Top Gear (2002–…): Season 7, Episode 6 - Episode #7.6 - full transcript

Jeremy tests the Volkswagen Golf R32 and the BMW 130i. Richard and James are having a time trial race at the Prescott Hill Climb Course by pitting an Austin-Healey Spite (representing the ...

--CLARKSON: Tonight, can a Mazda go faster than a dog?

Can a frog go faster than a Peugeot?

That isn't straight!

And can I go faster   than myself?

Hello and welcome to the Christmas Special of Top Gear.

And, to flesh that out a bit,  here's our resident elf.

Yes. And what makes our  Christmas Special so special

is that there isn't any Christmas stuff in it.

No. What we do have  is this 1 Series BMW.

Now, they fitted it with a  3-litre engine and called it  the 130i and that's fine.

But Volkswagen has also put  a big engine in its Golf.

So...which is best?

At first, that looks like   a tricky question.

They're both the same   sort of size, they both have   six-cylinder engines,

they both have austere, black German interiors,

and they'll both do 155 mph.

So, what happens in a   drag race?

They both do naught-to-60 in  6.2 seconds.

And as we get to  the quarter-mile mark...

Well, here's a surprise.  It's a dead heat.

You can't even choose  between them on styling.

Yes, the BMW has the  face of Fu Manchu  and the profile of a van,

but the Golf's not exactly a svelte beauty either.

The thing is, though, one of these cars is very good and one isn't.

So, the BMW.

They talk at some   considerable length about

how the 1 Series is the only   small hatchback you can buy

with rear-wheel drive.

(SARCASTICALLY) "Wow," you may  be thinking. "Wow!"

But, actually, it does show.

It's a very balanced car,  this, very focused, and um,

very, very good at doing this.


Oh! And of course it's  very, very slippery today,  which makes it even more fun!

The front wheels do  the steering, the rear ones  are doing the propulsion.

I'm multitasking here  and that's a good thing.


I haven't had as much fun  as this in a small car  since the...

Well, since the '80s,

the days of the Chevette HS and the Lotus Sunbeam.

As a driver's car, then,

this is very, very good.

So, you might imagine that the people's car can't possibly compete.

Um... No, actually.

You see, if anything,  the engine in the Golf is  even better.

It's a 3.2-litre V6  and listen to it!


That is a great noise.


It doesn't have quite as much  power as the one you get  in the BMW,

but there's more torque,  which makes it feel more...


Oh, yeah, this is the full Sunday roast, this one.

To get all this grunt on the road, the Golf has four-wheel drive.

So there's not   tail-out malarkey.

It grips so hard that the  tyres are squealing  even on a wet road.


This thing hangs on in there  long after

the BMW's gone off  to play games in the woods.



It is epic!

That said,   the BMW is more fun.

And if the track is dry   when we give these cars   to The Stig,

I really think it'll   be quicker.

So far, then, it's looking good for the BMW.

And there's more.

Even though this is the  sporty version,  with the sporty suspension,

it rides more smoothly than  the diesel version  I drove earlier in the year.

And under here, look,  there's a little slot that you  can plug your iPod into,

if you can find a shop  that sells the right lead...  Which I can't.

Probably because I've been  looking in Dorothy Perkins.

But then, I'm afraid,   everything starts to go   horribly wrong.

You see, a worrying amount of   the toys are optional extras.

You even have to pay £1,700   for the M Sport pack,

which, so far as I can see,   gives you some perforated   leather on the handbrake

and lots of M badges.

But not much else.

The actual on-the-road price   of this car is £31,000.

That is a colossal  amount of money.

Especially as it isn't even a proper hatchback.

I mean, look, they give it back doors, but I have no idea why

because look at that legroom.  Who is gonna be able to  fit in here? Look.

Look! Look!

Even Hammond would struggle.

And don't think that they've  pinched space from there  so it can have a big boot


You couldn't even get a  tortoise in there.

As a practical way of moving   your family and your   belongings around,

the 130, then, works about as well as a goat.

Park this on your drive and your neighbours won't think,

"Mmm, that's an expensive car,  he must be doing well."

They'll think, "Mmm, that's an  expensive car,  he must be bonkers!"

So, now let's look at the R32.

It's more discreet than the   BMW, it looks like   any other Golf.

It's also more comfortable than the BMW,

which makes it an outstanding   long-distance tourer.

And if I have to say   or be shot,

I'd say it's better made   than the BMW as well.

All day long, the BMW has been  flashing warning lights at me  on the dash

about failed this  and broken that.

I felt like Jack Lemmon in The China Syndrome.

But in this, all is well.

And then there's the big one.

Look, I fit in the back easily! Tons of space to spare.

And if you peer through here,

then you find it has the  big boot. So if you get a  5-door one of these,

it's as spacious and as practical as a barn.

And the cost?

Well, a 5-door Golf with   sat-nav and a DSG   flappy paddle gearbox

is £27,000.

That's £4,000 less than the BMW.

So, there you are. These cars aren't the same at all.

The ugly, cramped and ridiculously expensive BMW

beats the Volkswagen   on a track,

but the Golf hammers it

everywhere else.


-That's very good. -Yeah.

And that's not.

No. But I have to say,

I really don't get, I really  don't get the price  of this car. £31,000.

'Cause if you want to go  quickly, then you could get

the mother of all  Subaru Imprezas for that.

Absolutely.  And the other thing as well,

if you're not interested in  having any space in the back

and if you're planning on  buying one of these,

-plainly you're not.  -You're not.

Why not buy the 3-litre Z4?  You know,  the two-seater convertible?

