Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May attempt to find a trio of cars which are equally at home on the racetrack as they are transporting a family to the shops.
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Tonight, James gets wet.
An actual or spin doctor on our track.
And the Stig laps a Reliant Robin.
-CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Hello. Good evening. Hello.
Now, as we know, as we know, track days these days are very popular.
The idea is that you drive your own car to a race circuit,
wearing some horrible branded shirt...
Like, for example, this one.
And then you drive around as fast as possible all day and then you go home.
Today, track days are such big business
you can even buy specialised track day cars like this KTM Crossbow.
Thing is, this costs £45,000, which is a lot,
especially as you can't exactly take the kids to school in it.
No, so, to address this, the producers gave us each a budget of £5,000, and they told us to buy
four-door saloons that could be used every day but that would also be good on a track day.
And because the challenges they had in mind were quite serious,
they told us to meet up in the world's the least amusing city.
Yup, it was Berlin.
I was the first to arrive, and as you would imagine,
I had done everything properly.
This is a Mercedes 190 Cosworth
and Martin Brundle, the former Formula One driver,
said that this car had one of the best chassis ever fitted to a four-door saloon.
It is, if you like, the thinking man's BMW M3.
Talking of which...
-Oh, yeah. Take a look.
-BMW M3, 3.2 litres.
So you've bought the wrong one.
No, I haven't, because the original one is now considered a classic.
So you can't get a good one for less than 15,000.
This, the series two of the M3, is bigger, faster and better.
-So this is the famous Mercedes 190.
-Known for being the slowest performance car of all time.
At that moment we were interrupted by the arrival of Clarkson.
For good reason.
The only reason you two didn't buy a Ford Sierra Sapphire Cosworth is cos you forgot about it.
No. It's because when you think of high-performance four-door saloons you naturally think of Germany.
-It's what they do here.
And where was yours made?
Well, it was designed by a man called Uwe Bahnsen, who is German.
-And where was it built?
-Ah, Belgium, the mecca for the performance motorist.
Belgium is home to everything. Tennis players, chips...
It's not the first place you think of going for a performance saloon car!
You two are going to lose this and you will end up in ze cooler...
'At that moment, a challenge arrived.'
Oh, hello. Thank you.
-"You will now leave Berlin, and head down an unrestricted autobahn."
"Points will be awarded for every mph more than 130 that you can or, should we say, dare achieve."
Still won't be out of second gear when they're going down...
-What's the top speed?
-Top speed of that?
Mine had to be LIMITED to 155.
This is when they introduced limiting.
They realised it's too fast. It's a monster.
-Fair enough, because this had the six cylinder engine, 3.2 litre.
-James, I seem to remember this was not that fast.
-What was its top speed?
So not really a performance car.
But I reckon mine will still do that because it is a Mercedes...
-Oh, my God!
Ah, the interior, yeah.
-Have you seen the inside of his car?
-Toffee and caramel, that interior is.
It's not! Oh, and he's gone for the fake wood door-pull.
-That's a quality touch.
-Right, we've got to get out of Berlin.
-I don't know.
-Wasn't there this morning.
You don't think it fell out of James' luggage, do you?
-Fell out of my what? I missed that.
Ooh, yes. Straight six.
That's a proper engine.
This is the Wall.
What this car has, that the other two cars don't have, is a dog-leg first gear. I should explain this.
Normally, first gear is away from you and forwards
but here it is away from you and backwards.
That means that second and third and then fourth and fifth are in straight lines,
which is what you want for racing,
so that is a sign that this car has a proper motor sport pedigree.
You have to remember that in the late '80s, early '90s,
the Germans were all drunk, running around celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall.
And that showed in the sloppiness of the cars they were making.
The Belgians, on the other hand, they never have anything to celebrate.
They just get up, go to work and do a good job, as we can see here.
Those are his reversing lights.
James, what was that?
Look, I've had 30 years of it being left and forward.
It's a difficult habit to get out of.
On the outskirts of Berlin, we pulled over so our cars could be fitted
with super-accurate speedometers.
And then we hit the autobahn, to see which one was the fastest.
Right, for Belgium!
Two-litre. 16-valve. Massive turbo.
5,500. Into fifth.
Come on, come on!
Ooh, it's pulling to the right.
Come on, let's have 130!
Lot of trucks. A lot of trucks.
Clocked now at 114.
122. A bit of a weave.
Oh, bloody lorry.
Achtung! Schnell! Schnell!
It turned out that while you're allowed to reach the top speed of your car
on the autobahn, it's not easy.
You get these German trucks... Yes, look, he's doing it. He's doing it.
You just get these East German trucks and they just pull out when they want to pull out.
