Motoring show. Jeremy, Richard and James build an electric car, the Corvette ZR1 goes up against the Audi R8 V10, and actor Michael Sheen is the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.
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'Tonight, James drives a milk float.'
-'Richard says "look out" backwards.'
-'And I cut my finger on some aluminium.'
-Thank you. Hello.
Hello. Good evening. Thank you very much.
-Thank you so much.
if you buy a G-Wiz,
plainly you are not interested in style or comfort or speed
or practicality or driving pleasure or safety or your dignity.
And that got us thinking. If all you want is a battery-powered box,
why spend £8,500 on one of these?
Why not simply build one yourself? I mean, how hard can it be?
Keen to get cracking, we went to the Top Gear Technology Centre and set to work.
It's all very simple, really.
I am in charge of the batteries and the electric motor.
Clarkson is in charge - God help us - of the bodywork and interior,
and Richard Hammond is in charge of the chassis and the brakes.
If you are going to build your own car, there's no point just throwing the chassis together yourself
cos you'll get caught up in 20 years of red tape trying to get it registered to use on the road,
so what you need to do is use the chassis from another car.
But there is a problem, because most modern cars don't have a chassis as such.
It's all kind of built into the body, so you need to choose from an older car.
Specifically, you've got a choice of either a Land Rover, a Lincoln Town Car,
or this, a TVR Chimaera.
I bought this one for £5,000, and I was going to remove its body and engine
and then use its chassis as the backbone of our new car.
James, meanwhile, was preparing to cannibalise something a bit less sporty.
I shall be using the electric motor from this, which just leaves me with the problem of the batteries.
Now, the Tesla - that American electric sports car -
uses 6,831 batteries,
but that seems a bit excessive to me, so to save weight,
and money, I'm going to use two batteries.
Like all great car designers, I'd created a mood room,
hung with images from which I could draw inspiration.
Big cats, jet fighters, the actor Peter Bowles,
and pretty soon, I was ready to start work.
It's a lovely material to work with, aluminium, because it bends.
Car makers could learn a lot from this simple system I've adopted.
And there is the precious chassis.
That is the basis of everything we're doing. A doddle!
In terms of construction, I've taken my lead from shelving.
You've simply got the uprights, which I've got here.
There it is.
The bolt goes through there.
How simple is this?
One piece, another piece, bolts holding them together.
With the milk float dismembered, my power system was taking shape.
That's 100 quid's worth of batteries, a 20 quid milk float motor,
-and watch this.
-Is that turning round now?
-Don't put your finger on it.
-I'm not going to.
As long as you two keep the weight of your body and chassis down,
-that'll go like a stabbed rat.
-Are you sure?
Well, it'll be a damn sight faster than a G-Wiz.
-'While May wired up his batteries and Hammond prepared his chassis...'
'..I retired to the mood room to seek further design inspiration.'
-We're removing ancient history here.
Is he...? Yes?
-Has anyone ever done a car with a moustache?
Having finished their jobs, Hammond and May left me alone to complete the bodywork.
Our masterpiece was ready.
-Well, credit where it's due...
-I can't see any of the nail heads.
-I mean, it's all right.
I have to say, this isn't actually it.
There you go!
That is the worst-looking car in the whole world.
I'd rather look at one of your dingleberries.
What is the matter exactly? Everything is straight.
Everything is doable on your kitchen table.
-Jeremy, is that a section from a garage door?
What's more, I'd fitted a tape player, and, rather brilliantly,
Who's going to sit here? You haven't given them any head room.
-Hammond can sit in the middle.
Careful of my roof! You're bending my roof!
-It's bending my spine!
-You really need to change the roof.
-That's no good.
-All right, all right! Back to the drawing board.
'While Jeremy modified the roof...'
-'..Hammond and I
'started to think about a name for our creation.'
I hate it when eco-cars are given a really pious name like Intelligentsia.
So we want to give it a more aggressive name? Like Mustang, Tiger, Leopard, Panther.
'Sadly, though, Jeremy had beaten us to it.'
And after some more styling tweaks, Geoff was ready for the road.
I feel like the Pope with his head in a box!
-What is that noise?
-It's the motor.
It sounds like they're filming an episode of Bonanza.
It's an amazing racket.
Don't knock it. It's working.
Open it up, James. Open it up.
-Yeah, go on. Give it some beans!
-Is that it?
-Is that full speed?
-How fast is that?
You've built a car that will only do 10mph?!
'Actually, that wasn't such a bad thing
'on account of the design flaw with Jeremy's shiny bonnet.'
-Ah, I'm blind!
-My head's being cooked in a box!
-That's quite bad.
-I'll tell you what, though - it works.
-It does work.
-I mean, it's going along. We're in an electric car.
-Which we made.
-Can you put three people in a G-Wiz?
'In fact, we were so proud of Geoff, we took him for a drive into Oxford.'
Now, you do realise Oxford loathes the motorcar?
-Not this one.
-But this one will be welcome.
