Top Gear (2002) s12e03 Episode Script

Second-Hand Sports Saloon

(Jeremy) Tonight, James goes racing in Finland.
Richard tries out the future of motoring in Japan.
And I cut up some wood near Godalming.
(Cheering and applause) Good evening! Hello! Hello, everybody! And welcome.
Welcome to what's a great show for me.
But, first, OK, every year, Toyota, which, as we know, makes everything from Formula One cars to big desert-bashing off-roaders for the United Nations, says to its engineers, "Have a couple of weeks off.
" "Let your mind roam free.
Go mad.
Let's see what you come up with.
" And what they've come up with this year is, as I've been finding out, amazing.
(Richard) To get to this new car, I had to go to Toyota City, which is a whole city owned by Toyota.
Imagine Birmingham but full of Toyotas.
The car was held here in their brand-new Fortress of Excellence headquarters.
So things were looking good.
Right, er here it is.
And there's no getting away from it.
What we have here is a chair.
It is quite a special chair, though.
They have said I can drive it.
Today, here, in this room.
But they are quite nervous.
Put it this way, this is usually an office full of people and desks.
It's called the iReal and Toyota are hailing it as the future of personal transportation.
Before I drove it, though, I was taken to meet its inventor.
He explained the concept and the philosophy.
(Speaks Japanese) And then he waited for me to ask a question.
Trouble is it's a while since Top Gear has done a grown-up interview.
Will you make a big one for fat people? Interview over, I was briefed on how to use the toggles that control the throttle, the steering and the brakes.
(Bleeping) - Horn.
- (Woman) This is the horn.
- Wow! That's the horn? - Yes.
And then I was off.
They are very polite people so I'm saying this quietly.
We have had something similar in the UK for some time called a wheelchair.
However, when no one was looking, I left the room and discovered that it was so much more than a wheelchair.
In this mode, for example, the electric motors are trolling me along at walking pace.
And if I want to go faster, I just press this button.
And then it drops down into sleek, aerodynamic mode.
Top speed then, 20mph.
Now most creations like this are built just to get some coverage at motor shows but Toyota aims to put the iReal on sale in 2010 for around L2,000.
The plan is that we'll be using them for short journeys around town.
And don't think 0AP mobility scooter.
Hip young things will forsake walking entirely and cruise around in these at night, downloading tunes to their iPod from their iReal.
And these machines can talk to each other too.
Say I want a coffee.
Well, I can tell the machine "coffee".
It'll then find the nearest coffee shop.
Tap it again and it'll tell other iReal users in the area that I'm going for a coffee, ask them if they want to join me.
So I'm now sending a message out to other iReal users, "I'm off for coffee.
Come with me!" So you'll have a whole community of futuristic wheelchairs going around talking to one another, communicating about one another.
Like a sort of Stephen Hawking Facebook.
So, there you are, the future of motoring, unless you're fat.
(Jeremy) Well done, you.
Unfortunately, then, that means you can't have one.
- I'm sorry.
- Because I've got too much dignity? No, fatty.
You couldn't fit in it! I'm not interested.
I'm not bothered about that.
Because Honda has made an even better car, right? - Here it is.
Now check that out.
- What?! (Laughter) (James) How does that work? Well, basically, these things, the silver things kind of move up and down and operate your legs.
So for going upstairs or even walking on level ground.
Now guess who this is aimed at.
Well, I'm guessing people with disabilities with legs.
No.
Wrong, wrong.
- It's aimed at the able-bodied.
- Well, why? It's the Rotherham robot.
You don't even have to walk to the chip shop anymore.
Now you're just carried on that.
- Well, what's the point in that? - How fast does it go? - Dunno.
- Cos I was at school in Rotherham.
I could have done with that in cross country.
If you had one of those, I'd love to have the remote control for it.
- Yeah, Captain Blur! - Look at him go! (Laughter) James, not in the scissor factory! You'll hurt yourself! - Can you kick yourself in the nuts? - You'll find out.
Many times! Bang, bang, bang! We'll get you one of those.
- With a remote control.
- Yeah.
Now, Geoff Hoon, OK, is the transport minister, yes? And he announced this week that he wants to have more average speed cameras on the roads, OK, cos he says they're good for safety and they reduce fuel consumption.
Now this is the same Geoff Hoon who, when he was Defense Secretary, said, and I'm quoting, "We know that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction.
" (Laughter) He must be right about the speed cameras as well, then.
Yes, absolutely.
I'll tell you what he's done.
He claims he goes on the M1 a lot in those roadworks.
You know, around junction six, eight.
- They've been doing them since 1850.
- (Richard) Forever.
Average speed cameras on that and he says, "There's hardly been any accidents.
" That's because the roads are jammed up.
- Not moving.
- You can't crash when you're stationary.
Soon, though, we'll have that Tory transport bloke.
- Whose name is? - (Richard) Er - (Man calls out) - Who? - Theresa Villiers.
- (Richard) That's a funny name for a bloke! - Theresa? - (Man) Villiers.
- How can you know that? - (Laughter) Because he is Theresa whatever! Because there's only a finite amount of space for information in your head.
So if he's got that in it, what's come out? How to dress properly.
Well done.
So it's Theresa So this man's actually a woman.