Why do this? It's mad!

But anyway, we must now find out how fast this goes round our track.

And the Golf as well  for that matter.

So, we must hand them  to our tame racing driver.

Some say that his heart  is in upside down

and that his teeth  glow in the dark.


All we know is he's called  The Stig.

Okay, away he goes.   Lots of wheel spin off the line,

but then it is a powerful car   for its size.

Down to the first corner.

Ooh, flicking into oversteer,   Stig's already having   to work hard.

Much neater on the exit,   though, look at that.

What baroque classic is it this week?

Sounds like Tchaikovsky.

Chicago, actually looking   quite understeery there   on the way in.

Hard on the power now, kicking the tail out a little bit on the exit.

Into the Hammerhead,   you can see The Stig   having to correct

all the way through there.   Fighting understeer here.

That is a surprise.

Now, here's the follow-through.

What a lot of guts, this car,   should be pretty quick   through here.

Ooh, God, it is!   Two corners left, of course.

Rather unruly on the way in.   Into Gambon now.

Quite messy, he's off-road!

And across the line in 1.31.9.

Now the Golf.   Front wheels spinning   off the line now,

before the computer shoves more power to the back.

Let's see how it handles   the first corner.

Look at that, no drama at all.

Very tidy.

Very tidy indeed.

Up to Chicago, still neat.

Notice the rear wheel   just cocking   a little bit there

in classic Golf style.

Okay, Hammerhead.

You've got a very heavy V6   up front, will it make it   understeer a little bit?

But you can see the car pulling back into line

as the electronics shuffle the power around.

Blasting through the follow-through.

Now, Stig said he was   impressed with the   R32's grunt,

but can it come close   to the 130?   I'm not sure it can.

There's one corner   left now, Gambon.

Sliding a bit wide.   And across the line!

Okay, now, here's the BMW, look, and it's 1.31.9.

The Golf, 1.30.4.  So it goes there.

-(AUDIENCE EXCLAIMS) -It is quicker.  And do you know what?

That means I was wrong,  for the first time since 1974.

-(LAUGHTER) -It wasn't just quicker than the BMW.

Look at this. It's three seconds quicker than the old Golf R32.

I'm telling you, that car  is every bit as good  as that one is bad.

Now, we're not gonna do any news on the show this week

because, well, the whole  motor industry is on holiday

and anyway, we have our   Top Gear--award ceremony  coming up a bit later on.

So, in the meantime,  here is a Top Gear  battle of the generations.

--MAY: Meet the Austin Healey   Sport Club.

They like tweeds and beards   and beer   with soil floating in it.

And they think car design   peaked in, ooh, about 1968.

--HAMMOND: Meet Absy   and his crew.

They like hoodies and trainers and Argos jewellery.

And they think the   ideal number of speakers   in a car is about 68.

--MAY: These two groups are   the chalks and the cheeses

in the world of the different car cultures.

And we've brought them together to settle an argument.

You see, I think this modern  obsession with horsepower is absolutely idiotic.

The simple, light,  well-sorted classic  will be more than a match

for some youth car with  5,000 horsepower  and a big stereo.

Yes, and I think the opposite.

So the only way to settle this is with a duel,

and that duel   will take place here,

at the famous Prescott Hill Climb course in Gloucestershire.

It's one of the   most prestigious tracks   in Britain,

the motor-racing equivalent   of Vera Lynn.

Over the years, its corners have been tackled by the likes of Stirling Moss,

Peter Collins   and Graham Hill.

So what in the name of all   that's holy would the ghosts   of Collins and Hill make

of this lot?

And here comes my car now.

MAY: I'm sort of guessing  that's not your kind of thing.

MAN 1: No. MAN 2: No, not at all.

MAN 1: What colour is that?  National Health Service green?

If we had heavy snow,  it would be good for  clearing that, wouldn't it?

--HAMMOND: Well, you can mock,   beard brigade,

but this Peugeot 306 is one of the finest modified cars in the country,

with over £26,000 worth   of mods, including three TVs,

a PlayStation   and over 54 inches of subs.

And now, representing a time  when subs were something we  used to fight the Germans,

behold the majesty of the Austin Healey...

-Which has stalled. -(MEN LAUGHING)

This is a 1961 Frogeye Sprite.

-This is what you've  got to beat.  -Marvellous.

Does it go any lower  than that? Or is that it?

No, the suspension  doesn't move. It's fixed.

Ah, okay.

Exactly. Old-fashioned.

--MAY: In this battle of arthritis against acne,

it's Hammond's group who have   the power advantage.

That's a 3-litre V6, roughly about 200 rate.

That's probably about  five times what he's got  over there.

Possibly, yeah.

What do you reckon  naught-to-60 time would be?

-About 6.2, I reckon.  -That's all right.

You've probably got a  more powerful stereo  than he has car.

MAY: By contrast,   the geriatric Healey sports a   modest 130 horsepower,

almost 100 less than   the Peugeot.

What about the top speed?

Well, again, the gearing would  probably bring that down  to about 95.

That's not so good,  to be honest.

And the classic car boys   were worried about   the fearsome brakes

on the max power car.

Still, we didn't win two   world wars   by standing around moaning.

So, some serious fettling   began to make the   Healey lighter

and more agile.

Marvellous.  Thank you very much.


Meanwhile, over in the   youth centre,   things weren't so hectic.

You've got four-screen,  this is the best bit.

That's a colour camera  as well.

HAMMOND: Now, this isn't  necessarily gonna help us  go faster.

MAN 3: Not really.

HAMMOND: Both cars were ready   for their timed runs   up the hill.

