Top Gear (2002) s17e04 Episode Script

The TG V12 Express

'Tonight, I use a machine.
' Agh! James writes on a blackboard And Richard lobs fruit into a caravan.
Thank you, everybody.
Thank you, thank you so much.
Good evening, hello.
Thank you, everybody.
Thank you so much.
Now, in the not very olden days, Jaguar had a worldwide reputation for I was going to say quality - not quality, but quietness, comfort, restrained good looks and value.
Now, though, they've introduced a new car which seems to be only about one thing.
Speed.
Into fifth.
Apparently with a long enough runway, it'll hit 186.
Woah! This isn't long enough.
Help, help! So, welcome to the new XKR-S, the most powerful road car Jaguar has ever made.
The supercharged V8 has been re-calibrated and the exhausts beefed-up so that it now fires That's on the edge of Ferrari territory.
As a result, it feels and sounds as though it's being fuelled by a blend of plutonium and wild animals.
It's very fast.
And very, very loud.
And then in the corners, it'll get its tail out more readily than George Michael.
There you go.
Hit the throttle A lot of smoke.
Ha-ha! It's mad! A mad car.
It's like Terry Thomas with a sub-machine gun.
To make sure deaf people don't mistake the S for an ordinary XKR, the body has bigger sills, a bigger rear spoiler, and snowshoes on the bonnet.
It's also got this new downturned nose which makes it look rather disapproving, like a 1950s seaside landlady.
And I'm sorry but red brake callipers on a Jag it's like fitting Camilla Parker Bowles with a vajazzle and rings.
I'm saying this out loud, aren't I? Inside, we find leather designed to look like carbon fibre, and blue ambient lighting.
The walnut from Jags of yesteryear, gone.
The gentleman's club has been turned into Grant Bovey's gym.
There are other issues, too.
The ride is a bit harsh.
Run over a pheasant, and you'd be able to tell if it was a cock or a hen.
Then there's the price, it's not what you call cheap.
In fact it's what you'd call £97,000, and that's what you'd call nearly 100 grand.
So, Jag has sacrificed subtlety, good looks, comfort, silence and value - all its core values - in the pursuit of speed.
But if all you're interested in is speed, I wonder, would you be better off with the Nissan GTR? This is the new model.
More powerful, more aerodynamic and unbelievably even more grippy.
We're told it's a masterclass in what's technically possible right now.
Built in a hermetically sealed factory, it's the last word in precision engineering.
Every single piece - the brakes, all four wheels, the 3.
8 litre twin-turbo engine, the steering, the new double clutch gearbox, they're all electronically linked to sing the song of speed in perfect harmony.
Let me give you just one example.
The tyres on this car are filled with nitrogen because ordinary air is considered to be too unstable.
It expands and it contracts too much.
And I know what they mean, air drives me mad.
It's too big, it's too little.
Rrrrr! Air! But can this OCD special really be faster than the bonkers Jag? The Jag has 20 more horsepowers and and I know this is lighter and it has launch control, which is what I'm engaging now, but on paper this can't win.
Three, two, one! Oh, my God! That was 0-60 in three seconds.
The Jag is just a speck.
It's funny, the Jag is surprisingly fast because it's a Jag.
This is surprisingly fast because it's surprisingly fast.
That was not a win, that was a demolition.
I don't think I've ever been in a car that has launched itself quite like that.
And don't think the Jag can get away on the corners either.
Here it is now coming through the follow-through as fast as it can.
That's 84.
8mph.
And here is the Nissan same corner, same conditions, same driver.
That's 93.
3mph.
So it's 8.
5mph faster and that explains why at the Nurburgring, where there are 147 corners, the Jag takes nine minutes to do a lap while the Nissan can get round in seven minutes and 24 seconds.
That's faster than almost anything else with a tax disc.
This is an incredible car.
The new gearbox is spectacularly good.
The engine Well, it's not an engine, it's just a bomb.
The turbo is crisp and fantastic, and if you have the chassis and the gearbox and the traction control set in race mode, which they are now, the grip is just mind-boggling.
As I shall now demonstrate graphically with my face.
Bloody hell! All I've got is the PlayStation G reading telling me how much damage this car is doing to my internal organs.
Just driving a Nissan.
And yet, despite everything, this car produces fewer carbon dioxides than the Jag.
It has seats in the back you can actually use, a bigger boot, and at £69,000, it's nearly £30,000 cheaper.
So the conclusion is easy.
Why buy a brogue that has been converted into a training shoe, when for much less you can have something that was designed to be a training shoe in the first place? Astonishing.
Outstanding.
What the GTR is, it's an instrument of speed.
An instrument.
I like it.
What about the Jag, not so good? I don't understand what Jaguar were thinking of because they must have looked at Aston Martin and thought, "right, they make nothing but a range of hardcore front-engined GT cars so we'll do exactly the same.
