Top Gear (2002) s01e10 Episode Script

The Team Finds Out the Fastest Faith - Again

Top Gear Series 01, Episode 10 In tonight's Top Gear, the Mick Jagger of supercars; our quest goes on to find Britain's fastest faith; and the Stig sorts out TVR's new coupe.
Hello, and a big yoretime welcome to our festive edition of Top Gear.
As you can see, we spared every expense.
We've got a Christmas twig.
And some oranges and some nuts.
And uh Oh.
No, no, I tell you what, I tell you what.
Let's just forget about Christmas, shall we? Let's talk about big shiny 4x4s.
Now, they tend to be bought predominantly by people who live in towns.
So that when they go to the countryside, they think they'll blend.
Really? This is the countryside.
It's a brown and nulled place, much like the people who live in it.
And these are the cars that rural people drive - Wellington boots with wheels.
Muddy, broken things that are held together with straw and dead pheasants.
It's hard to blend here, unless you live here.
This is my off-road car.
It's a Toyota Land Cruiser Amazon, and it's built to take on Africa and Australia, so it has no problem at all taking my children to school in the morning in Oxfordshire.
Has 7 seats, rough and tumble fixtures and fittings, and there's a sense of invincibility about it.
When you drive this down a narrow road, it's the other guy who backs up.
Now, you could use the Land Cruiser for day shooting, but I don't recommend it.
It's not that it doesn't work off-road; it does.
It's brilliant.
It just doesn't fit in with the scene somehow.
You see, shooting is a traditional sport where the winner gets supper and the loser goes hungry.
There's just you and your piece, and the stillness of the trees.
Smoke curls from the old tumbled fire.
A gentle rain softens the edges.
And in this traditional scene, the Land Cruiser's just too .
.
chintzy, somehow.
I mean, look.
That is green, and that's Toyota's idea of green.
It just doesn't work.
The BMW X5 is also hopeless, but for different reason.
Yes, it's big, and yes it has four wheel drive, but that's the end of the story.
It doesn't even have off-road tyres, and that's like coming out here in a pair of Jimmy Choo pumps.
This car is Milli Vanilli.
Looks good on paper, but actually, it's just maiming.
On even the gentlest of tracks, it gets stuck, and the beater will drive by in his old Land Rover, laughing at you.
Even if you are the Marquess of Blandford.
And how much is that Land Rover worth? 30 quid? Okay, now, I'll be fair.
200 pounds' worth.
And that's, well, 50,000 pounds' worth.
And it's stuck.
That's right.
What is yours? Trooper.
Trooper come by? Might, yeah.
The really strange thing is, that Land Rover is exactly the same age as me, and it's the only thing that's got up this I couldn't get up this hill.
It's lasted better than I have.
Still, it won't frozen the BMW anyway.
Yeah, you've beaten the BMW by 30 feet.
Oh wow, that's 30 feet less than wolf.
Exactly.
So what about the Jeep Grand Cherokee? Surprisingly for an American car, it's quite restrained.
It does blend in to the Oxfordshire backdrop, and it is good at dealing with the rough stuff.
But, good though it may be out here, it does have one or two problems.
It's quite agricultural feeling.
Don't really mind that; I mean, it is an off-road car.
What I do mind is the ruching on the leather seats and this hideous fake plastic wood.
It's also nowhere near as big on the inside as you would imagine looking at it from the outside.
But the worst thing about this, the worst thing, is that you've always got the sense that you've bought second best.
The new Range Rover is 20,000 pounds more than a Jeep.
These days, it's more a luxury yacht than a car.
But don't worry, it can still play rough.
Okay, look at this.
I flick this switch here to engage the Hill Descend Control.
Put it into neutral, engage low range, back into drive, and now I just point it at this seemingly impossible slope here.
And now I'm gonna do something you might think is mad.
I'm gonna take my foot off the brake, okay? That's astonishing.
I can feel the anti-lock brakes grabbing each of the wheels in turn, making sure that we stay straight, and that we continue to do a walking pace all the way down the hill.
Now, of course, the X5 can do that as well.
The X5 also has a Hill Descend Control.
It's something BMW stole while they were running Rover.
But what the X5 can't do is turn around and go back up the slope.
See, it doesn't have a low-range gearbox.
It doesn't have locking diffs.
It doesn't have this thing's ground clearance or wheel articulation.
It's not a proper off-road car.
And this just is! There's something else, too.
A Range Rover looks good outside the Savoy.
But it looks even better out here.
Now, there was a time when the Range Rovers were king off the road, and they still have an air of invincibility about them.
But believe me, you can still get these things stuck.
Really stuck.
See what I mean? First to try and get it going was Lord Blandford.
Sht! Well, it was his garden.
He, however, made things worse.
So, next to try was one of the locals.
But his pick-up ended up in the lake.
I, then, decided to fetch my Land Cruiser.
But in my haste to get there, I skidded off the track and ended up in a wood.
The thing is, if those saplings hadn't have been there, I would have been very very wet.
So how do we get it out? Anyone got any thoughts? Why are you laughing at me? 'Cause you said to me this morning, this truck goes anywhere, you said.
It does go anywhere.
