Top Gear (2002) s12e06 Episode Script

Communist Cars

Tonight, Boris Johnson is the mayor- in our reasonably priced car.
Yeah! Jeremy attempts an old-fashioned sensible road-test of the new Ford Fiesta.
And has Communism ever produced a good car? Hello! Hello.
And welcome.
Thank you.
We start with this phenomenal new Caterham that is actually too small for Jeremy to fit in.
Happily, I fit in it perfectly, which is why I have been driving it.
And here it comes now.
And there it goes.
and it likes to go this quickly all the time.
Ye gods! This is something else! It moves with the agility of a flea.
Every little input through the steering, the brakes, the throttle, you get a result every time.
The figures that go with this little thing are off the scale.
Power to weight, That's the same as a Bugatti Veyron.
If you define driving excitement as just raw, pure adrenalin then well, this is it.
And I'm really glad I'm driving it on our track.
But not for the reason you might think.
No, the reason I'm glad to be here is that no-one can see me.
Allow me to explain.
This is the To- Gear Excellence/Embarrassment graph, and it measures how good the car is to drive against how embarrassing it is to be seen in.
Some examples - the Alfa Romeo Spider is a pretty shonky thing to drive but very cool to be seen in, so it sits about here on our graph.
The Audi RS4 is undeniably very, very good to drive, but driven exclusively by cocks, so pretty embarrassing to be seen in - it ends up about here.
Last example, Citroen Pluriel - well, that's terrible to drive and really very embarrassing to be seen in, so it sits right up here.
Finally, the Caterham R500 Superlight.
Well, there's no denying it is absolutely brilliant to drive, but also catastrophically embarrassing to be seen in, because it's driven only by geeks and nerds, so it ends up well in the problem area of the graph up here.
What we need then, really, is a Caterham that's OK to be seen in.
And this could be a contender.
It's called the Veritas RSIII, and there's certainly no problem with its appearance, because it looks like a Now, you've probably never heard of the Veritas, and that usually only means two things.
Firstly, it's built by a man in a shed.
Secondly, that man's wife will leave him when the bank manager forces him to sell the house to pay for his fibreglass lash-up.
However, the Veritas is German and, annoyingly, German shed cars can be as good as most other people's factory cars.
This incredible body is hand-crafte- from carbon fibre and Kevlar with precision - and that's German precision, remember, which is the best sort.
Then there's the engine, which is a V8 from BMW's M division.
Now, the M division don't sell their engines to cowboys or losers, so the Veritas has got a good job reference right there.
And what this also means is that th- Veritas is pretty quick.
Woah! Where have I felt that before? Oh, yeah, in that Caterham about five minutes ago.
This V8 once powered the BMW M3 but has been tuned up from 420 to 473 horsepower.
Every time you stamp on the throttle, this thing just drop-kicks your stomach half a mile back down the road.
ENGINE REVS The reason for this speed isn't just power.
It's also down to weight - or rather lack of it.
The Veritas only weighs a snatch over 1,000 kilos, but then it would, because you don't get ABS, traction- control or a windscreen, and there's no roof, just a sort of submarine hatch covering the passenger seat.
But this absence of anything does come at quite a price - £246,948, to be exact.
But you do get this glorious speedboat-style wooden flooring and these hand-milled bespoke switches and, well, couple that with the fact that, in the jet set, there's generally one born every minute, and it all sort of makes sense, really.
At least what the Veritas lacks in toys or value for money it does make up for in history - because, many decades ago, Veritas was a German sports car company and they made the very first German Formula One car.
Which means, if I apply some Top Gear logic, this thing should be good through the corners.
TYRES SCREECH In fact, it's nowhere near as sharp as the dweeby Caterham.
The biggest problem by a country mile is the big round thing in front of me.
appears to have been taken from a lorry.
I mean, look, I have to keep turning, keep turning, take my hands off and do some more turning.
Now, Veritas say they won't be selling cars to customers until next year, and that by then the steering will have been sorted out but, even if it is, this won't be the car for me.
It's just too serious.
The price is too serious.
The engine, Kevlar I want my Caterham back.
I want my fun back.
APPLAUSE Very good, but Hammond Yes.
.
.
I'm slightly perplexed.
You say if you drive around in one of these you look a dweeb.
Yes.
You know Jeremy's wife's got one of these? Ah Very fond of it, big fan.
She's here today.
All right She wants a word with you.
Thank you(!) Anyway, if you drive one of these and you look a dweeb, how do you think you look in that? Emeritus Professor of History? LAUGHTER Edward Fox, perhaps? Or a big, slobbering No, no.
The thing is, this costs £212,000 more than the Caterham.
Exactly, so you're paying a lot more for a car that's worse.