They will think it's the second coming! A hippy!
See the happy hippies?
Did you see the cyclist smiling at us?
'However, as we neared the city centre, James' power system started to develop some issues.'
I'm not going to indicate. It seems to slow it down.
You're not telling me that the indicators affect the charge?!
There's something not quite right with the way it's wired. I felt a drop in power as I...
Why did you not fit more than two batteries?
Because I wanted to save weight. Stop picking holes in it!
'To take our minds off the power problems, I found some music.'
'Sadly, though, James doesn't like Belinda Carlisle.'
-TURNS MUSIC OFF
-James, James, we aren't allowed to drive down this street.
-Yes, we are.
-No, we aren't.
-'I was right. We weren't.'
Well, you're going to have to turn round. That's a dead end.
-Hang on. It's packed up.
-Oh, no. DRONING
-Don't tell me it's died.
-Why is it doing that?
-You designed the engine.
-James, wait! The cyclist!
-There's a Peugeot! Sorry, mate!
Mind the cyclists.
-'Then it stopped again.'
-It's got a bad connection. It just cuts out.
I feel silly now.
Oh, there's a policeman!
'Every time we reversed, the motor cut out,
-'so we had to go forwards into the buses-only zone.'
-Excuse me, Hammond.
# You say that it's complicated... #
-Belinda Carlisle! What do you think of that?
'Having annoyed the people in the centre of Oxford, we drove on and ended up annoying the people
'in the outskirts of Oxford.'
-Have we got anyone behind us?
Oh, yes! Yes, we have, yes!
This is embarrassing. HORNS BLARE
'And then it got a bit more embarrassing.'
-James, this isn't... Why are you stopping?
-Why...? ENGINE SPLUTTERS
-We've run out of juice.
'While James and Richard directed the traffic round Geoff,
-'I went in search of some electricity.'
-A tiny, tiny bit left. That'll do.
-You've got room on the left.
Wait, wait, wait. Just go back a little bit.
I thought everybody was unemployed!
So it's left a bit. A bit more.
No, no, no! Left. That's right.
-This'll be an old people's home. They won't have electricity.
Guys, we're going to have to get the electricity from this side of the road.
-Nobody is in there.
Sorry, everybody. You are so kind.
When you run out of fuel in the future, this will be your life - undoing spaghetti.
There. That works.
James, how long does it take to charge an electric car?
Well, to charge it fully would take a good six or seven hours, but in two hours...
Whoa! Six or seven HOURS?!
-My arm's aching already.
-Those are the facts of battery-powered cars. We know that.
'Still, much to the relief of everyone...'
-'.. Geoff was ready to go.'
-Yes! MUSIC: Theme from "Rocky"
'Sadly, though, he was just as slow as before.'
James, you're being overtaken by children.
A lot of children coming past.
-There's a bicycle coming by.
-With two people on it.
-Another bicycle coming by.
'On balance, we thought it best to leave Oxford and get back to the Top Gear Technology Centre,
-'but then James took a wrong turning...'
-Left! Left there!
-'..with terrible consequences.'
-James, this is the A34!
-This is a road with a speed limit of 70mph.
-A lot of traffic now!
-Can you drive with the hazards on?
-Yeah, but it might slow us down a bit.
-Oh, my God.
James, get off the dual carriageway.
-That sign says "Motorway 6".
-I don't want to go on the motorway!
-James, do not...
-Is there a junction before that?
-Look at the traffic jam.
-It's too embarrassing.
-Look at the traffic jam.
I can't! I've got my head in a plastic box, and everyone can see me!
-Do you know what we've done?
We've made something worse than a G-Wiz.
-Don't say that.
-He's being cooked.
MUSIC PLAYS SLOWLY: "Heaven Is A Place On Earth" by Belinda Carlisle
# We'll make heaven a place on... #
Eventually, we ended up in the countryside
where at least we couldn't get in anyone's way,
but unfortunately, the A34 had had a catastrophic effect on our performance.
We're hardly moving! HIGH-PITCHED DRONING
I wouldn't mind it going slowly. I just wish it wouldn't make that noise.
-Please tell me that...
You bloody idiot!
Why did you think two batteries was the right solution?
Tesla used 6,800 batteries for a reason.
-Oh, great(!) We're actually holding people up here.
-Come on, Geoff.
Come on! I'll tell you what, James.
-There's loads of houses around here where we can get
some more electricity(!) James, seriously, why didn't you put more than two batteries in it?
I didn't want it to weigh too much. Batteries go flat. This is important consumer information.
Stored electricity is like a caged animal.
-You should have used more than two.
-Well, next time, I know and we know.
Tell me that isn't happening. Tell me that isn't happening.
I... I don't want to...
The lonely walk confirmed our worst fears.
Geoff was dead.
Don't applaud. Don't applaud. Geoff is dead!
It was the saddest moment. As it hit the tree, my heart broke.
They're obviously all from Oxford, that's what it is.
Anyway, we could have given up at that point, but we didn't.
