The Grand Tour (2016) s03e06 Episode Script

Chinese Food for Thought

1 (ENGINE REVVING) (TRAIN WHISTLE BLASTS) (CHEERING) Hello, everybody.
Hel-lo! (WHISTLING) - Hello! - Thank you.
- Thank you, everybody.
- Hello! Thank you, thank you, thank you.
RICHARD: Hello! Thank you so much, everybody.
Thank you.
Now Coming up in this week's show: A supercar is dismantled for no reason.
A man with no shirt on.
And my whole tongue is wrapped up in intestine.
My whole tongue is wrapped up in intestine.
Those are the highlights.
- Those are the best bits.
- Yep.
They really are.
Anyway over here in the West, we tend to think that at £360,000 a Rolls Royce Phantom is quite expensive.
But this week, The Grand Tour is focusing mostly on China.
And over there, things are a bit different.
(INSECT BUZZING) JEREMY: Not that long ago, China was full of old, bent-over rice-farmer ladies, up to their ankles in mud.
But these days, things have changed a bit.
(DRAMATIC MUSIC) As recently as the 1980s, people here would lie awake at night dreaming of having enough money to buy a mule.
Whereas now, just 30 years later, they dream of being able to buy a Hongqi.
Specifically this Hongqi - the L5.
In Chinese, Hongqi means "the red flag", the symbol of communism.
But there's nothing at all communistical about this monster's price tag.
Which is £880,000.
The interior is an exquisite work of art with rosewood panelling and cream leather.
The dashboard and centre console are fully digital.
There's jade in the door handles and golden sunflowers everywhere else.
I only saw this thing for the first time a few moments ago and already I'm in love.
I love the way each door weighs the same as a medium-sized mountain.
I love the red flags here and on the bonnet.
I love the flagpoles.
It's like it's like a cartoon baddie's car, cos in real life nobody could be that bad.
I mean, it's impossible! One thing the Hongqi doesn't have is armour plating, but even so, it weighs just shy of 3.
2 tons.
Now to move this enormous weight around, it's fitted with a six-litre V12 engine which turns petrol into silence.
It's not particularly comfortable, though.
The seats especially are very hard.
And the steering wheel adjuster button is broken and there are no cup holders.
And it certainly isn't fast.
In fact, it has the same power-to-weight ratio as a Peugeot 308 diesel.
Hongqi won't say what the 0 to 60 time is.
I suspect because it won't actually do 60.
You know what, though? I don't care about any of that, because it is just magnificent and evil.
(LAUGHS EVILLY) Gloriously, brilliantly evil.
Despite its villainous presence, though, the price is mad.
So, I called May and Hammond and we came up with an idea.
If you are a Chinese businessman or businessman-woman, and you want a car that reflects your status, you don't need to spend £880,000.
You can simply pop over to Europe and buy a Mercedes S-Class, like this one.
And even though this is the 6-litre V12, it cost me just £8,800.
In other words, you could have 100 of these for the price of a Hongqi.
At this point, my colleague Richard Hammond arrived in something or other.
What is that? This is a Cadillac STS and you can shut up.
- I wasn't gonna say anything.
- Good.
Because this is fitted with one of the best engines of all time.
The creamy smooth, 4.
6-litre Northstar V8.
Making 300 all-American horsepower.
That engine was designed so it can run for up to 100 miles with no coolant in it at all, by shutting down one bank of the V8 until it cools and then the other one, and then the other one.
That is clever.
- And front-wheel drive? - Yeah? It's a luxury car.
Who cares what wheels are being driven, James? Well, people who care about torque steer, weight distribution, - dignified engineering, doing things properly.
- All right.
I'll cancel all the track days I've entered in it and I'll just drive around in it as a luxury car.
Anyway, this is the Mercedes S-Class, which, as we know, is really a sort of paradigm for the luxury car and it's a pioneer of many things that are new on cars and that we come to see as standard some years later.
For example - first car to have - Soft-close doors.
How many miles has it done? 180 000.
RICHARD: Yeah, well, I figured.
- Where did your car come from? - Germany.
- A German - Mm-hm.
bought a Cadillac? We were then interrupted by the arrival of Clarkson in a BMW.
Ooh, I see you've bought the long car.
- Yours is long as well.
- Are you two beamed from the 1970s? - No, they're long-wheel base and this is long.
- It is long.
This is the BMW 750 IL, as Q called it in the Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies.
- JAMES: Did he? - BOTH: He did.
- Nobody told him? - Nobody on set said, "Desmond, that's not what it says.
" You would think, wouldn't you? Oh, well.
And in the film, they use 740s rebadged.
- JAMES: Do they? - Yeah.
This is the real deal.
- The 5.
4 litre V12.
- JAMES: Hmm.
And all I paid for it was £8,400.
That is one hell of a lot of car.
I only paid £3,000 for my Cadillac.
That's a Cadillac.
Yes, the point I'm gonna make is what kind of a moron in Germany said, "Zere's Audi, zere's BMW, zere's Mercedes.
I should buy a Cadillac.
" In fact, I know exactly.
You know those Germans you see that think they're Hell's Angels? - They're dentists, but they have Harley Davidsons.
- Yes? And they go to the Oktoberfest and they drink Budweiser.
Yes, well, I know the Germans you mean.
No, it You're wrong.
Because the previous owner of that car was an American general living in Germany.
- Was he? - A general? An American general and he bought that because he recognised what Cadillac intended with that car, which is to take on Audi, BMW, Mercedes, directly with that car with the Northstar engine.
Oh, yes, they were very successful with that, Europe is full of Cadillacs.
- Yeah, you see them everywhere.
- You never see an Audi.
JEREMY: Tripping over these.
Rarity and exclusivity are part of luxury.
- Let's have a look at yours.
- Mine, honestly, is in perfect nick.
- It's um absolutely fine.
- I saw that.
I saw that.
- Saw what? Nothing to see.
- That's got double glazing in it and has gone wrong.
Oh, wait a minute, is your Come on! - What's the disease? - It's got - James, is that between the panes? - Yeah, it's got mumps.
That's the most depressing - a double-glazed window with mildew in-between it.