She hasn't really got any policies across that we've ever seen.
Not that we've heard of, obviously.
What's next, guys? Aston Martin brought out a new car.
It's the 177.
Here it is.
It's a striking-looking thing, I know.
I think it goes to show just how in tune with the times Aston Martin are.
It really is a car for the moment.
Oh, I'm glad about that! I must get 100 calls a day from people saying, "I've got to have at least 7.
3 liters.
"That's what I want right now.
" Very much of the moment.
Price, L1.
2 million.
(James) Good thinking! Literally, this morning "I'm not spending a penny more than L1.
2 mil on my next car!" Aston have got it bang-on because the world is full of stockbrokers desperate for something to blow their enormous bonus on - and there it is.
- Pretty soon Aston Martin are going to be selling more key rings than they are cars.
Or making more money from them, at least.
Actually, they say that a hundred potential customers have written to them to express their interest.
- A hundred?! - Yeah.
Written in crayon, I suspect.
(Laughter) Great news! They've done an off-road version of the Dacia Sandero! (Laughter) Don't be fooled by the Renault badge.
That's the Dacia, that baby! What the hell are you on about? It's a Dacia.
It's a Dacia! I know it says Renault! I've just said that! Have you got a beard in your ears as well? Why do ginger people always grow more of it on their faces? (Richard) They don't.
(Jeremy) They do! Can I just ask, did you see the show last week? Will Young was the guest.
I don't know if anybody else noticed, but when he first sat down, Jeremy was not really bothered.
He didn't know his name.
He didn't know what to talk about.
Next minute he's going all doe-eyed looking at him, talking about interior design.
"Will, I love cushions as well.
I'm having my house done up.
" "Really? And you had a Mini? They're lovely, Will.
" (James hums Our Tune) (Laughter) Jeremy's in love! Are you suggesting Will Young is gay? (Laughter) Yeah, yeah.
He is.
- Are you kidding? Is he? - Yes! To be honest, it was beautiful to watch.
It's just my gay-dar doesn't work as well as yours, obviously, I think.
- That jacket.
How big was the bet? - Pretty big.
And I won.
I want you to look at this.
This is a field of unsold Range Rovers.
Now, do you know why they're unsold? Nobody's got any money at the moment.
No.
Look at the colors.
That's the range of color that Land Rover does.
Now, if you go down to Homebase to paint your walls, you can have any color you like for a fiver.
You can go in with that jacket, well, maybe not.
You could go in with this shirt and say, "I want that color but a bit more orange," and they scan it with the thing.
It's not good enough.
Look at this.
What I've got here is the Audi brochure, OK, for the A8, a L70,000 car here, OK.
Range of colors available, there you go.
(Richard) They've printed it in black and white! (Laughter) - That's it, OK? - They're not colors.
For an extra L2,400, they will paint it in any color you like from that chart.
(Richard) That's just a spectrum.
Oh, sir wants it in visible light, does he? If you want your car in color, L2,400.
If you want it in black and white It's just ridiculous.
What you need to do, look, is buy a BMW X5 cos they understand this problem.
They have a special range which they call, "BMW individual - the higher your standards, "the less room there is for compromise.
" As an upshot of that, they offer it in black, silver, silver and black.
As you're getting all hot under your tweed collars about this, can I just say I know a little bit about this and the reason that car manufacturers Well, they have to plan their paint colors years in advance because they have to test to make sure that each color works on the plastic, say, of the bumpers and on the metal of the body, on those two materials.
So it has to be the same color whether it's on plastic or metal? (Richard) Yes.
No, cos I was painting my sitting room and the paint was exactly the same color on the wall as it was on the wooden skirting board and on my hand, and on the sole of my shoe and on the stair carpet.
All the same color.
I really want to show you this.
This is the Mercedes CLK.
Can you see down here? These are soft-top fabrics, OK.
Do you want to know what it says underneath? "Cabriolet only.
" Aw! I was going to have that on my hard top! Now, in a couple of weeks, James is doing his first ever supercar test out on our track.
(Cheering) Now, shall we be honest? James is not the fastest driver in the world and nor does he have the best sense of direction so before letting him loose on our track in a very fast car, we thought it would be a good idea for him to get some training.
So we said, "James, go anywhere you like for your training, "just not Finland.
" (James) Finland.
According to a study by Leicester University, the sixth happiest country in the world.
Finns also top the world league table for coffee drinking and they borrow more library books, per head, than any nation on earth.
Which is all very interesting but it doesn't explain this.
There's a popular saying in motorsport, "If you want to win, employ a Finn.
" This sparsely populated country has produced more rally champions, seven in total, than any other nation.
It has also produced more F1 world champions, per head, than anywhere else.
So what's going on up there? One of the reasons for Finnish driving prowess must be, quite simply, they take driving very, very seriously.
Right from day one.
This is Petko.
He's not a hoodie in a stolen car, he's having a driving lesson.
Like everyone else in Finland, he has to spend six of them on a skid pan.
He will also have lessons driving in the dark and it will be three years before he gets a full license.
It's all very strict.
It needs to be, to be honest, because this is a typical Finnish back road.
It's full of sudden crests and hidden dips so as you drive along it you need to know about power on, power off, feeling the car go light and the grip disappear.
You're going to become a racing driver.