Well, to find that out, we'll have to see how fast they go round our track, and for that we need our tame racing driver.
Some say one of his legs gets longer when he sees a pretty lady.
LAUGHTER And that I haven't done one of these for some time and I've forgotten to make up a second thing.
LAUGHTER All we know is he's called The Stig.
And he's off! Lots of wheel-spin off the line but- then it digs in and unleashes the full force of that four-litre V8.
Powers down towards the first corner.
Turns in rather gingerly, it must be said.
I should add, since I drove the car, Veritas have given it a faster steering rack, which should make it easier to drive quickly.
Stig suddenly having no problems at Chicago.
Down to Hammerhead now, hard on the brakes.
Turns it in.
Seemed to scrub off quite a bit of speed there.
But he's right back on it now, kicking the tail out on the exit.
Let's see him really wind it up for the follow-through.
Here he goes.
Doesn't actually sound like a V8 there.
Just two corners left.
Going into the penultimate corner.
Very smooth.
Just Gambon left.
Very composed into there, just a little flick of opposite lock, and across the line.
APPLAUSE And it A big V8 in there, powerful car.
So let's have a look.
It did it in 1.
24.
02, which is faster than an Audi R8.
That's a quick time.
Well done, Veritas.
Now we must find out if the Caterham can do any better.
Off it goes again, and let's just see how quickly the Caterham gets off the line.
It is like a little flea, this thing.
Piles it into the first corner, locking up the brakes.
Like the Veritas, the R500 has got no ABS or other electronic nonsense.
Beautiful drift through the other side.
Just sliding it around Chicago.
That is how this car should be driven.
Hammerhead now.
Stig is so excited he's flipped on the indicator.
He's rarely had so much fun out here.
You really notice that bump on Hammerhead in a car as light as this.
Only problem is that lack of weight can make it hard to get heated with the tyres on.
This is a very cold day, remember.
That two-litre Ford engine, half the cylinders and capacity of the Veritas but, by God, it flies.
Neat through the penultimate corner.
Stig really on it now, loving every minute.
Slings it through Gambon, and across the line.
APPLAUSE Obviously, the big question is, did it go faster than the Veritas? In fact, it did go faster - quite a bit faster, quite a lot faster, actually.
Quite a heck of a lot faster, because it's up here! as a Zonda F Convertible! That means the £36,000 Caterham is faster than a £1 million Bugatti Veyron.
I just! APPLAUSE An amazing little car! Absolutely fabulous.
And now the news, and it's great news, ladies and gentlemen.
It's news to warm the hearts of nations.
Jeremy Clarkson has lost his voice.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE Mate, I'm sorry.
I know! Imagine how we feel! They're gutted, mate.
They're gutted.
But the good news is that means we can talk about whatever we like and say what we like.
So, let's LAUGHTER Yeah, yeah, whatever.
Let's get on with the news.
I thought we'd start this week with talking about this magazine called Heat.
Ooh, yeah? LAUGHTER Every year, they do a survey in which they ask the whole world to tell them their sort of weirdest crush, their strangest, freakiest, oddest, most embarrassing, ridiculous person to fancy.
And, well, do you wanna guess? He's won it, ladies and gentlemen! CHEERING AND APPLAUSE Here he is! Look at that! Yeah! "Number one weird crush.
" And the other thing, ladies and gentlemen, in the same magazine This is actually quite poetic, in the romance.
He's in the same magazine as his boyfriend, look! Aw! Will Young.
And he loves him so much.
Jeremy, I'm really pleased that you should share magazine space with Will Young, your boyfriend.
You know what he did the other day, when he still had his voice? He came into the office and went, "Have you heard Will's new single? It's fantastic!" He loves it.
"Will"! He went on about it all the time.
"I love Bill's new song.
" He does.
Can I just say Oh, it speaks! Or sort of squeaks.
Yeah, no That's just a noise.
Are you deflating? What's that? Synthetic saliva?! It means that I have just a few minutes of speaking.
Oh! So you need more saliva? Well, ladies and gentlemen, I've no doubt we can oblige with that.
LAUGHTER How do you know it's synthetic and isn't just some bloke's? LAUGHTER Gobbing HE MIMICS SPITTING Bottle it.
You can shut up for a kick-off as well.
What is that noise you're making? Have you seen his eye? He's got the biggest eye infection I've ever seen! At least I don't look like a mutant! Has it come to this? I'm working with these two.
This isn't a television programme any more.
It's a colony! LAUGHTER I tell you what, instead of hurling abuse at each other, why Excuse me.
Why don't we do the news? Yes, let's do the news.
Good news, OK? We haven't been asked to do the commentary on the Formula One coverage on the BBC next year.
No, it's good news.
What they've got, they've brought Martin Brundle over from ITV.
