Top Gear (2002) s25e06 Episode Script

Series 25, Episode 6

Hello, and welcome to Top Gear.
It's the last show of the series, and I got to tell you, we are going out in a blaze of glory.
We're really turning up the heat, we are smoking.
Basically, what I'm saying is there is a film coming up where something catches fire.
But first, SUVs.
Now, the last few years have seen a whole bunch of sports car makers building them, but there's one manufacturer that's nobly resisted, stood alone and refused to budge.
Until now.
This is the Stelvio.
It's got five seats, it's got four-wheel drive, it starts at just over £30,000, and it comes from Alfa Romeo.
Yes, Alfa have done an SUV.
And they've done it right.
This is what a sports utility vehicle should be.
The Stelvio's made of aluminium and carbon fibre, so it's light, and it's quick, too.
This one's got a two-litre petrol turbo that makes 280 horsepower.
It'll get to 60mph quicker than a Golf GTi.
This thing hauls.
The steering's quick, you sit nice and low, and you can really throw it into a corner.
And while it does have SUV-essential four-wheel drive, most of the time the power gets sent to the rear wheels.
You know, the fun wheels.
So it's a sports utility vehicle with plenty of sport, and plenty of utility, too.
Loads of room for five people, and Alfa says that boot will hold 525 litres of water.
Heck, you could transport a medium-sized dolphin back there, easy.
And this dash .
.
as you can see, it's still attached to the car.
The switchgear, it works.
This, this is a bold new approach for Alfa.
I like it.
You know, there was a time if you wanted THAT badge in your life, you had to accept certain compromises.
Specifically, that it would be attached to a totally impractical car that didn't work most of the time.
But not the Stelvio.
It checks all the rational, practical boxes, and it's an Alfa Romeo, what What's not to love? Pointless and self-defeating.
- Excuse me.
- Mm-hm? Thanks for butting into my film, and why is it pointless? Um, it's a sporty SUV, Matthew.
Sporty SUVs are inherently pointless, they're trying to join together two things that don't join.
OK, your argument would be much stronger if you didn't just pull up in an SUV.
Noted, obviously, if you need a big, practical family set of wheels, you should buy an estate car, but it seems some people must have an SUV, and if so, I give you the Volvo XC60, a practical, family, countryside thing from people who have been doing practical, family, countryside things for generations.
Come on, let's go for a drive, I'll show you what it's all about.
- Come on, follow me.
- But I was just about to do the big finale thing.
I had a big musical ending, there was going to be a wind machine, it was going to be very emotional, Chris! Come on.
It's not fair, it's just not fair at all.
Volvo's been having a bit of a resurgence recently, and it's been doing it by being really chilled out.
While every other carmaker on the planet gets sportier and more aggressive, Volvo says, relax, kick back, have a fennel tea.
And on the inside you know exactly what you're getting.
I mean, these seats are comfortable.
Volvo basically invented comfortable seating, and all the interfaces and the screens, not only do they look good, but they make total sense.
It's intuitive, and you know what, the XC60 is really pleasant to drive fast.
It's tight in the corners, it stays flat, but the best thing of all is this isn't an SUV pretending to be a sports car.
It's just a Volvo.
Hey, Chris, where are we going, anyway? We're going to a house that's significantly older than your country.
Where we were going was to the Burghley Estate.
Its magnificent sprawling grounds are home to the prestigious Burghley Horse Trials, which, to the less equestrian minded, is a sort of horsey sports day.
Look at this.
This is the spiritual home of the SUV, these are the people that buy these kind of cars, Matt.
I mean, look around you.
Volvo, Land Rover, Volvo, Volvo, Land Rover, the odd Volkswagen.
I mean, the British population can't be wrong.
That's what I'm saying, you know, you buy a Volvo, you buy a Land Rover, you're just one of the sheep.
You show up here in this, you're the guy in the Alfa.
No, you're the guy in the Alfa SUV, it's just wrong! Why shouldn't Alfa make an SUV? Everyone else is making them nowadays - Jaguar, Bentley, Maserati, Porsche has got two of them, and for £30,000, you can't argue.
They start at 30,000, how much is that one there? - How much is this car? - The one you're driving, Matthew, - how much is that one? - It's like 47,000 £47,000?! - Is it?! - That's absurd.
Well, how much is yours? This is a very, very highly specified example How much is that one, how much? - 53,000 - 53,000 What's that noise? Rory? Rory.
Oi-oi! What's up, gangsters? Hi, welcome to my film, come on in, the more, the merrier.
- What is that? - This is the new Range Rover Velar.
The latest offering from the ultimate SUV brand.
It's powered by a rugged two-litre diesel, packing a tidy 237 horsepower.
All dressed up with the style conscious driver in mind.
This is what SUVs are really all about, I mean, this is a statement.
It, er, it is that.
It does the family stuff, it does the off-roading stuff, I mean, it is a Range Rover, but image, image, Matt, that's why you buy an SUV.
You want a car that says something about you.
That says, um, I want to be a rapper, but I'm stuck in middle management, - that's what it says, Rory.
- And what are you wearing? Image! Presence.
Leave me alone.
