Top Gear (2002) s12e07 Episode Script

Tesla Roadster

(Jeremy) Tonight, I look at the future of sports cars.
James investigates the future of quite literally everything.
(Cheering and applause) Hello! Hello, everybody.
Hello and welcome.
Welcome, thank you so much.
Now, we begin tonight with a tribute, a birthday tribute, in fact, to Top Gear's favorite motorsport.
(Richard) It's not Formula 1, it's not rallying.
It's something more humble and yet more exciting than both.
Yes, we're here to light some candles - for British touring cars.
And in that 50 years, show me another sport where there's been more close racing more overtaking and more amazing driving.
Nothing comes close for excitement.
(Murray Walker) Oh, my goodness! Touring car racing was created to help the motor industry shift metal in the post-war years.
Every car on the track looked like the one your dad drove.
And this, the Mark I Jaguar, was one of the first real stars.
Tires - they were skinny, very.
And also cross ply.
Which means you went everywhere sideways.
Roy James, the legendary getaway driver for the Great Train Robbers, was a particular fan, but if he was stealing a Jaguar for a getaway car, he always made a point of taking one that had been prepared for touring car racing.
But then, in the mid-'60s, the Jags had their nosing put out of joint, because there was an invasion.
The Mustang, the Falcon, and the Chevvy Camero.
Their massive V8s were a most unwelcome intrusion into this British sport.
But the Yank invasion did bring about one of the best and most unique aspects of British touring car racing.
We call it the David and Goliath effect.
Basically, you had small-engined, nimble Escorts and Minis up against five-liter V8 monsters.
And with the big boys fast on the straights but the minnows quicker through the corners, the racing was incredible.
(Murray Walker) Crabtree is challenging for the lead and Marshall is challenging for second.
What a race this is! Naturally, the Minis, being plucky Brits, were involved in quite a lot of this David and Goliath stuff.
And in their over-eagerness, demonstrated that other great trait of touring cars - crashing.
But BTCC isn't just about crashing.
It has many other fine qualities.
It is, in fact, the only sport where over the years we've seen loads of F1 superstars up close in showroom cars.
Graham Hill.
Jim Clark.
Nigel Mansell.
All F1 World Champions who were fond of a good touring car race.
Mind you, even though they were racing at much slower speeds than in F1, that didn't stop them crashing.
Here, for example, is Mansell crashing.
And here is Gabriele Tarquini crashing.
(Murray Walker) Oh! It's Tarquini! But let's not get hung up on crashing.
As I say, touring cars is about so much more than that.
Everyone agrees that Ford brought motorsport to the working man and some say they did it through rallying.
But I disagree.
I say they started this social revolution through touring cars.
Escorts, Cortinas and Capris.
But their crowning glory was this.
The Sierra Cosworth.
Two liters, turbocharged up to 550bhp.
In the late '80s it was invincible.
It won 43 races.
The Fords were hungry for wins and inevitably, in their over-eagerness, there were some crashes.
But let's not lower the tone of this film with gratuitous crashes.
Touring cars is, as I say again, about so much more than that.
Especially during the 1990s, a decade when all the engines were capped at two liters, and nearly every manufacturer was taking part.
Basically, every rep car in the high street was out there swapping paint.
In the last race of 1992, for instance, in the final two laps, any one of three drivers could have won the Championship.
And just look at the kind of racing that produced.
having been punted off, and now fighting his way from the back, drove out of his skin.
(Murray Walker) Soper goes through to fourth position inside the Vauxhall! Tim Harvey in the second BMW is inside Cleland at Bridge, he's gone through, but John Cleland is attacking Soper, he's up on two wheels! Soper holds his line, he attacks again as they go into the right-hander and they both spin! That one race alone sums up everything that's so brilliant about touring cars.
And even though the '90s was the high budget, corporate era, naturally there were a few spills along the way.
Here and here.
And here.
And here.
So, happy birthday, touring cars.
And I still can't quite put my finger on why we like it so much.
(Applause) (Jeremy) I love it.
I love it.
The only problem is The only problem is that for the last, what, two or three years, it hasn't really been as good as it used to be.
Well, it's gonna be worse next year because Seat's pulled out, so it's just gonna be Vauxhalls.
I've just thought of a way it can be rescued.
- Oh, God.
- No, no, no, no.
- No, honestly, you'll like this.
- I'm sure I will, but I just bet it's not very realistic.
Let me run this past you, OK? You line all the cars up on the grid and then just before the flag drops, set them all on fire.
- Yeah.
Like I said, not very - I'm serious.
Think.
You can either drive slowly, hoping that the car isn't completely engulfed before the race is over or very fast to try and put the flames out.
- Who here would like to see that? - (Several) Yes! become the Burning Touring Car Championship.
Yeah.
Shall we do the news now? Right, the news.
Now, a lot of people are very angry that Jeremy and I may have accidentally set fire to a Morris Marina that we bought last week.
Yeah, we've got a shot of it here, look, actually on fire.
Now, this has This has enraged the Morris Marina Owners Club.