We went back to the drawing board and later on you'll be able to see
the results of our frankly brilliant effort. But for now, it's the news.
Criminals, would you like to get away with your crimes?
Are you capable of running more than 100 yards?
Well, good news, because the police are thinking of using these now.
It's a Mitsubishi electric.
They say it's helping them crack down on CO2.
I don't want the police to crack down on CO2.
I want them to get my bloody television back,
because it's been six years since that was nicked,
and I haven't heard a peep out of them whilst they've been going on about cracking down on CO2.
I'll have to buy another one at this rate.
What were you stopped for the other day, by a policeman?
It was some motoring misdemeanour. You just turned around and said,
"Oh, good. This must mean you've found my television."
If I was a policeman and my chief freemason came into the office
and said... I mean Chief Constable. I always get them muddled up.
And he said, "Right, you've got to do your beat in one of those."
I would drink my own pepper spray.
I'll tell you what, this is a slightly interesting one, OK.
There was a survey recently about the effects that a nice car
can have on a male, the human male, OK?
What they did was they got 40 young guys and they made them drive
up and down the street in a Toyota Camry and then drive up and down
the same street, in the same manner, in a Porsche 911
and then they measured their testosterone after each drive.
And after driving the Porsche, it had shot up.
-So it had an actual physiological effect on them?
-I'm amazed by that.
-I think that makes perfect sense, doesn't it?
Cos whenever I drive a really nice, exciting car I always get
like a nice little fizzing sensation.
-No, it's not...
-Where is this fizzing sensation?
It's not actually in my penis, but it's...
but it's sort of just behind it.
A fizzing sensation just behind your penis?
-So, isn't that the pit of your stomach?
No, no, lower down than that, sort of right...
That's your prostate, mate. You've sat on the gear.
Does anybody else have a fizzing sensation just behind their penis...
-Am I the only person... Ah! Thank you, sir.
Or do you just want to be on television?
Come here. Do come here.
-It's just got a lot worse!
-James May, a man in a moustache has come on the stage
-and wishes to meet you to discuss...
-Please, have a seat.
-..your fizzing penises.
-That's the end of the news.
I'd like to commend you on being brave enough,
especially as you've grown a moustache for charity,
to come on the stage and admit that you too have been bestowed
with this great gift from the gods of a slight fizzing sensation
somewhere behind your penis but in front of your prostate when you drive an exciting car.
What sort of car are you driving when you feel it?
Honestly, no, seriously...
we really must invite you to... go back over there. Thank you.
I think some of us are just more fortunate than others.
-You must have had this on a motorcycle.
I'm just gonna stand. I don't even want to use that seat now.
Now, we have to just touch on something, don't we, before we go,
No, we don't, no. No, no, no. Argh!
The news has gone wrong this week.
I'd rather chop them off. I'd rather slice them.
Thing is, next week we're doing this item
on which car company has produced the largest number of great cars.
-This is GREAT cars?
-Yes, GREAT cars. So, any thoughts on which
car company's made the biggest number of GREAT cars?
See, Aston Martin isn't...
I don't think Aston has made a single great, GREAT car. They make some lovely...
DB5 was only great because of James Bond. It's actually a bit rubbish...
Exactly. Anyone else got any thoughts?
-Who said Ferrari? Somebody said Ferrari over there.
-That's a good call, but...
It's a good call, but if you think about it, they've made a lot of rubbish cars too.
Their 348 was rubbish, the Testarossa was rubbish...
-Mondial was rubbish.
-The F40 was a great car.
-That was great.
-But what about mainstream manufacturers, though?
They did the Model T, that's kind of an important car.
-GT40 is a great car.
This, I think, is an interesting debate that petrol heads can have.
We genuinely would like to hear what you have to say,
so do please go on our website, which is on the internet,
and then write something on... I don't know how you... Write something on it,
which car firm you think has produced the largest number of great cars. If you write that down
on our internet...we'll read it.
Now, last year I drove an Audi R8, and I thought it was the knees of
the bee, but in a straight line, at least, it was a little bit slower
than a Porsche 911.
Yeah, quite a lot slower than a 911, actually.
It was about THAT much slower. I admit that much makes all the difference.
However, Audi has now released a new faster version.
This is it, and it looks pretty much the same as the original.
the standard R8 has a 4.2-litre V8.
THIS has a 5.2-litre Lamborghini V10.
That means 518-brake horsepower...
enough torque to tenderise an elephant
and a top speed of about 200mph.
0 to 60 is dealt with in 3.7 seconds. That's there -
80, 90, 100, 110,
120, 125 in eight seconds.
This thing is phenomenal!
The handling is pretty epic as well.
As a driver's car, this is...spectacularly good.
It's like Scarlett Johansson's lips or the roof of Paddington Station.
Oh, God, it's good!
Ahh, ahh, ahh! Mmmmm! Nice car!
And unlike most super-cars, it's not even desperately impractical.
You get a boot, which is big enough for three medium-sized goats.