- What's the matter? - You've got mildew inside your windows.
- Where? - There.
- Well, it's just, it's - That's really poor.
Oh, my God! Basically, it's disappearing before your eyes.
JAMES: How can a German car Sure it's a real one? Was it parked in the sea when you bought it? Let's not get bogged down with the oxidisation of my car.
Because a lot of Chinese people, as we know, come to Europe these days.
Mostly to go to the Mr Shopping Village.
Which is now a bigger tourist attraction for the Chinese in England than Buckingham Palace - true fact.
- Anybody else find that faintly depressing? - Very depressing.
If Chinese people are going to come to the UK and buy Western soap and Western frocks, why would they not buy Western cars when they're there? RICHARD: Yeah, you can't buy these cars second-hand over here.
- No, this vintage isn't available here.
- No.
JAMES: No.
Because when these cars were new, everyone in China had - Bicycles.
- Yes! Or oxen.
- Yeah.
- And what we're saying is, you can buy one of these for a lot less than a luxury Hongqi.
- A lot, lot less.
- And that's what we're here to prove, people of China.
JEREMY: We couldn't have chosen a better location for our test - the absolutely mind-blowing city of Chongqing.
Let me give you a few facts and figures, if I may, about Chongqing.
Population in the municipal area of around 30 million, so it's one of the biggest cities in the world.
14 different car makers here, so it's China's Motown.
And it's the capital of the Chinese motorcycling industry.
And they made 100 million laptops here last year.
Apparently the city is twinned with Leicester and you can see why.
Apart from everything about it.
Oh, look, a train going through a building.
Obviously.
It's an amazing-looking place.
The people of Dubai think they're good at knocking up a building quickly, but look at the stuff being built here.
JEREMY: Of course when a city gets this big, this fast, there are many ways to make money.
There's steel and glass and concrete.
But one man thought, "Hold on", every one of the rooms in every one of those buildings "is going to need a door.
" Genius.
No brainer on the Dragons' Den, that's for sure.
It was such a good idea, he now has a drive-through door factory.
RICHARD: Security doors, front doors, interior doors really fancy-shmancy doors.
Ornate doors, bank vault Car doors.
JEREMY: Five million of them last year: five million doors.
Well, that's not very interesting, is it? Yes, but now I'm the richest man in the world.
"If employee is angel overtime, it is not devil when they get salary.
" OK, he's not a brilliant writer, but what a maker of doors! JEREMY: The most noticeable thing about Chongqing, though is the heat.
This is called the furnace of China.
Average daily temperatures, this time of year, which is, mid-July, 45 degrees.
With 80% humidity.
This place is hot.
Like mega hot.
It's so hot and so sticky that five minutes after putting up a building, the jungle is growing out of it.
And this is OK if you're in an air-conditioned BMW or Cadillac.
However I'm gonna have to tell you that the air-conditioning simply doesn't work in my car.
Please, no.
Not here.
Have you heard the news? James's aircon.
- What? - (MOUTHS) Oh, dear.
- (LAUGHS) - Oh! Oh, that he's gonna feel that.
- Ho-ho! - (LAUGHS) JEREMY: Aircon issues aside, though, it did seem like we were on to something with our pre-owned Western limousines.
Cars here cost round about twice as much as they do in the UK because of taxes and profiteering from the car companies.
So if you see someone in a Range Rover Velar as I just did, that here is £140,000.
Yeah, I mean, that S-Class there, if that's a tasty one, that's a £300,000 car in China.
And that's why this BMW makes sense.
You could come to Europe, pick up a 750IL like this for £8,500, pay for the shipping to China, pay the taxes, and it would still cost you less than a Honda Civic.
And it's not like this is on its last legs.
I don't have a single thing in here that's broken.
Steering wheel adjuster, unlike in the Hongqi, is working.
Indicators, lights, stereo - everything.
Everything works.
Windows.
I've even got a cassette player.
Look at that.
RICHARD: All my electrics were working too.
But actually, in this superheated-city, there's an even better reason for buying a Cadillac.
When Americans build a car, they start with the air-conditioning unit and then say, "Right, let's fit a car to it.
" It's top priority.
" Speaking of which What this is, viewers, if you were wondering, is something called an ice towel.
You soak it in water and it remains cool for up to two hours.
Borrowed it from one of the crew.
It's fantastic.
JEREMY: Eventually, we decided to leave the centre of the biggest city you've never heard of.
So we negotiated this gentleman's sausage-shaped junction to try our cars on the freeway.
Where, immediately, we had a problem.
(CLICKING) Every few hundred yards, there's a gantry with cameras covering all the lanes.
And every single car is photographed.
And every single photograph is then analysed by an official in a room to make sure the driver is smoking.
Because as far as I can work out, that is still compulsory here.
Other things - well, they're making sure that you have your seatbelt done up, that you're not talking on a mobile phone.
And that you're not Oh, how can I put this? touching either yourself or your passenger.
Apparently that's a thing in China.
Quite a few people are prosecuted for pleasuring themselves, or one another, on a long journey.
JAMES: Yes! Oh, yes.
Ohh! Oh, yes.
That is that's actually really nice.
Ow! Shit, I've fanned my todger.
JEREMY: Eventually, we arrived at the location for our first test.
It's one of 78 centres around Chongqing where teenagers can learn to drive away from the traffic.
To us, however, it looked like a racetrack.
Which made it perfect for an ingenious handling test that I'd just thought of.
Now, to do this, we're gonna use drones, like this one, which have been fitted with flamethrowers.
They actually use these in China for clearing um litter that's got stuck on overhead power cables.
Right.
So how are we going to use airborne flamethrowers, like this, to test the power and agility of our cars? Good question.
Each of our cars has, as you can see, been fitted with three chains of firecrackers.
One on the bonnet, one on the roof, one on the boot lid.
OK? So you drive round a special course here, while you're attacked by the airborne flamethrowers.
And then you score a point when you've finished for every one of the targets that haven't gone off.
Since we were up against two geeky millennials and we'd be driving powerful Western saloons, we figured we could outrun and outsmart the drones easily.
