Top Gear (2002) s09e04 Episode Script

Space Shuttle

TransGear subtitle team the Sim-Race Federation of China Translation: RS4, bitcars, catchup, FXCarl Time line: bitcars, catchup Tonight, one small stumble for man as we build a space-shuttle I drive a nuclear bomb disguised as a Mercedes And Simon Pegg makes a Hot Fuzz in our reasonably priced car Help! You're wrong, you're wrong.
Hello and welcome to an arguement You see, there are two types of petrolhead You've got idots like this who like the Porsche 911 and you got people like me who'd rather have anthrax than a 911 cause I'm a Ferrari-person Yes.
But when you actually owned a Ferrari you couldn't leave it parked on the street, go have a dinner really or anything cause you'd spend the whole meal worrying about who is bumping into it or carving their names into its precious painting That's true.
I once left the roof off, it was so full of phlegm when I got back.
You could've swam home, but Exactly, and therefore as a result of that it'd spend its entire life carrying in your home or your garage And when you are eventually brave enough to wanna use it by that time, the battery was flat.
It was hopeless.
Yes, I know.
But a Ferrari with a flat-battery is an aesthetic thing You could enjoy looking at it.
That's the Yes, but it's not moving That's why I love the 911 because you can use it everyday to go to places It's a car! And now there is a new turbo version which we asked him to drive and hope he'd see the light This is the biggest 911-turbo they've ever made but it's still no longer than a Toyota Prius no wider than a 3-series BMW And unlike a normal super car it doesn't have Marilyn Monroe hips so it doesn't get stuck in multi-storey car parks What's more, it's not like threading through traffic in a post box in a Ferrari, you can't really see where the buses are, so you got problem up but in this, you can In a Ferrari, you'd be forever worried about graunching the nose on a speed hump but not in a 911 And it doesn't even harm the sky very much either It may have a flat-6 twin turbo engine but it only produces 300 carbondioxides that's 100 less than you'd get from the back of a Ferrari 430 If you drive this car through a really polluted city Los Angeles, /, Harrowgate, something like that the gas coming out of the exhause pipes is less toxic than the air going into the engine and I'm not joking.
That's true This then is like a small efficient easy-to-use vacuum cleaner I should have called it a Porsche-Dyson And it will suck up your luggage too because unlike any other supercar its boot is easily big enough for you weekly shop There is the peach and peacock the corner stone of any Porsche driver's Sunday lunch and there's still room left over for the ice-cream made from the bones of you defeated squash opponent.
And you can use this car on a school run because it has back seats.
I mean obviously You'd have to have fairly thin children but then you would have because you've got a Porsche 911 so you'd have a thin wife I'll conceive then there is no everyday situation that flummoxes a 911 turbo And so because you can use it everyday its battery won't be flat when the moment is right and you'll fancy your drive The new 911-turbo has special variable vane turbochargers that always work, whatever the rev is.
You could even buy a special overboost facility which for brief moments can deliver 500 torques that gives you the very muscly feel And it got a special new Four-Wheel-Drive system that it doesn't allow any form of under or over steer You just get so much grip that your eyes start to hurt like being in a capsule of speed So, when the sun goes down you could really get cracking OK.
Let's engage the stability management program and put it in sport mode that changes things a bit Now every time I turn the steering wheel it feels like I'm drawing a line through the laws of physics This is not driving, this is pure math So how does it compare to my beloved Ferrari Well, it has a smaller engine but because of the scramjet turbochargers it produces 480 BHP exactly what you get from a 430 But then this is lighter than the Ferrari thanks to aluminum doors which weigh just 11 Kg each It's also 20,000 pounds less expensive Sure, it isn't as exiting as the Ferrari it's more about engineering than passion but I would admit the end results are astonishing Let me give you some performance figures Top speed, near as makes no difference, 200 miles an hour and this is my favourate, OK? 40-60 in 2nd gear, 1 second It's amazing because it's not just more usable than a Ferrari more practical But I think out here in the real world with crests and dips and bumps and blind brows I think it's faster as well I really do Now, you see Ladies and gentlemen we must all rejoice because Clarkson has finally caught the bug I still prefer the Ferrari Well, hang on.
You've just spend the last 6 minutes wasting our time telling us that's faster, more powerful, lighter and more practical And cheaper.
The thing is, now, I'm sorry that's like sitting in a Volkswagon beetle with mustard up its bottom Well, it's better than sitting there in a car that won't start but just looks a bit pretty.
Look, can we just Can I say this arguement has been going on for 40 years It will go on for another 40 years.
The correct place is in the pub So we will do the news No.
Cause I've just thought of something else.
OK? It's really simple.
It's all to do with I have passion for the Ferrari.
I respect that but I have pas It's like David Attenborough I respect David Attenborough and we just infinitly respect in the same way we respect that car but I have no passion for him.
I don't wanna make love to him But I have respect and passion for the 911 There you are.
You've just admit on TV you wanna make love to David Attenborough He has just said that.