" But you know what the problem is, don't you? Jaguar now have a permanent testing facility at the Nurburgring.
Where they should have a permanent testing facility is between the two mini roundabouts in Chipping Norton where I live because that's the bumpiest stretch of road in the known universe and it's been dug up again by that what's that construction company called that you can't pronounce? Chlamydia, no, not chlamydia.
Clancy Whatever it's called.
I know the one you mean.
It would just be intolerable in a car like that.
So hang on, let me get this straight, you're saying Jaguar should tailor their cars to the Chipping Norton set.
Yes.
What's the point of that? Aren't they all going to be in prison next week? Thank you, nice to know my friends can count on you for your support.
Now, though, it's time to find out how fast the Nissan goes round our track and that means handing it over to our tame racing driver.
Some say that he once hacked into his own helmet, and that he thinks Harper Seven is a convicted terrorist cell.
All we know is he's called the Stig.
And he's off.
A tiny chirp from the back tyres, then a crisp smooth slingshot up to the first corner like a precise Japanese missile.
Turns in.
Predictably tidy all the way through and still tidy on the way out.
Stig enjoying Rock the Casbah in Algerian there.
Wow! Right, another laser-guided line through Chicago, hammerhead, the one place where the Nissan's four wheel drive might bring understeer.
Not a chance.
Tiny drift towards the exit, then through.
Cleaner than James's tool bench.
Just kisses 7,000rpm and up a gear.
Fires it into the follow through.
Ballistic, through the tyres.
Two corners left.
Here we go, getting a bit squirrelly and wiggly in there.
Back under control now for Gambon, and drifts it through, and across the line.
OK, now, earlier on Thank you, earlier on in the day, we went around in the jag and we recorded a time of 1.
23.
3, so that goes there, and that's not bad, it's faster than the DBS and faster than any other Aston.
However, in the GTR, he did it in not 1.
23.
3, OK? Little bit higher than that.
Little bit harder than an R8V10.
Or a 599.
Or a 599GTO.
Past the old GTR.
Still higher, past the Enzo.
Higher, higher, higher! There! Unbelievable! 1.
17.
8.
So, that's as fast as he's gone there, which cost four times as much.
Yes.
And it's faster than a GTO Ferrari, by a big margin, which is four times as much.
Anyway, we must now do the news.
Before we get into the news properly, can I just say that, sticking with the Nissan, it's very difficult to get a four-wheel-drive turbocharged car like that off the line quickly, except that the Nissan has a thing called launch control, which is basically just a computer that sorts everything out for you, so that you get a perfect start every time.
Yes, there's just one problem with the launch control.
It is the stupidest thing ever fitted to a car.
Why? No, seriously, when you think about it, what you have to do to engage it, right, a series of switches.
You put your left foot on the brake, plant your right foot hard down on the accelerator, and when the lights go green you take your foot of the brake and it goes.
The computer sorts it out, as you say.
So, OK, you're at the lights, MEHHHH! And everyone's looking at you thinking, what an unintelligent man.
It makes a bit of a scene.
It does, really.
The most uncivilised thing you can do with a car is use launch control at a zebra crossing.
Hnnnggghh! Come on, old lady! It would hurry 'em up! Can we just say one other thing as well, about launch control? Only one of us has it fitted to our car.
Is it, it's him! James May has launch control.
Yeah, I don't use it.
You don't say! Are you sure? Every time you're in the pie shop, "Thanks for the pies, I'm off! Hnnnggh! Can anybody think of a device fitted to modern cars that's more stupid than launch control? You're fitted to quite a lot now.
Has anybody got any ideas? What, like a gizmo? What? Cup holders! They're useful, you stupid idiot! Cup holders are brilliant things, for if you need a drink - it won't fall, no, but, actually, I have a really good one.
Mercedes and BMW now fit a night-vision camera, so you can drive along at night, and the dashboard's got this screen, showing you what's on the road ahead so I was driving up a country lane the other day, single track, OK? Doing about 60 miles an hour, which is legal, middle of the night, and I thought, God, I'm going to try and drive, just using the night-vision camera.
Why am I not surprised? Turned the lights off, looked down to see where I was going, and there was a message saying "night vision not available when lights off"! Aaargh! That's night vision that only works With the lights on.
Be good for snipers, wouldn't it? I'll just bink put the lights on, now I can line up.
Now, last week, James brought you news of a new Range Rover called the Evoke.
This week, there's more new Range Rover news, there's a new Sport.
Now, what's interesting about this is, it has voice control with what Land-Rover call a "say what you see" function.
Now, in order to get the car to do things, it brings up words on the screen, and then you repeat them.
