Top Gear (2002) s13e03 Episode Script

Sensibly Priced Small Cars

Xenzai TOP GEAR S13E03 Tonight - we shout at the Government, a man drives a Subaru through a building and a dog goes in a car.
Hello! Hello! Thanks, guys.
Thank you.
Thanks very much.
Thank you.
Now Now, as we know, as we know nothing in life is very good and appalling at the same time apart from the Jeremy Kyle Show .
.
and Manchester United.
And all of Burt Reynolds' films.
And actually, now there's a car as well.
This is the latest creation from the skunk works inside AMG - the Mercedes SL65 Black.
Good looking, isn't it? In a Jean-Claude I'm-going-to-kick-you-in-the-face sort of way.
Certainly, with those massively flared arches and all that ducting, it looks like it might be pretty fast.
But it isn't.
It's mind boggling.
I have 660 horsepower at the disposal of my right foot.
That's 50 more than you get from a Ferrari 599.
Then there's the torque.
That's 300 more than you get from a 599.
Of course, to protect the environment and other road users, the top speed is limited to 199mph.
The engine that produces this almighty oomph is enormous - a 6-litre twin turbo V12.
But the rest of the car is quite simple.
The brakes are steel, not carbon ceramic.
The gearbox only has five speeds, not the usual seven.
The traction control has two settings - on or off.
It even comes with run-of-the-mill suspension.
The steering in this is a bit woolly No, not woolly, more sort of nylon, but because Mercedes has thrown away the silly electronic suspension, gone back to a conventional set-up, it's very predictable.
In many ways, then, this is like an American muscle car - fast, simple and, in some ways, quite cheap.
It costs £250,000 and, yes, I know that sounds like a lot, but it's £100,000 less than the McLaren Mercedes.
And is the McLaren £100,000 faster? Well, let's find out.
ENGINES ROAR God, that McLaren sounds dirty.
If my children made a noise like that, I'd make them sit on the naughty step.
I reckon, in a straight line, Mr McLaren IS faster.
Not by £100,000, but in the corners Hm-hm-hmm! Smoke coming off the back end! Ten more horsepower, I reckon, ten more, and I'd have him.
But the best thing about the Black is that, despite performance and the anabolic "look at me!" wheel arch extensions, it's a normal SL in here.
I've got satellite navigation and climate control and iPod compatibility.
I've even got an automatic gearbox.
All good so far, then.
But it doesn't last.
First of all, it is THE most uncomfortable car in all of human history.
There is no give at all in the tyre side wall.
There is no give, either, in the suspension.
Look.
And look at these seats.
One-piece carbon fibre from the Mercedes Agony range! You would honestly be more comfortable on a Georgian's kitchen wheelback.
I can't imagine what Mercedes was using for inspiration.
No, hang on a minute! I can imagine what Mercedes was using for inspiration.
Look! A pile of stones.
This is almost identical to the SL Black.
I'll just try it out.
Oh, hang on.
Hmm.
Yeah.
Yeah, I would rather go to work on a cairn than in an SL Black.
A cairn would be faster, too.
The problem is, is that there's so much torque that if you pull out to overtake a lorry and put your foot down, the traction control comes down like an anvil and you're not going anywhere.
Of course, you can turn the traction control off.
But don't forget - those back tyres cost £358 each.
Really, the only way you can drive this car, even when the road is dry, is slowly.
And I don't know, but I think that rather spoils the point.
Then there's the rear spoiler which comes up at 75mph.
So if it's up, you're speeding and some policemen will come.
There are other niggles, too, like the fact it's out of fuel after 250 miles, and it has the turning circle of a moon.
Look at this.
A normal SL can get round here no problem at at whereas the Blackcan't.
That means you're going to run off the road and damage that low-riding air-splitter.
And I haven't even got to the worst bit yet.
In a normal SL, which can turn round and run up kerbs without breaking your back, or itself, and go more than six feet without running out of petrol, you have a roof which folds away into the boot.
In an SL Black, to save weight, the roof doesn't go anywhere.
And then we have to go back to the price.
Yes, the Black is good value compared to the McLaren.
But it's five times more than its little sister, and I'm sorry but it just isn't worth it.
Superb, sublime, brilliant, super-exciting rubbish! But It is! Am I right in saying that they've only imported eight of these into the UK? Yeah.
So that means they need to find eight people in Great Britain with more money than sense? Yeah.
So who does this one belong to? Theo Walcott.
Go on, then.
Now where are you going? Anything I say now is going to be libellous, isn't it? Yeah.
Yeah.
I'll tell you what we'll do.
We'll find out how fast this goes round our track.
That means handing it over to our tame racing driver.
Some say that he thinks crisps are animals .
.
and that if he'd done well at Wimbledon once in a while, he might have been able to raise a smile.