We just needed an   independent driver.

Someone who follows no car culture,

who has no age, who has  no friends to text,  and no real ale preference.

MAY: Not a completely  convincing start. Do you  mind me saying that?

-Sounds good, though. -Sounds great.


--HAMMOND: Sure enough, it was quick on the straights,

but this mobile Halfords paid the price on the corners.

It's a bit "James Bond film",  isn't it?

MAN 1: 59!

MAN 2: That's pretty good.  MAN 3: It's not bad.

--HAMMOND: That was enough   to worry the Healey chaps.

So, are you gonna  wind yours up  and give it a shot, then?

That's a good time,  but not unbeatable.

MAY: So, the gauntlet's   thrown down   for the antique roadshow.

That weight...  It really did leap away.

MAY: Yes, this isn't the   coolest The Stig   has ever looked,

but in the Healy he was in good shape through the corners.

Oh, oh! Getting close.

The Healey blitzed   the last two turns,

but would it beat 59.26?


Yes, the beards had won it by a whisker.

Fair enough.

Age, experience, tweed and a little bit of facial hair

is what it takes to win  at hill climbing.

I know which one I'd rather go  home in, the one with a roof  and a windscreen.

Can you believe it?

Anyway, anyway.

We must now move on,  because it's time  to put a star

in our reasonably priced car.

Now, there is evidence  to suggest  that my guest tonight is gay,

but he says he isn't.  Much like Richard Hammond.

So please welcome the top half  of Little Britain,  David Walliams!

Thank you!

What an honour!


I wanna get this cleared up right away, if I may,

you're not actually gay,  are you?

-Well, I...  -(LAUGHTER)

Depends who's asking!

-Me.  -Well, no, I wouldn't have sex  with you, no.

-(LAUGHTER) -So that's clear. You're not gay.

I'm not gay either,  I'd just like to say there.

A lot of people think I am  because I don't like football.

-But you don't like football  either, do you?  -No.

Well, I don't dislike it,  I'm just not really  interested in it.

I just think, can't they  decide what team is the best  and just leave it there.


It seems they have to go on year by year, I don't understand.

Didn't you meet a footballer  the other day and you had  no clue who he was?

Well, I only knew who he was  because he's married  to Louise Nurding,

who used to be in Eternal.

-Jamie Redknapp,  is that right?  -(AUDIENCE AGREES)

I was driving into...  Ooh, driving!  We're on to driving already.

I was driving into a car park,  and he was coming out.

And it was actually the night  after the Comedy Awards  last year

and he said, "Well done  on those awards!"  I went, "Oh, thank you."

And I didn't know what to say to him. 'cause I didn't know...

Did he still play?  What team is he on.

So I just went,  "Well, keep kicking  those balls!"


"Why can't I be a man? Why don't I know these things?"

Because Little Britain--now is just off the scale, isn't it?

It's the most phenomenal  success. It's so well written.

That's kind of you to say,  'cause no one  ever really mentions that.

You and Matt do all of it,  don't you?

Yeah, well, actually in the third series, um,

we had some contributions  from a couple of  other writers, but...

And the other thing as well I've noticed is that you can now...

I seems to me you can push the  boundaries of comedy now

further than probably  ever before.

But it's like the more you get  convinced you can't say  certain things,

you can't have old ladies  vomiting whenever  black people are mentioned,

and then there they are  vomiting whenever black people  are mentioned.

Well, that is of course  an exaggeration  about people's racist views,

but I think that's the one  people dislike the most,  actually,

because I think people  actually don't like to see  people vomit.

Yeah. Jimmy Carr is another one that makes jokes out of anything.

-He's a comedian, isn't he?  -Yeah. He will make a joke  out of absolutely anything.


-Where is he?  -Oh, he's in the audience,  now?

He's there, look.  He comes every week.

Come sit here, Jimmy Carr,  come on.

No, he was very nervous  that he was gonna be  knocked off the top.

Try and stay involved.

You've invited him up.  Ladies and gentlemen,  Jimmy Carr is here!


You will make a joke  out of anything, won't you?

Yeah, pretty much, yeah.  Why not?

-Who's "Blind Man"?  -He was a man who was blind.


Have you seen this  show before?

I caught the end credits  last week.

I thought I should watch  and I forgot.

Thing is, they said, "Will you  come on? We'll lend you a DB9  for the weekend."

And I said yes and I had the DB9,

then I totally forgot that  I had to do it.

Do you know who he is?

-How was the DB9?  Jeremy Clarkson, I'm straight.  -I do know who he is.

I like Jeremy Clarkson.

Well, that's fine.  Thank God for that.

Have you found that people  who say they're straight  rarely are?

-He says it a lot,  doesn't he?  -Yeah. (LAUGHING)


I'm just saying you made a  big point of getting changed  in front of us earlier.


And at one point, he was flicking me with his towel.

-He did look aroused  at one point.  -That was not his towel.

That's some sort of fungal growth.

I wasn't. I was watching the  shower scene  from Top Gun--again.

As you well know,  I watch that before  coming out here.

-Before coming out? What?  -(LAUGHTER)

I gather you're giving him advice about what car to buy.

I gave him a little bit of advice about what car to buy.

You have a Rover 75. I don't have...


Well, I don't have a Rover 75  any more.

-What have you got now?  -I've got a Mini Cooper.

-So you've gone backwards.  -(LAUGHTER)

You can't go backwards  from a Rover 75.

-You've managed it.  -The only way is up.

You've got a smaller car  than you had.

Now, just leave your cars  out of it for the moment.

Your car history is woeful, isn't it?

