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,

Richard Hammond.

--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.

American muscle,

-- 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.

What's this?

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.


-- 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!

Not bad.

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.


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?

-Mmm-hmm.  -Well,

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.

Entertain yourselves.



I think you've made it angry.



Shut up!

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.


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.


This is it.

The new £840,000

Bugatti Veyron.

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.

-Kite?  -Yeah.


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?

Yes! Go.

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!


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.


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.

Come on!


-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.


--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.

Now, hey.

Nigel, Nigel.

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,

Riccardo Patrese,

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!

Thank you.

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?


Well, now,

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!

And breathe!



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.


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...

(PHONE RINGING) 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?



Yes. B-U-G-A-T-T-I.

-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

I'm guessing.

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...

Seems fine.

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?

He's gone.

--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)  --, 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.

Come on.

-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.

Avez-vous le--beer?


Oh, yeah!


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?

Way out!

Come on.

MAY: This is it! This is it!

HAMMOND: Excellent.

Go. Drive.

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?

Come on!

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.

-B.  -In.

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!


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)

Surely not!


That's horrible!

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.

It's unbelievable.

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?

No idea.

5,000,000 quid.

-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.