All we know is, he's called the Stig.
Away he goes! Traction control off because, of course, he can put those tyres on expenses.
Into the first corner.
Can't help thinking this is going to be a handful.
Oh, yes, it is.
Oh, dear.
Yes, I'm sorry.
The Stig has gone all Scottish.
He loves to Strip The Willow with all those other Stigs that the Daily Mail's invented.
Just a very big mess in Chicago.
So Hammerhead Lord alone knows what's going to happen here.
Under-steerover-steer Under-steer then over-steer again.
Every sort of steer, and all happening practically at the same time.
Is that bagpipes or is it the sound of someone deflating a cat? Through the tyres - very, very fast.
Now he comes in to the second-to-last corner, holding it nicely.
Just Gambon left.
Seems to be juddering through that.
Across the line! I have the time in my hand.
It did it It did it in one minute 23 dead, so if we look, it's faster than the original Murcielago, it's faster than the original Zonda, faster than the original Koenigsegg, which means it's faster than a lot of cars that are now faster than it.
And now we must do the news, and starting off with Citroen, they've made a new C3.
Here it is.
And, well, it's a Citroen.
It looks like that, but the most important thing about it is, for this car, they've invented a new word.
Word?! They've put it in their publicity material, and it's "visiodrive".
They confessed they've made that up.
It's a whole new word.
Visiodrive.
I'm sort of sympathetic.
Why? Because none of the words you'd normally use to describe a Citroen would work very well in their own publicity blurb, would they? Like, flimsy.
Plasticky.
Lightweight.
Anybody else got any thoughts on Citroens? Box on wheels.
What? Box on wheels.
That's not very good.
That was terrible.
Anyway, the point is that if you want a car that is Visiodrive, that's your only choice, even if you are the Sultan of Brunei.
Now, pay attention.
OK? As men, we all know you should never, ever buy a woman something with a plug on it.
Yeah? We know that.
Yeah.
I did.
What? I did! You bought your girlfriend an electrical appliance? Yeah.
I got her a power drill.
James! James, she's a ballet correspondent.
That's what she wanted.
She said, "I want a power drill," so I got her one.
She SAID that! Do you know nothing?! Women say they want a power drill but they don't.
They want soap.
No They do.
But it's impossible to buy soap for a woman.
Eh? Hang on.
No, soap's soap.
You can't Did you hear that, girls? Soap is soap! But it is.
Go on, then.
Buy your wife some Swarfega.
Well, that's That's an effective cleaning agent.
She'd be chuffed, I'm sure.
However, the worst thing that you would ever have to buy, ever have to buy a girl, is a handbag.
That's bad.
Even if, by some miracle, you got the right colour, it'd be the wrong shape, it wouldn't have the right number of pockets, it would be last season's handbag.
Is there a season for handbags? Did you hear him? Is? Oh, yes! What, at certain times of the year, I can shoot handbags? Yes.
OK.
No.
The fact is, OK, my wife has a handbag - I kid you not - it is this big, OK? And in it, she'll go, "I've lost my mobile phone! Ring it! "Ring it!" "It's in there.
You must be able to see it.
" "I can't see it!" The point is, salvation is at hand, OK? New type of handbag out this week.
Here it is.
Look at that.
Yeah.
Now, that is made from Camaro seats.
What? Yeah And it says in the bumph and I'm going to quote, OK? "Try to picture your lady friend grasping it tightly "and the next vintage car show you both attend.
" Ohhhh! So this is made from seat cloth of a Classic Camaro? Yes.
So that's had a Texan's sweaty buttocks on it? Yes.
And now it's a handbag.
On the other side - you can't see it - are the skid marks NO! No! Hey! What? My bull mastiff keeps trying to mate with my Labradoodle.
Bear with me, I do get back to cars.
It keeps trying to mate with my Labradoodle, and I think I've worked out what the results of that coupling would look like.
Here it is.
Is that a motorcycle and sidecar? Sport of melted into one hideous lump.
It's a Laverda 3CL.
The man behind this is a French medical technician.
Did he not, at any point whilst building it, just take one step back? "Agh! It's horrible!" If you know of anything uglier than that, you should write to us at "I live next door to David Guest", Top Gear LAUGHTER Can I say? Sorry about this.
Moving on.
On Tuesday, or it might have been Monday, the Government announced what it called a level 2 heat wave alert, OK?, for what we used to call a lovely summer's day.
Actually, we quite like a good heat wave here on Top Gear, because it means we can play Car Sauna.
It's really very simple.
You park the car with the engine running, turn the air conditioning off, wind the windows up, turn the heater to maximum, and the first person to get out is the loser.
You think he's making that up, don't you? Because earlier today, while we were waiting for all you lot to turn up, this is what we got up to.
It's now 37.