Don't touch.
I'm happy with that.
And I can't remember what that one says.
Kick me! Is that what it says? Can we talk about how great my car is? All right, how much does that cost? 67 and a half.
Well, listen, no, it, it costs money because you get what you pay for, - this is value.
- Wrong decision, here we go.
- Watch yourself.
- Whoa, whoa, whoa Hello there.
It's a challenge, thank you! What does it say? OK, to decide which of you has brought the best SUV - me - you and your cars will now compete in Top Gear's inaugural horse trials.
What? Horse trials! Saddle up, boys! - Come on.
- I ain't trying no horse.
That's right.
Horse trials.
The ultimate test of horse and rider.
Or, in our case, car and driver.
Our competition would consist of two rounds, and for the first we were told to head to the arena.
This is great! This is a classical British scene, the village gymkhana.
- I love it.
- Yeah.
So we're meant to do the horse things, but in the cars And our first "horse thing" would be a timed run through the arena's obstacles.
Including a seesaw, rumble strips, two jumps and a bridge, before finishing in the enclosure.
And to make our equine SUV test even more thorough, we'd been given something to tow.
- Horse trailer.
- Horse box.
- Excuse me? - We call it a horse box.
You call that trailer a horse box? We do.
- That sounds like a horse's - We're not going there, are we, Matthew? - Come on.
- OK.
Please tell me there's not an actual horse in there, though.
Let's find out.
Hey! Geez.
Just trying to help there, sorry.
After you, Rory.
Thanks.
Pillock.
Thankfully, we'd been given cargo capable of taking a knock or two.
What is that? A horse pinata.
- Oh, OK.
- Very humane.
- This is where you don't want to stand.
- Yep.
OK, who's going to go first? - Me? - I'll go first.
- Yeah, I'll go first, yeah, it's my film.
- Touchy.
- I think he's quite sensitive about this.
OK, here we go.
Three, two, one.
He's away.
Hitching up now.
- It's accurate, it's good, it's good, it's good.
- Oh! - Good action.
- Good wrist action.
You know Matt's a horseman, right? He's got an entire fleet of horses.
Is it fleet? Let's see those guys hook a horse trailer up like that.
A school? A school of horses? - I don't know.
- My world now, boys! All right, here we go.
He's got to nail this.
Holy mackerel, look at that! That's a bang.
- Lost it, he's lost his horse.
- He needs to get out the way of that before it collects him.
- He's lost his horse.
- Is he aware of it yet? No, he's not fully aware of it yet.
Oh, look, he's seen it! There it is! I've lost the trailer.
OK.
But despite his horse bolting, or unbolting I think you're probably disqualified if you lose your hitch.
.
.
Matt soldiered on.
This is the equestrian equivalent of falling off your horse and running round the course on your own afterwards.
The whole challenge is towing that horse box.
And the unencumbered Alfa took the rest of the course with ease.
Oh, my dear God! That looked .
.
violent! Except, that is, for the reverse park into the finish enclosure.
He's going to have to have two goes at this, watch this.
Does that count? Where's the horse? He's, he's over there, grazing.
I'm guessing that I might not have, probably didn't, I don't think I hooked it on securely enough.
You've got a time, but I'm not sure it means anything.
- Yeah.
- OK, Rory, your go.
Well, I don't really want to jump my Velar, if I'm being honest.
You're wearing your flight suit and everything, come on.
- Go for it.
- Watch and learn.
Go big or go home.
Pull your jeans up, as well.
Shut up! With Matt and his Stelvio falling at the first fence, then, the stable door had been left wide open for me and the Velar.
It's not a bad looking car, you know.
Don't tell him.
I'd never want to admit it.
No, why would you say that? All right, you ready? - Ready.
- Three, two, one.
So, Velar.
Bigger than an Evoque, smaller than a Range Rover Sport, way better looking than both.
- Oh, oh! - That was well judged.
- Crikey! - Right, what am I doing, what am I doing, what am I doing? I don't know what I'm doing! Turn the wheel round the other way.
The emergency brake cable.
It's snagged on the chain.
It's snagged on the chain, undo it and free it up and go straight, see? - That's fine.
- No, no, the chain, if it bounces, it will pull it out and set the brake.
I can't undo the brake cable without taking the whole thing off.
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
Sorry.
Keep going, keep going! You've just sabotaged me by telling me this isn't safe! - Keep going.
- I'm going! - But you forgot the Whoa, whoa, whoa - Shut up! - All right.
Absolute tits! Undeterred by Matt's meddling, though We can make it up, we can make it up.
Once up and running Brake .
.
the Velar took to the course like a true thoroughbred.
OK, let's go.
Gliding through obstacles with grace, poise Woohoo! .
.
and, crucially, a horse box.
Bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce.
We're good at bouncing! The air suspension takes the hits so much better than the Stelvio.
This one's for England! Whoa! - Woohoo! - Oh, my lord.
- This could be interesting.
- OK, reverse.
And we do it this way, don't we, we turn the other way, don't you? No, that's gone wrong, that's gone wrong.
Is that right? Why isn't it working? I can hear him yelling.