So to find out how the Finns wrap all this up into one big bundle of skill, I went for a drive with one of the locals.
Unfortunately, the only person I could find was a retired bloke.
Mind you, he's still quite sprightly.
It's Häkkinen.
He's going through the left-hander! (Tires screech) Mika Häkkinen won the F1 World Championship twice, on both occasions beating the most successful driver of all time.
Michael Schumacher said that you were the only driver he really feared.
(Laughs) So where did you learn car control? Because they say the Finns, they have an instinct for it that other nations on Earth don't have.
You can just do it.
We start doing this sport very, very young.
So automatically we learn car control.
I'll give you an example.
If you put a British person learning to play cricket when he's 25 years old, it's too late to understand the name of the game.
Are you thinking through these corners or do you just feel it and you know? No, honestly, what's going on now, we are going really, really slowly.
- Are we? - Yeah.
Sitting next to Mika, you get a fantastic demonstration of Finnish car control, but if I was to learn more, I couldn't just be a passenger.
Tomorrow, in the interests of science, though probably more for your entertainment, I suspect, the office has entered me in an amateur race on a rally circuit.
Thankfully, though, Mika has offered to train me up.
There's something else about Mika.
He's not just helpful, he's quite modest.
Whoa! Last year, I went out with Jackie Stewart and he won the World Championship three times, I think, instead of just two.
Whoa! But he taught me to be quite smooth and fast on a tarmac circuit.
But could you teach me to be Finnish-fast on a loose surface? I can indeed.
The first and most important thing Mika would teach me was a cornering move known as the Scandinavian flick.
And because he didn't want his mate's rally car wrapped around a tree, we started off with some cones.
When we come with the car, how to drift the back end to touching all these cones to find a perfect slide.
OK, this is how we get the back end around.
Then it was my turn.
A little left, a little right.
On the gas.
Get the back end loose.
That's not enough, is it? Sorry! (Mika) Yeah, and action! Better than the first one.
And then finally You did it! You did it! That's the Finnish way! After we'd demolished all his cones, I took Mika out on the proper course, which he found relaxing.
So now the second turn-in.
A bit of a flick.
That wasn't bad.
(Both) Whoa! Sorry.
I forgot which way to go there.
OK, third.
And then with Yoda's guidance Now back end out nicely here.
Stay on the gas.
Yeah! Good! Really proud! it all came together.
(Mika) Whoo-hoo! Good! Excellent! Lesson over, we stopped for a cup of hot reindeer blood and talked about why the Finns are so suited to motorsport.
Tell me a bit about sisu.
What's sisu? Sisu in English means courage.
What is Finnish courage? Let me give you an example.
OK, climbing a tree and jumping down from there, that doesn't mean sisu.
- That's not courage.
- That's stupidity.
That's it exactly.
Sisu we can relate very much in motor racing.
Example, you drive a rally car in a forest extremely fast and you need courage to be able to brake late, to go throttle really early, go very close to the apex of the corners.
And they're also quite reserved, the Finns.
You, famously, when you were a Formula One driver, they'd ask you a complicated question and you'd just say, "Yes.
" - Yes.
- That's right, is it? Yes.
The reason I'm asking is I wondered if I might be in some way a bit Finnish myself.
I don't like noisy people.
So does that make me Finnish, do you think? Yes.
At home, I quite like to have the spanners in my tool box in order of size so that I can always find the right one.
- Is that quite Finnish? - Yes, it is.
Very much.
Personally, that's what I'd do, if you're talking about a tool box.
Everything has to be very organized.
I quite like to have the air vents on my car all pointing the same way exactly.
- Is that Finnish? - Er no.
The next day it was time for me to mix it with the Finns.
I'd been entered in one of their folk races, which are run on part tarmac, part gravel, and take place every weekend all over Finland.
The Finns had kindly sorted me out with a typical folk-racing car.
A 1967 Volvo Amazon.
Now, in actual fact, it has 200 horsepower, but in every other respect, it's scrap.
There's a very good reason for this.
There's a clever rule in folk racing.
All the cars in the race are given a nominal and equal value.
Let's say it's 1,000 euros.
Then at the end of the race, you can go to any competitor and say, "I want to buy your car," and he or she has to sell it to you.
It stops people spending too much money, getting sponsorship and generally taking it too seriously.
It also means that the cars stay equal and the racing stays close, which, in turn, sharpens the skills.
But, frankly, when the other drivers arrive, I stopped worrying about their skills.
The bloke over there is about 85.
And alongside him, the grid featured some housewives, a child, a teenager and Bill 0ddie.
Surely this can't be that difficult.
That girl next to me should be doing her maths homework.
Here we go! By the time we hit the first corner, it was obvious that these were no ordinary pensioners, children, housewives and Bill 0ddies.
Ow! After you, Grandad! Have a Scandinavian flick, Finnish person! Damn! Damn! I've lost it! I'd forgotten what Mika had said that these guys start doing this as soon as they can see over the wheel.
I'm getting mullered! I started to fight back.
I've passed the BMW! That was an overtake on a Finnish person! She's only 12 but that's not the point.
But the 12-year-old wasn't having it.
Oi! Normally I'd have been happy to stay there in the nice comfy ditch, but that's not what Mika would have wanted.