Flight Of The Valkyries (TYRES SCREECH) - Sadly, though, it was a massacre.
- Ah, fire from the sky! - (FIRECRACKERS POP) Agh! Agh! (POPPING AND FIZZING) (TYRES SCREECH) - (POPPING) - Agh! Agh! There's the drone on my left.
The first one.
(TYRES SCREECH) - (POPPING AND FIZZING) - Ah, God.
God's truth! - (POPPING) - Ohh! Fire everywhere.
Oh, God.
Bandit at ten o'clock.
(TYRES SCREECH) Oh, no! Oh, shit! - That will have alarmed him.
- It will have slightly, yeah.
- You know, dogs don't like fireworks? - No, they hate it.
- (FIRECRACKERS POPPING) - Agh! Aagh! Arghh! Aaargh! (APPLAUSE) JEREMY: That was such a good laugh.
Belting around with airborne flamethrowers.
- Really good afternoon, that was.
- Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.
- What? - Hang on.
- Yeah? - That was a totally useless test.
- Why was it? - Well, we did nothing to convince Chinese business people that our second-hand limos were a good idea.
And we all scored nought.
- Yeah, and we all ruined our paintwork as well.
- Yes, but it'll buff out.
- No, it won't.
- Well, it might.
Anyway, we shall pick that up later on.
But now, it is time for us to splash in some puddles of chat (LAUGHTER) left by the drizzle of debate that falls on Conversation Street.
(MELLOW JAZZ) (LAUGHTER) RICHARD: I like that one.
I like that one.
Yeah, I know.
Damn.
We'll stick with China.
If we may.
Um before we were allowed to drive over there, we all had to sit Chinese driving tests.
Now, we've seen driving tests around the world.
I remember one in India I encountered once, where a woman passed, even though she was in the back of the car.
And her examiner was in another car - following along behind.
- Yeah.
Used to be in Egypt that you had to drive six feet forwards, but then six feet backwards and then you'd pass.
- And that was it.
- I'd love to meet somebody who failed that.
Yeah.
Anyhow, so we figured that to get a Chinese driving test it would be, you know, quite an easy test.
However, we were in for a bit of a surprise.
Now, um I actually got some footage of Hammond taking his test.
- Does anyone wanna see it? - AUDIENCE: Yes! It's poor quality, it's on my phone, but here we go.
JEREMY: Test centre.
Right, so he has to ball his fists.
Then a squat.
There he goes.
There he goes.
And then he has to get on some weigh scales.
Tense moment here, tense moment.
Still tense.
You passed! Hammond has passed! - (LAUGHTER) - Seriously - (APPLAUSE) - Well done.
- That was it.
- Yes! It was nothing.
I made it look easy.
That was, well, it was the easiest driving test I've ever heard of.
Basically I passed because I proved that my hands do that and I'm affected by gravity.
- That's it.
- I think it is actually just a test to check that you are a human being and not a dog.
- Cos they can't - Sure it was.
However, afterwards, we were taken in to a sort of lecture theatre by a man who talked us through the perils of the road in China.
And he said that we had to look out for a number of things running out into the road, in front of us.
Including, and I'm not - this is a quote, yes? You will back me up on this.
This is what he said.
Including dogs, children, and women.
- (LAUGHTER) - That's what he said.
He said that.
"Be careful, they run out into the road.
" "You never know, they're unpredictable.
" (LAUGHTER) I don't think the #MeToo movement has reached Chongqing just yet.
No.
Mind you, you say that, there are 78 self-made billionaire women in the whole world.
- And 49 of them are Chinese.
- Yeah.
Well, there would be more, but some of them got run over.
(LAUGHTER) Anyway, look, can we talk about that Hongqi for a bit? I knew you'd want to talk about that.
- It's so you.
- It's interesting.
- It's so you.
- It's got him written all over it.
Bad news, though, you can't have it in brown.
Why would I want it in brown? - Oh, yes, you would.
- You love a brown car.
Your cars are grey and dark green.
Mine are blue, metal fake, red, and orange.
I can't see into your mind.
God knows I'm not sure I want to.
But I know James May, as you drift off to sleepy bobos tonight, a brown Hongqi will be driving (LAUGHTER) "But I don't like brown cars.
" - It's like him saying, "I love horses.
" - Ha-ha.
Things that aren't true.
Things that aren't true.
You love a brown car and you can't have it in brown.
I've never had a brown car and I am interested in the Hongqi.
- So tell us more about it.
- OK.
Something I didn't say in the film, which is quite interesting, is that when you order one, they send a tailor round to your place of business.
And he measures you up for a suit that you then wear when you take delivery of the car.
- Really? - Yeah.
I'd actually quite like to be the tailor who made the suit for you when you take delivery of your Hongqi.
It would have some writing on it.
- Would it? - Not in Chinese, it would be in English.
Would it be a pithy description of the wearer? Yes, that's what it was.
It's funny you should say that, because in China there's a tendency for people to wear clothing with English words, you know, written on them.
They've obviously got no idea what those words say.
I was sitting in a traffic jam one day there and there was a woman on a bus next to me.
And she was a perfectly respectable, 50-something woman on her way obviously to an office job or whatever.
She was wearing a white blouse with red flowers on it.
Now, I took a picture.
Here it is.
And what that says is, "He was a (BLEEP) asshole.
" (LAUGHTER) I would love a picture of her face when somebody explained to her what it said on her shirt.
Do you know what's really amazing about that? That's exactly what I was gonna have put on your Hongqi suit.
- She knew.
- She knew! I wanna get back to cars, if I may.
Because there's some truly astonishing stats, really, about cars in China.
We've got a graph here of global car production, yes? There's the UK in tenth place.
We made 1.
67 million cars here in 2017.
Japan 8.
35 million.
China, let's put it up.
RICHARD: Mind-blowing! 24.
8 million cars they made there.
And what's extraordinary is that you can't just buy a car and then use it.
You have to apply to a government-run lottery for a registration plate for your car.
Now here's one, OK? In Beijing last year, for every thousand people who applied for a registration plate for a car they intended to buy For every thousand who applied, how many do you think actually got one? - 500.
- 200.
- 600.
- BOTH: 300.
