Top Gear (2002) s24e01 Episode Script

Series 24, Episode 1

1 Hello and welcome to Top Gear.
We're back! - And we've got lots and lots of shiny new cars.
- That's right.
That's right.
In fact, here's a look at what's coming up over the next seven weeks.
My mother told me "Son, let it be" Oh, it's on! Sold my soul to the calling Let's go racing! Sold my soul to a sweet melody Now I'm gone, now I'm gone now I'm gone Oh, gimme that fire It's got a chicken! I'm done.
Have the car, I'm out.
Oh, the acceleration is enormous! Whoo! The way this is written, it sounds like I just kicked your ass here.
Oh, gimme that fire My knob's come off! Oh, gimme that fire Oh, yes! What a thing! Oh, gimme that fire THAT is immature.
Ooh.
OK.
All righty.
Wow, that's a lot for the eyes.
Looks OK to me.
OK let's kick it off with this.
The LaFerrari.
Costs £1 million, and only 500 will ever be built.
Interesting, isn't it, that adding "La" to a name makes it sound more exotic, whereas "Le" - not so much, really.
I get it.
I see what you did there.
You got You got me.
We don't need to go into your last name.
All right.
Anyhow, the LaFerrari.
You hear that, you think, "Ferrari's VIP area," right? The fastest, the most advanced, the most exclusive.
Well, nearly.
Because, in the world of Ferrari, turns out there's a V-VIP area - - somewhere off-limits to us mere commoners.
- Mm-hm.
Somewhere home to a truly extraordinary machine.
Here it is, the Ferrari FXXK.
And, no, that name is NOT accidental.
- Oh, my - days.
It's based on the bones of the LaFerrari hypercar, but it's been intensified in every department.
Only 40 will ever exist, and it costs over £2 million.
Or at least it would, if you could buy it.
Which you can't.
Even if you're a zillionaire, you don't just phone up Ferrari with your credit card details.
Oh, no.
First, you must have been judged, in Ferrari's words, to "have the right mind-set.
" You must be invited.
In fact, the FXXK is so unattainable, I'm the first outsider ever permitted to drive one.
So, just for today, you can keep your LaFerraris, your everyday hypercars.
Run by Bring Me The Horizon Today, I've got more power, more lightness, more grip.
So much MORE.
Oh! Oh! The speed is preposterous! If you believe it, it has 1,050 horsepower.
That's 87 more than the LaFerrari road car.
It's SO physical.
It gets inside your body.
Sensational, addictive, mighty, corrupting power! 0 to 60 takes just over two seconds, but this car lives way beyond that.
Just keeps going until your brain implodes .
.
like a collapsing star! Like the LaFerrari, the FXXK has a KERS system harvesting energy wasted underbraking.
If I brake hard now, I can feel a kind of pressure behind my eyeballs, forcing them forward.
But here the system is F1 spec, and when it uses that energy to boost the performance of the 6.
3-litre V12 engine .
.
it just bungs you down the road.
It's not like a normal car experience of acceleration.
Here we go.
I accelerate in third and .
.
I'm 100 yards further than I thought.
Good Lord.
And then there's the traction control.
Because Ferrari doesn't want to kill its wealthiest customers, they're some of the most sophisticated systems I've ever encountered.
I can just bury the throttle coming out of turns, and it just manages it beautifully.
I suppose part of the thrill of this car is building up the courage to switch them off.
Well, you only live once.
Oh, yes! I'm alive! I'm alive! Now, this is a good way to ruin some very expensive tyres.
Fortunately, changing them is easy, because your £2 million FXXK also comes with its very own Ferrari pit crew .
.
just like a modern Formula One car.
But, unlike a modern Formula One car, it doesn't need to comply with a great big rule book.
In fact, it doesn't need to comply with the rule book well, at all.
Ferrari basically said to its engineers, "Knock yourselves out, do whatever the hell you want.
"Just make it fast.
"CRAZY fast!" And this being Ferrari .
.
crazy fast on the straights is just the start.
The true nature of this car lies in the way it corners.
The faster you go, the harder it sticks.
It's like a giant magnet.
You can't see it but, boy, can you feel it.
It's lawless, savage.
It's motorsport unlimited.
Unbound by rules, the FXXK can delve deep into the dark art of aero.
From that enormous active wing to the insane diffuser, its hunger for downforce crushes the tyres into the tarmac.
The aero through this left-hander.
Wow! Into the deck.
Right now, it feels about the fasted thing ever made, to me.
'The performance of the FXXK is so extraordinary, 'it recalibrates your understanding of 'what a car is capable of.
'It's wonderful, intoxicating.
'It's so cutting-edge, it's' I got quite a high water temperature now, so I need to just cool it down.
'.
.
well, it's high maintenance.
'And that means your pit crew will spend a lot of time 'fiddling about with stuff you don't understand.
' Needs a reset on the, er Er And this ultimate Ferrari thoroughbred is so extreme, you can't drive it on the road, and it doesn't qualify for any existing race series.