- The what? - Morris Marina Owners Club.
Who ever heard of an organization you want to be a member of less than that? What I've got here are some of the things they've been saying on the Morris Marina Owners Club website.
"Top Gear can eat (Bleep!) and die.
" (Laughter) Quite strong.
"Clarkson and his cronies should be hung, drawn and quartered, or is that 'to' good for them?" - Should be T-O-O.
Just small point.
- (Laughter) It just goes on and on.
This is one of my favorites.
"I will send the BBC an email and I don't care if they don't read it.
" - (Laughter) - Well, they did.
Ha! - Well, you - They really are very angry, aren't they? Can I just say, joking aside, we don't like to upset any member of our audience, no matter how mad they might be, OK? So we undertake never to destroy another Morris Marina as long as we are on the air.
In fact, we've gone one better than that because just this week, we have been out and bought another Marina and, erm, it's a beauty, it really is, absolutely.
Low mileage, leather seat No, there's no "Ooh" about it.
Leather seats We brought it down, this is a live feed to our track and that is going to be preserved as an example of what Oh, God! God! - Oh no.
- (Cheering and whistling) - Somebody's dropped - I know.
a piano on it.
How unlucky was that? This is happening all the time.
It's always happening at our track.
It rains pianos here.
Yeah.
It's that new helicopter piano removal company that moved in next door.
- Careless Airways.
- Yeah, they're rubbish.
Yeah.
Slap-dash services.
Oh, God, now what? - We'll have to get another one.
- (Laughter) Let's be honest, actually, I'm sorry to bang on about this, but the Gaydon Motor Museum, I'm sure they'll have a Morris Marina preserved.
You don't need to preserve two.
Well, it's not like you need to preserve a breeding pair, is it? You need one, as a warning from history.
(Laughter) - Right.
- Now, in a tradition stretching back two years it's time for the annual Top Gear look at Christmas presents with a motoring theme bit.
Yes, we've got a bag here full of gift ideas, literally.
More gift ideas in here than you could shake a stick at.
Go on, then.
What have you got? This is an eco-calculator from Renault.
Now, you charge it up by doing this.
That Now, I don't know what was wrong with solar power, personally.
I think some people just find this sort of thing comes more naturally to them.
Renault think it comes naturally to their customers.
So there you are.
That's that.
Now, smokers.
Are you worried about the excess space around your existing pink metallic ashtray? - (Laughter) - And are you a motoring enthusiast? If so, worry no more because you can now fill that excess space with this plastic disc brake and caliper-themed ashtray surround novelty.
- (Richard) What is that?! - Look at that.
Who thought pink and red would be a good idea? - Do you that's its biggest problem? - You're worried about the color scheme? Look at these! These are little remote-controlled cars that have been sent.
You turn them on They make a bit of a din because for reasons we can't work out, they stick to vertical surfaces and then you can drive them about.
Now, this is great, OK? Except, of course, we decided to find out how big the range was.
Earlier in the week, we decided to try them out by seeing how high up the side of the BBC we could get them to go.
So, if you were watching The One Show last night, you probably saw this.
OK? They're in the office above us.
with every other kind of store - (Jeremy) Here you are, look.
try really hard at this time of year to stop us counting the pennies in favor of throwing financial caution to the wind.
(Laughter drowns out speech) Sorry! We'd like to say sorry to The One Show for ruining your show like that.
Now, is it me? Yes.
We're so rubbish at Christmas.
Would anybody here like to hazard a guess at what this is? - (People calling out) - It's what? (Woman) Shewee.
How can you know that? Have you got one? (Woman) Our friends bought us one as a present.
Now, this lady knows the answer.
This is a Shewee.
(Laughter) - Yeah, they're with you.
- Yeah, you're with me.
The idea is, OK, that you're on a long motorway journey, desperate for a wee, - you undo your trousers - Ladies, this is.
This is ladies.
It comes with a little bag I'm disturbed by what I'm seeing! And you fill it up.
The only thing is, OK, the literature here, OK it says it can also be used on aeroplanes - (Laughter) - (Richard) What? on ski lifts, and look at this one.
- While queuing.
- Queuing? - Queuing.
- What, in the post office? Yes.
Does anybody here want to see Any girls wanna see if they can have a wee in this bag without the person next to them noticing? What I like is if you read through the marketing stuff on the box, there's a lot of "Yeah, feminists! Come on, girls, cos men have had this for ages! "It's your right now!" And then it goes on about using this to wee in post office queues.
As if they imagine that those of us who have had one for years, it's like a natural "hewee" that we're born with.
What, I've had that for 38 years and I've never got it out in a post office queue to have a wee.
Right, I'd like to demonstrate this.
It's what I like to think of as the perfect social leper kit.
Now, partly because it's a belt-mounted, leatherette smoker's pouch, so you can put your cigarettes and lighter in but it's like a double whammy because then it comes in with a really big right hook.
- Look at the badge.
- (Jeremy) Oh, my God! It's an MG smoker's pouch! Which means you'll walk into your favorite pub and they'll say, "You! Outside!" "I wasn't gonna light up.