It was time to summon up some sisu.
I'm gonna have the Volvo! Opportunity for overtaking! Using Mika's training, I overtook a housewife Chance for glory! and then Grandad but Bill 0ddie was too much for me.
And in the end, I finished somewhere near the middle.
I think all my top-level Finnish motorsport training has made me exactly average.
But that was average in Finland.
Anywhere else and I'd have been brilliant.
Are you ready, then, for the power test? Yeah! Let me get this right, to pass your driving test in Finland, then, you have to be able to power-slide a car? - Absolutely.
- That's brilliant.
But not as brilliant as something I've just thought of.
- Oh, God! - No, no.
OK? We know that nobody is buying V8 cars anymore, OK? And I find that very sad.
I don't want V8s to disappear into the pages of history.
So how's this for an idea? If you're not going to use V8s to power cars, how about using them to power something else? Like, for instance, a food blender? This is what I've got here, in essence.
This is the 6.
2- Liter engine that you would normally put in a Corvette.
I see no reason why you couldn't put it in a kitchen.
So here it is.
There's the drive shaft going under the petrol tank into the kitchen cabinet.
Obviously, you'll have to take out the fondue sets that you don't want because in here you've got the diff, which sends the drive shaft up here and into the blender.
Very good.
So what can you blend with it? I could blend you if I wanted to.
But what I'm actually going to do, under this high-visibility shield here, is blend some beef.
- (Richard) Beef? - Beef.
Yes, beef.
This is going to be a man's V8 smoothie that I'm going to make now.
So I'm going to plonk that in there like that.
Has that beef still got bones in it? Yes.
And then I'm going to put some chilies in.
Got a few chilies.
This is Bovril.
Because that's a V8 man's drink.
That's a collection of manly ingredients! - I haven't finished yet.
Tabasco.
- Nice touch.
I'd That wasn't Yeah.
Just a dash of that in there.
And I think for added bite, brick.
This is actually a brick.
Oh, it's broken.
Pop that in there, OK.
Now we pop the lid on.
Perhaps you could give me a hand cos it's quite complicated.
- No, those go on here like that.
- So then we do it up.
Is this going to work or is the top going to come off and we'll have a really hard time explaining to the ambulance people how he's got beef-bone antlers stuck in his head? - I'm just worried.
- Relax! Yeah, relax! When you've got the keys to a V8 blender! Course! Right, this is the controls.
Oh, God! Tell me that's not an accelerator pedal! Yes! Hang on a sec.
Safety precautions.
(Laughter) - I like it.
- Is it loud? Is it loud, James?! Course it's loud! Are we ready? Here we go! This is in the kitchen at home, yeah? (Engine roars) (Engine off) It does make a bit of a racket.
(Cheering) - Some of it came out! - Yeah, some of it did.
Actually, on the noise, we're used to vacuum cleaners at home, so I think you'd grow accustomed to that.
What I'd like to do is whenever my wife puts The Archers on, which she does around about seven, - I'll fire up my food blender.
- Nice.
Good.
Can you get the thing off? I'll prepare the glasses.
The label.
(Richard) So this is a manly smoothie cocktail.
(Jeremy) Exactly! - This is the moment! - Yes! - Wow! - Look at that! (Richard) That just is the business! Fantastic and delicious! Right, are we ready? - What a creation! - Mmm! Here we go! (Richard) Get some of the bits.
- It needs a name.
- We should give it a name.
We should call it Desperate Shag In A Skip.
(Laughter) Have some of that.
Quick One Round The Back Of The Dust Cart! (Audience groaning) (Laughter) - (Jeremy) I think he likes it.
- I've got the name for it.
- (Jeremy) What? - The Bloody Awful! - Have you tried it? - Yeah.
- You haven't! Have you? - Yes! Show me putting it into your mouth cos that will put tes (Laughter) That will put testes on your chest, that will.
It's put hairs on my eyeballs! I'm not sure this works! Look, I'm not giving up with this V8 idea, OK? Next week, old people.
You can't blend old people.
No, you know the Stannah Stairlift? Very slow.
How about a V8 Stannah stairlift? The old lady, she'll be on the bog in half a second.
- Yeah, that's it.
- So I'll get working on that.
But that's then, this is now.
It's time now to put a star in our reasonably priced car.
My guest tonight has had an extraordinary life.
He's nicked a load of gold from the Iraqis, he's nicked gold from the Italians, he has shot Matt Damon in the face, he's died when his trawler sank in a storm and he's had a very enormous penis.
(Laughter) Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Mark Wahlberg! (Cheering) How are you? Have a seat.
Oh, wow.
Wow! Mark, don't drink that.
Don't drink It's don't don't put it in your mouth.
It's brick and beef.
It's not gone well.
Now, I've got a couple of questions, OK, cos it's very rare we get big American Hollywood actors.
It's just cos Ross isn't around at the moment so you're here.
I was on that show and I was on it with Andrew Lloyd Webber.
His face is on inside out.
Have you noticed? It's weird cos that's my second encounter with him.
The first time I saw him I was at a heliport going to Birmingham with George Clooney, and George Clooney goes up and tells him, "Mark Wahlberg's over there.
He's a huge fan.