That's fantastic.
We'll be able to watch the slow march of his trousers up his stomach.
LAUGHTER They've got Eddie Jordan.
He's gonna be a pundit.
That's fantastic.
Eddie's a great guy.
David Coulthard is the other pundit, and that worries me.
I think that means that on lap two of every race your telly will suddenly go off.
Or it'll just fall off the stand for no reason.
"Why have you done that?" Apparently, they've got Murray Walker involved.
They have.
Murray Walker's coming back to the BBC.
He is.
Yeah.
AUDIENCE CHEERS Bless him.
It is good news.
Did you know, though, he's 84? He'll be at Silverstone going, "It were all trees when I were a lad.
" Ferrari's pulled in with their first pit stop.
Let's go to Murray Walker.
"Can someone change me bag? It's full again.
" commentating on F1, that's pretty cool.
You won't be commentating on anything.
Look! I've just thought.
I wanna move it on.
You know the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson? She recently sold her Jaguar.
It has ended up in the hands of - it was in the papers this week - hands of a cabbie.
Steve Coulson, 31, of the north somewhere.
He's gone to the papers because he found that she's left all the addresses she's been to in the sat nav, still programmed into the system.
He is saying, "What if I'd been a terrorist? "This car is a suicide bomber's dream.
" Now one of the addresses in there, Windsor Castle.
Another, Buckingham Palace.
LAUGHTER I think some people know where those things are already.
No, don't laugh, this is a national security nightmare, it is.
And also, he has inadvertently made- himself the world's most hunted man.
I'm presuming he's looked at this sat nav and seen the addresses.
He knows where Windsor Castle is.
Every terrorist organisation in the world is going to be after him for his lethal secret knowledge.
LAUGHTER I think there's only one decent course of action here.
What? Assuming he has destroyed it, that's fine.
He has read it, therefore he must kill himself and take his knowledge to the grave.
Now, there's a new Mini convertible.
It's got better engines, bigger boot.
But the thing that caught my eye is- it's fitted with something called an "openometer".
I'm not making this up.
An openometer tells you how much you have driven it with the roof off.
Well, what's the point in that? Why not have a dial that tells you how many times you've driven through Leicester? Why would you want to know what you- drove with the roof up, and what you drove with the roof down? It makes no sense.
Do you remember the early Corvettes, they had a little dial that showed you how many revs the engine had done.
Revs? Revs, yeah.
What, going around at 5,000 rpm? It would be wider than the car just to get the dial in.
I worked it out from my old Porsche actually.
Your what? My old Porsche is 25 years old.
You worked that out LAUGHTER .
.
for your car? You've spent time Wow, so you must actually have done- everything there is to do in the whole world to get to the bottom of the list of everything a human being can do.
What's it like on the top of Everest? It's all right.
Richard, I went to a dinner party the other day.
I was sat next to a girl who said she couldn't believe James May was still single.
There's your answer! There's your answer! Anyway, look, tough times for carmakers, as we know.
They're all in really, really deep Oh, dear, I've arrived at a point where I can't say the word I need to say - deep mess.
They've resorted to offering incredibly long test drives to people just to get them into the showrooms.
Lexus will lend you a car for 48 hours - two days.
BMW say you can go in one of their cars for 100 miles.
Peugeot, 24 hours.
Peugeot? Peugeot.
Are they surprised when people bring it back after 24 minutes? That's enough of that! Now the reporter who uncovered this story, he said he went to a Peugeot dealership to try a 207.
And the salesman said, "I can go one better than that, sir.
"I can lend you a 4007.
" That's not ONE better, is it? That's 3,800 better he went, just to try and get a sale.
One better than a 207 is work it out.
It's it's herpes.
Yeah.
LAUGHTER Think about this logically.
How many people here drove to the studio today? Everybody? In my Peugeot.
Brilliant car.
Best in the world.
What's a brilliant car? Peugeot 406 with a six-player CD.
Best car in the world.
That's you told! LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE He's making a fine case for it.
He thinks the Peugeot 406, with a six-player CD, is the best car in the world.
Not an Enzo, as it turns out.
We've been wasting our time.
I'm glad you brought that up, because I'm going to skip on down, if I may.
The number of lunatics in Britain has been halved.
I know there's some evidence to suggest that they're out and in the countryside and among us.
But I have arrived at this conclusion by a simple and alarming fact that came across my desk only this morning.
Electric car sales are down by half.
That must mean that loonies are fewer and far between.
Really, I genuinely congratulate you for your bravery.
It seems these days that absolutely everything you buy is made in China.
Chopsticks, Ming vases, mah jong sets Dogs.
Exactly.
Some people are saying that soon we will be buying cars made in the People's Republic.
Thing is, though, China is a Communist country.
