how hard it is to get 1,000 horsepower onto the road.
Imagine how strong the gearbox has got to be.
This was built and designed by a British company, okay?
And I've watched the man who ran the project, become an old man,
in, like, five years. I'm not kidding. I said to him, "Look,
"you've done Formula 1 gearboxes." And he went, "Yes, but,
"this is way faster than any Formula 1 car."
And a Formula 1 car doesn't have anything like this much power.
And the gearbox in an F1 car has only got to last two races.
Like, what? Four hours!
The gearbox in this has got to last 10 or 20 years.
And it can't weigh more than a bag of flour.
This is so much more than any car you've ever seen.
And it's as easy to drive as a normal car, but it goes like a bullet.
And then when you're going down a mountain road, it handles like a Lotus Elite.
Which is why in the race we're having tonight, I am just creaming it!
-(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) -Yes.
Anyway, yes, the race. We are taking our two truffles
from the north of Italy here, and we're heading for a restaurant
at the top of the NatWest Tower in London, here.
So, we rejoin the action with James and me in the private plane,
which is like a sort of toaster with wings on it, down here.
And Jeremy in his amazing bullet car, about here. 150 miles ahead.
(EPIC MUSIC PLAYING)
How do they think they're gonna beat this?
-Look at that sky above us, it's fantastic! -This is a race!
And we're winning, overall.
I've the sense that we're several hours behind Jeremy and his car.
CLARKSON: I was feeling so cocky I was dreaming up games to amuse myself.
Just had an idea.
I'm ringing an insurance company to see how much it would cost...
...to insure this car for me.
-MAN ON PHONE: Hello? -Yeah, hi. Are you the people that can quote me happy?
What is your car?
It's a Bugatti Veyron.
Is it a car?
It is a car, yes.
May I know your last name?
-You said it's a Rover? -No, it's not a Rover, it's a Bugatti.
He thinks it's a Rover.
-- No, sir, we don't -- insure this car.
You don't insure it?
-No. -So I've been through all that and, okay. Thank you.
You spend half an hour talking to a man, telling him where you were born,
how many children you've got, where you live, what your post code is,
and then he says, "Is a Bugatti a Rover?"
Well, they quoted me miserable there.
CLARKSON: But at least I didn't have the same problem as Richard.
Hammond. I ought to tell you, I've only actually done two and a half hours
on this type of aircraft.
-- Right. So you're not -- entirely familiar.
-- I know what the major -- knobs and things do.
I have to say this is no harder to drive or more tiring than a Golf.
Or even a golf cart!
And the interior is such a nice place to be.
I mean, these stalks here are made from magnesium and aluminium.
And they cost £4,500 each!
The only thing that's wrong at the moment really is the smell.
The smell of my pharaoh's testicle here.
I don't imagine that Hamster and Slow are going to be
having a refreshing cup of hot brown, wherever they are.
I don't think light aircraft have tea and coffee making facilities on them
CLARKSON: My smugness, however, was about to take a blow.
-Jeremy, it's Richard. How are you doing? -Hamster, how are you going?
Well, we were in real trouble, but we've had a stroke of luck.
-- French air traffic control -- let us take a slight shortcut.
-- Which meant we could cut -- really quite a sizable corner
-- and that's brought us -- back in the game.
So, we're over mid-ish France.
No, come on. Tell me. Where are you?
Keep looking overhead, mate!
This is it then, our final leg. We are on the way.
Next stop, presumably, UK.
CLARKSON: This was a disaster.
All my fannying about with coffee stops and calls to insurance companies,
-- meant that Maverick and Iceman -- were right behind me.
They are gonna overtake me. Oh, this is torture.
-- We have a ground speed -- of nearly 145 knots.
-That's about what? 150 miles an hour? -Corking speed.
Captain Slow is up there in his washing machine.
I will not be beaten by a washing machine.
CLARKSON: It was time to unleash the Bugatti's secret weapon.
At the moment I'm in DEFCON 3.
