Motoring magazine. Jeremy Clarkson and James May encounter artillery shells, corsets and classic hot hatchbacks as they take a nostalgic look at Peugeot.
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'Tonight - the new Porsche Cayman on our track.'
'The Ferrari, the Ferrari at the limit in Italy, Italy.'
'And an old Peugeot goes past some goats.'
Hello, good evening, thank you so much, everybody, thank you!
Thanks very much, everyone.
Now, every few years Chevrolet introduces a new Corvette,
and they always say this is the best sports car in America.
And you go, yes, in the same way that
I'm the best-dressed presenter on Top Gear.
Which, actually, as you'll see later on, I am.
Anyway, the truth is no Corvette has ever been a match for
the best that Europe can do.
And it looks like it's much the same story with this,
the latest model.
But is it?
Well, Richard Hammond has been finding out.
'To me, Corvettes have always looked great.
'And for this one, the seventh generation,
'they really have pulled out all the stops.'
Oh, no. Gets worse.
They've even brought back
the Stingray badge from the classic Corvettes of the '60s.
I'd say that was job done.
'Except it isn't, because there's more.'
We have a 6.2 litre V8,
460 horsepower and the same number in torque,
which means in any gear, at any speed,
you put your foot down...
..and stuff happens!
There's the noise!
There's the shove in the back.
'0-60 is all over in less than four seconds.
'Top speed - 190.'
Why do the oaf and the bore not get what's going on here?
I mean, James May likes a car that makes his fizzy bit fizz.
This'd put a SodaStream in his grundies.
'The Vette costs £65,000,
'which might sound like a lot
'until you compare it to its rivals from this side of the pond.'
To get a Jaguar F Type V8, you'll need another 20,000.
An Audi R8 V8, another 30,000.
A 911 V8, well, you can't. There's no such thing.
But to get close to the same power in a 911
you'll need another £25,000.
In fact, if you're looking for a European sports car
for the same money,
you're looking at this.
'It's the latest version of the 911's baby brother,
'the Porsche Cayman GTS.'
But here's the thing - even though the Cayman costs
about the same as the Corvette, when it comes to power difference,
the gulf between them is wide enough to swallow a supertanker.
An American supertanker.
This has 336 brake horsepower, compared to the Corvette's 460.
And this has 185 fewer torques.
'All of which means it's absolutely pointless having a drag race.'
We're going to do it anyway because we are intelligent and thorough.
Three, two, one, go!
'And there we are.
'As I said, absolutely pointless.'
But here's the thing.
In its own right, the Cayman GTS is a small but magnificent little thing.
It just feels lithe, nimble, compact, all those words,
balance, poise, predictability, tractability,
all those good, lovely, yummy things. It's got them all.
The perfect example of exactly what a European sports car should be.
'It's a crushing demonstration of what's possible,
'what good engineering should be.
'And why Europe, not America,
'has always been where you turn for proper sports cars.'
So here we are -
at that point in the test where, traditionally, I'd say,
"The Corvette looks brilliant, great value, lots of fun, but..."
And then I'd do a deep sigh.
Sadly, in the company of the Porsche,
the Corvette simply can't hack it.
Then we'd play some sad music and I'd say, "Back to the studio."
'But no. This time we're not going back to the studio.
'We're going back to the Corvette,
'because this is no longer some hillbilly hot rod.
'It's got suspension made of carbon fibre.
'It has seat frames crafted from ultra-light magnesium.
'It has different driving modes, like you get in a Ferrari,
'and that big shouty V8 can shut down half its cylinders
'to make it more economical.'
Previous Corvette underbodies were really not very far from that.
But this is an all-new hi-tech bonded aluminium affair that
manages to be lighter and stiffer.
Best of all is that it was developed at the Nurburgring, not Nashville.
'This means that the cornering is...'
Well, it's a bit of an event!
All this power, all this bigness, but it's still essentially tameable.