I mean, I think it's the  shortest we've ever had.

-It went Fiesta 1.1...  -Well, yes,

the Fiesta 1.1 was the  first car I owned.  It was sort of pale blue.

And then I moved to London  after university and didn't  have a car for about 10 years,

-then I bought a  classic Mercedes.  -Which is the 1966...


-That's a beautiful car.  -It really is.

Are you an Aston Martin fan?

I am, but only because  I'm a really childish man

and I like the idea of  pretending to be James Bond.


-So, you're the DB...  -The 5. The 6 has got a bit  more legroom, is that right?

That's true,  it's slightly longer.

So I think I could do with the 6.

-What do you think about  the 4?  -What 4?

-The DB4.  -Which one?

Well, I don't know.  I'm just saying a DB4

because I saw the other day on a website someone said we're selling a DB4,

-and I thought, "I don't  really know that one."  -No, that's too old.

You do realise if you're  gonna run these  old classic cars,

they're gonna break down  all the time.

Yeah. No, I heard that. And I  was gonna buy this DB6  and they said,

"Oh, well, you need to  do something to the doors.

"You need to re-align  the doors."  I said, "Why's that?"

"Well, you might turn a corner  and the door'll fling open."

"I thought, yeah, I'd quite  like you to repair that before  I buy it, please."

'Cause didn't the paparazzi  have you with it broken down?

'Cause you must be the most  paparazzied man in the world  at the moment.

It's weird 'cause  you often think,

"Oh, they can't print a  picture of this.  It's too uninteresting."

But the other day I was wiping bird (BLEEP) off my car,

and I was photographed  doing that.

I thought, "That's obviously  not of interest  to the British public."

But there you are, yeah!


I'm genuinely interested in what's happened here, because you've gone out

to your car,

-noticed that a bird  has relieved itself on it.  -Mmm.

You've then gone back into  your house to get a pan.

And some soapy water, yeah. What would you do? Lick it off?


-Leave it!  -What was I supposed to do?

-Leave it!  -Leave it?

-Isn't this an indication...  -It's a beautiful car and  I was gonna drive it.

Do you get, like, dressed up  for driving your car, then?  Are you into it?

Well, I have done. When I  first bought the car,

I did put on my suit, and then  I put on a trilby hat  and a pair of driving gloves.

Driving around like that

for about 10 minutes,  before I realised

if anyone saw me doing that it would be shameful.

Anyway, we'll lose that. The track, how was it?

It was terrifying because  in the last lap I nearly  killed about five people

who were operating  the cameras.

And then the other thing is you don't get to know how well you've done

until talking to you now,  so you keep trying to go  faster and faster

but you don't know how much  faster you're meant to go.

No, exactly. Well, should we  have a look at some of  the practice laps?

-Would you like to see that?  -AUDIENCE: Yes!

Okay, let's run the tape here.

Right. This is coming up... This is the second-to-last corner.

That's not quite the  right line through there.

There we go. Second attempt...  And off we go again!

So, third time, you're bound  to get it right this time.  Looking a bit better.

Nope. And what, again!

And here he goes  on the fourth!  Here we go again...

Must get it right.  Looking good.

And, oh, dear, no!


I was just trying to make  good television.  That's all it was.

You did that.  Is that what The Stig  told you to do, then?

No, he didn't.  He kept on giving me  great advice.

But it was hard 'cause you  can't see his face.

-Would you like to see the  actual finished product?  -AUDIENCE: Yeah.

-Should we put this on? -No.

Yes! Here we go!


That's an aggressive start. I like that.

Why did I agree to do this?

You agreed to do it 'cause we  leant you an Aston Martin  for the weekend, that's why.

That's looking quite...


Listen to those tortured tyres!


Very good.  Here we go into Chicago!

Ooh, keeping your teeth clean.  Hammond giving you  that advice?

Through the Hammerhead.

That's quite slow.

I'm sure I'm gonna  kill a cameraman.

You needn't worry about  the cameraman.  We have back-ups of those

just in case one of them is killed one weekend.

And, there you go...

Ooh, now we're picking up  some speed here! We come  to the second-to-last corner.

This is where you were  caught out.  That's a wide line.

That's quite a  good line, actually.  That's your own invention.

And that's good. And then  we're coming up to the...

Ooh, well, that's slowly  across the line!

-Where do you reckon?  -I would like to beat  Steve Coogan.

Pouring with rain when he did it.

Don't care.  I'd like to beat him.

Well, you beat him.

-Thank you.  -Because it was dry.

Oh, dear, there's always a bitter aftertaste with you,  isn't there?


Yeah, coming down again.

I'm gonna make you feel a  little bit better,  if you don't mind,

'cause the thing is,  is we reckon

that a dry track is four seconds a lap faster than a wet one.

So, in other words,  to have beaten Coogan,  you've gotta do it in a 1.50.

-And you have!  -Oh, good.

1.50.7! So it goes there,  ladies and gentlemen.

Better than Timothy Spall,

quicker than Christian Slater  and James Nesbitt.

But not as quick as you,  Jimmy.

That's a lot quicker.  You were three  seconds quicker, aren't you?

Yes, yes, I am.


I'm still the fastest man.

Actually, Jimmy, to be honest,  you were described by The Stig

as the worst driver we've  ever had down here  and the luckiest man alive.

I think the time  speaks for itself.  Good luck.

-Did you like my lap? -I quite liked your second-to-last corner.

'Cause that indicates a man  with no fear, to keep  coming in at that speed.

Well, that's the last bit,  you see. So if you've made  any mistakes up to that point,

you're very determined to go  as fast as you can  at that point.