I'm in handling mode with that rear spoiler up,
which is pushing the back of the car into the road to give me grip in the corners.
But I am on a motorway and there are no corners.
CLARKSON: So all the spoiler's doing is causing drag, slowing me down.
-- I therefore needed to -- pull over and lower it.
To make sure you don't put it down accidentally,
you have to use the ignition key in this slot here.
So that now, when you get cracking, the spoiler doesn't come up.
And the whole car hunkers down on the road. Makes it very slippery,
and you can get to the top speed.
But before you can do that, Volkswagen say you have to do some checks.
No idea what these checks might be, so...
I am now at DEFCON 4.
At this point, your big advantage about flying does start to pay off,
because we are in the sky, there's nothing is in the way, we're going direct.
HAMMOND: Jeremy was flying.
-- But 5,000 feet above him, -- we were flying faster.
We were about to take the lead, but then, guess what?
-- James delivered -- yet more bad news.
-- There is one thing I need to -- tell you about, Hammond.
-This idea about England, here we come. -That's the idea.
-- Well, the thing is, -- because we were a bit delayed,
it's, um, it's gonna get dark while we're still in northern France.
-- We've got lights. -- Turn them on.
-- No, but I'm not allowed -- to fly this thing in the dark.
-What? -I'm not qualified. I'm really sorry, Hammond.
-- Right. -- So what do we do?
Uh, we land.
-(MOBILE RINGING) -Hamster, are you really hammering along now?
We do have problems.
-- James has just told me that he -- hasn't done the test that
-- allows him to drive -- the plane at night.
So, we're gonna have to land. And I quote, "Somewhere. Maybe Lille."
--CLARKSON: He really hasn't -- thought this through, has he?
--CLARKSON: The news enabled -- me to switch back to DEFCON 3
-- and reflect some more -- on the joys of driving.
Perhaps the most marvellous thing, really, about the car
is that when it starts to go dark, you don't have to park.
You just put your lights on and keep right on going.
HAMMOND: If we could make Lille before night fell, we were in with a chance
of catching the Eurostar to London, and staying in the race.
They're 100 miles south of Lille. I'm 90 miles south of Lille.
I'm going to see them any minute!
-Are we still all right for light? -Yeah I've got to land before
the sun goes down. Ten minutes before it goes down, strictly speaking.
This is gonna be so close!
-- Please carry on flying, now. -- Just drive the plane.
I can't let this, not the best car ever made,
be beaten by James' flying washing machine.
--MAY: (SPEAKING INDISTINCTLY) -- ...final, runway 18.
-- That's probably the wrong -- order, but it's roughly right.
You all right, Hammond?
Oh, yes. Just land.
It's tricky, man, it's windy.
--HAMMOND: We landed in Lille -- with moments to spare.
-(MOBILE RINGING) -CLARKSON: Hamster, where are you? Are you down?
-You must be down by now. -We're down, yeah. Where are you?
Well, I'm about 70 miles from Calais.
Right! Okay! That's good.
-The train's fast. -The good thing is
is this is going to be seriously close.
Oh, you're dis... He's gone.
Never mind. I don't really care. It's not that way, it's this way.
-MAY: I'm running! -Yes, you're running! (LAUGHING)
Go, just don't try and fly this, will you.
-Train station. What's the name? -Train station, TGV...
--HAMMOND: We'd so nearly -- caught Jeremy up in the plane.
-- But now we were on a bus, -- going to the railway station.
-- His lead was increasing -- by the moment.
Now, train station.
Right. Eurostar. That's us.
This bit of northern France isn't half dull.
When you're not in a Bugatti, that is.
These things are getting worse.
It's like a dead dog in a bag.
Yes! This is a good thing.
Well, here we are. I've made it to Calais. Yes!
I don't want to lower the tone or anything,
but I haven't been to the loo since Italy, and I'm begging for it.
The ones that way are out of order, and there's 42 British coaches through there,
and they all want my autograph.
(GOD SAVE THE QUEEN--PLAYING)
CLARKSON: I'd arrived back in Britain half an hour in front of Ginger and Algy.