Remember when you had a pet elephant as a kid?
It's like that.
It is Sweet Home Alabama, it's cowgirls in denim shorts...
Yes! It's everything I wanted it to be!
'But what it is more is a match for the Europeans.'
Let's be quite clear here.
It's not like the Corvette has lost all of its redneck charm.
If the Porsche is a laboratory full of laser beams,
this is a Wild West saloon.
But you don't have to apologise for it. You don't have to say,
"Well, at least it's cheap," or, "It's the best they can do."
It simply is good.
In fact, it's the best sports car ever to come out of America,
and for once, you can't follow that up with a joke.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE It's a good car.
It is annoying.
That is annoying, because for the second time this series,
I agree with you. Actually, the second time in my LIFE
-I agree with you.
-Right, you're not going to call me Billy Bob Hammond?
No, and nor am I going to mention that jacket.
No, no, I know, I know you want me to but I'm not going to.
What I'm actually going to do is ask you this.
Which one of these two would you have?
Uh, you see, that's actually really difficult
cos they are both epic to drive.
-You can't argue with that.
But, I don't know, I don't think the Porsche looks very good.
-It looks dowdy.
-It does, so I'd have the Corvette.
The trouble is with the Corvette, though, is
you don't have to apologise for it, as you said,
but you would have to explain it. You'd have to go around saying,
"Oh, it's got magnesium seats and carbon fibre suspension,"
or everyone would just think you were a dreadful show-off.
Yeah, it would be like taking a lap dancer home to meet your mother.
You'd have to say, "No, she's got A-Levels!"
You're absolutely right.
So what we've got here is a choice between a slightly dirty librarian
and a clever lap dancer.
So let's see which is the fastest round our track.
Of course, that means handing them over to our tame racing driver.
Some say that his favourite flower is the potato,
and that even though he's now seen Fifty Shades of Grey,
he still thinks BDSM is a driving school.
All we know is he's called the Stig!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
'And they're off! Two confident starts there.
'The Porsche is mid-engine, the Corvette has a transaxle.
'Both clearly had good traction off the line.
'It's the scalpel versus the hammer, flying through the first corner.
'And, oh, wow, it's the Porsche that's sliding!
MUSIC: "Close To You" by the Carpenters
'Seems to be reversing round in the Corvette.
'Right through Chicago,
'again it's the Cayman that's kicking its tail out.
'Shock and awe Chevy completely under control!
'This is the real test, of course, Hammerhead.
'Yep, Corvette gets a bit of a slide on
'as the Stig unleashes a 460 horsepower drift!
'Right, follow through.
'Porsche needs some corrective lock on the way in, that's a surprise.
'OK, now we're coming up. Just two corners left, braking hard,
'no dramas from either side of the Atlantic, into Gambon.
'Yes, the Cayman's sliding again! And across the line!'
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
I have the times here.
The pantyless Porsche librarian -
-So, not bad, same as an Audi R8 V10.
-That's quick, yeah.
-HE CLEARS HIS THROAT
..the clever lap dancer...
-No way! That's...!
Look at that, same as a Porsche Carrera GT.
That is a seriously fast car.
There's been a disturbance in the Force!
Something weird's happening.
Anyway, the news, and we start with this,
the new Ford Focus RS.
That has 320 horsepower from a 2.3 litre turbocharged engine.
And, most important, this, four-wheel drive.
You know what this is, don't you?
-This is the return of the Escort Cosworth.
It is, I'm excited, but it won't be as good as a Fiesta ST.
-Well, it will.
-No, it won't!
I know but it's about purity of experience in a hot hatch.
That comes, apparently, according to one source in America
-with a drift button.
Drift button, push that, even he'll be able to drift.
-What, you push that and it just drifts?
I don't want to drift.
-Yes, you do!
-I don't. Drifting is for the unintelligent.
It's a mating ritual. Girls love it!
Yeah, he's right.