So, as a car, the FXXK doesn't really make sense.
But it's not meant to.
It's not really a car.
What it is is a ticket to the most exclusive private members club on the planet.
And this club has one final members-only benefit.
You see, up to now, the car has been holding back, saving power to make sure its batteries never run flat.
But the FXXK has something called Qualify Mode, and that gives you all the petrol power and all the electric power in one massive hit.
Maximum attack for one lap only.
And, well since I've only got one lap left, well you can't take it with you.
1,050 horsepower! What a car! What a day! Drink it up.
Drink it up, it's the last lap.
Unbelievable.
I'll never get to do that again.
I'm staggered I've had a chance to do it in the first place.
When the world's electric .
.
I think I'll remember this day more than every other.
- Well, I didn't crash.
- No, you didn't.
No, what an incredible car.
And I've got to be honest, you drove the ass off it.
One tiny point though, and I don't mean to be picky, - but you know this whole exclusive club thing? - Mm-hm.
OK, so what you're saying is, if you're a very, very special friend of Ferrari, you might just be lucky enough to receive an invitation - to give them £2 million.
- Correct.
And in return, you get a car that, yeah, is very fast and very pretty, but it's essentially useless, right? I mean, you can't drive it on the road, you can't enter it in any race series, you need a team of mechanics to keep it running Also correct.
That's good business.
It is if you're Ferrari.
Now, this is the point we usually hand the car over to Stig to thrash around our test track, but today, we can't.
It's just too cold out there.
The FXXK is on racing slicks and it just won't get hot enough to work.
We're sorry.
But we'll try to coax it back again for a lap later in the series - when the weather warms up a bit.
- Yes, we will.
Rory.
What a car.
And the high horsepower thrills don't end there, because later this series, and I can't believe I got to do this, but I drive the new Renault Twingo.
- Oh, yes.
- Wahey! - Oh, yes.
- Ho, ho! APPLAUSE - Whoo! - Yeah.
OK.
Now it is time to introduce this week's studio guest.
He's the star of Atonement, X-Men and Split.
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome James McAvoy.
Welcome, welcome.
Now, James, I know you didn't get a chauffeur to drop you down today.
- You drove yourself, right? - I did, yes.
- OK, what did you drive? - I drove my RS3.
- Nice, little pocket rocket.
- Little ninja, yeah.
- 300 plus horsepower there.
- Uh, if you say so.
Yeah, I just know it goes fast, man.
It goes fast.
So you have a driver's licence now, but didn't you drive for years without one? This is the weird thing.
I played a car thief in Shameless and I had to drive many beautiful cars and nobody ever asked me if I had a driver's licence, so I didn't, I didn't offer it up.
- I didn't get a driver's licence until six years later.
- Hang on.
You're painting quite a picture for us.
Any other bad behaviour you want to come clean with? I do actually have a clean driver's licence, but I did have a I had a provisional driver's licence just for riding a 125 scooter before I grew up and got a big bike, and, erm I got 11 points on my provisional licence.
Yeah.
The guy, the policeman that took me aside was like, "I'm probably going to let you off with it", and his partner was like shouting from the car going, "No way! "He's going down! This is unbelievable!" So, yeah, they put me in the back of the car and made me feel like a drug dealer.
All right, now, you didn't just come down here to enjoy our company, because, frankly, who would do that? No, no.
- You came here to drive fast around our track.
- Yes.
And the first thing that everyone here should know is that the original Top Gear track is back! And here's the other thing you need to know, we've got a new car.
And after all those Lianas and Lacettis and Cee'ds - I'm still a big fan of the Cee'd.
- That's cos you were quick in it.
We decided it was high time for something a bit more exciting, something rear-wheel drive, something fast.
That's right, but not too fast, cos we're talking about celebrities here, not responsible adults.
Which meant there was only one car for the job, and I mean literally only one car.
Introducing our new reasonably fast car, it's the Toyota GT86.
Drive it well and it's so much fun, but get it wrong and you will spin.
- I guarantee it.
- Yeah, so do I.
From experience I can guarantee it.
Right, so, obviously we're not going to send you out there without a little bit of instruction, so Do you remember at school that one teacher who really inspired you, nurtured you, believed in you? Well, our instructor is exactly the opposite of that.
He's mad, he's tiny, his head is very shiny, it's Chris Harris.
Welcome to the Toyota GT86.
Your performance reflects on me.
- All right, mate.
- So you've got to listen.
- What? - OK? Aim for the 50 metre board.
Don't try and be funny.
Fourth gear.
When I say "brake", brake.
Brake! - Listen! Listen, James.
- I am.
Over that way.
Do what you're told.
My hand's over there.
Look, third gear.
Third gear.
Third gear, that's second, you Third! Third! Argh! Aw! - OK.
- Whoo! You have to listen to the next bit, otherwise we both end up being looked for through dental records.
Fourth gear.
Fourth gear.
