Top Gear (2002) s17e06 Episode Script

Sensible Electric Car Test

Tonight, James asks a girl for a favour.
No.
Richard listens to a man.
And I polish a bishop.
Hello, good evening! Hello, thank you, everybody, thank you.
Now.
New cars come out so fast these days, sometimes it is difficult to keep up.
Nissan, for example, said the other day that over the next six years, they will be bringing out a new model every six weeks.
Happily, however, there are some car companies, usually Italian ones, that won't be rushed.
That like to take their time, have some lunch.
And nobody is better at this than Lamborghini, as Richard Hammond shall now explain.
When it comes to their big V12 cars, their flagship battle cruisers, Lamborghini really, really like to take their time.
Just these four - the Miura, the Countash, the Diablo and the Murcielago, span half a century.
And now, at last, there's a new one.
It's called the Aventador.
It costs £248,000.
And it's the closest thing to a stealth fighter jet that you'll ever see on the road.
It even has a starter button that's straight out of Top Gun.
The current boss of Lamborghini said recently that in the old days, the order of priority for Lamborghini was top speed, acceleration, and handling, in that order.
The thing is, for this car, he says that order is the other way round.
Handling comes first, with top speed being given a lower priority.
So, let's find out just how low a priority that is, shall we? Whooooa! Waaaah-hah! So they still care about acceleration, then! Oh! Oh my God! Oh, OK, and relax.
If that's them giving top speed a low priority, bring it on! Flat out, the Aventador will do 217 mph which makes it faster than the old Murcielago.
How Italian is that? No top speed, OK, This pulverising performance comes courtesy of the Aventador's massive 6.
5 litre engine their first all-new V12 for almost 50 years.
But what's surprising is that they bothered to make one at all.
You see, these days, a lot of carmakers are shying away from bigger engines.
BMW's new M5, for example, will have a V8 instead of a V10.
AMG are ditching V12s in favour of V8s.
It's called moving with the times.
But that's not so easy with a big Lamborghini.
A V12 is kind of its signature dish, it defines the car.
And the engineers insisted that whatever happened with the Aventador, it had to have a V12.
And, of course, the by-product of a V12 is lots of horsepowers.
This has got 691 of them, which in Top Gear maths is 700.
That power is fed to all four wheels through a unique design of flappy paddle gearbox.
It can change in less than I can't demonstrate that even if I blink an eye.
There are other high-tech features too.
We're in strada mode right now, which is for the road.
Let's put it in corsa, track mode.
Whoa, hang on! All right, fella, all right! That's absolutely brutal! It kicks you in the back of the head.
And now we're in corsa mode, let's find out how they've got on with their new number-one priority handling.
Traditionally, always the scariest part of testing a big Lambo.
OK, here we go, I'm nervous.
I'm OK.
Still on the track.
I'm in a V12 Lambo, I just threw it at a corner at insane speed, and it went round.
So why am I not buried in row 85 of that 747? This is partly because the grip is just unbelievable.
Also it's got push-rod suspension which is very clever, and unheard of in an road car - that's F1 stuff.
So even when it's coming under some pressure, like that, the steering is just It's just I'm turning a dial.
So, whilst the Aventador looks as Miami Vice mental as everything else in its family tree, it's now a serious player.
The noise it makes is spirited rather than deafening.
The chassis is made from carbon fibre, not pig iron.
The air-conditioning works.
It's a proper car, rather than a machine that wants, most of all, to kill you.
And that makes me a bit sad.
Basically, what's missing is that Lambo fear factor, that knot in the stomach test pilots must have felt in the '50s when they headed for the sound barrier in unproven jet aircraft.
Of course, you might think that's a good thing.
To be honest, I'm not so sure.
If a big Lamborghini is all about pantomime, drama, theatre, which it is then I want people watching not just to go, "Wow, that's a stunning-looking thing.
" I want them to look at me inside and think, "Whoa, there goes Chuck Yeager Hammond.
"He's brave.
" But in this, I'm not being brave.
It's as easy to drive as a big Audi, that's the truth of it.
I finally understand what they mean by that, is it Helsinki syndrome? When people who've been kidnapped, when they're released, miss their kidnappers.
I don't know that I want to be in a big, loud V12 Lambo that doesn't every now and again try and kill me.
I miss that.
Very good.
It's beautiful but it's just not I think he made a mistake.
Hammond Whoa, hang on, hang on.
Hammond, did you say, did you say Helsinki syndrome? Yes, I did.
You mean Stockholm syndrome.
Yes I do.
Yes.
What is Helsinki syndrome? I think it's when you're an idiot and get your syndromes mixed up.
Yeah, I've got it.
Anyway, the Lamborghini.
What you're saying is, it would be better if it were a bit worse.
No, it's like that McLaren MP4-12C you drove the other week.
It is brilliant, undeniably.
But somehow it's just not exciting enough.
He's right, actually.
I've driven this as well and it isn't boring but it somehow lacks that sort of Lamborghini theatre.
It's too refined and it's sort of too clever.
It's as though Lamborghini are trying to be Ferrari instead of making cars specifically for Lunatics.
Rod Stewart.
Fish.