Look, it's come here! While we took a chainsaw to the trees that were holding the Toyota in place, a tractor turned up to get the Range Rover out.
But even that was having problems.
This is the trouble with filming in the countryside: there's too much mud in it.
Eventually, though, all the cars were free, and we could get back to the business of explaining why the Range Rover is so good.
Look at this! Great slabs of real, sturdy timber here and here and down the sides and hand stitched leather and this foundry finish.
It's the best interior on any car anywhere ever.
Easily.
It's like being in the middle of a field in a trendy restaurant in Notting Hill.
Except here, of course, the produce is fresher.
So, there we are.
If you really want to get about off-road, get something old and knackered with narrow, knobbly tyres.
If, however, you want something for the weekend, all the cars were equal, but one is more equal than the others.
So the only car not to get stuck there, then, was the Jeep? No, no, it got stuck as well.
But we didn't see it? No, because the cameraman was driving it when it got stuck.
Yeah, that would've done it.
Yeah.
So, the Range Rover emerges, you reckon, as the best of all of those despite being, what, 20 grand more than the Jeep? Yes, I know, but the attention to detail on this thing is just amazing.
Let me uhm, let me show you, okay? The steering wheel, okay? It's heated.
You push that button there, and it warms up.
And - even better - there's a little paraffin heater down in one of the front wheel arches, okay? And you can programme it, on the computer here, to come on, say, at 6 o'clock, if you're leaving for work at 7.
So when you get in, it's nice and warm in here.
And, and I fear this may be the most boring sentence ever to be said on British television, but it used to have a separate chassis; now it's a monocoque.
Yeah, you know exactly what that means, I presume.
Means it's less wobbly.
Okay.
But all this clever stuff, that's great, assuming it works.
Because Range Rovers have not enjoyed the best of reputations.
I did some phone-in and it rang, I looked into this.
They did suffer a few problems.
I mean it was with stuff like the paintwork, interior trim - a bit rattly; engines, they can be a problem.
Yeah, the 4-litre.
And the 4.
6, actually.
And the diesel, yeah.
All the engines.
Gearboxes could be an issue.
Automatics? And the manuals.
And the manuals, right Transfer boxes, the suspensions, actually, as well.
Yeah.
And all of the electronics.
Yeah.
All a bit, you know Yeah.
Um, I did, actually, have a word with Land Rover about their reliability issue on this car, and they say, "no, no, no, this one's built properly.
" So, I said, "Okay, right? Lend us one for 6 months.
" and they'd agreed.
And if anything falls off, or melts, or breaks in anyway, we can murder the managing director's dog.
It's fair.
In front of his children.
That's all fair.
No, really.
If this, for instance, gets a little bit loose, little bit wobbly, Frisky buys the farm.
Top Gear Series 01, Episode 10 Right, it's time now to look back on 2002, and announce our Car of the Year.
Okay, the nominations are The Range Rover.
We've just seen it, it is the king of off-roaders.
And the Mazda 6.
The Japanese try to take on the Germans, and they succeed.
It's a cracking car, and very good value as well.
And then, there's the Mini Cooper S.
It's the trendiest car in the world right now.
It's like driving around in a supercharge parka.
And the Audi RS6.
It's fast in a straight line, fast 'round corners, and it's fast even when it's raining.
Right.
Have we missed anything? Anybody got any more thoughts that we should've put on the Maybach 62.
The what? Maybach 62.
The Maybach 62 is a stupid car, we're coming to that later.
Anybody else? Vauxhall Vectra.
The Vauxhall Vectra!? The Vauxhall Vectra wouldn't be the best car even if it was launched in 1984.
And you really Jaguar XJ? That was launched this year, was it? Where are you from? Which part of the country Coventry? They made the damn things there! Have you not noticed them? I'm afraid you're all way wider than mark.
As are, in fact, the official European Car of the Year jury who voted recently the Renault Megane.
Car of the Year? Only if you do that! So our Car of the Year is we've got some gold envelopes.
Ready? It's the Range Rover! The judges - and that would be us - were impressed with its mono-thingy chassis, its supplementary heater, and the sheer Range Roveriness of it.
And next one is for this year's most pointless car.
Okay, the shortlist here is The Mercedes Maybach.
It's a private jet that can't take off.
And then, the Ford Fusion.
Don't be fooled by the ads, it is a Ford Fiesta in a hat.
And the Rover 75 Long Wheelbase.
Suitable only for the Mayor of Preston.
Right.
Have we missed anything now or not? SL55 AMG, you think it's a point So let's go to the actual winner, which is It's the Ford Fusion, everybody! Now, uh The judges were very impressed with Ford's idleness on this one.
They knew that we all liked Mini MPVs.
They knew they needed to make one.
And they couldn't be bothered.
Next up, a very popular category here.
It's the Weirdest Renault Category.
Okay.
The Weirdest Renault of the Year, the nominees are as follows.
The Vel Satis.
It's a businessman's car, but only if your business is Enron.
The Megane.
A family car, but only if your family is The Osbournes.
And the Avantime.
It's a sporty coupe, but only if you don't want a car that's sporty.
Or a coupe.
And the winner.