Yes! I wish they'd given me someone talented for this first episode, cos it would look so good for my coaching skills.
Oh, my lord.
And over the line.
And stop.
And never .
.
do that to me again.
- You loved it.
- Jesus Christ.
- You loved it.
Well, very nice, very nice.
I'm beginning to see why that career as a hostage negotiator never worked out for you.
OK, seriously, Harris, that is no way to speak to our guest.
Absolutely not.
Do you know what? I kind of liked it.
I like to be treated rough sometimes.
That's just Well, anyway, we are looking forward to seeing your timed lap a little bit later.
But first, here's a question £150,000, something fun for the summer, what do you buy? - Er, GT3 RS.
- OK, Rory? - McLaren 570? - Mm-hm.
Yellow Ford Capri with black stripes on it.
- OK, all good.
- Thanks.
- All good.
All wrong.
Because the most fun you can have for £150,000 is one of these.
- That's a Hobbit caravan.
- No.
No, that's a pressure washer.
So it's a pressure washer for £150,000 Sterling.
What are you going to wash with that? I'm going to wash a melon, a shed and a Volvo.
Check this out.
This is the Karcher Ecomaster mark three.
It runs at about 2,800 bar of pressure.
That's about 40,611 PSI.
Roughly.
Exactly.
This cleans stuff really well.
Watch this.
There you have it! Clean! Clean as a whistle! Am I right? That's good.
That thing's great.
Your handwriting is appalling.
Don't pretend you're not jealous.
Right, I need to vent about something.
The other night I was watching Ronin, OK? - Ronin, that film that came out, what? 20 years ago? - Yeah.
- Always up-to-date.
- Stop that.
Look, one of the best on-screen car chases of all time.
Agreed? - Yes.
- OK.
But I've spotted something that's troubling me, vexing me.
Have a look at this.
Wait there! There! - How annoying is that? Did you see that? - What? - See what? - You saw that.
- What?! - There.
BMW E34 M5 1990, turbine design wheel, cool for brake distance, that kind of thing.
Cut to That's not an M5 wheel.
That's the That's from a 535i.
It's a continuity nightmare.
How long are you planning on being a virgin? I could help you out.
Look, you work in film, you saw that, that's a nightmare.
- Yeah, right? - This has been bothering me Can I do one more? - Go ahead.
.
.
bothering me since 1987.
Withnail And I.
Great film? - A wonderful film.
- You must know it line by line.
- Yeah Go on, then.
Continuity nightmare.
Watch this.
Withnail, car.
There! - Where? What? - You saw it.
- Saw what? - You saw it! Withnail is set in 1969, OK? It's the end of the '60s, it's apocalyptic.
Right in the background is a Volvo 340 DL, launched in 1976! Even worse, the red smudge behind it, Nissan Sunny, 1981.
It's terrible.
Imagine, OK, Gladiator, Russell Crowe struts in, "I'm the father of someone got murdered, "I'm generally fed up with life," toga, look down below.
Air Jordans.
You're not going to suffer that.
It's not good.
It is literally, literally nothing like that.
OK? In fairness, though, I do hate film mistakes.
- You know Mad Max Fury Road? - Yeah.
OK, if you look really close, really, really closely, don't blink, you'll miss it, you'll see that they cast Tom Hardy instead of me.
Look real close.
You can see it.
Anyway, moving on, a couple of months back the producers told us to tackle a serious consumer question.
Specifically this one What is the most reliable new car on sale today? And we said, "Well, that's a stupid question.
"New cars can't be reliable.
They're new.
"You have to earn reliability over lots and lots of miles.
" If a car's driven to, say, the moon and back, and it's still going, now that's proof of reliability.
That's right, so our producer said, "All right, you're on.
" They told us each to go buy a car that HAD driven to the moon and back.
Well, the Earth equivalent.
480,000 miles on the clock.
So we did.
And they shipped them off for a series of reliability challenges in the middle of nowhere.
A little place called Kazakhstan.
So Kazakhstan.
Shall we go and find our cars? - Three containers, gentlemen.
- Who wants to go first? - Can I go first? - Go for it.
You're going to love it.
What do you think he's got? Some kind of mental issue.
- It's definitely a sports car, no? - Yeah, it's got to be.
- A high mileage Ferrari, perhaps? - Maserati.
- High mileage Maserati? - Yeah.
Which is, you know, a horrible idea.
- 'But Chris surprised us both.
' Oh! - That's not Italian.
That's not Italian at all.
A Volvo? The Volvo V70.
You want reliability, you go to Sweden, gentlemen.
You know that.
She's a minter.
I don't want to patronise you, but you know that in the Arctic Circle a reliable car is the difference between life and death.
But you're not playing a housewife in this film.
That's the thing.
Look, I know, it's not going to set any pulses racing, but V70s in this generation are very, very strong.
Manual gearbox for a bit of fun, and there's a button in there that's for heated seats, and I wonder whether either of you two have that function.
Shall we see your car, Matt? That's really sad, mate.