No, it is, it's like having a massive tail.
It's just me -
Ooh, now, you know Apple, makers of computers and, um, telephones?
-Apparently they're working on a car.
-Does it come with predictive steering?
That's never going to work, is it?
It is... No, I'm not sure that it will work, cos every time
you get in it, it will say, "What's your iTunes password?"
And then it'll make you have one that you can't remember.
And then it'll go wrong, and you'll ring them up
and they'll say, "Oh, it's your fault, you're holding it wrong."
And then one day it'll send
a picture of your bosoms to the internet.
You're right about the, um, passwords,
cos Apple iTunes the other day said to me,
"You must change your password, it's far too easy to guess."
And I thought, how's anybody ever going to guess it's "Carrot29?"
-I mean, that's...
-Now, I tell you what,
there's a general election coming up, you may have heard.
-Yes, there is, even in Wales.
And, um, and a lot of people are saying,
"Oh, I can't be bothered to get involved,
"and all politicians are the same and all the parties are the same."
So we thought, I wonder if we could decide who to vote for,
on what the leaders drive.
-Very good idea.
It is, so I've managed to find it out.
It's not been easy but we've done it.
Now, David Cameron, who runs the Conservative Party, OK, he...
Well, he doesn't actually have a car,
but the family car is a Honda CRV, OK?
Nick Clegg has a Ford Galaxy.
Ed Miliband has a Lamborghini Aventador.
-I was lying. He's got a turquoise green Ford Focus.
Nigel Farage, guess what he drives?
-Yeah, it will be.
Anybody want to hazard a guess, what Nigel Farage drives.
-AUDIENCE SHOUT SUGGESTIONS
-A Bentley, could be.
You are aware of Ukip, are you, and their...?
Nigel Farage drives a Volvo V70.
He drives an immigrant.
-Oh, THAT Nicola Sturgeon!
-Yes, Hammond, that Nicola Sturgeon.
-What about her?
-May, have a guess.
-Oh, I know, uh, a McLaren.
Nicola Sturgeon doesn't drive.
-What, in Scotland?
-I know, I don't understand.
How do you get around in Scotland, if you haven't got a car?
No idea, anyway, she doesn't.
Leanne Wood, that's your lot, Welsh, Plaid Cay-mru!
Er, an ox.
Oh, god, I hate the Passat!
Natalie Bennett from the Green Party?
Oh, a Lamborghini LM002.
We've got a picture of one of those, I think, somewhere.
-Yes, there it is.
-That's the one.
You think that the Green Party boss drives that?
-Yeah, does she?
-You're absolutely right.
-Yeah, she doesn't.
No, she doesn't have one of those, weirdly.
She doesn't own a car but she is a member of a car club.
Is it the Dodge Charger Owners' Club?
-Weirdly, James, it isn't.
-Do they do track days?
The thing is, right, all these leaders,
every single one of them has a rubbish car, every single one.
-And I know why.
It's cos they all want to be seen as a man, or a woman, of the people.
-Yes, I suspect it is.
-Yeah, but, yeah, but you can be seen as a man,
or a woman, of the people, but still drive an interesting car.
Yeah, you could have a Fiesta ST. That's a nice car.
Would we vote for somebody who had a Ford Fiesta ST?
I would, immediately.
I would immediately.
What would you vote for, someone who's interested in the NHS(?)
No, somebody's who's interested in Formula 1.
You'd vote for someone, irrespective of policies,
-if they were interested in Formula 1?
Are you watching this, Mr Cameron and Miliband and Clegg?
This is what's going to win a massive audience.
Who here would vote for someone who was interested in Formula 1?
-There you go, 100% of the British people want you to be
interested in Formula 1!
Uh, now, I came down here this morning in a Volkswagen Golf GTi.
It's what I'm using this week, absolutely fabulous car.
Yeah, very good, not as good as the Fiesta ST, but it is good.
It is, except for one thing. It's got a really annoying thing on it.