What's the point of that? Does it have a picture of the object next to it? Apple! Apple! If it was that, you could have enormous fun with foreign markets.
In Germany you could bring up a picture of a squirrel.
Because, if you think about it, all Germans, no matter how well they speak English, can't say "squirrel".
"What's this? That would be a Skvirrol!!" Any Glaswegians here? Come here.
Where are you? I want to just test it.
Are you actually from Glasgow? Yes.
Right, can you say "burglar alarm"? "Burr-glur alar-rm.
" No! Burr-glurr alarrrm! Burrr-glurr! Och, it's the burrr-glurrr alarrrm gone off again! Anyway, there you go, couple of other things about it.
It's got an 825 watt stereo.
That's more than Motorhead.
A lot more.
17 speakers.
And I'm sorry, but that front end is hideous.
I don't know why they don't just have done with that car, and call it the Wilmslow.
The day is coming when they fit that with fake pillars on either side of the door, I'm warning you.
Now, there is a new version of the Fiat Punto Abarth out - OK, it's called the SS.
Here it is.
Looks fantastic.
And I have to say, Hammond, this is the car you should have taken on our hot hatchback test to Monte Carlo, recently.
Why? Because it is actually a hot hatchback.
Anyway, it's a normal Punto Abarth, which you buy for £17,000, and then you buy the SS kit, so different suspension components and a different ECU for the engine, taking it up to 180 horsepower, OK? Now, they arrive in a box.
They make a big deal of this.
They say all the parts arrive in a high-quality wooden crate.
There it is.
Which, apparently, you can keep as a memento.
I'm sorry, but when I buy a new washing machine, I don't go, I'm going to keep the box it came in as a souvenir of the day when my washing machine arrived.
I always struggle throwing boxes away.
Why? If you take the washing machine out of it, and fit it in your kitchen, and there's the box, all crisp and new and empty and I can't help but look at it, and part of my mind sees the potential.
You look at it and you think, wow, that could be, like, a castle - you've been there! Or a den, or a car.
With shoeboxes, I don't think I've ever thrown one away, because you think, I could keep special things in it, or put it on that side and you could have, like, a TV screen, or maybe you could use the big box as a spaceship and then the little one as a dashboard.
Come on! Richard? Are you all right? Seriously, because this is a man, there's no other way of putting this, with a helicopter licence.
The CAA said I was The CAA, if they're watching this, will think, "He's a madman!" It's not a real helicopter - it's just the box his fridge came in.
I just make the noise! You don't live in a house, you just live in boxes that things came in.
Now, last week, these two morons spent good money on two second-hand V12 coupes.
They spent the same money you would spend on the Nissan Pixo, the cheapest new car on sale in Britain.
And I was prepared to bet all my hair that, within two weeks, one of them would have gone "pop".
So, chaps, what's the news? My BMW, 100% not a problem.
Still working perfectly.
There you go, excellent.
Moving on No, your Mercedes is here.
My Mercedes, yes, I bought a Mercedes 600CL.
Yes, you did.
It's quite interesting, this, because I have a photograph here that I'd like to share with everyone, of the Top Gear car park.
There, in fact, is Hammond's BMW, and where's your Mercedes? Warm and dry.
Now, moving on Tell the ladies and gentlemen why it isn't in that space.
Can't remember.
Tell them.
Tell them! One of its ignition coils has gone a bit wonky.
It's interesting that you should say that because I did some research, and I found out that the ignition coil for the Nissan Pixo is £138.
How much is it for the Mercedes? £878.
Sorry, did that include fitting? No.
No.
Did it include the VAT? No.
No.
So, what, in fact, was the cost of a new ignition coil for your Mercedes? £1,200.
£1,200, ladies and gentlemen! Thank you.
I keep my hair.
That's annoying.
Now, recent figures have shown that 71% of people across the UK still commute by car, and more people go to work by walking or by bicycle than they do, by train.
Yeah, and the reason for that is very simple.
Train tickets are enormously expensive.
And they're enormously expensive because trains are enormously expensive to build.
But why are trains expensive to build? Why has Britain's last train maker recently laid off half its workforce? Surely there is a solution to this problem.
I mean, how hard can it be? This is a Jaguar XJS.
It's 22 years old and it cost £4,500.
For that, we got the convertible version with the big engine, the 300 horsepower 5.
3 litre V12.
It really does go like a train, this car, and that is what got us thinking, because could it actually be a train? To find out, I took it to Top Gear's Secret Railway Development Centre in Leicestershire, just off the A46 near Thurcaston, where we cued the music and set to work.
Perfect! Argh! Finally, our XJ Express was ready.
So, what we've done is replace the standard wheels with train wheels, and that's it.
Nothing else.
The cost savings are phenomenal, because a normal railway locomotive is 4 million.
This was in total £4,750.