And that got James and me wondering.
Communism - has it ever produced a good car? We thought it would ironic to film our hunt here at the Greenham Common airbase, home in the 1980s to 96 US Air Force missiles and several hundred lesbians.
Today they're all gone, and in their place we find this.
It's a Lada Riva, which started out in life as a Fiat 124, one of the most advanced sports saloons of the period.
But the Russians made a few changes- to the original design.
They replaced the excellent disc brakes with drums, which were worse.
They fitted a starting handle, a manual fuel pump, and they made the body from much, much thicker steel.
As I shall now demonstrate .
.
with my hammer.
Ready? It's nuclear.
The heaviest part of the car, though, was not the nuclear bunker bodywork.
It was the steering.
I actually believe it's set in concrete.
In fact, the only good thing about this car is that you could drive it in a hat.
Let me give you an example of its terribleness.
The rear brakes were made from aluminium.
They must have thought, "Aha, that's very advanced! "The West hasn't thought of this.
" There's a very good reason for that though.
Aluminium has the same braking properties, really, ascheese.
TYRES SCREECH Despite all these things, the Riva is still being built today- under licence in Egypt.
Imagine that, a 40-year-old Italian design, improved by the Russians and now built by a bunch of Egyptians.
I can't think of anything worse than that! Well, I can.
You see, the Lada was not the only car to come from the Soviet Union.
There were hundreds of the damn things - GAZes, VAZes, ZILs, ISHes, ZAZes .
.
and this, the Moskvitch 408.
Now this car was originally launched- at the 1964 British Earl's Court Motor Show.
And it was Communism's response to our very own people's car, the Mark I Cortina.
And as you'd expect, the Moskvitch was very cheap.
Just £679.
The Cortina was a whole pound more expensive.
The gearbox is sloppy, the suspension is bouncy, the steering is very heavy and yet very vague.
And just listen to the noise when you hit 40? ENGINE SHUDDERS Interestingly, this particular one was built in the factory where they also made the AK47 rifle.
The difference is, this is much more lethal.
So, whose car was the most wretched? That is simply the worst car in the world.
Even worse than this.
Disagree.
Have you seen the pedals in this? Look where the accelerator pedal is- in relation to the other two.
Thought so.
A rev counter.
Yes? You decadent, capitalist pig! Ownership of a rev counter is theft.
This is the colour of a prosthetic limb.
You've got wipers on your headlights.
They don't work! Not the point.
It's aspirational.
Rear suspension made out of cart springs.
What have you got on yours?- Coils.
Exactly.
Elitist! The coils, James, are from a Bulgarian's biro.
We decided to settle our argument by finding out which was the slowest in a quarter-mile drag race.
And, to spice it up, we would be racing against a Western car from the time, a Ford Cortina 1600 E, and a dog.
Fast as you can.
Don't cheat.
Why would I need to cheat? Er Launch control? No, doesn't have that.
Er Clearly, the Commie cars would be a while.
So let's move on - to this .
.
the Zzzgggz 968.
Maybe this could save the day for Socialism.
Oh, my God, there's no key! ENGINE STARTS Yeah! Interestingly it was rear-engined, so it was exactly the same as a Porsche 911 .
.
except for one thing.
Look at this.
Under the carpet in here, the passenger foot-well, there's a little flap.
You open it and there's a hole.
The idea is that you park your car on a frozen lake, cut a hole in the ice, drop your fishing line through the hole, plug in your interior lamp, like that.
Then you hang that up, and you can sit back and do an evening's fishing.
Not even a Maybach has this! Better still, the Zappo 968 was available with a choice of trim levels.
Unusual in a single party state.
This is the standard 968, OK? Yes.
What do you suppose the 968 B2 was? It was an estate version.
No.
It was for people who had the use of only one foot.
Ah! That's the least of its problems.
No.
For people who didn't have the use of either foot.
People with .
.
one foot and two hands but one of them is frozen? No.
That was the one with the 0.
7 litre engine.
Wow! Now, if you're name begins with "Ar" and ends with "thur Scargill", you might claim we're wrong to blame- Communism for all these truly terrible cars.
You might say that it's just a Russian problem, Well, Mr Scargill, a quick canter through some other Eastern Bloc cars will prove you wrong.
Take this, the Wartburg, from East Germany.
When they made a rally version of this, they had to fit uprated brakes, which they got from an Austin Maxi.
How bad do the standard brakes have- to be for a Maxi's to be better? And then there was the equally East German Trabant, which was made from, and I'm not making this upcotton.
Mr Khrushchev once said, "We will bury you.
" What with? This? It's actually made from leather.
I think it looks like somebody's crashed a motorcycle into the back of a cow.
And then from Poland there's the FSO pick-up truck.