Your logic sometimes, mate, is the most annoying thing Shut up! - OK? We should do the news.
- Right.
And now the news.
And we begin this week with with the Porsche 911 more specifically the Porsche 911 GT3 RS Oh now, that's the business.
It's faster, it's lighter, it's tauter, it's possibly the ultimate 911 In the same way the Ebola is the ultimate tropical disease.
What's with all that scaffolding in there? It's a roll cage for when you take it on the race track I'm sorry.
If I see scaffolding around a building, I don't think that one's finished.
I'm sorry, actually they're unfinished.
No, it's a roll cage.
Look, I'll admit this is perhaps the only problem with this otherwise brilliant car is that it's not the most practical If you wanna pop down to the newspaper shop, you've gotta clamber in over the roll cage lower yourself into the bucket seat do up the 6-point race harness prime the fire extinguisher system it's gonna take time.
So in the real world, my 1.
2 Liter fiat panda is faster to the shops - No, mate, it's just not - I only have to put the seat belt on once, You've got to do it 6 times.
I've got to do that and then wait while you put you seat belts on and then do all your pre-flight checks make sure the air vents are working Can I just move this along? Do you mind? Is that alright? Coz I've got something that's really bugging me.
Has anyone seem these average speed cameras they are kicking around now? Do you know what I mean? So you've got to do I was xxx the M25 the other day, through the road works, had to do an average of 40 miles/h measured by 2 cameras, 1 at the beginning 1 at the end.
That's impossible It's impossible because you're driving along and you sort of looking around and Oh god, I'm doing 42 coz I'm doing down hill You think that I've been doing that for half a mile so I need to do half a mile at 38 which means you could only look at the speedometer You can't look at anything else only the speedometer You're going through road works in a m25 in the rain in rash hour.
And I know what they're doing here.
It's the government.
Gordon Brown has worked out that he's got to pay all our pensions coz we're gonna live for ever.
They are trying to kill us off.
I know how to get round it, ok? Go pass the first camera, pull over, get the newspaper out, read it, listen to the radio for 10 mins.
do 120 for the rest way of it.
That's not quite wrong actually.
Coz I can prove that the way to keep traffic moving through the road works which is where those average cameras are is for everybody to go faster from the start.
- Yeah.
- It's all down to the work of the Swiss Physicist Daniel Bernoulli.
You're familiar with him? Oh, him.
- Thought so.
- He isn't.
He is.
He's never heard of him.
But what he essentially proved was that in a system, the pressure and the volume multiplied together must be a constant, so if you've got a busy motor way and it gets thinner, there's less space for the cars to go through they must go faster for the flow rate of cars to remain the same.
So it's like when you put your thumb over the end of a hose pipe, the water comes out quicker.
That's exactly what it's like, yeah.
So how fast then if you take 3-lane motorway down to 1 lane? How fast does the traffic have to move in order to keep the flow rate the same? Well the formula would be Vn=Lo/Lr*Ve So how fast? It's 210 - 210 miles/h.
Ladies and gentlemen - Fair enough.
All go and buy Bugattis and Zondas to cure congestion.
Of course the big news this week that's been occupying all the bulletins is that 1.
5 million people have signed this petition protesting about the plans to implement road charging, pay-as-you-go stuff.
Now if you want to add your name to that petition here is the address That's the address, now obviously, this being the BBC if you think road pricing is a good idea and you want to register you thoughts on that and best of luck with that.
The Mitsubishi Evo, we love that car, it's a great car, isn't it? Well this is the new one, the Evo 10, this is what it's probably gonna look like, um they've loaded it with loads of technology again, it's got all these initials, ACED, AYC,ASC, SAWC, MIVEC Good, yeah, keep talking like that If that's got all the technologies, - I mean, really road-crushing technology.
-It had to be there.
And it looks as good as that.
- Suddenly, why do you need super cars? - Yeah, why do you? Coz It looks like that and goes as well as it could, there is a slight warning associated with those cars there, because of all that technology, I mean when they really do, they're gonna be unflattering to drive, like one of those automatic pianos where you play it and you take your hands off and it carries on playing there's a danger the cars are like that.
If you get passengers with you and they are looking at you admiringly thinking: Wow what a brilliant driver, you're excellent! Don't take your hands off the wheelcoz - It will keep going.
- Then you'll look like an idiot.
And now, a couple of time, recently on the program, we've said that there'll never be a car to beat the Bugatti Veyron in our life time, it's the ultimate expression of the automotive engineering, and will be for some time.
Turns out, we might have been wrong, because look at this.
this is called the melling hell cat got some figures for you it's got a 6 liter quad-turbo V10, 1175 brake horse power, and the top speed they're saying of 270 miles an hour.
- Oh rubbish.
- What? That's rubbish.
I bet you that's not slippery enough.
- You mean not aerodynamic enough? - Yeah.
Can you please not ask me to be the one to find out.
I just don't fancy it.
Hey, last week, did you see the American program last week? You know we got into a spot of bothering a petrol station in Alabama? Turned out we missed the trick.