Eventually, though, the traffic did thin.
So we went for another run.
Here we go, again!
Don't pull out.
Do not pull out.
3, 4, 5...
Go! Come on!
Smelling pretty bad.
Smelling pretty bad.
140 miles an hour!
Engine temperature's shooting up.
Well, that was 142mph.
'Not bad for a 21 year-old Ford.'
Give me 140! Give me 140!
There it is.
'Just three more miles per hour and the German Cosworth would beat the Belgian Cosworth.'
Come on, come, come on.
It's not going to do it. Sorry.
I did my best.
'Now, watch and learn.'
Come on now, come on now, come on now.
This thing will do 155 pretty easily. I've just hit traffic every time.
Yeah, yeah... This will do 180.
'With round one going to the BMW, we pulled over in the next town and were given another challenge.'
"So far, we've established the speed your cars can go.
"To see how practical they are, for the next bit of the journey,
"you'll take it in turns to carry some passengers."
That's all right.
As it turned out, it wasn't all right.
OOMPAH BAND PLAYS
If we do crash, it will take some explaining.
Come on. I'm the tallest thing here.
It's not as bad as you'd think, actually.
-I'm trying to be killed by lightning.
-I'm trying to be killed by lightning.
-Are you deaf?
In you go.
'Sadly, I wasn't killed by lightning, so I went next.'
Oh... I might just move these.
It's my light reading over here.
OOMPAH BAND PLAYS
'Almost immediately, I realised that there WAS enough space in the back
'and that the rear suspension was coping fine.
'So, I decided to pull over as quickly as possible...'
'..and handed the band over to James.'
'After a while, it became apparent James wasn't coming back.'
BAND CONTINUES PLAYING
This looks like trouble.
'While waiting for the Mercedes to cool down,
'we asked the oompah band which car they thought was the most spacious.'
-Is it the Mercedes?
Definitely not the Mercedes. What about the BMW?
It's the best.
-Ha-ha! You see? You see?
-It's our favourite.
Why?! It's smaller than the Ford.
It's coming from Bavaria, like us.
It isn't the test of where are they from!
This is just racism against the Belgians.
Listen, their decision is final.
They decide it won the.... What are we calling it - the oompah test?
-The oompah test.
-It won fair and square.
-Because it's Bavarian.
OOMPAH BAND RESUMES PLAYING
Thank you for nothing.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
-The judges' decision is final.
Saying the BMW's the most spacious because it was made in Bavaria...
that's like saying, "Who's the tallest Top Gear presenter?"
-"It's Richard Hammond cos he's from Birmingham."
-No, it's not!
"Who's the fastest driver of the three? It's James May because he's wearing his mum's curtains."
It really is the most spacious car. That's a fact and that's the judges' decision. Live with it.
Stop bleating, let us do the news.
-Actually, I want to start on a serious note, if I may, with the news, because, as we know,
for many years, we've been told that Wayne Rooney is the light and the path to righteousness,
and we must emulate his lifestyle, and indeed the lifestyle of his lovely wife, Coleen.
Now of course, we realise he is a lazy, talentless jug-eared oaf.
-Well, he is.
-That's quite strong.
-Strong but true.
I'm now hoping this means an end to the Rooney-fication of Britain.
Exhibit A, the Range Rover, OK? This was the old model.
Note the plain, sensible front end,
-just some headlights to see where you're going.
As dignified as a rolled umbrella.
Now look what they've done to it.
-Look at this. Honest. This is the new one.
-What is it?
How much bling can you get on the front...?
Look at all the fiddly headlamps and all this business going on!
I'm surprised it doesn't have studs in its ears, here.
They have literally ruined it.
Now, listen, I am aware, of course, that there is a demand for a car
that looks like this, because I know there's such a place as Cheshire.
And I don't mind if they make this...Range Rover Rooney edition.
They could just call it the Range Rooney.
No, no - the Wayne Wover.
-These are good names. These are good names.
But all I'm asking is please can everybody else,
ordinary decent people, have the old one back, please?
I have to say I agree with you.
There needs to be a version of the new Range Rover
that isn't for people who want to celebrate the life and work of a potato-faced shopping enthusiast.
-We want the old one back.
At the end of last week's programme, this appeared. This is called the end board.
This is what you see every week at the end of every programme.
Except for Top Gear. Look -
This is the only programme coming from ten years in the future.
Anyway, the point is, OK, there's a new car come out.
It's called the Night XV. I've got a picture of it here. OK, now...
XV. What's that?
That's 207, in Roman numerals.
-Yeah, something like that.
No, it's 207, definitely. Let me talk you through it, OK?