Has anyone got a Golf at the moment with its eco tips?
-You get the...
How annoying are they?
You're driving along and every now and again it'll just flash up
a little message on the dashboard, it goes,
"Why not wind your window up? Be more aerodynamic."
Cos I want to get some fresh air.
"Why not change up a gear? It'll be more..."
"Why not, why not shut up," is what you want to say to it all the time.
It drives you... I'd go mad with it!
If I worked at VW, in their software department thing,
I'd put some messages in there but with a time thing,
so that it didn't appear until after I'd retired, really.
You'd be driving along, and it would say,
"Wind the window up. Why not slow down a bit? Why not change up?"
Then it would suddenly just say,
"Why don't you go and boil your head?"
But it would only say it once,
so you wouldn't be sure if you'd actually seen it.
And then another time you'd be driving,
it might be three years later. You'd be driving along, and it would say,
"Wind your window up, change gear."
Then it would suddenly go, "You've wasted your life."
But you'd only see that once, you see.
That would really freak drivers out!
It could suddenly just say,
"Your wife's had an affair with the bloke next door."
And you'd get to the dealer and say, "It said that!"
And he'd say, "No, it didn't, it can't have said that."
It didn't, it can't have done.
But the thing is, though, it would take Volkswagen
a long time to work out.
Then they would have to call you up and say,
"Mr May, step into my office."
Ah, but I've retired. I'm dribbling in an old folks' home
laughing at people who bought VW Golfs.
Now, I have one more piece of...
I think, ladies and gentlemen, you're going to enjoy this.
The mayor of Bristol, OK,
he announced fairly recently that he was going to allocate
£2.3 million of public money
which will be spent on 13,000 signs
saying that there will a 20mph speed limit across the whole of Bristol.
This is the mayor.
He's just been caught speeding.
I think we should all take a moment to compose our faces appropriately.
-I'm going to go for serious and disapproving.
Oh, no! How did...? Oh...
He actually said, afterwards, he commends Avon and Somerset police
for being so vigilant in catching him.
I bet he didn't say that when the letter came through the post box.
Right, let's move on.
Now, last year McLaren gave us the astonishing P1,
and Porsche gave us the equally fantastic 918.
But we've always known that there is another hybrid supercar coming.
Well, it's not coming any more.
It's here, it's the one you've all been waiting for,
and I have been driving it -
The Ferrari, the Ferrari!
'McLaren and Porsche may believe they've created good-looking cars
'in the P1 and the 918.
'But I think they need to get their pencil cases out again,
'because THIS is what a supercar should look like.'
And THIS is what a supercar should sound like!
No miserable V8s or puny little turbochargers -
THAT is Ferrari's Greatest Hit!
The sound of 12 cylinders properly arranged in a V.
And then there's the price.
LaFerrari has the other two licked there, as well.
The Porsche 918, £646,000.
The McLaren V1, £866,000.
A million pounds!
That's a proper price!
No muckin' about!
'And there's more.'
Pinky and Perky have been at great pains to explain
just how clever the McLaren and the Porsche are.
Well, this is also very clever.
It's built from not one,
but four different types of carbon fibre
to keep it as light as possible.
In fact, it's lighter than the Porsche OR the McLaren.
The driver's seat is fixed,
and, instead, it's the wheel and pedals that move.
This means you don't need a seat mechanism,
which means the driver can sit lower, the roof can be lower,
and that drops the centre of gravity...
to the benefit of cornering.
Then, we come to the engine.
Like the McLaren and the Porsche, LaFerrari is a hybrid -
it has a petrol engine AND an electric motor to drive the wheels.
BUT...whereas the other two can be driven on electric power alone,
like a Toyota Prius, the Ferrari can't, because, Ferrari say,
"We are not interested in electric cars."
Instead, the battery and electric motor combination
works a bit like the kinetic energy recovery system in an F1 car.