Coz you know when that woman came out and she said "Are you gay or looking to get beat up in a hip town or what?" and I said "Oh no no, actually I¡¯m married with 3 children".
If only you'd said "well, actually I¡¯m married with 2 children", we could have just pointed at the bachelor boy there.
"But the one with the long hair isn't.
" Of course they would have kicked the snot out of him.
Chaps Yeah? News from the BBC, ok? If you're a BBC employee and you drive flea cars or hired cars, you've now got to go on a safe-driving program.
But we drive though, do we have to? We do, yes we do.
No way.
I'm absolutely not kidding.
it says here that uh BBC driving is now acknowledged as one of the most serious work related health and safety issues.
It isn't.
it's just something that's more comfortable than walking.
- Yes.
- And then it goes on, the BBC committed in reducing the risk associated with this activity.
They're making it sound like masturbation.
Stop driving or go blind.
This isjust I've got some of the questions and I¡¯d like to share some of the questions BBC employees have to face with you, ok? Ready? We'll bring them up on the screen here.
You have a blow out on the motorway.
One for you here, Hammond, what instinctive reaction should you avoid? Accelerating.
Tyre's gone, eeeeee This is instinctive reactions? Taking your hands off the steering wheel? Well, that'll help.
They're just maniacs, they're justI'm so irritated by this i can't believe it, and then Exceeding the speed limit in a built-up area is acceptable in vehicles fitted with anti-lock braking systems.
You strongly disagree, disagree, agree or strongly agree.
It's not gonna be an excuse, is it? Yeah, officer, it's ok, I¡¯ve done 110 through the village, I have ABS.
No ticket for me.
Why are you looking angry with me, officer? What's the primary hazard facing drivers when driving at night? Anyone wanna a hazard guess of that? Hang on, this is.
go onwhat? Yeah? What? Dark? Anything else? Germans.
Germans? These are all valid points.
None of these things are on my list.
Anybody else got any thoughts? Peasants.
No, it's um glare from other vehicle's headlights, cyclist in dark clothing, that's their own fault for not working hard enough having a car Fatigue, staying alert.
And it now means you've got to spend 20 minutes next week failing the test and then going on a course, So I¡¯m sorry we won't be here ladies and gentlemen next week, but we'll be much safer drivers when we get back.
Now here on Top Gear as you know we like a bit of challenge, we've made amphibious cars, we've made a convertible people carrier, but now it's time to see if we can conquer the final frontier--the space.
Hangwellwhat do you mean no? No.
Now, you see, we wanted to find out if you could make a car into a spaceship.
Yes, and I thought this was the single stupidest idea I¡¯ve ever heard in my life and refuse to have any part in it.
Ah, you see, but you underestimated the genius of our space-based plan.
One of the problems with space rocket is that they're gaint expensive.
the Super Power spent billions trying to get their hardware up amongst the stars But we thought you can do it for a lot less cash if you base your space rocket on a car.
That meant getting hold of the most rocket shaped car we can think of.
Yes it's been around for 30 years, and for Now though, we're gonna see if the Reliant Robin has the makings of a spaceship.
It's light, It's cheap.
And it tapers to a point like a rocket.
So we're already heading in the right direction.
But we're not just gonna strap rockets to it, set it off and wave it good-bye.
Because we're gonna see if we can turn it into the most difficult of all space craft.
The one has to take off, and been used again.
A space shuttle.
If you're eight, you're probably gonna wanna see what happens next.
Our first job had been to put a call-in to the rocketeers.
These were the men who'd helped to send a Mini down the skee jump for the Top Gear Winter Olympics Two One Initiate James and I convened a meeting at their headquarters, just out side the Derbyshire Town of Glossop.
It's not exactly the Kennedy Space Centre, is it? Oh, I don't know.
Inside we'd assembled a /mockly crew of boffins.
Right gentlemen, What we want from you is the most difficult type of space rocket A space shuttle This has to work properly, it has to have the big fuel tank it has to have the booster rocket, they all have to seperate.
Most importantly, we have to be able to bring it back down under control to a landing.
And it's worth say as well though.
No body's gonna go in this.
- Yeah.
- But it has to be landed.
The idea of this is that we will send it up to a few thousand feet What we're doing is testing the principle if you can make all this work, and we and bring it into this controllable landing We will probably get funding from the EU for a proper space mission So you want to launch it? Jettison the SRBs - Jettison the SRBs - Jettison the orbiter, and fly it down? What's the orbiter? - The Reliant - Right Have you got a spare billion dollars? No, you see that's why we've come to you.
Because you're from Manchester and you'll be able to do it for ten and six And as much teas as you can drink while you do're doing that.
Yeah, chips and lard, everything, anything you want.
The rocket men did some calculations on the back of a laptop.
How do you make the bloody thing work? Well we've got the Robin.
They've given us a Robin now.
That's it's started, right.
Whoopee, whoopee, whoopee, we've got a Robin.
An hour later, and it looks as though Jeremy might have had a point.
It is difficult in every single way.