" Andrew Lloyd Webber comes over, he's talking to me, I didn't know who the guy was! I was like, "Phantom Of The Opera? What is that?" He's never done any rap songs, has he? No hip-hop.
He's not really from "the hood", you know.
No.
So the new film.
I want to talk to you about that, if I may.
Max Payne.
What's it about? I play a homicide cop, the title character, whose wife and child are brutally murdered and I basically get to go and destroy everybody else that's responsible, even remotely responsible.
It's one of those edge-of-the seat proper action movies, a nice Sunday afternoon relaxing, fighty film.
This is the real deal.
Working with John, he's one of the best action directors out there and he really pushed the envelope.
- He's here.
John Moore.
- He's here.
- He is The Stig.
- He is not The Stig.
(Mark) Oh, he's not The Stig.
He is The Stig.
(Jeremy) Not unless he can pump himself up! Next question I've got, and this is an important one, OK.
There's a girl in this Max Payne movie, OK, who is called Olga Kurylenko.
Kurylenko, yes.
The new Bond girl.
She's in that Bond film and James Bond doesn't do having sex with her.
- Why? - Well, I'm coming In Max Payne, she's lying in your bed wearing, let's be honest, not much, and you go, "Ah, no.
" Has she got a beard or something? (Laughter) Again, another John Moore question because we could have easily shot the sex scene and not put it in the movie.
There's many other scenes - There's many other scenes - Good answer.
that ended up on the editing-room floor.
Are you the first action hero, really ever, to have a side parting here? I don't I was looking and I was thinking, "The side parting" (Woman talking) - Does he look great? - Fantastic.
Oh, thank you.
Now, I just want to talk to you about the remake of The Italian Job.
Was there a certain nervousness about doing a remake of a classic film? Uh, no.
Only coming over here to promote it because, obviously, it was a British film.
People in America don't give a (bleep) What you do with their movies but, obviously, you know, Michael Caine It was a big deal coming over here and we wanted to make sure we could make a really cool movie.
To be honest, I thought it was a very cool movie.
I've heard there's going to be a sequel to The Italian Job.
They've been trying to make a sequel for quite some time but I don't want to do it for the sake of a paycheck.
If we can't make it better than the first, then I don't want to do it.
They haven't been able to get the script in shape.
- The worrying thing is the title.
- The Brazilian Job? The Brazilian Job.
You see Now, why - Does that translate? You know what? - Yes.
- You've got one? - No.
- You've got one? - I thought you were asking me? - Yes.
- Come on up here! What's the most enjoyable film you've worked on, excluding Max Payne? Probably The Departed.
It was? Cos the talent in that one, there's you, there's DiCaprio, - there's Jack Nicholson, there's Matt Damon.
- Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen.
What made it so much fun? Because it was my neck of the woods.
I've had a lot of experience with the Boston Police Department.
And, finally, being able to put all that to good use, you know.
Playing a cop instead of being arrested by them was a lot of fun.
I was going to say, you did have a How can I phrase this? A wild upbringing, shall we say? Is that fair enough? Yes, yes.
Let's put it like this.
Your first cars, you didn't buy them.
Not all of them.
Actually, the first one that I kind of owned, I bought it from a friend but I was, like, 13 years old.
I didn't have a license, wasn't registered, insured.
But, yeah, I stole quite a few cars in my day.
- Didn't you steal the same guy's car? - I did.
He was How many times did you steal his car? Probably, like, 10 or 15.
We'd drive around the neighborhood, he or the cops would find it, bring it back and I'd walk down and jump in the car and pinch the window and unlock it, jump back in and start it.
He'd start chasing me.
I'd be like, "Hey (bleep)! See you later.
" (Laughter) But I probably caused him a lot of heartache.
He probably missed work a few times because I was joyriding in his car.
Then it got even more wild, didn't it? You did some time? Yes, I did do a brief stint in prison.
And then this is the bit that fascinates me.
You're out, your brother's then in New Kids In The Block.
(Bleep) (Laughter) Cos I could have done that instead! They went on to make millions and millions of dollars.
The funny thing was, the first time they came on TV to do one of their big performances, I'm sitting in the rec room in jail.
I'm like, "I could have been in that group.
" And they said, "Well, you're a dumb (bleep)," because here I am sitting there with them, trying to protect myself.
Um, you are what we call over here a petrol head.
What do you call them over there in America? - Gear head.
- That's what I was looking for.
Your cars have been good.
Looking back through their history.
- What was the first one? SL? - Yeah, that was the first one that I bought.
A brand-new car, that was the first one I bought.
- Now you have - A Maybach.
The big one.
62 inch.
On purpose, or was it cereal packet or something? No! And then I have a Brabus, Mercedes 550.
Tom Cruise is a big Brabus fan, isn't he? - I don't know.
- Do you not know him? We attend different churches so I don't know.
(Laughter) I'm at the one, you know - He is - I'm at the one with Jesus, baby! OK, you came down here, presumably utterly bewildered that there's a bleak airstrip in the middle of England with a man who won't take his helmet off called Stig.
He takes you out in a not very exciting car with the steering wheel on the wrong side and a lever sticking up out of the floor.
- Did that baffle you, by the way, the lever? - It did.
What was that? Is that why you didn't treat our car quite as well as, let's say, other people treat it? I'm sorry.