In very simple terms, it captures energy that's normally wasted -
during braking, for example - and keeps it for when you need it.
The electric motor, the petrol engine -
they're all working together, all of the time.
You cannot separate them.
This is simply a 950 horsepower supercar.
But, despite the racing technology,
you don't find yourself in a world of austere track-car misery.
You've got the sat nav,
the air conditioning...
It's perfectly comfortable.
Actually, it's very civilised.
However, this is also supposed to be the fastest
and most exciting road car
Ferrari has ever made.
And to find out how exciting, we must come here...
Ferrari's Fiorano test track.
To Prancing Horse fans, this is the sacred tarmac
where the company's greatest F1 cars were born.
But when I rolled up, "sacred" wasn't the word that came to mind.
'After two hours of dithering on the start line...'
Pedals a little bit further away.
No, that's too far away. Hang on.
'..the track was finally dry enough for me to have a go.'
Red, red, red, red...
God's holy trousers!
Strewth! I'm already at the first bend.
Lots of brakes.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is 950 horsepower for you!
And while we're at it,
950 horsepower is a slam-dunk Top Trump over the other two.
And so is the top speed - 218mph.
'But it's not just the amount of horsepower that's impressive,
'it's the way it's served up.'
Even if you're a bit clumsy or a bit timid,
as I am being on this one,
you've still got that enormous grunt.
It just hits you like a runaway train.
That's the KERS system working.
That's exactly what it's for.
'On top of that, Ferrari has remembered
'that not everyone who'll drive this car
'will be called Sebastian or Vettel.'
Because LaFerrari will go quite a lot faster than you can think,
Ferrari do quite a lot of thinking for you.
It has for example a very, very sophisticated
traction control system based on Formula 1 tech,
and you can leave it turned on.
Stops you crashing.
LaFerrari also bristles with active aerodynamics.
That's not new on a supercar,
but this system is controlled by 21 computers...
which means, according to the Ferrari eggheads,
even I should be able to take Fiorano's notorious Turn 7...
Active aerodynamics - here we go.
Don't bottle it, don't bottle it!
It works! Look at that!
The faster you go, the better it works!
I mean, like Jennifer's McLaren,
it is pure rear-wheel drive,
and that's quite intimidating, but it's not a widowmaker.
Oh, my God!
Right, let's just slow this down a bit.
Richard Hammond, he says the Porsche 918 -
that's the one that takes the hybrid supercar the furthest.
It's the most responsible, if you like.
Jeremy likes the P1 because he says
it takes an idea that was essentially an environmental one
and uses it to make the supercar more dramatic.
'In this respect, the Ferrari is more like the McLaren.'
Except for two things...
LaFerrari looks better...
and I reckon it IS better.
This is the greatest car in the world!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Well, now there we are.
Here we are.
Now you may remember last year,
after Hammond had driven the Porsche I said to him,
that if it turned out to be faster around our track than the McLaren
I would change my name by deed poll to Jennifer -
you remember that?
-Oh, yeah. You said that.
And now we have James May telling us,
rather bumptiously, I think,
because he hasn't driven the McLaren or the Porsche,
that the Ferrari is best.
So, who here would like to see which of these cars
is the fastest round our track?
So would we.
So would Porsche.
But we have a problem.
McLaren has said that we can't do the test at our track.
Well, hang on - our track is also McLaren's track.
-That's where they developed this car.
-Yes, I know,
and because I know that, I also know that they know
that the twiddly bits at the Hammerhead, and so on,
will favour the four-wheel drive system of the Porsche.
All right, we'll do it at a different track.
Well, that brings us on to the second problem.
Ferrari has spent the last six months saying,
"No, we don't want to do it, at all.
"Cos we're not interested in speed, or 0-60, or lap times..."
That's what they've been saying, but... I kid you not, they have.
But in the last couple of weeks or so, they've started to soften
and say, "Well, maybe we can lend you a car."