Which is not a great idea  because, like me, I nearly  ended up killing those people.

I was prepared to sacrifice them for a good time.


I like that. I like the sound  of that. So there we are,  ladies and gentlemen,

-David Walliams!  And Jimmy Carr!  -Thank you very much.

Thank you.


Every single week, we announce  the year's most important car.

But this week,  we actually mean it.

Don't worry. It's not this.

This is the Mazda MX-5   you know and love.

The icon that today stands   as the best-selling roadster   of all time.

Even though it's been around  for 15 years now,

the current car is still best  in its class.

That is, quite simply, an awesome achievement.

So, no pressure, then,   for what's coming up next.

Yes, this is the brand-new MX-5, and frankly,

you wouldn't blame it   for hating its dad right now.

I can't think of a car  in recent memory

that's carried such a weight  on its shoulders.

It's like the White Album following Sgt. Pepper.

Godfather II--following the Godfather,

Police Academy 6  --following Police Academy 5...

You can still easily tell   which family tree   it comes from.

But this new MX-5   is altogether more chunky

and more muscular.

This version, the 2-litre sport, costs £18,900,

900 more than the equivalent   old model.

But for that,   you get quite a lot more car.

It's longer and wider.

It has more airbags and options like traction control.

That all sounds great,   but actually, it could be   a bit of a worry.

You see, the Mazda MX-5  was always great,  not because of what it had,

but because of  what it didn't have.

It was basic and light,  and that's  what made it nimble.

And so, good to drive.

So the question is,  has all the grown-up stuff  spoilt the show?

To find out, it's time to re-introduce the MX-5 to its old friend, the B-road.

First, a bit of culture.  When the boffins  at Mazda worked

on the handling for the  new MX-5, they followed the  principle of Jinba Ittai.

It's Japanese for (READING).

That may all sound a bit   "Crouching Kitten   Hidden Hippo",

but as soon as you drive it,   the penny drops.

It's as though you and the car  are one.

50-50 weight distribution.

Rear-wheel drive.

Simple, direct steering.

It is brilliant!

The engine in this one,   a 2-litre   with 158-brake horsepower,

takes the car from   nought-to--60 in 7.9 seconds.

So it's not exactly  super-fast, then,  but I'm really not bothered.

If anything, that's just an  excuse to rev the nuts off it.

This means you have to   change gear quite a lot,

but in the MX-5,   even doing that   is a pleasure in itself.

You feel so involved.  It's a short shift.  It's snappy and mechanical

and it means you're not just  shifting cogs around.

You are Terence Stamp  on the King's Road  in the 1960s.

The reason if feels   so good to drive

is, I think,   because the engineers   have been such geeks.

For example, this new MX-5  is bigger and has  more stuff on it,

but it weighs just 9.5 kilos  more than the old one.

And they've done it with  really anal stuff

like shaving 84 grams  off the weight of this mirror.

So, buy two bags of crisps  and you've undone  all that good work.

Think of that next time you're peckish.

The fact is, a car can only be great

when everyone who's making it is completely clear about what it's meant to be.

And that is the case with the MX-5.

For example, the engineers  agreed they didn't want  the new car

to have any more grip than the  old one.

And that...says it all.

When most companies bring out  a new car,

it has to have more  of everything because more  sounds like progress.

But this is so simple,  so sharp,

it suddenly makes the Z4,  the Boxter,  the Mercedes SLK look

like big heavy,  wobbly, cumbersome things.

And why would I pay twice the  money of the Mazda  to have them? Why?

It is, then,   a worthy successor   to the old MX-5.

But we're not done yet.

You see, we're actually in   Ireland because we've been   invited over for a challenge.

"Why don't you bring a car  over here for a race?"  it said.

But not a race against  another car. Oh, no.

This is a race against something with a bit more pedigree.

Uh, chap.

What we're up against   is Mama Tina.

She's won 10 of her   last 20 races

and she's worth 25 grand,

which is considerably more than the car.

For this race,  I'm gonna be using Beati Dogu.

Japanese for the ancient art  of driving a sports car around

a greyhound track  faster than a dog.

Now, so that I don't plough   into one of Ireland's   most valuable mutts,

we're gonna race using   the Olympic cycling method.

Car and dog will start from   opposite sides of the track

and race one lap to their   respective finish lines.


Right, here we go.

And we're off! No grip!  No grip at all! Gimme grip!

That dog takes off like a rocket!

In fact, in just over a second,

she was already doing 45 mph.

60 mph. I'm gonna have to  really slow for the corners.

I'll lean, like a dog does.

That might help.

We'll try the rally turnaway.

This is the perfect car for racing a greyhound round a track.

The heel-and-toe braking.

This is a fantastic  little car!

But is it good enough to   beat Muttley?

Greyhound against  Mazda MX-5!

Have I won?

The dog's time...

And the car's time. Bugger.

CLARKSON: It really is brilliant. Seriously.

Do you know what?  I absolutely love  that car! It's fabulous.

So do I.  But, not as fast as a dog.

Well, no, it isn't.  But the dog  makes a very good point.

Because dogs... Well, all animals, in fact, are rear-wheel drive.

They are. Because...  No, think. The front wheels,  they do the steering

and the back wheels...  That's why a terrier

would always oversteer  on a polished wooden floor.

Into a kitchen cabinet.

An elephant is definitely not  rear-wheel drive.  That's four-wheel drive.

How d'you make that?

It's got four knees,  an elephant. That's why  it's good off-road.

And a hyena,  that's front-wheel drive.

