Motoring news and views. Jeremy Clarkson travels to Belfast to test the Renaultsport Twingo 133. Meanwhile, Richard Hammond invents a new sport - airport vehicle racing.
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Tonight, we drive down a sewer.
We power slide across a field.
-And some other things as well.
-I can't see where I'm going.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Thank you, everybody. Hello!
Hello. Thank you, thank you.
what do you suppose is the slowest means of transport
in this day and age?
Getting a piggyback from James May, possibly.
Turns out, though, the answer is air travel,
as Richard Hammond explains.
This is an airport.
It's a place where you wait around a lot.
But the waiting isn't just because of delayed planes.
No, the problem runs deeper than that.
Everything that moves at an airport just takes an age.
The tug that drags the plane to the gate crawls like a snail.
The bus that ferries the passengers to the place is deathly slow.
The catering truck is always late,
the fuel truck just meanders about with no sense of urgency
and as for that little thing
that drags the luggage around in a big train,
maybe that's the reason
why you have to wait for a year at the luggage carousel.
Net result - misery.
In fact, some youngsters who check in to fly somewhere on a school trip
often die of old age in the departure lounge.
And that's an actual fact.
Time, then, for Top Gear to step in,
and in the same we solved the bendy bus issue,
we shall tackle this problem through the crucible of motor sport.
Let's begin by assembling a selection of typical airport vehicles.
First up, the aircraft steps.
Never there when you need them. Hope they can buck their ideas up.
Then we have the thing that lugs the luggage around,
The fuel tanker, heavy and full of...
Next, the bendy bus that ferries the passengers around.
We're already pretty familiar with those.
Ah, the fire engine. Absolutely no excuse for tardiness for that one.
And the catering truck.
Always late, sometimes better if it didn't turn up at all.
the heaviest beast of all - the aircraft tug.
So, there we are -
a group of machines that normally trundle around at a snail's pace.
But just think how much faster the whole airport experience would be
if we could speed things up.
To show the airport bosses
just what untapped potential these machines have,
welcome to the inaugural
Top Gear Various Airport Vehicles Motor Sport Challenge Race...
Our venue for this ground-breaking event
is London's Heathrow Airport, just outside London.
Normally it is a lot busier than this
but the people who run Heathrow closed it for the day
and they've moved all the jumbos and, um, terminals off to the side,
out of shot...
They have, that's what they've done.
So, with that taken care of, all I need now are some drivers.
Sadly, the airport ground staff just won't cut the mustard.
But guess who I ran into in Duty Free.
Touring car legend, Tom Chilton.
Touring car legend, Matt Neal.
Touring car legend, Mat Jackson.
Touring car legend, Gordon Shedden.
Touring car legend, Anthony Reid.
And truck racing legend, Stuart Oliver.
The drivers climbed into their chosen machines,
leaving me with the fire engine.
I can't reach the switch.
All of these vehicles have very different engines and what have you,
and so whichever one wins today
is the vehicle we will be recommending
all future aircraft vehicles are based on,
regardless of function or task.
This is a pretty serious scientific experiment,
so I have stressed to the other drivers
in the strongest possible terms,
absolutely no body contact whatsoever.
The catering lorry - I can't believe how that took off!
'Although the fire truck was incredibly noisy...'
'..on paper, it had got winning potential.'
'On the minus side, however, it was still a fire truck.'
'Very soon, I was falling back.'
Oh, no! I mean, what good would this be in an emergency situation
if the bloody catering truck gets there before the fire engine?!
'And predictably, with me out of the way,
'the touring car boys were ignoring my strict no-contact rule.
'If I was to get back in and restore order, I needed to act fast.'
There, that'll do.
I can't see where I'm going. I can't see.
I wonder what's happened to the world.
'But the crash diet did the trick.'
I'm back in the race in my lightweight fire truck superleggera!
'the other drivers weren't impressed with the new track conditions.'
That's lapped the bendy bus!
'Several laps into the race and no clear winner was emerging.'
The stairs in front of me now, they're an unknown quanti...TY!
Oh, my God!
'So, with great regret, I ordered the drivers to turn up the wick.'
'Pretty soon, the results started to come,
'with the fuel tender taking a pretty serious kicking from the catering truck.'
The fuel lorry is out.
'With just two laps to go,
'the 29-tonne tug and the luggage trolley
'were at the back in a fight of their own.
'And following an accidental manoeuvre by me...'
Woah! '..the bendy bus was now crippled,
'meaning it was now all down to me, the catering truck and the stairs.
'Correction - make that me and the catering truck.
'Which, as we entered the final lap, had suddenly changed tactics.'
Woah! What's he done with that?!