For that you get internet connectivity, you get DVD, TV, a cigar humidor...
And according to one report, it can resist gunfire for 24 hours.
Do you know what? I think if I was shooting at someone, I'd get sort of bored after about four hours.
-I think the police would have arrived by four hours, personally.
-But, forgive me, it is a car.
You'd kind of drive off before then.
After an hour, you'd think, "They're not changing their minds. I'm going."
He is still shooting at me.
And the other thing, as well, is it's made in Canada.
Who in Canada could do...? Are you Canadian?
Whatever happens in Canada that would cause somebody
to shoot at somebody else for 24 hours?
The other thing as well is if you are shooting at it, it's not likely you're going to miss,
because here's a picture of it next to a Hummer.
Look at the size of it! It is massive. Absolutely unbelievable.
So that's Canada's answer to the motor industry there.
Now, I don't know if any of you were watching last week,
but I had several accidents in a Reliant Robin.
Which has generated a sizable postbag.
I've got some of the letters here. Let me just read you this one, OK?
It says, "Dear Top Gear, the only reason why Mr So-called Clarkson was killed
"is because he wasn't driving it properly.
"I bet if the Stig drove it, he'd be fine."
Tell you what, let's find out.
-I'm betting he rolls that over.
-No, this is the Stig.
The only thing that's ever defeated him was...
He will not be able to do a lap in that car without rolling over. I guarantee it.
He'll use his special Stiggy powers.
-Coming up to the first corner now.
And... So he's made...
Oh no, he hasn't.
Told you. I told you.
There are more letters. Here's one that caught my eye.
"Dear Top so-called Gear, why didn't you use a Isetta Bubble Car instead?"
It's a good point. Why didn't you?
I've got one here - one wheel at the back, two at the front.
It's a more stable three-wheeler configuration.
Yeah. But this has another problem.
-Well, why don't you fire it up, mate?
The 300cc engine bursting into life.
Now, if you could drive into our imaginary garage over here, that would be lovely.
Oh, look. He hasn't fallen over. Still hasn't fallen over.
It's much better already.
Just wait, Hammond. Here we go.
OK, all the way into the garage, please, mate. All the way in.
You've got a foot to go. Six inches. There you go. Marvellous.
It hasn't fallen over. It's much better.
OK. Now, if you'd like to get out...
-I see your point. The door's at the front.
-You'll have to back it up, mate.
-Yeah, go on - reverse.
-OK. Where is reverse?
Hasn't got one.
So how does he get out?
Well, this is the thing. Honestly, if you think about it...
If you don't listen...
James, stop fingering the studio.
The thing is, OK, that if you had one of these cars,
you got home like this, you got stuck in your garage, there were two problems.
You couldn't call inside your house for your wife or girlfriend
to come and rescue you, because it was the 1950s and the mobile telephone hadn't been invented.
And of course, if you had a car like this, you wouldn't have a wife or a girlfriend.
Very funny. Could you push me out now, please?
-Would you give me a push?
-Me push you out?
-Push you out...
-Sorry, what was the question?
-We could either push him out or...
-Not do that.
-Not do that.
-Can we push him out? Ah...
-I think no.
-I'm coming down in favour of no as well.
-It's a no, sorry.
-It's a unanimous no. See you, mate.
Right, well, let's move it on, to this.
To that, actually, over there.
That is a Porsche 911.
And one way or another, that has been with us for about 1,000 years.
Now, though, they've brought out a sort of greatest hits version.
Here it is.
Porsche call is the Sport Classic.
But I prefer to think of it as "Now That's What I Call The Best Of The 911...
These duck-tail spoiler was originally a hit for the 1973 Carrera 2.7 RS.
The black headlamp surrounds were first recorded by the 1974 Turbo RSR.
The Fuchs alloys are a cover version of the ones first seen on the 1966 911S.
And the wide-body rear arches are from today's Carrera 4.
Anyway, that's enough band analogies.
Let's see if this thing is as good as it was before Peter Gabriel left Genesis.
Starting, if we must, with how fast it will go.
You get 22 more horsepower than you do in a standard Carrera S.
That means 0-60 in 4.6 seconds.
Top speed 188.
And I suppose that means I've got to go and do it.
So, it's very fast, very good-looking,
and surprisingly soft and comfortable,
but there is a problem.
It's £140,000 -
twice what a normal Carrera S costs.
And they've only made 250 of them.
And you can't buy one, because they've all been sold.
So let's move on to a Porsche you can buy...
..the new Boxster Spyder.
Porsche say this harks back to the lightweight models
James Dean was driving in the '50s.
But frankly, that's a bit of marketing cobblers.