8 degrees in here, as you can see, before the test begins.
Let's just make it fair, OK? Whichever one gets out first pays the other a tenner.
Coming up to four minutes.
Temperature check, please.
Oh, yes.
It's 53 degrees in our Mercedes now.
Can you see my face? Can you see my face now? I'm not sure they'll want to.
Given that we are made of What percentage of us is water? Water that then evaporates.
So what we are breathing is each other Agh! Agh! You're breathing my chest! Agh! Agh! This is a stupid game.
I've changed my mind.
Guys Oh, come on.
You owe us £10 each! A good idea.
Gordon Gordon, if you're watching, and you're probably not, if you're going to set these ridiculous heat wave level alerts What was it we got up to? 62.
62.
.
.
62 degrees is your bottom It gets a bit toasty.
Uncomfortable.
Yeah.
About there.
Gordon, they're something else I discovered in that test, if you're watching, and that is, I KNOW when I'm too hot.
I don't need the Government to tell me to have a drink of water and put sun cream on.
Leave us alone! Anyway Guys You'll have to split it.
I've only got a 20.
Don't worry.
I'll put it on expenses(!) Now, the recession.
We all know what caused it.
Banks were lending money they didn't have to people who couldn't pay them back and now no-one can afford anything.
Yes.
And this begs a question.
In these difficult times, is there such a thing as cheap and cheerful? No! I mean, when have you ever heard anyone say, "Right! I'm going to deploy my cheap and cheerful parachute?" "I could have had an expensive heart operation "but I decided to go for one that was cheap and cheerful!" This Perodua Myvi suffers from the same problem.
It costs £7,600, so it is cheap, but is it cheerful? No.
Brakes are rubbish.
Ride's rubbish.
Seats are rubbish.
That's rubbish.
Honestly, I would rather be inside Paul Scholes.
This is a car you drive with a long face.
Still, could be worse.
You could be in a Chevrolet Aveo.
I like a basic, underpowered car, I think they can be fantastic fun, so it amazes me that they can make this thing so dull.
The steering is meaningless, the pedals feel mushy, the seats are flat.
The gear change is out of a I think it's out of a Mark I Cavalier.
No.
That's not fair on the Cavalier.
And the cost of all this misery? £8,500.
The only reason you would buy this car is not because it's cheap, because it's not that cheap, it would be because you hadn't tried any others.
I have! I've tried this, the Proton Satria Neo.
It's actually not so bad when you're moving.
That's not cos it's in any way fun to drive - it isn't.
The gear change is awful, the engine's got no power low down whatsoever, but when you move it, at least you're obliged to look ahead, out of the cabin.
Only when you stop do you think, "I'm sure I saw a nice surround on that air vent! I'll just adjust "Oh, no! It's horrible.
And look at all this! "Ugh! That's not metal, either.
" At nearly £10,000, the Proton is the most expensive of the three, but you do get some unique features.
The wing mirrors have been made using fairground hall-of-mirrors glass, so when I move my head like that, all the carsblbl-bbb-blbl.
So that's either a bus, now it's skip and now it's a big clown Soon, we all met up and this was an ideal opportunity to show Jeremy one of the Proton's other unique features.
Now, it's a sunny day.
Put the visor down.
Ha! You can't see a thing! You can't make the seat go down? You can a bit, but you have to open the door.
So every time the sun comes out, you then have to open the door? Yeah.
Look.
They've managed to make Allen-headed bolts out of plastic.
Cos I believe.
.
That's a disappointment.
That's wrong! Talking of fake, look at this.
Ooh! That's not a real alloy.
Are these fake, as well? Yes, they are.
So fake wheel nuts? A year ago, we'd have been here with a Ferrari, a Lamborghini and an Aston Martin.
Now This is it.
We'd chosen as our meeting point London's financial district, so we thought it'd be a good idea, while we were there, to introduce all the passing bankers and money men to the motoring world they'd created.
What have you got now? XJR.
An XJR? And you've got a? BMW M3.
M3? BMW X5.
X5? So, welcome to the future.
Your future.
I'm not sure this is the right car for me.
It's the ONLY car for you.
You'd better get used to it.
Lavishly equipped with doors.
I'm not sure it's going to do the acceleration that the M3 does.
It doesn't.
I can assure you! You've been lending money to Mexicans who haven't got enough to pay you back, haven't you? You have! That's what you've done, and now look.
Check it out.
That one any better? No.
Are all three terrible? Yes.
Do you have this every day going round? Yeah, it does.
Every day, constantly down? Yep.
Thought about jumping out of a window? It's a bit plasticky.
A bit?! What are you doing at work today? We are looking into new markets in European gas.
That might not be a bad thing for you lot - just flip it down, you wouldn't see the bridge coming up - everybody's happy.
Have you noticed this? I put that back on earlier.