The Weirdest Renault of the Year is In true, mad Renault style, it's the Nissan Micra! The judges noted that the designer had plainly got too much ink in his pen.
Look at it! Stop designing it, man.
Step away from the CAD/CAM unit.
You finished! That's enough details on one car.
Now, the big one.
Our Sure-You-Don't-Need-the-Money Award.
And the winner is Eddie Irvine, for promoting this hose pipe here.
The man earned 6 million pounds last year - 6 million - but still thought it was a good idea to put his phizog on this box, which is available in Wooler's for 79.
99.
Now, we were going to make an award at this point for the fastest car around our track, which is the Radical with the amazing time of 1 minute 19 seconds.
But it seems that the Tzchermans have been monitoring our broadcast, and they got in touch, and they said that they've got a couple of cars which they think could blitzkrieg our track.
This is the AS-1.
It's powered by a bike engine, the same Suzuki Hayabusa unit that we saw in the Radical and in the Westfield.
It's um Where is it? It's gone.
Um Well, wherever it is, they've boarded it out to 1.
4 litres.
Now, that doesn't sound like much, but the AS-1 only weighs 600kg.
That's the same as my shoes.
So it should go like stink.
However, I'm more interested in that.
It looks like a normal Audi TT with a few stickers on it, and it has a normal Audi TT engine - 1.
8 litres with a turbocharger.
Thing is though, it's been tweaked a little bit, so that it now develops 400 bhp.
Now that's the same as a Ferrari 360.
Now, in a normal TT, the engine drives all four wheels.
But in this, the engine drives the front wheels.
The rear wheels are driven by a little something in the boot.
ANOTHER 400-horsepower engine! It's got 2 engines! 800 horsepower! Obviously I have to have a go! That hurts! Now, let's see how it handles.
Corners are best taken with your eyes shut, that's my tip.
2 engines.
It's ridiculous! Twice the fuel bills.
But, must be said, twice the fun.
Great! But these cars must now face the acid test.
Bitte willkommen sie, das Stig! And it's the AS-1 first.
But it's got no stereo, so the Stig is in a bad mood.
Now, it may not look fast, but it's hardly got any body roll at all.
Just look how flat it stays through the Hammerhead! Right, we're coming up to the tyres now.
Boy, that is so fast! Bit of flame there on the overrun as it comes up to the last 2 corners.
Bit twitchy there, but he holds it.
Into the last one, and across the line! Next, the mighty double-engine TT, which is fast on the straights but not so good in the corners.
And yet again, no stereo.
The Stig is going to be very cross.
As he comes into the Hammerhead.
Lost the radiator grills, by the look of things.
A big, big burst of flame there, as he comes into the final corner.
And he's really earned his Christmas bow.
Well done, the Germans.
That was a very good effort.
So, the times.
Here is our Power Car Lap Time Board.
And at the top, there's the British Radical, with the amazing 1:19.
Very, very good car.
So let's see how the Germans did, ok? First of all, the MTM Bimoto, with its 2 engines.
All very, very clever stuff from the Germans.
-Time was, 5-1.
-No.
No, that's not it.
That's the score.
That's the score, it's 1945.
1966? No, that's wrong again.
It's actually 1:28, which is very very good.
That puts it faster than a Lamborghini, and about 9 seconds slower than the British Radical.
There we are.
So what about the AS-1? Very clever little car again from the Germans.
-That managed an impressive 1:29.
-Oh, dear.
-Which is a very commendable effort.
-Oh, dear.
Not as quick as the British Radical, which remains the fastest car of the series, at 1:19.
Great news.
OK, now a couple of weeks ago, we had a race on our track to find Britain's fastest faith.
And it was won by the Church of England.
Trouble is, no Muslims took part, and during Ramadan, Muslims are forbidden from eating, or taking part in any form of Motorsport.
However, I'm delighted to say that Ramadan is now over.
So, we have a Muslim in the Top Gear base.
And not just a Muslim, we also have a Druid, and a Rastafarian and a 7th Day Adventist.
Welcome to you all.
Now.
You are Enormous.
-What's your name? -Pastor Garry Gordon.
-Pastor Garry Gordon, good.
And you live where? -Oxford.
-What do you normally drive? -Peugeot 1.
9 Diesel.
Did you have any idea what you were supposed to be doing today? Er, some idea, yeah.
Well, you wouldn't be getting that much practice in your Peugeot Diesel, that's for sure.
-OK, so you are Well, a Rastafarian, is the guess.
-Absolutely, yes.
-Good.
And what's your name? -Olivi.
-What do you drive? -Work wise, I drive a Mondeo diesel.
-Right, another diesel engine.
-He's interesting with the Peugeot.
Yeah.
Do you do any motorsport? I have dabbled, yes, this season up in the British Rally Championships.
-Oh, really? -Only in the showroom class Polo, but It doesn't matter, you've been doing some serious motorsport? -Left hand drive, and -You've had it.
You've all had it.
You've all had it.
It's like the C of E guy.
He did a bit on the side, albeit with an MG, but he did a bit on the side.
-And you, well, what's your name? -My name's Arthur Pendragon.