He was a rebel without an airbag.
This does have an airbag.
But that's about it.
It's 80kg lighter than the standard Boxster, thanks to aluminium doors,
aluminium engine cover, super-light wheels and carbon-fibre seats.
There's more, or rather, less.
There is no standard air-con.
The door handles have been replaced by these little bits of rag
and they've even ditched the piece of plastic that goes on top of the instruments.
What Porsche do is, they leave a lot of things that you should get on a Boxster on a shelf in the factory
and then they charge you more for not giving them to you.
This car costs £46,000.
That's 5,000 more than the standard car
and you get less in return.
Or do you?
The 3.4 litre flat 6 now has 320 horsepower, 10 more than the standard Boxsters.
And because it's lighter, 0-60 is done in just five seconds.
I've owned the standard Boxster S for the last four years
and I can promise you, this is better.
It's more eager.
It's bloody excellent.
But all this stripped back Spyder stuff does have its drawbacks.
What if you're driving along with the roof down and, suddenly, it starts to rain?
Exactly. What a remarkable coincidence.
Oh no, I need to erect the top tent.
What you do is, you open the boot.
You take out this piece, which is called the sun shield.
You get in the car, you attach it at the front first.
Then... You get that bit behind you.
And then the other end of the same wire goes on this special clamp
and then these two bits clip on to there...
'It was a nightmare. But I got it finished just as the "rain" stopped.
Top speed is now reduced from 166 to 126
because any faster than that and the sky tent blows off.
Frankly, I couldn't care less.
Because the way this car feels is so much more important than the top speed.
This is a really happy car.
It's full of vibrant energy and enthusiasm.
It's a bit like one of those really stupid dogs.
I bet if you threw a ball it would chase after it.
And it's having a bit of an effect on me because to be honest,
I have started behaving a bit like the other two idiots.
The really amazing thing is, in a car as lithe and nimble as this, I can.
I've said before that some cars give me a strange fizzing sensation inside and this one really does.
I'm fizzing massively here.
I'm fizzing fit to burst. Nurse!
That's actually a spin, but never mind.
Never mind, indeed.
What Porsche has done is take one of the most practical everyday sports cars you can buy
and turned it into a simple indulgence.
And by making it simple they've made it simply brilliant.
He will be disappointed.
It is a shame James isn't here because I didn't agree with everything he said then.
It's a shame he's not here to stand up, but never mind, will carry on without him.
Start with this, the Sport Classic.
It's a fabulous looking thing. It's a fabulous car, actually.
But the price! What I think happened here is, they started off with a price and then tried to justify it.
No, I'm sorry, it is a pretty thing, but this is worse.
This really is worse.
An umbrella, no door handles. Honestly.
So, I guess there's no point putting that round the track because you can't buy it.
We'll just put this stupid thing round.
-I'll have to do the commentary, obviously.
While it's driven by our tame racing driver.
Some say there are 17 different reasons why he's banned
from the Northampton branch of Little Chef.
And that his favourite airline pilot is Mark Webber.
Me too, actually. All we know, of course, it's the Stig!
Oh no, he's facing the wrong direction.
Of course, it's a Boxster - both ends look exactly the same.
Off now, slowly, to the first corner.
Just slowly driving through it really,
in a not very interesting way.
Nothing interesting at all to report there.
Stig, still enjoying his new CD, Vuvuzela Moods.
I should add that this is made possible
because Porsche has very kindly reinstated the stereo they normally charge you £5,000 to remove.
Plodding through the Hammerhead now in the manner of a car that only a complete idiot would like.
Little known fact, this is also the noise Stig makes when he wants to attract a mate.
Follow through, past some tyres.
Wish I'd brought a magazine to read while waiting for this stupid thing to haul its way round.
Not very interesting there, sort of sliding there, and across the finish.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
-I don't mind that. don't like that.
-I have the time here
for a Boxster Spyder and it did it in
1:24.9 which actually isn't bad at all.
-That puts it right up there.
-No, not interested in that at all. Let's put
a star in our brand-new reasonably priced car.
Now, my guest tonight began his career
writing pornographical stories for a gentlemen's magazine.
He then went on to be communications director for Tony Blair
and Gordon Brown, so he spent most of his adult life working with...
Ladies and gentlemen, Alastair Campbell!
-How are you?
Go on then, go on then!
Two of the best people.
-Well, you've come in to the den of lions here.
-Yeah, they're all right!
You don't know yet. It is tricky, I have to be honest,
thinking about how this interview might go.
Not necessarily right.
-The thing is, I don't believe
what I write any more than you believe what you say.