You've got a Reliant Robin, It's a car.
So it should really really heavy.
So, rough numbers were we're gonna need about Really? It's the largest non-commercial rocket launched in Europe.
It's the most powerful non-commercial rocket launched in Europe.
As a rocket, it is the most awful shape it could ever be.
But I thought the Robin was a good place to start, because it's pointy at one end.
That's as far as I've got with that.
It's pointy, Yeah.
Never the less they set to work with James in tow.
While May was in his element in world's biggest lockram shed Oh, look at that.
I was trying to work out how to land the Reliant Robin.
The rockets have deployed, Err.
so we land itlike that.
I wrestled with the problem for ages before I had a brain wave.
Hello is that Model Airplane Monthly? Great, Em.
I need some help.
This I think is the answer.
We put a more powerful version of whatever this is to our space shuttle.
Then we can take control of it from the ground after its jettison in this rocket and flied in by remote, it's a good plan.
Just got to get good to fly it.
I thought it best to sack myself from this job and instead hired Steve Holland A champion model air plane pilot.
Yeah, now that is more like it, this.
- How are you at flying cars? - Cars? Cars, small cars.
With Steve the pilot onboard I went back to check on James' build and I was in for a shock.
Deep hell James, it's enormous.
That's a solid rocket booster, there are two of those.
That hasn't even got its nose cone on yet, it's actually a bit bigger than that.
But it'sI was thinking firework on a stick I know.
So was I, but that isn't the biggest bit.
No, the external fuel tank was the biggest bit Complete with extra rockets in the bottom Then there were more rockets in the Reliant.
And explosive bolts to seperate every thing.
The whole construction was mind bombingly complicated.
What occures to me now is the list of things to go wrong.
It's enormous.
And if anyone of them goes wrong See I've been worried about the landing.
The chance of getting as far as the landing on the day are now How did you get on with your flying, by the way.
The next problem was a biggie.
The rocketeers were worried that because of the Robin's odd shape The whole shuttle will spear off course during the ascent.
So we are happy we've got the power.
Yeah, eight tons of thrust.
And the thing only weights 1.
5, so it's gonna go, someway.
It's not gonna work, is it? - Well it's got to work, we're quite a long way into it now.
- Hehe.
What's that? Yeah, now now, but you see, look at it like this, it makes a lot more sense.
May we gotta make sure it doesn't just launch I mean it can't it could fall onto its back in the sky or anything This isn't about power now.
This is about the shape of it.
- And now that would affectwhere it goes.
- Yeahwhere it goes.
It's air dynamic, we need an air dynamic's expert to look at all the stuff.
One groveling phone call to the University of the West of England.
And we secured permission to use their wind tunnel.
And because it was free, We assumed it was self-service.
Go Well? What do you mean goI don't know what Err.
Do that.
That's good! No matter how hard he tried, James couldn't make himself into the shape of a Reliant Robin.
Even with help.
Thankfully, two eggheads arrived with a scale model of our shuttle.
- You see a beard like that, and you know you're in safe hands.
- Yep.
Basically We're looking for anything air dynamic than Nasty? Yeah, the Reliant is a proper mal-air dynamical thing.
Well they didn't really design it with this in mind, did they.
Is there any washout or washin on the winds? Basically.
the air force I don't know what you two are saying.
Well this is the air force actually doing Done.
So, the big question, will it fly? I took it from his silence that he had his doubts.
And it wasn't alone.
Like the real thing our shuttle would glide back to earth without power.
And Steve our pilot had also built a model to show how well it did this.
What it actually gonna feel like to fly do you think? It's gonna come down like a lift with a cable cut.
You're not filling me with hope, Steve.
Well, most normal air plane they sort of glide for about, you know, they fly 20 feet forward they lose about a foot in height.
Afraid the Robin is the other way round.
Three, Two, One.
And when the model was released from its tow plane It's just plummeting to the earth! I'd rather you than me, I tell you.
So, there were doubts about our space shuttle going up, and doubts about it coming down.
But it was too late to worry now.
Because she was ready, and on her way to the launch site.
Don't worry, I still like cars, I promise Ah, anyway, we'll pick up their ludicrous story later on But now it's time to put a star in our reasonably priced car My guest tonight is the hero of a new American Hollywood action film That's set in a sleepy British village sort of die hard beat.
Anyway here he is, Simon Pegg.
How are you? Good to see you.
Have a seat.
Thank you very much.
A super star Now um, I got to say, we don't really do plugging very much on this show Yeah not very good at it, and also like to say how it is, you know? You keep it real.
If some wobbler comes with a new record that's terrible we got to say "Your record is terrible" but your new film "HOT FUZZ", man that's funny Good Now as far as I could work out, the idea is to make British cops cool, is that right? Yeah, we just thought everythat there'd been a big sort of tradition of of like British films being about the gangsters and being about the crime sort of world, because it's easier to make them look cool coz they've got shooters and stuff, you know? Whereas the British cops have gotit's slightly against them in terms of their cool.