That is an enormous saving! It's not much more than one thousandth of the cost.
Exactly.
If we were running this from Peterborough to London I don't know what a season ticket is.
Do you know? Many thousands of pounds a year.
This would be 20p or 30p.
It was time for the Jaguar's inaugural run.
I don't think we need to turn that.
We could have taken this off.
Ready? Yeah.
History's in the making.
Drive.
We are pulling out of the station.
Oh! No steering - it's weird! This feels fantastic! This is awesome.
Sounds like a train.
Listen to that! Blow the horn.
We've solved public transport, literally solved it.
Yep! The only thing that would really perfect the experience would be if there were steam.
But, as it's an old Jaguar, there's a very real chance.
But the old Jag ran like clockwork.
So, we returned to base You're all right.
You're all right.
You're all right to attach our equally brilliant carriages.
You're all right.
You're all right.
A modern-day railway carriage costs in excess of £1 million.
Ours didn't cost anything like that much.
Now, we have made some mechanical modifications.
We've stripped out the central wheels and added one in each corner for extra stability.
And we've introduced a class system.
Absolutely.
Now, I have taken the Pageant CD Champagne model, no less, and used it to create first class.
Inside, it was beautifully appointed, creating an atmosphere that I hoped would resurrect the golden age of train travel for the discerning first-class passenger.
Hammond, meanwhile, had been responsible for the buffet car and second class.
Just look at this.
Inside, smart, clean, functional.
Everything the modern rail traveller wants and demands.
And at the back, there was Jeremy's creation.
This is the economy section.
What I've done is I've fitted benches and, on the floor, straw to absorb the diseases and the blood, should there be a riot.
Then, for an authentic working-class feel, at the back, I fitted an outside khazi.
Why have you called it 'scum class'? Good name.
It's a bit blunt.
Honestly, think about it.
This way, it's an incentive.
You're not going to walk into the ticket office and go, "Hello, can I have three scum-class tickets?" You're going to say, "Oh, I'll spend a little bit more so I don't have to say that.
" You'll say, "I'll have second class.
" We'll make more profit.
We'll make more money.
Exactly.
With the carriages hooked up to the Jag, we prepared ourselves for the maiden voyage of the world's cheapest train.
Engaging drive.
Engage forwards.
Not moving.
Be gentle with it.
Gently! That's not working, is it? It says we're doing Get out and give us a push.
How's he going to push it? Just get it started.
When did you ever see anybody push a train? Why won't it go? 300 horsepower.
It's not working.
Why isn't it working? Because it's just spinning all its power away and not going anywhere.
Why? Well, one, you're driving it like an oaf.
I've done gentle! You didn't do gentle.
You just planted your foot on it and went, "power!" as normally.
Secondly, I'm sorry to say this, but you've brought the wrong car.
You did.
It's a rear-wheel-drive roadster.
What do you want? Do you want front-wheel drive? Possibly.
Four-wheel drive is where it wants to be.
It's not the car.
We've got too many carriages.
It's too heavy.
Of course it's got carriages on it, you muppet! It's a train! There are too many.
Actually, that's the bare minimum.
We've got first-class, second class, scum class, buffet.
Real trains! No less.
Well, it's too heavy.
That's how much it weighs.
We need a different locomotive.
What about A sports train? A what? A sports train.
One carriage and a car.
It's a sports train.
Well, that defeats the point of it being a train, doesn't it? One carriage? Listen, you've got sports cars, sports planes, sports boats, sports jackets.
You've got loads of those.
People pay more for sports experience.
If it's got one carriage, it's not a train.
No - Train GTI.
And you can sell tickets for millions of pounds because everybody will want to go in a sports train.
All the trains are on the same line.
Might as well get a bigger, better locomotive and put them together.
That's why it's called a train.
I'm not changing the car.
Well, we're doing a proper train.
Well, you haven't got a car.
Well, we'll go and get one.
We'll get one.
Uncouple me.
Gladly.
Off you go.
Jeremy departed, leaving us with the task of finding a new locomotive.
Oh, yeah.
That's great! We shall pick that up later on.
No, we will not.
Because what is wrong with my idea for a sports train? It's stupid, you're an idiot.
Are you suggesting, therefore, that Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the greatest engineer who ever lived, was an idiot? No.
Because Brunel did not suggest making a sports train.
Well, that's where you're wrong.
Because I have a photograph here of an engine designed to go on Brunel's Great Western Railway.
And look at that.
What? In what way is that sporty? Let me explain.
We think today of a 20-inch rim as being very sporty.
Look at that.
That is a 96-inch rim.
For goodness' sake.
Look at this, that is a fat exhaust.
And, you will notice, one carriage.
This is a Max Power train, right here.
Anyway, putting aside Jeremy's ideas of Pimp My Stovepipe Hat, Hammond and I think we might be onto something with our train.