- Three.
- Three people? For every thousand people who applied, only three actually got a registration plate, were allowed to buy a car.
This is good conversation, this whole issue actually.
It's really interesting.
Would you like to guess what was the bestselling car in China in 2017? Well, Volkswagen have been there forever, so I'm gonna say the Passat.
I'm gonna say it's a mid-sized Hyundai - of some sort, sort of boxy thing.
- And you're both wrong.
It's the Wuling Hongguang.
- (LAUGHTER) - What, that? Yep, there it is.
That's the fella.
That's the bestselling-car in China? They sold half a million of them in China in 2017.
- Really? - Half a million of those were sold, yeah.
They sold Well, half a million of Wu - Wuling Hongguang.
- Those.
That's more than the Ford Focus.
Yeah, and don't forget the Ford Focus is sold globally.
That's just sold in China.
The car, the Chinese car, that caught my eye, I must say, was the Bestune T77.
- Familiar with it? - Oh, the Best No.
- Never heard of it.
- No, exactly.
We've got a picture of it here.
It looks a bit like the Lamborghini from last week, the Urus.
But it's much smaller, 1.
2-litre engine SUV.
All quite normal.
Except it comes with something called a dashboard assistant.
Which is a little holographic figure that pops up and you talk to it and it helps you set the satnav - and make phone calls and so on.
- That's very hi-tech.
Except the little holographic figure is of a Japanese - a Japanese schoolgirl.
And then you can choose what colour miniskirt you'd like her to wear.
Got a picture I'm not making it up.
There's a picture here.
(LAUGHTER) I'm not sure about that.
I'm not either, but here's the thing, James, the Chinese don't care what we think, anybody.
Cos they look at us like we look at cows.
We're just big daft things standing around.
Only instead of milk, we give them luggage and watches.
(LAUGHTER) That's actually the end of Conversation Street.
It's not the end, however, of the Chinese stuff.
Because we had a call the other day from a Chinese car manufacturer called NIO.
And they said, "We have built a blisteringly fast, all-electric supercar.
" And would one of you like to try it out?" Yeah, now after his escapade going up a Swiss hill in a blisteringly fast, all-electric supercar, Richard Hammond said that he really didn't think he was the man for the job.
However, it turned out that the car was only available for one day and unfortunately on that day, I had the boiler man coming round.
- Yeah.
And I had a dental appoint - Dentist.
Dental appointment, yeah.
Yep.
So, guess what? (GLASS TINKLING) RICHARD: Here it is.
It's called the EP9.
And it's pretty clear that this is no Nissan Leaf.
Because a Leaf doesn't have giant head restraints to stop G-forces from snapping your neck during hard cornering.
And that's just the start of it.
What I have here is a comparison between this NIO EP9 and the Rimac Concept One, in which I had my little, um tumble down a Swiss mountainside.
So in the Rimac Concept One, power: 1,207 brake horsepower.
In this NIO, 1,341 brake horsepower.
Power to weight: in the Rimac is 652 brake horsepower per ton.
In this NIO, 773 brake horsepower per ton.
Oh, good.
So, no pressure, then.
Right.
The high voltage system is active.
So here goes.
To launch, it's gotta be in drive.
(WHOOSH) - Left foot on brake, right foot mash the throttle.
Right hand hold that back for one, two, three, four, five.
- Come off the brake.
- (ENERGY PULSES) Urgh! (SCREAMS) (ENERGY PULSES AND WHINES) - (TYRES SCREECH) - Sweet Mary Mother of Jesus! (POUNDING TECHNO) It's just insanity! They say it'll do 0 to 60 in 2.
7 seconds.
0 to 125 in 7 seconds.
7 seconds! That direct, immediate power you get from these electric supercars is like nothing else.
It's like one minute I'm here and then bam! I'm over there.
It's like driving a jet engine.
Something else about which I have bad memories.
This is a bad place.
However, there is some good news for people like me.
The brakes.
- (SCREECHING) - Whoa! That's put everything back where it should be.
My eyes have come forward.
My lungs are on the front again.
Oh.
Now if you want to experience this phenomenal speed for yourself, you will need two things.
First of all, a lot of money.
Because this costs £1.
15 million.
Secondly, a racetrack.
Because it works like that Ferrari FXX - where you buy the car, they deliver it to a track for you along with a support team.
You drive it, crap yourself, then they take it away and hose it out for you.
Since it's an electric car, you'll be wondering about range.
Obviously if you hammer it round a track, you are gonna wear those batteries out pretty quickly.
However, on the plus side, they only take 45 minutes to charge.
On the minus side, you have to take the batteries out to do it.
And as they weigh 317 kilograms each, you won't be doing that on your own.
It is a bit more of a faff than say, a can of petrol.
However, if you're an electric petrol head and you're tempted by the NIO, you might be interested to know that it's not short of pedigree.
There's evidence that the people behind this thing really know what they're doing.
For starters, the outfit that makes the EP9 also runs a Formula E team: one which won the inaugural championship in 2015.
And until recently, the EP9 itself held a lap record around the Nurburgring, with an astonishing time of 6 minutes 45.
9 seconds.
Which means it isn't just about going fast in a straight line.
(ELECTRICAL WHINE) It has active suspension, active aerodynamics, torque vectoring - and all of that means only one thing.
(THUDDING DANCE BEAT) Grip, grippity, grip! (TYRES SCREECH) It has a motor in each of the four wheels for a four-wheel drive system that can be monitored and controlled constantly by the car's on-board brain.
Add to that, the active aerodynamics on that vast wing and a diffuser running the length of the car, it produces more down-force than an F1 car.
(TYRES SQUEAL) Jesus! It's like driving an octopus.
There's no doubt that as a piece of engineering, the NIO is deeply impressive.
And into slingshot! Ha-ha-ha! But what I love about it most is that, thanks to its phenomenal grip, I could hammer it round our track all day and still be the right way up.
And from me there is no higher compliment.
(LOW CHATTER) Yeah, yeah, whatever.
Thanks for sticking me with that.
You know, um it's interesting.
Watching that has convinced me that I will never buy an electric car as long as I live.