It is a very traditional force, you know the uniform is only just starting to get practical and so it's hard to be cool and a British cop.
um And the one thing that was difficult for our police force in terms of the coolometer is the pointy tall hat which pregnent women are still allowed to wee in.
That's true.
If they are caught short in the town centre You are allowed to wee in the policeman's hat? Absolutely, if you're pregnent.
Oh I can claim that.
Come here officer, oh, thanks a lot mate.
Now, so that people could know what we're on about I've actually made sure we've got a clip for this film, ok? Oh good.
And it's a bit in the supermarket.
When they have, you have a gun fight.
We do, in the battle of somerfields.
The battle of som So let's have a look at that.
What are you thinking? Well, this is straight now, we've got the element of surprise, not gonna wait more time for them to get mobilise.
I say we go in through the front entrance, take the place all by awe they won't be expecting that.
Very good, what he said.
My my, here come the fuzz.
Maybe they are not here? Wait here.
- Don't go in on your own.
- Don't worry, he knows what he is doing.
Ok, They're in, you deal with the store, I'll deal with the trolley boy.
Aye? Oh, shi Oh It is, it is marvelous there.
First question we got to ask is Did somerfields let you do that or did you just go and? Yeah, they didIIyou know I've got maximun respect for somerfields now.
Becauseweyou know, we wrote them a letter and said "Look, we're gonna have a big fight in one of your supermarkets if you don't mind.
" It's all in good fun, it's meant you knowwith a grammar of affection.
And they were like "Alright".
And the other one of course we've got to get onto car chases.
Again the American car tends to be rear wheel drive, police chase.
You used Astra diesels.
Nothing but the best well that's what theyou know, a lot of uhof the police are kinda lumbered with and because actually the chase is uhis is it's another Astra diesel in the chase it's like fire and ice, that chase would never end until the fuel run out do you know what I mean? Coz there is no It's two Astras chasing each other.
It's like the unmovable force and the unstoppable object.
The other awful thing of course about the Astra diesel is you know those "World's wildest police chase video" thing? Yeah.
I once watched one of those in America.
they said we got a clip from England and I thought "I'm just gonna die of shame" And sure enough it went around the corner on a housing estate and bumped into a plant pot and there is your You say you had some driver training for the film, did you have gun training as well? Ah, we did a couple of days.
I was pretty professional anyway.
Are you a gun man? I've got a bunch of weaponsIII "pack heat".
We had some amazing days of just whole days running through Wales town centre firing of Winchester 1300M pump action shotguns - 1300M? - it's a lovely weapon.
- Yeah I like the way you throw the modern name in there.
Nick Frost calls ithehe called it Emma, he was that attached to it.
And when we were doing space, he had to dismantle a gun uh for the show so he took a replica MP5 gun which was a machine gun, um took all his clothes off, no, hestripped to the waist, it was summer time, he put a blindfold on and was kinda doing this, took the blindfold off to check the watch and there were 8 armed police officers in the living room with their guns drawn like you knowand they made the decision that if Nick went like that as opposed to that which is what I did - they were gonna shoot him.
- Really? Yep, and he phoned me afterwards "Simon, they" He said, apparently he was going "I'mI'mI'm an actor! I'm an actor!" And they were all like "where's your equity card?" "They've changed the role and you don't need one anymore.
" Now, can I just move on, coz films, you're a bit of a buff, I gather.
I am a bit.
- Starwars in particular.
- Yeah, absolutely.
Did you not once write a 3500 word essay on why you thought C-3PO was gay? Hahaha, no no, that was a part of the what I wrote was I did it I analyzed Starwars from a Marx's perspective in terms of saying well that was the idea that I never lost the things in the Starwars that are pretty right wing It came after Vietnam.
It was a big expression of the American white middle class power in the rejection of the old order of the English and you could argue that C-3PO was kind of musculated homosexual.
- I don't - Coz he's very camp but he was safe, coz he didn't have a "willy".
So it was ok.
He was Homosexual men have "willies"? He was sexually non threatening.
Graham Norton's got a willy.
How do you know? Do you know, I must admit, when I was doing my lap, uhIIwas just wishing I could hear the Stig like Ben Kenobi.
You know, I mean "Slower on the corner, Simon, slower on the corner".
Anyway, listen, who would like to see Simon's lap? Ok let's have a look at this.
Good speech.
That's good.
Nice, slight wheel spin.
That's kinda my job, actually, that.
The commentry on what the car's like.
Oh yeah.
That was pleasant.
It's very pleasant.
Pleasant's not a word I've ever usedlook at that! That was my favourite bend, that one.
Why did youit was so good you just kept it going.
%^&* gear you bugger.
I heard, a leap from Hugh Grant there from a couple of weeks ago.
And nice.
This is good.
Help! That's the first cry for help we've had.
This wasthat was so much fun.
I've just seen you mi God if you can nail this one, you're laughing.
Look at those eyes.
No, where's the speed gone? I know, that was my worst corner.
No, oh you've slowed down.
- I know I know, what was I - Oh crossed the line there.
That was fast.