You get a useful shelf behind the seats,
and you get room inside to move about - and breathe.
There are a couple of mistakes, I admit.
If, for instance, you have a can of tangy, refreshing drink here
in the cup holder, and you go to change gear,
your elbow's going to knock it over, and that's annoying.
And as far as I can work out, the trip computer isn't working.
I don't like to say that because it would have been installed by
a German who will be shot at dawn for his mistake,
but it...it doesn't.
And then there's the biggest mistake of them all - the price.
It's £100,000. And that's just the start.
If you want ceramic brakes, £7,000.
Flappy-paddle gearbox, £5,000.
If you want the boot lined in fake suede,
Bucket seats - £2,350.
Colour co-ordinated seatbelts - 750 quid!
If you want these panels, here, finished in carbon fibre,
you're mad, mad as a Mexican's dog.
They even charge £500 if you want to pick the car up from the factory yourself.
That's like charging someone £10 extra for a bottle of wine
if you tread the grapes yourself.
I'd tell them to get lost.
Strangely, however, it's not the money that would stop me buying this car.
The trouble is... is it's a bit too joyless.
A bit too like Scarlett Johansson's lips.
You can...never imagine this thing smiling.
I mean, look what happens, OK, if I hit this button here.
"Sport mode on," exclamation mark.
What's it got an exclamation mark for?
You put the sport on in a super-car? You mad, crazy fool, you!
Look at the sat-nav, OK.
It can take you to a bank or a bowling alley or a bus station.
I'm sorry? Golf course.
Yes, I've got a super-car, but I'm going to stop off
and look at this Neolithic fort!
The R8 V10, then, doesn't really do fun.
It doesn't do pantomime, so if I was spending £100,000 on a car,
I'd think very seriously about buying something worse.
This is the Corvette ZR1, which is extremely fast.
This has a super-charged 6.2-litre engine,
which is a turbot compared to Audi's 5.2 litre un-supercharged cod.
Put it in a drag race with the R8 and the results are inevitable.
I have got 120 more horsepower than the R8...
and because the Corvette is made from plastic,
it's lighter as well.
If only America could win its wars so convincingly.
However, there are a few problems.
I tested one in America last year and erm...
after three days, it was starting to fall apart and then on the fourth
it refused to start.
It's also insanely vulgar.
It's only available with left-hand drive.
The luggage cover looks like a motel shower curtain.
It's much too wide and in the corners, it's a complete mad man.
When I drove this thing in California, I loved it!
But I think it might have been a holiday romance,
because here on our track it's, it's... Well, let's be kind,
let's say difficult.
Remember, I've got more power than the Ferrari Enzo.
Oh, my God. Come on! Get in a straight line!
I may have more firepower, but trying to keep up with the Audi
is like trying to win the Grand National whilst riding a lion,
that's made out of teeth and jelly.
It sort of wobbles about and then if you're not careful,
it bites your arm off. Aaahh!
Oh, no! I'm gone!
The thing is, though, despite the waywardness and the terrible danger,
the Corvette is more fun.
It's disintegrating already, I'm being strangled by my own seatbelt
and the end's come off! Get on!
Be in no doubt, then - the Audi is a better car.
It's better built, better to look at, better to drive,
more comfortable, easier to park, and, in the real world,
You'd have to be bonkers to buy the Corvette.
And that is why you should.
It's that exclamation mark that says everything about that car.
-You want Sport Mode?!
Oh, now, ah-ha...
I have got an apology to make.
I said in that film that the Audi's trip computer was broken.
It isn't, OK? It turned out I hadn't pressed the reset button properly.
We did actually ring Audi to confess to what he'd done,
but it was too late. The man responsible had...shot himself.
Yeah. He had.
Anyway, it's now time to put both cars in the hands of our tame racing driver.
Some say that he has some terrible plans involving the moon...
..and that he was turned down for a place on I'm A Celebrity because he IS one.
All we know is... he's called The Stig!
They're off! A genuinely interesting battle, this,
because the Corvette is faster in a straight line,
but it needs an extraordinary talent
to get it round corners without crashing.
Look at that.
And there is the talent.
MUSIC: "When I'm Cleaning Windows"
Oh dear, Stig continues to make each lap into a Cockney knees-up.
Ooh, did you see that? Weirdly, it's the Audi going sideways.
Through Chicago. What'll happen in Hammerhead?
Let's have a look here.
Yes, look, again it's the four-wheel drive R8 that's out of shape.
The 'Vette in the Stig's talented paws clinging on.
A wiggle on the way out, but that's it.
Right. Follow-through -
this is where the Corvette's super-charged V8
can really deliver some shock and awe.
The tyres - they are both quick through there.
It's the in-bred lunatic versus a car with no sense of humour,
and they're pretty much neck-and-neck, just Gambon to go.
Both sigh through there, and they cross the line.
-And now we have the times...
The Audi first?
It did it in 1:21.6, which puts it... That's for the Audi.
1:21.6? That was sort of a damp-ish lap, as well. That's quick, OK.