-No, it's not, that's rear-wheel drive. -It is, I promise you.

-A hyena is different than  any other animal.

It's got front-wheel drive.  Its wheels at the front,  propulsion and steering.

And it's back wheels are there  just to keep his bottom  off he ground like a spitfire.

How do you know that stuff?

I just know these things.  It's like...

Attenborough doesn't give you  this information,  let's be honest.

I like cats.  They can drift.  If you watch... No...

-It's true. If you watch a terrier

-chasing a cat...  -The classic chase.

Which it is. Absolutely.  You watch, the cat will hold a  huge slide

and then nine times out of 10,  the terrier will oversteer  off, spin off into a...

-The terrier's having more fun  'cause oversteer is more fun.  -That's the whole point.

Than a four-wheel drift.  It is.

This is a service,  because what we've proved  is that a hyena

isn't as much fun  as a dog because...

-A hyena understeers.  -A hyena understeers.

That's the drawback  with a hyena,  to be honest.

-Yeah, it is. -It is.

-So, a dog... I'm just going  into this. A dog oversteers.  .-Oversteers.

Which is more fun.

Than an under-steering hyena.  So you want a Mazda MX-5  because it's rear-wheel drive!

How about that for  some logic?

There are times that I'm  afraid I really  don't understand

what my two colleagues  are going on about.

But never mind.  Let's do the Top Gear--Awards!



These are the big ones!

These are the big ones, and we're starting with

the biggest surprise  of the year.

A number of options for us, but we're starting with this.

It's James, and as you  can see, he is running and  he is on television.

-That actually happened.  -That did happen.

Bigger than that, though,  was Jeremy receiving a pie  in the face.



Certainly,  that was a surprise for me.

-It was.  -I have to be honest.

Despite her size, I mean,  she was like a gazelle,  that girl.

-They're rear-wheel drive.  -Shut up!

They are. Because they're  a bit shaky on the loose.

-Absolutely.  -Please,

-stop this animal nonsense. -Okay.

Sorry. Okay, but listen.  Both of these events were

beaten by new cars  that were much better

than we were expecting  them to be.

-So, here are the nominations.  -Yes. And the  nominations are

the Honda Civic, Britain's most boring car has been given a thong!

-And the Nissan...  -A what?

-A thong.  -You said "thonk"!

-"Thong."  -He said "thonk".

-You did say "thonk".  -Yeah, it's a sort of...

Are you wearing a thonk today  by any chance?

-I am.  -You're wearing a thonk?

-A thonk is like a thong... -So you're like a Honda Civic...

Can we move on maybe? The next nomination is

the Nissan Mirada.

But the winner is  the Audi RS4!

We thought it would be just another fast Audi.

But in fact it goes and  it grips like a hyena  with elephants' legs.

Okay, we're moving on.  And we're moving on to the  Ugliest Car of the Year!

And the nominations are...

-The Ssangyong Kyron.  -(HAMMOND SHUDDERS)

-The Ssangyong Rodius.  -(SHUDDERS AGAIN)

And look at this one,  the Ssangyong Musso!



That really is a moose, that thing.

-That's grizzly.  -Okay, so which one  has won it?

It's the BMW 3 Series!


Ugliest car of the year.

It's so dull.  It's just "some" car.  It's like 14 foot of car.

Yeah, that's what it is.  You buy it like  curtain material.

"I want a BMW about  15 feet long."  "You'll want the 3 Series."

It's dreadful.  An appalling car.  So what have we got next?

Right. Now for the best car  we drove all year.  And the nominations include

the Ferrari F430, which is  just exquisite in every way.

HAMMOND: The BMW M5.  It goes like the Ferrari,  costs half as much

and has twice as many doors.

But the winner is...

The Bugatti Veyron!


That car takes everything  to a whole new level.

A whole new level.

Right. It is now time for  the best noise of the year.

And the nominations are...

The Ferrari F430.


That is the sound your spine  would make if you could  actually hear it tingle.

HAMMOND: The Mercedes CLS55...


That is the sound of a  spitfire full of jackhammers!

CLARKSON: But here's the winner!

The Aston Martin V8! Listen.


That is just sheer volume,  that thing! Really is.  It's like Spinal Tap!

The exhaust goes  all the way up to 11.  Fantastic!

What colour thong are you  actually wearing?  Black and white?

We now have the George Michael  award for the most ill-advised  piece of facial hair

in motor sport.

And the nominations are...

Jenson Button and  David Coulthard,  both of whom grew

a full set of face moss this year.

But the winner is  Fernando Alonso,  who for some reason

grew what appeared to be  a blob of Marmite on his chin.


You just wanna go up to him...

Get rid of that!

It's silly! Absurd!

Now, the Gas Guzzler of the Year. The nominations are...

The Range Rover Sport, which achieved 8 miles to the gallon.

The Bugatti Veyron,  which achieved four miles  to the gallon.


Anyway, I'll just go for  the winner... Here we go.

It's the Ford GT!


Yay! Thirstiest car  in the world!

So your car is  actually thirstier  than a burning oil refinery!

Oh, absolutely. You can see  the cloud coming out  of that exhaust from space.

Okay. It is now time for an award which, frankly, you will not see

on any another  awards programme.

Best German of the Year!  And the nominations are...

Dr Ulrich Bez  for rescuing Aston Martin.

Dr Ferdinand Piech  for financing  the Bugatti Veyron.

But the winner is... Sabine Schmitz.

And here she is driving around  the Nurburgring in a van

faster than some (BLEEP)  on motorcycles!


I'm glad it wasn't me  being overtaken by a van.

She's such a star!