-Arthur Pen Well, King Arthur? -That's the one.
I thought he was a fictional character.
-Um, no I'm not fictional, and nor is me sword.
-Oh, right.
-Ok, finally at the end, you are? -Tariq Naseem.
-Tariq Naseem, and you live where? -West Sussex.
-And you drive what? -I've got a Skoda RS.
A Skoda RS? Quick car.
Mind you, there is a little note I've got here that you once took it to Paris but you misread the speed signs.
I did.
You thought 130 kilometres an hour was miles an hour.
Brilliant.
OK, well we're gonna find out how you did on the track where you did this morning.
Plainly you've kept the car in one piece, which is more than can be said for the Bishop who came here a couple of weeks ago.
-Never trust the bishop.
-No, exactly.
And you, keep off the grass! We'll see how you get on a little bit later.
Over the past few weeks, we've been telling about some cracking deals on new cars.
Remember, the VW Passat for under 11 grand, or the Fiat Stilo for 7,995.
Well, best of all, a Ford Ka for 4,995.
I'll tell you, it's never been cheaper or easier to buy a new car.
And the net effect of that is it's killing the value of second-hand ones.
In fact, at the bottom end of the market, something like this, they're practically giving them away.
There we are, first car of the day.
A little Citroen AX.
It's got less than 40,000 miles on the clock.
But because it's 7 years' old, I can buy this car for around 1,300 pounds.
Now, this is Citroen AX Elation, it's limited edition.
It's based on the debut, so it's got the 1-litre engine, which means it's cheap to insure.
But you also get the sunroof, and you get metallic paint.
And you know, when you look inside, it's gonna be nice.
Yeah, look at that.
All the stereo, all the bits and pieces you'd expect.
And it's only done 39,000 miles, this car is not even halfway through its life.
A couple of years ago, an AX with that age in mileage would've cost you 2,000 pounds.
So it's a steal.
Next, I look for a family car.
I found this Nissan Primera for under a grand.
You get power steering, you get electric windows, you even get a factory sunroof.
OK, it's done 98,000 miles, but it's gonna be good for at least another 40,000 miles.
And you won't be investing in some weather-beaten banger either.
A careful check of the paintwork shows there's no telltale signs of accident damage repair.
The electric windows work fine, as does the tilt-and-slide sunroof.
When you rev the engine from cold, there's no nasty knocks or rattles.
So all this for a grand? Seems like a good deal to me.
But just low can you go and still get some working wheels? This man, Martin Gerdon, wouldn't even spend 200 pounds on a car.
This Nissan 300C cost him 100 quid.
It's got 135,000 miles on the clock, but so far it's given him years of trouble-free motoring.
-With a car like this, you need things like a strong battery.
-Right.
Decent plug leads, decent plugs.
The electrical problems tend to be the bugbear of old cheap cars.
-People skimp on maintenance.
-Right, yep.
And you'll find that simple car like this will be intrinsically reliable if you look after it.
I mean, obviously, you're convert to this kind of motoring.
I just think it's hilariously funny.
-Why get the car with higher purchase and then watch it depreciate? -Sure.
I mean, alright, it's not something which is going to impress.
But with a little bit of thought, it could be just as reliable as something which is 10, 12 years younger.
And, you know, if somebody stuffs it, or it gets nicked, or it breaks in a big way, well, I'll try and buy another one.
You do need to know what you're doing if you're going in for 100-quid motoring.
But a little bit more will still get you a decent car.
This Vauxhall Astra CDi - it's got power steering, electric mirrors, and you'd even get a factory sunroof.
Look at this! 450 quid, and that's from a dealer.
If you're brave and went to an auction, you might get it even cheaper.
But it's not an old nail.
It's a 90,000 miles, it's got some service history and a new MOT.
Plenty of life left in this! One reason why you can pick up cars like this so cheaply is that they've got time bombs in them.
By "time bombs," I mean something that if it goes wrong, it'll cost you more than the car's worth to repair.
Modern cars have onboard computers, and if they crash, you've had it.
You would be better off scraping the car.
Some experts would say, avoid these time bombs.
But think about it.
Go in with your eyes wide open, run a car like this for maybe a year or two.
It's cheap motoring.
And when it does go bang, don't cry.
Chuck it away and get another one! But Jason, that Astra.
It was horrible.
-It was 450 quid.
-Yeah, true.
450 quid.
Listen, I've got a 13-year-old Volvo, it's done 160,000 miles.
I paid 900 quid for it; I've just put it through another MOT.
When it goes pop, I'll just chuck it away! But you don't wanna pull in any of these cars, do ya? I don't care.
450 quid for an Astra.
-That's what you pay for service on a new car.
-True.
Top Gear Series 01, Episode 10 "Hold me close, don't let me go, oh no.
" "I, yes I love you and I think that you know.
" "Do ya know, with your love light" Just about the only thing that '70s is about to Lotus Esprit today is the price.
At 50,000 pounds, it's half as much as a Ferrari 360.
But don't think it's half the car! It's kept up with the game by constantly reinventing itself.
So today, instead of a 2.
2 liter 4 cylinder engine, it's got a 3.
5L V8, with a couple of turbos.