..interesting sitting here. We've got to do this interview
and, at some point, we've got to get to the lap
which is all cheery.
I prepared some questions that I hope aren't too contentious.
OK, I thought you would.
A lot of work gone into these.
What is your favourite colour?
I've got two. Claret and blue.
Blue? I wasn't expecting blue.
Burnley Football Club.
-Burnley? I'm fascinated by your love of, erm, football.
-Because you're a Yorkshireman but you support Burnley.
Isn't that a bit like, I don't know,
going to an Oxbridge college and then joining the Labour Party?
LAUGHTER AND GASPS
Lots did and lots have.
But Burnley back then were one of the biggest and best teams
in the country and they were 20 miles away from where I lived.
-What star sign are you?
I don't know anything about Gemini, except my wife's one.
D'you want to marry me?
-No. I'm going to get political now.
-Go on, then.
-Here we go.
-So you started out writing porn.
-I mean that was Forum magazine. Was that right?
And then you became Blair's... You were communications director.
-There was a gap.
-There was a gap but eventually...
So you did something noble and then ended up
sort of prostituting yourself
which I think is a weird way round.
I want to move on to Gordon Brown, who lost the general election
and has now disappeared.
Two-part question, and a serious one.
You were obviously in charge of the image
and how the election was presented to the people.
Two parts. Who was it that told him that he had to smile,
and then why did no-one tell him to stop?
Well, I wasn't in charge. I would have been in charge if we won,
but we didn't win. So I wasn't in charge at all.
I don't think you can tell anybody to smile.
But I think it was possibly his misfortune
that he followed a Prime Minister
who does smile a lot very, very naturally.
-Not like that.
-He's got nicer teeth than you, Jeremy. He looks after them.
he probably used taxpayers'... Did they go on expenses, his teeth?
-No. No, they didn't. Don't applaud.
-It just occurred to me...
-Don't applaud that.
-If I may,
if I may, OK, I have some footage here.
I just want to see Gordon Brown here, OK?
Here he is. And ready, steady...
But look - he lightened up the room, didn't he? That was nice.
-Was it done with electricity, or...?
The thing is, you did Tweet, I believe,
earlier this week saying, "How do I handle Clarkson, any suggestions?"
-I got a lot.
Some of those. "Kick him in the nuts."
-Yeah. "Ask him how he voted."
Do you know, I think it is none of your business.
OK, fair enough.
-I'm going to make a guess.
-Go on then.
That would mean voting for my next door neighbour.
-Anyway, they didn't win.
-Cameron? No, he did win.
-Well, he didn't really.
-Well, he's the Prime Minister.
He's the Prime Minister but he needs little Cleggo, doesn't he?
He needs the tea boy, I agree.
-Anyway, when do we see the lap?
-No, not yet, not yet
-because I want to talk about your books.
You say that you get inspiration for writing them
when you are driving along. Is that a distraction for your driver, or...?
-Honestly, in your book...
..Prelude to Power, which is your diaries, pretty much in detail.
That's, how many pages? 744 pages and it only gets us up to 1997.
So, the actual "Prelude to Power".
That's five times longer than War and Peace.
-I write a diary every day.
-You really do write every day?
-You will be in there tonight.
The chat we have outside about the director general will be in there...
Oh, bloody hell! It was as well.
-I do a diary.
-I said that he was a very well-endowed man.
Now, there is a lot about Clause Four, and all of the things
that were being changed prior to His Tony-ness's appointment.
I couldn't find a single reference to the most important thing
that happened when he became Prime Minister which was the M4 bus lane.
Was that just a whim?
There was a thought that it might alleviate some of the congestion
and, according to the statistical analysis
thereafter, it kind of worked.
But YOU can't accept that because you want to cover
the whole country in concrete and drive in big cars.
The other thing as well,
what did you think of our new reasonably priced car?
Because you're the first person to drive it in this proper situation.
I quite liked it. Once I'd got into really kind of leathering it,
it didn't have a lot of oomph.
-I think The Stig was really patient, he really was. Top man.
I was kind of half hoping it would be a woman.
Some say he's fanatically right wing.
-No, he told me he's not.
-He says you are.
See? You're just believing what it says in the papers again.
No, I know you're a reasonable, fair-minded chap.
-Anyway, who wants to see the lap?
You do. Let's play the tape. Let's have a look.
-Here we are.
-That wasn't good, was it?'
-Was it all right?
Come on, concentrate.
Remember everything he said.
'Let's have a look through the first corner. I've never seen...
'Well, never seen it at all go round the track.'
Nick Clegg should do this cos he hasn't got an awful lot to do.
'Now, you've got to stay right here. Oh, no, you've veered left.
