Top Gear (2002) s01e09 Episode Script

The Stripped-Out Jaguar XJS

Top Gear Series 01, Episode 09 In tonight's Top Gear, the ultimate family cars.
What is the best hot hatchback? And the Stig meets his match on our track.
Hello.
Now, when I was growing up, doing the school run was very simple.
You just hammer children into a car until you couldn't close the doors anymore.
Some of them got stuck in the ashtray, some of them suffocated.
In an accident, some of them died.
We used to put the fat ones at the front to act as a, sort of, primitive airbag.
But nowadays, you wouldn't dream of putting a child in a car unless it had its own monogrammed personalised airbag.
And its own seatbelt.
So that means, each child needs its own seat.
And that's where one of these comes in.
A people carrier.
This is the new Renault Espace.
It's the latest version of the car which, in Europe at least, started the people carrier ball rolling.
Like all new Renaults, it has odd, angular, futuristic styling, which conceals an odd, angular, futuristic interior.
But no amount of Star Trek trickery can mask the car's sole function - to be as practical as possible in the smallest possible space.
There are endless permutations to the way you can arrange the seats, but the upshot is that all your children and all their friends can travel in comfort and safety.
So, there we are.
The Renault Espace.
Bit pricy, but the perfect family car Except for one small thing.
May I draw your attention at this point to our Cool Wall.
We divide all cars into Sub Zero, that's stuff like the Vanquish, Cool, Uncool, and then Seriously Uncool, which is the Beatle, the Chrysler PT Cruiser, and anything with the Skoda batch.
Now, this is a handful of people carriers, okay? And they all go in Uncool, doesn't matter which one you got.
New Espace, Uncool.
Citroen C8.
.
? Uncool? Uncool, definitely.
Seat Alhambra, Uncool.
Peugeot 807, Uncool.
Toyota Previa, Uncool.
What's that? Chrysler Thing.
.
Voyager, thank you.
Uncool.
What's that then? Hyundai, what's the Hyundai people carrier called? What? The Hyundai Seriously Uncool, you may have a point on that.
Kia? Kia Garbage, Un No, you're right.
Put it there, what the hell.
You see, the thing about people carriers is, they aren't like normal cars.
Normal cars, you buy one 'cause you want one.
These, they're like washing-up bowls, you buy them 'cause you NEED them.
And that's where these come in, off-roaders.
You still get 7 seats, so there's plenty of room, and you get cool looks, and it's as safe as travelling to school in Fort Knox.
Just look what happens when you crash a 4x4 into a normal car.
Look at that! The normal car, absolutely DESTROYED.
You wouldn't want to be in that.
If you're gonna be anywhere, you'd want to be in the 4x4.
So there we are.
Big hunk of toy like that, the perfect family car.
It is.
Well, not this one, obviously.
It's a Discovery, it'll break down.
Well, quite.
Absolutely.
Watch this, okay? I'm gonna close the door, watch the glovebox lid It opens.
It's like a clown's car.
I reckon if you start it, the wings'll just spring off.
So not this one, that one.
Toyota Land Cruiser.
In the leafier part of Britain, the Land Cruiser has become standard issue school run transport.
It has everything you can possibly want - legendary Toyota reliability, 8 seats, and enough boot space for a cameraman.
This, however, is the new Toyota Land Cruiser.
It's more of the same, only it's bigger, better looking, and better equipped.
It also has a better ride.
For a big off-roader, it's pretty comfortable.
And if you go for the diesel engine, which you must, really, it's quite economical, too.
Inside, you get a blend of wood and metal.
There are lots of knobs, too, and satellite navigation.
Which means that for 46,000 pounds, it's not bad value.
So, there we are.
The new Toyota Land Cruiser.
Cool, strong, and dependable.
The perfect family car Except for one small thing.
To find out what it is, we need to step inside where we find that it's got a low-range gearbox.
Now, that's very useful in the Kalahari Desert, but pretty unnecessary in Guildford.
And the same goes for the height-adjustable suspension and the locking diffs.
Basically, you're paying for a whole load of stuff that you'll never need! And that's where these come in.
Grass-and-gravel 4x4s.
The BMW X5 and the Audi Allroad.
The point is, these things haven't got all that off-road kit, so you are not lugging around tonnes of excess engineering.
Perfect Except for one small thing.
They've only got 5 seats, so you may as well have a normal family hatchback.
So let's recap, okay? People carriers, uncool.
Big off-roaders, wasteful.
Grass-and-gravel off-roaders, impractical.
So we're stuck! Not any more, we're not.
This is the new Volvo XC90.
It's such an important car, we had one shipped over from Sweden before it goes on sale in Britain to see what it's like.
Well, in many ways, it's like a BMW X5.
You get the 4-Wheel-Drive, you get the high driving position, which is what you really want, but you're not burdened with low-range this and locking that.
This means that it'd be no good on the plains of Africa.
The meerkats would laugh at it.
It would fail in the Antarctic wasteland, too, and don't think it would get you out of Death Valley, either.
However, here in temperate, undulating Britain, why should we care about any of that? What matters more is that it doesn't work terribly well here, either.
Obviously, being a big, tall, heavy Volvo estate, it comes as no surprise at all to find that it isn't very sporty.
The ride is fidgety and busy, and through the corners, being so tall, it handles like a giraffe.
There's something else, too.
It was designed in America, so it's HUGE.
Now, that might work in Downtown Houston.