-However, Corvette did it in 1:20.4.
No... But the thing is, I reckon you or I could get the Audi round
in roughly that time, OK?
But there's no way we could make the Corvette go round in that. Literally, I would
-be five minutes dead.
-Five minutes AND dead is what it would be.
Anyway, now it is time to put a star in our reasonably-priced car,
and my guest tonight is an actor.
He has played Kenneth Williams, who is no longer with us,
he's played Brian Clough, who's no longer with us,
and he's played Tony Blair, who, um...
..IS still with us.
Ladies and gentlemen, Michael Sheen!
APPLAUSE AND CHEERING
How are you?
Have a seat. Lovely.
I thought you were going to look like Tony Blair.
-I... It's my day off today.
-Cos it's weird -
when I watched The Queen, obviously when you WERE Tony Blair,
I remember thinking, "God, they did very well to find an actor who looks so like him."
But you're much better looking!
-It's not hard, is it?
-Do people think you're going to look like him?
In America people think I'm a Tony Blair look-alike, yeah.
-But you're not.
-I don't do work as a Tony Blair look-alike,
although I do have look-alikes in my family.
-My dad is a Jack Nicholson look-alike.
-He is indeed.
-Cos I was looking back at your family history
and it was all very weird, because nobody's done anything conventional
-since the dawn of human history...
-Your great-grandmother was...
-She was the first elephant and lion tamer in Barnum & Bailey Circus.
Her name was Nanny Blower, and God bless her, she was talented, but she wasn't a looker.
She had her left breast mauled off by a lion, and the claw of that lion
is on a chain somewhere in our family.
And it's at this point you go, "And we have that lion for you now!"
I wish I'd known. I would have looked into it.
Of course, there was your... Not grandfather... Great-grandfather. Who was the one who got drunk a lot?
Yeah, my great grandfather was a bit of a waster in the town, in Port Talbot,
and the story goes that he was lying in the gutter one night, having been chucked out of the pub,
and the moon appeared through the clouds, and God spoke to him through the moon and said,
"You must mend your ways. Save up money and buy the disused tin mine in the mountain." So from then on
he never touched another drink and he saved his money. Everyone thought he was mad
cos there was no tin left. They discovered a new vein of tin,
he became the richest man in Port Talbot and became a street preacher from then on.
This is fantastic. Then your dad was a Jack Nicholson impersonator...
-A Jack Nicholson look-alike, not an impersonator.
-There is a difference.
He's a genetic freak, not a talented actor.
-And now you're Tony Blair and David Frost...
-And Kenneth Williams and Brian Clough.
This is... Can I just,
first of all, can I just take a moment to congratulate you on Frost/Nixon.
-That was amazing.
-Thank you very much.
-Rocky is what it was.
-It was Rocky for interviewers.
-Instead of fighting, it was interviewing Nixon.
Brilliant film, I adored that.
Now, the new film, Twilight - it's New Moon, isn't it, from the Twilight series?
which you did this presumably because you've got a 10-year-old daughter.
-Yes. I have a 10-year-old daughter who is obsessed with the books.
-As have I.
Completely besotted. And I always say to her, "What are they about?"
And she says, "Well, there's a werewolf and, like, a vampire, and then there's this girl,
"and she's in love with a werewolf, but she was..." and I say, "What are you reading?!"
It's sort of this great love story, it seems,
and also, you know, they sort of tap into something about...
particularly a teenage girl's experience growing up.
-So you're a v...
-I am a vampire.
So was it Peter Mandelson this time you modelled it on?
Yes, absolutely, completely modelled it on Peter Mandelson.
Now, cars - I've looked through your history and it is quite poor.
I've a very glamorous history with cars.
Not really. Now, your driving test.
I learned to drive in a Datsun Sunny...
That may have been the reason why my heart wasn't in it.
Then I bought a red Ford Orion.
-Was that J-registered, around then?
-It would have been, yes.
-Honestly, they were the worst...
-I think it was the worst car ever made.
-So Datsun Sunny, and...
You're not really blowing the cash on Bentleys.
I'm not one who spends a lot of money on cars...up to this point.
Now you said.. I'm fascinated. You spend a lot of time living there in Los Angeles,
so I would assume you have some form of hybrid.
-Ah... I... Not really. I'm not...
-Thought about it?
-Well, you know, there's a lot of pressure
-to get... It's the way forward.
-Well, there is.
-I'm not gonna get a hybrid.
-I'm gonna get an old Jag.
I want to pretend I'm in the film of Performance, driving around LA.
-Oh, Mick Jagger?
-Good idea. What sort of old Jag?
I'd like to get a green one. Is that what you mean?
Good, a green one's good. That would be fantastic.
So when you go on American chat shows and they say, "You got a hybrid?"
-You can say, "No, I have a Jag."
-"I have a Ja-a-ag."
So what do you use in England?
I nip around London on a scooter.
I once rode one of those across Vietnam. It tried to kill me.