'There's a surprise(!)
'On your way down to the hammerhead.
'It understeers more than the old Chevrolet, this car.
'Doesn't look like it's going as fast as I thought it was.
'Everyone says that. But you keep...'
-You ARE veering to the left!
-Oh God, yeah.
'No, here we go. This is flat out. Were you flat-out from your...?
-'Felt flat-out, yeah.'
-'Are you competitive?
I just want to beat Nick Robinson tonight.
'Yes, that's nicely done through there, you cut the corner very well.
'I had real trouble down there.
-'I kept going into 5th.
-That's bang ...
'Not quite fast enough.
-'You were in 5th?
-At one point, yeah.
'And there we are. And boing! Across the line!'
where do you think you've come there?
-I'm quite keen to beat Nick Robinson.
-There's a surprise,
the BBC political editor.
You did it,
Alastair Campbell, in one minute...
So bearing in mind he was at 49.9,
-you would have a job squeaking in after him.
-I'm doing well...
That puts you as our second fastest.
Well done. No, that's very good.
So I beat Al Murray.
-You're faster than Al Murray.
-And a Page Three girl.
-Peta, 23, Essex.
-And Nick Robinson.
Next time he interviews you, you can go,
"I'm faster than you. I'm faster than you. I'm faster than you."
You're a huge sport for coming down here.
-Best of luck.
-I enjoyed it.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Now, now, earlier on, we proved that this BMW M3 is better
in pretty much every way than this Mercedes and this Ford.
-Because of racism...
Now it's time to go back to Germany so that the BMW
can win all the other tests as well.
We begin with Jeremy, predictably, moaning.
This part of the world was ruined first of all by Hitler then Stalin
-and now Jonathan Porridge with his windmills.
-I like 'em.
They're noisy, they're pointless.
Oh, hello. Right.
"Your cars will now be tested for faults
"by ADAC, Germany's equivalent of the AA."
We test them now, after we've maxed them on the autobahn, brilliant(!)
It won't hurt them.
Apparently "one of ADAC's mobile patrols will arrive shortly".
So we're looking for a van.
-It'll be a van of some sort.
-That's all right.
'It was a van,
'but this being Germany...'
-It's got a reception, look.
-Look, it has.
'The ADAC men took charge of James's Merc.'
-Guten tag, Klaus.
What's wrong with the car?
His racing gearbox is going well.
'The equipment they had in the van was extraordinary
'and the tests were very thorough.
'They used a computer to measure the boiling point
'of the Merc's brake fluid
'and a gizmo to check the roundness of its tyres.'
There's a laser and everything.
'It was doing quite well, but then...'
What a load of rubbish!
'After this, things got worse.'
CLUNKING, JEREMY HOOTS
-I did 140 miles an hour.
-You did 140 miles an hour,
and your wheels...nicht gut.
..Are very bad, you have let them rust.
'It was time I put these German chappies straight on a few things.'
Martin Brundle was sehr gut uber dem auto.
What was that you just said about Martin Brundle?
I was just saying
how Martin Brundle said
that this was the finest rear-drive chassis he'd ever driven.
He never said any...
He did! He had one.
He did not say...
Unluckily for you, mate, I have Martin Brundle's number
-on my telephone.
-He will confirm that he said that
and that he had one.
-This, he claimed, was the best?!
-And famously said that.
-I'll talk to him.
-No, get off. Martin?
-Let me talk to him.
Martin, morning, it's James from Top Gear. Hi, how are you?
'Yeah, good, are you somewhere exciting?'
I'm underneath a Mercedes 190 Cosworth, actually,
and the other two won't believe me when I say that you said
quite categorically that this was the finest
rear-drive chassis of any car in the world
and the best you'd ever driven.
'When did I say that?
'I've had a few knocks on the head but I don't remember saying that.
'It's not a bad engine
'but, no, it's really not that good.
'You need the M3 for the best chassis
'from around that time, I would have thought.'
That was always my belief that people believed the M3 was better
and it had got this folkloric reputation
but anybody who knew what they were talking about, ie you,
Ayrton Senna, knew that actually the Mercedes
-was the superior car.
-'I don't remember Ayrton getting out
'and saying, "That is the best rear drive chassis I've ever been in."
'I think he got out and said,
'"I'm pleased it thrashed Lauda and Prost and all those guys."'
Niki Lauda and Alain Prost as well? I didn't know that.
You don't need to speak to him...
I do need to speak to him. Martin? You've turned it off.
-He's catching an aeroplane to his second home.
-What did he say?
He confirmed everything I said about him. He also said,
"The engine is excellent
"and the M3 was a mere shadow of what this car was."
-That's what he said?