- Did you break our car? - I broke a couple of them, I think.
I heard.
There's a cameraman over there and some poo came out of him.
The crazy thing is I went so far off the track, and then next time around, he was in that same exact spot.
I said, "Oh, he's got balls!" - I'm just - Who'd like to see? Go on.
Sorry.
I'm just glad this isn't how I make my living cos I'd be broke.
We don't know.
Shall we have a look at the lap? - (All) Yes.
- Let's play the tape.
(Tires screech) (Jeremy) Here we go! That's an aggressive start.
So angry and, bloody hell, that's aggressively turned in there! And there! This is a hunk of crap! (Jeremy) And this That's drive gone mad! You got balls standing there.
I just ran over that grass.
(Jeremy) And that's cutting the corner! And that's cutting the corner.
And is he going to kill this one?! Were you just aiming for the cameramen? (British accent) Here we are on a racetrack in the UK.
Mark Wahlberg.
(Jeremy) That's Jason Statham, is who it actually is! That was quick! That's nice.
Close to the tires.
Yes, moved those! Now Oh, not quite so quick there.
That's a good line across.
That's not bad, though.
Coming up through Michael Gambon corner and there we are! Across the line! You made it.
This is the board.
Since we've had that car, these are the people.
Most of whom you won't have a clue who they are.
I don't any of them, really.
Well, you know him.
Simon Cowell.
- Ray Winstone too.
I worked with him.
- Ray Winstone in The Departed.
- Brian Cox.
- Yeah, he was really dreadful.
- So you want to beat Brian Cox? - That'll do it.
I've got the time here.
You did it It was a mad lap.
I've got to be honest.
I mean, super aggressive.
You did it in one So you're better than Brian Cox.
48.
7.
So he's under the 1:50.
Give him a round of applause as we put him there.
That's not bad.
Somewhere in the middle.
That's good.
To say your steering wheel was on the correct side That's really good.
It's been an absolute joy to have you here.
- Thank you, I appreciate it.
- Ladies and gentlemen, Mark Wahlberg! (Cheering) Now, in these dark and difficult times, very few people can afford a Mitsubishi Evo.
Even the base model, the 300, is best part of 30 grand.
However, the other evening, we decided In the pub! Some beer helped us to realize that whatever car you've got, you can make it as fast as an Evo Ten and at a fraction of the cost.
The producers said that sounded like a challenge for us, so they said they'd provide some sort of car then we'd have two days to modify it and try and make it faster around our track than a Mitsubishi Evo Ten.
Now, we were very excited about this, as you can see from the way Jeremy arrives in someone else's Aston Martin.
(Richard) The three of us turned up on day one not knowing what car the producers had bought.
I reckon it'll be something like a Focus but a really small engine.
No, I give you Hyundai Accent three-cylinder diesel.
He's right.
That or the Kia Rio.
They were over 20 seconds to 60.
You can't start with something like that and get it that fast.
- Have you met our producers? - Yes.
When was the last time they ever said, "Here's a job for you to do and we've made it easy"? - Never.
- They're not going to now.
No, it'll be something (James) It's not a Ferrari F430.
(Jeremy) No, it's not.
(Jeremy) Here we go.
It is What that is, is a Renault Avantime.
I wasn't expecting that.
(Richard) Introduced in 2002, the Avantime was a monumental failure.
before it was dropped from the price list after just 18 months.
Weirdly, however, it's one of the few cars ever made that us three all like.
- Right, so cars that we all like - this - Yes.
Ford Mondeo - Ford Mondeo.
Good one.
- This.
- Subaru Legacy.
- Yes.
- Yes.
- It's not a big list! - That's it! That is it! So the most impressive thing in the whole car is just there's more air in here than there is in Montana.
It's very spacious! (Jeremy) Let's just have a systems check on everything.
Heated rear window works, heated seats work.
- All the lights working at the back? - I have a selection of lights working.
So this is six years old and everything works, which is odd because most Renaults Six minutes! (Jeremy) Then there's the Avantime's party piece.
Give it a whirl! Oh, yeah! I'm outside! Look at this! This is what it's like being a dog.
(Richard) There's more cleverness.
To make getting into the back easier, the doors were very, very long.
So you'd imagine they'd open this wide, which would make it useless in car parks, but, no, they fitted it with clever double hinges that they call kinematic and, look, in a gap just that big, wide open.
Very clever.
(Jeremy) So, this was a very intelligent, very unusual and very comfortable car.
However, while it can turn heads, it struggles to turn corners Ease it round here.
Check it out! as The Stig will now demonstrate.
Three, two, one, hit it! Even though that's the top-of-the-range model, the Privilege, had a three-liter V6, do you know what the 0 to 60 was? Nine seconds.
What's an Evo? 4.
5? It's about twice as long.
And the suspension is designed for ironing out bumps, not smashing them down with a steel fist.
(Richard) It's not designed to corner level and flat.
(Jeremy) 0f course, we knew this front-wheel-drive box would be nowhere near as fast as an Evo round our track but we didn't realize how nowhere near.
Go on.
This is the size of our challenge.
- What was the Evo? - 1:28.
2.
(Jeremy) The Avantime was more than 14 seconds slower.
And then things got worse.
"You know you have two days to make your modifications.