Tadpoles.
What? No, people who like a laugh.
A Lamborghini should be an instrument of terror and this just isn't.
Well, now, let's examine the scale of their failure by seeing how fast it goes round our track.
That means handing it over to our tame racing driver.
Some say that his favourite T-shirt has a picture on the front of a T-shirt.
And that he spent all week waiting for a big cheque from the Germans, because he too has spent the last 2,000 years sitting on his backside doing absolutely nothing at all.
All we know is, he's called The Stig.
And he's off! Ooh, I love that pop as it shifts up.
Single rather than double clutch system.
Changes are still lightning-fast as he spears into the first corner.
Wobble under braking, shows how much speed he's already carrying.
He's got it all together for the exit.
Stig listening to Petula Clark in French, very unusual.
Clean through Chicago.
Coming up now to Hammerhead.
Despite carbon fibre construction, this is still a big, heavy car.
Will it get out of shape? Not a bit of it.
None of the traditional Lambo flamboyance there.
Now, follow-through, the spoiler fully extends at 80 miles an hour.
He's doing a lot more than that now.
Fast through the tyres, just two corners left.
Here he comes now.
Hard on the ceramic brakes, an old V12 Lambo would have bitten him in the face by now.
Through Gambon and across the line.
Now Now, if we look here this is the old Lamborghini, the Murcielago, the LP670 did it in 1:19.
Here's the Aventador.
Ooooooh That's interesting, isn't it? So So it looks absolutely fantastic.
And it's faster round our track than a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport.
And I think it's clear now why Hammond and May hate it so much.
He's no idea.
He knows what we're on about, he does know.
Right, it's time for us to do the news and we begin with this.
Attention morons everywhere.
Mercedes have a new hardcore AMG version of one of their cars.
It's from their especially ridiculous range of black editions.
Oh, now, I'm sorry, this is a car for connoisseurs.
It's a car for idiots.
It's for people who know the difference between Sweden and Finland.
Yes, all right, sorry.
This is the new black edition of the C-class.
It will cost you £110,000.
It's got the old 6.
2 litre V8, tuned version of that, rather than the twin turbo AMG engines of today.
You also get the seven-speed flappy paddle gearbox from an SLS.
But I think it looks fantastic.
Ridiculous.
It's fantastic! I think it looks infantile.
It does.
James, you are so old, you think Werther's Originals are infantile.
Can I just clarify this a little bit? He has got the old CLK black.
Yes, I do.
And I went in it the other day.
And you loved it.
I hated it! It's ridiculous! The ride is stupid.
It's like being in a touring car.
What's wrong with that? Nothing at all, if you're, I don't know, let's say, in a touring car race.
If you want to use it, let's imagine, on a road, in, let's say, the world, it's absolutely stupid.
It's a terrible car.
You may mock Thank you, it's ridiculous.
The fact is, the fact is, that the CLK black is holding its value a lot better than, I don't know, Because they only sold 100 of them.
Yes, they did.
They'd have sold more but most of the people who bought them were wearing those jackets that do up at the back.
They were only out for the day.
"I want one of those!" Like that.
They'd eaten the pens you use to fill the options form in.
It's a stupid car.
It is a stupid car.
It's ridiculous.
Oh, don't feel sorry for him! Look at the wheel arches on it! Aaaah! Let's move on.
Yes, let's move on.
Now we have been sent, by a viewer, a copy of a motorcycling magazine from 1976.
We have a picture of it here, the front cover.
Sort of thing you love, isn't it, James? Mmm.
Lovely.
What distressed us greatly was, there was an advertisement on the back page, for some leathers.
And it was the model that was being used that has terrified us.
Here it is.
Now don't say that isn't you, look! There is no point denying that it's you.
He's wearing brown shoes.
It's got to be you.
It is you.
You looked exactly the same in 1976 as When were you born?! I was only 12! You weren't, though, were you? You know, I have speculated many, many, many times over the years on what sort of a man appears as a model in leather.
Yeah.
You've let the motorcycling side down there, badly.
Lewis Hamilton has been in the news this week saying that the national anthem is too short.
He can't milk it on the podium, it's over in 44 seconds.
He says it's not fair, because when Massa wins, who's Brazilian, that national anthem goes on for 16 hours.
So I've had an idea.
Why don't we change our national anthem to Wish You Were Here, Pink Floyd.
It isn't hell.
The problem isn't that ours is too short, it's that everybody else's is too long.
The Greek one is.
158 verses.
What?! I promise you.
The Greek national anthem How many times can you say, "We're completely screwed"? So you're saying ours is too They're all too long.
I think we could set an example to the world, actually, with the Olympics coming up in 2012 by making national anthems shorter.
We could get ours pared right down.
What, "we hope she's victorious and lives a long time.
" No.
That's too long.
Not very long.
I'm thinking more along the lines of There you go.
So he gets up on the podium and Exactly.
You'd have to have the roll on the drums so that people got ready.
That's quick, I like it.
That is actually a brilliant idea.
Last year, my CLK Mercedes Stupid, stupid car.
With stupid wheel arches.
You may think it's stupid, but it's very determined.
