Top Gear (2002) s02e07 Episode Script

Richard Flattens a Portakabin

Tonight, is about Swedish cars.
They gave us the Saab with the jutty bottom lip, a load of Volvos and now they've given us a new type of car.
This is the Koenigsegg.
Sweden's attempt to land a punch in the Italian-dominated world of the supercar.
It's their answer to Lamborghini, Zonda and Ferrari.
But Ferraris are built with a zest and a Latin passion.
This is built in a northern European way.
For instance, it's made from auto clay, epoxy pre-impregnated carbonfibre.
It's a true semi-monocoque - the front end is mounted on a chrome subframe and the engine sits on top of a machined aluminium dry sub.
There's also a supporting beam for the rear subframe.
That's interesting.
There's more too, because none of this behind-the-scenes technology has interfered with what Koenigsegg call the general ichthyamorphic design principle - the aesthetics.
The best bit of those aesthetics are the dihedral, synchrohelix actuation doors.
Is this the most boring supercar in the world? Um no.
ENGINE REVS It's lighter, more aerodynamic and more powerful than a McLaren F1.
Its supercharged V8 pumps out a simply colossal Koenigsegg say it goes from 0-60 in three seconds and on to a top speed of If those figures turn out to be accurate, this will be, quite simply, the fastest road car in the world Sadly, our test track isn't long enough to test the top speed.
The fastest I've been down here is 170mph in the Pagani Zonda.
And it wasn't much fun.
It may sound simple - driving down a runway flat out.
But there are problems.
It is so wide it affects your perspective.
So you think, "Little bit faster, " then before you know it - you end up here, 14 inches from the end of the runway, in big trouble.
It may look a bit daft, but we put up markers to remind me to brake.
Then I waited until the wind had died down.
And then, I went after the Zonda's record.
Those G-forces hurt your neck I've gotta take as much speed as I can through this bottom corner.
Onto the main straight at 112 kilometres an hour.
The supercharger whacking the fuel out Into third Up to 7,000rpm.
Into fourth.
Bit of a bump.
It's starting to weave a bit.
Here we go, 258 and into sixth gear.
Brake hard! Oh, hard! Engine, whoa! A button tells us how fast it was.
Ho, ho, ho! 280 kilometres an hour! That's 174mph.
Four mph faster than I did in the Zonda.
So, welcome, everyone, to the fastest car we've ever tested here.
This goes like nothing I've ever driven.
It feels like nothing I've ever driven! The clutch, steering and gearbox are heavy.
It's a tonne and a half of testosterone.
You could drive this thing to the gym, turn around, go home again, you'd have had more exercise than if you'd done a workout.
TYRES SCREECH Touch of understeer.
You've gotta be so fast! Whoa! It really is absolutely brutal! A bloke at Koenigsegg said to turn off traction control.
You're joking! This is the meanest, angriest, heaviest, most unforgiving machine I've ever come across.
But it doesn't need to be.
That is the beauty of this car.
If you don't like something, change it.
The bodywork peels away and it's adjustable - brake bias, suspension, ride height, power steering.
You can set it up for a big, open circuit like Silverstone one day.
Next day, couple of minutes' work and it's ready for Cadwell Park.
If it's a lovely summer's night and you want it set up to go to the pub then move that clip, this lever, this clip and the roof comes out.
Then you simply slide it into the front, like so - perfect fit.
Still room for a small bag.
Slose that down.
And we're ready to go.
The Koenigsegg doesn't have McLaren and Ferrari's racing pedigree.
It doesn't have the visual clout of a Lambo or the quality of a Zonda, but it's very fast and very, very special.
It may be a Swede, but take it from me, it's not a turnip.
Let's get back to the safety theme and the Koenigs-eugh-egg.
We've established it's the fastest car we've tested in a straight line.
But what about round the track? It would have to beat the Zonda's This is the big one! Can the Koenigs-eugh-egg take the lap record round our track? The car has over 100hp more than the Zonda and loads of grip so if anything can do it, this will.
COUNTRY AND WESTERN MUSIS He shouldn't have gone to Tennessee.
Into Shicago.
He's very sideways! Steady, Stiggy, this car bites! The Hammerhead.
Will it understeer? Not a chance! Look at that.