Forget Sweden.
You want reliability? He's got it! - Right, here we go.
- He's got a Merc.
Now, he thinks he's just bought into the ultimate brand - of reliability, but little does he know.
- Come on now.
- Huh? - Explain yourself.
Mercedes, the symbol, the quintessential symbol of quality, right? You go anywhere in the world, you see these E-Classes just rattling along, clicking off the miles, reliability, reliability, reliability.
Do you understand the significance of the colour? It's like a beige, kind of like a granny's living room colour.
- You know why it's that colour? - I don't know.
That was a taxi cab, that was a German taxi cab, - probably from the Berlin area.
- What? So that's had the hardest life imaginable.
While Matt came to terms with his new taxi - But it's still an E-Class.
- .
.
I went to fetch mine.
London Calling by the Clash Oh, my God.
What were you thinking? I don't know what to say.
Look, you want to talk reliability? This has got to be in the conversation, OK? London taxi, utterly bombproof.
Come the apocalypse, there will only be cockroaches and London cabs.
I don't know where to begin, Rory.
Look, first of all, these vehicles are designed to cover very short distances.
Maybe 40, 50 miles at a stretch.
Beyond that, they are purgatory.
Well, that's neither here nor there.
Also, people visit London to come and see the London black cab.
No, they don't.
They get in that piece of crap to go see something else.
Tell me the best thing about this car.
The best thing about this car, turning circle, 7.
62 metres.
I can run rings around your cars.
Right.
But before he could get in and show us, a man appeared in an old Lada.
- Welcome.
- Thank you.
Wheel bearing's gone.
"You and your high-milers will now undertake "a series of reliability challenges as you cross Kazakhstan "to the Baikonur Cosmodrome, "which is home to the Soviet Union's space programme.
"There's a rocket launch in two days.
Be there.
" - We're going to a rocket launch? - No, no, no.
Those of us that have a car that's going to make it to a rocket launch are going to a rocket launch.
You two are going to die on the Steppe.
Why do you have to be like that? Yes, ahead of us lay the Steppe, a vast desert of unforgiving terrain and extreme temperatures, certain to test our high-miler's reliability.
The journey would lead us to the Baikonur Cosmodrome, the world's largest, oldest space launch facility.
And the home of the Russian space programme.
Sputnik, Yuri Gagarin, even the first piece of the International Space Station, all were launched from this 3,000 square mile Russian-controlled facility .
.
but with only two days to get there, we had a lot of ground to cover.
I was just thinking, you see a car with 100,000 miles on it, you think, right, time to get a new one, that's pretty much worn out.
That's not what we've done, we've gone for cars that have 500,000 miles on them, and mine runs fine.
- How does yours run? - My cab hasn't aged a bit.
What did you say? It was a piece of This taxi is a bit of a shed.
I've just discovered that my heating doesn't work - and that's a bad thing, because in Kazakhstan it's currently minus 12 degrees outside.
First impressions, very impressive.
Doesn't really rattle or shake, it's remarkable.
Let's face it, Volvos are so reliable.
If this thing does break down, there'd probably be a national day of mourning in Sweden.
Guys, I don't have any heating whatsoever in my cab.
The sun's out, Rory.
Think positive, think warm.
I'm going to die of pneumonia, man! 'Heading out of town, we made a start for Baikonur 'and the bustle quickly dwindled.
' Look at it, it's just acres and acres of nothing.
It's like Stoke! 'And, as the road turned to dirt, 'we got the feeling this might not be the way to Baikonur after all.
' Why are we doing this? Can't we find another road? 'But then' Look at that.
- That is huge.
- Thanks, Chris.
'We had stumbled across our first opportunity 'for a spot of competition.
' Are you thinking what I'm thinking? I think I am thinking what you're thinking.
That looks like a race track to me.
I think we need to get it on.
'Our first test of reliability would be an impromptu quarry race 'down to the bottom, back to the top.
'First past the cow's head wins.
' Gentlemen, may the best man and his machine win.
Come on, little black cab.
Three, two, one go.
Oh, that's hopeless.
I've just been overtaken by a bloody London taxi! I've got better traction than Chris! Yeah! Oh, Matt's quick, though.
- Oh-ho! - Ah, he's in front.
Come on, chase him down, chase him down.
Oh, he's gaining.
Come on, come on.
Yes! Yes, yes, yes! Ha-ha! Oh, Rory with the big move up the inside.
We're in front! The black cab is in front! Oh, get out of the way! Hey, hey, watch the paint! Come on, baby, come on, hold it together.
OK, we're coming around the loop.
Ah, the turning circle coming in.
More than handy there.
79 horsepower! 0-60 in 21 seconds.
Sorry! And we've destroyed the Merc and the Volvo.
Oh, this is hopeless.
Slow up the hill.
I got him, I got him.
Matt's gaining, Matt's gaining.
Here we go.
Ah, no! - Thank you! - No! - Yeah.