Thanks(!) It just disintegrated while I was looking at it.
What's the 0-60? Excuse me.
Good news.
What? You know we're here? A distraction? See the crowds? Yeah.
That means that none of them can actually get into their offices and lose all our money! It's safe! We're providing a service to the nation.
And then, after we'd moved on, I came up with another service for the nation.
All the banks that go to the Government for OUR money, to keep going, make them have, as company cars, Perodua Myvis.
RBS - you've been really bad.
You can have a Proton "septic nappy".
Yeah, Fred Goodwin, you keep your pension.
Just one thing.
Your car.
Of course, bankers aren't entirely responsible for the problems .
.
which is why we pulled over, decorated our cars a bit and went to shout at the Government.
What do we want? ALL: Aston Martins! When do we want them? ALL: Now! V8 not G8! Give us a Rolls-Royce Phantom now! likes to mast I can't do that one.
Supercars not ministers I'm not very good at this.
Mind you, compared to James Acceleration not nationalisation of the banks.
Although it's easy to make a case for state ownership of other industries, such as utilities.
Ker-ching! Hit the banks not our tanks! He means your petrol tanks, if you were confused.
Although, whilst we're at it, the Armed Forces are under-equipped for the job they have to do.
A policemen then came to tell us off.
Please don't hit me with your riot shield.
But it was quite hard to understand him.
What? I think that policeman's quite cross.
In fact, he was so fed up that he told us to leave.
That's not gone well, our protest.
But we were fed up too with our cars.
So we left them in a stupid place and went home on foot.
This tunnel handles better than my car and the interior is a lot more welcoming.
It's a fact! UmI should point out the producers were very angry with us about that, because they said we'd deliberately just gone and chosen three cars that we didn't like.
Yeah, but we said we'd made a film to show just how many terrible cheap cars there are out there.
And that buyers need to be careful.
Exactly.
Yeah.
But they didn't buy that.
They said we had to go out and make that film again and this time, choose three cheap cars that we actually like.
Yeah.
And we'll be looking at that later on.
Now it is time to put a star in OUR Chevrolet.
Erover the years, 105 different people have driven round our track, and yet, unbelievably, only three of them have ever been called Michael.
Well, don't worry - I can tell you're concerned - because that's all about to change.
Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for Michael McIntyre! Jeremy Clarkson! How are you? Hello.
Thank you, Top Gear.
Why do announcers always say, "Put your hands together"? You'd just go like that, wouldn't you? I think it's like, "Put your hands together and pray that he's funny!" I gather that, on the way down here, people were offering you advice as to how you should drive I got endless advice.
From everybody.
There was a woman at home There's a woman at home?! She's my wife! Yeah, my wife gave me advice.
The drycleaner told me to turn the air conditioning off in the car, because it makes it go faster.
The drycleaner is talking sense.
The guy who drove me here said, "Don't brake.
" I think he didn't like me very much.
He just said, "Don't brake!" Let's have a look Cos you have just boinged into the public consciousness.
Two years ago - Michael who? And now all these girls They've been queuing here all day.
HIGH-PITCHED VOICE: Hi, girls.
It's being going well lately.
My show is on the telly on Saturday night after Casualty.
# Do-do-do-do # That's when my show starts.
What, after it goes, do-do-do-do? I'm trying desperately to get on Casualty to publicise my show.
I'd just like to be on a gurney and then sit up and go, "Watch my show afterwards.
" That'd be ideal.
Anyway, your early life.
School, obviously.
University.
Is it true you can't remember what degree you did? That is true, yes.
I did biology or chemistry.
I've narrowed it down to two.
But you don't know which you did? I know it wasn't physics.
Is that good enough? How can you not remember what you did at university? I remember being in the lab.
I remember there was a lab I remember finding a girl attractive on the first day and thinking, "That'll be the love of my life," then they gave me a lab coat and huge specs.
I realised the odds were against me.
Was it a girl thing? Um University? Well, it didn't work.
If you did biology, it would've done.
My voice didn't break till I was about 23.
When you sound like your mother on the phoneHello? It's not Mummy, it's Michael.
I'll get Mummy for you.
Mummy? Phone! She'd come in Hello? I actually had hair under one arm for a year.
That was an odd It was a difficult transition to manhood.
But I did buy my first car to try and seduce women.
Which was a? I got a Triumph Spitfire convertible.
I had it for about six months and I hit a a parked Volvo, which was not Of all the cars to hit It's not like I was picking them! And then the owner of the Volvo - it was outside his house - he ran out and said He was very angry.
He came up to the car and said, "Are you drunk?!" And I was so flustered and I'd been told if you get into a crash, don't admit responsibility, so I just said, "Are you drunk?" To which he said, "I'm at home having dinner.