COUNTRY AND WESTERN MUSIS It's the follow through - that's very fast! Over the first sector, it was level pegging with the Zonda.
Can it beat the Pagani to the end? Bit of a slither.
Across the line! So, was it faster than the Zonda? AUDIENSE: Yes.
You're wrong.
It did it in one minute, 23.
Wow! A tenth off.
Just a tenth off.
It's basically the same.
It'll take me longer than 1m23s to write it out.
It's Koenigs K-O-E I've got that.
Carry on.
Do you want to see the Stig's first attempt? ALL: Yes.
Play it.
Here he comes, up to Gambon.
LAUGHTER AND SHEERS How are you doing? I've got about 12 Gs on there.
I'll get it on there I reckon.
Yeah! I have to say about the Koenigsegg that, when I did the speed run, there's a dip.
When you go at 130mph, it's fine, but past 160mph, it's really ooh.
And just before I set off on the I missed a G.
Keep going - there's no X in it.
Is there not? Just before the speed run, the guys from Koenigsegg said they'd put some gaffer tape round the window.
That fills you with confidence! Still an immensely impressive car.
Come 'ere, let me finish it off for you, you're gonna be here all day.
Oh, that's how, yeah, you're right.
There's no space for the time.
It goes - I was hoping it might not.
LAUGHTER It did it in 1m 23.
That is so close.
You've established that the Koenigseggseggseggviking's fast.
That's good, but that's not really about safety, is it? No.
Are you planning do anything with our safety theme at all? No.
Didn't think so.
Do you wanna try? Maybe later.
Actually, now.
My guest tonight is best-known for his role in Men Behaving Badly.
But he was in Boon where he had a motorcycle, so he had a helmet.
Safety! Exactly.
Neil Morrissey! SHEERING, WHISTLING AND APPLAUSE Hey! How are you? How are you? Very well.
Have a seat.
Bit of a problem, this.
About six weeks ago, we were on Parkinson.
We had Parky to ask us questions.
Now what will do? Are you up to it? THEY IMITATE PARKINSON: I read, or you read You're into cars? Sricket.
Let's talk about cricket.
We ARE talking about safety.
Are you a safe driver? I am now.
I definitely have been through a mad area in my life.
I've always had motorbikes.
Oh, no, really? LAUGHTER They're fast.
I knew one day a guest would say, "I've got motorbikes", and I'd sit and pretend to be interested.
There's perfectly good reasons.
I understand why you don't like them.
Why? Well, you're very tall.
You'd look like a clown on a silly old LAUGHTER Going round a very gentle bend, knee on the floor.
What's that about? Do you go on these biker weekends? Not really.
I enjoy bikes.
I'm not a member of the biking fraternity.
There's a group of friends who like bikes, but we don't go Cos there is modus operandi for being a biker.
They all meet I live in the Cotswolds, OK? Great roads round there, for, uh No, that's it! Every single Sunday, out they come! Well, yeah.
MEE-EEE-EEE! From 100 miles away! You can hear them leaving Edinburgh.
MEE-EEE! It's such a stupid noise they make! As they drive past your house at they go past going, "Sad BLEEP".
The thing is, I don't spend weekends dressed in leather, going off with other men, a lot of whom have moustaches, and drinking soft drinks in the pub.
Yeah, I do have to agree with you a bit there.
There is a certain way of dressing these days.
We've got some photographs.
This is the sort of thing.
That is dodgy.
Do you wear that? No! This is a Power Ranger, isn't it? This is what they're dressing like.
Ohhh, no! How do you look cool, walking into the pub like that? And going, "A bitter lemon, please, cos I'm riding my Honda SBR.
" Yeah.
What bike have you got? I've got a big, fat Triumph.
A 955 ST Sprint.
That's just a collection of numbers and letters.
It's fast.
I understand that.
It's fast.
It's a nice, light bike.
There's as much variety with bikes as with cars, for the type of rider that you are.
I did once go on something called a Ducati Monster.
Yeah! You're familiar with it? God, yeah.
It was in Monte Carlo.
You touched the throttle thing, no, not like that, like that.
Like this.
If you did that, it'd throw you off the back! I've never felt aleration You literally are holding on.
With those big bikes, the Fireblade and things, you just hang on, really.