But here in Britain, driving around in something the size of a townhall can be a bit intimidating.
Threading it through a village street like trying to thread an elephant through the eye of a needle.
It's enormous! Park this up for 5 minutes, and they'd want you to pay poll tax on it.
And I haven't finished yet.
This model has a 2.
9-litre twin-turbo 6-cylinder petrol engine which chews fuel.
You'd be lucky to get 15 miles to the gallon.
So really, you have to have the diesel.
To conclude, then.
It doesn't work off-road, it's vast, it's thirsty, and it's not very nice to drive.
So, what's the big deal? Well, to understand, I've come to Jurassic Park in the Cotswolds.
You see, this is the sort of place that families come to.
And this, believe me, is the kind of car they'll want to come in.
Let's start at the back, where we find a split folding rear tailgate, such as you get on a Range Rover.
Now, the advantage of this system is that you have somewhere to sit and point at pines or gymkhanas or whatever.
And this is a Volvo estate, of course, so the back is huge.
They'll take anything in here up to a horse, so it has no problem at all with my lizard.
Okay, Sally, out! Out! Come on! Oy! Come on, out! Sally, out! This is the problem with monitor lizards, they are so disobedient! You can't teach them anything.
17 years old, she doesn't even understand "sit.
" I want to show everyone how the seats work! Guys! Look, I'm sorry, can you come and help me out here? See, that is a big boot.
That's a really properly big boot.
You could get a crocodile in there.
No matter what sort of pet you've got in mind, you get it in the back of the Volvo.
Easy peasy.
Right.
So we've seen it's good for lizards, now let me show you how good it is for people.
Right.
This row of seats lifts up like so.
And this one, actually, is particularly clever, because there is a lever down here, and if I pull it, see, it converts itself into a child's booster seat which, should the child feel it's a bit left out back here, can be slid right forward so it's part of the action in the front.
In fact, all these seats can be moved backwards and forwards.
And that on its own is great, but it's got more tricks up its sleeves, because hidden under the boot floor are two more seats.
And they're not occasional little chairs, either.
Look! They've got proper 3-point seat belts, there's lots of cubbyholes there and there, you can operate the air-conditioning system from back here, AND look at this! This enables people sitting in the back to listen through headphones to a CD or watch a DVD that slides down out of the roof, while the people in the front, the grown-ups, basically, listen to Radio 4.
They even get their own remote controller to operate the stereo from back here.
This car is incredible.
And look, even with the back seats in place, let me pull this one up as well to show you, you still get a decent-size boot.
You know, most car designers are about 26 years' old, black polo neck jumpers, yellow rectangular glasses.
Whoever did this had children.
And now, for the best bit.
The price.
The diesel is 30,000 pounds and the petrol, 33,000 pounds.
That's 12,000 pounds less than a BMW X5.
It's not like they've skimped on standard equipment, either.
I've got satellite navigation, which slides in a James Bond fashion out of the dashboard.
I've got mini-disk CD.
It's like driving around in a branch of Dickson's.
They haven't skimped on safety, either.
Even people in the back row of seats have their own airbags.
And because it's a tall car, which is more likely to roll than a shorter one, the roof is made from specially strengthened steel.
So, on the plus side, it's very very safe, it's more practical than just about any car on the road today, it's well equipped and it's good-value.
On the down side, it's not that nice to drive.
You choose.
Those seats really do look absolutely fantastic.
Brilliant.
They're brilliant brilliant piece of design, that.
But, the drive.
How bad is it, really? It's Well, it's not bad, it's just it's not as good as an X5, you know? X5 does feel quite like a car, this just doesn't.
It feels like a wild animal, really.
It's very fidgety and rolls.
So no, not really a brilliant drive, but a great car.
Which is a disappointment.
But I've got a worry about 4x4s generally, it's only the small one.
I like them, I get them.
I get the big thing, I like them big.
And I like the height, I like height.
You would.
I can see why you like that.
I do enjoy that bit.
I'm used to it.
Yeah.
It's a new experience to you.
Sometimes quite scary, actually.
But what I worry about, and I've got one, drive around in it with my family.
And I'm just always aware, it's a little guilty nag, that if I suddenly have to change direction, it could topple.
They can, tall cars can.
And the fact that, as you said, they've reinforced the roof on this makes it even more worrying 'cause it's like Volvo saying, "yes, it really could.
" That worries me.
It is, but there's 2 types of safety.
There's active safety, which is like a small, nimble car in which you can avoid having an accident in the first place, and then there's passive safety, which is what this has got, you know.
They say you might have a crash, yes, you might.
Accidents do happen, we'll take care of you if that happens.
So if you roll over, then it's got the reinforced roof, which is more likely to happen.
But the fact that matter is, as we saw earlier, big, tall cars are better in crashes.
Frontal impact, rear impact, side impact, you're better off with one of these.
Good passive safety.
The simple fact that matters is, if I wanted to put my children anywhere, I'd put them in one of these.
'Cause basically, the odds are better.
Yeah.
Top Gear Series 01, Episode 09 Right, weight.
We got to think about weight on Top Gear.
We were talking about this the other night in the pub.
We noticed that the cars are getting heavier, and yet the fastest cars around our track were light.
Clearly, the heavier they are, the slower they're gonna be, and more fuel they're gonna use, the more they cost to run.
So we thought, what if you took a normal heavy car, and then took out of it all the spare stuff that you don't need to make it lighter? How much faster could you make it go? Well, we had to find out.