"So now you need to know the budget.
"A Mitsubishi Evo Ten costs L30,000.
"You can spend half that to make the Avantime as fast.
" Well, that's not bad, actually.
L15,000.
We could do loads with that.
(James) There's more.
"L5,200 was spent on buying the car itself.
"So you have L9,800 left.
" How much do they spend in Formula One? Well, they say that to cut a second a lap, it's L10 million.
Right, so we need L140 million.
- (Jeremy) Is there anything behind it? - It's just James.
Don't worry.
(Jeremy) With a lot less than that, we backed the car into a borrowed workshop and immediately ran into a problem.
(Richard) No, there's a (James) How do you make it do it? (Jeremy) Where's the thing? Shall I get a hammer? No, there it is! No, it isn't.
(James) That's where the spring is.
- It must be - Press the middle of the (Jeremy) Eventually, we got the bonnet up and then immediately decided to have an argument.
It's not just about power! There's a lot of other stuff to deal with.
What? What?! The way the thing handles and drives.
Why don't we just put nitrous on it? Do you remember what happened to the first Stig? - He fell off an aircraft carrier.
- Because? Yeah, we used nitrous.
We won't use (James) Cornering is where it matters.
Look at the lesson of the lap board, the Lotus Exige, not a particularly powerful car, goes round quickly cos it goes round the corners quickly.
GT Mustang, loads of power, slow, cos they won't go round corners properly.
- That's more important than power.
- So where do we start? Brakes.
(Jeremy) James insisted on buying new ones.
Right, this is the standard front disk of the Avantime.
This is the one we're proposing to put on.
Bigger area, vented, keep it cool, make it more efficient.
(Jeremy) For sure, all this would mean The Stig could brake later into the corners but there was a downside.
How much do these brakes cost? - L3,000.
- L3,000? So we've used nearly a third of our budget on brakes? The most important thing you can do, though.
(Jeremy) While I wasn't helping, something began to worry me.
Any minute now, Monkey and Wrench over there are going to realize they've made a catastrophic mistake.
(James) Oh, hang on.
(Richard) What? (James) The calipers are too big for the wheels.
(Richard) Oh (Jeremy) So we had to blow more of our budget on bigger wheels and tires.
- How much were they? - A lot.
- L600.
- (Richard gasps) Still as The Stig was inserted into the Avantime for another lap, James and Richard were convinced it was money well spent.
You can see it's faster already.
We've learnt from our racing experience, which we all share, and we've applied it to this and we've improved.
- What? - What was it? 1:40 What? Is it broken or something? No, he's gone round OK (James) This was baffling.
We decided we'd bought the wrong tires so we spent another 600 quid on better ones.
We've got some road-legal but very sticky-track tires, which could be worth several seconds.
(Bleep) (Jeremy) Hit it! (James) The new rubber was sure to get us going in the right direction.
He can brake later and he has more grip in the corners.
- He can get on the power sooner.
- The tires will enable the brakes to work.
The one thing I know about is tires.
So with better brakes and better tires, we are traveling than we were originally.
This doesn't make sense! How does motor racing work? We could try another driver.
(Richard) Having blown half our money and got nowhere, we decided we should spend a massive L2,000 on some new suspension.
Hold on! Stig's still in it! (Jeremy) We haven't got time to get him out! (Richard) Fitting the new suspension was a job for James and the boffins from the Top Gear technology centre, which left Jeremy and me looking for something to do.
- (Muffled) Shouldn't we lighten it? - What? - Shouldn't we lighten it? - What do we want to take out? - Seats.
Take out the back seats.
- No, cos then it's a two-seater.
(Jeremy) Hammond, though, was right.
- Just feel this.
- Oh, you bugger! That's - (Laughs) - Yeah, that's heavy! The amount of fuel needed just to move an electric-heated seat That would cost you a noticeable number of quid a month.
(Jeremy) In order to keep the Avantime as a family car, we borrowed two race seats from our 24-hour BMW racer and two from Hammond's stretched MG.
And then we set about replacing the heavy glass roof.
It's four and a half hammers across.
With our weight-shedding completed, I went to ask James about his suspension, which was a mistake.
The springs are stiffer and the dampers can be adjusted so that the rate of compression and rebound changes.
If you alter that very finely, you can keep the tire in contact with the road more.
The instant the weight goes off, you lose grip, which will lower your cornering speed, and we know that cars are faster You asked! (Richard) With our car now lighter, lower, firmer, grippier and fitted with better brakes, it was time for another lap.
Go! (Richard) It was now almost the end of our first day and we had to have something to show for all our effort.
Come on, Stiggy.
Come on, Stiggy.
Come on, Stiggy.
Look at that, cornering flat.
- This is faster, this is faster.
- Oh, that's better.
Come on, come on, come on! Which means we're exactly ten seconds away from our target time.
Now I suppose at this point you two will kill me if I say power.
Why don't you say it and let's see? No, look.
James, just old-fashioned tuning.
Cylinder heads.
Cam shafts.
Inlet manifolds.
You'll get filthy dirty.
Think of that.
All night long.
An all-nighter in the workshop.
Bolts you could name and line up.
Take spanners out.
Put spanners back in order.
- You'd love it.
- And we wouldn't cock about.