'What he'd done was genius.'
'The lightweight catering truck shot into the lead.'
'But the racing driver,
'being a racing driver,
'had forgotten about the laws of physics.'
That is the catering truck out of it.
That is good news indeed. Yeah!
Ahh! There you go!
'So, airports of the world, take note.'
From now on,
all airport vehicles will be based on the fire engine,
which will be brilliant
as long as there isn't a fire.
Excellent science, Doctor.
-More of that.
-More research, yeah.
Now let's do the news.
Yes, let's. Right... Oh, yes.
Every week, the Daily Mirror runs a story
saying that we've done something unspeakable.
You know, we've stolen all the Army's helicopters
or we've accidentally clubbed an old lady to death with a baby seal.
This week, OK,
the story they chose to run with was this.
OK? Here it is.
Big story saying that...
homosexuals are banned from the Top Gear studio audience.
Now, seriously, honestly,
-I've never read such rubbish in my life, ever.
-Now, it is true...
-..that we like an even split of men and women in the audience,
otherwise it's a bit like the early days
when we only got the Subaru owners club, and that's a bit grizzly.
But we do not actually insist
-that you sleep with the person you come to the studio with.
I mean, often, you know, mums come down with their sons
and we're not suggesting that...
-You know, that's...
-No, we're not.
-But everybody's welcome.
-The truth is, we welcome homosexual couples here.
-We particularly like the lesbian sort.
Oh, no. No, no, no.
-I saw a film about lesbians on the internet once.
It looked very interesting.
Now, BMW, OK, have made...they've made this. It's an M5 CSL, OK?
It's got a carbon fibre roof,
it's got a longer-stroke engine, 5.5 litres, 580 horsepower.
That is 20 seconds a lap faster round the Nurburgring
than the standard M5.
I know. The big "wow" is... Do you know what it is?
They're not going to make it, and that's weird to me.
Why go to all that trouble if you're not going to make it?
That's like...sleeping with a woman when you don't want to have a baby.
No, that doesn't work, does it? That's the worst metaphor ever.
-You're on your own with that!
-The real reason I brought this up
are these BMW racing colours,
because you don't see racing colours any more in motor racing.
You remember the Alitalia colours and the Martini...
It's a good point, because these days, you get a white car,
-and then it just says something like "Panasonic".
Those new teams coming into F1,
they should choose their sponsors
according to which sponsors are going to give them the best-looking car.
With the Sheffield team that we talked about,
they could get sponsored by... well, by a local band.
The Human League!
They could all have helmets that are shorter on one side!
Because you know Timo Glock.
He was working as a waiter in a cocktail bar.
-They don't want him.
-They picked him up, turned him around and turned him into something new.
Yes, all right, enough '80s lyrics references!
I know what would make an excellent sponsor for a motor racing team.
If you say Morrisons, I'm going to stab you in the heart.
No, I think After Eight mints.
There's that dark green with a little gold stripe on.
-They race at Le Mans...
It would be after eight in an After Eight car!
Make that happen. Do it.
What about Cooper's marmalade? You could have an orange racing car, but with bits in.
You could have beef Hula Hoops.
Bovril... Not Bovril. Bisto!
Then you could have that white thing down the car that could say, "Aah"!
James, you're just naming things you like and they're all brown!
James May's Formula Brown!
"Look, Church's shoes is overtaking the cottage pie!"
What would you rather...? Yes, but what would you rather have -
gravy overtakes pie
or the gone-bust bank overtakes the Japanese producer of electronics?
-He's got a point.
-No, I'd want to watch that.
-Why have I got a vision of James May smearing himself in Marmite?!
-Oh, my God!
do you want an Audi A4, OK,
that's much more expensive and harder to park?
-Yes, I do.
-Good news, because this week,
we've received news that there's a new Audi A8.
It's designed by a man called Mick Dick.
I've got... No, no, no, I've got the bumf here, OK? Um...
Has he anything interesting to tell us about it?
JEREMY MUMBLES INDISTINCTLY
Well...what does it look like?
No idea. This is the picture they sent, OK?
-It's under a cloth!
-Oh, that's him!
Best friend, as it turns out, of Billy Willy!
They work for Bob Knob, do they?!
With Roger Todger.
They were going to get it designed by the Scottish car designer...
there was something interesting in here, OK?
There was, genuinely, right?
What Audi has done is they've outlined what the A8 customer is.
-And they say... he is highly affluent
with an average income of 500,000 a year,
he is 58 years old
er, highly educated,
-Mostly married? How?
-What does that... So he's married down to there?
And this bit is separated?
Yeah, it says he's got a few children still in the household.