What do they call them in hospital? Donors? Yeah.
The worst are pizza delivery boys.
Oh, God! In the rain, with boxes on the back thinking they're on a circuit.
You're in a queue and the bike goes down the middle, in a convertible, have a good stretch.
Scares the life out of them.
I know! That's what car drivers are jealous of.
We can go through gaps.
I'm not jealous.
You're arriving, covered in leather, dirty, sweaty.
I listened to Terry Wogan all the way.
You can do that on bikes too.
You can have cooling systems in your outfit and heating, all kinds.
Take you 20 minutes to get off it! Unplugging it.
What car do you drive? I've got a nice BMW, 745i.
That's not very sporty.
No, but it's safe.
I prefer to keep my madness on the circuit.
I like to go to race days.
Track days? We did those last week.
Have you tried them? Yeah, it's brilliant.
You drive ten different fast cars all day.
The instructors are brilliant.
Like Stig.
They wanna make you go faster! It's brilliant.
And I did well.
I was top in four categories.
Really? Oh, so you're quick in a car, then? Well, I have a go.
One thing the instructor said is that I'm fearless.
So that suits me, you know.
You've had a go at track days.
How do you think you got on? Do you think you're down here? I hope not! I walked the track today in two minutes, five seconds! I did my second circuit and he was still on it! Still trying to finish! Where would you like to be? Near the top! Do you think you can beat the chef duo? I'd like to.
It's difficult.
This is me at 1.
Although that was recorded with two other people in the car.
I claim to be faster than JK when I'm not here.
Shall we find out? Yeah! Shall we see his lap? I'm looking forward to this! Here we go.
TYRES SSREESH Too much wheel spin.
'I know.
' What am I rambling on about? I don't know.
That's going there.
That's concentration.
Yes! I'm repeating what Stig told me.
That's smooth.
If you go too fast round the corners, you lose speed.
This is tricky.
It's like threading a needle at 100mph.
You go from wide to narrow track.
That's where Michael Gambon nearly turned it.
You're across the line! APPLAUSE Well! I know how fast you did it.
Tell me! Not that I'm competitive.
It's one minute.
It's quicker than Harry Enfield and Richard Whiteley.
Another record's gone this week.
WOA-HO-HO! Well done.
I can't tell you how pleased I am! That is a quick time.
APPLAUSE Only JK to beat.
Now get out.
That's fantastic! Well, it's not that fantastic, actually.
It's funny watching people's faces.
Everybody says they're not bothered, you get to that bit Ooh, no.
That's the most exciting bit for me, finding out.
It's a good one.
He won't be pleased.
JK will be cross.
I'll book a table at the restaurant.
I'll be there in three minutes! Ladies and gentlemen, Neil Morrissey! APPLAUSE When this car first arrived, late last year, I found it a bit, well, strong.
In fact, I laughed.
But now, I feel a bit of a chump, Iike the people asked to invest £10 in Trivial Pursuit who didn't.
At best, I might respect them for their boldness, but oh, no.
Renault have done it again.
They've made a car that is completely cool.
This is Hoxton Square, officially the coolest place in Britain.
No-one here works in accounts.
If you walk over the square, when you get across it, your clothes have gone out of fashion, and back in again.
Just look how well the car sits here.
And don't forget, it's a small family car.
Everything else, even the Ford Focus, looks a bit last week.
It may not drive as well as a Focus, but you don't care.
It's well priced, well-equipped and has a decent choice of engines.
The interior is clever.
I could take all my possessions and lose them in here, out of sight.
Mothers'll be fishing kids out of cubby holes for years! But if you buy your next family car because it's pretty, or because it's easy to keep tidy, you need your head looking at.
We're good at going faster, but we can't cope if things go wrong.
In a crash of between 30 and 40mph, your head will be thrown forwards with a force of 40 or 50G.
That means it weighs, suddenly, Your neck is under a strain of two kilonewtons, like holding a 200 kilo weight with it or being hung.
The bones in your legs are put under a stress of four kilonewtons.
That's like jumping off a very high wall with an adult on your back.
Suddenly, the Megane's safety features look more interesting.
Like crumple zones.
It's designed to come apart, dissipating energy, Ieaving you safe inside.