Because of the unique way the BBC is funded, we had a budget of 500 quid and got us this.
Yep, it's a 1985 Jaguar XJS V12.
5.
3-litre engine, 300 brake horsepower.
Now earlier on, we sent the Stig out in this, and he clocked up a remarkable 0-60 time of 8.
6 seconds.
This car wasn't slow in its day, and it's still pretty quick.
Okay, but what would happen if we put it on a diet? If we strip out as much weight as we can, will it go any faster? Well that's what this lot are here for.
Guys, they've come here from Cornwall.
That's your stomping ground, so you'll probably kinda understand what they're talking about.
Yep, I can translate if it gets messy.
That's useful.
Well, to start, can you tell 'em to crack on? Okay.
Crack on! Right.
We'll see how that gets on later on in the show, but for now, we've got a problem.
Go on.
The Stig is saying he doesn't want to drive around because he wants to promote He's done this CD, okay? A sort of Christmas hit, so it's easy listening.
And he wants to promote it, we've said, "it's the BBC, you can't promote it.
" So he's having a strop.
Argh, a cross Stig.
Yeah.
Don't give in.
Fair enough.
Anyway, uh, let's do the news, let the producers worry about that one.
No new product, really, this week, it being Christmas.
But there's plenty to talk about.
Most important of all, of course, Jacques Cousteau opened a dealership in the English Channel.
This is the boat that's gone down.
Yeah.
What, is it 3,000 cars, something like that? 3,000 cars.
Interestingly, mostly BMW, and you just knew it ought to be a BMW boat, 'Cause it got to the channel and it just pulled out, didn't look up to it.
And, big impact.
Two ships collide, that's gotta hurt.
Then it sinks to the bottom, "Clunk!" hits the bottom, another big impact.
3,000 cars.
Why didn't all the airbags go off? 'Cause it if had, it would just, "Woop" Problem solved.
Of course the thing is now lying on the bottom, and you know all the Spanish fishermen? You know what's coming now, don't you? 'Cause their coastline has been wrecked by all the oil, they'll be straight up English Channel, hooking themselves a couple of 318s up.
"Oooh, look at that!" And not all of them are BMWs, are they? The Saabs as well.
So they'll be like, "Oh, shove that back.
" Throw it back.
Yeah.
93? "I've got one this year, it's enough.
One Saab a day is enough.
" The true disaster is that Volvo, the XC90 which we've just looked at, yeah? Great car.
They're only making 50,000 of 'em a year anyway, which is not enough.
350 of them were on the boat! No! Yep! They've sunked! 350!? It's gonna make it worse.
Imagine that phone call, "where's my car?" "Well, um" I'll pop down and see Jacques.
'Cause if you want an XC90, pop over to Northern Spain, okay? Slightly water damage, but that's where they all end up.
Almost certainly.
Morgan, they're going racing again, which is good news.
Good for them.
But it's an expensive business, obviously, recession on the way.
There's their car at Le Mans, it's a very expensive game.
And sponsorship is hard to come by, recession on the way, so they've come up with a good idea to raise a few quids to do this.
Best way to explain it.
Do you remember the Beano Club? Did you join that? It costs.
.
Or was it just it's just me, isn't it? Well, I remember it, and it cost you about 5p, and you send off, and you get a little membership card, a badge with little googly eyes on it.
So, Morgan have launched the Morgan Club, and you can join this.
It is a bit more expensive than 5p, it's 1,000 pounds.
Yes, but for that you do get And this helps That's basically instead of sponsorship? They just get people Yeah, actually.
Yeah.
All these people join, 1,000 pounds.
That goes in the kitty, so they can go racing.
Right, okay.
And for your 1,000 pounds, you drive yourself over to the circuit, obviously, to go and watch the racing.
But when you get there, if you remember, you get entrance to the circuit and a seat in the grandstand.
Seat? Yeah.
What sort of seat? It'll be like a red plastic thing.
Not a throne, then? No.
Just what I want for 1,000 pounds, with tiger skin and Sunscreen and these hats and someone fanning you.
Yeah, exactly, and some half naked Fijian girls chilling me.
No, it doesn't say anything about any of that, Jeremy.
No, okay.
But you do get to put your name on the list of other people who've given Morgan 1,000 pounds.
You get private access to the team which, considering it's a 24-hour race, they'll be on the circuit for 3 quarters of an hour.
Yes, something like that.
23 hours to argue about what went wrong.
Do you not get like, you know, access to, like, a clubhouse? Like a, you know, a treehouse or something with a ladder where you can go and talk about Morgans? Afraid not.
But you do get to buy limited edition clothing.
Buy? It's a bit steep, isn't it? Maybe I won't.
I found the perfect investment, okay? It's a house, south of France, and it's currently for sale.
Now this is the house, all right? There it is.
Beautiful house, and then in the grounds, there's the racetrack.
Nice.
I kid you not, it's got a full-on racetrack in it.
Every home should have one.
Look at that, look at that! I mean, and that's all yours.
It's not like anyone's gonna complain.
Jeremy, how much is it? 9 million euros.
Yeah, again, that's quite steep, isn't it? No, come to exchange rate, 40p.
But for me, the best story, even better than Jacques Cousteau's new dealership, is this one, okay? This is a motorcyclist called Leon Humphreys, who has been taken to court by the DVLA because he forgot to tell them that his Suzuki was off the road, okay? He has claimed that under medieval law, he's entitled to settle the dispute in a trial by combat.