My CLK, it said one day when I got in it, "24 days until the next service.
" I mentioned this on the programme a year ago.
I thought, I wonder what will happen if I take it to 25 days.
Its German brain won't be able to compute the fact that somebody has disobeyed a direct order.
Thing was, on the 24th day, Mercedes turned up while I was out and took it away for a service, which really annoyed me.
Good news.
Yesterday, it suddenly said, "Nine days until service due.
" What I've done this time is I've parked it in a London underground garage and I'm not going to tell anybody which one.
I want to see what happens when it goes to minus one.
No! That's dangerous.
It could panic, like a horse in a stable, and just go mad.
Or it's probably already been building a glider so it can escape.
That's why I've put it in an underground car park and not a multi-storey, so it can't fly away.
It's probably been specially trained to take a cyanide pill.
It's hidden it in one of its massive wheel arches.
"I must end it now!" So when I go back to it, you think it'll be dead? Completely.
Last week, we had the Lotus T125 down here.
It's kind of a Formula 1 car that you can buy if you have £650,000 lying around.
We wondered how fast it would go around our track, whether it would be faster than an actual Formula One car.
Sadly on the day we were going to try for a lap, it was raining.
So we said we'd bring it back when it wasn't.
We have.
And it isn't.
Did that make sense? I know what you mean.
Anyway, let's find out how it got on.
Away he goes.
Lighting up the back tyres a treat.
Not quite the sound of an F1 car.
Not as high-pitched.
That is the sound of torque.
The first corner.
The Stig sawing away at the wheel.
It is an animal, this thing.
Down the gears, into Chicago.
Wrestling it through there.
Stig actually demanded a softer chassis set-up and a softer tyres for today.
Will it have enough heat in those tyres to cling on through Hammerhead? Yes, he does.
Bit of a wiggle there.
Now he can really open it up.
Through the follow-through.
Stationary, this car weighs 640 kilos.
Flat out, thanks to the air pressing down on those wings, it weighs two-and-a-quarter tonnes.
Coming up to the penultimate corner, hard on the brakes.
Crackle on the over-run up to Gambon, Stig still working hard.
And across the line.
Now the actual Formula 1 car we had down here a few years ago, that did it in 59 seconds.
The T125 did it in 1 minute 3.
8.
So it's about four seconds a lap slower than the Renault F1 car, which means it's the same pace as a current Lotus F1 car.
The fact is that the electric car is very much with us.
You can actually go into a dealership and simply buy one but the big question is, should you? What are the pitfalls? What are the advantages? To find out, James and I decided to do a sensible test.
No clocking about, no catching fire, no Richard Hammond.
We would simply get two of the cars that you can actually buy these days and take them on a perfectly ordinary run to the seaside.
This is the Nissan Leaf and there are no visual clues that it's powered by electricity.
It looks like every other five-door hatchback.
It also drives like every other five-door hatchback, except the engine doesn't shout or bellow or roar.
It just sort of hums, like a monk.
Hmmmmmmm.
Peugeot has gone down a different styling route.
Their new electric car, the Ion, is designed to look futuristic and different and unusual.
But, just like the Nissan, it is like a car.
Here I am driving along the A46 towards Cleethorpes and the situation is completely normal.
Clarkson, May.
Yeah, what? Is your Nissan like a car? Yes, nothing to see here.
And as I said before, nothing to hear.
This car is so quiet, they had to design a special windscreen wiper motor for it because the one they fit in all other Nissan's was too loud.
They had a similar problem with the door mirrors cos as you were driving all you could hear was the air rushing over them, not a nice sound.
So they've sculpted the head lamps to deflect air away from the mirrors.
So, what about performance? The top speed is only 81 miles an hour.
And 0-60 takes something like 16 seconds.
It doesn't feel like you're a liability on the roads.
It doesn't feel like I'm holding people up or anything like that.
The Nissan has a much bigger electric motor.
It develops the equivalent of 108 brake horsepower.
That means a top speed of 90 miles an hour and sufficient acceleration to consider, at least, overtaking someone.
James for example.
Here we go.
One problem I have with electric cars is they're not very heroic.
"Quick, James, I have the antidote.
"We need to be at the hospital in 20 minutes.
"Only you can save me.
" Hmmmmm You may regret that.
- Or let me put it this way.
- 70.
Soon we pulled over to examine our cars more closely.
I want to see what it is that's making no noise, that's humming like a Trappist monk.
Oh, that's an electric, is that an electric that's an electric motor, is it? It must be.
And one moving part.
Effectively, yes.
And no gearbox.
And there's no fuel tank so you get a big boot.
That's not bad.
What's that for? Solar panel.
Is it? Yes.
It's a £260 option which means you could use the air-conditioning while parked, so you don't drain the main batteries.
Very clever.
I like that.
'The Peugeot, though, is even cleverer.
' Where's the engine? Ah, it's in the back.
Is it? It's rear-engined, rear-wheel drive.
It's a 911.
It is a 911.
This is what the 911 will look like in another 10 - 15 years' time.
So the engine's in there.
It's under there, the batteries are under there.
That's not a very big boot.
You wouldn't get a dog in there.