-What, in the basement?
-Yeah, he's a kidnapper as well.
Anyone here who is 58 years old, on half a million dollars a year
with divorced shins and some children in the basement?
Oh, dear, Mick Dick's cocked up.
He's built a car for someone who doesn't exist.
-So let's move on. You see, it doesn't matter what sort of a person you are.
There is always a car to suit.
If, for example, you're an air hostess, you can have an Audi TT.
If you're a Freemason, hm, you can have a Lexus.
If you have huge ears with hair sprouting out of them,
you can have a Peugeot 3008.
But...what if you're mad?
What if you can't walk past a window without being overcome with an uncontrollable need to lick it?
There's never been a car to suit you...until now.
This is no ordinary BMW X5.
This is an S&M X5.
What they've done is taken the standard car
and inserted under the bonnet a 555 horsepower, 4.4 litre twin-turbo-charged V8.
The results are as dramatic as putting a furious weasel
in your underpants.
Gallon of fuel gone there.
There's another one gone. And another.
This car would be less annoying to eco-mentalists
if its engine ran on sliced dolphin.
Still, it produces more power and more torque than a Ferrari 430 Scuderia.
So, despite the enormous weight, we're told that in a drag race,
it should be able to make mincemeat out of most sports cars.
Yep. This is a five-litre, super-charged sports car.
-And it's winning.
Yeah, there you go - look. There's Usain Bolt.
Thrashing John Prescott here, contrary to the information we received.
We weren't expecting that. We looked up some figures in the office
and they suggested that this would win and now it hasn't.
That's a bit embarrassing.
The handling is equally surprising.
But in a good way.
It is remarkable that here I am four miles high in the sky
driving a car that weighs slightly more than the centre of the earth.
And it's fine. It's better than fine.
It's not an M5, but for something like this, it's amazing.
And of course, it's all great,
but in a big 4x4 school bus, what's the point?
I don't know what the world record is for the most amount of sick to come out of a child,
but I reckon if you put a nine-year-old in the back of one of these and drove like this...
..he could beat it.
And look at this. This tells you how much torque is going to each wheel
at any given moment.
Can you imagine bringing that up on a first date?
Have you seen this, my dear? Look at that.
I reckon you'd be in there. Mm-mm.
This, then, is a silly car.
And also, it's not very good.
The seats are hard and unsupportive.
The ride on normal roads is very uncomfortable, if I'm honest.
And I don't know about you, but I find this interior rather boring, apart from that, obviously -
the torque thing.
It's like sitting in someone's ear.
What's more, because it's fast, it has fat tyres and firm suspension.
And that's created another problem.
What they've done is built a car that can sort of go off-road and then converted it so that now
it can't any more.
Still, if you want one, get your nurse to find you a crayon
and write out a cheque for £76,000.
Or, if you don't understand how crayons work,
you could spend even more on this rather ugly Audi.
On the face of it, this Q7 appears to be quite sensible.
Unlike the X5, it comes with seven seats which move about
to suit your every need.
And under the bonnet, there's a diesel engine.
Sadly, however, it's not a diesel engine that makes any sense at all.
You see, it's a six-litre twin-turbo-charged V12 diesel.
Now, I'm sorry, but the whole point of buying a diesel engine car is to save money,
so having a twin-turbo V12 diesel is like turning your central heating off at home
and then keeping warm by burning Rembrandts.
Still, at least you get a lot of torques.
738 of them, in fact.
That's 200 more than you get from a Zonda R.
Nought to 60 takes five and a half seconds.
Top speed is limited to 155 miles an hour.
And it stops because it's got ceramic brakes. In a diesel!
But it's the go, really. That's the astonishing bit.
I'm not kidding. This car could bump-start a jumbo jet.
But only if you fit it with a towbar,
which is an £830 option.
I don't know about you, but that seems a bit steep on a car which costs £96,000.
Apart from the fact that these cars, with their mighty engines,
have brought sunshine where before there was rain,
they are completely bonkers and pointless.
However, happily, there is a third way of wasting your money.
This new Range Rover is heavier than the Audi and the BMW.
And slower. And thirstier.
And at £80,000, it's not exactly cheap either.
But unlike its German rivals,
it does still work when it's off-road.
All this computer gubbins down here means that you can keep going
when nature would rather you turned round and went home.
Bit like now, really.
And there's another thing.
The buttons and switches in the BMW and the Audi are just taken out of normal saloon cars.
In the Range Rover, they're big and chunky so you can use them while wearing gloves.
What's more, the Range Rover is more majestic that the Germans. More dignified.
It's way more comfortable too, and some of the toys that can be specified these days
are just unbelievable.