What are you talking about?!" So, what are you driving at the moment? At the moment, I have My wife's car and my car - we have two cars.
That's allowed.
They haven't banned it yet.
They will, but they haven't yet.
I feel a bit guilty about the car that I got her.
You won't feel guilty, because I know you like these big cars.
I like all cars! Except for the three I got her an X5, 4x4 car.
I don't like that.
Right.
I do.
A BMW X5.
Yeah, I like it.
It's got seats and you go, "Urr-urr-urr-urr-uh" like that.
"Urr-urr!" So it's got adjustable I love that, though.
I've never had a car with that.
"Urr" I try and drive in the most awkward positions.
As far back "Urrurr!" Another thing with the modern issue with the car is the parking sensors, which is brand-new to me.
It senses when the cars behind you I love it.
Exactly.
It goes green and red.
"bup-bup-bpp-bpp-bb-bb-bb-BEEP!" It screams, like there's a little person going, "Aaaaargh!" It's like there's two little people, unseen, and they just go, "No, no, no, no, NO, NO! Stop it!" Why did you describe motorways as the "highway of life"? Well, after the Spitfire, I went into some really bad cars.
I had my wife's car after that - we shared that.
That was the Mini, Mini Mayfair.
That's all right.
Nice little car.
Then I had my Austin Metro Princess, It had no fuel gauge, which was a bit of an issue, because it meant I had to look up the miles per gallon, then count the miles on the milometer to work out how much fuel I had, which worked until the milometer broke.
Then I had to guess what a mile was Then, ultimately, I ended up getting it wrong.
I ran out of petrol, and I knew there was a petrol station quite near and I ran there and I didn't have a jerry can, and I presumed they'd sell them in the petrol station.
I was queuing up and I completely forgot the word for jerry can.
My mind went blank.
There was quite a long queue and I went, "Hi, I need aum "Ooh, I need a thing, you know.
Oh, God, it's a thing that you put petrol in?" And the bloke just went, "Car?" The closest I got to was "petrol suitcase?" So this was why, I suppose, cos I spent a lot of time with the Metro in the loser lane, the slow lane Loser lane? .
.
with the trucks and the lorries and the horses and the old people.
The only way you could feel better about having such a terrible car is you would occasionally try and overtake nicer cars on the motorway.
It's quite a manly moment.
You're chugging along at 60, you're quite comfortable.
You'll see a Porsche in the middle lane, I'd say to my wife, "You see that Porsche?" She'd say, "Yes, what of it?" "I'm having it.
" She's like, "The Princess couldn't overtake that Porsche, it's a 1.
0!" "I can do this!" You pull into the middle lane, you start to get excited, then you get into the fast lane.
When you're in the fast lane in a bad car, you know you don't belong.
Big Range Rovers right up behind you, flashing, "Retreat to the loser lane, where you belong!" There are horses in the slow lane, going, "I've gotta see this.
What's going on?" I think the top speed was about 76.
You put your foot down and the whole car would shake uncontrollably.
It takes somewhere between 40 and 45 minutes to pull alongside the Porsche.
My wife's going, "I told you!" And you always have to look over, when you're overtaking, to see your victim.
"Who are you, Porsche driver?" He's normally on the phone.
He goes, "Hold on, I'll call you back.
"Some dick from the loser lane's trying to overtake.
" I do that to people! "Get back where you belong!" I am that person.
When I'm in the X5 now, if I get overtaken, even if I'm home, I will get back out and "Get back to where you belong.
I've worked hard for this car.
" I've driven hundreds of miles past where I live, just to overtake someone back again.
Thing is, though, when we asked if you'd like to come on Yes.
.
.
you told the person who rang you up that you'd be incredibly fast going round our lap.
No, I don't know if I did.
Did I? I said I'll try hard to be fast.
You said you'd be very fast.
It was more difficult than I imagined.
Who here would like to see the lap? ALL: Yes! Come on, let's have a look.
Here we go.
I suspect Go, go, go! Heading down to the first corner Oh, my giddy aunt, that'sambitious! Ambitiously fast, Michael.
OK, now, into Chicago.
Again, I'm suspecting you're going too fast.
Lost a lot of time with understeer.
That's a screamingly .
Straight into the Hammerhead.
Trickiest corner.
Did you enjoy this? I didn't really I lost track of time.
There we go.
Actually, that's not bad at all.
No, you can relax after that.
Ah! And you are doing! You are doing And that's pretty fast.
I'm impressed with this.
And impressed with that! God, you really had picked up some Second to last corner, that's nicely done! Here we go, just Gambon It's gonna be Oh, my God! Well done! You nearly flipped it! You nearly turned the damn thing over! I nearly did.
How close was that to rolling? I thought that was it.
I said my goodbyes.
That was pretty spectacular, wasn't it? It was a very ambitious second half to the lap and a very rubbish first half.