- Oh! Right, come on, old girl.
Here comes Chris.
I'm on the defensive.
Hold him off, hold him off! Hold him off! Hold him off Matt's slowing down.
What the? What the Whoo! Come on! Yes! Ha-ha! Not quite the end I'd expected.
- Well, what happened? - What do you mean, what happened? - You weren't moving.
- I lost drive.
Coming up the hill, the transmission kind of let go.
I'll tell you what happened.
- I just won the race in the black cab! - Honestly, I'm disappointed.
I was coming past you, and you were stationary.
- You weren't coming past me.
- I was.
I was pushing you up the hill.
No, I was putting the moves on you, I was blocking you.
So you reckon you were not being pushed up the hill? I was defensive driving the hell out of you.
- You weren't aware you were being pushed up the hill? - Yeah, but that was enough to stay ahead! You would have pushed me over the finish line! I'm feeling slightly guilty.
This car has lived for 13 years and 570,000 miles.
And I've had it 42 miles.
42 miles! The last one was probably the most special.
- Meanwhile - Yeah.
- Pristine, good as new.
I can change that quite quickly for you.
'Our quarry race had taken its toll - 'but, after a few hours, we were back on the road.
' Your Volvo looks like the Terminator near the end of the film.
I removed a quarter of the front of the car and the warning system simply tells me, "Bulb failure, dipped beam".
That's how tough this car is.
That's Nordic strength.
And also, the airbox has been a bit squashed which means it now sounds like a full-house Audi Quattro.
So, actually, I've improved the car.
It does sound good.
That is nice.
Ba-a-ah! 'At last, we were on the road to Baikonur 'and the producers had told us to make a stop at the next town, 'a place called Kyzylorda.
'So, we pressed on, 'and Chris took it upon himself to keep us entertained.
' Were you to drive from one side of Kazakhstan to the other it's the same as driving from London to Istanbul.
It's basically the size of Western Europe.
Is it really? On a smaller scale, this country was the origin of the apple tree, so the apple was invented here.
Was it really? The Kazakhs were also the first people to domesticate the horse, the humble horse.
'But, before Chris could go full corduroy, 'we arrived in Kyzylorda and, at the local sports ground, 'we discovered apples and horses weren't all they had invented.
' 'They were playing a game called kokpar.
Basically, that's goat polo.
'It's a professional sport in Kazakhstan, 'and the aim is to get the goat carcass in the goal.
' I got to say, this is, uh, right up there with some of the, um, grossest shit I've ever seen.
'As we wondered what else the afternoon had in store, 'a challenge arrived.
' It says, "You will need now take on some local high-mile heroes" "in a simple game of tag.
" "If you tag another car, they're out.
" "If you get tagged, you're out.
" "Last car driving is the winner.
" Apparently, goat polo was just a warm up.
And, as we took to the field, the atmosphere in the stands was electric.
To prove which of our high-milers was the most rugged performance machine, we'll be going up against not just each other but three Steppe-hardened Lada workhorses.
Proven benchmarks of reliability .
.
driven by a crack squad of local talent.
So, with all six cars spaced out around the track, 'it was time for tag.
Whoop, whoop, whoop.
Let's go racing! Here we go! Come on, baby.
Let's do this one to London.
Oh, that Lada is mine! Hey, little red Lada, I'm coming after you.
They're surprisingly quick, these Ladas, these local hands.
I think I've got the Kazakhstani rallying champion in front of me.
'With the Volvo and taxi both struggling in the early stages' .
.
it was Matt's Mercedes making all the moves.
I got this red guy, I got him, I got him! Matt's got the red Lada.
But Matt had forgotten to check his mirrors.
Damn! I'm out.
I'm out.
'Having taken out the Merc, 'the little blue Lada had a taste for blood.
' I'm going to hit the brake and let him fly past me! He's missed! The blue Lada has missed! But then, it wasn't the blue Lada I needed to worry about.
Oh, Harris is behind me.
No, no, no, no! Give you a little tap, Rory.
Oh, Harris has got me! A slight bonnet issue now, a slight bonnet issue.
With one increasingly battered Volvo left in the running, 'it should have been easy pickings for the two remaining Ladas, but Harris doesn't give up easily.
I'm on the blue Lada now.
Come on, Harris, get him, get him, get him, get him, get him! I'm going to tap him, I'm going to tap him.
A bit harsh, but there we go.
He needed to know I was there! Right, come on.
This is the endgame.
He's chasing down the last Lada right now.
I think he might do it.
I can't actually see anything.
Where is he? Ooh, there he is.
Nudge.
He's got him! Victory.
Finally, the Volvo gets something.
Way to go, Harris, all right! Why is he always finishing races with his bonnet up? Oh, I It's an aero device, gives me a bit of extra front downforce.
A couple more screws in the bonnet this time, I think.
Yeah, I think so.
We'll get there.
We'll get the old girl to Baikonur.
I want to see a rocket go off.