There are five cameras all around the car
and you can call up the images they're taking on the screen here.
There they are.
Then you choose which ones you want to enlarge.
So I'll take that one looking front left and that one looking backwards.
Push enlarge. There we are.
We're coming up to the Hammerhead, going the wrong way.
Let's have the forward view there.
Now, let's see how well I clip the apex on that.
Oh, yes! Looking good.
There it is. Over the red and white lines. Now, here we go.
Let's switch to the rear camera as we power down the main straight.
You know what?
We don't really need a film crew or a director to make Top Gear any more.
In fact, I think I'm going to run them down.
Yes, I am. Run!
This has become a snuff movie.
Before you write in to complain, I should explain that what I'm doing now is saving your licence fee
on expensive crew.
We don't need them. I can do it all here myself.
Come here! You're just an expensive waste of time there.
We don't need you any more!
Mind you, some of the features on this new model are not so good.
These days, the grille is way to Cheshire and even the gills now have their own annoying styling details.
But the biggest problem, in this version at least, is the engine.
In essence, it's the same five-litre super-charged V8 that you get in a Jag these days,
and that's jolly nice if you live in Houston or Abu Dhabi or somewhere else where petrol is cheap.
hmm, I'm the world's biggest Range Rover fan,
but I have to admit that this engine in Britain
makes no sense at all.
I'd buy the diesel-engined Range Rover in a heartbeat,
but with a massive petrol engine, this is like the other cars here.
Really rather ridiculous.
I hate to say it, but I agree with you.
Because the diesel Range Rover is just fabulous
because, well, it's just like the petrol Ranger,
-but the diesel makes a better noise.
And you only have to stop and fill it up every 500 miles, rather than every 500 yards.
No question. You see, the thing is, if you get the diesel,
you still get that amazing screen that allows you to make movies.
But there's so much more to it than that.
For obvious reasons, you can't watch a DVD while you're driving along, for example, OK?
But if we look at this, OK? The passenger here is looking at a DVD.
Yes? You can see that.
But if we look at the screen from where I'm sitting,
it's satellite navigation. Same screen - look at this. I see sat nav.
Where the passenger is sitting, they can see a DVD.
On the same screen! Come back again, look.
Sat nav. This is the most amazing thing I've ever seen in my life.
-And it doesn't end there, either, does it? Those cameras you were talking about...
-No, no, no.
I'd forgotten. Look at this. You can see OK.
We zoom in, zoom in like this.
-And then you can move it up...
-Oh, you can actually move the camera!
-Look at that.
Who invented that?
Yes! That is just genius.
-Would you like to go round the back?
-Oh, the... Yes! The cameras at the back.
-Look at the back.
Zoom in. In, in. No, no, no, no, no! Now look what you've done.
-That's a disappointment.
If you two could just stop mucking around for a minute,
I've got a quite a serious point to make over here.
If you want to spend more money on your Range Rover, for Pete's sake,
don't spend it trying to make it go faster because you'll ruin it.
Instead, why not spend it on making it a bit more luxurious?
Now, a company called Overfinch has collaborated with Holland & Holland,
-the gun-makers, to produce this.
-Yeah, now, it's still a Range Rover,
so inside you've got the clever amazing witchcraft screen and everything, but a bit more.
So, for instance, this wood here,
you've got this marquetry work in it. Lovely.
And these panels on the steering wheel.
You can have these custom-engraved to match your own shotguns.
-The leather is the stuff they use on the very finest business jets.
And in the back, you do lose a seat, but instead you get this piece of furniture
from the bedroom of Louis XIV. More exquisite marquetry.
In here there is some nice cut glass.
And down here, there is a refrigerator,
and it is a refrigerator, not merely a slightly chilly cubbyhole.
The cost of all this is £139,000.
Now, that is a lot of money,
but then this car does come with the best optional extra ever fitted to any car
-in the whole of human history, I think I'm right in saying.
-Yeah, yeah. You're right.
OK, it's this chest here in the back.
In this drawer here we find, OK, there is space for your gun.
This particular gun in this one, they actually cost more than the car does.
-RIPPLE OF LAUGHTER
OK, so that's the guns, right, on this side.
And what goes with guns? You're right - drink.
..in here we find the glasses, the vodka, the whisky, obviously,
the champagne - Pol Roger - is in the fridge in the car itself. And here is the really amazing bit.
This is what's called a self-replenishing drinks cabinet.
For the first year you own the car, when your drink supplies are getting low,
they come round and top them up free of charge.
Do I have to buy the car, or can I just have the self-replenishing drinks cabinet?
I'll tell you what, if I bought this car,
the diesel in the tank after one year would be exactly the same as it was when it came.