" "No, but you might talk about MGs, get out!" - (Laughter) - I have to say as well, OK, MG branding is out of hand.
MG socks, MG underpants.
MG overnight bag here, which is full of all the MG things we could lay our hands on yesterday.
And we're gonna play a game now.
We're gonna see how much of it we can get on to Richard Hammond in 30 seconds.
- (Laughter) - No, we are.
Who'd like to see that? (Audience) Yeah! Can somebody start the clock? May, give us a hand.
- I'll take my jacket off.
- Ready, steady Go! Let's dress Richard Hammond.
Where's the belt? - Jumper - Where's the bloody belt? - Arms up.
- We've got to get the MG Shoes! Hammond, Hammond, Hammond.
Slippers, slippers, slippers.
- Hat, hat, hat.
- Belt, belt, belt.
(Laughter) Come on! Get the apron! - Right, shoe off.
- Give me the apron.
Apron, apron.
- Hang on! - For God's sake! (Laughter) (Richard) It's all broken! (James) Look at our tree! - You've broken our bloody tree.
- It's OK.
- Keep going.
- It's OK! (Applause) Look what you've done to our tree.
Look at our tree! Yeah, that might have happened.
The game's still on! - He's done it.
- (Jeremy) I got you in the face? Here, James.
You can keep the fairy.
- Christmas is saved.
- It is, we've saved that.
Right, back to it.
Actually, can I just make a point? (Laughter) Can I just make a point? Grandparents, if you've got grandkids who like cars, what they like is cars, OK? They don't like towels with car names written on them.
No, apart from anything else, name stuff is often a bit of a waste of money.
You can buy a bottle of red wine for 2.
99, 3.
99 in the shops.
If you get a bottle of wine with the Alfa Romeo logo on it it's 15 quid.
I can beat that, mate.
This is an ice scraper, OK? It's covered in Santa's pubes (Laughter) It's got Saab written on it.
L38.
50.
- What, for that?! - It's given us an idea.
See this? This is a plate of sick.
- (Groaning) - No, it is, OK? Utterly worthless.
But if I just pop a BMW badge on it, L13.
80.
It does work, this sort of branding.
- This wizard's sleeve, for instance.
- (Laughter) Absolutely worthless but it bears a Ferrari badge - L45.
- This pork sword - James, don't do the pork sword! - This cock - Has it got four rings on it? Yes, it has.
What - Put this cock in your wizard's sleeve and - Thank you.
OK.
It's all gone horribly wrong.
OK, that is the end of the news, so let's move it on now to brown rice eco-cars.
The trouble is that they're a bit like cod liver oil.
Very good for you but you'd rather have a plate of steak and chips.
I mean, take the Toyota Prius here and the G-Wiz.
Very earnest.
But there's nothing here to make an ordinary human being go, "Oh, yeah, I want one of those.
" Now, however, there's an eco-electric car which does.
It's called the Tesla.
It's made in California, it's based on the Lotus Elise and as a result, it looks good.
However, you are going to look like a bit of a burk driving around in a low-slung convertible sports car if you get burned off at the lights by a fat jogger.
The thing is, though, that Tesla say it is pretty nippy.
So what I've done is lined it up alongside a normal, petrol-powered Elise and now we shall see which is the fastest in a drag race.
Right, it's on.
I think.
There's no noise at all but anyway Put it into drive.
It has a one-speed gearbox, they tried it with a two-speed but that kept breaking, so one it is, we're in drive and I'm ready.
God Almighty! Wave goodbye to dial-up and say hello to the world of broadband motoring! That's Biblically quick! This car is electric! Literally.
The top speed may only be 125 but there's so much torque it does naught to 60 in 3.
9 seconds.
Not bad from a motor that's the size of a watermelon and only has one moving part.
And even more not bad when you start looking into the costs.
Filling a normal Elise with petrol costs L40.
Filling this with cheap-rate electricity costs just L3.
50.
It's not what you'd call quiet.
Fair bit of wind noise from around the roof and there's a lot of tire roar.
But that's a small price to pay, really, when you consider the upsides.
And I haven't even got to the really big upside yet.
An electric G-Wiz with its old-fashioned batteries has the top speed of a horse and is out of juice after 40 miles or so.
This runs on the same sort of batteries as you get in a laptop but it has 6,831 of them.
So Tesla say even if you drive quickly, it'll go 200 miles between trips to the plug.
in a car does add a fair bit of weight.
Half a ton, to be exact, and that does affect the handling slightly.
The chassis is aluminium and the body is carbon fiber, which of course is very light but with that big lump of battery in the middle it's kind of like me.
Thin at one end, thinning at the other, and then sort of with a big fat bit in the middle.
Couple that to wheels which are set up for rolling resistance rather than handling and the result is this.
The Elise will squeak past in the Hammerhead.
However, come the next straight Yes, come on! Come on! Bye! The volt head has overtaken the petrol head.
And yes.