So we will, in fact, pick that up later.
We will.
But now it is time to put a Star in our Reasonably Priced Car.
And my guest tonight is quite simply Rowan Atkinson! Thank you so much.
Have a seat.
Rowan Atkinson.
So, Rowan, obviously Not The Nine O'Clock News, Mr Bean you are, Blackadder.
But may we begin by talking, if you don't mind, about the Honda NSX? You are a fan, I believe, of the Honda? I have owned one.
Yes.
And why, did you find that? Well, I liked its modesty.
I liked its understatedness.
I liked the fact that it was a very good car.
And yet it didn't shout itself.
It was sort of image-free.
I think that's what I liked about it.
This is nice, I like talking to a man about cars.
It's the only thing I can really talk about.
Yes, quite.
Which is why we've looked forward for some many years to have you on.
Of course, the McLaren F1 was another one of your Which I've still got.
14 years on.
You still have it? Yeah.
That is more interesting.
Because I don't like that.
I know, you've never been wild about it.
I don't know, you could live with it.
I've lived with it for 14 years.
And I've done a lot of miles in it.
I've done 37,000 miles.
In a McLaren? Which, for a McLaren, is a lot.
And you actually lent yours to us, I seem to recall? Unbelievable.
Unbelievable.
What on earth possessed you to say, "Yes, Top Gear have rung saying, can they borrow my most prized possessions?" I know, for some reason I trusted you more than most people trust you, Jeremy.
It was Richard Hammond as well, I believe, who has a reputation for driving in a straight line with no incidents at all.
Oh, right, yes.
You had an Aston Martin last time we saw you in Johnny English.
Yes.
Which was a DB7.
Yes, a DB7 Vantage.
That shows how long ago it was.
It was 2002 when we made the first Johnny English.
And, of course, now there is another one.
There is a new one.
Johnny English Reborn.
Reborn? I'm embarrassed to say, I haven't actually seen it.
There's a very good reason for that, because we haven't actually finished it.
But it's coming.
It's in the pipelines.
It's out in September, so you'll see it then.
We have a sample of what's going to be in the new movie.
Hopefully some cars.
Some bits and bobs, yes.
Let's have a look at the clip.
The world's greatest spy Johnny English.
Work hard, play hard.
Is back.
And deadlier than ever.
You've been away for some time, English.
But you haven't been forgotten.
There is a plot to kill the Premier.
Time is of the essence.
Where are we on security? English? Give me 24 hours.
In 2011 My country needs me.
It's Johnny English.
Let's kick some bottom.
British intelligence Fights back.
Johnny! It's the killer from Hong Kong! Murderous crone! I've got her! You old hag! She's the killer! She's my mother! Granny! I thought the last one was excellent.
And that looks You'd go and see that, wouldn't you? Obviously, let's talk about the cars in there.
We saw a Rolls-Royce, the Phantom.
Yeah, Rolls-Royce Phantom coupe, exactly.
I feel as though the Aston thing has been a bit over done.
It's in the James Bond movies and we used it in the first film.
I just felt like doing something a bit different.
I've become quite a fan of the Phantom.
But I wanted to give the car we had a little USP.
You know, some unique little thing which no other Phantom had.
Which was? Which was an engine.
But not any engine.
This was an engine There's an interesting story behind it.
When BMW bought the rights to the Rolls-Royce name in the late 20th century, they had the opportunity to create the ultimate luxury car for the 21st century.
And they thought, "Maybe we ought to give it the ultimate engine.
" So let's give it something like a nine-litre V16 engine.
And, unbelievably, they made three or four of these engines and they tested them.
They got them up to speed and they had unbelievable power and torque figures.
And then, at the last minute, they thought, "Hmm, might be a bit over the top.
" But they had developed these engines and they'd stuck them in the warehouse somewhere.
And I knew that they existed, so I got in touch with Rolls-Royce and said, "Would you mind squeezing one of your V16 engines in the front of our Johnny English Phantom?" Very sweetly, they agree to do it.
And it works, it's the real thing.
So the car we have over there, which is from the movie, that's got a V16 engine in it? Yes, a nine litre V16 engine.
That's amazing.
That's why its bonnet's up? I thought it had broken down.
No, Jeremy, it hasn't broken down.
I'm with you, I'm a huge fan of the Phantom.
I think it is one of the greatest cars.
And, of course, it fits perfectly because the Phantom was designed for that engine.
I want to talk, if I may, just a bit about comedy.
We've talked about cars now.
The comedy stuff, take Blackadder.
Right.
When you read that script and there was somebody there called Bob.
Anybody else would read it and go, All right, they're called Bob.
" You decided that Bob could be a funny word.
Right.
Bob.