-Yes he did.
-That's what he said?
-That's what he said? Right, lower the car.
'Next it was the turn of my Cosworth.'
Mein auto ist die einzige mit...
TRANSLATION FROM GERMAN:
-Mein auto ist designen von eine Deutsche.
Just making it plain.
I don't want him to mark it down because it's Belgian.
As it happens, the ADAC man was impressed with my car.
'But it would now be humiliated by the much younger M3.'
I hate to say this
because it's verging on complementing you, but your car
is now quite cool and collectible, whereas that is
-just something driven by...
TRANSLATED FROM GERMAN:
Best car? Sehr gut. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yes. It is.
'As it turned out, it wasn't.'
-Crikey, look at that.
-That's the anti-roll bar, isn't it?
It had an accident... Kaput.
That's why you got a different shock absorber.
It's been botched together.
It has clearly had a crash, hasn't it?
'Soon it was time to get our scores.'
And that's your Ford.
-And the BMW. Thank you.
What would be a good score on this?
A new car would score, a good car...
-I will go first with my score. Are we ready?
-58? That's good.
-That's not so good.
-He's not serious?!
How have I only got six?
-The back is very bad.
58 - that's a pass.
-You might as well have got nought.
-Would you say the BMW is dangerous?
This had a dramatic effect on the way Hammond drove.
I don't know how it could score less.
It would have to have, like, wheels missing
or a tiger in it.
Tonight on First Gear,
Richard Hammond drives across Germany in a death trap.
'Hammond's mood wasn't improved when he found out
'where we'd be staying the night.'
You've got to be kidding.
'Yup! Colditz is now a hotel.'
'The next morning, James and Richard checked out
'in the traditional fashion.'
MUSIC: "Colditz Theme"
Where have you two been?
-How did you get out?
-I used my credit card at the reception desk.
I don't know why we all didn't do that.
It wouldn't make for a good TV series, would it?
It wouldn't have had 28 episodes.
Next, Major Pat Reid denies watching the movie that was on his bill.
'To Richard's consternation, it was then time for our track day.
'The producers insisted we stuck to track day etiquette by wearing
'clothing from the catalogues of the companies that made our cars.'
Ooh, that's daddy's.
That's not a good look.
It says a lot about people who drive Mercedes Benz.
It does, and do you know, as of Monday morning, I don't,
-If there was a fire around here, imagine the melting...!
Now, the most important challenge -
"Which of you has the fastest track day car?
"To make sure this test is fair,
-"each of your cars will be driven by the same driver."
-I don't have to go out there in the death trap...
-Oh, yes, you do.
"You will be in the passenger seat
"while the car is driven by a tame racing driver."
-What, the Stig?
-No, he's not the Stig.
He's the Stig's German cousin.
Looks like the Stig to me. Still the Stig. Still the St...
-It is the Stig!
-No, hang on.
-Oh, my giddy aunt.
I think it might be Stiggy Ray Cyrus.
First up for Herr Stig
was the Mercedes.
ROUGH ENGINE ROAR
That doesn't sound good.
You've got to remember that in the ADAC tests, they revealed
that the steering was a bit loose.
There's a lot of play in the rack, so just don't overdo it, OK?
'To compensate for the Merc's lack of power,
'German Stig was on maximum attack.'
So this is bigger than the Nurburgring, right, this track?
-Must be, cos of the amount of time it's taken.
-Must be 35 miles.
You can feel the multi-link, Martin Brundle-approved,
rear suspension hunkering down... Get a grip, man!
It's 2 mins 19.3, and we've no idea what that means.
'But we'd soon find out,
'because it was time to lap the Ford.'
And the muscles from Brussels is under way!
The Jean-Claude Van Damme-anator!
That rear suspension is collapsed.
This is...pure track day magic.
1,250 kilograms, that's all it weighs, the same as a Mini.
But it has 200 horsepower!
So, this German Stig fella...
will he take well to Jeremy shouting at him and stuff, do you think?
He didn't take any notice of me
-when I told him which gear to change into.
This is the car which has won
the British Touring Car Championship,
the World Touring Car Championship, the British Rally Championship!
Das Stig is a maniac!
Here he comes.
Wall, wall, wall.
This is going to be close.
12, 13, 14.
Come on, let's have it.
Five seconds faster!
'All that remained was to lap Hammond's crash-damaged death trap.'
There are quite a lot of right hand turns, aren't there,
-in that first bit?
You're really putting a lot of stress on the front left suspension.
-If your car had had, let's say, an accident,
and had been mended cheaply on the front left corner...
Now, Herr Stig, there's one important thing I have to tell you
about this car before we set off...