Discussing luggage space is like I'm back on old Top Gear.
Can I get a beard? So far then, all seems well with these cars.
But they're not what you'd call cheap.
The Nissan is £30,990.
Nearly twice what you'd pay for a normal car of this size.
The Peugeot is even more expensive, £33,155.
Yes, with both you get £5,000 back from the Government but even with that, they're not good value.
Mine isn't even very well equipped.
Have you got Sat Nav in your car, James? No, I haven't.
Have you? Yes.
Cruise control? No.
So that's £3,000 more expensive than this and isn't as well-equipped or as big? And what's more, the Leaf can even deliver your own personal Greenpeace lecture.
It's talking! 'By the 12th of May, electric cars worldwide 'saved a total of 344,000 eco-trees.
' What!? 'And 659 tonnes of carbon-dioxide has been reduced.
' What does that mean? What's an eco-tree? What are you saying? Still, there is an upside to the nagging and the cost.
These days eco-ism is seen as cool.
People like James May and me, petrol heads, we're dinosaurs.
If you have one of these cars with zero emission and full electric plastered down the side, you are more likely to get a girlfriend.
You just have to hope she doesn't live at the other end of the country.
James, can I just ask, what range do you have left? I have 19 miles.
I was down to 14 miles.
So, as is the way with all cars, we decided to buy some go juice in the next town, which turned out to be Lincoln.
And then I realised we might be there for quite a while.
James, I have another read-out on my dashboard.
Guess how long it will take to charge this up to 100% fully charged? Well, a few hours I suppose.
Is it? '11 hours.
' What?! By the time we reached the city centre, my range was down to seven miles.
So I looked on the Sat Nav for the nearest official charging point.
The nearest charging space it gives me is 45 miles away.
I can only go seven.
That's very useful function you've got there! OK, Covent Garden car park.
'What possible use is that?!' We pulled in at the council offices to see if they could help.
Do you have any idea where we can charge electric cars up in Lincoln? Electric cars It just needs a socket, really.
You do, don't you? 'We didn't have to wait long for an answer.
' I checked with our team, there are definitely no points within Lincolnshire.
Not in Lincolnshire? Who's pushing who? 'Various people suggested friends who might be able to help 'but they were all too far away.
' So, we stopped at a restaurant in the marina to ask if we could buy some of their electricity.
Use some of your charm.
It will begin with the word "hello".
Ready? "Hello.
" Hello.
We were just wondering, we're trying to We've got two electric cars.
Right.
James has a way with women.
I should imagine he'll be able to talk her into it, no problem.
.
.
it's going to take 12 hours.
No.
James, I do apologise, those boats must be getting power from the shore.
Yes, they'll have plugs like caravan sites do.
Getting to the boat park meant more driving, so now my car was saying it would need 13 hours to charge up.
'Very low battery charge.
Search for nearest charging station.
' You're just wasting electricity telling me that.
I've only got four miles left, Jeremy must be running on whatever the equivalent of empty is for a battery.
We've just got to stop somewhere and beg for the use of a socket.
'Hello, that's it.
' That's it, that's it.
Oh, not there.
This is the future of motoring here.
This is all of you lives here.
This is what's going to become of you all.
Obviously, the solution would be to get a tow from James.
However "Do not tow this vehicle with all four wheels on the ground.
"This may cause serious and expensive damage to the motor.
" Thank you.
Thankfully, some of the large crowd we'd attracted kindly pushed me to the boat park.
However I can see two problems with this.
You have got to get across that water.
And the other one is It's too short.
Yes.
We'll have to push it somewhere else.
So, once more, we appealed to the good people of Lincoln who pushed me to the university where, finally, we found somewhere to charge up.
See that, blue light on the dashboard.
When all three are flashing, it's fully charged.
OK? Right.
We now had a 13-hour wait but, thankfully, we were in the magnificent city of Lincoln, where there are many things to see and do.
I like a good cathedral.
I would never normally be brass rubbing and do you know why I've never done it? All the cars I've ever owned have been powered by petrol or diesel.
Look, it's Hammond, only in a diving bell.
It does look a bit like Hammond, actually.
Lincoln Castle was founded by William the Conqueror 1068, two years after the Norman Conquest.
You can't build a stone castle on the earth and banks, initially, you have to wait for the banks to compact down.
That is the best building in the world.
Really? For a department store, that's a fantastic piece of architecture.
What's he doing? I'm doing an abstract floor rubbing.
Look at that, that's quite interesting.
Basically, in the Ice Age, the Lincolnshire edge - a big lump of limestone.
Do you know what this hill is called? Hill? No.
Steep Hill.
Is it? Yes, it really is.
They spent ages thinking of that.
Can you see the square frontage? Yeah.
There's a square within the square.
Yeah.
That is like a Norman fortified building You know Nissan are going to start putting fast-charge points at all their dealerships? You'll be able to charge your car up in 30 minutes.
Hmm.
The problem is, do that all the time, then you could ruin the battery pack in three years.
Yeah, how much is a new battery pack? £7,000.
Really? Actually, Nissan can't say how much, but we rang an expert.
He said, in today's money, £7,000.