- Why not? - Because why on Earth would I want to employ a team of men and buy a forklift every time I need to go anywhere? Yeah, that's all very well, but a lot of people are more enlightened than you, including me, in fact.
- So, Hammond? - Yes? Tell me, what are the how does it compare with the Rimac? - Nobody's interested.
- Yes, they are.
Shut up.
The NIO, it's just, the NIO is just more of everything.
It's more power, more grip, more speed.
I have to say, that looked painfully fast, that car.
It is.
It is astonishingly fast.
But it is a novelty.
An amazing powerfully fast one, but a novelty nevertheless.
And we should make it absolutely clear you can't drive it on the road at all.
- It's not road legal.
- No, you can't.
The Rimac, you can, that's what makes it so amazing.
And there's a new Rimac coming out soon that'll have more than 1900 horsepower.
But imagine the size of the internal combustion engine you would need to make 1900 horsepower.
- It would be - It'd be massive.
That's why the future of supercars like that is electric.
- It is.
- What? - It just isn't.
- RICHARD AND JAMES: It is.
That's the way it's gonna go.
It's the way it is going.
OK, then, let's find out how fast your beloved NIO goes around the Eboladrome.
(WHOOSH) And it's off to the sound of the spin cycle.
Jiggling around on its racing car suspension, as it powers onto the Isn't.
That's exciting.
A lift and then building up speed again.
That is looking pretty brisk.
Right, now down into Your Name Here.
Sparks flashing off the rear diffuser.
Torque vectoring should be doing its stuff round here to keep it in place.
(HIGH-PITCHED WHINE) And now back to full voltage for the frantic whirr back down the Isn't.
Sounding more like a jet fighter and less like a Zanussi now.
OK, hard braking for Old Lady's House.
More milk floaty noises.
And now the run to Substation.
If it crashes here, there really will be a lot of sparks.
OK, two corners left.
Very tidy through there.
Just Field of Sheep to go.
Keeps it neat and across the line.
- RICHARD: That looked good.
- JEREMY: She did well there.
- She did do well.
- She did well.
So exciting with those noises.
- I like the noises.
- What? You can't like those There's a whole new set of noises, you pillock.
-(LAUGHTER) - OK.
- It's the future.
OK, let's see how fast your elegantly entitled N ten, - no, NIO - NIO.
- EP9 - Yes.
got round, shall we? Here we go.
- JEREMY: Top ten? - RICHARD: Come on.
There you go.
Oh, yeah.
Oh, yes, oh, yes! - Come on.
Come on! - (AUDIENCE GASPS) - Yeah! - Yeah.
That That is faster faster than the Aston Martin Vulcan.
You're absolutely right, Hammond.
It is a very impressive car.
And it is faster than a Vulcan.
But it's slower than the petrol-powered McLaren Senna, which is road legal.
- So that is petrol: one - Yes.
Electricity: zero! All right, don't do that face.
Don't do that face! - No.
- Smug face.
Not the smug face.
I don't James, just move it on, quick.
Yes, in this show we are explaining to the people of China that they don't need to waste huge sums of money on new luxury cars when they could buy something used from Europe for a lot less.
Now so far, we've done city driving.
We've done motorway driving.
And we've done a completely pointless handling test - that Jeremy devised.
- RICHARD: Yep! And now we had to get to a rally stage to take part in another test that he dreamt up whilst enjoying another night on the pneumonia.
(LAUGHTER) Whatever, OK.
However, listen, before we left the test centre where we did the flamethrower - the flamethrower handling test - we popped next door to something called the Zunyi Conference centre.
It was on this very spot, in 1935, that Chairman Mao unveiled the plans for the future of his country.
This then is the birthplace of Communism in China, and today it stands as an anti-Capitalist shrine.
Naturally we headed straight for the gift shop.
- (CASH REGISTER BEEPING) - Oh, that is exquisite.
Yes, I'll definitely have a Chairman Mao snow globe.
RICHARD: That one.
- Oh, look.
- (WOMAN GIGGLES) How much are these? (CASH REGISTER BEEPS) So that's 230.
JEREMY: It's Donald Trump.
- I'm absolutely starving.
- Yeah, me too.
- Oh, that's handy.
- That'll do.
Having paid our respects to Communism we got back on the road in our fire-damaged cars with James still moaning about his temperature issues.
The air conditioning is now so broken that it's permanently hot, even when I turn it to low and press every auto button.
I decided there was only one thing I could do about this.
Ignore him.
Jesus! Look at that.
They're actually building another motorway with viaducts and tunnels on the other side of the valley.
You've got one motorway.
Why would you need another one over there? Still, all these motorways did mean we could prove that our cars work well, as long-distance cruisers.
If you gloss over the slightly worn, interior trim on this car, I am staggered at how comfortable it is.
Every inch the Cadillac.
It's fitted with something called continuously variable road-sensing suspension.
Or suspension.
And there's more.
In Britain, this car was described as astonishingly reliable.
Not my words, the words of the RAC.
The Royal Automobile Club.
The Queen herself as good as commended this car's reliability.
RICHARD: Meanwhile, in the stuck record.
Lovely engine, silky smooth.
Seats are comfortable, everything works, except the air conditioning.
I'm running out of fuel.
There's That's happened very suddenly.
Er This is May, how's everyone doing for fuel? I have about a quarter of a tank.
I'm gonna need more fuel.
The mighty North Star has drunk it.
JAMES: Happily, we soon saw signs for a service station.
That's excellent.
I was just about to start panicking.
Oh.
Small problem here.
It's not open.
JAMES: So we drove on to the next one.
Oh, thank God.
Where is it? Where's the fuel? Oh, it's not finished.
They could even be fuel tanks waiting to go in.
JAMES: So, we drove on to the next one.
Please let this one be open.
But that didn't have fuel either.
How much money are they spending on service stations? Well, a lot, but they're not earning any from them, I can tell you that.
The problem China has is it's building motorways so fast that the people building the service stations to supply the motorway with fuel can't keep up.
Chaps, my fumes are running out now.
After passing two more unfinished service stations, we finally got lucky.
Oh, thank God.
Ooh, that's a relief.