It would still be in the same field. I tried drinking the diesel, but then the man arrived with more champagne.
-I just want one of those.
-No, it is. I mean, really and truthfully,
this is the car to buy if you are sensible.
Or if you're drunk!
But if you are insane, you will doubtless now want to know how fast the BMW S&M X whatever it is
and the Audi V12 diesel go round our track,
and that, of course, means handing them over to our tame racing driver.
Some say that the drinks cabinet in his car
contains 14 different types of custard.
And while he has been known to leave his house in a bit of a hurry,
he's never once hit a fire hydrant.
All we know, he's called the Stig!
And they're off, lumbering down to the first corner
like two fat rhinos in trainers.
Beginning to forget what our tracks looks like in the dry.
Still, at least these silly cars
have four-wheel drive to help them along.
Oh, dear, that's not very interesting
as they go round the first corner.
MUSIC: "Any Old Iron" by Peter Sellers
Oh, dear. Still enjoying the sound
of Barbara Windsor's wedding.
Audi, there - look at it getting all out of shape in Chicago.
And now he's heading down to the Hammerhead.
Triggered the hazards under heavy breaking.
That Q7 is really not happy.
X5, a little more composed.
Although if you really wanted composed,
obviously you'd be better off
in the M5 Saloon.
Into Follow Through, a chance for them to use their big power
to give the laws of physics a bloody nose.
Thundering past the tyres.
Obviously, now, two corners left. Audi still flashing away.
BMW getting sideways, there.
Just Gambon left.
Here it comes. BMW veering sideways. Steady on, Stig!
And across the line! Well, here we are. Here we are.
Stand by to receive the two most not interesting facts
in the history of British television.
The Audi Q7 V12 Diesel did it in 1.33.3. So that's down there.
And the BMW X5 M did it in 1.28.2.
So, there we are. Not interesting.
Uh, and now, it is time to put a star in our reasonably priced car.
My guest tonight is best known for his Cockney gangster movies,
such as Snatch and RocknRolla
and Lock and Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
So, everybody, open your mince pies, put your Bobby Sands together,
and let's have a rousing round of sores...paws...
sores...running, pustulating sores for Guy Ritchie!
APPLAUSE AND CHEERING
Guy, how are you?
-Hello, Mr Clarkson, how are you set?
-Very well. How are you? Have a seat.
Look at that moment!
-Thank you very much!
-That is a big welcome.
Now, I was fascinated when you arrived here this morning.
A lot of guests say the same thing. Is it possible to turn the car over?
Because they need reassuring that, no, it isn't.
And then Guy said, "No, because I really want to."
Well, I had a go.
Would anybody like to see some of Guy's practices? OK?
Just early on, this is Guy practising for his lap.
Here we go. You've still got the Stig in the car here.
So let's... Look how wet that is!
HE SHOUTS AND WOOPS
Look at that! We can now plant crops there after that.
Now, obviously - I'm sorry about this - I'm sure a lot of people
are going to expect a lot of tittle-tattle about Madonna.
Can I just say, this isn't Loose Women.
So there'll be none of that. This is Top Gear.
-And I'm more interested in your love of winching.
No, I'm not kidding, OK? You like... What's it called, Off-Green Laning?
-Green Laning and a bit of winching. There's nothing like a good winch.
As you know, it's a thing. It's quite a nerdy undertaking.
No, there is. There are people who deliberately get stuck.
Don't tell me you're one of those. You winch yourself...?
-If you're into winching, you get stuck.
-And you get out and winch yourself out?
If you don't get stuck, you can't winch. So you deliberately look to get stuck.
I find that fascinating! What's the big appeal of winching a car?
It doesn't make any sense. Why should you want to get a car stuck and then get it out?
But it's a lot of fun!
I can't believe I'm talking so much about winching!
Now, what do you drive? Actually, I know what you drive. You drive a van!
-I got a van.
-Why have you got a van?
-I love vans. I used to be a van driver.
-Ritchie's Removals, it was.
I wasn't good at Ritchie's Removals. It didn't work. Particularly as a business.
We'd been under a few low bridges and taken a few £1,000 tables out as we went under the low bridges.
How do you explain that to the poor unfortunate souls waiting at home for their...?
You have to be very creative. Hence, I became a film-maker.
But you maintained the love of vans.
-I love a van, yeah.
-And you now have a Mercedes Sprinter.
-Yes, I do.
-Is it just a normal van?
No, it's been kitted out a bit in the back. We've got two 42-inch screens in the back of it.
And it's, uh...cushdy.
It's pretty comfy. I mean, you just get so much bang for you buck with a van.