How long do they think batteries last if you charge them slowly and don't thrash them? If you charge them up when they're half empty, rather than letting them get all the way flat, maximum, ten years.
Possibly five.
It's not that long, is it? No.
Are you going to go? I can't go, actually.
Since you put that in my word doesn't fit any more.
As evening fell, we really were running out of things to do.
I think mine's worked quite well.
Yeah, not bad.
Hurt like hell.
Is mine all right? Look.
What is it? What does it say? What? The next morning, after the longest refuelling stop in history, we set out once more for Cleethorpes.
'As of the 12th May, your energy economy was The cost of charging this up at the University with its cheap deal was £2.
34.
But, if you charge it up during the day, depending on who your supplier is and what deal you've done, it could cost you £8.
30.
That's £8.
30 to do - it says - 100 miles.
To do 100 miles in a Golf BlueMotion diesel will cost about the same.
But remember, the Golf is over £7,000 cheaper to buy.
And its fuel tank is unlikely to be worn out after five years.
There are other issues, too.
One of the problems with the electric car is you drive constantly as if on an economy run, because a part of your brain is acutely aware that when it's gone, you're in for a big wait.
It will get different.
They'll have quick charging, three-phase charging, batteries will improve, yes.
But today, with this car on sale, you simply have to accept that you're going to learn a lot of medieval history.
Plus you really do need to be able to work out where you'll be when the charge runs out.
And that's not easy.
So I've now done 26 miles since I set off but I've lost 40 miles of range.
Interesting.
I've also done 26 miles but this is the bit you'll like, I've gained two miles of range.
A lot of people think I have a downer on the electric motor.
I don't.
Nothing wrong with it at all.
Theoretically, it could be immensely powerful.
And I like the Leaf.
Beautifully made, is very quiet.
It's extremely comfortable.
And spacious.
Good car.
But the batteries it uses have to be recharged from the mains and I don't think that's the answer.
I think that what I'm actually driving is a squariel or a laser disc or a Beta tape machine.
Batteries? Batteries are rubbish.
Batteries are rubbish in everything.
Think of all the things that are battery-powered.
Torches and mobile phones and digital cameras and laptops.
I bet you, they're all either completely flat or going flat very quickly.
Eventually we arrived in Cleethorpes.
We've made it to the seaside.
And it was on the dodgems that we had an epiphany.
This is an electric car.
But it has no on-board battery.
It takes its power from the chicken wire in the roof.
Yes, all we have to do, really, is put chicken wire above all the motorways and dual carriageways in Britain.
You drive to your nearest one, extend the pole on the back of your car, and off you go driving on the mains.
It gets better than that, you know, because if the traffic's really busy on the motorway, the government could just cut the power a bit and everyone would go slowly, then if it was empty they increase the power and everyone goes fast.
Actually if there was an accident or some bad congestion ahead they could just turn it off and everybody would glide to a safe halt at the same rate.
We have solved it.
We have solved it.
If you think about it, if you're driving along the motorway and you're really bored, you could just deliberately crash into someone to amuse yourself.
That's true.
Motorways are boring, aren't they? Exactly.
So you just drive along doing this to the man next to you These cars, then, are not the future.
But they did at least bring us to where the future lies.
Oh, no, I've got oversteer.
Nobody does this deliberately on the motorway.
Do they? Er What? Chaps.
So, you are proposing a sort of chicken-wire grid above all of the nation's motorways.
Have you two completely lost your minds? Bringing you out in a Helsinki syndrome? Yeah, it's itching.
It's bad, it is.
It is a brilliant idea.
I've had another one.
It's based on the London tube network.
It's electrified roads.
Yeah, brilliant.
I'll just cross the road to that shop there.
Dzzzz.
It's a stupid idea.
I've had an even better idea.
What about, you fit a car with a special tank, into which you put a flammable liquid.
When the liquid runs out, you pull into, let's call it a petrol station, fill it up in a couple of minutes, and you'd never have to go brass rubbing.
I think that might catch on.
But seriously, what are we all going to do when the oil finally becomes too expensive to use for personal transport? Which it will.
Well, it's tricky, the government recently said that there will never be a charge point.
On every street corner so you will be reduced to going to universities and that's not practical - like what we did.
And you can't use a hybrid because that uses a petrol engine to charge up the batteries.
So, we're going to have to have a whole new approach.
Dodgems.
No, Honda are already there.
It's hydrogen.
It has to be.
Truth be told, it is hydrogen.
Yes, but isn't hydrogen very complicated to work out? Yes, but it was complicated to take television from Logie Baird's attic to the point where you're now appearing on a television in Syria, but they did it.
In a very short time.
They did.
Anyway, it is now time to put a star in our reasonably priced car.
My guest tonight is responsible for bands such as Boyzone, Westlife, and Jedward.
And yet surprisingly, he hasn't been tried for crimes against humanity.
Ladies and gentlemen, it's the other one from the X Factor, Louis Walsh.
Have a seat.
Have a seat.
Louis Walsh, he's come among us.
And, um, now, to be fair, I happen to know you do have very good musical taste.
Of course I do, yeah.
I mean, it doesn't LOOK like you do.
In my job, in my day job? Yeah.