Old-timer it may be, but it can still put its fingers in its belt buckles and head bang like when it was a teenager.
And it's not like watching your father dance, either.
It's quite good at it.
The Esprit offers 266 bhp per tonne, and that's more than you get from a Mercedes SL 55 or a Porsche 911, or even a Ferrari 456.
This is like North Korea - small, but with a big punch.
What this means is that it'll do 0-60 in 4.
8 seconds.
Flat out, it'll hit 175 miles an hour.
It's still a very very fast car! And not just in a straight line, either.
Through the corners, it feels absolutely sublime.
There's a hint of understeer to let you know you're getting near the edge, and then, if you keep on pushing, a glorious adrenaline rush as the tail slides wide.
It is beautifully balanced.
The one area where it really can't hide its age is in here.
Have to remember, this car is from a time when man was living in trees.
Haven't really learned to walk upright, so you get a very simian driving position.
Over the years, they've tried to improve it with a selection of different dashboards and different seats, but that's like rearranging the furniture in a small flat.
It's still a small flat! A lack of space, though, is nothing compared to this car's real Achilles' heel: its gearbox.
Changing gear in a car like this should be like stroking a reasonably washed dog.
But in this, it's like stroking a crocodile.
It's all notchy and scaling.
Bleh! It's hopeless! Almost ruins the whole car.
Almost, but not quite.
The fact is I'm hugely fond of the Esprit.
Always have been, and I always will be.
So you love the Esprit, great.
Thing is, for how long? That's the big issue, because the gearbox, the thing that actually spoils it, is likely to be the thing that kills it.
Because they got it out of a Renault 25, Renault stopped making that years and years ago, and they're basically running out.
And the problem is, they can't just make their own gearbox and put on the engine, -'cause, well, how many of these do they sell a year? -Half.
Exactly.
It's gonna cause about a million quid.
-I know.
It won't work.
-And if that kills it, that's a real shame.
-I know.
Because if you ask anybody of our sort of ages to draw a supercar, That is what they'll draw.
I know, it is the perfect supercar shape.
Do you know why? It's got pop-up headlamps.
Yup.
I love pop-up headlamps! When I was a kid, all I wanted was a car with pop-up Anything as long as it did that! "Dad, buy a car with pop-up" And do you know how many cars are made today with pop-up headlamps? This and one other.
Anyone wanna guess what it is? RX-7? RX-7 is not made today, MX-5 doesn't have pop-up headlamps any more.
Porsches don't do pop-up headlamps.
What? -The Ferrari 456! -That's it! He's got it, man from Coventry! Well done, it's the Ferrari 456, it's the only other one.
I think we should have more pop-up headlamps.
Why don't they? Where they've gone, and why? I don't know.
They say - this is great - they say this affects the aerodynamics.
Well, you shouldn't be driving that fast at night anyway, I'd say, so leave them as they are.
Exactly.
Bring them back.
Anyway, we still got one thing left to do with this car, of course.
Unfill the Stig! When we asked the Stig to drive the Esprit, he huffed and puffed and stuffed about, saying he didn't like Lotuses very much.
I asked him why, but he just stomped about a bit more.
The only way we can get him inside was by buying him a Moody Blues CD.
The thing about the Esprit is that it's not just fast in a straight line, it's also balanced in the corners.
Look at that! The only thing that lets it down, really, is the brakes.
Not that he's using them.
Look at this, for the first time in 6 weeks, the track is dry.
And he's coming around the last corner now.
Beautifully held together, beautifully poised, and ooh! Across the line! Right, the time is, ready? 1 minute 32, which is 32? That's quicker than my car, look! That's a very very good time.
Well, it is quicker than a whole load of serious stuff, there it goes.
And the thing was, it was a dry track out there, but it was minus 426 degrees.
-So it was quite slippery.
-Chilly.
Now that's what we should rejoice in! That's an amazing time, actually.
-Aston, Ferrari, all of that.
-I know! -Bless it! -I know.
Bless it! When that thing goes out of production, we're going to be properly properly sad.
Right, the News, and we thought this week we'd look at what to look forward to next year.
Yes.
Although we're losing the Esprit, there's quite a lot of supercars to get excited about.
"Quite a lot" is an understatement.
There's about half a million of them.
Best supercar coming next year, it's got to be this: the Porsche Carrera GT.
Absolutely glorious.
It's V10 engine, again, 250,000 pounds, but just look at it! That's just so beautiful.
That's the most beautiful car I've seen in a very very very very long time.
And the new Viper, which is the American equivalent of a sports car, in the same way, I guess, George Bush is the equivalent of a president.
Yeah, exactly.
There it is, 8.
3 litres, 500 horsepower, and that's not enough.
'Cause there's a new Bugatti coming out next year, which has got 1,000 horsepower.
It's called the Veyron.
It has a thou How do you get 1,000 horsepower into a car? You have to open the glovebox, there'll be 40 horses in it.
36 in the ashtray, a couple under the Neigh! Dobbins under the seat.
Look at it! 1,000 horsepower.
That is an astonishing amount of power.
You'll go from naught to the grave in 4 seconds.
-Boof! I'm dead.
I accelerated -Way up the tree.