Yes, I've just heard, it is snowing in hell.
This car, then, really was shaping up to be something wonderful.
But then (Engine winds down) Oh.
Although Tesla say it will do 200 miles, we worked out that on our track it would run out after just 55 miles.
And if it does run out, it's not a quick job to charge it up again.
OK, to fill the tank on a normal car takes, what, a couple of minutes? To fully recharge the batteries in this from a normal 13 amp socket like that takes 16 hours.
So to get from here to the top of Scotland would take more than three days.
And before green people say that's a price worth paying let's not forget, shall we, where the electricity in this socket is coming from.
Of course, you could get yourself a little windmill like that, which generates electricity at no cost to you or Johnny polar bear.
But to charge a Tesla from something like that would take 600 hours.
That's 25 days.
And that's assuming it's windy, which it isn't.
Perhaps, then, the best idea is to have two Teslas, so you can use one while the other is charging.
Unfortunately that is quite an expensive solution because Teslas cost L92,000 each.
They are three times more expensive than Elises.
That's madness! And it doesn't appear you get much in the way of reliability either.
Oh, I don't believe this.
The motor's overheating and I've got reduced power.
While it cooled down, we went to get the silver car out again.
its brakes had broken.
So then, with the light fading, we had no cars at all I did think that the Teslas would bring a bit of peace and quiet to our track, with their electric motors.
Didn't think it would be this much peace and quiet, though.
That is the sound of silence.
What we have here, then, is an astonishing technical achievement.
The first electric car that you might actually want to buy.
It's just a shame that in the real world, it doesn't seem to work.
(Applause) I tried, to be fair, I did try.
It just didn't work.
It's not good, though, is it? No, I think the price will come down.
What's he called, Brad Cruise and Leonardo de Clooney, once they've bought 600 each, then the price will drop and I guess once they've made a few of them they'll get better at the reliability.
Well, that's as maybe, but - and as I aim to demonstrate later on in the show - battery powered electric cars will soon die altogether.
We are looking forward to that film.
Well, I am anyway.
Now, however, we've got to find out how fast the Tesla goes round our track.
That of course means handing it over to our tame racing driver.
Some say that he doesn't like to get his helmet wet.
(Laughter) A point that was proved last week when he was caught in the back of shot by an eagle-eyed viewer.
(Laughter) All we know is, he's called the Stig.
Right.
There he goes to the sound of some sporty silence.
It really is quite eerie.
He's piling hard now down to the first corner.
Eco-tires squealing, steady on, umbrella boyl (Beeping) More Morse nonsense there to excite the internet.
He's looking very quick through Chicago and it's the Hammerhead next.
Hard on the brakes.
The Tesla has a system that uses energy from the brakes to top up the batteries.
Feels a bit weird actually because it gives you more braking than you expect.
But that hasn't fazed the Stigl (Beeping) Now, time to turn up the dimmer switch.
Through the Follow-through.
Does he lift? Hard to tell, actually.
But that's fast past the tires.
Shame it doesn't come with a CD of V8 noises, really.
Now, there's two corners left.
Really slings it in there.
And here we are in Gambon.
0oh, look, maybe there are a few Elise genesl - And across the line! - (Applause) OK.
It did it It did it in 1:27.
2 on a mildly moist circuit, so look at that - exactly the same conditions, exactly the same times as a Porsche 911 GT3.
And that is incredible but also, as James will explain later, completely irrelevant.
Now, we all know the problems faced every day by the elderly.
Watching television, something comes they don't wanna see, they wanna change channel.
Can't reach.
So they have to build up enough momentum in their rocking chair until eventually they can reach forwards and get it And that's hard if you've got arthritis.
However, you can now wave goodbye to the misery of being forced to watch Adrian Chiles.
Because I've connected this chair to a 6.
2 liter V8 engine.
It's the same Corvette engine we used a couple of weeks ago to power the food blender.
Actually, didn't you say you were going to use it to power a Stannah Stairlift? Yes, I did.
Sadly the test went wrong.
Used an old lady and her spine it came out the top of her head.
It was Anyway, look, let's not dwell on who killed who because it's time now to test this one.
- Yes, I think we'll use a dummy this time.
- Yes, good idea.
Now, I should explain, OK? Normally the accelerator for the engine would be on the chair itself so the elderly person could simply push it there but because we're using a dummy, I have the accelerator here.
Now, the idea, we start up the engine, the chair begins to rock and the old lady can effortlessly make Adrian Chiles go away.
- So, are we ready to try it out? - (Audience) Yes! Here we go.
(Engine starts) (Revving) (Cheering and applause) I think that didn't work very well because No, listen.
It hasn't worked because the noise is so great you'd never hear television, would you? Yeah.
There is that, and the fact that the old lady has disintegrated.
Her head's come off.
Tell you what we'll do now.
We'll put a star in our reasonably priced car.
Now, my guest tonight has said that he doesn't like it when women throw knickers at him when he's on the stage, booming out in his big Welsh way to the audience.
He's never said anything about men, though.