That's what I sell.
I'm in the music business.
So, you sell? What I listen to at home is totally different.
I happen to know that you and I share a What, one person, yeah.
Bob Segar.
And the Silver Bullet Band.
Silver Bullet Band.
Who here is familiar with Bob Segar and the Silver Bullet Band? Yes.
Yes? A big fan? That's one big fan and I think that's enough of a reason to discuss Bob Segar at some length.
What is your favourite Bob Segar song? Ooh.
Night Moves, I think.
I agree.
What would you go with, Night Moves, best one? No, Old Time Rock And Roll.
Old Time Rock And Roll.
Old Time is good, yeah.
As used in Risky Business? Absolutely.
Starring Tom Cruise.
I've a Wurlitzer jukebox, all the old 45s.
I'm a fan of music.
So are you just flogging the noises that come out of? I sell.
You sell Jedward? Yeah, they do incredibly well.
Do you listen to Jedward at home? No.
Honestly, no, no, I don't.
Does anybody own a Jedward record? They've a new album out next week.
Have they? Yeah.
I'm not interested.
Doing really well around Europe.
Still not interested.
Your kids would like them.
No, they wouldn't.
They would! Kids love Jedward.
They'd get savagely beaten! Kids like Jedward and Westlife and Take That.
Having established that you are a man of great musical taste.
At home.
At home, yes.
At home.
Is it Cowell, then, that's got the Celine Dion fixation? Has Simon Cowell got a rubbish musical taste? Yes.
Absolutely.
He gave us Robson and Jerome.
He did, actually.
And he gave us Zig and Zag.
Has he, do you think, in his house got any Led Zeppelin at all? No.
Absolutely not.
I have Led Zeppelin albums at home.
Bad Company? Bad Company, Can't Get Enough? He wouldn't know who they were.
He has a lot of bad company but it is not the band.
So, anyway, X Factor, when is that back? What stage are we at now? That's series eight, it's back, we've got three new judges.
We've got Gary Barlow, Kelly Rowland, who was in Destiny's Child, and we've got Tulisa from the N-Dubz.
I know Gary Barlow.
Yeah.
You'd know Destiny's Child.
It's three girls, Beyonce was like the front lady in the band.
Boncey what? Beyonce.
Beyonce! She's like a big, big star.
Boncey and who? She's married to Jay-Z.
What? Jay-Z.
He's very cool.
Literally no idea what you're talking about now.
So, anyway, the important thing to establish is when is the X Factor back? Back on TV August, ITV.
Until September? December 12th.
I have to ask you this because we have to go out on Top Gear on a Sunday night when you're not on.
And my children say, when we are sitting on a beach freezing ourselves to death in December, "Daddy, why are we here now?" "Because Louis and Simon" Simon's not on this year.
Oh, he's gone.
"Because Louis and Boncey's mate" Beyonce.
".
.
are watching a girl who last week was working behind a till in Asda "and she's on a journey.
" Everyone's on a journey.
We have to move Top Gear to get out the way of the ratings juggernaut.
Because people wouldn't watch Top Gear.
They'd prefer X Factor.
We know, which is really annoying! But anyway Anyway! .
.
while we're on the subject of the X Factor.
Is it true that Simon Cowell bought you all Botox vouchers? He actually did, last Christmas.
You know what, you know something? I haven't used mine.
No! I'd like to Jeremy, Jeremy I'd like to offer it to you.
Seriously.
I won't use them.
Is that where you get injected, or is that collagen? What do you do with Botox? It's your face.
What do you do with it? Ask Simon next time he's on.
Does he do Botox? Hello! Every time he's on he goes, "You really should" "Darling!" "Darling, take more care of your appearance.
" I always think, but what could I do to improve myself? Do you want my Botox vouchers? No! I want to talk to you about cars.
Because this is a car show.
What turns you on about a car? I like the look of cars.
I just love looking at cars.
I love looking at Lamborghinis, Maseratis, Ferraris.
Bentleys, Rolls, I love I'm always taking pictures of them.
I don't like driving fast but I love looking at cars.
It's the aesthetics of a car? Absolutely.
After Which was the first one? Boy's World? I had a Toledo.
Boyzone was my first band.
Your first band? My first car was a Toledo.
It was a white Toledo.
Yes, and I took it out the very first time ever.
I was parking it at home and I put my foot on the accelerator.
I went bang into the wall and wrecked the car.
The first time I took it out.
The first time? The first time I'd taken it out.
And were you employed as a record-company chauffeur? I wasn't employed as a chauffeur, I was an agent.
I used to bring artists to Ireland, singers, different singers, like Sinitta.
I used to drive them around to the gigs.
In your Toledo? No, I had a Mustang.
I had a really nice Mustang.
Do you remember what period Mustang? It was red and black, that's all I remember.
I'm driving a Maserati now.
I've had it three years.
A Gran Turismo.
I've done 3,000 miles in it.
3,000 miles? Yeah.
Do you like it? I love it! I love looking at it.
I wash it every week.
I love the car.
That's the first time we've ever had a guest who says, "I love my car, I watch it every week.
" I wash it.
Wash it.