No, I didn't mean set off!
I haven't told you the thing! What about the thing?
-Are you cold?
Go right. Go right.
-D'you know what I'm expecting to see?
Just the front wheel coming across the line in about two minutes' time.
I'm just waiting to hear
the unmistakable sound of metal snapping.
And the...of arterial blood.
110 miles an hour in a car that scored 6.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Here we go.
Oh, come on, then, what was the time for the BM, what was the lap time?
The time, what was it, come on?
-What did he do it in?
-Yes! Thank you very much, I win that.
you get one point for every second underneath three minutes,
Why is that 3.14?
Well, I did the lap in 2 minutes 14.
But, you see, the producer disagrees.
it was that new producer we've got, the one from Uruguay.
Sorry, mate, he's right, he didn't see one of those minutes,
so you can't have it.
-It was on television!
-It doesn't count.
-This is ridiculous.
Moving on. So that means my BMW was the fastest on the autobahn,
it was the most spacious in that test,
and then it put in the fastest lap.
Well, I will now garner back some points,
because it's the YouTube section.
As we know, people who go to track days,
they put a camera on the dashboard,
they record their lap, they put that lap on YouTube.
And we were told to do the same thing, OK?
And then there would be one point for every hit we got.
James, I believe now we have a clip from your Mercedes lap?
Let's have a look at that now.
'And we're off. A little bit of tramping from the axle there.
'Then I'm going to select fourth as we come
'up to the end of the straight, and we go in to turn one.
'As we go round turn one... Oh...
'Oh, cock. As you can see,
'there are bollards on the circuit, which is not
'what I was expecting, and must mean I've gone the wrong way.'
-How can you get lost on a racetrack, mate?
-It's one way.
-I know, I don't understand it, I'm sorry.
Let's have a look at a clip from Jeremy's video.
'Coming up now to the end of a lap.
'I'm doing 195 miles an hour,
'200, 210 miles an hour now, 220...
'And I cross the line.'
-What? You just lied and then sped up the film.
-A bit. Let's have a look at your lap in the death trap.
-Here we go.
HAMMOND: Vroom! Vroom! Vroom!
And listen to that straight six!
-You didn't take it out.
-No, I did, the camera broke.
-I did it properly...
-Stop doing that.
-That's very annoying.
-No, I wasn't.
I did do a lap, the camera broke, it just recorded sound.
OK, we've had those clips up
-for a week?
-How many hits did you get?
Are you seriously suggesting
-Why would they do that?
-Why are people compelled to put themselves on it?
-I got 137.
-Seven. That was pathetic.
I should have misspelled M3
-in the tag line bit on the internet.
No, if I'd spelled it "Angelina Jolie topless",
-I'd have got more hits than both of you, but I didn't.
we then did an economy run, from Germany into Poland.
Sadly there isn't time tonight to show you that.
The upshot was, though, James ran out of petrol.
-Therefore, you get minus 141.
-I've got minus exactly what I already had.
-That's the rules - it happened to him once.
That is the rules. You're minus 141, so you're currently on...nought.
Er... I get 10 for that, because I won
in the Ford, thanks to its two-litre engine,
and you get five for coming second.
we have just one final challenge, something to do with price -
I have it here.
So it's a two-horse race. Either you or me will win.
-He is completely out. He's on nought.
-So, here we go.
You get one point for every pound
your car was under the £5,000 budget.
So, hang on, mine cost £3,990, so I get 1,010 points there!
Look at that.
I like that. Go on then,
-how much did yours cost?
-So you get one point!
Which means, clearly, I win that!
-Thank you very much.
-I may as well have just bought a toy car.
I was going to get the prize. I would have got...
Those are the rules, and I win! Thank you!
Delighted. And rightly so. CHEERING
If I may just take that from you and ask you to stand to one side,
because my car was £2,990,
meaning I have 2,010 points straightaway there, which I think
you will find makes me...
That's just silly.
That's just ridiculous.
Oi! Are we honestly going to say,
on the world's biggest motoring show,
to 350 million people, that the best track day car
is a slow, rusty,
small, uneconomical piece of junk?
Yes. And on that bombshell, it's time to say good night.
Oh, this is just ridiculous!
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May attempt to find a trio of cars which are equally at home on the racetrack as they are transporting a family to the shops, for a budget of £5,000. They end up with a BMW M3, a Mercedes 190E and a Ford Sierra Cosworth, which they put through their paces in Europe's home of speed, Germany.
James also makes a rare visit to the Top Gear track to test a pair of Porsches - the 911 Sport Classic and Boxster Spyder - and Alastair Campbell is the star in the all-new reasonably priced car.