Ooh yes! He says that under medieval law, which is still on the statute books, he is entitled to fight a champion nominated by the licensing agency.
The DVLA champion? Yeah, exactly.
Well it is in Swansea.
Then they'll all do it! "I will take him on.
" Exactly.
"Do you fly hard? I'll have him.
" Except what they've all you have to remember, it is a fight to the death.
That's quite strict.
And you're allowed to use swords, knives, or blacksmith hammers.
Nice.
Now that's good television.
That's something I'll want to watch.
And that's the end of the news, but we do have a bit of a treat in store, because look what we've got here.
It's the new MG SV, and this is the new car from MG-Rover now that BMW have left them alone.
Yay.
Of course, MGs in the past have always been a bit Johnny Go-like(??), a bit delicate in the dumb locks (??).
This is different.
If Oliver Reed and Russell Crowe made mad man-love on the set of Gladiator in an angry brawl, this would be the result.
This is the spawn of something momentous.
It even got somewhere to rest your helmet! No, no, honestly! It's got helmet holders in the back.
Would you like to hear it? Oh yeah.
Yes? The sound of V8 thunder, we all like a spot of that in the Sunday evening.
So, here we go.
Go to DEFCON 3, engage, and fire.
Now, um This will be going on sale next year, priced at around 60,000 pounds, or more if you want the 1,000-horsepower nitrous kit.
You do, don't you? You just do.
Very, very nice.
Now obviously they're not gonna make a family version of that.
Nope.
Family man is doomed to drive Volvos - like the one we saw earlier on - to wear slippers, and to slowly go baige.
Or, you could have one of these, a Subaru Forester.
Annoying, isn't it? You can remember the '80s like they were just a couple of decades ago, and you can remember steering a sharp car just through feeling what was going on through your bum, and you can probably still do it, too, if you can get your bum in the seat.
This might fit rather neatly in your life though.
No, not the house, the car.
It's the new Subaru Forester.
Which, at first glance, is family car heaven.
It's got a really big boot with lots of useful storage spaces to put all the things you now need, like kids or books and apples.
It's sensibly high off the ground, so nothing expensive gets damaged and broken underneath.
It's got everything you need.
Oh, and it can do this.
Without a doubt, it really does take years off the family man.
It's got an Impreza chassis, Impreza turbo engine, Impreza drivetrain.
There's 177 brake horsepower available at 5,600 rpm.
It'll hit 60 in 7.
9 seconds, it's got permanent 4-wheel-drive and a limited slip differential.
You'd have to be trying very very hard indeed to break it.
It rocks.
This is superb.
It's a suitable Impreza turbo with a basket in the front and a kiddy seat on the back.
It uses so many of the turbo nutters' bits and pieces, they could almost have stuck an Impreza badge on it.
It does offer real life advantages over the Impreza though.
There's more space in the back, the boots are much bigger, and that extra height will please the kids.
Now, if you are old enough to have been around for the first hot hatches, You're probably a bit worried about your weight by now.
Well, Subaru is watching their weight as well, but they're more concerned about where to put it.
Now, having the Impreza engine here in the Forester is good use, and not just for the power.
It's a flat four which, apart from anything else, means it's low.
And it's mounted low in the car, too, and that, in turn, keeps the centre of gravity low, which all helps the handling.
Which means where it really wins out is as an all-rounder.
Plenty of off-roaders claim to be good on the road.
Well, in honesty, they really are not.
This IS.
The ride is smoother and more comfortable than on many cars built just to cruise the motorways.
That low centre of gravity helps cut out the usual off-roader wobbliness.
It's civilised, but without losing the ability to cut it off road.
On the downside, it is thirsty, and the interior is, well, not exactly inspired in terms of decor.
But then the previous Forester was truly awful inside, and this one isn't.
So that's good.
The radio was clearly aimed at buyers of the Impreza.
It's got loads of tiny little buttons and it lights up like an old rig at night.
But it is dead loud, so that's good, too.
So they put the DNA of an Impreza turbo into a family car, and it works! It's not an in-your-face off-roader, the Forester, compared to CRVs, Freelanders, Rav4s and the like.
It looks, well, perhaps a little bit quiet.
But believe me, it really is the best of the bunch.
You know the other thing about the Forester? Subaru always always win those reliability surveys.
That's true, absolutely.
So you got that in its favour, and the fact that it'll do everything you want for the family.
It is very quick, and it won't fall over like a tall 4x4.
Exactly.
And, best thing of all, here's a photograph It goes into the Cool section of our board! Oh, yes it does.
Yeah, cool car.
What do you mean, no? Wrong! Hold on Have you seen the interior? Yes? Well it's bland and boring and dull.
He just hasn't got the idea of this at all! What is he, an interior designer, maybe? What's the point? Exactly, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen without the cuffs! You missed it! TVR? Cool.
No, again, you're wrong.
Uncool, and I will explain why, if I may, okay? TVRs, as we know, they're for men whose trousers are creeping up a bit.
The time of life they get between the nipple and the waistband, is just starting to come down a little bit.
So I'm afraid that's why it's uncool.
Anyone else got any objections to that? Yeah, you again? Who is it now? Look at it, it's lovely! You can't say that's uncool.
And it comes in yellow! So do bananas, so do I mean, what? Everything yellow is cool? No, it's not.
Talking of yellow, where do we put this? A Polo? It's cool! No, that's a cool car! Wrong, wrong, wrong! Cool car! Euro chic! Euro chic! Agree with me? It's cool.