-Dead.
Marginally closer to the real world is the McLaren Mercedes SLR.
Only marginally.
Now I know it does look a bit like an SL, in fact, quite a lot like an SL from some angles, but it's an entirely different car, made largely from carbon fibre so it will be light.
Got a supercharged V8, so it will be quick as well.
And it could be yours next year for 250,000 pounds.
-Koenigsegg, yeah? -Bless you! Yeah, a bit like the SLR V8 supercharged, but this one has got more power.
This one has got 655 bhp, and they reckon it's the fastest car in the world.
0-60 in 3.
5 seconds, 240mph top speed.
-240? -Where are you gonna do that? -And it's Swedish? -Yeah! You're not gonna do it in Sweden! Slip! You can do it here, do it on the M1, or the M14? M50 is quite empty a lot of the time, you can get 240 there.
-M32's good.
-M27? Anyone else got any more ideas? M5? You can't go Don't be stupid, you can't go 240 on the M5! -It'd be ridiculous! -Ridiculous thing to say.
The A55 though! Oh, where are we going now? Oh, I know! Ascari.
Yet another supercar.
We've actually got it in the studio, this is the first one, ok? It's made in Banbury by a company called Ascari, which stands for Anglo-Scottish Car Industries.
Didn't know Banbury was Anglo-Scottish, but there we are.
It's got a 5-litre V8 engine, but they've asked me not to say where it's from.
-Secret.
-It's a secret.
Ok, fair enough.
BMW X5, we had in the studio earlier.
-Nice engines! -Yeah, nice engines.
Very nice.
Anyway.
What can we say about it? Well the problem is, of course, is there's a lot of British companies come along and set themselves up, you know, hoping to make these low-volume sports cars.
There was Lea-Francis, there was Jensen.
-Marcos.
-Marcos, Strathcarron, and They've all gone out of business.
All of them.
So we wish Ascari the best of British.
Oh, no, no, not the best of British! Sorry, we wish them the best of luck.
Fingers crossed.
But anyway, listen, if you can't afford it, you can't get any of these supercars, and there are lots of them coming, Don't worry, there's quite a lot of sports car coming as well.
Chrysler, for instance, is launching the 26,000-pound Crossfire.
Here it is.
Now, it's got It's basically underneath, it's a Mercedes SLK.
Was designed by a British person, and it's been built in Germany.
So that's a car for America to be proud of.
-And we've got the new Mazda RX-8 to look forward to.
-Yep.
22,400 quid, that's seriously good value.
Wankel engine, suicide back doors.
Thing about those Wankel engines though, they used to have a big problem 'cause it was something called the rotor tips deep inside the engine.
They used to wear out much too quickly, didn't they? -I think they're gonna replace them and -No, they solved that.
They're using the hardest substance known to man.
-Diamond? -No, harder than diamonds.
I'll tell you what the hardest substance known to man is, what they're lining the rotor tips with.
It's Weetabix.
Bear with me on this.
Weetabix that's been left in the cereal bowl and then put in the dishwasher.
Have you ever tried to get it off? Nothing.
I'll buy that, that'll do it! I have put 60 tonnes of TNT into the bowls to get it out, blow the bowl to smithereens, still stuck to the pieces.
That would do it, no doubt about it.
So that's what they're using, it's the Mazda Weetabix.
Are there any really like, you know, sensible cars coming next year? Well, I've got a list, actually, of the other cars that are coming, and the answer to your question is, not really.
Porsche, they've made a 55,000-pound 150-mile-an-hour off-roader.
-Not sensible.
-That's not sensible.
Volkswagen which, as we all know, means People Car, they've made a 60,000-pound Phaeton.
-"People's Car!" -Not sensible, no.
People's car.
The economy is obviously going better in Germany than we thought.
There is one, actually.
There is one sensible car: the Vauxhall Signum.
Now, it's basically a Vectra Oh, I'm nodding off! I'm coming back! I'm back! We mustn't be put off by its Vectra-ness, because it's not like a Zafira, which is the sort of 7-seat Astra, it only has 5 seats.
But apparently the ones in the back all move about and recline and things.
They're really clever, the ones in the back.
So it's gonna be the first car ever where people will be fighting to get in the back.
"No, no, you drive! Really, you have the front!" "You drive it, I'll sit back here, thanks very much!" "Tinted window, and now I'm in it.
" Anyway, here endeth the News.
Ah, no, it doesn't.
Because TVR, they launch a new car about every 3 weeks, and they're all pretty much the same.
This is the T350C, their latest offering.
And without even looking, I know what I'm gonna get.
There'll be a really sexy curvy body, it'll have a glorious-sounding engine, and there'll be 2 seats.
Buh! And there it is.
Thing is, though, this car is gonna be bought largely by track day enthusiasts.
Do you know, the kind of people who'll thrash the bottom of it on a Saturday 'round the circuit, and then commute in it on a Monday.
So it needs to be a Jackal-and-Hide car.
And that ain't easy! The new car uses TVR's proven Speed Six engine.
It's good for 350 bhp, and will take T350 to 60mph in 4.
4 seconds.