That was alright.
That's the adrenalin going.
It really really does, so much fun.
Where do you think you've come? I'd hope for kinda upper middle, but I hope above Coogan, please.
Above Coogan? You did it in 1 minute you're above Jimmy Carr, Yeah.
fourtyso already you are above Coogan Thank you.
I think if I nailed that corner, if I that was the one that bothered me I reckon if you'd have done those last 2 corners at sort of Michael Gambon speed for instance, you would have been up there honsetly with Gordon Ramsey.
That was a very good lap.
It felt really great.
Well, listen, best of luck with the film and thank you very much for coming, ladies and gentlemen, Simon Pegg! Thank you, thank you very much.
Now, in the olden days it was terribly easy to tune up a mass produced car.
You put a bigger carburetor on it.
You made an airscrew for the bonnet at the apply word.
And the way you went.
These days though, it not quite so easy.
No, and it's especially tricky if you start out something like this Mercedes SL65.
I mean how can a tuning company possibly make this better than it already is.
And if they could what kind of a monster would you end up with? Well, you end up with this: The most powerful convertible ever made Welcome every one to the 160 thousand pond Brabus S Bi-turbo roadster Sweet mother of God this is fast The secret to all this speed of course is the engine What Brabus do is take the standard Mercedes V12 and then throw almost all of it away only the cylinder block remains and even that is modified Everything else is new.
New and bigger.
The original car has 5.
5 liters.
This is a 6.
and the result of that is dramatic.
That's more than any Bentley, it's more than any Ferrari, more than any Lamborghini even.
Of course it's not actually that difficult to screws 730 horse powers from an engine.
But it is difficult to put all that power on the road.
and it's /nile impossible when the engine is churning out almost ridiculous 1000 torques.
for restarting a dead planet.
It's so much that when they put the engine in a car it wouldn't move at all.
Traction control just set there go 'This is impossible' and when you turn the traction control off the rear wheel spun till the tires are burst.
as a result they've now limited it to just 811 torques, which is about what you use to power a medium sized aircraft carrier Now at this point you're probably expecting me to say that they've limited the top speed as well and I'm afraid they have.
to Amm 219 MPH The top speed is incredible, but the way it gets there boggles the mind I'm now going 180 faster then the top speed of an Apache helicopter gunship I'm running out off run way.
I suppose I ought to explain at this point that Mercedes limit this car to 155 MPH because that's the limit of what there is components can take.
So if you're going to make it go 219 MPH those components have to be changed.
That discreet body kit therefore is not for show.
It's there to keep me on the ground, which is handy when you're doing 320 feet a second and what kind of under floor engineering does the Brabus have to keep it in check at this kind of speed.
Well, put simply, It's all very big.
The breaks at the size of dustbin lids have 12 pistons each.
the tires could encompass Neptune and the speed the whole car sets lower to the road than the normal by 15 mm So has it worked? No, not really.
Even though they've reined in the torque, there's still far too much of it.
Every time you go near the throttle, even in a straight line you just get the traction control going 'Errrr.
I don't know what to do!' Even if you turn the traction control off this bigger Mercedes of course, it isn't really off.
you got the breaks stabbing away, and the back tires desperately trying to control the mountain of torque.
just wasting their time.
Honestly you may as well blow on an oil rig fire.
You have to develop a new technique, which is blast down the straight hard on the breaks Woo, I think I'm just made accreting the runway.
and then go very slowly.
slowly, eat the power in, steal the traction control spurning away and then Ohhhno, that was too much.
It's very hard work this.
and worse after a worryingly short amount of time the breaks were completely shot still at least this meant I can pull over and stop the madness In terms of handling then this car is a nightmare it just cannot cope with the volcano under the bonnet.
there then is two and a bit tons of prove that absolute power really does corrupt absolutely So it's rubbish.
well, we're gonna find out now by putting it on our track and that of course means handing it over to our tame racing driver.
Some say that if you lick his chest it tastes exactly the same as piccalilli.
And that at this week's Brit awards he was arrested for goosing Russell Brand.
All we know is, he's called the Stig.
Way you go, his tires struggling to contain all the torques He's piling into the first corner already and mighty struggle between power traction control and the Stig Look at that! Unbelievable driving radio:"She could hear the others heart beating as if they share just one between" Stig's talking book collection getting another area in there as he bellows through Chicago not like he all that fast I gotta say look at it, lunatic of a car this thing through the Hammerhead Look you can actually see it wobbling around as the computers Look at it, struggling to try and keep it on straight and now nearly hitting the tyres up Radio:"I love him, she said to the Elvens, I love him.
" Through the Follow Through he can really wind it up here, make up some lost time But he has got to have lifted even the Stig's not that stupid.
No it just doesn't look that fast you just can't get the power on when you want to in it.
Second to last corner, just holding it on the track through Gambon barely containing explosion there and cross the line Well yeah you're applauding but, ready? an entirely predictable 1:26.
2 And the problem is, very straight forward OK? Mercedes spend a million ponds a day on research and development a million a day! So they've got the best brains in the world with all the money in the world to make the standard car as good as it can be.