I can't see a damn thing! - Is that in? - You knocked the fence down.
Stop the clock.
Foul.
Red card, for him? Well, at least he came back with a trailer.
OK Hey! I mean, that's kind of in.
- What happened? - That's in.
- You missed the box.
- I'm in the box.
You weren't in the box, I'm more in the box than you were when you did - your run.
- Do you want to know your time? - Yeah, tell me my time.
You did it in five minutes 47 seconds.
- Oh! - Five minutes?! - You should have just come in here, whipped it in and knocked the fence down, it would have been much quicker.
I tried, though, man, look, I actually, look, look, - that made me bleed my own blood.
- That? You call that bleeding? Yeah, I'll probably get rabies now.
Unlikely.
And while Rory would sadly make a full recovery, the same couldn't be said for his horse.
Here we go.
Oh! The headless horse.
It is a Sicilian stallion.
So far, one of us has taken the thick end of a day to complete the course, and the other one didn't come back with a horse.
Yeah, I think this is looking good for you.
This is looking good for me.
After all, Volvo is practically Swedish for horse.
Mode - off-road.
That raises my suspension.
Three, two, one.
Here he goes.
Right, first unfair advantage, I have tow bar assist mode.
Follow the line, and you shall hitch more easily.
Oh, that's pretty good.
What do we think? That looks good.
Feels good.
So, let's go.
Oh! This last few hours, he's been going on and on and on about how SUVs aren't all about power and speed.
Oh, bloody hell, that hurt.
Is he still thinking the same thing? No.
- You see, it's a Volvo, Volvos are built to do this.
Unfortunately for Chris, though, Volvos weren't built to do this.
Oh! - Oh! - I've got noises now.
That doesn't sound very good.
I think we've got a technical fault.
- What's the matter? - It's making a terrible noise.
Should I stop the clock, or? It's making a terrible noise but I don't know why! Actually, you might have this in the bag, Rory.
I don't hear any funny noise, do you? Wow.
He's actually got it in, eventually.
- OK.
- Oh.
- Yep.
- Yeah.
- OK, now, yeah, leave it, leave it, that's good.
So, after three successful-ish runs through the arena, who had come out on top? First of all, it's in the garage area.
- Yeah.
- And I didn't knock a fence down.
- Yeah.
- OK? - That's not bad.
It's more in there than mine was.
Yeah.
- I know you're excited.
- How is he holding up? Look at that! I mean, he's missing a leg A lot less mayhem than either of you two caused, agreed? I'd say so.
I never actually saw my horse, but what really matters is Yeah? The time.
- OK.
- Come on.
- Rory, what was your time? - 5.
46.
47.
- 5.
46.
47! Wow.
OK, Chris.
- Yeah.
- You did it - Yep.
.
.
in a 5.
48.
9.
- Oh! - That's atrocious.
- I had to stop for a technical difficulty! If you hadn't done that, you'd have won.
Wait, before we go - Yeah? - Victory dab.
- I'm out.
- What?! You're endorsing that kind of behaviour?! You let him win, and now that's what we have to put up with.
My car made a terrible noise, I had to stop! My car made a lot of terrible noises You know what? I've got to say, until I used an SUV to jump a horse box over a paddling pool, I had no idea how amazing I would be at that.
Congratulations.
We have finally found a motorsport you can do.
Touche.
Now we must move on to what was meant to be a nice little film about a plucky sports car company coming back from the dead, a phoenix from the flames, if you will.
But, as you'll see, we got a few more flames than we bargained for.
The year was 1961, when a company called Alpine introduced the A110.
And while you may never have heard of it, this pretty little French coupe became a giant slayer.
Based on humble Renault underpinnings, in 1973, it entered the very first World Rally Championship, and won.
In fact, in that year's Monte Carlo Rally, five of the top six finishers were A110s.
A rally legend was born.
But, outgunned by new arrivals, by 1977, the A110 was finished.
Alpine, now under Renault ownership, more or less sank without a trace.
Until now.
Here it is, then, the new Alpine A110.
A two-seat, all-aluminium sports car that takes the spirit of the original, and updates it for the modern age.
Now, Alpine is still owned by Renault, but there isn't a Renault badge anywhere on this car.
And that's a good thing.
As is the way it goes.
Boy, is it good to drive! Sacre bleu! Mon dieu! Zut, and, indeed, alors! This is a fast car! The A110 does 0-60 in 4.
5 seconds, which puts it firmly in the not-a-Renault category.
Oh, yes! And there's a good reason for that, because the A110 is all about one thing - lightness.
These seats - half the weight of your normal sports seat.
That saves 13kg.
The handbrake, well, that's integrated into the main braking system.
I know, exciting stuff, but it saves another 2.
5kg.
In fact, everywhere they could possibly save any weight at all, they did.
Overall, the A110 weighs just 1,100kg, that's 350 kilos lighter than that Audi TT RS.
Now I know 350 kilos is kind of difficult to picture, so allow me to put that another way.
This is why there aren't many piano buskers So, driving round in one of THOSE is the equivalent of driving round in one of THOSE with one of THESE on the roof.
This single-minded attitude to weight saving is what really characterises the A110.