-How much is a Rolls-Royce Phantom?
OK. This was 20 grand. We got it second-hand. We spent 40 grand in the back. 60 grand.
-I can tell you, it's a lot more comfortable than a Phantom.
-Have you done the outside? The A-Team thing with the big wheels...?
-No, it looks like a builder's van.
"No tools are left in this overnight", written on the back.
There's lots of tools left in it overnight.
Ha ha! Oh! Um...
-So what do you drive when you're not driving your van?
-I've got the Range Rover outside.
-Q7. Got an Audi Q7.
Don't like that? I've got to tell you, everyone loves that.
-Well, except me.
-OK. What do you know about cars, anyway?
Not much, actually.
I live on a bicycle. That's the irony. I live in central London
and probably 90% of my travelling is done on a bicycle.
I love bicycles. I shouldn't imagine you like bicycles very much.
-You'd look good on a bicycle!
-No, I wouldn't. A Penny Farthing, maybe.
-I was being sarcastic, actually.
-I nearly tried to kill a Frenchman on a bicycle the other day.
He'd got so much rain on his spectacles, he couldn't see where he was going.
Then he banged on my car. Well, that was it.
-How did you know he was French?
-Because he was speaking like an idiot,
that is how I knew he was French!
Now, you've got no cars, obviously, in your new movie, Sherlock Holmes.
-Tell us a bit about it.
-I wanted to do a bigger movie than any movie I've done before.
Um, and it seemed like a natural segue from going from, sort of,
smaller British gangster kind of things to doing something kind of big-ish.
But I wanted to keep the identity English and there is no greater icon,
I suppose, than Sherlock Holmes.
But you've got Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock.
-He's got a very good British accent.
-We've got a clip. Let's have a look.
I have a request. There's someone I want to see.
You and I are bound together on a journey that will twist the very fabric of nature.
Allow me to enlighten you.
Tomorrow, the world as you know it will end.
Well, there isn't any time to waste, then, is there?
It does make a considerable difference to me having someone with me on whom I can thoroughly rely on.
It's nice to see you, Watson.
-Oh, yes! That is big budget!
-Is that CGI?
-Some of it.
-That's a big budget thing going on right there.
I see what you mean about his accent.
-You can see we had deeper pockets on this one.
-When's that coming out?
Boxing Day in the UK, Christmas Day everywhere else.
-Why isn't it out on Christmas Day here?
-Everyone's stuffing their face with turkey in the UK.
Um, so these days, you're a publican.
-I have a pub.
-You have a pub in...?
-Actually, I have to tell everyone a story. Do you mind?
This is back in the Fulham days. I used to go to this place.
On the Wandsworth Bridge Road, OK? Get there before ten, guaranteed lock-in.
Then one day, a new manager started at this place.
A new manager, no more lock-ins. "Out. Get lost."
20 years later, I was walking down the Fulham Road and I ran into
the original barman, now a security guard outside a hospital.
So I said, "What happened to that bolshie bastard that came and took over you?"
He said, "I tell you what happened to him. He married Madonna."
-You stopped us having... You stopped us having...
-APPLAUSE AND LAUGHTER
I been dying to get that off... Joe's Brasserie.
Did you come and work as manager there?
It was either me or Sean Penn, and I don't think Sean Penn worked in Joe's Brasserie.
Now, obviously you came down here to do your lap.
We've already established - quite wet.
I mean, the wettest we've ever had. but nevertheless, who would like to see Guy's lap?
-Right, Guy, let's have a look.
And you can't cut the corners - this is the important thing.
Oh, come on, son! Wow!
OK, there's the first corner.
No suicidal tendencies into it.
But plenty coming out.
That's quite poo, actually.
Off the road a bit, there.
That's looking very neat and tidy. That's good. That's good.
This is raining, lads, by the way. I don't know if anyone noticed.
It's quite an unforeseeable thing.
The water's streaming down the windows! Hammerhead...
Did they put cones out for you today? No, they didn't bother.
Only last week we had that for Chris Evans. Just Radio 2 DJs get that.
Again, that looks neat and tidy and good.
I got to tell you, this is not easy, chaps.
Now, this is... That's the Follow Through. Nicely done.
Now, I'm into fourth about now.
Second to last corner, can't cut that.
-Not going to be good.
-No, you kissed the apex, which is exactly right.
Can't touch the grass here...
Oh! You have touched it there and across the line!
Now, that looked good.
That looked good, because it didn't look as mad as the practice stuff.
You're leaning forwards.
-What does that mean?
-It's a sign. Every week, everybody comes on
and and they've been really relaxed and it gets to the time. "I'm not bothered."