Right, Driver of the Year.

Nominations are...

Fernando Alonso, the Formula 1 world champion,

that Italian thing  on a motorbike...

Valentino Rossi! He's a genius!

He's not a genius.  He's just good at not  falling off his motorbike.

Anyway, the thing is  the winner

is the person who was fastest  round the only track  that matters, ours,

Ellen MacArthur.

You've done it!


She's the girl!

She is the girl.

Now, sadly, Ellen couldn't  be here to pick up  her prestigious award

because she couldn't  be bothered.

So I had to go to her.

Ellen MacArthur, as the  fastest star in a reasonably  priced car of 2005,

indeed, of all time,

I would like to present you

on behalf of Top Gear--and its  350 million viewers

-with this piece of trophy. -Wow!

-Congratulations!  -Complete with nautical theme!


I'd just like to say a big thanks Top Gear.

The experience was incredible.

Wow! This is just  out of this world.  Thank you.


-She's also really pretty.  -Yeah, that's true.

Now, every year, this prestigious and coveted golden cock

is awarded to the presenter  who makes the biggest hash of something in the year.

Last year I got it for leaving  a Land Rover Discovery

and a film crew  on top of a  Scottish mountain

and going home  with the keys in my pocket.

This year, though, it's awarded...

to James!

Yes, it is. Because, you see,  the thing is, the other week

we had to record a  short trail, the three of us.

And James was mysteriously  reluctant to appear on camera.

-Where've you just been?  -Right. I've been for a slash.

-Oh, he's got a dribble.  -No, no, I haven't got  a dribble.

-Yes!  -No, no, no, no. no.

Let's stand up  and do this link.

No, I think we should...  Let's stand, Brian.

Yes, let's do it standing.  It's much better.

Full-length shot.


James, are you not coming in?  You may as well!

-I'll just sit here. -Check out the dryness.

Oh, yeah.

If you have a weakness on this show, you die.

Now, look... Look...

We've all done it.  I was in a hurry. It was  splashback from the tap.

-Oh, it was the tap!  Of course!  -Whatever, James.

-There's the Golden Cock!  -Wow, what a moment.

Coveted and prestigious!  Savour it!


It's time now for the award  for the  Coolest Car of the Year.

Here we go.

Actually, it says Porsche 911  on it, but I've decided  I'm gonna give it to

the Aston Martin V8 Vantage!


-No question. -Stop!

-You can't do that!  -Why not?

You can't just come in and change it.

That's like going to the  Oscars and saying,  "Best Actress is Judi Dench,

"but I fancy Uma Thurman more  so she's getting it."

I would do that.

You would, but you can't.  This is an awards ceremony.

It's decided in advance by a  panel of experts.  You can't change it.

Okay, let's ask the audience.  Am I right?


It's not a poll, either.  It's an award.

If it's not a democracy,  then it's a dictatorship.

And I'm dictating that the  Aston Martin V8 Vantage  is the winner!


No. I'm gonna do it again. I'm gonna do it again.

And the  Coolest Car of the Year  is the Porsche 9...

-We're not doing it again!  -I...

We've all agreed,  it's the Aston...

He's eating it!

He's eating the piece of paper.

I'm not doing any more awards!

-I'm not doing any more!  -You can't come in  and change it!

I'm sorry. Just...

Now, look...

Pack it in  because the nation...


It's not nice.

I'm not doing any more.

No, look,  the nation is on tenderhooks.

We've got all these to do. We've got best tow car,

best diesel, we've got  best racy access  in a three-door super mini.

I'm not doing any more.  He'll just eat them all,  James,

I'm moving it on  to the final film.

Best electric mirror controls.

James, I'm moving it on  to the final film.

-See, the thing is...  -Best thong...  Oh, no, that's...

I'm not doing any more  'cause he'll just eat them.

I'll move it on to the final film, okay? You see, the thing is,

is that there was a Grand Prix  in Turkey this year.

And Fernando Alonso arrived  there saying, "I know my way  around this brand new track

"'cause I've done it on an  X-PlayBoxStation"  or whatever it was.

And I thought, "That's odd."

Can you really learn your way  round a race track  on a PlayStation thing?

So obviously,  I had to find out.

I am going to pick a track.

I'm gonna go for a real one that exists in real life, Laguna Seca.

And now,  I'm going to choose a car.

TVR Tuscan.  No, too much of a handful.

Aston Martin DB9.

That's not really a  racing car. That's just  pornography. So, no.

We'll go back from that.

NSX! That is perfect.

Here we go.

A fine start.  I want to cross that line  at 100 mph.

Where's your brake?  Where's your brake?  Where's your brake?

Now! 400 yards out.  Nose dip. That's nice.  That's real.

A little bit of power.  And then just onto the  rumble strips. Nice.

Slight dab at the brakes.  Turn in. Ooh.

I can feel the understeer  building up.  That is realistic.

That is just supreme  for that corner.

The nation will be full of  11-year-olds saying,  "Wow, Dad.

"I wish you were that good!"

Watch how you go through The Corkscrew when you know what you're doing.

One of the hardest corners  in the world, but you'll see,

no real problem  for someone like me.

As soon as you see the curb,  on the brakes. Hard,  hard, hard, hard.

Come on!

1.41! There it is!

Piece of cake. But here's  the thing, could I now get  round that track

in that time, in that car,  for real?

Straight! Oh, (BLEEP)!

To play the real Laguna Seca,   you have to go to California,

where you'll discover a death-dealing blend of G-force and tortured tyres.

This is the most   fearsome track in   the North America,

largely because of one corner, The Corkscrew!