But, they were gaining fast.
--CLARKSON: Hamster, -- how are you?
We're on our train and we're doing quite nicely. We're 35 minutes from Waterloo.
--HAMMOND: -- It is down to the wire, again.
Any minute now, we'll see your headlights sweep past the window.
--CLARKSON: -- May the best man win.
The race actually starts, now.
Blackwall Tunnel. Is that good?
I don't know, I just know time is tight.
This is the longest I've been stationary in 13 hours.
-We've gotta run now, hadn't we? -Yes.
-Where do you get these night buses? -Right outside.
Can you pay them in truffles?
MAY: This is it! This is it!
Ooh, I see bits of London that I recognise.
It's Canary Wharf.
-This is what public transport is about. Waiting. -Drive! Drive!
He's got a Bugatti, we've got a bus.
All those tunnels I've been in today. Smooth, neat and big.
This one looks like a public convenience.
Whatever comes up behind us could be a Bugatti.
That was the Aldwych. Yes.
This is the city.
-There it is! There it is! We're minutes away! -Let's get our bags.
Go. go. go.
Another red light.
-James! -Yeah, I'm coming.
-That's it! -(LAUGHING)
This is it. It's the NatWest Tower! I'm here! Are they here?
Oh, trouble, trouble.
CLARKSON: The tower was a maze with no direct lift from the bottom to the finish line
on the 42nd floor.
HAMMOND: B to 21...
21 transfer to something to go to 42.
Yeah, that makes sense, look.
Transfer to lift group D.
Why don't they just have a lift?
Go! Arrows! This way!
Right. No, hang on.
-That's not it. -Oh!
Excuse me. Do you know how to get to 42?
41. As high as you can go in the lift.
-41 and walk? Okay, thanks ever so much. Bye. -Yeah.
What a stupid building!
-34, 35, 36... -35, 36...
-Stairs! -Oh, mate, I'm terrified!
-But this it, Hammond. -This is it!
(HAMMOND AND MAY SPEAKING INDISTINCTLY)
BOTH: Good evening.
Um, I don't know. I'm confused. Does that mean we've won? Where is he?
Well, I would say we've won. We're here and he's not.
-That's a shadow, in the window, of a ghostly figure! -(LAUGHING)
You unbearable man! I can't stand it!
-Ugh! Yes. -Dignity.
-Have you got your truffle? -Yes.
Well unfortunately they've already got one.
So, I'm afraid you're 65 quid out of pocket.
CLARKSON: Oh, marvellous. Pasta with my truffle on it. HAMMOND: Oh, truffle. Good.
It's quite a hollow victory.
-Is it? -Mmm.
Because I've now got to go for the rest of my life,
knowing that I'll never own that car.
I'll never experience that power again.
And that is a really sad feeling.
Like the end of an era in an odd way.
HAMMOND: The beginning of something new, but...
Now, this, is it.
So, James, tiring is it, driving a plane?
Yeah. I was dead.
You've no idea how close he came to really being dead.
You've no idea what an irritating airline passenger you are.
-Oh, come on! -No, I would have had you sedated
-and strapped to the seat, like one of those drunkards. -I wish I had been sedated.
Just please, stop bickering. Because I've got this question to ask, okay?
How much do you think it cost Volkswagen to actually make this car?
-What? Each car? -Each car?
-So they're making a huge loss on each one? -Yeah.
Making a huge loss. They did it as a technical exercise to see if it could be done.
And what worries me, is that in the current climate, you know,
with shareholders and everyone twittering on about global warming,
-nobody's gonna do it again. -No, we've had our Concorde moment.
Exactly. This is Concorde. Not just the best car that's ever been made,
but, very possibly, the best car we'll see in our lifetime.
And on that rather sad bombshell, it's time to end the show.
We're not here next week 'cause some men are coming playing billiards, I think.
-Something, yeah. -Something like that.
So, we'll be back on December 27th. We'll see you then. Goodnight.