So, gentlemen, if you wanna remove your Y-fronts get ready to lob 'em - Sir Tom Jones! - (Cheering and applause) Whoa, Tom! I can hardly believe it! - A legend! - Nice to see you.
- A legend has come among us.
Have a seat.
- Thank you.
I never thought the day would come when I'd be interviewing Sir Tom Jones.
- Ah, well.
- Here.
But we are.
- Can I begin, if I may, with your voice? - Yes.
Is it true you used to be able to break microphones with it? - Er, I still do.
- You still do? Yeah, sometimes.
It all depends if I record with somebody that I haven't recorded with before, and they don't know how much volume I use.
Cos I remember that Perfect Day song, you probably remember a while back, where the BBC got everybody to sing a different line.
- Yeah, for charity.
- And you came right at the end.
It came on the radio, you turn it up and everybody's warbling away, and you always forgot Tom's about to come on and he'd blow the bloody doors off! "Oh, Christ!" Blood pouring out my ears and so on.
- Does age diminish it? - Not at all.
- It doesn't? - No, not with me, anyway, thank God.
Do you maintain it, do you eat lozenges, do you? - Yeah.
Vocalzones.
- What are they called? - It's a Vocalzone.
- Is it on of those little back things? - They taste disgusting.
- No, they're unbelievable.
- I've been - Made in England.
Great things.
Made in England? I didn't think you'd like that.
Well, I think they were originally made in Wales and then the English bought it.
Why do you think the Welsh are such good singers? Er, maybe it's something to do with the Welsh air, the Welsh water.
You're in Los Angeles now, unless you import it.
- Well, I - Big pipe over the Atlantic.
Yeah, yeah.
Bringing it in from the valleys.
From the valleys.
I was looking into Welsh things the other day.
There's a type, isn't there? It's the Aled Jones, the Harry Secombe, the Max Boyce.
- And then you've got Duffy - Quite right.
Who isn't your daughter.
Not as far as I know.
(Laughter) Now, you've got a new album out, which of course is why you're here, to tell us all about it.
So what is it? What have you got in store for us? Erm Well, I co-wrote most of the songs.
- You wrote them? - Co-wrote.
With other writers.
There's a lot of me in there.
Like when I asked Bono to write me a song, and he said he'd like to write one for me but he would like it to be about me.
So he asked me some questions, I gave him some information and he wrote Sugar Daddy.
- (Laughter) - That's the name of the song.
What questions did he ask you to come up with the answer of Sugar Daddy? He asked me what I did before I got into show business.
He remembered when he was a kid and he saw me come on television and he liked the shirts and the shoes, so those things are in there, the lines are in the song.
So that's what led to this album.
- Have you had? - No.
- Nothing? - Well, I had my nose fixed.
- Did you? What was the matter with it? - It was broken.
- Was it? - Yeah.
What? Vinnie Jones? Yeah.
You know, a lot of that.
Welsh kiss.
- What, when you were a kid? - Yeah, when I was a teenager.
- What about the barnet, the hair? - Yes.
If you were to grow it longer, would it be as dreadful as mine is? Er, I would think so, yeah.
- Have you got the same - Yeah, curly hair.
- Pubes.
- Pubic hair.
I may have got off topic here.
Chest hair.
Your chest hair.
Is it true you once insured it for $7 million? - No, it's not true.
- It's not true.
I don't know where the rumor started but people were asking me about it, they thought it was true.
Of course, one thing that isn't a rumor.
The knickers thing, OK, - the girls throwing knickers at you.
- Yeah.
You've been married to the same girl for 50 years.
Didn't she get fed up with you coming home every night draped in underwear? No.
No, I never took any home.
I think the band used to eat it or something, I don't know.
They used to I did ask if any men want to throw any pants at you.
See how that goes.
- Uh-oh.
- (Laughter) - You're well to look frightened.
- Yeah, I bet.
This audience, anything could happen.
Now, cars, OK? How long have you been driving for? Cos obviously in Wales there wouldn't have been any cars when you were growing up.
I don't that to be rude, I just mean it to be a social commentary.
- Horse and carts it was.
- But it would have been? There were some horse and carts around.
- So what was the first car? - A Jaguar.
A 3.
8 Jag.
- And what became of that? - I crashed it on Park Lane.
(Laughter) But it was, erm I was banned.
I was banned in Wales from driving because I was driving without a license and insurance and stuff and they I think you'll find the law in Wales is pretty similar to the law I had to wait until I got a driver's license and funnily enough, that's the last time I drove a manual shift car.
And what do you drive now? I've got a Mercedes 55SL.
- Ooh, I used to have one of those.
- AMG.
It actually sounds like you! It's funny because I heard you said that.
It does.
(Deep growling) Yes.
Hurgh! - Huaargh! - (Laughter) You'd start it every morning.
"Is Tom Jones here?" You actually live in the exhaust pipes.
Anyway, look.
The lap.
How did it go? It was great.
As I say, though, I hadn't been clutching and changing since the '60s.
That bloody car that I was driving, it grinds, even when you slam it, you know.