Thank you.
Very cool.
What do you drive? Jeep Wrangler Sport, but I did have Polo before! Jeep Wranglers are dreadful cars but cool! See, that is what we keep trying to explain, isn't it? It doesn't matter what they're like to drive or look at.
Or what colour they are.
It's whether they're cool or not.
Exactly.
Forget colour.
Look, you see? You've got your Fiat Punto, you've got your Golf, so long as it is a petrol, obviously.
Anything little in European, Citroen C3, goes in the Cool section.
You sure about the M3? It's just I've wandered past, and there it is, and I just still part of me thinks that it's the wrong place.
What do you reckon, M3? Is that cool or not? The only way to put that is down.
I can't Leave it, please leave the M3 down there, really.
It's a great car, make no mistake.
We will discuss that one later.
It's a great car, but uncool.
Ferrari 575? Sub-Zero? No, that's Who's put this!? Who's put a Porsche Boxster in the Sub-Zero? It's you, isn't it? It's you because you've got one? But that's such a cool car! I had one! You had it in Uncool.
It is Mhmmmm No, you see, I had one last week, Boxster S, new car, fantastic.
Really, the most beautifully balanced.
But you look like a prat! No, it's not that bad.
It's not that bad, really.
Don't put the M3 on Cool! I've gone with you on most of this, will somebody please back me up on the M3? Please? We'll have a vote on the M3.
Forget what it's like to drive.
Hands up if you think it's cool.
Hands up if you think it's uncool.
Precisely, that's more for Cool.
I win, thank you.
Yes, but this isn't a democracy.
This is Top Gear.
It's a lose-lose! You're gonna lose.
Now, time to put our star in a Reasonably-Priced Car.
Now this one's got a restaurant, he's got 3 of them, from a tyre company.
Shall we meet him? Ladies and gentlemen, Britain's best chef, apart from Ainsley Harriott, obviously, Gordon Ramsay! How are you, Gordon? Ainsley is not a chef! What? He's a comedian.
I'm sorry, Ainsley Harriott is not a chef? He doesn't even have a restaurant, Jeremy.
He's a comedian and a presenter.
He can knock up supper for a fiver! He can barbecue food.
He gets the content of the tin and the hoover bag, knock them together, five pounds can feed a family for a month.
You, five pounds for a sprig of parsley.
Anyway, listen, in between opening like 25,000 restaurants, you've managed to dish up 4 children? Yes.
Under 4.
All under 4? All under 4, yeah.
Nightmare.
What a man! Woah! Look at that! Thank you, thank you thank you.
Well it'll be empty by now! Have you got a cushion? Yeah, 4 under 4.
So what do you do for a family car? Family car? It turned out to be a bit of a problem with a Range Rover, 'cause you could never get all 4 seats in the back.
So Tana came up with an idea of buying a new Mercedes, and got one of those ML 6-seaters.
Yeah, but there's no boot in the back of it.
Definitely no boot in the back, no.
But I don't really get, sort of, over involved with now, sort of, you know You don't do the school run? I did once, and it was absolute nightmare.
Go on, talk me through it.
Well, it's, you know, 8:20 in the morning, and you're driving along the, sort of, Wandsworth Road, towards Battersea.
And the women now The mums Don't double park, they triple park.
Have to say though, rather amusingly, is that a few years ago, I was making a programme about women doing the school run in Chelsea.
Turned up with a film crew outside a little school in Sloane Square, who should pull up and triple park but Mrs Gordon Ramsay! I thought you forgot about that! No, of course, how could I possibly forget.
She's very attractive, which is my key for not doing the school run, chaps.
What you do, volunteer, okay? "I'll do the school run this morning.
" Do it.
The next morning, do it again; next morning, do it again.
Fourth morning, say to your wife, "lot of those mums at the school, quite slim, aren't they?" That's my key.
Women drivers and vegetarians.
If we could just forget these congestion charges and have alternate days, one for women drivers, one for vegetarians, London will be a dream to drive around, no? How would this play? Is this good, do you think? Well, I'll be going around London, I'm a vegetarian.
You're vegetarian? Get out! He does not look like a vegetarian! What the hell are you doing, talk in to Gardeners' World! It's in Hampshire, and I can try to explain that as Women and vegetarians, I quite like that idea.
But, I mean, they drive 15 miles an hour.
Who, vegetarians do? Yes, and they sort of don't know where they're going, they never indicate, and the minute there's a problem on the road, they sort of let go of the steering wheel.
How are you able to tell that they're vegetarians? This is one other thing, I like to think they are, of course! Because they just look rather dodgy! Sort of pale and wan? In need of a good bloody Philly steak and, sort of, you know.
.
Now, while we are on the subject of things that annoy us on the road, motorway service stations.
We've all been there.
What do you think of the food? Shockingly, disgustingly fat, pretty dismal, plastic, um And expensive.
Gross, imitation of food.
Before you go in any motorway, eat before you drive! No, actually, funny enough, no need to eat before you drive.
We had a bit of an idea.
We thought, hang on a minute, you're driving along in a car, which has a big hot engine in the front, why not use that to cook your food as you drive along? So, this morning, we had an idea, okay? Okay, we'll just run some tape, I'll show you what we did.
This is a Subaru Forester, and strapped to its flat four engine, we have a succulent turkey breast in a reduction of porcini mushrooms and red wine, garnished with winter sprouts.