Oh, wash it! I'm a bit mutton.
So you have a penchant for American cars and good-looking cars.
But you're not really a driver? I'm not a fast driver.
So, the bad news.
I know I'm a terrible driver.
I know.
How do we know? I know! I drove around that bloody track.
I ended up on the grass.
I know I'm not good.
I'm probably the worst you've ever had.
Sadly, when you went on the grass, the cameras weren't running.
Oh, good.
Yes, they were! Unusually, I believe this is the first corner.
Yes, look, here you go.
Foot still in it.
That's the dictionary definition of understeer.
Still in it! I love the way that you had the hope that it was going to be OK as a lap time.
"Still keep going!" Have many people done that? The only person who ever went off there was Lionel Richie.
Lionel? The wheel fell off.
That was the only reason.
OK, OK.
Who would like to see the actual lap? YEAH! Let's have a look.
Here we go.
Racy start.
No wheel spin.
Why not? There's a terrible smell of oil.
The handbrake is on.
It was on, yes! You set off with the handbrake on? OK, let's have a look at turn one.
Have we got it right this time? Yes, no, yes.
Just held it all together there.
Ooh, changed gear.
I need Stig, badly.
I need Stig, yes.
He was good.
You're going a very long way round.
Argh! Oh I'm going to be the last person ever.
You really do need to get those gear-changes worked out.
It's going, ra-ra-ra! I drive an automatic car.
Change gear! Change gear.
What are gears? There we go, that's it.
OK, here we go.
I'm finally going to fly this one.
Scary doing that.
Here we go.
I hope I'm insured.
No, you don't needs to be insured.
Nothing to hit.
Second to last corner.
That's rather a neat line through there, if I may say.
And Gambon.
That's also very nicely done.
Across the line, everybody.
So There it is, where do you think? I'm near the bottom.
These are wet times.
Ignore the wet times.
Anything with W after it.
The slowest we've ever had was Amber Heard, and she did a 1.
50.
3.
You think you were slower than that? Am I under Angelina Jolie? I don't know! Right, 1:53 is the slowest so far.
You did it in 1 That's good! Sitting there between Alastair Campbell and Danny Boyle.
Wow.
A weird place to find yourself.
So I did better than Geldof? You what? I did better than Bob Geldof.
Oh yes, you beat Gob Beldof.
I'm happy.
And Al Murray.
So there we are.
There we are.
The audience loves you, the Stig loves you, we all love you.
Ladies and gentlemen, Louis Walsh! Louis Walsh! Now, we recently received an invitation to a motorsport event.
And as it involved mud and who better to attend, we thought, than Top Gear's own Minister for Rural Affairs, Richard Hammond? 'This is cross-country racing.
' 'It takes place at various locations across Britain 'and for the teams taking part, 'it's one of the toughest amateur motor sports around.
' We're here to follow one of those teams as they take part in their very first event.
But here's the thing, there's something about these guys that takes that challenge to a whole new level.
'This team is made up of soldiers who've all suffered massive injuries whilst fighting in Afghanistan.
' 'Soldiers like Tom, the co-driver.
' I was a sniper out there.
I shifted a sandbag and detonated a booby-trap IED.
I just lost my feet to begin with and through infection, and other various things, I kept having to have aggressive surgery and ended up basically losing my left arm and having my legs amputated.
'Then there's Gav, the team's mechanic.
' I was unlucky enough to strike an IED, obviously maiming me, leaving me a bilateral amputee.
I lost both my femoral arteries.
I've got no idea how I survived that, to be fair.
'Compared to those two, Tony the driver actually feels quite lucky.
' I'm a below-knee scratch.
Is that what you call it!? Having been mercilessly ripped by Tom and others for being, well, it's just a flesh wound, really - to quote Monty Python.
'These soldiers are using motor sport as a way of helping them 'come to terms with their injuries.
' 'They've set themselves an incredible challenge, because in just 18 months, 'they aim to compete in the world's most gruelling race' 'The fearsome Dakar rally.
' I know there's amputees all round the world but for us, it's like pushing it as far as we can.
If you can crack on in a Dakar rally when you're doing 18-hour days for two weeks solid, you can pretty much achieve anything.
Your career's going one direction and all of a sudden it grinds to a halt and you have to think about a totally different way of living your life.
It's important to challenge yourself, to keep on challenging yourself.
'Out on the eight-mile course, most of the other competitors 'are running in powerful, bespoke 4x4s.
' 'But the soldiers must begin their long climb to the Dakar 'in a humble Land Rover Freelander.
' First disabled team to do this, mate.
Amber.
3, 2, 1, go.
Straight down here, mate.
Brake, brake, brake, brake.
Good, good.
What would you like to see come out of this weekend? I'd like to see it function, for a start.
To find out where our weaknesses are and work on them, just keep focusing on our weaknesses.
That's it.
'Tony and Tom complete their first run in 12 minutes 14, 'some four minutes shy of the big boys.
' 'Already, they've discovered a problem that is unique to them.
' The problem we've got is obviously because Tony's missing his left leg, he can't feel the palm of his foot on the clutch and that's going to give slip and you'll lose power.