MIMICS SQUEAKING CHAIR
Well, I shouldn't be bothered, because I know I did a pretty appalling performance.
But the thing is, the conditions were dreadful.
No question about that. No idea how fast you'd have gone on the dry, but I can tell you,
Guy Ritchie, in the wet, you did it in
-Which means... I'll give you a very wet.
-Oh, that's bad.
..between Tom Jones and Helen Mirren.
So, how many cars did you go through doing that?
-I went through four cars today.
-Yep. Four tyres.
-And a gearbox.
-And a gearbox?
That is a new record!
-A record! Ladies and gentlemen, Guy Ritchie!
-Thank you very much.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Bad news! Bad news!
We've had another letter from Mr Needham. I shall read it out.
"Dear so-called Top Gear. Last year, I asked if you had forgotten how to do normal road tests
"on your so-called television show and you responded with an idiotic feature in which a Ford Fiesta
"was driven at high speed through a shopping centre and then off a Royal Marines landing craft, into the sea."
It was, actually. Well done, Jeremy(!)
"So I ask again. Will you please do a normal test in which the concerns
"of the average viewer are addressed? Yours sincerely, Mr Needham, Belfast."
We all thought, "Yeah, fair enough. We must respond."
And then Jeremy stepped into the breach. Again.
To get Mr Needham off my back, I've actually come to the city where he lives.
And this is the car I'll be testing.
Renault's sporty little Twingo 133.
Unfortunately, on the way over here yesterday,
I caught a cold.
Well, when I say cold, it's actually gangrene.
Of my lungs.
But, I'm a man, so I shall simply...
Excuse me. ..soldier on.
Oh, has anyone got any Night Nurse?
Oh, yes! I should say so.
I've always loved small, hot hatchbacks
and this is one of the best.
It's so nimble and agile. It's like driving a mosquito.
Not literally, of course, Mr Needham.
It's impossible to drive an insect and cruel to even try.
It's pretty quick, too.
Thanks to a revvy 1.6 litre engine, it can get from 0-60 in 8.7 seconds
and on to a top speed of 125.
But is it faster than its big rival?
The Fiat 500 Abarth.
Tell you what, let's find out.
Pleased with my start.
Very, is the simple answer.
Even if you drive with verve and gusto, you should still average 40 miles to the gallon.
However, that said, the Fiat 500 Abarth will average 43 miles to the gallon.
The Renault is £1,000 cheaper and you can have one now.
The waiting list for an Abarth stretches into 2010.
And I shall be dead by then.
In fact, the way I'm feeling, I'll probably be dead by 5.30.
But I'm not making a fuss, I'm just making a point.
Soldiering on on your behalf, Mr Needham.
Sorry, what was the question?
In a nutshell, yes.
If you buy the standard £12,200 car,
it's not bad at all.
But the car I have here has what Renault call, the Cup Chassis.
It's a £650 option which gives you firmer suspension,
ultra low-profile tyres and 17-inch wheels.
On a track, that's marvellous.
But on a normal road, it is extremely firm.
The result is that on some bumps,
the jolt is so bad,
that your lungs can come off.
Like that one.
Is this thorough enough for you, Mr Needham? I hope so.
Its got a radio, air conditioning, electric windows
and electric door mirrors.
But I'm afraid to say
no parachute system.
So, if you wake up one morning to find that someone has put your car
on top of a Harland and Wolff crane,
you're never going to get it down again.
Bad mark for Renault there.
You would be amazed how often I get asked that question.
To get an answer, I've come to the network of sewage tunnels
underneath Belfast and for the next few minutes,
we've asked the people in the city to, erm, cross their legs.
Oh dear! Splashing!
I've considered the tunnel's diameter,
the car's centre of gravity, everything and I've worked out
the precise speed I need to be going is 17.5 metres per second.
I wish I knew what that was in miles an hour
because that's what I'm getting on the speedo.
I think it's about 37.
37mph. It's roughly there.
And here we go.
Building it up.
If this goes wrong, I really am in a world of sh...
Here we go! Aargghh!
There you are, Mr Needham.
If you're looking to drive upside down through
the tunnels of Belfast, Twingo 133 - absolutely ideal.
Obviously, it's not a very large car.
But if you push those rear seats all the way back,
there is enough room back there for children.
Then, if you pull them all the way forwards,
there is enough space in the boot
for Ross Kemp.
-So, Ross, are you OK in there?
-A bit of a squeeze but quite comfy.
Quite comfy? Good. Good mark for Renault.
Obviously, we keep being told that global warming is coming
and that soon, we won't have a winter to worry about.
But we do now.