The way it feels, and the way it drives.
All that lightness means it corners with real delicacy.
It's got double wishbone suspension all round, and that is the best gear available.
And, crucially, Alpine hasn't made it too stiff, there's a bit of roll in the corners.
That might sound like a bad thing, but it isn't.
Hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo! Oh, yes.
Now, being mid-engined, there is slightly more weight at the back than the front, so when you're feeling really irresponsible .
.
it does want to swap ends a bit.
But it is so much fun! Car manufacturers have for years told us that sports cars should be stiffly sprung, and hard riding and flat handling.
It's absolute rubbish.
So what's not to like? Well, though Alpine is keen to stress this isn't a Renault .
.
most of the A110's switches and levers do come from the Renault parts bin.
As does the engine, which, a little unimaginatively, is the same four-cylinder 1.
8 turbo you'll find in the new Megane hot hatch.
But what's really not to like is the price.
This Premiere Edition, which is French for Premier Edition, costs about 58,000 euros, which is over £50,000, which is a lot.
In fact, it's the same price as that.
The Porsche Cayman, the S, the fast one.
I know we always test new sports cars against Caymans, but it's the best car.
So, time to find out if Alpine is still in the business of giant slaying.
Ah Ah Ah Yeah, we're not really socking it to Porsche, I mean, it's not getting any closer.
A little bit disappointing, but, you know what, if I'm honest, it's not really unexpected, is it? It's got 100 horsepower less than the Porsche.
And that is exactly the point.
The A110 isn't about drag races.
This is a car that sacrifices straight line speed in the name of something nobler.
This is a car for the real world, real roads, real corners.
Which means this race track is not where the Alpine is meant to live.
That's right, Top Gear's quantum portal thingy is back.
It's time to go left at Hammerhead.
Here we go.
Oh, yes! Racing gloves, race suit, mountains, this is perfect, this is Alpine country.
I'm in heaven.
I'm loving this.
This is just spot-on.
Hang on a minute, whoa! This looks a bit serious.
This is a rally.
The Monte Carlo Rally .
.
scene of the original A110's triumph, and still jewel in the crown of the current World Rally Championship.
A relentless alpine assault of uneven asphalt and unsighted corners.
Running this gauntlet takes experience, skill, and above all a cool-headed co-driver.
Chris! Chris! - Eddie?! - Put that on, we're going to do the Monte Carlo Rally, come on! - No, we're not - Come on, Chris, Chris, Chris, they're calling us to the start line! Come on, get the hat on, get it on! Come on! Do you know anything at all about co-driving? I only live around the corner, I know this place like the back of my hand! That's the front of your hand! Don't question your co-driver! Oh, my God This is a really, really bad idea.
There's world rally cars everywhere! - This is unbelievable! - That's Jari-Matti Latvala! Look at the Toyota, look at the back of the Toyota! That's an M-Sport world rally car, that's Elfyn Evans.
That is Elfyn Evans! Oh, my God, did you see that?! That's insane! Look, now we're up to the start When we get down towards the lower numbers, don't tell anyone, we'll go at two.
Get the revs up.
Five, four, three, go, go, go, go, go! We're away, we're away, we're away! Come on! Faster, faster! Drive it like you stole it, man! Hairpin left, hairpin left! Have you ever done this before? What, yelling at somebody from the passenger seat? Of course, all the time! Can you quicken this up? My granny goes quicker than this! Despite Eddie's unique co-driving style Fast left, fast left, fast left! - And another fast left! - Everything can't be a fast left! .
.
the Alpine was magnificent.
I love it! Built for roads just like this.
- This car is superb.
- Go, go, go, go, go! Doesn't it feel so right here? But, just a few minutes into the stage .
.
the Alpine faulted.
"Electric failure danger.
" We're by the side of the road, we're by the side of the road.
It's a total conk out.
- Fire, fire, fire! - Oh, it's on fire, it's on fire, get out! - Get out, get out, get out! - Come on.
Come away! Come away! Everybody back from the vehicle now, please, thank you.
That ain't going to put it out, mate.
Well, I hate it when you can't get the temperature right in the car, huh? It's either too cold, or on fire - What happened? - I'd literally been driving it for a few minutes, the warning light comes on the dashboard, something about electrical failure, stop.
The power cuts almost immediately, and the first time I knew it was on fire was when I opened the car door and the flames licked straight up my arm.
Yep, that's a dead giveaway.
But, most importantly, everyone's OK, no-one injured.
Well, apart from the car.
- Nah, the car's fine.
- The car's fine? - Yeah.
- OK, this is what it looked like a few minutes later.
Oh, look at that, it IS mid-engined.
It handles so well, that thing.
Handled .
.
so well.
But, being serious for a second, Alpine would like us to make it clear that that car was a prototype, not a finished production car.
They say they've conducted a full investigation, and have concluded that "This isolated fire incident was caused by a fuel leak.
"Robust measures have been put in place to ensure "that such an incident cannot re-occur.
" Basically, they're going to remove all the fire before putting them on sale.
- Are you done? - Well, I can't think of any more right now, so, yeah.