It was, it was.
I know.
Too fast into the corners.
Mmm, where do you think? Where do you think you've come? Anywhere in the middle, I'd be happy with.
As the Stig said, "conditions were perfect".
Michael McIntyre, you did it in one minute .
.
forty I like that.
I'm fine with that.
.
.
eight point seven.
You're in here.
Oh, look.
Marky Mark and Michael McIntyre.
That's not a bad time.
I'm all right with that.
That's right Didn't I say in the middle? It's in the middle of the whole thing! You are the most average man in an averagely-priced car we've ever had.
You are also one of the funniest.
Ladies and gentlemen, Michael McIntyre! Thank you.
Nowif you are any sort of a car fan, and you own an internet, you will most probably have come across a chap called Ken Block on your "Youbook" site.
Young people tell me he is an internet sensation.
That's why I went all the way to the United States in America to spend the day with him.
I was told to meet him not at Dunkin' Donuts, but here, at Inyokern airfield in California.
I can hear him coming now and I suspect he won't be arriving in a straight line.
No, he's more like a game station character who has emerged into the real world.
And that's why his films get more than ten million hits on "Facetube".
Now, by day, Ken is a rally driver.
But what's special about him is the way he sharpens his skills.
You see, most rallyists prefer to practise in the forests of Wales or Finland.
But Ken prefers to use airports.
Thing is, Mr Block, I look at this sleepy old airfield and this hangar and I think about preflight checks and the problems of weathercocking in crosswinds.
Looks like a playground to me.
In what way? There's not so many places where you have a great mix of dirt and Tarmac and open areas And parked aeroplanes.
They're nice obstacles.
Obstacles I mean, the owners of them probably Do they know? I'm not really sure.
Ken has devised a course around this place, but he wants to keep the details a surprise.
All I know is he'll be using his specially strengthened, 380 horsepower Subaru Impreza rally car and that today, there's a seat going spare.
I, Captain Slow, will be here, with my bum on the best seat in the theatre of petrol, in the royal box of rallying, riding shotgun with Kenny from the block.
And I don't even have to do pace notes, because he knows the route.
You do, don't you? Mm Where are we going? Bloody hell! Mind the aeroplanes! Are you sure? Door! Here we go again! God, that's unbelievable! Mind the pole! Cor, that was nice! Where the hell are we going now?! That's a fire station.
Next stop, Ken's eyeball spin dryer.
Tarmac session over, it was time for a dirt workout.
Ooh, God! Whoa! Ha-ha-ha! Whoa! Oh, that's Mr Ricky Carmichael, a good friend of mine.
I think he's come out to play with us.
'As it happens, Ricky is the greatest dirt-biker in history, '15 times undefeated champion.
' Go get him, Mr Block.
Ow! Oh, there BLEEP! 'On the straights, Kenny was much faster, 'but Ricky was a genius at finding shortcuts.
' Where's he gone? 'Kenny and Ricky wanted to play with some more planes.
' No, no! Goodbye, viewers! That's the nose of a DC-2.
He's getting away.
Not over there, that's a jump.
That's a motocross jump.
No! We're alive! That was incredible! God! Now look what you've done! Am I right in saying he's coming to Britain later this year, to play on our track? Yes.
We could use his aeroplane as one of the obstacles.
Yes! No.
The man's useless.
He can't drive in a straight line.
Captain Slow rather missing the point there.
Anyway, earlier on, we sort of suggested that all cheap cars are rubbish and the producers told us to go away, put our heads in some books and not take them out again till we'd come up with a cheap car that we all liked.
After a solid 24 minutes of reading, inevitably, we'd come up with three cheap cars that we liked.
So, it was time to go down to our track to find out which was best.
This is my choice.
It's a Skoda with a microscopic diesel engine and a top speed of 92.
That doesn't sound so good, but it's called the Roomster.
And that sounds great! Roomster.
I like to think that's what Marc Bolan would've called his lounge.
This is what I've chosen - the Mito.
At £11,500, it costs exactly the same as Jeremy's diesel-powered van.
But this is an Alfa Romeo.
£11,500 for a brand-new Alfa Romeo.
You'd have to have a heart of stone and a soul of custard to turn that down.
Then James arrived in a dishwasher.
This may have the engine from a dishwasher - just three cylinders and 1,000cc - but it is the most futuristic and modern car here.
It's called the Toyota IQ and it's the biggest leap in small car design since Dinky went bust.
In order to sort out which is the best car, we've each been allowed to choose one test.
I'm going first and I've decided the first test will be a drag raceobviously.
I'm not feeling confident about this, because, although I have the same power as James has in his Zanussi, the Roomster's a lot bigger and heavier.
And that, in English, is exactly .
.
one year.
Got James! Lost James.