But first, the car is doing things to protect you.
When it detects a crash starting, the seat belt has pre-tensioners, located either side.
The belt clamps you down into the seat.
As your weight's thrown forward, the mounting points are designed to peel away from the body of the car.
It works like a tin opening.
There are weak points engineered in.
It's called a load limiter.
It does just that, slowing you down gently.
Then there are the air bags.
There are eight in here - eight! Now, normally, at this point, we'd just show you the crash test.
That'd be the end of the road test.
But not this time.
We're not going to send this car back to Renault in the same shape.
We're gonna crash it into that car at over 30mph.
We won't use dummies.
We're gonna use him.
This is Lee, our Top Gear brave person.
He has crashed cars before for TV, but in stunts where they used helmets, harnesses and roll cages.
But this is no stunt.
He won't wear a helmet or protective clothing.
There are no extra safety features.
Lee will crash this standard Megane, relying on the car to protect him, just as you'd have to do.
This has never been done before on a car programme.
But the Megane is a small family hatch that thousands will drive with big claims made about safety.
Let's put RenauIt's money where their mouth is.
Lee, can we open it? Well, the door opens.
How are you? Cor, it doesn't half generate some heat.
How do you feel? Um How fast were you going when you went in? About 30.
So it was 30 ish.
About the speed About the speed of a general mum going to the shops.
The air bags went off.
Did you feel anything else? Seat belts, anything? I'm glad I went to the toilet before this.
It's pulled me into the seat.
The lap strap across your waist, I felt really tug me back hard.
It's uncomfortable now.
There's a loud pop, a bit louder than I imagined it would have been.
Shall we help you out? No, I think I can Have a look at the front.
You did it, so you should see it.
The doorthe door is fine! From here, it's not bad.
No! I mean, it's squashed a bit.
The radiator.
Thank you very much! Live crash test dummy! That's fantastic! It works.
I've just got one thing to do.
Telephone Renault.
You'd better do that.
I'll do this alone.
It's one of those calls! Many believe that all cars behave the same in an accident.
Well, that simply isn't the case.
Here is a Toyota Avensis.
This is a Euro NCAP five-star car, as good as it gets.
It's been crashed into a deformable concrete block at 40mph in a laboratory.
If we come round here, we find the seat has barely moved, the steering wheel has barely moved and, crucially, the door closes.
That shows us that the bit where you're sitting hasn't crumpled up at all.
We can see the difference between these cars.
This Impian has had the same crash - in the same place.
Straight away I can barely open the door.
It's been bent out of shape here, which means the cabin has been deformed and that's where you'd be.
Inside, we can see why this is a three-star car.
The brake pedal has been shoved up here.
Your foot would have been on there.
That'd damage your ankle and leg.
The steering wheel has been shoved back.
That could damage your chest.
So, the Proton is a bit less money than the Avensis, and if you want to save a bit of money, go ahead.
You can't tell by looking which car will do best.
This is a Ford Fiesta.
It's had the same crash - We can see why this is a four-star car.
It's not bad.
That's because it's designed to send the energy around you and protect you.
It's got bars running through here, so it held its shape.
There are bars running along the door.
All the energy goes from the front, the crash, around you.
Compare that to a Freelander.
This is the kind of car families buy.
This pillar, where it meets the roof, has crumpled, so any more speed and that'll go.
The roof has given up the ghost here.
The door has had it.
Look how much that has folded up.
The seat, the steering wheel and the pedals have moved.
You've got a daughter.
Would you let her go in this three-star car having seen this? These crash tests change how you look at cars completely.
It's a big, chunky family car and Does anybody want to know? We've got a list of the Euro NCAP results here.
Does anybody want to know how their car fared? An MGZT.
Let's have a look.
That's basically a Rover 75.
I've got it.
I've got it.
There you go.
Rover 75, 2,000 - that's a four-star car.
You're OK.
You can have an accident on the way home.
Anybody else? Yeah? A4, Audi A4.
Have you done that? I've got it.
The Audi A4? That again Here's the difference a few years make.
'97, two stars.
What year's your car? 2003.
It's a four-star.
It's not bad.
Srash into another A4 and you'll be OK.
Anyone else? A Daewoo Nexia.
A what? Daewoo Nexia.