I think what we're going to do is devise a light that comes on and warns him he's riding the clutch, so he can pull his leg off.
Neat idea.
'The clutch fix isn't one that can be done on site.
'So, for now, the team must crack on regardless.
' 'And crack on, they do.
' You did 10.
54 on that last one.
Hairpin.
First gear, mate.
Go through, go through, go through.
'Spending a day with them, 'it becomes obvious their injuries are more than just physical.
' The bloke alongside you, killed? Yes, Anthony Lombardi.
He was also a mechanic.
Young lad, 21 year old.
He was a really good bloke, yes It just, I think, it's difficult because Um Can you just give us a minute? Please.
As long as you want, mate.
Oh, mate 'It's then that you start to realise the value of a project like this.
' These guys are soldiers, they're men of action.
They're used to having challenges, problems, obstacles to overcome by working together as a team.
This isn't a treat.
This is therapy, it's something they need to do if they're going to recover as well as they possibly can.
'By the end of the first day, the amputee team are running second in the Freelander class.
' Hey, mate! 'But there's little time for celebration 'because they must very quickly get to grips with the car they'll be driving in the Dakar, 'a four-litre, V8 engine Wildcat.
' To make the move to this, the guys are going to need some training from an expert driver.
And we've got one.
'Yes, it's ex-Stig, special forces driving instructor 'and romantic novelist, Ben Collins.
' All right? Are we ready? Yes, very good, looking forward to it.
Good, good.
When you're going round, don't tell him anything, he'll put it in a book.
Make sure of that.
All right, men? All right? Aye! If you see Ryan, stop talking.
Leave it at that, all right? Have fun.
Happy days.
OK, let's crank it.
Do you know, to be honest, I am quite glad to see the old splitter back.
And I do know how much giving these guys a hand means to him.
So, this is all right.
'Clearly, Jilly Cooper had lost none of his teaching skills.
' Pop it back into second.
You don't want to use the brakes, just pop in the gas.
Go.
'Which meant on their first solo outing, Tony and Tom didn't disappoint.
' Just remember this bit here, Tone.
Nice.
That's a nine minute 51 guys.
We'll do it faster next time.
Yes.
'But mastering the Wildcat is just the beginning, 'because these guys face problems that their rivals won't encounter.
' There you go, mate.
'Gavin, for example, has had to devise a unique system 'for doing repairs in the middle of nowhere.
' 'Tiredness is an issue too.
As a triple amputee, 'Tom uses 300% more energy than an able-bodied person, just to move around.
' 'And then, there's their prosthetics.
If I show you the back of mine, it makes more sense.
See the back of here? That is quite unnerving when you do that.
You just wanted to do that.
Sand's getting into the piston there, getting water into the electronics, it's all electronic but if the legs play up and that, I can just pop them in the back and just crack on.
'One thing that won't let them down is their camaraderie, 'which shows up best when they talk about the kind of tricks they'd play on each other in hospital.
' One of the big ones was swapping their wheelchair by the bedside while they slept, with maybe an office chair with castor wheels, and then pushing them around and that for the rest of the day.
Or padlocking them to their beds.
So they set off and?! I got injured about a week after a guy, a ranger, Andy Allen.
Basically he lost his eyesight and both his legs as well.
He was a big Manchester United fan, huge.
The guy obviously had Manchester United shirts and we swapped them all for Liverpool shirts and the guy would be cutting round in Liverpool shirts.
That is a properly devious idea! But when he started to get his eyesight back a little bit, he basically just let loose on us then.
It feeds the sense of humour that you're used to and takes it a step further.
It also makes you come to terms with what's happened to you.
You don't have to stop being you just because of what's happened.
You don't have to People shouldn't pity you.
Come on.
'Throughout the day, the lads have been getting faster and faster.
' You've just done two runs.
That was a 9.
17 and a 9.
08.
Break that barrier! Eight second.
'And as they lined up for the last run of the weekend, 'everybody - us, the organisers, the other competitors, 'wanted to see them break the nine-minute barrier.
' Mate, if we don't do it less than nine minutes Right, amber.
Keep accelerating this bit, mate.
Keep going, keep going.
Second, yes? Second gear's good.
Boot it, boot it, boot it.
Nice! This is awesome! Keep going, keep going.
Here he is, here he is! Oh my God.
That's it! 'Sadly, they hadn't broken that nine-minute barrier, 'probably because they HAD broken something else.
' Oh, yes! Most of that will polish out.
Largely, yes, largely.
That's a below centre point scratch.
'I really hope that these guys do make it to the Dakar, 'because on spirit alone, they deserve to be there.
' On that day I got blown up, I never thought I'd make this stage where I'm at now.
We said this in the car before, who'd ever have thought we'd be sat in a Wildcat on a Sunday morning, rallying around? What an experience.
You DO deserve to be in the Wildcat on a Sunday morning.
And they are here with us tonight! Now, can I just say, really, I think everybody here will join us in wishing you all the very best.
We really do hope you make it to the start and the finish of the Dakar.
You really do deserve it, guys.
You do deserve it.
That's it! Not only for this programme, but for this series.
We'll be back whenever the X Factor's finished.
See you then, good night.