He-he-he! Not bad.
And we're through.
Ha-ha-ha! 'Shortly afterwards, the Indesit finished as well.
And then the waiting began.
' And in 1976, we went to Tenby, hired a cottage.
We went there.
A cottage? Yeah.
You must've been posh.
We had a tent.
Ooh, look! Is that him, or is that just another car that's going past? I don't know.
I've actually forgotten what his car looks like.
Power, power, power, speed - irrelevant.
What's the excuse going to be? Ooh, tyre pressure.
You lost, in case you were wondering.
This car - faster than a Porsche 911 Turbo.
Yes, of course(!) How did you make that out? Well, if a Porsche is doing 30, I'm doing 35, I could easily get by.
What about if it was doing 93? That would be against the law.
He'd hopefully have his licence taken away.
There's another thing about this.
What? That is pure Lancia Stratos.
No, it isn't.
I'll grant you What do you mean?! It just isn't.
Says the man in the Indesit! Whatcome on! Chaps, I'll just bring you back to my point, which is that only one of these three cars is an Alfa Romeo.
The Alfa Romeo, which, if you peel away the body, is a Fiat Punto.
It's an Alfa Romeo! It's a Fiat Punto with Alfa written on it! This is a Stratos! 'It was then my turn to dream up a test and, since I had a Toyota, 'I thought we should measure quality.
' Right, each car is equipped with one of these.
It's a decibel-o-meter.
This will measure how loud your car is through Lionel Richie's head in the 1980s.
You'll also be sitting on one of these - this is a vibration and harshness-o-meter and this measures vibration and harshness.
Right! Let's do it.
It's got three axes of measurement Does it produce a number at the end of the test? Yes.
Right, good.
Good.
Let's do it.
With the equipment installed, we set off at a scientific 50mph.
This may only have a three-cylinder diesel engine, but it's so quiet in here, I can hear my hair growing.
Jeremy, it's a noise test and the machine is picking up your voice.
After another run, we pulled over to see who'd won.
How big is my victory? Not great.
You two are neck-and-neck at 63 decibels of noise.
I have 61.
So it's better.
It's quieter?! Yes.
Low numbers are better.
Vibration and harshness, Jeremy - 2.
1.
Yes! Let's see.
Hammond, 1.
8.
Ha-ha! And I'm 1.
5.
It doesn't matter, because it is now time for my test.
What we're going to do now is a lap of the track.
The Skoda van's going to cream that(!) While carrying something.
What? A dog.
Let me guess - is it a King Charles spaniel? In fact, I'd lined up Lance, an Irish Wolfhound, Milly, a Great Dane and Alfie, a St Bernard.
OK, here's how it works, right? Start the clock, then you load the dog into the car, you may have to lower your rear seats, yes? Do a lap, cross the line, stop the clock.
I'll get my dog then.
There is one rule in my test, yes? Don't drive like an idiot on the lap.
If, when you get back, this dog looks sad, you're disqualified.
OK, Lance, come on.
But St Bernards always look sad.
Ready? Go! He's in.
Oh.
I don't need that.
No, flat, flat.
I can't get it flat.
I've got to Lance, mind out, mate.
'Rearranging the innards of the Alfa was tricky.
' There are three bits to lift up? Yeah.
Are you in? No.
One minute 32 and the dog is still not in the car.
Up, up.
Up, Lance.
Two minutes, nine seconds.
In you get, in you get.
There you go! Good boy.
Oh, that's awkward.
This is quite embarrassing now.
'Finally, Phil Drabble was ready to go.
' Now, there's a racing start and there's that.
That's it, good boy! Your breath stinks.
It's terrible.
This is a brilliant test.
There are eight million dogs in the UK.
Oh-hoh! Urgh! A car that can't handle a dog, frankly, is useless.
Oh, God, it's all right.
You're all right.
Oh, good boy.
It's the first Alfa to have Alfa Romeo's new DNA system.
What that means is you get a switch down here that says DNA.
They stand for Normal, Dynamic - which tightens up and sharpens the throttle.
If you put it in All-weather, that lets the traction control know it might get slippy.
'But, anxious not to be disqualified for upsetting the dog, 'I left everything in very normal.
' Seven minutes Yeah.
Now, I happen to know that, actually, that is a very good time for an Alfa Romeo Mito with a wolfhound on board.
Does he look sad? No, I wouldn't say that's a sad dog.
Bored out of his mind.
'Maybe my Great Dane would have a more exciting time.
' Go.
Come on, Milly, up, up.
There you go.
Look at that! There's a water tray for you.
Oh, it leaks a bit.
£11,500, you can lift the rear seats out, or fold them down.
All I'm going to do is pull them forwards, which gives Milly a bit more room.
Here we go.