That's why I've come to a little slice of ice
at the Odyssey Arena.
In theory, this should be quite good because
in a front-wheel drive car, the heavy engine is pressing down on the driven wheels,
giving you better grip, better traction.
Here we go!
A lot of revs, first gear, 5,000, 4,000...
107 registered there!
That is on ice.
On a lot of cars, the anti-lock braking system doesn't work
on snow or ice, so let's see how it is in the Twingo.
I don't know why I'm looking at my watch - there's no second hand.
That was a long time.
Now, the ice hockey players are here and they want to come on.
I know. Sorry. I'll get off.
I'm sorry. I'm trying to leave.
Just bear with me.
This was harder than you might imagine.
There's the exit.
No, I'm not going to make that. I'm not going to make it.
It's going to hit the wall. Mustn't hit the wall.
Keep your hair on.
Sadly, the ice hockey players wouldn't wait any more.
They're playing a game!
BLEEP. What was that?
You've just pushed me!
Eventually, this ended badly.
Oh, my God! I hit him.
There isn't a mark on it.
Since the skater seems to be OK, we have to say
the Twingo scores well for pedestrian safety.
Especially, if the pedestrian you hit is dressed up like that.
We've all been there. Lost. In a shipyard.
Your biorhythms are wrong. You're feeling under the weather.
You're just not concentrating quite as hard as you should be.
The next thing you know is...
WOODEN CRATES THUD
It's just one of those days where you're judgment's out
and you think, "I can go through that." Then it turns out...
..you just can't.
Of course, you may say that you would never drive a car
when you're feeling under the weather
but even if you are that responsible,
the day will still come when you pull up at at junction,
and while you're checking to make sure nothing is coming,
you will be hit up the backside by blind Jack the milkman.
ROSS KEMP LAUGHS
That really hurt!
Then, of course, the day will come when you lend your car
to your 17-year-old son.
He'll be driving along in it and he will think,
"If I pull this handbrake lever, my girlfriend's clothes will fall of."
Of course, we know that doesn't happen.
We know that what actually happens when you pull the handbrake lever
Jeremy, that BLEEP hurt. Thank you very much.
This is one of the joys of the hot hatch.
They're as much fun to drive as supercars but you can get
Ross Kemp in the boot
and they don't cost a fortune to repair.
The front wing, for example, for a Renault Twingo, £66.
The front wing for a Lamborghini, £2,430.
We've all been in this situation.
The boat is still here and I can make it.
Being late for a ferry can drive a man mad.
You forget there's going to be another ferry later on.
No, there isn't!
This is the last ferry ever! I must catch it!
The thing is, this Twingo could just be the ideal car for the job.
That's not gone well.
A Fiat Abarth may be more fun to own,
more fun to look at, but this, with the Cup Chassis,
It's a very good little car, this!
Handbrake. I've overdone it!
Just because it's left, does not mean I'm going to give in.
How hard can it be?
-When I get out of here, I'm going to hurt you.
-Here we go!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
What was that?
An acid trip!
-What was going on?
Seriously. How much Night Nurse did you take before you did that film?
A lot. But not so much that I wasn't able to work out that that car...
It's just brilliant.
It WAS a brilliant car.
-Where is it now?
-It's at the bottom of the sea.
-As a test, that was rubbish.
-I had a cold.
I did. I didn't make a fuss, I just got on with it.
-But the important thing is, I survived.
-What about Ross Kemp?
Sadly, he didn't make it.
And that really is a bombshell that we can end on this week. Oh!
Before we go,
one more thing. The first three programmes of this series
went out at nine o'clock rather than eight.
Tonight, we started at 8.30.
Does anyone want to guess what time we're on next week?
THEY SHOUT OUT DIFFERENT TIMES
No. We're actually not on at all.
For reasons we don't understand.
But we are back the week after that at whatever time the Beeb
can squeeze us in.
No mater. Thank you very much for watching tonight.
Take care. Good night!
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Jeremy Clarkson travels to Belfast to conduct an extremely thorough test of the Renaultsport Twingo 133 involving a tunnel, a ferry and the actor Ross Kemp.
Meanwhile, Richard Hammond investigates ways to speed up your next summer holiday through the crucible of motorsport as he invents the brand new sport of airport vehicle racing.
At the other end of the intellectual spectrum, James May tests the new Vauxhall Insignia VXR in the company of Margaret Calvert, the lady responsible for inspired design philosophy behind the familiar British road sign.
Finally, Jeremy is on and off the track in the BMW X5M, Audi Q7 V12 and the latest version of the supercharged Range Rover.
The Star in the Reasonable Priced Car is the award-winning British film director Guy Ritchie.