To Baikonur! You know, honestly, before that trip, I had no idea that Kazakhstan was real.
I thought it was one of those made-up places like Timbuktu or Guernsey.
Those are both real places.
I know.
OK, James, to recap what happened there for everyone's benefit and yours is that the taxi won the race around the quarry.
All right! - Yeah, yeah? - Don't do the dance, don't do the dance! I won the race around the goat sacrifice temple.
Yeah, and Matt's Mercedes No, no, no, don't, don't do it.
Don't bad-mouth the Mercedes.
Don't do it, because we're in the presence of another lover of classic Merc, right? - Yeah, yeah, yeah.
- Am I right? Now, is it true that you once owned Idi Amin's Mercedes SL? Erm I was in a movie called The Last King Of Scotland, and at the end of that movie, they gave me this car that I drove in, which I didn't know at the time but it had belonged to somebody and Idi Amin had given it to that person.
So they said at the end of the movie I could have it.
But, again, I didn't have a driver's licence and I didn't really fancy driving it back from Uganda.
So I left it.
I just left it there.
I think they gave it to my driver, he was a nice guy called Fred.
Nice.
Way to go, Fred.
Right, now, it's time to find out how you went around the track in our new reasonably fast car.
Come on.
How did it go out there? Well, I don't think it went that well.
But it was a tonne of fun.
- Well, what do you think? Let's see how you did.
- OK.
'So, here we go, then.
Soaking wet track for James.
Off the line.
Traction control on.
Big balls.
Big, big balls, that's all you need.
I don't disagree with you.
Coming up towards the first corner.
Wetter than a waterfall in a monsoon.
This braking's going to be tough.
There's a direction change and also a surface change.
The grip levels there are terrible.
Best to stay on the track, I find, there! Shut it! Blending left, turning right into Chicago.
The inside line is off the frame at the moment so, actually, there's grip around the outside.
Come on! Now, this is the long drag toward Hammerhead.
Big braking has triggered the warning lights, you were braking so hard, that must be good.
The car's going to oversteer a bit, is it? Yeah, there it goes.
Whoo! I'd like to say you caught that.
It wasn't, the electronics caught it.
And again! That was a mid-gear change slide.
That's just showing off! Now we've got this fast right here, down towards the follow-through.
Yeah! Whoo! You think you're saving that, you're not.
The computer's doing it.
Through the follow-through.
That looks terrifying.
Oh, my Lord.
It looks You're like a sort of Scottish Ari Vatanen, aren't you? Now, coming hard into second to last, does he make the apex? He does.
He clips it.
- That's so slippery, isn't it? - Yeah, it's horrible.
'Through Gambon.
Nowhere near the racing line.
And over the line.
- Thank you.
- Good effort.
Honestly Can I just say, before we go anywhere, it was so slippery out there today.
- It really was treacherous.
- Yes.
- But it was a lot of fun because it was.
- It was a good run.
OK, new car means a new lap board.
We've already had a test day where we sent a bunch of celebs out in the GT 86 to lay down some markers.
You can watch how they did over on Extra Gear.
But the fastest time so far is one minute 39.
5 from Olympic double gold-winning gymnast Max Whitlock.
Oh, I loved his pommel routine, did you ever see that? Elegant Anyway, all right.
James, and Chris, because, frankly, this is your fault if he doesn't go straight to the top, you were his instructor.
Right.
- Feeling confident? - Mm, not really.
A little bit - Come on! - Go on, show me.
All right.
You did it in the wet, so it's a wet time.
- One minute 47.
1.
- Yes yes.
.
Oh! That's not bad.
That's not bad.
That's not bad.
- Thank you.
That's not bad.
- That's awesome.
Not bad at all.
Right underneath Ore Oduba there.
- A fine effort.
- Congratulations.
- I'm the only one in the wet.
That's good.
That is good.
Only one in the wet.
I think you guys will have a lot of fun this season with the celebrities in that car because you just can't control it like you could that Cee'd that we both drove.
- When you say "fun", do you mean death? - Yeah! All right, James, thank you so much for coming down and playing with us.
Ladies and gentlemen, James McAvoy! Thank you! Now, time to return to our high-mile challenge.
Earlier on, the three of us each had bought a car that had driven to the moon and back.
And we were crossing Kazakhstan for an appointment with the big rocket.
We awoke to the chill of another morning in Kazakhstan.
And Chris noticed that overnight I had been busy.
Matt, what's going on with the back of your car? Was it abducted last night by a band of amateur scaffolding people? You know that the little thing you gave me that lifted the ascent of the car up about four feet? Well, that's me being cautious and just trying to preserve the rear end of this Mercedes.
Despite the previous day's trials, all three of our high-milers were still in the hunt for Baikonur.
But since we had the place to ourselves, Rory had an idea to see whose car was holding together best.
How about a top speed challenge? But here's the twist - this is all about reliability.
So I think we should find out whose car gets closest to their manufacturer's claimed top speed.
- That sounds good.
- Chris, you're up first.