How do you feel now, dog? Yeah! What do you think of that? What it needs is a substantial snack halfway round the lap, say a leg A head.
This, of course, isn't really a Skoda.
Peel away the body and underneath, at the front, it's a Volkswagen Polo.
At the back, it's a Volkswagen Golf.
The engine is from a Volkswagen.
And it's so beautifully made.
Sorry.
Now, building up speed - dogs don't mind speed in a straight line - they love it! Dr Dolittle's on his way.
And Oh, it's not a lumpy yawn! Delighted! She's had light, space, air-conditioning slobbered on the car, she loved it so much.
How do we know that wasn't you? Just tell me the time.
Four minutes 13.
Oh, God.
Three minutes faster than you?! 'But would the Skoda be a match for the genius of the IQ?' This is one of the most cleverly packaged small cars in history.
It is, in fact, the smallest four-seat car ever and it's all down to very innovative stuff, like the fuel tank, which is very shallow and very long, so it doesn't intrude into the passenger space.
The engine is the other way round from other front-wheel drive cars, so the differential and the transmission are at the front.
That saves more space down here.
I think all this will stand me in good stead with my enormous dog.
Three, two, onego! Right.
There's no space at all! The seats go down.
Can you stop interfering with my time? He can't get in! He can! He can't! He doesn't know whether to get in or mate with it! Alfie, come on.
Drive like that and hope he can keep up? Alfie, come on.
You can stick your head out the window.
What are you doing?! That's no good! Sit up.
Alfie! Good dog.
'Eventually, James's Hotpoint set off.
' Oh, you've got gob on the gearstick! Of course, the IQ is a bit like a small, city supercar.
The wheels are right on the corners, it's extremely agile.
And it has a really small boot, like the Bugatti Veyron.
Thanks for that.
Nobody, unless they have no legs, could possibly sit in the back.
Hold on, there's a bit of a Oh, bloody hell! 'In James's hands, the dishwasher was on a very slow cycle.
' Gambon corner - he could spin off here at any point.
Two dogs, coming across the line in a Hotpoint.
Oh, no! Walkies, walkies.
Oh, that is a miserable-looking dog! Look at that face! Oh, that's making me sad just looking at it! That's his normal face! You want to hear your time? Six forty-eight? You beat an Alfa Romeo.
That's the saddest-looking spectacle I've ever seen and it's your fault.
If you're from the RSPCA, write to us at "James May is a bastard, Top Gear, London".
'With the score at one each, we left the track and headed out into the real world.
' The idea's very simple.
We shall drive to London to see which one looks best in the fashionable streets of Notting Hill.
Well, it'll be mine.
It just will.
This is an Alfa Romeo, which is Latin for "yes, I will, but only because of your special car".
'Meanwhile, I'd unearthed a problem with this, the cheapest version of the Roomster.
' This just isn't powerful enough.
There's never a gap big enough for you to pull out and get up to 70 before someone's caught you up.
Here we gofoot hard down Sorry, sorry.
He's shaking his head and I don't blame him.
'In London, we pulled over for another real world test.
' OK, we brimmed the tanks down at the track, so now we're in London, let's see who's used the least fuel.
I don't feel all that confident on this one.
£4.
16.
Ha-ha-ha-ha! The three-cylinder diesel engine Yes? Follow me.
Eh? What?! You have to mash your foot down just to do 20mph.
And that's the result.
You're better off with a bigger engine.
Anyway, listen, I've got an idea.
First one to see another one of their own cars wins.
So, if in Notting Hill, you see an Alfa Mito I'll go with that.
'As darkness fell, we began to near ciabatta central.
' Cor, this is posh round here.
Richard Branson lives up here on the right-hand side.
Does he have a Roomster? Nnnnnno.
We're about to penetrate Notting Hill, James.
We'll go round that bend, it will be awash with brand-new IQs.
'He was wrong.
'We all were.
' Fiat 500, Fiat 500 Fiat 500, Fiat 500Fiat 500.
Hmm.
Now, there's a very good reason why I chose the Skoda Roomster rather than the Fiat 500 as the best cheap car in Britain.
It's because, quite simply, I forgot about the Fiat.
Butwhat if you want a car that begins with A? 'So, there we are.
If you want a small, cheap, good-looking, practical car 'that's fast, economical and can carry a St Bernard, remember 'we know nothing.
' If we'd have done more minutes of research we'd have remembered it.
We are numpties, aren't we? If we did a travel programme, we'd finish up by saying, "And there you are, the best place to go on holiday in Europe "is Belgium.
Oh, no, we forgot France!" I don't like the Fiat 500.
Oh, God.
Or France.
That really isn't a bombshell, is it? But, we do have a couple next week, because these two have a race with Postman Pat and I declare war on the British Army! See you then.
Take care.
Good night! Modified By BerHoM