What could be more delicious than that! Okay, this is the Lada we turned into a Lotus the other day, and that's being used to cook a baby rack of lamb with market vegetables, dressed in olive oil and Mediterranean herbs, right? Now, the Suzuki Liana, which will be cooking a wild salmon on a bed of lemon thyme, accompanied by Pawns Top Gear.
Vegetarian option there, 'cause we recognise, we know that fish is justifiable homicide.
Meat, the murderous thing.
You actually took them on there? Yeah, I know, they're on the engines now as they're trundling along.
Forget Gas Mark 6 or 450 degrees, the measurement here is revs.
We recommend 3,000 rpm for about 2 hours, okay? So after 2 hours, I pulled one of them in, okay? Here it is.
Let's have a look how we're doing.
Still a bit pink, I'll add some seasoning, see if we can mask the smell of engine oil in there, and Send it back out again, I suspect.
Best thing to do.
Let me get that down, there we go.
Get back on the track! Or the rotisserie, as we like to call it.
So really, we kinda worked it out that if you were to set off from London, from where you live, go into Leeds, by the time you get to Woodall services near Sheffield, lunch should be about ready, okay? So they were trundling 'round our track this morning for 2 hours, and Is The Stig here? We've finally allowed him to come out of the cold, and we've allowed him into the base.
Can he bring the food over? Here it is, ladies and gentlemen, for the first time ever, in the studio, The Stig! Here it is! Now um Why don't you sample some of that salmon? Tell me what you think.
This was actually cooked on the engine? In tin foil? It was, genuinely all of this food was cooked on the engine of the car.
Tell me if that matches up to motorway's service cooking.
It certainly matches it, yes.
Definitely.
That is slightly dry, a little bit overcooked, and So not worthy of 3 stars.
2 stars? I wouldn't even give that.
1 star? I wouldn't even give that 1 star, definitely not.
Not even 1 star.
No.
Well, try a bit of lamb.
Try a bit of lamb, and I'll just remind everybody, this was cooked on the Lada.
Market vegetables, dressed in olive oil, Mediterranean herbs.
That's your sort of food, mate! What do you think of his sort of food? I think Gordon is about to be sick.
You have some! Have some scraps.
Not even the vegatarian likes it! And that tastes of petrol! Castrol Oil-y, and greasy.
Yes, it was cooked on an engine, that's why, and that's what tends to happen.
The lamb, sadly, is overcooked.
So 2,000 revs, but 2 hours is far too long! That's the problem, you see.
We cooked it on a 4-speed car! Here's a tip.
If you're cooking lamb, make sure it's 5-speed, preferably 6-speed.
Top Gear Series 01, Episode 09 Okay.
Who would like to see Gordon's lap? Yes! Let's play it.
Come on! Looking cheerful.
That's an aggressive start! That's the most aggressive start we've seen all series.
Come on, you! Concentrate.
Bloody hell, I could've sworn I just saw a traffic warden.
That's the whole point of this track, there are none.
Now, let's just see how tight you are on that last Look at that precision driving though! That IS precision driving! That's about 85 through there, and then that's it.
No brake out of that, and turn.
Brake, turn, gently.
Too early, twt! That's where most celebs come off, but you're across the line! And Gordon R.
Now, these are the sort of times you're looking to beat.
It was a dry day, so you should be somewhere near the top, okay? One minute Fifty seconds! Same as me, ladies and gentlemen! That's an epic time! That is an epic time.
I'm obviously not gonna put you above me.
Just be rude.
Alphabetical order! Yeah, alphabetical order, and yes, G comes after J.
On that wall chart it does.
Anyway, Gordon Ramsay, it's been an absolute riot having you here.
Thanks very much! Thank you! That's enough about food, okay? Let's see how the Jag's diet's getting along.
Over the next 3 hours, the Corniche crew stripped every piece of excess fat from our beautiful XJS.
Out came the spare wheel, the back seats, bumpers, and the soundproofing.
As they say at fat clubs, no pain, no gain.
But Jag fan Jason wasn't happy.
No! Oh, mate, this is sacrilege! There goes the electric window motor! Oh, that's the headlight wiper motor! All adds up! Everything the guys have pulled off the car has been weighed, and it's all made a nice big pile.
Yeah, they took off the rear bumper, that was 20 kilograms.
Passenger seat, that's another 16 kilograms.
Even speakers, 6 kilos each.
Apparently the ashtray was 0.
27 of a kilo.
But every bit counts, and it's come to a total of 223 kilograms.
That should make a difference when we get it back out to the track.
I don't care.
Look, boys, you've ruined it! It was a lovely car.
I don't know, I think it looks better, kinda rugged and manly.
Anyway, let's get it out on the track and see what The Stig makes of it.
So, let's recap.
Before we put our Jag on a diet, we tested it.
0-60 it did in 8.
6 seconds.
Then we put it on the diet, we stripped out a fifth of a tonne of stuff, and we lost so much out of it.
Well, pretty much everything.
Took out the seats, took out the trim, took off the bumpers, spare wheel Don't bother looking in there, there is nothing to see.
Just a shell.
Nothing! Then we tested it again, 0-60 time came down to 7.
4 seconds.
That's 1.
2 seconds better, I think that's pretty incredible.
No more power, just less weight.
Yeah.
But if you think that's quick, how much time do you reckon we save, 0-100? Before and after? 5 seconds.
This car was 5 seconds quicker after we stripped it out.