A Daewoo Nexia! Have you got one? No, they haven't bothered! Anyone else? Mercedes S-class.
That's a five-star one, isn't it? Yeah.
It's a '99.
Oh, a '99.
It'll be interesting to see how it differs.
Unless it's after 2001, it is a two-star car.
What's yours? '99.
It's two stars.
Drive carefully on the way home! If something pulls out, really brake hard, OK? A two-star car you really don't want to be crashing.
Anyone got a Ford Escort? You've got a Ford Escort? Cosworth.
It doesn't matter.
You've got a? A Bentley.
I bet they haven't crashed one of those! I bet they got to the day and thought, "I can't! " The Bentley Turbo went through the concrete block and carried on.
It's still having an accident.
Yeah? Sitroen Saxo.
A Sitroen Saxo.
That's kind of like a carrier bag, isn't it? Have you done a Sitroen Saxo? Yeah, it's a two-star.
It's a two-star car.
Whoops! How does that make you feel, knowing your car will behave in an accident worse than The Freelander is a three-star car.
Yours is two-star.
How does it make you feel? Very nervous.
The strange thing about safety is you just You see that and think, "I've no need for a car.
" In a Fiesta you could have the same accident and be OK.
Now, an apology.
I forgot to give you the price of the Koenigsegg.
It's £354,000.
AUDIENSE: Oooh! Sorry about that.
Let me cheer you up with a world exclusive.
This is, I think, the most beautiful car I have ever seen.
It doesn't look wrong from any angle.
It's the new Aston Martin V8 Vantage.
It's got a 4.
3L V8 engine, rear-wheel drive, gearbox at the back for perfect weight distribution.
It's light, very fast and it'll cost a very reasonable £70,000.
Going on sale in 2005.
So have you ordered a Porsche 911 recently? LAUGHTER I have a safety thing.
Look, it's this green thing.
And it is? It's a hearing aid.
Funky hearing aid.
I'm deaf but I'm funky.
Funky hearing aid.
I'm deaf but I'm funky.
HIGH-PITSHED BEEP It makes you look like a total berk.
You put it on while you're driving and if you nod off BEEP LAUGHTER Jeremy, well done! I think that's safe! APPLAUSE Just Before we get carried away, I've spotted a few drawbacks.
You're driving along, you change channels.
BEEP You go into the glove box.
You go into the glove box.
BEEP I'm not sure.
CONTINUOUS BEEP Oh, turn it off! I think that's your second safety mess-up.
Two strikes and you're out.
One more to redeem yourself.
I've got a good one - here's some war.
After World War II, General Patton said victory would not have been possible without the Willis Jeep.
The modern-day equivalent is the Humvie.
Its wheels are wide apart and fit in the tracks left by tanks.
double that of any other off-road car.
When the first Gulf War was over, some generals followed Patton, saying victory was due in no small part to this incredible car.
The Iraqi Army's running away also had something to do with it.
Arnold Schwarzenegger asked the makers of the Humvie if they could do a civilian version.
Because We're fascinated, with you all the way.
But it's nothing to do with safety, is it? No, it has.
Watch this.
If you want the safest car in the world - this is it.
You'd call the performance quite good IF this were a boat.
You never go fast enough to have a crash.
If someone runs into you - you're never going to know.
There are some drawbacks, like having a conversation.
They're so far apart, the seats are in different time zones.
Then there's the enormous 6.
5L, turbo-charged diesel engine.
It's in the middle of the room, and the torque-converters in the wheels sound like giant, nuclear-powered pepper grinders.
Small wonder Arnold shouted in his films.
AS ARNIE: I want your motorcycle.
AS MOVIE VOISE-OVER: He will not stop! And the problems aren't limited to talking.
There are other issues.
Can you guess what they are? Oh, this is a narrow street.
And somebody's parked on it.
Stupid place to park! Don't you know people have big military vehicles that need to get through? I fear I may be causing a few problems.
What on earth are we going to do? I'm going to have to back up.
That's about 14 cars! It's the end of the world as we know it.
They're very good-natured.
Try this anywhere else, I'd have had my head kicked in by now.
The worse thing about the Humvie is not the size or the noise.
It's that, as you drive along, you can see people on the pavements all mouthing the same thing .