And, of course, we know a thing or two on Top Gear about how to test such things.
This free world Toyota, for example.
We dropped it from a 23-storey tower block.
And it worked afterwards.
So, surely the rugged FSO, from the world's best plumbers, could survive this? 'It didn't.
' Maybe we should try dropping it from a slightly lower height? It's a bit late now, isn't it? NATIONAL ANTHEM PLAYS Finally, from Britain, there was the Morris Marina.
The unpleasant log laid by British Leyland after Communism crept, like a Nietzsche red blanket, over the shop floor.
God almighty.
God almighty! Britain made this.
They have the effrontery, the bare-faced cheek, to call this super? I suppose you weren't actually allowed back then to call it Trotskyite crap.
Maybe that's what the TC version stood for.
Still, having it here enables us to answer an important question.
You see, the Cold War ended before we ever got the chance to find out who would have won if we'd actually started fighting.
Yeah, but now we can find out with a race.
We have all the ingredients here.
It's cold, the track is much too narrow, it's too pockmarked, it's bumpy.
I shall be driving the Morris Marxist and you shall be in the What is it? The Lenin 1.
6 SLX.
Lovely.
And the winner gets Berlin.
And the loser has to sacrifice his bath plug.
Now we'll see, Mr Clarkson.
Oi! Welcome to the inaugural round of the BTCC, The British Touring Communism Championships.
Welcome to the inaugural round of the BTCC, The British Touring Communism Championships.
I can get him on the inside.
Yes! Oh, no, he's coming through but he has an 86 brake horse power - I've only got 83.
May! Marvellous.
Russian communism is better than British communism.
How do you like that? Come on, get out of my way! This thing is impossible to steer.
Whoa! I've missed the track.
I'll take him here.
Get off! No, May, no.
I'm back in the lead.
The handling is simply diabolical.
There's no other word for it.
Yes, the Polaris is way in the lead here.
Gaining.
Gaining.
No, wait! The SS18 is coming through.
BUMP He's hit me.
He's hit me.
There's nothing I can do.
Ha! That will annoy him.
There's some catching up to be done now! Come on, Marina! There he is, he's in my sights.
'The Marina caught the Lada quite quickly, 'which means we would have won the Cold War if we'd started fighting.
' Yes, what you think of this?! Argh! Goodbye, Mr May.
Oh, dear.
I seem to have accidentally killed James May there.
Anyway The miracle is not that the Marina won that, it's that- it was built in the first place.
In Russia, you had to work hard in the car factories or you'd suddenly discover how difficult it is to mine Siberian salt while wearing a hat made from your wife's head.
British Communists didn't really bother with any of that.
Mostly, in fact, they didn't bother turning up for work at all.
They'd simply get to the factory gates where they'd spent the rest of the day chatting and huddling for warmth round a burning dustbin.
It does work well as a brazier.
But that's what they were best at because they spent more time with braziers than they did making cars.
It's true.
So far, we've established that Communistical cars were not fast, pretty, well engineered, cheap or reliable.
But while all animals were equal, some were more equal than others.
This is a GAZ Chaika.
They made just 144 of these every year, and not one of them ever made it in the hands of the proletariat.
These were for high-ranking officials.
Well, ha, you know the KGB used these? Except theirs had more powerful engines.
You should see the amount of space back here.
You could chop up 30 dissidents in the back of here.
'But despite all these plus points, the Chaika isn't a good car.
' LOUD CLUNK Was that a gear change? It was.
Is there a man in the gearbox with a sledgehammer? That's what it feels like.
That's unbelievable.
How is the steering - precise? Yeah No.
Don't do that.
I'm doing 20mph.
How can I shoot you if I can't sit still? Top speed? 99mph.
So it can't even do 100? No.
With a 5.
5 litre V8?! Quite.
I suspect this is as far as we go, Mr Clarkson.
You're going to have to turn it round.
That's going to take the rest of our lives.
Oh, BEEP! It's disappeared into the bloody dashboard! THEY LAUGH I'm going to grab this camera so you can actually see what has happened here.
These are the buttons that change the gears.
That's park, that's backwards and that was forwards.
I promise you, I merely pressed it and my finger just THEY LAUGH 'So they couldn't make a decent luxury car either.
'But one about the other end of the scale? Rugged simplicity.
'Surely this is good Commie territory.
' It does seem to have been built on relatively sensible principles.
It does seem to have been built on relatively sensible principles.
Add weight and simplify.
'What's more, it had coiled springs '- not the RSJs you got in Land Rovers 'of the time - so it was surprisingly comfortable.
' I once drove one of these down a very heavily rutted track at 50mph and I was able to use the cigarette lighter because it was so smooth to light a cigarette.
It was that smooth.