But how do you do that? It was always at the end of the sentence.
"So, how can I help you, Bob?" It just seemed like a funny way of saying it.
Bob.
Because I was wondering, I was looking at a list of motoring words the other day and wondering if you could, just by saying them, make them funny.
Just say the word.
Airbag.
De Dion-Bouton.
That's a French word, that.
Petrol pump.
Very good.
Round of applause for saying "petrol pump".
Can I just say, it's also the faces.
Exactly, that helps.
Reviewing the car, because I have to think of all sorts of things to say about a car.
I know that if you were a presenter on this show, you could just do it with an expression.
Right.
So, for example, if you were presented with a McLaren F1.
Think of another one.
The imperiousness one gets from a Range Rover.
Ah, right, OK.
Amazing! We have so much to learn.
So, obviously, you do love your cars.
Yeah.
Now, of course, you race.
Yeah, occasionally.
Historic racing, yeah.
So, what are you racing now? What I have got is a Ford Falcon, It's a big 4.
7 litre V8, and very, very light.
Isn't that like land yachting?! Yes, exactly, it's got a certain floppiness to it! So, obviously, driving the Kia One of my worries about coming on the show was that I think people know that I'm a car enthusiast and that I have done some racing, and they will assume that in the Reasonably Priced Car I'll be very good, when there's no guarantee of that whatsoever.
Because it is a very particular thing, and I'm a slow learner of cars and all that.
But anyway, I was keen to have a go, so I had a go.
Who here would like to see Rowan's lap? Play the tape.
Let's have a look.
Like you were using launch control! Okey-dokey.
Here we go.
You look a bit nervous, if I may say.
Ooh, wide line, like a Formula 1 driver through there.
And wide on the way out as well.
Looking smooth.
Hopeless, hopeless, hopeless.
Yes, now, here we are, into the Hammerhead, keeping it between the lines.
Obviously, the slower you appear to be going and that does appear to be very slow indeed sometimes, the faster it is.
That doesn't look too bad, but what do you think from inside? Good, good, good.
You really weren't pleased with any part of this, were you? Obviously, flat through there.
Not so good.
Not so good, that.
Come on, cheer up! Yeah, that's nicely done.
I say, keeping it very tight on the runway.
That's a new, interesting line.
Second to last corner, that is beautifully handled.
And Gambon, no drama, no histrionics, across the line.
Well.
There's the board.
Where do you think you might have come? Who's at the very top? The man at the very top is John Bishop, the northern comedian, followed by Ross Noble, the northern comedian.
I was born in the north.
You're from the same neck of the woods as Ross Noble.
Indeed.
You're looking at the top, you have that? No, exactly, one looks at that, but there's no reason why I should be there.
I felt as though I did OK, but not great.
That's my view.
OK, at the very top is Bishop on, what is he, 1:42.
8.
So, Rowan Atkinson.
You did it one Good.
.
.
forty Excellent.
.
.
two .
.
two.
Come on! That's the new fastest man we've ever had on our track! Ladies and gentlemen, Rowan Atkinson, the fastest man ever! It is actually remarkable, because we did genuinely think when Bishop did that time and was so much faster than Tom Cruise, it would never be beaten.
No, the Tom Cruise thing is fun, actually.
And your lap times were incredibly consistent, as is the mark of a great racing driver.
Pish and posh! Turns out you're in the wrong career.
So, a lot of people think you've already been on this show.
Yes.
Ladies and gentlemen, he has now.
Rowan Atkinson! Great time! "Petrol pump.
" I can't do it! Now, earlier on, we embarked on a project to build a cheap train using an old Jaguar XJS and some caravans.
Yeah, and sadly, it didn't work, because Jeremy's driving was rubbish, and he bought the wrong car.
Then there was a really big argument and he stormed off with the Jag, saying he was going to make something called a sports train.
Yeah, and that left Hammond and me with all the coaches, but nothing to pull them with.
'After a canter through the classifieds, 'Hammond and I found our new locomotive.
' Here's what Hammond and I have bought instead.
It's an Audi S8.
It has even more power than the Jaguar, but more importantly, it has four-wheel drive, which is what you need, because the rails are slippery.
Also, I have feet made of flesh, with nerves in them, like a human being, not lumps of lead yoked to an incompetent oaf.
'While I was doing the driving, 'Hammond would take care of the passengers.
' In just a few minutes, I shall be welcoming the passengers onto the train.
This is the manifest with their names.
But before I do that, let's get the buffet car ready.
This has to look good.
This really is All passengers - first, second - will be able to come in here, so I want it to look excellent.
Biscuits, various.
Muffins.
Yeah.
It's the carriage of plenty.
'With the buffet ready, it was time to greet our guests '.
.
who were a group of top officials and inspectors 'from the railway world.
' You are? Steve Davies.