However, I don't think that this it the end for tuning companys Because look at the Jag here OK? Now they spent 35p designing this Make no mistake, I love it, it's beautiful but I do think that there is more power to be got out off the v8 under this bonet this is a prime candidate for someone to come along and tune it up a bit.
You're right, you're right.
And what's more we're British, we're the inventors of everything! It is time to brace ourselves, hasten unto the shed, and liberate ourselves from the abyss made dark by the lights of perverted German science.
I c'n really has lost it this week, but it doesn't matter because we can move on, because it's time for the Cool Wall Yes and we're beginning We're beginning by move all the 4-wheel-drive cars down - All of them? Why? - All of them are going down No, hang on, why? Times have moved on Richard, 21st centry all that Look, OK I appreciate, but not all 4x4s are driven by women round Chelsea No, listen, I agree with you, I agree I'm sure with most people here - That 4x4s are not killing polar bears but - Some of us are living in the country we need them you can't just move them all down the wall Car's all about pulling womenfor us obviously You know what I mean, for blokes since it's what it all about.
You're not gonna pull Socialist woman with these because they don't like them What does that matter? I don't Sorry mate, you don't make any sense Socialists women are better in bed than tory women Let me put it to you this way, OK? I'll give you a straight choice: Vanessa Redgrave or Ann Widdecombe? Crikey, Vanessa Redgrave There you are.
And as a result they've all got to come down the board They're not cool any more driving around in there, they're just not.
and you know what I am gonna do to celebrate this? I'm gonna buy a Range Rover - Hahaha - And I'm gonna get a V8 one, petrol What have you got there? This is the new Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder.
What do we think? How cool is that? Thiswhat? Subzero.
In the fridge, subzero, in the fridge subzero.
All wrong Hold on, hold on.
Everybody with your opnions.
There is couple of the really crucial things you need to know about this car Number one, he's just bought one.
Look at this Number two, I'm having the wall extended through that wall, downto add a really really really really really seriously uncool section.
I'm afraid that is true obviously.
If we buy one and we ruin the reputation of that car, which is why we put that over there But this, the Ford GT can at last come up here, coz I've got rid of it.
Now next one, Porsche 911 - GT3 RS - GT3 RS It's brilliant brilliant car - But? - Even I'm not gonna argue that that's cool This scaffolding, Kristin Scott Thomas, this is the test we have as you know She got in there :"Why have you got scaffolding in the back?" You'll have to explain:"It's a roll cage in case I fall over and park on the roof.
" In case I roll over, she's just going to get out.
"Why has it got a fire extinguisher?" In case we bust into flames on the race track.
Honestly all the stuff in there is like her opening the glove box going, "Why have you got Dettol in here?" WooIt's in case my eye inflection flares up again It's going right down here.
I'll tell you what, you know if you put a cockometer at the side of the road A what? A cockometer, you know when you driving to villages in these days tells you your speed If there was another one along side, like one of those thermometers outside the church.
selling you how much of a cock you look This be right off the scale if you drove by one of those.
I'm not joking.
What have you got? - Now it's a Kia Cee'd - Oh, for God sake - Ahh, Yes, now, hang on.
- I'm losing the will to live.
I'll die.
Does anybody here think that's cool? - Absolute rubbish.
- Have you driven one? No one want one.
- No.
Yes? - No.
Does anyone say yes? - Yes, there's a lady here saying yes.
- You've driven a Kia Cee'd? I work for Kia.
On purpose or is it just like bedding them unemployment into your town? It's a fabulous car and it's a fabulous company.
Really? - You're not helping me there.
- No.
Except for one tiny detail: the Koreans eat dogs You're gonna come down one more and you don't come crying for me if you find TopGear dog in a bap.
- Again it's your logic and it's frightening - It's uncool.
I'm telling you, I'm.
I won the money.
Come on beyond.
Why have you worked for Kia, have you got a TVR T-shirt on? Because TVRs are British, and they're fast, and they're subzero.
Everything Kias aren't.
Right Emm.
This, Ducati 1098 I'm sorry what you're doing It's a Ducati 1098 and I'd like to put it forward to go on the board In fact, I'd like to put it in the coolI seriously, know there is every reason why this is a very very cool bike.
It's an Italian super bike.
But it isn't just technically very very clever it also looks beautiful.
Don't do it again.
- Do not put a motorcycle - Touched the nerve there I think Is that touched your nerve? - I may have - Do not put a motorcycle on the board Now look what's happened.
I'm sensing disagreement from you.
- Run, run or you'll be a lot shorter - I'm gonna Now, earlier on Richard Hammond and I were attempting to prove John F Clarkson wrong by turning a Reliant Robin into a spaceshuttle.
And when we left the action, it was all going terribly well.
The launch site was a military base whose where abouts are a top secret.
(Clanburne Military Training Ground, 53 miles N.
of Newcastle) (Just off the A68) (Launch minus 2 days) The build began and soon the main fuel tank was assembled and attached to the launch pad.