I'd actually quite like to demonstrate that for you now but, unfortunately, we don't live in a free country.
'We ploughed on through the field and things looked promising.
' 'But then' Oh, give up.
We are in Berkshire and it's been completely defeated.
If this comes out, I can stand up like Rommel and guide you.
Argh! We don't need that.
Right.
Forwards, slowly.
Argh, no, no, no, no! 'In the end, we were pulled free by- a decadent capitalist Land Rover.
'But we were reluctant to give up on our little Niva.
' And it is quite a rugged, personable little thing.
It is, actually.
It is.
It's the sort of car you can give it a name.
It's got one - Niva.
Do you think we've actually found the Communist car that we like? No! THEY LAUGH Shall we get the train? Simple message.
Don't buy a Chinese car until China- renounces Communisticalness.
You pair of idiots.
Did it, what - slip your mind? These three cars - Maserati, Lamborghini, Ferrari.
All three built within 30 miles of the Italian city Bologna which, for 50 years and until nine years ago, was run by the Italian Communist Party.
Which means that actual Ferrari was built by Communists.
I'm glad he brought that up because London used to be a communist city but now, thanks to my guest, it isn't any more.
Ladies and gentlemen, please You do this, my voice Go, quickly! Ladies and gentlemen, Boris Johnson! How are you? Very well.
Have a seat.
Thank you, Jeremy.
What's this? Is that for me? It's my urine sample.
I'm very startled.
What's that? How can you be a journalist and politician and still be loved? Most people still love Boris! I resent I think I'd resist your analysis there.
What you find is that people are far from loving - shout all sorts of hostile things.
Who shouts I was watching your programme and someone was saying I was a faffing around in trying to remove the bendy buses.
Let's get straight Yeah, let's get straight to it.
How long have you been mayor of London for? Eight months.
You said before you were mayor, "I will get rid of the bendy buses.
" And I will.
This Friday Burn them.
.
.
I am told that we are announcing the removal of the bendy bus from three routes, 80 buses.
You are talking but I'm hearing music! When's this happening? They will be off by 2010.
For God's sake! You are a very hard man to please.
A very hard man! Anybody would think you were some kind of crazed petrolhead.
LAUGHTER I'm looking at what you've done, or your initiatives, since you came in here and it is extraordinary how- I disagree with almost all of them.
LAUGHTER Like not drinking on the tube.
I'm 48 years old and if I want a refreshing pint on the tube A 44-year-old man can't tell me not to.
Well, listen Am I allowed to have a drink on the- tube? No, you're not.
Here's why.
There are people who drink on the tube with a six packs of beer who loll around swearing and cursing who offer aggression towards their fellow passengers.
And I think that removing that possibility actually makes the tube friendlier.
Although I have to admit, it was rather wonderful that thousands of people had a party, hurling execration at my name Over that? Over that.
It took Margaret Thatcher ten years to achieve that level of unpopularity with the youth of society.
I thought it was quite something to have pulled it off after only six weeks.
You are going to allow motorcycles to travel in bus lanes.
From January there is going to be a trial.
Because I think it would smooth, smooth traffic flow, provided those motorcyclists remember that they can't terrify vulnerable road users such as cyclists.
What about bus drivers? You cycle, have you not been attacked by a bus driver? You don't cycle? No.
Because I have a car.
Talk to the little one Hammond? Yes! LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE He He knows what he's talking about.
I remember watching your show where he beat you hollow around London on his bike.
You were going by speedboat, he was far quicker than you.
He will confirm that bus drivers are, in fact, extremely considerate.
What he actually says is they are a load of murdering BEEP! I speak from experience.
They look at their mirrors, they know where you are and by comparison with HGV drivers,- they are extremely good.
No, I won't have that.
MUTTERING IN CROWD Who thinks lorry drivers I'm a big fan of lorry drivers Well, I! Who thinks lorry drivers are better than bus drivers? Before I needlessly throw away the lorry driver vote You just have! I just want to say that they are not all bad LAUGHTER But they need to look in their mirrors.
Let's move it on.
If I may.
You were the motoring correspondent of GQ magazine.
Yes.
Do you know Where's this going? Do you know how much you built up in parking tickets on those cars that you tested? I can tell you something, I jolly well paid them because Now.
Your publisher argues with that.
LAUGHTER There were two phases in our relationship.
There was the phase where they paid- for the parking tickets and Do you know how much the phase cost them when they were paying for them? No.
- £4,500.
CROWD GROANS So they may claim now! While we're on the subject of this,- there's a photograph - we brought this up on the programme a few weeks ago - this is a message from you on the back of one of the lovely buses.
Changing gears at lower revs reduces your C02 emissions and saves you money.
Very good.
You've put that up.
Absolutely right.
Let me draw your attention to something you wrote in GQ magazine.