Well, there you go then. Game on.
No, see, there's another problem.
McLaren is saying they will only do this
if all of the cars are customer cars,
they're production cars that have been sold - yes?
They don't want them turning up with sticky tyres and 17 turbos on them.
Ferrari is saying they'll only do it
if the cars DO come direct from the factory.
Well, all right, then.
We'll find someone who has a Ferrari a Ferrari, and borrow it.
I know someone who has one.
So do I, James. They've covered us on that one, I'm afraid.
Ferrari has actually said, to us,
that if any Ferrari owner
lends us a Ferrari a Ferrari,
they will make sure that person can never ever buy
a limited edition Ferrari ever again.
-I kid you not!
-I kid you not.
I've never heard anything like this.
Pony club mothers have got NOTHING on the people who make these cars!
It doesn't make any sense! If I built any of these cars - any of them -
the first thing I'd want to do
is see how fast they were compared to the others.
That's what they're for!
Honestly, if I were a teacher and I had McLaren and Ferrari in my class,
I would box their ears!
I'd say, "Go and see the headmaster and come back when you've grown up."
They are here, the track's there... Let's just do it!
Yes, James. They're here and they're locked
and those two security guards have been provided,
to make sure we don't just take them out on the track after the show.
-I am not kidding.
So, this is it? It ends here, it's not gonna happen?
No, no, no, no. We're not giving up.
We've actually heard this week of a man in the Middle East
who owns one of each of these cars,
and he may be willing to lend them to us.
Well, there you go. Give him a call.
He's called Bin Laden.
I'm not kidding, he is.
What, as in...Bin Laden?
No, he's dead. It was definitely on the news. I saw that.
He's a cousin of that one.
Well, you can't judge a man by his cousin.
You're absolutely right, Hammond. You can't.
-But things go wrong on Top Gear, yes? All the time.
Do you want to make the call -
"Hello, Mr Bin Laden. I've just crashed your Porsche into your Ferrari"?
I don't want to make that call, you're right. No.
So here we are, we haven't done it, but we're not going to give up.
OK, in fact, what we're hoping -
and I hope you all hope the same thing -
is that, on Monday morning,
we get a call from Ferrari and from McLaren saying -
"You know what, let's do this thing." Do you want to hear that?
-"Let's just do this thing."
Anyway, it is now time...
It's now time to move on
and put a Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.
In fact, all week, we've had people ringing me up
saying, "How on earth are you going to top Will Smith, from last week -
"star of I Am Legend and Hancock and so on?"
Well, that is easy, because tonight, we have, as my guest,
the runner-up in the 2009 X Factor competition.
Ladies and gentlemen, Olly Murs!
-How are you?
-Good to see you, how are you?
-Very well. How's things?
-Hello! Good, thanks.
-Have a seat.
It's a pleasure. Wow.
Now, I know that was a slightly mean introduction,
but actually, being a runner-up in X Factor
is better than winning it.
Oh, I...yeah, I suppose it is.
But, um, obviously I wanted to win the show, I'm Mr Competitive - so.
I know, but if you win X Factor,
what, you end up back in Homebase in a week.
-Or on a cruise liner.
Yeah, but I think it's lucky, no matter where you finish on the show -
you don't know where you'll finish.
I thought after about a year or two I'd probably be,
you know, in a call centre again, so...
Cos it is - I'm just thinking, One Direction came second.
-JLS came second.
Oh, no, One Direction finished third, JLS finished second.
I'd be standing there, at the end, judging on the facts and figures,
going, "Please don't let me win, please don't let me win."
Cos then I'll be successful, like you, cos...
Oh, cheers, thank you.
How successful - how many albums have you sold now?
No, it's 10 million in total, but, um...
-That's a lot.
-For singles and everything.
I think the albums, about three million, I think?
-That's a lot of albums these days.
-Well, I'm delighted, yeah.
I mean, it's not really an album market so, um...