- Yeah.
- So anyway, I was having a few words with it.
Yes.
Stig says you were an incredibly diligent pupil.
You apparently were an hour and a half getting lessons, which I think is Yeah, because I wanted to be sure how to do it.
Especially at that kind of speed, because there were a few places there where, as you know, you go up into fourth gear.
- In Follow-through.
- Flat out.
- You know why it's called the Follow-through? - Yeah, cos you follow through.
- And then you get - And the Tires as well, that's also flat out.
Ooh, yeah! I can't believe I'm sitting here talking cornering with Tom Jones! How could this have happened? Anyway, who here would like to see Sir Tom's lap? - (Cheering) - OK, let's play the tape, see how you got on.
It's a bright crisp day and a very good start.
- (Clears throat) OK.
- There we go! Hu-aargh! - That's first.
First! - Yeah.
- There was one in there somewhere - (Tires screeching) That's tidy, nothing wrong with that.
Absolutely nothing wrong with the first corner.
(Beep) (Laughter) There we go.
Swearing at his tools.
Brake.
Yeah.
Good plan.
Very good plan, at the 50 board.
- No, that - That's not bad, is it? You can be proud of that corner.
- (Tom) Here's the fast one coming up.
- Are they driving gloves? Yeah.
He's wearing driving Look at thisl That's flat through the Tires.
- Here we go.
- Looking nervous.
- Whoa! That's very good! - Yeah! but it's a good line.
It's a good line through there and - I was cocking up a little bit there.
- Bit wide through there.
Other than the last two corners, that is a great lap.
- (Applause) - A great lap.
Now So These are the people who have been here before.
Where do you think you've come? I don't know.
I have no idea.
I was concentrating so much I wasn't thinking much about time.
- You weren't thinking about the time.
- Just getting through it.
Well, let's have a look.
The last two corners weren't fast so I'm not anticipating Right.
You did it, Tom Jones, in 1:52.
2, which puts you (Applause) There! - Let's look for some good news in that.
- OK.
Has anybody who's ever performed in Vegas been faster than that? - Will Young, has he ever performed in Vegas? - I don't think so.
- He's a nice chap.
- Yeah, lovely.
I don't think there's anybody there who's ever performed in Vegas.
No.
So you are the fastest man who's ever performed in Vegas to go round our track.
- Ladies and gentlemen, Sir Tom Jones! - (Cheering and applause) You star.
Thank you.
Thank you so much.
So let's move it on to the glittering, star-studded, Top Gear Awards for Motoring Achievement 2008.
- (Jeremy) Yeah! - (Applause) Right.
This is the award for the best noise we've heard all year.
These are the nominations.
The V8 bellow of the new Mercedes CLK Black.
(Engine roars) The V8 bellow of the Ferrari Scuderia.
(High-pitched roar) And the V8 bellow of the Alfa Romeo 8C.
Well, the winner of this category, - You're gonna love this, Jeremy.
- Is it the Black? No, actually, the winner is Will Young's new single! - Yeah! - (Song plays) Yes! Yes.
Yes.
He actually wells up when he hears it.
Those are real tears in his eyes.
- These are tears of rage.
- You love him, just admit it.
- No.
- You do.
It is a good single, though.
Have you heard it? See? He goes on about it all the time! Cos his boyfriend sung a little song.
- Just let - Does he sing it to you? Does he? Can we get on with our awards? James.
And now the John Sergeant Award.
This is awarded to the celebrity who performs the best dance on learning their time in the star in a reasonably priced car lap.
There is only one nomination and it's Jay Kay for this.
And the winner is - It's Jay Kay! - (Jeremy) Yes! (Cheering and applause) He's here! That's the one.
- (Cheering) - Tell you what, mate.
Since you're actually here - Merry Christmas! - Since you're actually here, Jay, we can give you your other award.
James has it and it's for It's the award for the fastest lap and it goes to Mr.
Kay.
- Thank you.
- (Cheering and applause) The fastest man round our track, ladies and gentlemen! Jay Kay! (Applause) - That's lovely.
- Can I just - You actually spent some money on that.
- No, we didn't.
Can I just ask, a couple of weeks ago - were you watching when Kevin McCloud came here and I sat and went, "You did it in 1:45 point" What was the shape of your bottom? Well, I have to say, I started off on the sofa like this, and ended up - (Laughter) - Like that, yeah.
Could you tell it was a quick lap? Yeah.
You could see it was.
Where did he come from? I dunno.
He came from Grand Designs and nearly - Unbelievable.
- He says he's not done any driving before.
It was just raw talent.
That's a load of bollocks.
- Thank you.
- Ladies and gentlemen, the fastest man round our track, Jay Kay.
(Cheering and applause) - Lovely to see you, thanks for coming on.
- Nice one.
Thank you! Right.
Moving on.
This, now, is the award for the most painful injury to a motoring-related body part.
- (Laughter) - Nominations are Jeremy's neck in the Nissan GTR.
Oh, yes! Aah! Quite a powerful contender, that one.