OK, but they've given us another car so we can see just how fast it goes around our test track.
Yep, and let's just say there weren't a whole lot of volunteers to drive this one.
In fact, only one.
It's the Stig.
Here he is, then, Le Stig, on the start line in the Alpine.
Mid-engined, so good traction off the line, seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox shifting quickly, using all the track, as our white-suited friend always does.
Into this second corner now.
Look how soft it is, all that roll gives this car a lovely language of speed.
Again, using all the track, turning left on that kink before the right-hand turn, it's a good test of agility, this, right into Chicago.
Again, watch the roll.
The traction's good, it's feeding gears in.
Up, up, up, only 250 horsepower, but 1,100 kg, so good power-to-weight ratio.
A great-looking machine, as well, breaking hard now into Hammerhead, there's a good direction change here, a jink left, and now turning right.
Look at that roll.
Roll equals grip, roll is good, most people are wrong, we don't want flat handling, anodyne sports cars.
Powering out, engine sounds really good, little parps on the up shifts, Follow Through, that's quick through there.
Little straight now, into the tyre wall.
That looks quick, and a big bump and a little wiggle of oversteer, that's just showboating from the Stig there, didn't need to do that.
Now just coming in, trail braking into second-to-last, using all the curve and a bit more on the inside, rude on the outside, and watch this now.
He's always cheeky there, robbing the kerbs, over the line.
- Ooh, yeah.
- Good lap, very good lap.
Exciting looking car.
That looked fast.
Got a great looking stance to it.
- Yeah.
- Yeah, yeah, all right.
The Alpine A110 went around our track in 1.
22.
09.
Oh, that's a good effort! That's a good effort, pretty good effort.
That is good.
- You are a child.
- Thank you.
All right.
Now it's time to put a star in our Reasonably Fast Car.
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Jason Manford! Hello.
- Hiya, mate.
- Welcome to the show.
- Thank you very much.
Thank you.
Oh, lovely.
This is all right, isn't it? Yeah.
Great to have you.
Hey, great to be here.
I don't know how I'm going to follow that Alpine, my goodness.
I mean, I'm from Manchester, and I've seen a lot of cars on fire, but that was spectacular.
That was amazing.
What was great was I was watching on a monitor back there, and as the camera sort of swoops in for the scene afterwards, everyone around it just took a step back.
It was amazing to watch! You are touring at the moment.
I am, yeah.
I'm on tour, I'm doing all over the country until Christmas.
We're doing a show called Muddle Class, which is sort of about where I am in my life, which is I'm from quite a working-class background, and I've done all right, doing my job, and then now I'm in a position where my kids, they're a bit middle class, and I'm sort of stuck in the middle, because, I don't know if anyone else has this, but it's quite hard to raise kids who are posher than you, you know? Because what you don't want to do is raise kids that when you were a kid you didn't like, you know what I mean? So that's what's hard! I feel you on that one, sometimes I just don't feed them.
It balances it out.
So you must cover a lot of miles, touring, I would imagine, yeah? Yeah, God, we must do Well, certainly when I was doing the club circuit, you do, like, 60,000 miles a year, like, yeah, you'd be all over the place.
How do you deal with all the time on the road? I mean, what do you do to pass the time? Well, I either drive, or sometimes the tour manager drives, and that can be hard as well.
We're in, like, a Viano thing a lot of the time, so there was and it's weird, because sometimes you get off stage, and, you know, you're on top of the world, you know, you've just finished a show, and you're in the back of a car, and he's driving off.
And we were driving from Northampton to York, a little while back, all the showbiz places that I do, like, and I'd had something to eat before the gig, some chicken or something, I don't know what it was, but it was not quite right.
And I was in the back of the car, and I was thinking, "Oh, I don't feel so right," it's quite a long drive, you know, I'm in the back there, I don't feel so right.
And I didn't know, it's a new tour, you know, it's a new tour manager, we don't know each other that well for you to just give him the truth.
So I said, "I need to just stop off at some point.
" He said, "There's no services," you know, as you get on the A1, there's nothing up there, you know.
I said, "Just anywhere's fine, anywhere's absolutely fine.
"Just a wooded area, I'll take a wooded area.
" He said, "Do you need a" I said, "I just need a wee, yeah.
" Anyway, he pulled over, and I went into the woods, as far as I could, and, I mean, there's no delicate way of saying it, you know, I just had to, it's not just bears that do it, that's what I'm saying.
- I don't understand - No, good! There was just a moment where, I mean, it cost me two socks, as well, but, I know, it doesn't get better.
It doesn't get better, this story, I'm sorry! There was definitely a moment where I was stood there, just thinking, "Is this my life?" I was just onstage, rapturous applause, and now I'm in the middle of I've still got scratches, I've still got scratches on my arm from the brambles, it was like the worst follow-up to Blair Witch.
I think I'd rather find the Blair Witch than what I left.
I wasn't planning on telling that, but there we are, we're there now, - we're here now! - And, moving on Right, OK, so you went out on the track with Chris for a bit of training.
- I did, yeah.