-Did you ever fall off?
-They're fantastic. In fact,
when I first got the scooter, it was just before I started playing Kenneth Williams
in this film I did, Fantabulosa!
And I was desperately trying to lose as much weight as I possibly could to play him,
so I went on the cabbage soup diet for the last ten days. Which is great,
I lost ten pounds, but I did used to lose consciousness as well. I was so faint.
So I was driving around on this scooter around London,
which was scary enough as it was, but I was also constantly farting.
My stomach was making terrible noises,
and whilst I used to drive it I used to practise the voice,
so if anyone saw an Aprilia going past them around the Clapham area
with a slightly sepia-looking visor and a smell coming behind it
and a voice going "mrr-rr-rr-rr" as it was going along, that was me.
Did you ever fall off it?
No, I never fell off it.
I kept the stabilisers on, obviously.
Anyway, obviously you came here, I have to say,
Los Angeles, THIS morning...
I came from the airport straight here and into the car.
So you're... Well, what are we, ten hours out... Yeah.
I have no idea what time...
I'll tell you what time it is. It's 6:30am, so it's time you were up.
I think there should be a new category, which is, instead of just "W" for "wet",
-there should be "JL" for jet lag.
-Jet lag. And I believe... Was it damp out there as well?
It was damp-ish.
-So that's jet-lagged and damp.
-And there were people shooting bows and arrows.
-Shooting bows and arrows. Many, many things we have to write down.
-Jet-lagged, damp, bows and arrows...
-And I'm Welsh.
-And you're Welsh.
In fact, who are the other Welsh people on there?
Have I got a chance of being top Welshman?
-Alan Davies, is he Welsh? Or does he just have a name...
-He's not Welsh.
-Rob Brydon - where's he?
Tom Jones. It would be good to beat Dame Helen Mirren, wouldn't it?
-Tom Jones did. Tom Jones is on top of Helen Mirren - not for the first time!
There's Rob Brydon, just below Keith Allen.
This is kind of Little Wales, here, this area. So this is where you're aiming for.
I want to be the fastest boy in the village.
That's Little Britain. I've just got that.
-See, even jet-lagged, I'm on form, Jeremy!
Who'd like to see the lap?
-Let's have a look at this.
Oh, dear Lord...
That's a good impressive start.
-Nice, smooth gear change.
-'He's really ruined that.'
So here we go, coming up to the first corner... Ooh, I say,
that's a vigorous turn in there.
Right, so we're not going for the smooth approach.
I like the hands on the wheel there. That's wide!
This really is...
Don't go into fourth, Michael, go into second, try that!
Well, one'll do! No, you're supposed to LOOK slow,
so that you're actually... That's not looking slow.
That's looking wide again.
The Stig did say, well, he communicated...
Textbook. Absolute textbook.
That's not what The Stig said. He said "clunky".
-"Clunky but brave" is how he described you.
-Clunky but brave!
It's not healthy, that's not healthy, Michael!
Looking very Welsh.
That's pretty quick!
Now you go... Look...
Holy cow, that's quick!
That's very quick!
Now, what about Gambon?
Bloody hell, look at that!
And across the line! That was amazing.
-I have here... Mm, mm, mm-mm-mm mm-mm-mm...
If it's under Roger Bannister's mile, I'll be happy.
Under four minutes.
So you want to be somewhere down... The top of the Welsh zone.
It would be nice if I was, you know, above Helen, and I would love it if I was above Rob.
So they're all around the one... Rob's 1:51.7, but that was wet.
Michael Sheen, you did it in one minute...
..six, point three.
APPLAUSE AND CHEERING
How did that happen?
That was a brave lap.
Gordon Ramsay just committed suicide.
I'm sort of mystified.
That was very fast. You can see it, cos you were doing a million down the straight.
I heard that Tom Jones didn't want to come in,
and it must be something Welsh, cos I didn't want to stop,
-I wanted to keep going. I could have beaten Jay Kay.
There's still 20 minutes of daylight left.
Ladies and gentlemen, Michael Sheen!
Thank you very much.
APPLAUSE AND CHEERING
Thank you very much.
Now, earlier on we built an electric car called Geoff,
and he was...a disaster.
Now, I'm not one to apportion blame,
but it was entirely James' fault.
Well, because...Jeremy's body was brilliant...
Er, not Jeremy's actual body, cos that's horrible.
The one on the car. My chassis was brilliant,
-and your battery system was terrible.
-Well, it wasn't!
it was. And, as a result, Geoff ended up crashed into a wood.
We didn't give up. We decided to go back to the drawing board,
and build Geoff II.
Back at the Top Gear Technology Centre, I fitted narrower wheels which would reduce friction.
And James, mercifully, found some more batteries.
I've also devised a very, very clever way
of recharging them while we're on the move.
Meanwhile, in the mood room, Jeremy had decided
Geoff should no longer be called Geoff.
-That's a dolphin.
I know, but it's like a hammerhead shark.
-It lives in the sea.