The next nomination, Jeremy's neck in the driving a truck through a brick wall bit.
(Muffled exclamations) (Exaggerated laughter) Sorry, different response.
- Very different reactions there.
- Yeah, astonishingly different.
And then, um, because we need a third nomination, um, Jeremy's flick on the ear just then.
- I'm sure it was very nasty - That hurt.
Yeah, well, that was the third nomination.
Actually, it isn't the winner, because the winner of the award for the most painful injury to a motoring-related body part is Max Mosley's bottom.
(Laughter) - (Applause) - Hang on.
No, wait.
We might be in the law courts! Right.
Moving on to our next award, it is now the most embarrassing flirting on television award.
(Laughter) In third place, James May for this fantastic sonorous approach when presented with two girls during our Alfa Romeo trip through Warwickshire.
I have been rescued and I haven't even broken down.
- Then you don't - Hello.
(Laughter) Have you ever heard? OK, James.
What was that? That really is I'd forgotten how bad it was! You have to start with "hello".
- What's next? - Right, in second place, Jeremy Clarkson for this inept charm offensive on an American girl in our studio only the other week.
- American.
- You're American? You can't be.
You're nowhere near fat enough.
- It was direct, it was a compliment.
- Wasn't that flattering? It was a compliment.
But that's not the winning entry because the winner is Jeremy Clarkson interviewing Will Young and here he is.
- Here he is admiring his physique.
- (Applause) Let's remind ourselves Let's remind ourselves of when the magic first bloomed for us all.
Here it is.
I've got arms like pipe cleaners.
You're quite trim.
Not trim, fit.
- Not fit, I'm saying all the wrong things.
- (Laughter) - You're giggling! - (Laughter) You're giggling! He's giggling! That was a giggle! That was a giggle! Who here would like to see Richard Hammond strangled on television? You giggled.
You did giggle.
Now, it's time for our coveted Car of the Year.
We're not just looking for a car we all like, cos then it would be a Range Rover.
Again.
So this year, we decided to award the award to a car that does things better than cars which cost a lot more, OK? So, the nominations are - the Nissan GTR which goes round the Nürburgring faster than a 911 Turbo but costs half as much.
(Shouting) The Ford Fiesta.
Makes a perfect landing craft, and for a lot less than the L1.
2 million jet boats the Royal Marines use at the moment.
And the Fiat 500 Abarth for being everything you want in a L100,000 car for just 13,500.
But we've awarded the ultimate Top Gear prize to a L35,000 car that came here and smashed the Bugatti Veyron's L1 million face in.
It's dweebie, it's geeky, it's ugly, it's old and none of us would have one in a million years but it is our Car of the Year.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Caterham R500! (Applause) (Richard) Deserving winner? The marvelous thing about awarding this car our top prize is we can now look once again at that incredible lap it did last week at the hands of the Stig.
Here we go.
Look at the way it corners, this is proper, old-fashioned racing car handling.
This is not Look at that.
You actually have to drive that car.
(Richard) If the Stig feels happiness, I don't think he's ever been happier.
(Jeremy) No, it's just the prefect Stig car.
Look at itl You're steering it on the throttle, on the wheel.
(Richard) You've got to drive it.
(Jeremy) My favorite's when he comes out of Hammerhead, just watch, a four-wheel drift.
Ready? Look at thatl That's like an old-fashioned racer.
Brilliant.
So there we are, everybody, Top Gear's Car of the Year.
- (Cheering and applause) - A wonderful thing.
I'm delighted.
It's a horrible car, L35,000.
But it's brilliant.
Now, this has been a bit of a mad show, ladies and gentlemen, so I thought I would introduce a note of sensibleness.
You see, in the last series, we talked about a car which we said would be the most important one for a hundred years.
Back then, we could only show you a picture of it.
But now it's ready for driving, so I've been doing just that.
First I had to fly to Los Angeles which, as we know from the song, is a great big freeway.
That makes it the perfect place to test the most important car since the car was invented.
Here it is.
It's called the FCX Clarity.
And I'm afraid it's a four-door Honda.
But if Raymond Baxter, God rest him, were here with us today, he'd be wearing a perfectly cut suit and he'd be saying that this is the future of motoring.
And that's certainly not because of the way it looks because looks just like a car.
There's more normality too.
Doesn't drive itself, doesn't levitate.
This is remarkably like driving around in a Honda.
What the Clarity is is an electric car, but it's nothing like the Tesla that Jeremy drove earlier.
In fact, it's nothing like any electric car we've ever seen before.
The front wheels are driven by a perfectly normal electric motor.
But there are no batteries.
Instead, this car has its own onboard electricity generating station.
And that takes the form of a hydrogen fuel cell.
And now, viewers, you'd better brace yourselves.
Either that or turnover to the soft porn and Nazi sharks on Channel 5, because I'm about to explain all this.
At the back of the car is a fuel tank, exactly where you'd expect it to be.
But, instead of filling it with petrol or diesel, it is filled with compressed hydrogen.