It's a hard, rather than a soft, top, and that makes it stiffer, and those curves were designed with aerodynamics at the top of the priority list.
All of which is good news, both on the road and the track.
But where it gets a bit tricky is the setup.
The suspension, the chassis, damper, springs, all of the All of these kind of caper.
Gotta get it right! This is a track covered in smooth flat tarmac, so you can set the suspension up to be as hard as you'd like to get a quick lap.
But this is a British road, real life, the Monday-to-Friday road.
Shoddy repairs, lumps, bumps, mud, and all garnished with ditches.
So TVR brought the car, the clutch and mechanics, we added the Stig, who chucked in his [inaudible.]
, and helped set it up to his liking.
The car doesn't even sit down when it leaves the line.
And look at that! It corners dead flat, there's absolutely no body roll at all.
That is very fast.
And a good lap time of 1 minute 28.
But in the process, he's made the car twitchy, edgy, and Stig-like.
Right on the limit.
And it gets worse when you leave the track to drive home.
I think the Stig should stick to driving cars, rather than messing about with them.
Because this is absolutely awful on the road! It's so uncomfortable! And not just uncomfortable; I can't steer! I really have no idea which direction we're gonna go in next.
It's just random.
So it's back to the pits, and the Stig is told to get a grip on real life and help TVR set the 350 up so that we can all use it.
And then it's back out onto the track with slightly softer settings.
And straight away, you can see there's more movement from the body, more body roll through the corners.
And yes, the time is actually a second slower, a 1:29 for the lap, but that's still a very good time.
And it's a lot more predictable.
Out on the road, it's much better.
More useable and drivable.
If anything, it's faster in the real world.
We'll let TVR finish the job off, but at least now they know where the limit is.
There's one thing I want to do with this car, OK? Think of a better name for it.
T350C sounds like an iron.
Yeah, whatever it is, it's got a plug on it.
It's an appliance, so won't do.
So whatever we come up with, even if they do call it a T350C, we're gonna call it what we come up with.
That's fair.
And actually, choosing a name can be quite tricky, OK? I mean I've got a list here of some of the better ones, and these are all genuine.
I promise they're genuine.
There was the Mazda Bongo Friendee.
Very chic.
How about this one, the Mitsubishi Mini Active Urban Sandal.
How big was the badge? Oh, this is the best of the lot, the Isuzu Mysterious Utility Wizard.
A superb name! What is that! And it's not just the Japanese either.
Back in the '80s, Volkswagen launched a version of their MkI Golf convertible, pink, white leather, OK? And they called it, the Fancy Boy.
Genius! We didn't get that one in the UK, did we? No, the UK importers said, "Mm, no thanks.
" Yeah, funny that.
Exactly.
Now TVR in the past have been very good at names.
They have the Cerbera, which was a sort of dog.
It's a dog thing.
And then they had Chimaera, which was a she-goat, and Tuscan, which was the supreme god of everything.
And now they had come up with the Microwave.
We got to do better than that.
And I've got the perfect idea, ready? The Widowmaker.
Oh, absolutely.
You can't call a car Widowmaker, that's awful! I can, I just have.
It's the TVR Widowmaker.
They called the starfighter jet in the '60s, that was the widowmaker.
Pilots queued up to fly it, killed themselves, and then another one took their seat.
Everyone wanted to fly it! I know where you're going, though.
It needs to be that sort of forceful, like, TVR Armageddon or Anyone else got any ideas? Poseidon? Quite like that.
Quite like Poseidon.
What's it the god of? The sea? Pertinent.
Anyone else got any? What? Thor? I like Thor.
God of thunder.
Yeah, TVR Thor.
Harry Potter! That's very very poor! The Wizard! The Wizard, no, it's a Wizard.
I quite like the TVR Harry Potter! There's something about it.
It's like the TVR Famous Five.
The TVR Beatrix Potter! Peter the Rabbit! We could go on forever, you idiot! I think you're missing the point.
It's the Paddington Bear! Oh, that's perfect! But, I think, if I'm not allowed to call it Widowmaker, how about the TVR Valhalla? Yeah wasn't that where What do you mean, "Yeah?" In fact, I've decided.
It's end of the discussion.
Like Cool Wall all over again! It is.
It's like the Cool Wall, I've decided.
We've heard some great names, but this is, whatever TVR call it, the Valhalla.
The end, that's it.
That's where the Vikings were at when they were dead, isn't it? Yeah, dead Viking burial ground.
TVR.
Perfect.
Well, there's no poor argument.
Fair enough.
We've sorted it.
Top Gear Series 01, Episode 10 Now it's the time, the second coming of our fastest faiths.
And we're gonna find out whether any of our chaps here were quicker than the Church of England.
As with our previous fastest faith shootout, the race will be run in the 340-bhp Subaru rally car.
So would the Church of England remain the Kings of the track? First to go, Tariq, the Muslim.
2, 1, Go! Tariq was doing really well, but then the Druid summoned up the ancient gods of oversteer.
Not just one spin there! You do score extras for donuts, don't ya? But Tariq overcame the wizardry to finish the lap.
All 4 tyres [inaudible.]
.
It is a difficult braking point over there, though, I've got to say.