I've driven round  The Corkscrew a million times,

electronically, and I just  can't believe how steep it is.

Or how blind it is!

Small wonder half The Stig's  address book's buried in  that tyre wall over there.


Still, I had the car,   I had the track,

and now it was time to see if   I could match the time   I'd set on the PlayStation.

Now in the game, I'm doing  118 mph at the end of  this straight

that isn't straight!

That's not a corner  on the PlayStation!

Oh, God!

Oh, my God!

This was horrific.

The concrete walls were so close it felt like a street circuit.

Thought I'd had it then.

This is the difference.

Not sitting on a sofa.

That's the other thing you can do in the game

is you can adjust your  throttle and your brakes  in the middle of a corner.

You try doing that  in real life, you're off.

Wall, dead!

Murder, blood, spurt, gut, artery! Cold Case.

Ooh, at the rumble strips.

Just like I do at home.



That was a bit faster  than I wanted to do.  That was turn six...

Which means the next one is   blind turn seven,   The Corkscrew.

I just daren't brake there. I dare not brake.

Going in, this'll get the  G-force working... Ah...

Oh, God!

No, no, no!

Nigel Mansell said in  that corner, he'd got  negative G, then lateral G,

then massive positive G,  all in the space of a second.

So, 1.41 to beat. Could I   really do it first time out?

2.01, two minutes, 1 second.

I'm sorry.  How fast did you say?

Two bloody minutes?

This was alarming news.

When you're coming up to  the top of the course,  it's blind.

On the PlayStation  you go right over the crest,

brake, turn in.

You try doing that.  You try doing that.

I do not have the skills  to do that. I'm losing five,  six seconds there.

And everywhere else, I'm brilliant, frankly.

You know, you just sort of go,  "That is Jacques Villeneuve  in that car.

"A bit fatter, but that's  Jacques Villeneuve."

With 20 seconds to make up,   I called on the   circuit instructor,

who suggested I went back   to studying the game.

-I'm gonna drive this like I'm driving the track. -Okay.

-So I'm braking there...  -Yeah.

No, you see,  the brakes are better  than it is here.

-You can't do that in reality.  -No, you can't.

And you're already doing 100 mph all the way up.

He helped me to understand where the game was true to life,

and where   it was leading me astray.

So, then it was time   to try again.

This is the worst.  That is the  absolute worst bit.

You just keep your thumb on it  in the game.  You just, "Buuu."

This is where you just  dab the...

I just can't do it.


You don't get that in a  PlayStation,  that surge of adrenaline.

This time I tried to attack   The Corkscrew with the venom   I used in the game.

Don't brake, don't brake,  don't brake.

But it was hopeless.

My leg's got a mind of its own  and it's braking!

The reality was   just too daunting.

So much, and you don't feel  that G-force that you get...

I'm turning too soon!  I'm going off...

I had hoped this trip   would serve   as a good-bye tribute

to Honda supercar   which is being built no more.

It's such a shame  they're dropping the NSX.

Fifteen years of this thing.  Chassis designed  by Ayrton Senna...

And the noise it makes  is just so exciting.

You never wanna change up.  Listen.


More! More of that!

So, had I done the NSX proud?   Had I done a 1.41?

That last one was a 1.59.

The brakes are  completely cooked. I've got to  let them cool down.

Then, one last do-or-die.

I can smell them from here.

It's nice of you to say,  because obviously the viewers  at home can't smell that.

Can we just say...  What are we smelling?

-We're smelling the brakes  quite a bit.  -Burnt brakes.

Burnt brakes. So we were saying it was not me. The car's let me down!

So I had the excuses of a   racing driver, and the game   had convinced me I had

the ability of a racing driver.

But the fact is,   I'm not a racing driver.

The one thing I've learnt today, and I have learnt this,

is that you can have  the skill to get this car  round here in 1.40,

and it could do 1.40, I'm sure of it.

It's that part of your brain  that makes you frightened.

That's what racing drivers  don't have.

They don't have imagination.  They're not thinking,

"What if a wheel falls off now?"

"What if I push the  brake pedal  and nothing happens?"

"What if a giant meteorite lands in front of me?"

That's all I'm thinking,  all the time.

"What if? What if? What if?"

But despite this, I had to go out one last time.

How the hell am I going  to find 17 seconds?

Right. No more Mr Nice Guy.

Yes. Better, much better.

Come on!

Feel the anti-lock kicking  back there. You don't get that  in a PlayStation!

Come on, in you go.

Come on! Come on!

Turn in the one!

That's the little...  That crest, that bump there,

you don't feel those things when you're playing it in your sitting room.

The Corkscrew.  Whoa! God...

Braver, Jeremy. Well done.

Yes, I'm pleased with myself!

Be brave!

I like it!

Oh, no! The film's broken!

No, no, it's not broken!  What was your time?

I don't think the  time's relevant, to be honest.

Jeremy, of course  it's relevant, you imbecile!

-That's why you went  all the way to California.  -Not really.

-Yes!  -Come on.

-So, what was your time?  -One something.

One what?


-What?  -57.

-1.57?  -Yes.


So you spent all day there  and you hardly  improved at all?

You didn't even give the NSX  a proper send-off?

What I did was prove

that you can go faster on a  sofa in your sitting room

than you can in a supercar  on a race track.

-Really.  -That's what I did.

On that rather contrived  bombshell,  it's time to end the show,

and in fact, the series.

Have a very happy New Year, and, unless we get eaten by a giant chicken

-in the meantime...  -HAMMOND: It happens.

...we'll see you  in the spring. Bye!