Now, this hydrogen is combined with oxygen in the air from the fuel cell, and in a rather complicated and boring way, that makes electricity.
That electricity is then used to drive the electric motor, which turns the front wheel, like it might do in a normal front-wheel drive car, and the whole process is controlled but Ahem! The whole process is controlled by a box of electronics under the bonnet where the engine would normally be, and that, really, is all there is to it.
It's the fuel cell and the hydrogen tank that goes with it that puts the Clarity in a different league to every other electric car.
So far, most electric cars have been appalling little plastic snot boxes that take all night to recharge and then take half a minute to reach their maximum speed of 40, and then run out of juice miles from anywhere.
Prius.
Sucker.
But when the Clarity runs out of juice, you just pull in to a hydrogen filling station.
The hydrogen is compressed into a liquid so it's a bit like petrol.
You fill it just like a petrol car.
And the only difference is, because this is under pressure, you have to lock it with this lever.
Terribly important.
If you don't do that you get hydrogen all over your shoes.
In America, hydrogen costs roughly the same as petrol but unlike petrol, it'll never run out because it's the most abundant element in the universe.
That whole process has taken somewhere between two and three minutes and has given me another 270 miles of driving.
And there's another bonus with hydrogen.
The only emission from this car is water, because that's what you get when you mix H and O.
H2O, water.
saloon is as much fun to drive as that Tesla, but that said, the Clarity isn't bad.
I mean, it develops 136 horsepower.
So this is an electric car that will do 100mph and naught to 60 in just over nine seconds, which is right on the money for a family car.
Listen, we're belting through the mountains accompanied by a little "whoo" sound.
Oh, this is making my blue ball go all orange.
I should probably explain that.
You see, on the dash, there is this little blue circular symbol which grows the more vigorously I drive.
The bigger it is, the more hydrogen I'm using, and if I really put the hammer down like this it turns orange.
At the moment, the Clarity is only available in California, so I decided to ask an ordinary Californian motorist what he thought of it.
Mind you, this chap does seem to like his cars.
He's American talk show host, Jay Leno.
This is my favorite ad.
If you notice, the car is skidding off the road in their own ad.
That's how bad handling a car it was.
I'm trying to come up with a bit of a setup like this next to my house.
- Yeah.
- Albeit quite a bit smaller.
It turns out that Jay, like me, is a fan of the Clarity.
Not just because it's clever, but because it might just be the savior of all the amazing gas guzzlers in here.
Car enthusiasts will think, "Oh, this is gonna be awful.
" It won't, it'll save the petrol, it'll save your MG or your Sprite or your Midget, whatever you have, and you go out on the weekend and have fun.
- Exactly.
- And you put it in the car park in the week.
Much like the automobile was the savior of the horse, you know, in the cities, at least in America, horses would be whipped, they'd drop dead Then when the car came along it freed up the horse to be used for recreational purposes and just the beauty of the animal, whatever you wanna call it, and I think these type of cars will be the savior of our sports cars.
Our MGs, our Porsches, things like that.
You know how the Toyota Prius is the sort of darling of Hollywood? - It's a fashion statement - But you know why? You see, cos it has the moral superiority.
With the Prius you can go, "Look, I am driving an unattractive car "because I'm saving the planet.
" In America, we like everyone to know about the good work we're doing anonymously.
I'm absolutely convinced that the Clarity is the most important car for a hundred years.
And there's a very good reason for that.
One day, we will, sadly run out of oil, and then we'll need something else Now, electric cars have always seemed very promising, but as long as they're powered by batteries, they don't quite cut it.
I mean, think of all the people down there driving around.
We've built our lives around the car as we know it.
You get in, you drive as far as you want to go, you fill up, you drive some more.
That is the freedom that a petrol-powered car gives you.
If it's replacement is something that goes for ten yards and then takes four hours to bring back to life, we'll have gone backwards.
The Clarity, though, is different.
It fits the life we already have.
The reason it's the car of the future is because it's just like the car of today.
(Applause) So we can think of that car as a normal car, OK, but instead of filling it up with petrol or diesel, you fill it with hydrogen.
Exactly.
And the only thing that comes out of the exhaust pipe is water.
Just water.
In fact, the only problem with it, really, is producing the hydrogen.
It is the most abundant thing in the universe but it's always stuck on to something else, and it's actually quite difficult to scrape it off and get it to the filling station.
But it isn't any more difficult than drilling oil from underneath the sea and we did that OK.
And I presume that when they make these things for real, they won't cost any more than what we think of now as a normal car.
No.
Possibly less.
And I actually think they will be much more reliable and will never need to be serviced because there are no moving parts.
There's just one moving part, in the engine.
Very simple mechanically.
So while everyone was worrying about Honda pulling out of Formula 1, - Honda has actually saved the world.
- It would appear so.
Er, that is all we have time for.
We're back now on the 28th of December at 8:00.
It's a Sunday night with a Top Gear Special from Vietnam.
In the meantime, though, we hope you have a very happy yule.
Take care.
See you soon.
Good night.
(Cheering and applause)