- How did that go? - Yeah, it's all right, it's weird, because, you know, I drive a seven-seater, you know, I've got kids in the car, school run, I don't really put my foot down, you know? So it was exciting, I've got to say, but scary.
- Well, let's take a look at the training.
- Yep.
We've had a few comedians on the show this season.
- I know - And I'm told that where you sit on the leaderboard equates - to roughly how funny you are.
- I'm not sure about that.
- Are you sure? - Yeah, because generally what happens is the open spot, or whoever's less down on the bill, has to drive the headliner.
- Oh, OK - So actually the worse a comic you are, the better the driver.
That's a good comeback.
First gear.
I don't believe it for a minute, but let's go, come on.
I don't even know how that came out of my head! Straight on to the 50.
Is this a good time to ask you how many times you failed - your driving test? - Erm, I passed on my sixth.
You passed on your sixth? Yeah, so I failed five times.
- What's the best fail? - The best fail, the worst fail? Yeah.
I think it was when I got to a roundabout, and he said, right, go straight over here, and I went straight over the roundabout.
You went straight over the roundabout?! Yeah.
Well, he said go straight over.
Bearing in mind it was one of the ones painted on the floor, it wasn't like a load of flowers and that, you know? Left.
That could be interesting, that could be very interesting.
That could be VERY interesting! If you were just 5% off that, it would be brilliant, as it was I hope my car insurers aren't watching this! Now, between the tyres and the grass I'm going to close my eyes.
See how fast, just be brave, do whatever you want.
Make the left, make the left or we're off.
Right, at the hundred, braking, brake, brake, brake, brake, brake! A bit more brake, did you say? Bit more brake! So when I say "bit more brake" - Oh, yeah, what does that mean? - The clue is in the last word.
There is every chance that you could go very quickly, or die, it's one of the two.
Hey, I think that's fine, I'm prepared to take that risk.
Good man.
Very good work.
- It's fun, right? - It's a lot of fun, yeah, it's a lot of fun.
- Yeah.
- Terrified.
- All right, let's talk a little bit about your car - history now.
- Oh, yeah, yeah.
- Where does it all start? When I eventually passed my driving test, on the sixth time, as you just heard, it took me a long time to pass, I thought some of them were unfair as well, to be honest.
I remember one, I got to a junction, I looked right, and I said, "All right your side?" That was a fail.
Unbelievable.
Unbelievable.
I do it all the time now.
My first car was a Citroen ZX.
- They were lethal.
- Yeah, they were, and I bumped that one a few times, yeah.
I mean, I certainly wouldn't be parked that close to a park That is not the place to put it.
OK, then what was after that one? And then, I thought, right, I'm going to step up here, I just started doing some telly, I thought, I'm doing all right, I need a nice car, that's what I need to get.
- That's that moment.
- Yeah, it was that moment, so I got a lease car, which is obviously when you buy a car that you can't afford yet.
- Right.
- And they baffle you with all legal jargon, "Then there's a balloon payment.
" You're like, "I like balloons!" And so I was like, fine, I'll have that.
And I got the, it just came out, I think, that year, I got the Jaguar XF just when it was first released.
And nobody had them, they weren't on the road at the time, it's quite weird driving a car that no-one else has seen before.
There's normally a reason for that.
- Yeah.
- Well, yeah, it was new, it was new, that was mainly the reason.
But then as I sort of drove it a lot, I'd see the other sort of people buying that car, and they were very much not in their late 20s, early 30s, they were like my dad's age, and I was, like, "Oh, oh, I'm driving an old man's car!" There is one image we can show you that will undo all of that pain, OK? You're going to love this.
Come on.
Oh, well, you can't go wrong there.
- Come on.
- You see? - I mean, he wasn't looking for the Isofix, though, - was he? - No.
You know what I mean? You don't have the Jag any more? We don't have the Jaguar, that had to go, I just had too many kids for the amount of seats.
It's not like when you were a kid, and your dad would get the whole of the football team - in the back of his Orion, you know? - It's just called maths, isn't it? Yeah, exactly, but the rules were just different, I definitely remember as a kid, six of us on the back seat, captain lying across their lap, two in the passenger seat, one in the foot well, whoever was fastest had to run alongside.
You know what I mean? It was just different, wasn't it? But now, very stringent on the old rules, and so we went seven-seater, and we got a Sharan.
And I remember being so distraught, as I was getting rid of the Jaguar, and getting that one, and the salesman had said to me, "Would you like to test drive it? And I said, "I'd like to drive it the least amount of times.
" "I'll just take it, it's fine.
" What am I going to learn? But also, you know, I'm getting to a point now where my kids, like, the exciting thing when you get in, like, when I got in that car with you, is just the speed of it, you know, the speed and the power, and all those things, even though it's a reasonably priced car, and all the cars that you drive, always really exciting, and now the most exciting thing when I get in my car is that my kids are at an age where they can all do their own seat belts.
Oh, what a day that was! It was like clunk, clunk, clunk, clunk, clunk, let's drive, yes! It was a good day.
All right, what do you think, shall we take a look at your timed lap? - Yeah, OK.
- Come on.
- I mean, it's the taking part that counts, isn't it? - That's what they say.