Steve Davies.
MBE! Steve Davies, MBE! Indeed.
And you're a colonel! Hello! How do you do? Nice to see you again.
You're in first, which is there.
Indeed.
Hello, you're Helen? Helen Ashby.
OBE! Hello! Hi! Come on in, please.
Thank you.
You're on first as well, obviously.
And sir? Ian Walmsley.
Yes, you're also Yes, in there, Ian, that'll be absolutely brilliant.
In.
There you go, you'll be fine.
The straw's fresh, don't worry.
'Everything now depended on giving our passengers the train ride 'of a lifetime.
' Ladies and gentlemen, welcome aboard the 14:53 express from just outside Leicester to near Loughborough.
This train is about to depart.
Thank you very much for travelling with us.
We appreciate that you have a choice of car-based rail companies.
James, that's my job! I'm running this bit of the train.
You just drive! Ladies and gentlemen, this is your steward, whose train this is.
We will shortly be departing towards Loughborough.
Look at this! It's a train, and it works! This is the best thing I've ever done! Ladies and gentlemen, I'll be through shortly with refreshments.
Oh, yeah! I don't know if this is coming across in the images you're seeing at home, but the sensation of being in a car but on the railway is just the maddest thing I've ever seen out of the window.
It's a railway! Past another train parked in the siding.
It's just wonderful.
More points coming up.
The responsible driver slows down a bit.
A tiny bit of braking.
Refreshments, gentlemen! Oh, it doesn't fit! Across the little bridge, the water on the left.
'While I was sightseeing, 'Jeremy was finally leaving the station 'in his idiotic sports train.
' TGV 12 is up and running.
Let me talk you through my passengers.
The man on the left, he's just a man, but the man on the right, that is the editor of Rail Express magazine, and I need to impress him.
He's going to be reviewing this experience.
'Clearly, the best way of impressing him would be to beat Hammond and May 'to our destination.
' Come on! Let's build up that speed! Taking it up now to 40.
A few bugs there smashing into the face of the editor Railway Express magazine.
Look! The wind in your hair, the bees in your face! V12 power! The editor of Railway Express magazine basking in the shadow of my magnificence! Ugh, a train! Oh, my God! 'Meanwhile, further up the line, May had also got his foot down.
' 'But this turn of speed was causing a few problems.
' The cruise control works.
Look at that! I'm now doing nothing.
'It wasn't just the vibrations that were bothering the inspectors 'the noise was also an issue.
' What? Do you think it's safe? I can't hear you! Do you think it's safe? No.
How do we communicate in an emergency? We have to shout! Is there a communication cord to stop the train? Yes, yes, yes.
I'm going to check it, actually.
I'm about to ask the driver, Mr May, to slow down a little bit, just while we're serving the drinks.
James! JAMES! What's the matter? Can you slow down a bit? Everything's falling off.
Right.
Meanwhile, I'd caught up with the idiots but I couldn't get past, due to a railway network design fault.
Even here, we're stuck behind caravans.
If I'm honest, though, that wasn't the most immediate problem.
Oh, for God's sake.
Oh, this is really bad.
A member of the working classes is now taking a dump in full view of the editor of Railway Express Magazine.
Oh, no.
I'm very sorry about this.
I can't just drive along like this forever, I'm backing off.
I decided to go back in search of some points where I could change tracks.
I do apologise, I do apologise.
With Jeremy going backwards, James and I decided we had time to stop at the next station.
A tiny bit of braking.
You see, this is how you drive a train.
It's about finesse.
James, stop! James, stop! James, we're bloody miles off.
I'm going to back up.
Ladies and gentlemen, if you'd like to stretch your legs at this intermediate station, and apologies for the overshoot.
That was an overshoot.
'Stop doing the BLEEP-ing announcements, that's my job!' Ladies and gentlemen, we're just pulling into the station in case, you might want to stretch your legs, perhaps, or maybe have a walk.
Allow me, please.
Bloody hell.
You don't have to be wearing a short skirt, do you? Thank you.
I have just discovered a small design fault with the TGV12.
When going backwards, you have to have the bonnet up to keep the engine cool because obviously there's no air going into the radiator.
And I can't see anything out of the back.
So the first I'll know about a derailment is when we hear death and screaming from the rear carriage.
Back at the station, the inspectors were busy doing some inspecting.
What was the noise decibel level? than anything I've ever measured.
Just under 60.
That's not wide enough for disabled access.
Good for people with one arm.
There's only one armrest.
The flammability is what worried me, actually.
I think my general consideration, it's not a train, it's a death-trap.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, I hope you enjoyed your brief stopover at Quorn and Woodhouse station.
We will now be departing again for near Loughborough.
Come on! Meanwhile, I'd found the set of points where I could switch to the other track.
Yes.