JEREMY: However, our problems weren't quite over.
I mean, is that petrol or diesel? What What's that? Does green mean petrol or diesel? - (JEREMY LAUGHS) - Oooh! (WOMAN SPEAKS CHINESE) - Oh, hello.
- How do you know which fuel is which? Well, we've no idea.
She just comes.
This is what she just did with mine.
She just put that in and I'm going, "Is it petrol" -(SPEAKS CHINESE) She's putting it in whatever it is.
JEREMY: With the lucky dip fill-up complete, we were ready to roll.
However, in the RAC-approved Cadillac - (CLICK, BEEPING) - Er my car won't start.
It's the battery.
Or have you filled it up with Ribena? (CAR HORN BEEPING) As the rest of China was keen to use this one completed service station, I had to push Hammond clear of the pumps.
JEREMY: It's not really the message we want to be sending out to the people of China, that our cars have broken.
- (CAR HORN BEEPS) - I'm doing manual labour.
- I've found the battery.
- (BLEEP) (ENGINE STARTS) (ENGINE REVS) - RICHARD: Success.
- JAMES: Very good.
Hammond, quite a lot of Chinese people looking.
Well, that's the jump leads test done.
We've done the jump leads test.
If ever we needed them, we can do it.
- Those Chinese-made jump leads were excellent.
- Excellent.
Excellent.
Not that we needed them.
RICHARD: Back on the road, I was wondering if the battery wasn't the only issue.
I can't understand the German messages on the dash, but the engine warning light is on.
I'll be very disappointed if my glorious North Star engine lets go.
It's not going to, it's tough.
It'll be fine.
JEREMY: In fact, we all had issues.
Chief among which was trying to understand the road signs.
Don't "dring" when What? Don't "drmng" when tired.
"Drmng.
" JEREMY: Descent length surplus.
Over-speeding prohibition.
Don't drmng when tired, again.
(LAUGHING) We've got a lot of don't drmnging when tired.
There was another problem too.
The roads had no drainage.
So, even in a shower JAMES: Look at that.
The cars on the other side are sending fountains of water onto this one.
Whoa.
Aquaplaning.
Holy moley.
That man's dropped His crash helmet's actually come off his head.
Still, at least when it got dark, things got worse.
(CLICKING) Whoa! Whoa! They'll give you epilepsy, these cameras.
Constantly being flashed.
JEREMY: After this long and difficult journey, we reached the overnight halt where we were hoping to unwind with some relaxing comfort food.
(SIZZLING AND BUBBLING) Holy cow, that is hot! How Oh, jeez.
RICHARD: Oh oh - What what - That's goose intestines.
Goose intest Do you want some? I've seen more appetising things than that stuck to the back of my terrier.
A rub Ooh! rubber hosepipe - Nice.
- coated in napalm.
(BLEEP) hell! As our mouths melted, I brought up another idea I'd had.
We really should be in the back of these cars, because - I agree, yeah.
- if you're a Chinese businessman you're not gonna drive a car, a 750IL or a Cadillac, are you? You're gonna be in the back.
Actually it's more relevant here anyway, isn't it? - That's what people care about.
- It's all they care about.
The rear seat accommodation, leg room.
Now, Jaguar, Audi, Mercedes and BMW all make long cars specifically for the Chinese market.
So, look, why don't we I'm sure we could do this.
Why don't we hire some local chauffeurs to drive our cars and we'll ride in the back, which is what we should be doing.
- That's a proper place to assess them.
- Mm, that is a good idea.
And how's this for taking it one step further? Why don't we, tonight, modify our cars to make them more relevant and luxurious for the Chinese business community? OK, and while we're at it, if you two dress less like tramps and more like gentlemen of commerce, the ladies and gentlemen of China might take us more seriously.
JEREMY: (MUFFLED) So we've gotta get changed? - Sorry.
- Yes.
Sorry, my whole tongue is wrapped up in intestine.
(SIZZLING AND BUBBLING) JEREMY: The next morning we reconvened after buying ourselves some business suits.
We're supposed to be sending out a message that we're important, and that people should listen to what we have to say.
- Now I've done that.
- I think we are doing that well.
- No, I am.
- No, you just look like you've got a sub-machine gun in a violin case.
- Have you seen James, by the way, this morning? - No.
No, I haven't seen what he's gone for, but let's be honest - Brown.
- Yes.
BOTH: It'll be brown.
- Nothing is more certain than brown.
- Sombre, severe.
- Yeah.
- It's not brown.
That's not Ohhh! JEREMY: (YELLS) Good morning, Vietnam! That is bold.
Now don't pretend you did that on purpose.
- Well, shall I be honest? - BOTH: Yes.
I ordered it using a translation app I got for my phone.
And you mistook green for grey.
I don't know if I did, or they did, or it doesn't work, but I said "light, grey", meaning lightweight, grey.
But I got green.
Yes, and you look ridiculous, and nobody's going to listen to a word you say.
The fact is, though, we were all suited up.
So it was time to get into the back of our modified cars and get going.
- RICHARD: What's that? - That's one of my modifications.
- It's Giovanni.
- No, it's Cato.
See, I ask him for something and then he passes it through the ski hatch.
- Absolute genius.
- It's barbarous.
Having agreed that my manservant was a brilliant idea, we introduced ourselves to our chauffeurs and then set off.
My driver is the excellent Mr Hoo.
I wonder if he's a doctor, actually.
Dr Hoo is not a particularly tall man, but nevertheless, the space in the back of the S Class is fantastic.
I've got all this leg room, I can adjust the seat.
I can recline myself a bit.
I can make myself a bit more upright.
It's quite warm.
The air conditioning still doesn't work.
I should actually warn Dr Hoo of that.
Doctor, I apologise, the air conditioning is broken.
(TRANSLATOR APP SPEAKS CHINESE) Doctor, the hair in the college has not been spoken.
Obviously our cars were built before Bluetooth and internet connectivity had been invented.
But that's OK, because it means you're forced to spend your time in the back, doing something interesting.
What I'm gonna do, instead of watching CNN drone on about Donald Trump, or checking on Nasdaq prices is er make a model a matchstick model of the Eiffel Tower.