I'll tell you the other thing we've got to have, is the letter I.
-Because if you put little i, not capital I,
little i with a little dot on it,
it tells everyone who sees it that it's eco,
-and that's OK.
-It does, cos ecomentalists are stupid.
After many days of development, our new, improved car was finally ready.
But Jeremy, you haven't done anything.
You can't improve on perfection.
Anyway, I have done something. Look.
An energy-absorbing front end.
You can have massive accidents and no damage will be caused.
You could run this into a wood at top speed -
nothing would happen.
Then James unveiled his radical new propulsion system.
Look at this! Batteries as before. But a few more of them for extra power. Here's the clever bit.
They're recharged by that. That is a diesel generator.
-That charges the batteries?
-Is that a generator just from a shop?
-So, we've made a hybrid?!
-Yeah, sort of!
-No, because a hybrid uses a normal engine
that drives the wheels. A hybrid is a normal car for fools.
-This just charges the battery.
-It's a diesel electric. I got the idea from old railway locomotives.
-So you just run the generator.
-That means that you'll never run out of electricity.
Uses a tiny amount of fuel.
-Seriously, credit where credit's due! That's not something you hear often on Top Gear.
-Or ever, even!
-That's actually quite a good idea.
And this will go like stink.
And it did!
Well that's brilliant! It's a hybrid! We've built a Prius!
You don't think the producers are messing with the subtitles, do you?
No! They wouldn't do that!
Since our amazing Eagle i Thrust Head had cost £1,000
less than a G-Wiz, we decided it was brilliant,
and that we should put it on sale to the general public.
However, before you can do that, it must pass a series of stringent EU tests.
So we took the Eagle Thrust to the motor industry's top secret
proving ground, just off the A5 between Atherstone and Hinckley near Fenny Drayton.
-When we get out, remember, be positive, be positive!
Everyone's a customer!
We started with one of the biggies. A crash test.
We've all seen these. A car is loaded up with dummies
and fired into a concrete block, whilst super slow motion cameras
record the impact.
I, however, am so confident about the Hammerhead-i Eagle Thrust,
that we will be using a different sort of dummy.
Don't worry, we're coming as well.
There you go. Done. Can you paint one on my face?
-Why do crash test dummies have these things?
-I don't know.
For the slow motion camera that records the impact. It gives you a datum point.
-Oh, I'm not interested in datum points...
-I didn't think it was fashion amongst crash test dummies.
-Are you sure about your new bumper design?
Thank you very much.
We were a bit frightened
when we saw the concrete crash block,
because we had to crash into it at 30 mph.
But then Jeremy had a brainwave.
Remember what I told you.
It's a very, very good plan this.
OK. Now, let's see the slow motion crash footage.
We're going to craaaash.
-Do you think we fooled them?
We sur...that was...
-It's not even marked!
-Oh, man, that was, oh...!
I think this is very convincing.
Shush, shush, OK, it's now time to watch that crash at the speed it actually happened.
We're going to crash!
Ooh! Oh, my nose!
-Ow, my chest!
And there we are, a superb result in the crash test.
So let's move on, shall we, and do...the pendulum test?
This is designed to measure how a car will stand up
to being sideswiped by a bus or a truck.
Frankly, it was hard to see how we could possible pass this, but then James came up with a plan.
-We need a camera.
A plan that would fool even the most astute EU bureaucrat.
-So now our car is going to face the fearsome pendulum test.
SPEECH IS REVERSED LOOK OUT!
Wow indeed! Another pass! And happy that our car was completely safe,
we lined it up for a drag race.
We would be up against a Toyota Prius.
Chris Hoy's next door neighbour.
Hannah...the fastest girl in our office.
And our main rival, the G-Wiz.
This was the quietest start line in drag-racing history.
Until Hammond started the generator.
OK, this is it! The future is here!
Three, two, one!
-Did he jump the start?
I am so in the lead straightaway!
Oh! The Toyota's gone!
Where's the G-Wiz? I am all over it!
This is brilliant! I'm going to win, I'm going to win!
Yes! Yes! Yes!
-He beat the G-Wiz!
-By a mile!
He beat the G-Wiz!
And as ever, Hammond was gracious in victory!
Yeah! Ha, ha, ha, ha!
What do you think of that, then?
With your stupid little plastic gerbil!
Next we had to drive on the fearsome Belgian Pave
in a test designed to measure both comfort and build quality.
VEHICLE CLANGS ALONG
THEY SHOUT WITH DISCOMFORT
Oh! Haw, haw, haw!
-The chassis is smashing into the ground.
-It's his generator weighs too much for my suspension.
-The chimney's come off!
Oh! Oh! That's quite...
Quite a lot of smoke in here!
THEY COUGH It's all collecting in my Pope box!
VEHICLE CLANGS AND CLANKS Ow!
But we're still going!
VEHICLE BANGS AND CRASHES
Yeah, we're hammering now!
VEHICLE CLANGS AND BASHES
-Has one of the doors fallen off?