I think that's quite an achievement.
That is a lot.
So we have proved the point.
But weight is the enemy not just of performance, it's the enemy of economy, too.
You waste a lot of fuel just lugging it around, so it costs you money.
So, light is good, light is right, and light works.
Anyway, this week's Insider Trading news.
Well, we've just got what, few days left before the end of the year.
But there's still deals out there to be done.
One that turns my head this week, 4x4s, right? Nissan do the Xterra, but they still do the Terrano.
Yeah, it's alright.
It's okay, it's been around for a while.
Yeah.
2.
7 diesel, 5 door, that's normally 20 grand.
But at 15.
5, it's a bargain.
Yeah, that money makes sense.
4.
5 grand off that car.
Nothing wrong with it, that's a brand-new car.
Now, Toyota Avensis.
You're a fan.
Ugh, it's a FOUL car! You got a big problem, mate! It's disgraceful! It's not the best car in the world, but Not the best!? It should come with a taxi light on the top.
Mate, listen.
Second hand, they're really really seriously good news.
I should hope so.
Honestly, 3-, 4-year-old ones, they're fetching overbook at the minute.
But there's a new one coming out next year, early part of the year.
And what will happen - here's a tip for next year - what will happen is, January, February, the old stop, the dealers will start discounting them.
So if you're the kind of person that has a car and keeps it for 4, 5, 6 years, runs it into the ground, that's the car to buy! I don't wanna keep my Avensis for 5 years! I'd rather have it for 5 days! Mate, you can buy one, buy one in the early part of next year, you'll get a discount on a new one, run it for 6 years, it won't go wrong, it's a Toyota.
That's very true.
And when you come to sell it, it will hold its value.
Really? Yes, good car to buy! Now, if you buy a new car, you pretty much accept the fact you're gonna lose money on it.
Yep.
With a possible exception of this year, the Mini.
Yeah, you pointed that out earlier on.
Yes, 12 months, make a profit.
Now, my prediction is that 2 or 3 cars next year the same thing is gonna happen on.
Okay? Number 1, BMW Z4.
Nice car.
Fantastic car.
Buy one of those, run it for 6 months, 12 months, chances are, when you come to sell it, you'll either get your money back or you might make a small profit.
Do you reckon? That's just 'cause it'll be difficult to get hold of it? Absolutely.
They won't build enough, so demand will outstrip supply, as it always does.
So that's a good one for you.
Second one, VW Beetle Cabriolet.
What's wrong with you, man? No, I know that Beetle's not everyone's cup of tea, but when they bring out the Cabriolet, wow, I think that's just gonna have such a good effect on the whole brand.
I think that car's gonna hold its value fantastically, you'll probably make a profit if you buy one.
And the third one is the Nissan 350Z, okay? 22 grand, that car, it's seriously good value.
I reckon people are gonna queue up for that car, kinda like the TT and all sorts.
That will be a car I think you can make a profit on.
If you want more information about the deals we talk about on the show, just visit the website at bbc.
co.
uk/topgear.
Top Gear Series 01, Episode 09 Now, since this programme has a family car flavour, we thought it'd be a good idea to catch up, at this point, with all that's new and exciting in the world of the hot hatchback.
I've always been a big fan of the hot hatches, because they were cheap, simple, and you got 2 cars for the price of 1.
On the one hand, they were as practical as the normal hatchback.
You could use them for taking the children to school.
But then, thanks to their big engines, you can drive home like your trousers were on fire.
Recently, however, things have got all muddy and complicated.
This Volkswagen Golf R32 costs 22,000 pounds, so it's not cheap.
And it's not simple, either.
Quite apart from the safety and the emission stuff that all cars have to have these days, I've got traction control, CD changer control, climate control, and heated seats which, of course, are haemorrhoid control.
All very nice, but luxuries like this add weight.
So much, in fact, that this car weighs exactly twice as much as the original Golf GTI from 25 years ago.
So to move around at anything more than a trot, it needed twice the engine.
And that's what it's got.
The original had 1.
6 litres; this has 3.
2.
The original developed 110 brake horsepower; this develops - well, slightly more than twice that, actually - 240 brake horsepower.
Because it has twice the engine and twice the weight, that led to another problem.
It needed twice as much grip.
So, the original was front wheel drive; this, is four wheel drive.
So you'll probably imagine at this point that I'm gonna say it's twice the car.
Well, it's twice as substantial, that's for sure.
It's twice as luxurious.
It's twice as well-made, twice as quiet.
And, bearing in mind the original didn't have power steering, it's twice as easy to drive.
But it doesn't have the spirit of the original Golf.
It's less fun, somehow.
It's like the new Mini.
A better car than the original, but not as important.
As a historical monument, then, it's thrashed.
But as a 21st-century flying machine, how does it stack up? In this market, in the blue corner you have the Ford Focus RS.
In the red corner, there's the Honda Civic Type R.
And in the yellow corner, the Seat Leon Cupra R.
This is a world of fat tyres and aluminium add-ons where the show matches the go.
The Golf tries to compete.
It has 2 exhausts, for instance, and lower suspension and big wheel but, I don't know, somehow it looks like the nominated driver at an New Year's Eve party.
It's sober and restrained in a rainbow world of streamers and noise.
Sure, the R32 is very very fast.
0-60 takes 6 seconds, the top speed is 153.
But I suspect it's more of a long-distance cruiser than a B-road barnstormer.