"There goes Shris Eubank.
" This is a terrible car.
General Motors has bought the rights to make a civilian version, and they've made a new version, which is kinder to the environment and softer on your skin.
This is it - the Humvie H2.
It doesn't look like the kind of car Shris Eubank would drive.
It looks like the sort of car he designed.
It's available here with left-hand drive for £60,000.
It seems a lot when you peel away this amazing body and find out what's underneath.
Yep, under the abs and the pecs, it's a GMS Tahoe, which is ugly, big, slow, and competely flummoxed by snow, mud, gravel, soil, grass clippings, drizzle, or even a light breeze.
It's rubbish.
As a result, the H2 is not going to win any wars.
If the US ever decides we need a regime change, they won't storm over the White Sliffs in an H2.
Then there's the fuel consumption.
I tested an H2 in the desert last year and got 3.
3 miles to the gallon.
Unbelievably, it's worse on the road.
If I put my foot down, the fuel consumption metre says I'm doing one mile to the gallon.
One! The problem is, while it's smaller and lighter and easier to thread through town than the original Hummer, it's still nearly four tonnes.
And it has a 6L V8 petrol engine.
Don't think that makes it fast.
Do what you want with the macho gear lever, it still won't go.
It stops like a duck on a frozen lake.
The thing is, though, that if I may liken most cars to little black dresses, this is a ball gown with sequins and a bustle.
And look at that row of lights on the roof - that's a tiara! It's a Roman orgy, a Hawaiian barbecue, a Viennese waltz a helicopter gun ship attack on Las Vegas rolled into one.
Fabulous! Yes, it's thirsty and hopeless and expensive, but I like it.
Unlike the H1, it feels like a car to drive - it's quiet and refined, well-equipped, and even practical.
If we look in the back, we find that, unlike the H1, it has three seats.
Look at this - a handle so robust, not even a six-year-old can break it.
We come round and open the boot - another man-sized handle - and inside there's another seat! And space for a dog AND, if we lower this like so, space for two dogs.
If you concentrate REALLY hard, you can justify this thing.
I've managed to convince myself that it's a sensible family saloon.
My wife's not so sure, but you know, given time she'll come round to my way of thinking.
What you have to understand is that the H2 makes you feel like a seven-year-old boy.
And for that alone, you have to love it.
Are you seriously saying that this revolting piece of pig iron is a serious alternative to an X5? It's fantastic! It's revolting! Slightly revolting.
The point is that it reminds you of what it is that you love about cars.
Every journey is an event.
I want to go into town.
I'll save up and come back.
There are some journeys in this that are an event.
I saw one, or one just like it, in Manchester a while ago.
We'd done some filming and the owner's son came to collect it.
He was showing off a bit - "Let's see if it fits through a drive-through at a burger shop.
" Slams it into reverse and backs straight over a BMW Z3.
Splat! Like it wasn't there.
And which car won? Ah, I see where you're going - it was the Hummer.
Size IS important in these things.
That's a bit harsh! That was a little cruel.
Getting back to the safety thing - if you run into another car, you're better off in something big.
They don't come much bigger or tougher.
That's where you're wrong.
This is the Talon Riot Control Vehicle.
Big, isn't it? This is the real deal - half a million quids worth.
It's armour-plated to withstand that terrorist favourite, the AK47.
'More than that, I was lucky - that skin is also electrified.
'20,000 volts at the fingertips of your aggressors in seconds.
' I could accommodate 14 of my nearest and dearest in here.
They'd each have their own shooting hatch, which is nice.
If things turn really nasty and you're stuck here for a few days, there's a fridge for your beer, you can monitor the oxygen levels, andthere's a lavatory.
Now that is what I call a control panel - grenade launcher, impulse generator.
SHOUTING AND JEERING Oh, dear, that's a bit tedious.
Still, if I press this button If the yobs still won't go, you can deafen them with the PA system.
MUSIS: Distorted version of "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston With the infrared spotlights and grenades, you should be OK.
The thing is, it's all a bit defensive.
What if I want to go on the offensive? What can I do in my Talon? Well, if things get really nasty, I can always just head-butt stuff.
That should do it! APPLAUSE A car that really is safer than houses.
That's it for this week.
See you next week.