-Well, then, we passed!
-I think we have.
-It's an EU regulation.
-It actually says if the doors are on after doing this,
-then you've passed!
-Well, they're still on!
Although we'd been a bit gassed, the torture wasn't over!
So we re-attached the stove pipe and went to see how the Eagle i Thrust
would perform in the fearsome steep hill test.
OK, we're off!
-I think we've passed this!
-Yeah! Well done, everybody, that's good!
-Yeah, we've passed.
-I bet the G-Wiz wouldn't get up here.
-I bet it wouldn't!
In the interest of fairness, we decided to see how the G-Wiz would get on.
Using, of course, an independent test driver.
Is he good, this guy?
He's independent, that's the important thing.
-It's £1,000 more than our car, this.
-Hard to believe.
-Will it go 1,000 feet higher up this hill?
Oh! It... Uh...
-Now, that's a failure!
-Yeah, there you go!
-Right there, that's a failure!
The Ham Head Eagle i was sailing through every test the EU could throw at it!
But then it was time to head to the wind tunnel
where we could measure the aerodynamic efficiency of that body.
-I'll call him.
Hello, lads. We gonna get on with this? THEY LAUGH
-Let's get going. What?!
-That works! What?
-Well, come on, then, how does it work?
-I don't know. How hard can it be?
-Yes! Look at this!
-Oh, my God!
-There we go, 12.
-13. Here we go. Look at the speed!
28 mph. I'm gonna take this baby up a bit!
FANS GET LOUDER
When the bodywork ripples like that, it does look beautiful.
It looks like a fish!
A really square fish with wooden ears.
-It's also moving.
-Did you put the handbrake on?
-Stop it or it'll go in the fans!
-No, make it stop now!
-Stop it, Jeeves! Stop it!
How do you stop the bloody fan?!
Despite the slight issue with the fans, we decided that our car had passed.
So we moved on to what would be the final hurdle.
The i-Ham would be driven round the clock,
flat out on the proving ground's test track, to measure its range.
Obviously, in these conditions, it's damp, there's a bit of drizzle
in the air. The concentration required to do this
-is just immense!
-It's too demanding, we couldn't do that.
-No, we couldn't. But we know a man who can!
He's not the Stig, but he is the Stig's vegetarian cousin.
# All the leaves are brown
# And the sky is grey
# I've been for a walk... #
-What's he called?
-His name is...Janet Stig Porter.
Right! Fire up that generator!
Look at the speed of him.
James, how long, realistically, are you expecting that to keep going?
Well, I've topped up the geni-tank, so that's eight hours
on the generator. And that fully charges the batteries as well,
so you get another hour out of those, just the batteries.
-So realistically, you're looking for nine hours of running?
-What's happened there is...
-Well, the Stig's died.
And that's because the stove pipe came off.
Now if we re-attach that stove pipe, I think I'm right in saying, am I not, gentlemen,
-that the Thrust i Eagle Hammer Head is ready for its road test.
Obviously, we couldn't do that, because we'd be biased,
so we decided to lend it to Britain's oldest motoring magazine for an independent review.
They test all the latest cars and innovations and to make sure
they didn't realise who were the brains behind the Eagle Head i Hammer,
we had it dropped off by an anonymous driver.
Hello, how can I help you?
All we could do now was wait for their verdict.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Now, we have been sent
advanced copies of the magazine that has reviewed our car.
-Here it is!
We're on the cover! We're on the cover!
We have! Right, where is it?
-Right, here we go!
Erm...it says in the ride and handling section where they deal with things like the chassis,
that to all intents and purposes, the Hammer Head Eagle i-Thrust has no ride or handling as such,
instead it lurches around almost uncontrollably.
Oh, God Almighty, no, it gets worse! Listen to this.
They say that in the Highway Code, they say the stopping distance from 70 mph is 215 feet.
But our car, stopping from 30 mph, took 549 feet.
-Who's really gonna do that in the real world?
The styling is unlikely to win fans amongst those of us blessed with the gift of sight.
-What do people who review cars actually know?
-The car turns up, it's delivered...
-It's free, they haven't had to invest any money
or time or anything like that. They just drive it around for a bit. And then they...
-They write rubbish!
-Anybody can criticise, try actually making something
and then reading things like - tried to regain front end grip by breaking and the fronts will simply lock,
at which point, you WILL crash! That could hurt sales!
This is just unbelievable.
-I can see why that Audi engineer I criticised earlier committed suicide.
I want to commit suicide reading this! It's just OFCOM won't allow it!
-And on that bombshell, it's time to end.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Email [email protected]
Jeremy, Richard and James attempt to save the planet by building their own electric car and then put their latest 'green' creation through the rigours of the new car testing process.
Meanwhile on the track, it is the battle of the continents as Europe takes on the USA and Jeremy pits the Corvette ZR1's muscle against the finesse of Audi's R8 V10.
The Star in a Reasonably Priced Car is Frost/Nixon and The Damned United star Michael Sheen.