My colleagues had also decided to make the back seat a place of learning and self-enrichment.
I've said many times on this programme how I can't cook anything other than baked beans, but I'm gonna use this journey, together with this simple stove, this wok, and these ingredients, to put that right and learn how to make supper.
I've got my cookery book here.
Steamed razor clams with black beans and chilli sauce.
JAMES: I, meanwhile, had decided to try my hand at painting.
Now this is an ideal studio because I can paint the things that I'm going to see out of the window.
Sort of montage, if you like, of typical roadside sights, on a chauffeur-journey through China.
Trees Trees right here, there.
(LIT MATCH CRACKLES) Lovely, lovely.
(CLINKING) Not now, Cato.
I could be sitting here now answering pointless emails from pointless people with nothing better to do all day.
Not now, Cato.
But, no I'm doing something useful, something joyous, something pleasurable.
(TAPPING) Not now, Ca No, Cato, no, that's inappropriate.
- (SIZZLING) - Oh, yeah.
Oh, yeah.
Watercress.
Bit of that.
Spend enough time on the motorway in the back of your luxury car and you could turn yourself into a part-time professional chef.
- We could improv - (CLATTERING) Oh.
JEREMY: Meanwhile, in the BMW Cato, my suit.
My suit jacket.
Cato, fire extinguisher.
Cato, now! - (WHOOSH OF FIRE EXTINGUISHER) - Thank you.
Yeah.
After a few more mostly fire-free miles, we pulled over to compare our work.
May we see, James May, what you have achieved, instead of doing emails? Well, it's naive.
If I were your mum or dad, I'd put that on the fridge door and I'd be very proud of you.
This is going on the wall at home.
Can we taste your soup? Well, you'll have to suck my tie.
That's where it all ended up.
Were you expanding your mind by setting yourself on fire? - Is that all you've done? - No, no, no, no, no, it's matches.
One snapped and went into my sleeve.
JAMES: You've ruined that beautiful suit.
- I wanna see what you've done.
- Let's have a look.
I'm a bit embarrassed by it.
Is it It's a burnt wreck, isn't it? It's not my best work.
This was gonna be your birthday present, but now you've said it's crap you're not having it.
Please don't laugh.
Oh, right.
And you made that, did you? - Really? - In the back of your car.
Yeah, I know, but I Look At great cost.
Yeah.
Yeah.
JEREMY: For the next leg of our journey we tried out the modifications we'd made to our cars, so they'd suit the world of modern commerce.
Businessmen always want a flat bed when they're on an aeroplane, so why wouldn't you want one if you're in your car? Very simple to achieve this.
Recline the front seat, put a mattress on it, duvet, pillow.
Take off what's left of your jacket and into bed.
Oh, it's gone dark.
That's nice.
In the Cadillac, Hammond had been a little more ambitious.
Name me one businessman hotel that doesn't have a gym.
Exactly.
They all do, which is why I've fitted my Cadillac with this rowing machine.
So as we drive along, I can get in shape.
Healthy body means a healthy mind.
- How's life in your car, Mr Hammond? - It's brilliant, thank you.
- What about you? - Oh, I'm just nodding off.
You go in a tunnel, it feels like night, it's lovely.
Um Question, though.
What's What's James done? I can't see him.
Bit more on the coals.
(SIZZLING) I realise this now looks like an idiotic idea.
It was already a sauna in my car, so I've built a sauna in it.
But let's imagine you were in the far north of China.
Let's imagine it's the winter.
You can get through from the other side, through that door, - enjoy a sauna - (SIZZLING) Go back into your car, carry on with your oil painting.
Ohh.
Ohh.
There was, however, one small drawback to my plan.
My driver couldn't see his mirrors.
- (HORN BEEPS) JAMES: Whoa! Bollocks.
- All right, all right.
- (HORN BEEPS) God, Dr Hoo's getting a right strop on.
I know, it's steamed up.
Hang on.
(KNOCKING) - All right, all right, all right.
JEREMY: Oh, that's so nice.
Oh, that's lovely.
That is lovely, lovely, lovely.
Mm.
Not Not yet, Cato.
JEREMY: The next morning, having proved that all cars need saunas, gyms and beds, we sacked our chauffeurs and headed for the location of our final challenge.
However, in the USS Norman Schwarzkopf - (BLEEP) - Geschw Grenze? What does that one mean? (BLEEP) It's not well.
(BLEEP) Oh, that's another I don't I don't know what that warning says either.
- Oh, God, it's dying.
- (ENGINE KNOCKING) (STEAM HISSING) Oh, it's losing oil.
(JEREMY CHUCKLES) What's happened? Loads of warnings came on and then it lost power.
I made it to this off-ramp and now it's it died.
Oh, dear.
I'm not sure my jump leads are gonna get that going, are they? - No.
- Oh, look.
- Oh, dear.
- JAMES: That's really gone bang, hasn't it? RICHARD: There's oil coming out everywhere.
Do you know the number for the emergency services? No, I don't.
Do you know how to say, "My Cadillac's broken down"? - Do you know what junction you're at? - No.
- Oh, dear.
- No, neither do I.
- Do you? - No idea, no.
Come on, we've got a long way to go.
Leaving the multilingual Brummie to deal with the Chinese breakdown services, James and I got back onto what is fast becoming the eighth wonder of the world: China's road network.
In 1988, China had no motorways at all.
And now, 30 years later, it has 84,000 miles of them.
That's more than any other country in the world.
And they're only just getting into their stride.
Since 2011, they've been building 6,000 miles of motorway every year.
6,000 miles a year! It beggars belief and it's not like the terrain is easy.
Here, though, there ain't no mountain high enough and there ain't no valley low enough, to stop them.
This bridge, for example is 34 miles long.
And then there's this one, the Duge Beipanjiang Bridge.
You could fit the London Shard underneath it twice over.
I'm telling you.
In Britain, we're doomed.
We're doomed.
We were headed, though, for an old road, to test the one thing we hadn't tested so far.
And here in China, it's the most important thing.
The thing is, luxury's all very well, but in China, driving is a relatively new thing.
People have only been doing it for 30 years.