That is you get such a long view.
There's no mark there, if you work it like that.
Yeah, exactly.
Next up, Arthur Pendragon, member of the ancient and modern Druid order, priest of Merlin and the Holden God, battle shifter, high priest of the dragon cover, and the Morris Oxford driver.
My Peugeot 1.
9 Diesel doesn't sound like that, I can tell you.
No, not the same noise.
0-60 in 10 minutes! With the Celtic Spirit rooting for him, the Druid turned in a tidy lap.
How did he get around there so quick? That's magic! Garry the 7th Day Adventist was next.
But yet again, the Druid had struck, this time casting a spell that shrunk the car.
I can steer it, look! This bastard! Any suggestions? Why don't you sit in with me and come around with me, and we'll do it together! Like kind of a co-driver thing? Yeah! Why are we fighting! I'm too, uh, well let me just put it this way, yeah, I'm too manly - thank you - I'm too big for the car.
That left Olivi, the Rastafarian, who called him a spirit of Jah.
Yes, Jah.
Might.
Yes.
And by now, the Druid was out of spells.
And at last, the proper rival to the current champion from the Church of England, because like him, Olivi is an amateur weekend racer.
And it showed.
Superstars, one and all, and what a complete tragedy! Yeah, car was too small.
-I know the feeling, mate.
-Yeah.
All cars are too small, aren't they? I don't know that feeling.
It's not what I suffer from.
Why do I have to stand here? -Let's do the results.
-Right, here we go.
In reverse order, as it's traditional.
In fourth place That'll be you, Garry, 'cause you couldn't get in the car.
Scored a time of, so far, about 4 hours.
-Going well! -Not to worry.
Third place, King Arthur, kind of predictably, really, with a time of 1 minute 48.
In Second place, Tariq, with a very good time, 1:41.
Thank you.
Now the big question is, we know at this point that the Rastafarian Olivi Docstrow has won, but the big question is, have you beaten the Church of England? And when they came here, they went around in 1:37, faster than all you lot.
You went 'round in 1 minute 31 seconds! That was fantastic! That is only Well it's less than 2 seconds off the pace set by the Stig! That's an unbelievable performance! Jason, bring in the trophy! There you are, the fastest faith! Well, actually, it's the fastest faith for now, unless we can find a smaller 7th Day Adventist.
-Or a bigger car.
-Yes.
Anyway, every week, we put a star in a reasonably priced car, ok? We've done that throughout the series.
And they've been a mixed bag.
Ladies and gentlemen, Harry Enfield! Hope I don't die! Ready, steady, go! It might skid! Up onto 30 miles an hour.
Hey, I lost control of that.
Jamiroquai front man, Jay Kay! Don't be panicked, don't be tempted to put too much power on.
That's beautiful.
Ross Kemp! Rubbish.
I hate you.
I hate you so much, Clarkson, I'm gonna get you back at some point.
Jonathan Ross! -Look at that magnificent turn! -It wasn't.
At this bit, I think I have to go down here You look ridiculous! I look like a Star Trek fan.
You're lucky that I'm still alive! It isn't like I care! No! But you are lucky! Who would like to see some of the practices that he had? I thought it might be faster! Ladies and Gentlemen, Steve Coogan! Good, I'm glad I cleaned me teeth.
There's a gradual build-up of terror by the looks of things.
Start with mild panic.
.
That's quite neat! "I drive a Lexus" 1:53.
Ross Kemp is gonna be so angry about that.
I beat Ross Kemp! Tara Palmer-Tomkinson! I'm coming up having a little and the shop is about to close.
I'm blasting Oh! Sexy man on the street, wave to him.
It's a left.
I don't crash, but when I park, I think that the bumpers are there so you go BUMP, BUMP, BUMP, BUMP, in.
From Status Quo, Rick Parfitt! Oh, no! That's Beautiful Oh no, there's more.
Probably broke wind.
Back on Across the line, sideways.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Sir Michael Gambon! You do look quite scared! TYRES! God! You were very close to the tyres there! Aren't you supposed to be!? Yeah, well, that was beautifully actually You're off the Gordon Ramsay! Bloody hell, I could've sworn I just saw a traffic warden.
That tastes of petrol.
And that was done on the Subaru Forester.
Flat four engine, it's a very good base.
Now A mixture of poise, precision, and Harry Enfield, there.
But now it's time to award the prize to the fastest celebrity in the whole series, and it was, if we look on this board, Jay Kay, with the time of 1:48, and he's here, everybody! Well done! And there it is! What can I say? I should apologize for the end that's come off there.
The BBC has really pushed the button on this.
Slightly broken.
Would you like to make a speech? Just a little Tom Hanks-style acceptance speech would be good.
I just like to say to everybody that it's one of the greatest days of my life to get this award.
And you know, I mean, no BRIT Award or Grammy could come close to that.
And I just want to thank Jeremy, the BBC, God, Mum, everybody.
Thank you.
Fantastic! And that, I'm afraid, is all we've got time for.
We will be back in the spring.
But in the mean time, have a very happy holiday! Good bye! Bye! Wave, Stig! Wave! Wave! Top Gear Series 01, Episode 10