"The essence of it is, in my view, not to change up until you hit about 6,000rpm.
" In the case of the Ferrari 430 LAUGHTER .
.
which I was I admit I was driving.
It may very well be that that was the cleanest, greenest, most fuel-efficient way of changing gear! On your very track the other day, I was introduced to this wonderful electric car by the proprietor of this Dunsfold track.
Yes.
And we've all got to go electric.
the power come from, Boris? It comes from the plug.
In fact, I'll tell you something LAUGHTER You .
.
I make this prophecy, Jeremy, that the gear is going to be obsolete and your programme will have to change its name to Top Plug.
Can I just talk about the Olympics? I know this is off topic.
We are going to make a mess of it, aren't we? No.
It's going to be fantastic.
We're going to ruin it.
No.
We're going to do it brilliantly but in our own particular, ingeniousBritish way.
LAUGHTER I just have this vision of the opening ceremony and there'll be one council house in the middle of it and a bloke going, "I'm not moving!" You know in Beijing when it closed, you were there of course, the British handing over ceremony, there was a bus and a girl from the X Factor.
People would have thought, "Great country.
" Instead of going, "That looks like BEEP.
" People loved it with that thing with Beckham kicking a football.
No, Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin, I'm very fond of that.
But Jimmy Page standing out the back of a burning Jaguar, power-sliding round.
Fantastic.
Perhaps we should commission some of your ideas for the opening ceremony.
Let's do that, can we do that?! I'll ring Jimmy Page immediately.
APPLAUSE The lap was, pouring with rain.
It didn't go quite as smoothly as perhaps you'd hoped.
Most people, as you know, spin off on the second to last corner.
Boris decided he was going to spin of on every single corner.
LAUGHTER Who'd like to see Boris's practices? AUDIENCE: Yes! Shall we have a look at some? Second to last corner, there's the traditional spot for going off.
Here we are on the final corner Here we go again.
Here we are on the actual pass the tyres was there.
The problem is, Boris, you can't turn left.
Wait - you go right here and First person ever to go off on the follow-through.
Well done, Boris.
The atmospheric conditions were challenging.
It was your fault.
If you believe that cars cause global warming, get a Range Rover and it will warm it up.
Anyway, you did eventually complete a lap.
Who'd like to see that? AUDIENCE: Yes! Let's have a look at Boris's lap here.
It really is wet, isn't it? There's a determined-looking man behind the wheel there.
That's soaking wet.
Trinny and Susannah wet.
Looking smooth.
HE MUMBLES Talking in Greek.
HE MUMBLES More funny noises.
And into the hammer head.
you are in the lines or not.
Yes, no, actually, well done.
Sounding patronising, I apologise.
This is good coming out.
No, hit the rev limit.
Happy, were we, with our gear change? That's lovely.
Watch out for the rubber tyres.
The rubber tyres.
- Yes, missed those.
Come on, Boris.
You've slowed.
Come on, faster, faster.
It's a gamble.
A bit wide but well held.
There we are, across the line.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE To be brutally honest, in conditions such as those you aren't really realistically Keith Allen would be our fastest very wet lap on 1.
51.
There is no point hoping for that.
No.
I've no idea how fast it was.
Did it feel I thought it was pretty good.
Pretty sluggish.
You think so? Yeah.
You did it in 1 Which in itself in conditions like that I like that word.
Would you like to stop the interview there.
Yeah.
Good idea, because the next bit is a 50 57.
4.
Which puts you And give him a round of applause I'm off the bottom.
Now I look at it, it's catastrophically bad.
LAUGHTER There's no other word.
It's the slowest very wet.
No, it's the same- as Fiona Bruce.
I feel proud.
Very proud, and it's been marvellous having you here, Boris.
Ladies and gentlemen, Boris Johnson.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE Every week on Top Gear we get a stack of letters.
But this week, one in particular caught our eye.
It's from a Mr Needham and it says,- "Why do not test cars properly any more, have you forgotten how?" This really hurt us so we decided to take the new Ford Fiesta and do a proper road test, like they used to do on Top Gear in the old days.
We were quite looking forward to it- but at the very last minute, Jeremy- came in and said he wanted to do it.
Right.
There's the car in question, the new Fiesta.
What I thought I'd do is break the road test down into segments.
Hopefully, cover all the bases.
Behind the extremely pretty body, I'm sorry to report there are one or two small problems.
The back seats, for instance, do not fold flat.
Other cars in this price range do have bigger boots.
However, despite this, there is still room in the boot for a zebra's head.
Pop the neck in first.
There we are.
So if you're a sort of Mafia game ranger, that goes very nicely.
Then, in the back seat, there's room for the traditional I should say so.