- Oh - Well, how do you think it went? - I think it was all right, I think it went OK.
I lost a couple of socks, but It's a fast car, what can I tell you? All right, let's take a look.
OK, off the line.
Right, kids, I think we're going to make it for nine o'clock.
Strap in! Eyebrows up or down? I never know.
Up? No, down.
Down's better.
Down is better.
Running wide, a bit of understeer there from the GT86.
200 horsepower, rear-wheel drive, Toyota Prius rear tyres.
That looked quite quick, coming into Chicago.
Watch the car pitching there.
Oh, my goodness, that was like hugging me nana! It was so nice! This is the longest I've driven without shouting, "Stop hitting your sister!" Again, the direction change into Hammerhead, crucial to get on the gas early now, power it out, look at that, using all the circuit, that's good.
Let it come out Oh, now you've gone down the middle of the track, - not so helpful.
- Oh, my goodness.
Oh, this is the wrong time to need a wee.
Oh, we don't want to know about your weeing stories.
Oh, my gosh, it's 90mph! Sheezus! We didn't see any brake lights, which is very, very good.
OK, you're all right, kids, we're going to make it, we're going to make it for PE! What's he going to be like through Gambon, is he going to take all the kerb? A bit of understeer, oversteer on the exit, great showboating! Whoo! It's all right.
Yeah.
There it is, the leaderboard.
- Where would you like to be? - Well, I'd love to, I mean, I'm looking at the comics, really.
Ross Noble, I know he rides motorbikes, so I'm nowhere near there.
- And he's crazy.
- And he's crazy.
I'd like to beat Rob Brydon, but I just really want to beat Lee Mack.
- That's my aim there.
- All right.
- OK, come on.
- Jason Manford, you went around our humble little track Come on - .
.
in one minute - That's good.
- .
.
40 - Oh! .
6! - Oh, yes, I'll take that, lovely! I told you you'd be good.
Thanks, man, that was great, oh, wow.
You've nailed them all.
- I'll take that.
- That's mega.
- Thanks, guys, thank you.
- Jason Manford, everybody, come on! Whoo! Now, you'll remember earlier in the show, we were testing three SUVs by pretending they were horses, obviously.
You will also remember that the Velar had won the first challenge, obviously.
But things were about to get serious.
Back at the inaugural Top Gear SUV horse trials, it was time for our final challenge, the infamous cross-country.
A gruelling off-road course around the grounds of one of Britain's finest stately homes.
- Is that Downton Abbey? - This is Burghley, OK? Built by the Cecil family in the 16th century.
It's not Downton, Burghley.
Whatever.
How's the car? - Fixed the problem? - Oh, we fixed the problem.
Nice.
Washed it too, I see.
Yep.
That's a D5.
Yesterday it was a T5.
We had a slight issue with the T5.
Uh-huh.
So you got a new car? - We got a new car.
- What was wrong with the other one? Nothing much, the engine nearly fell out.
OK.
So he replaced his car, are you all right with that? - No! - All right, that solves that.
Here we go.
It sure looks like Downton Abbey.
So, with one Volvo on its way to the glue factory, Chris was now driving a diesel too, making mine the only petrol car left in the running.
Let's go and have a race at a stately home.
Ahead of us lay a torturous course, featuring everything you'd expect from horse-themed off-roading, including high-speed gallops, technical handling zones, undulating terrain and deep wading water.
This would be a challenge for even the hardiest steed.
And having lost out in the arena round, Matt would be starting at the back of the grid .
.
in a car with no off-road pedigree whatsoever.
All right.
I guess I'll start us off since this is still my film.
- OK.
- The winner is ready to go.
I mean, seriously.
Dynamic mode.
High performance.
OK.
Three, two, one Go! - Let's go! - Get out of the way.
- Come on, Velar! He's on it.
Rory is on it.
I'm tearing it up.
I've got by far the best car, by far the most torque.
Some people have questioned whether the Velar is a real Range Rover, whether it's all glam, no grip.
No way.
It has all of Land Rover's fancy off-road tech.
That means it's capable.
It is proper stuff.
Water splash! Oh I can't see! But I can see that I'm winning! It just feels like we've broken into a stately home and just started dragging around! Is there another way to look this good, going this quickly in this field? I think not.
Whoa, whoa! - He's missed a turn.
- Oh, man! I don't know where he's going.
See you later, Rory.
- Back it up, back it up.
- With the Velar kindly stepping aside Bollocks! Come on! Chase them down! Chase them down! .
.
it was time to go hunt some Volvo.
Oh, yeah! It's wide open now.
- OK, Chris, I've got my eye on you.
- Oh, not so fast.
Don't let them get away! That is bumpy.
Come on, come on! I'm coming to get you, Harris.
That's tight.
Matt's right behind me! Where did they go? Where did they go? I'm going right! I'm going right! With Rory heading off into the great unknown .
.
it would now be a two-horse race for the next oddly familiar section of the course.
A tyre wall? Right-hander Chicago.
They've made Hey, this is Dunsfold.
Yep.
It was time for a gallop.
All right, Harris, here I come.
Look at this, braking into Hammerhead.