Together with the solid rocket boosters, these parts contain the 8 and half tons of rocket power that'll be taking the reliant up into the Heavens.
Here's what terrifies me as it is here on that let's be honest: bit of sacffolding Yeah? Just the tiniestyou know eeek like that, that's Birmingham or eeek that's John o' Groats Look it's fine, it's held down with some old concrete blocks and some straps that you use to hold furniture down in the removal van.
That's perfect.
Right, there must be something useful we can do somewhere.
As it happened, there was We were sent off to dig a bunker for Steve the model airplane pilot who would glide the reliant in.
But that wasn't easy because the launch site is littered with unexploded bombs.
Thank you for choosing a precision metal detector with your metal detector you can hunt for coins, relics, jewellery, gold and silver just about anywhere.
- Does it say bombs? - No.
James had bought his metal detector at Argos(UK store) So I got myself some serious body armour.
You've found my JCB.
I've just worked out something though now from this it only works down to a depth of about 3 inches.
As it turned out, it all went rather well in the main.
Look what he's done.
You philistein! Finally our bunker was finished.
So that's it then, good.
With Steve now fully protected we went back to the launch site where there was good news.
Bang on time for it's date with destiny, the Reliant Robin had arrived.
- Huhhhh, you're alright, you're alright.
- Keep it coming.
- Alright.
- On that line.
- You're alright, you're alright.
- Yeah.
- Back.
- Nice and stop.
That is the business end of a reusable Reliant orbiter.
Then we were entrusted with another job.
I reveal to you the legend.
You spanner.
What? That 's where it goes on the wing - But think what it's gonna look like when it's up there pointing upwards.
- Brilliant.
Up side down! (Launch minus 21 hours) As night fell, the most delicate and risky part of the operation began Attaching the reliant space orbiter to the rockets and fuel tank.
Not kidding, this bit is genuinely very scary because as they're mounting it, often it's quite complicated on the linkages if the shuttle clogs it and bends any of the release mechanisms, - it won't come off and then the shuttle and the tank will come down and - Yeah.
Shall we go over and help? I think not.
- Thinking about the really unNASA thing you said just now.
- What? Right, come on lads, let's get this Robin pluged Worker: Oh, ladder's coming out.
Again, at NASA they don't keep a step ladder on the launch pad.
- One small step ladder for - Hahahaha.
Jamesstop laughing, they get nearly crossed Finally, the Robin was attached and the completed shuttle made for a truly awesome sight.
Everything was looking good.
but later in our suite at the local "Ridge Sheraton" I was worried mad.
- Hammond? - What? What do you think of the chances of it actually working? It'll work.
It's just that you know when we do these big things they usually end in some sort of massive disaster I quite like this one to work.
(Launch minus 10 hours) Well it's up, it's built, but it's worth a quick reminder of exactly what is going to happen.
Absolutely, we've got 8 and half tons of rocket thrust to push that thing off the ground at about 1000 feet the 2 solid rocket boosters will be empty they will fall away and come down on the parachutes doing about 100 miles an hour then.
Yeah, it'll continue accelerating to about 140, then at about 3000 feet The orbiter itself will detach from the main body that's when Steve the pilot takes control it's his job to glide it in, he has the option of firing 3 rockets to extend that glide he'll then put it down on the deck of the landing strip and prove that it is a reusable craft.
- Yeah.
- Of course All that we've just said is just words.
- Words, yeah.
- Let's be honest.
Who knows.
The last few hours were taken up with final preparations and with such an ambitious project as this the complexity of the on board systems was simply staggering.
Each electronic component had to talk to every other electronic component at exactly the right time.
There have been 1 or 2 delays most of these are of an electrical nature There's a long wire leading from launch control down to the rocket and unfortunately that had a breakage some where.
James, a car ran through it.
Ok, but that's all sorted.
We're now fueling the bird.
And once that's done there can be no delays, it's full of fuels they're gonna have to light that candle.
The tension now was almost unbearable you could almost hear Jeremy preparing some intergalactic smarts.
So would it stay on course during the ascent? Would the rockets and the fuel tank detach? And would Steve who by the way have refused our kind offer of a bunker be able to pilot the Robin down safely? In just a few seconds, we'd know.
Oh yes! Separate! Separate! - Separate! - 12 1000 Technicians:Break! Separate! Oh no! - That's why - How were you gonna use it again? And uh That's enough, really.
Next week these 2 completely lose touch with reality and try to get to the centre of the earth with a lawn mower.
I think we did quite well.
By what measure do you arrive at that conclusion? Well, in fairness it was only 1 bolt that let us down.
There's only 1 iceburg that sank the Titanic, it's still sank.
The fact of the matter is you just blew a big hole in Northumberland.
Yeah, and next week where all of us ruining Banffshire with tractors.
That's true but don't worry because i'm also driving up and down our track very fast in a Lamborghini Uh so we really hope we'll see you then, take care.
Goodnight! TransGear subtitle team the Sim-Race Federation of China