The engine doesn't really like to be revved, and the gearbox doesn't like to be rushed, and the steering doesn't like to be rushed either.
If you're quick with the wheel, you can actually beat the power assistance.
It all suddenly gets very heavy, which is weird.
And those of you who've a tailslide disposition are going to be disappointed as well because it really won't play ball no matter what you do.
I don't know.
It's not brutal, like the Ford.
It's It's very soft, actually.
Very forgiving.
Think of it more in terms of being a long-term companion rather than a fiery one night stand.
So, there we are.
The oldest hot hatch of them all is acting its age.
You know what? I feel as though I've grown up with the Golf.
I was 17 when the Golf GTI came out.
We've matured together, so that now we're Fatter? Fatter, yes.
But wiser.
A wise head on a fat body.
More importantly, how does it compare with obvious direct competitor, the Ford Focus RS? Well, we're men, okay? So we have to quantify that.
Therefore, engage Stig Drive! The Ford Focus RS came here a few weeks ago and was 4 seconds faster around our track than the Subaru Impreza.
And here it is again, blitzing the track.
What's the time? What's the time, here's the line.
1 minute and 32 seconds.
So how does the Golf compare? And the power matches the forward front diff.
Ooh, crosses the line in 1 minute 33 seconds.
Well, that's only 1 second behind the Ford! I know.
And that means it's still 3 seconds quicker than the Impreza! It's an astonishing car, it really is.
But you gotta admit, that Ford is incredible.
Then again, you did have reservations.
Exactly.
The very thing that makes the Ford incredible on the track is front differential.
Makes it useless on the road.
It's so twitchy, there's so much torque steer.
Now this, yes, it's a second slower on a track - big deal!? But on the road, it's so much more civilised.
This - this is the car for me.
Right.
We are getting towards the end of the series, and still, the Westfield XTR is at the top of the tree.
It was the quickest car to get around our test track.
But now it's coming under threat from two directions.
First of all, there's this.
It's the Radical SR3.
And like the Westfield, it's got a 1.
3-litre bike engine.
But in the Radical, it's more powerful.
So that's one threat.
Then we've heard from this guy, Tom.
Now he's got in touch and said, "I've got something that can thrash anything 'round your test track.
" To be honest, we get a lot of challenges like that, and most of the time, well, they're rubbish.
But this time, he may have a point.
Okay, so here's The Stig warming up the Radical.
And this is what he'll be racing.
It's a super-light super-fast aerobatic plane, and Tom, The Stig's challenger, is the British aerobatic champion.
Now, since The Stig isn't one for words, I'll be the go-between.
Have a look at the opposition, okay? This is it.
It's a Radical SR3.
Now, it's powered by a bike engine, 1300cc, but it puts out about 200bhp.
That's compared to your plane's, what? 300.
But this is the amazing bit.
This only weighs 500 kilos.
But your plane only weighs 600 kilos.
Correct.
So the extra weight, they're quite evenly matched.
Top speed here, about 150 mph, your plane? 200.
But although the plane is gonna be faster along the straight, it will lose out in the corners.
A plane has a big turning circle, and our track is very tight.
So to stay within the lines, Tom's gonna have to climb violently and throttle back to lose speed, and that gives Stig the edge.
This here, I'm gonna have to climb to lose speed to get back down the track here.
So I'm gonna be covering more distance.
And 'round here, we're gonna be drifting wider.
But you reckon you can stay pretty close to the track? I think so, yes.
Okay.
Is this gonna work? We will see.
You've done it before? Nope.
Neither have we.
The Radical can hit 60mph in 3.
5 seconds, 100 in 8.
8 seconds, so it has the edge for the start.
It carries that lead into the first corner, because as soon as Tom is airborne, he's gotta start climbing.
He's gonna have to throttle back straight away to make it 'round that first bend.
Bear in mind, the g-force is here.
That Radical can generate 2G in the corners.
That's a lot, but the plane can manage 9.
2.
Once again, on the straight he starts to catch up, but as soon as he gets near to the Stig, he's gotta climb! Again, losing speed, that means he can make the turn, but that means the Stig is ahead.
Both of them pushing these things about as far as they're gonna go today.
That plane's acceleration is awesome, but every time he gets near to the Stig, every time he's gotta climb again to make that corner.
It's hard work on the ground, but it's nothing to what Tom's having to do.
Again, swoops down on the Stig.
Now we're getting close towards the end here, we're on the final straight.
I think Tom's thing will recover, he should be able to.
And he is! He's edging past the Stig! But not for long, because this might be the final straight, it's not the final corner.
There are 2 bends yet, and that means the Stig could get ahead.
Can he make it 'round faster? He's gotta climb so high there to lose speed! That means the Stig is inching across.
Will it get over the line first, or will Tom swoop down on him? And there, he swooped! And he's won! Stig comes Second! How cool! Tom's my new hero, definitely.
That was very cool.
But, hang on a second, it was a plane.
We specify everything that goes on our board here has to be road legal.
Yeah.
If you took that plane to the shops, the police would stop you.
It's got no indicators, no brake light.
It's got no brakes.
It's got wings.
Somebody would notice.
You can't park it either in the town centre.
You just cause a menace.
This is true.
So what matters here is the Radical.
How did it do? Here's the Westfield STR, 1 minute 23.
The Zonda, 1:23.
Where is it gonna go? Where do we think? Faster? Higher? 1:22? I'll tell you what it is.
1 minute 19 seconds! Top Gear Series 01, Episode 09