And as is the way with all new things, it should be fun.
Eventually we Well, two of us, arrived at the location we'd selected.
It's known as the 24-curve road because it has 24 fun-filled curves.
It was built in 1935 to ferry US military equipment to China.
And it hasn't really been maintained since.
So the surface is loose and potholed.
And it looked like it should be a right laugh.
This was actually part of the road that led the only road that linked the then capital of China with India and Burma.
Yeah, well, before that, all the supplies that came into China had to be flown over the Himalayas, which was incredibly dangerous in the '30s.
I think the Americans lost something like 400 Sorry Sorry to interrupt, have you seen this stupid thing? Well, never mind that, look what he's driving.
What, is that Hammond? - I guess the Cadillac's definitely broken, then.
- (JEREMY LAUGHS) (LAUGHTER CONTINUES) Nice! - Check out my Fulu.
- Why have you got that? Well I wasn't gonna let you have all the fun, was I? Never mind that, why have you got it? My telephone translation device at the toll booth worked to a degree, to this extent.
What you Somebody got you a car? Look, I got wheels, three of them.
- What engine's it got? - 588cc twin-cylinder two-stroke.
- (JEREMY INHALES) - It's in the back.
Ah, look at that.
It's actually smaller than its own air filter.
I was gonna say, my alternator's bigger than that in the Mercedes.
Anyway, listen.
Here's what we're doing.
- Yeah.
- It's a test of speed.
Cos we are against the clock, bear that in mind, OK? And durability, at the same time.
So you've gotta get up this road, which goes all the way up there, as fast as possible, and keep your car in one piece in the process.
Richard and I decided that James should volunteer to go first.
Oh.
Oh, you look exactly like a racing driver, apart from visually.
It's a racing clown.
Can we just get on with it? It's very hot in here.
Going with your window down or up? Lot of stones.
Down? It's a small risk from being hit by a stone.
It's a large risk of dying from suffocation.
Right.
Anything else we wanna say to him? Yes.
"Go.
" Just take some time and prepare mentally, and really think about this.
- Have you visualised the course? - No.
RICHARD: OK.
- JEREMY: He looks quite cross.
- RICHARD: He does, yeah.
- Three, two, one, go! - There you go.
Push.
Oh, God, I can't I can't see round right-hand bends because of my sauna.
Whoa! Massive hole there.
I've just realised that I've only been comfortable for 20 minutes of this entire trip.
My car's been too hot, my suit's too hot, now the road's too rough.
Bit of squirrelling there from the broken traction control.
The finish line! I've done it! JEREMY: Next, it was my turn.
Right, I'm attaching the wobbly-headed symbol of Capitalism here, to bring me good fortune on this perilous test.
- If you're ready.
- Yes.
- Five, four, three - (LAUGHS) two, one.
Go! Now, I'm guessing James May will have gone for caution.
I'm not going to.
Cos I'm going for speed and power.
And then just trust in the BMW build quality.
My wobbly-headed symbol of Capitalism is wilting.
It's not Arrrgh! Jesus, that was a big tail slide there! Oh, yeah.
Stick it in here.
Oh, yes.
- (RATTLING) - Oh, what's happened? (RATTLING AND CLANKING) Yeah.
- You overdid it, didn't you? - Yeah.
JAMES: So I've won that.
Well, we don't know.
We haven't got your time yet.
You said - your words: "Test of durability and is against the clock.
" Your car is broken.
- It's not broken, a tyre's come off.
- It's broken.
RICHARD: Down at the start line, I was waiting for the signal to go.
Hm.
Little cubby hole.
JEREMY: Richard Hammond.
Hello, yes.
- JEREMY: Three, two, one, go! - Oh, come on, I'm not Right, OK, here I go.
(ENGINE REVS) And we're off.
Oh, Christ! Oh.
I am limited on power.
Top speed: 39 miles an hour.
Ow, ow! We're never gonna get an air ambulance in here, are we? Well, he might have a very long winch.
Ohhh! Big drops, I don't like that.
Ow! Nervous of hill climbs these days.
Agh, oh.
A line, use my line.
Ow.
Oh, my God! Oh, dear! Oh, God! - Did anyone s - Was that - Did he just crash it? - Was that a crash or did he just disappear behind the He has, look, he's gone off there.
Er so there we are, I'm afraid that Richard Hammond's luck has finally run out.
And it's with deep regret, and great sadness, that James and I must now announce the untimely demise of RICHARD: I'm all right.
- Not again.
- How's he do it? I don't know.
Well, on that terrible disappointment, back to the tent.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) - Look at my face.
- I'm OK.
I'm OK.
- JEREMY: Smug face.
- I'm fine.
- Don't worry.
- Smug.
Smug because I won that.
- No, you didn't.
- I did, I was the fastest.
And it was supposed to be a test of fun and you moaned the entire way up the hill.
It was a test of durability.
You had to change a wheel and where's the fun in that? Well, I wasn't the idiot that put a sauna in my car.
What's wrong with a sauna? Because in every hotel that's got a sauna, the corridors are always full of wet idiots with those slippers that don't fit.
- Hello? Hello? - What? I did have quite a big crash at the end there.
I thought There's nothing particularly remarkable about that, is there? I mean, why would you The fact is, the reason you crashed Well, obviously you're incompetent.
But also because your Cadillac broke down and your Mercedes was too humid.
So that means the winner is definitely, of the whole thing, the BMW 750i.
- What? - Actually, no.
To be fair, the real winner of the whole thing was our brilliant idea to sell second-hand limos to the Chinese.
No, he's absolutely right about that, because it makes them happy and it helps us with our balance of payments.
- Everybody wins.
- It was a good idea.
- Yes.
- Except for one tiny detail.
You see, this programme is shown in every single country in the world.
Except one.
(LAUGHTER) - Which one? - China.
Ah.
So this entire show has been a total waste of time.
It's an hour of your life you'll never get back.
And on that terrible disappointment, it's time to end.
Next week, I'm happy to say, we're back in the groove.
We're in Scotland and I get an Alfa Romeo GTV6, make me very happy.
See you then, take care.
Good night.
- Good night.
- (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)