And the Volvo's top speed? 125mph.
Three, two, one, go for it! - It's pretty aggressive.
- Yeah.
That's the half a million mile clutch he's working with.
Come on, Volvo! Fourth, come on.
That's 90.
If Volvos are as reliable as he says they are, this should be no problem.
I'm not even 100.
Not even 100, come on! - How are the kids? - Good.
Yours? - Yeah, not too bad.
- All right.
- Right.
- How did we do? - I blame you for what just happened there.
I've got terrible aero and no power cos my airbox has moved because you stopped your vehicle on the first challenge, and I hit you.
- That's my fault? - Yeah, that's your fault.
- Who hit who? - Who stopped? - Who hit who? - Who stopped? - Who hit who? - I couldn't have hit the thing if it hadn't stopped.
If there's a policeman standing there, you'd be in trouble.
Do they have policeman at race circuits? It wasn't a race circuit, we were in a hole in the ground.
Look, the news is, 104mph, which is not good enough cos this thing should do 124, 125.
So I'm 20mph back.
So go and do your worst, I'm going to lose.
Next up, my European E-Class, with its 180 kilometres per hour top speed.
Go! There's 100.
There's 120.
- Did they really invent apples in Kazakhstan? - Yeah, apparently.
I just think, if they invented the apple, then we should try an actual Kazakhstani apple.
I'd love to have an apple.
Russet's that sort of thick-skinned, amber-coloured apple, delicious things.
The juice from them makes a very good drink.
- Come on, then, what's the number? - Take a guess.
- Wow, on the money.
- 160? - 160, that's about 100 miles an hour.
So, by getting within about 12mph of my top speed, I had edged Chris.
But I'd left the door open for Rory's 81mph taxi.
Go! - Come on, black can.
- Takes off like a shot.
He was hardly the figure of humility when he won last time, what's he going to be like this time? 81mph.
Ahhh! Yeah! Unbearable.
It just gets better with time.
Like a fine wine.
Right, gentlemen.
Give me the good news or the bad news.
Well, I'm afraid it's bad news for you, but good news for me.
I managed 84mph.
3mph more than the manufacturer's quoted top speed.
- What? - 84mph.
- Really? - Hey, come on, you got to give it up for the taxi, right? - Yeah.
- I guess so, yeah.
- Jump back in your cars, see if you can keep up.
Nice one I didn't expect the taxi to go faster than it did when it left the factory.
That's amazing.
With begrudging respect for the black cab, we headed on.
And before long, I made a discovery.
Hey, there's a David Hasselhoff cassette in the stereo.
Check it out.
I've been looking for freedom But it can't be found He's been looking for freedom, but it can't be found.
But as the hours dragged on I'm finding the flatness quite imposing now.
You wouldn't want to break down out here, would you? .
.
we were told to head to our last overnight stop So that's it, that's quite literally the end of the road.
.
.
located somewhere within the vast emptiness that surrounded the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
That's a dried up salt bed.
Wow! That's like Kazakhstan's Bonneville.
Driving on into the dark, inky gloom, eventually we arrived at our overnight stop where our final challenge awaited.
- Oh, hello.
- What does it say? It says, "Tomorrow you drive to Baikonur.
"You must reach the border gate by 2pm.
"At 9am tomorrow, your mileage trips will be reset.
"The winner is the high-miler that racks up the most miles "over the subsequent five hours.
"Only the winning car will attend the launch.
"The two losing cars will be sentenced to hard labour.
" All right, OK.
I'm looking for freedom You know what I'm going to do when I get home? I'm going to dig out my Hoff collection.
You should go to a doctor.
With the rest of the night to consider our strategies .
.
the next morning, we awoke to a tantalising sight.
- Oh, wow! - Oh, yeah, look at that! Yes, the Baikonur Cosmodrome was almost within reach.
But with our trip meters covered and reset, first there was a challenge to win.
And Chris was late.
What have you done? Mind your own business, Matthew.
All right, all right.
Most miles when we get to Baikonur wins.
Three two one, let's rock.
If he's going to roar it, why's he not moving? I don't know, and maybe the taxi finally packed it in.
So, clearly I'm not going to beat those guys in a head-to-head race.
I need to be smart about this challenge, and approach things with a bit more cunning.
A cagey start from the others, but my plan was simple - more speed means more miles.
The easy way to make your car quicker is to lose weight.
Seats are gone, door panels gone.
And I figured the best place to take my new superlight racer was back to Kazakhstan's Bonneville.
Even if that did mean another lengthy, off-road drive to reach it.
Meanwhile, in Harris's Volvo Ha-ha, a road! .
.
Chris was heading for a nearby town with his own harebrained strategy.
Speed is in the mind, so to change my mind-set, I've invoked Volvo's racing history here.
You remember? The year was 1994 and British touring car legend Rickard Rydell debuted the Volvo 850 Estate.
Surely the coolest estate car ever.
Add to that a perfectly safe range-extending fuel tank and you have the ultimate high-mileage maker.