Wait, wait, wait! Right there! Come on! He's not going to wait now.
Cheeky swine! He's quick through here.
Look at that Alpha horsepower.
Whoa! This isn't at Dunsfold.
He missed the bale by a gnat's pubic hair then! Where the hell are they? God, there's sheep in here.
I have literally no idea where I am.
We, on the other hand, had cleared Dunsfold.
And across the flatter section of the course, the more powerful Stelvio had built a lead.
This thing is all Italian muscle.
But then the flat stuff ran out.
I don't know who ploughed this field, but I think he was hammered.
And the Volvo made a comeback.
Full lock! In fourth gear! It's good off-road, this thing.
We're slightly beyond the design plan, though.
That was a massive moment! Jeez! Chris is gaining! Chris is gaining! I'm closing on him.
Six furlongs, five furlongs, four I don't know what a furlong is.
- What is a furlong? - Oh, he's right there! That was shady.
I can't finish second.
I've got to win this.
It's my film.
Our cross-country challenge was proving to be a close fought battle.
Well, for two of us.
Sorry.
Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry.
Sorry! Awkward! Sorry! Meanwhile, back in the race, we were heading into the last leg of the course.
Harris had the lead but was now fighting hard with his own car.
Oh, my God! Look at that Volvo buck! Guy's nuts! Who says we don't do serious car reviews?! The finish line was getting close.
Where's the house? Where's the big house? And our SUV horse trial was getting increasingly vigorous.
There it is! There's the house! Home stretch now.
That is a pretty house.
I'm sure it looks like Downton Abbey to me.
Rory, meanwhile, had had enough of exploring the countryside Move! Stupid birds! .
.
and was finally back on track.
There's the house.
Chase these guys down, Reid.
To catch the pack, though - I need a short cut.
- .
.
he would need the Velar to show This will do, this will do.
.
.
some of that Land Rover grit.
I'm not stopping.
I'm not stopping! I can see 'em.
Oh, I'm back in the game! I'm on your tail! Oh, yeah! Close the gap, close the gap, close the gap, baby! Close it, close it, close it, close it! With Rory closing in fast, Chris was in trouble.
Oh, my God, that's a terrible noise.
Chris has got a problem.
Chris has got a problem! I don't believe it.
He broke another Volvo.
I think I might have jumped it a bit too high.
Sorry, Volvo.
It sounds terrible.
Wading through the final obstacle, Matt was now galloping towards the finish line, odds-on for the win.
What a hero! Time to get wet.
And having now injured my second Volvo, it was all I could do to keep this one in second place.
That's a terrible, race-losing noise.
Way to go, baby! I mean, that's just a joke.
There's the gate, there's the gate.
All I can see is Rory in the Velar.
There's the finish line.
I got it! I got this one in the bag, baby! - Come on.
- I can see him, I can see him.
Catch him, catch him, catch him, catch him! Come on, Volvo, you can do it! Home, sweet home.
Look at that! Winner! Winner, Alpha Romeo Stelvio! No! Da-da der! That is fantastic.
I'll take it.
I reckon second in this condition is going some.
Nice.
Who knew? Alfa Romeo, the benchmark of reliability.
I am so impressed with this little car, I've got to say.
It's quick, it's nimble, it's tough as nails.
It's amazing, isn't it? Alfa Romeo is known for being beautiful but unreliable.
And what you're in is something that's, I think the modern parlance is fugly, but unbreakable.
It is the eye of the beholder, isn't it? What about the fake Range Rover? Sorry, the Velar.
Hey, listen.
I might have come last, but the difference between me and you is I look good doing it.
I would say that the Alfa Romeo is a thoroughbred.
The Volvo is clearly a workhorse.
And the Velar is Rory's show pony.
Harsh.
Harsh.
He looks great in third place.
Christopher, Christopher, Christopher.
You know, for a respected motoring journalist, you sure do break a lot of cars.
You know I hate breaking cars.
And in my defence Let's count.
First you broke a Volvo.
The most peace-loving of all the cars, yeah? Then you try to replace the Volvo without anyone noticing.
Then you set fire to an Alpine, nearly cooked Eddie Jordan, then broke another Volvo.
Yeah.
What is wrong with you? Hang on.
We've established the Alpine wasn't my fault, yeah? Did you see the engine mountings on that Volvo? Little aluminium castings.
It's almost as if they never intended the XC60 to jump six feet in the air towing a horsebox.
You know how many people you have to murder to be classified as a serial killer? Three.
You, my friend, are a car serial killer.
What SUV is going to survive that kind of treatment? - Well, the Velar.
- And the Stelvio.
Yeah, I'll admit, that is the big surprise.
I mean, Alfa used to make unreliable cars.
Yeah, well, they still do make unreliable cars.
That's not a car.
That's an SUV.
So what you're saying is that Alfa still makes unreliable cars, but it now makes indestructible SUVs? Exactly.
So, if you want all the fun of owning a horse with none of the hassle of owning a horse, buy an Alfa Romeo Stelvio.
I think our work here is done.
OK, that's it for tonight and the series.
We'll be back later in the year.
Thank you so much for watching.
Goodnight.