This new car maybe- the biggest Fiesta yet, but it's a whopping 40 kilograms lighter than the last model.
That'll help at the pumps.
There's even a 1.
6 litre diesel model called the Econetic, which produces such a small amount of carbon dioxide you pay no road tax on it at all.
I wouldn't bother with that particular model though, because it'll almost certainly be sh Ever since the Ford Focus came along in 1998, or whenever it was, all Fords have had a driving feel that you just don't get in other cars of the same size or price.
This is no different.
Here, as I go through the hammerhead, for example, I can feel that it has a sort of Volkswagen feel of solidity and a Lotus feel of sportiness.
Rare to get that combination.
The steering has a linear response,- understeer well taken, no tread shuffle.
It feels fabulous.
And if you go for the 1.
6 litre TV CT engine that I have in this test car, it's pretty fast as well.
Certainly, it will easily do 70mph, which is what I'm doing now.
That's the maximum speed that you can go in Britain, so that's good.
Is this thorough enough for you, Mr Needham? I hope so because it's going well.
Hopefully not.
Apart from the fact it's made by Germans, most of the equipment on this car has been fitted to other Fords for years and we've heard no horror stories.
There's an entry-level version, which has no equipment on it at all- so there's nothing to go wrong.
Do you want that one, though - really, honestly, a basic model? I bet that's also sh Of course it's easy to park.
It's got windows, a steering wheel.
There we are.
Next.
This can happen.
Oh, and it just has.
Here we go! Good grip.
Power I am now breaking the speed limit indoors.
He's right on my tail.
This is where front-wheel-drive comes in.
Round the palm-tree, there we go.
He's taken out Costa Coffee.
The baddie has made the classic baddie error.
He's got too much power.
I've got 120 horsepower in this.
You don't want any more than that on marble.
The bears.
The handbrake.
Does he have to hit absolutely everything? Steering is light, turning circle is good.
I was once chased through a shopping centre in Putney, actually, by baddies.
I had an original Mini and, I must say, that was very good.
Just cut through British Home Stores.
Dab on the handbrake and there we go.
Mmm The Corvette is stuck in British Home Stores.
Turning circle, not good enough.
I'm getting away.
Instruments are superb, really sharp.
Handbrake! TYRES SCREECH The headlamps are brilliant.
Excellent range on full beam.
Look at him.
Look at him! He'll never follow me if I go through here.
Oh, he is doing! The upshot is that after half-an-hour, I got out of the shopping centre and the 'Vette didn't.
Yes Very.
Well, prices start at around £8,500- but you need £11,000 to get a decent mid-range model.
So if you have £11,000 to spend on a car then, yes, you can.
But if you've only got 40p then, The upshot is that after half an hour, I got out of the shopping centre and the 'Vette didn't.
Yes.
Very.
Well, prices start at around £8,500, but you need £11,000 to get a decent mid-range model.
So if you have £11,000 to spend on a car, then yes, you can.
But if you've only got 40p, then no, you can't.
Although it is quite large for a supermini, very large, in fact, it still fits on the marines' LCV Mark 5 landing craft with room to spare.
Now, if you'll forgive me, we are approaching the beach.
The gunfire has started.
Lads, do you want to mount up? HELICOPTER BLADES WHIR GUNFIRE That gunfire can be quite loud, can't it? If you get that door shut You can barely hear it now.
GUNFIRE Look at that! The smoke grenades fit perfectly in the cup holders.
How much ammo can you get in the glove box? Just two mags? The windscreen is heated, but not bullet-proof.
Stand by the beach! You cold? Yeah, I am, actually.
HELICOPTER BLADES WHIR SHOUTING AND GUNFIRE SHOUTING AND GUNFIRE Let's go! Come on! Come on, Fiesta! That's a lot deeper than I thought! Look at this for a beach assault craft! You've got a bit of water coming in there.
Come on! Are we there yet? You kids are being annoying.
Shoot them! SHOUTING AND GUNFIRE Where am I going, boys? Do you want to shoot from in here? Would that be more comfortable? It's got electric windows.
I'll just put GUNFIRE Go, go, go! Shoot the enemy in the middle of its face! Carry on, there's a plucky chap! Well done.
These carpets are excellent.
No evidence at all of the marines' muddy boots.
So, there you are, Mr Needham.
The most thorough test of a car ever undertaken on British television.
The Fiesta's come through with flying colours.
Drive safely.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE Absolutely thorough.
Well done.
Foot on the bonnet at the end, traditional.
Jumperall of it.
Anyway, that's all we've got time for this week.
Next week, for reasons we don't understand, we're on at 9pm.
We'll see you then, unless you're watching this on Dave.
In February.
in the middle of the afternoon.
In which case, we hope you get a job soon.
Take care.
See you soon.
Bye.