Now, this is more of a palaver than on the motorway but I am now in the overtaking lane.
Yes, I am.
Let's go and hunt down James May.
We're really moving now! Yes! That massive rear spoiler, providing the downforce we need.
My passengers are looking thrilled.
And now I would show May that speed is right, speed is good.
Speed works.
There he is.
James May is about to be splashed by the mighty wheel-spinning TGV12.
Clarkson? God, how did he do that? The sports train is invincible.
Ever since the dawn of the train it has been mired in this sea of turgid practicality.
Nobody's ever thought, "Let's make an exciting train.
" And here I am, in just such a thing.
On Hammond and May's train, it's just one long, dreary trail of boredom.
Brace! Brace! Some poo's come out.
Ladies and gentlemen, particularly of first class, with your OBEs and MBEs.
Richard Hammond, your steward, will be passing through shortly with hot meals.
Oh, wait a minute.
Since hunting was banned, one sees the horses frolicking gaily in the fields, enjoying Forgive me while I just back off and have a bit of a gloat.
If we look over here, we see traditional farming methods.
And I think that pretty much covers the lecture.
I'm just doing a lecture on the countryside.
Nothing to see here.
And that's it.
Now we'll be on our way.
Oh, dear.
Bye! People of first class.
Once again, the editor of Railway Express Magazine was heading back towards Leicester.
Although this time I had at least found a novel way of seeing where I was going.
Ignore the enormous locomotive behind me.
It's a glitch, really.
Not my fault.
Our train was now certain of beating Jeremy's to near Loughborough.
This is just serene.
However, in the buffet car, things weren't going so well.
Ladies and gentlemen, please brace yourself.
The incompetent steward is about to pour tepid coffee into your crotch.
Christ's sake, James! Stop making BLEEP-ing announcements! That's my job, I'm the steward! You drive, I steward.
It's my train and the driver makes the bleeding announcements.
That's the way it is.
I had finally found a passing point and was now back in the chase.
Really shifting, now.
Really, really, really moving.
No time to lose.
Meanwhile La la la la la la! La la la la la la la! Penis, penis, penis, penis, penis.
It's my Tannoy.
Hello, chaps.
Can I offer you refreshments? Have you got a coffee, please? No.
Any chance of a Danish pastry, please? No.
I'll slow it down by one mile an hour.
This isn't the fastest train in the world.
I'm sure Jeremy will claim his goes faster.
But ours carries more people.
That's the point of a train.
It's mass transport.
What Jeremy's built, essentially, is a business jet.
But that's out of the reach of the vast majority of people.
There you go.
Anything else I can get you? Red wine? No.
Oh, dear.
It appears my colleagues have a bit of a problem.
James.
What? Your train's on fire.
Is it? Yes, it is.
Right.
Well, there we are.
Once again, then, it looked like I would be the first to our destination.
Very nearly at the end now.
And what an epic voyage this has been.
Leicester - well, nearly Leicester - to the outskirts of Loughborough.
A distance of nearly eight miles.
And the sports train just about done it.
Easing it down, now.
Should imagine there'll be a fanfare.
The mayor of Loughborough is almost certainly going to be here.
Oh, he isn't.
Nobody is.
Not to worry, though, because the great pioneers are often unappreciated at first.
Throughout this epic voyage, I have referred to this as either the TGV12 or the sports train.
But I don't think that's right.
I don't think that does it justice.
I think that the editor and the other man will agree that what you are looking at here is the future.
And all we must do now is await the arrival of my less successful colleagues.
No, listen.
If you ignore the fire, and the fact we didn't get where we wanted to go, it was incredibly noisy and the fact that all the passengers have run away Apart from that, it was a resounding success? Yes, I think we can only judge it to be a success.
It worked as a train.
We came up with something new and unique and brilliant.
Well, I think as a concept Oh, hello.
It's quite nice.
But the fact is Hold on.
Woah, woah.
Let's just get this straight, your train was a total failure.
No, it was not.
Well, where is it, then? Well, some of it is in the atmosphere.
The rest of this is all over Leicestershire.
Whereas mine is here.
And already her Majesty's government has been on the telephone asking if they can have the rights to use this on the proposed West Coast Main Line.
Really? No, I made that up.
I'll tell you who has been in touch, though.
The editor of Railway Express Magazine.
Excellent.
He wrote a short view of his journey and your train.
Would you like to hear it? Uh-huh.
He says the following.
"There was nothing to eat.
"The ride was awful.
The noise was distressing.
" He spent most of the day going backwards, he genuinely feared for his life and he ended up covered in excrement.
So, it's exactly like a normal train.
Only much cheaper.
And, on that bombshell, it is time to end.
Thank you very much for watching.
Next week, we destroy Kent with a tank.
But, for now, good night.