I just needed somewhere to use it.
So, I did a bit of research last night.
There is an airfield near here, I don't quite know where, but I know it's nearby.
The second thing I did last night was to learn a Russian phrase.
"Where's the airfield?" Here we are, I'll ask this woman here.
No, she didn't want to know.
She didn't want to Now, while the others wasted valuable time finding places they could up the pace Into gear.
Now for some revs.
.
.
I opted for a short cut.
Right, this is it.
Let the high mileage begin.
Woohoo! No, that's not happening.
Though I swear I heard one of them say, "Is that Rickard Rydell?" That was it.
We're on.
This direction.
Woohoo! Now, this is what I call easy miles.
Nice and soft terrain, not too hard on the car.
What the hell was that? Something's come wildly loose, I don't know if it's that bar on the back or what.
In fact, it was worse.
And with no time to lose, the Mercedes needed the delicate touch of a professional.
Saved a little more weight.
After a slow start over in the Volvo .
.
Rickard Rydell had finally found his airfield.
100 miles an hour.
What a place! High banking at Daytona.
I really like this car.
She may be old, she may be almost worn out, but she's got heart, she really does.
After three hours of flat-out, lightweight racing though A fuel light just came on.
.
.
it was time to start the long drive back.
OK, Baikonur! Now, Rory was also running low on fuel, but he had thought ahead.
Ouch! No! Oh, that is dead.
That's dead, isn't it? That's definitely dead.
Oh, man! Back in my range-extended Volvo, things were looking tasty.
I'm averaging a lot of miles an hour here.
A lot of miles an hour.
And while I was piling on the miles, Matt wasn't.
All right, finally a little bit of smooth road.
Oh, spoke too soon.
But then, somehow .
.
the cab was back.
How is this car still running? Unbelievable! I love this car.
We're a team.
Whatever happens, we're a team.
And at last This is it, this is it.
.
.
this team reached the entrance to the Cosmodrome.
I'm the first one here, so I may as well do a few of my legendary tiny turning circles.
Every mile counts.
Every mile counts.
And with just a few minutes left Hey, there you are! .
.
it was a desperate fight to add distance.
I can add some miles too, man, two can play at that game.
Where's Harris? Oh, Rory, Rory, that's it.
Two o'clock.
Two o'clock, the party is over.
How's your head? Dizzy? Dizzy.
That is becoming his signature look.
Maybe he can't see where he's going.
- Gentlemen.
- How did you do? - Well, quietly confident, but let's see what happens.
- Who's this? He must be checking the mileage.
He's got a lovely wrist action on that ratchet.
- Thank you, thank you very much.
- OK, Matt.
OK, I have here the results.
In third place, with 211 miles Mr Chris Harris.
- Oh! - Congratulations.
In second place, with 284 miles - .
.
Mr Matt LeBlanc.
- Come on! - That's right.
- Say it, say it.
In first place, with 329 miles, Mr Rory Reid in the black taxi.
Way to go, man.
Hang on, hang on, look at this.
Oh, really? Is that what's happening? The losers lose their cars.
So we had our winner.
And as the others set off toward their new life of service on the Kazakh Steppe I'd become rather fond of my Volvo, Matt.
Yeah, I'm going to miss that old car.
The truth is, all our high-milers had proven their worth.
And now, all that remained were the last few miles into the heart of the Cosmodrome and the launch site.
This would be the black cab's victory lap.
- Where you headed? - Rocket launch? - Jump in.
And it gave us a chance to consider something.
You see, to most people, cars are just a tool, a runaround.
You might run one for 60, 70, even 100,000 miles and think it's had its day.
But the truth is, it could do so much more.
Back in the '50s, the US and Soviet Union's fierce battle for global engineering dominance propelled mankind into space.
The Cold War thawed just for a moment as the world stood in collective wonder at what we could achieve.
It was an event that marked one of the most intense periods of technological development in human history - and it brought us to today, where right now, sat on your driveway, you could have a car, a car, that's been so well engineered, it'll go the distance to the moon and back, and beyond.
Wow! I still can't get that Hasselhoff song out of my head.
Amazing cars, indestructible.
Indestructible.
OK, so, Rory, we know why our cars aren't here, they're doing hard labour in Kazakhstan.
But where's your little black cab, did you not want to drive it back the 3,000 miles from Baikonur? I'd have loved to have driven my taxi home, but it had a higher calling, a public duty.
Check this out.
See that? That's been immortalised, OK? It's a symbol of hope.
Yeah, you know, that was really nice.
The good men and women of Baikonur, they can look up at your humble taxi, symbol of Britain, of London, and think, thank God I don't have to drive one of those.
Don't hate a winner, Matt.
- Don't do the dance, don't do the dance.
- No dancing.
OK, next week, convertible supercars in the USA, the Alfa Romeo Giulia and one very broken windscreen.
- Thanks for watching.
- Yeah, we'll see you all next week.
Goodnight.