We'd do everything you asked us to do, I promise.
- Anything? - Anything.
Including leaving the workshop and not coming back until I finish? Leaving you alone.
All through the night.
- Can I have a bag of chips? - Yes, I'll buy you a bag of chips.
- All right.
- Yes! (Jeremy) Before James set about his all-nighter, we put the Avantime on a rolling road to see how much power it was actually producing after six years of hard graft.
- That's astonishing.
- That is astonishing, actually.
- Are you sure that's right? - Yes.
- It started with 210.
It's now got - (Man) 157.
(Jeremy) 157, as it turns out.
All our figures have been gained with about 150 horsepower.
We should be able to get it up to 210 just with effectively a good service.
(Humming cheerily) (Jeremy) So we filled James up with chips and left him to it.
Come the dawn, the engine had a new air filter, new injectors and a new inlet manifold.
He'd even stiffened the chassis to improve the handling.
went on a rolling road.
Is that the HP? - (Man) 206.
- (Richard) That is 206, is it? (Jeremy) 206?! (Jeremy) Hopefully, with all this shiny new power Three, two, one, go! our Avantime would flyl Listen to that power! - Some of your heart and soul's in that car.
- Yeah.
We are a bit stumped after this.
How much money have we got left? - Only about 300 quid.
- Yeah.
(Jeremy) Here he comes.
- 1:36.
2.
- (James) There you go.
(Richard) Wow! All night and your face Is there anything more to come out of that engine? No, cos I think the gearbox will just break.
Aerodynamics.
Did you say you bought a spoiler the other day? - Well, at a charity auction, yes.
- What sort of spoiler? - A Formula One one.
- Well, it is a spoiler.
Fetchez Fetch the spoiler.
That's the next thing! (Jeremy) 0nce it was on, though, James and I had our doubts.
(Richard) Look, spoilers make things go faster, fact.
F1 cars have spoilers on, they go like the clappers, ergo success.
Among your friends with their baseball caps in Cheltenham, that is, I know, a generally held belief.
You think it's going to push down onto the rear wheels? - Yes.
- And this is a front-wheel drive car.
(Jeremy) Go! I think the word is optimistic.
I think the word is ridiculous! (Richard) Nonsensel This would be the final piece in the jigsaw.
(James) Yeah! - 1:35.
- An hour of your life.
- Yes.
- 1:37.
03.
Nearly a second added by the spoiler.
(Jeremy) However, while Hammond's spoiler was a dead loss, it did give me an idea.
Do you remember when we did the Britcar race and we had that splitter on the front? When it fell off, we were two seconds a lap slower.
- Yes, we were.
It made a big difference.
- So why don't we put a splitter on? (James) In theory, a well-designed splitter erases understeer, but ours wouldn't be well designed because Jeremy insisted he'd make it out of wood.
So it had come to this.
All our hopes now rested on Jeremy's carpentry.
That plywood has, in essence, on this lap got to take off eight and a bit seconds.
(James) But then (Jeremy) There's smoke, there's smoke, there's smoke! (Richard) Oh, it's on fire! (Jeremy) Stig, out! Out of the car! Turn the engine off! Go over there.
Your stupid plywood splitter has caught fire! (James) It's still on fire.
(Jeremy) It is the splitter.
(James) That's on fire.
Hey, wait a minute.
This is something I've wanted to do.
I've worked in television for 20 years and never had the chance yet.
- Back to the studio.
- That's my line! That's what I wanted to say! May! May, you (bleep)! What I thought I'd do is put the fire out and then say Back to the studio! (Laughter) (Jeremy) Gearbox leak in the manifold.
So, anyway, we failed.
But we decided not to give up, and in our spare time, we kept working on the Avantime.
Little details to see how fast we could actually make it go.
Now, we didn't have any money left so we spent our time fine-tuning adjustments, getting the suspension and the brakes right, getting the camber on the wheels exactly lined up.
We even gave The Stig a plate of his favorite raw pork for some A-level heroics in a last do-or-die lap.
And here comes that lap now.
And he's off! So this is it! Come on, Stig! Look at that! It looks like a touring car! A French plastic touring car but a touring car nevertheless.
Look at that! Looking at the brakes, which shows they're working well! Brilliant-looking thing.
Now coming up to Chicago.
Here he is.
More brilliant braking.
Taking that quite wide.
Probably a Formula One line, that.
Now going down to the Hammerhead.
This is the real test! Look at it squirming under braking! Very effective! Gets the tail out nice and one way.
Back the other.
Understeer a bit there but the MDF aerodynamics keeping it on the tarmac beautifully! Now, this is James's engine tuning here, coupled with my exhaust, obviously.
Look at the power! Stig would be looking impressed if you could see his face, assuming, of course, he has one.
Two corners left.
Ooh, he's lost it! No, no, wait! That's not out of control! That's drifting like a Evo Ten.
It's impressive! Here he comes through Gambon, as controlled as it got, and across the line! This is what we're aiming for.
Or rather this is - 1:28.
2, OK.
We did it in 1! Oh, it's down here.
It's a disaster.
That is completely baffling because every year in this country we spend L906 million modifying cars and as far as we can tell, it's all money down the drain.
All wasted! And on that bombshell, it's time to end.
Thank you for watching.
Good night!