No, I'm delighted that everyone's been buying my album, so thank you.
And what did you do then before singing to Simon Cowell?
I was just working in a call centre. I was giving people advice
on how to save money on their energy bills.
So you were living in Bombay?
No - no, no this was just in Witham in Essex.
-You are an Essex boy?
-Essex boy, yeah.
-Through and through, yeah.
-And not just an Essex boy,
but we are talking about a major petrolhead, are we not?
100%, yeah - love my cars.
I'd say that before I was famous and got into this, you know,
I didn't have the most glamorous car.
What was your first car?
My first car was a Fiat Ciquento.
-I think it's Cinquecento.
Which of course was made famous by The Inbetweeners.
Exactly - there it is.
I've still got that, that's still at my house.
-Is that actually yours?
-It's still mine, yeah.
Do you know what, though? I spent more money...
That car cost me 895 quid and I spent, I think,
950 quid on the sound system for it.
So I could bowl round Essex -
"Hey, what's happening? All right, boys?"
I'm presuming as well if you'd won X Factor and you got that,
there would've been a few trouser-related incidents in that.
Oh, God, yeah. Well, the one...
My fans will tell you I'm always ripping my trousers.
I...I was at work one day -
I was actually working in recruitment then.
And, um...I was just lifting some boxes,
about 10 o'clock in the day, I moved down to lift the boxes
and I ripped all the backend of me trousers out.
And I want to go home. So I got in my car
and I've drummed out of the car park,
I've just turned round the corner, got up towards the traffic lights.
And I've just gone to put my seat belt on.
All of a sudden, the police car's just come round the corner, seen me do that
and pulled...and gone in behind me.
-And I'm like, "Oh,
So then I drove to Tesco's car park, pulled over, then got out.
And obviously I'm stood there, in the middle of Tesco car park
at lunchtime, with all me bits hanging out.
Oh, it was so embarrassing! They gave me...
I think they gave me a £60 fine or something.
Oh, you got a £60 fine for having your...?
-No, no - they probably could have got me done for that!
-Oh, the seat belt.
-For the seat belt.
Well, who here would like to see Olly's lap?
Play the tape.
CHEERING, MUSIC PLAYS
Oh, I was...
That was a gig, a lap on a lap.
I didn't have time to prepare myself then -
I actually thought that was the lap, so I was like, "Phew!"
No, that...well, it was your lap, but not the lap we're talking about.
-Presumably, now that the Fiat is parked up somewhere...
..you've gone on, as a car enthusiast,
to buy something a little bit more, I don't know, starry.
No - well, yeah, no, I went for a few BMWs
and then I decided, I was like,
"You know what? I'm going to go big."
So I went and got myself a Bentley Continental GT.
Oh - now, that's an interesting car, actually. Which one have you got?
It's just a Continental GT V8.
-Because there's so many mines you can tread on on your way.
-It's not a convertible, is it?
You see, I think the convertible makes you look stupid.
Yeah, cos whenever you see a convertible Bentley,
people've always got, like, the bright blue,
or it's in bright red or it's white or...
-And they've got an orange face.
-And you're in Cheshire.
Anyway - now you came down here, cos interestingly, we have had
a slight problem with The Stig today.
I mean, this is not a word of a lie.
We had Will Smith here last week, as you probably know.
The Stig had never heard of him.
-Kiefer Sutherland, a couple of weeks ago -
never heard of him.
There was Ed Sheeran, week one - no idea.
-He doesn't know who anyone is.
He came here this morning - Olly Murs,
he's completely in love with you.
The Stig, you are his - apart from The Carpenters, obviously -
his absolute favourite artist.
You know what, can I just say this?
I don't know if people want to know this information,
but I'm delighted with it - I went...
I walked into the toilet to have...you know.
He was in there.
-Have you seen his penis?
-Well, no, well...
He was wearing his helmet still, so it wasn't...
He wasn't...he wasn't...
I thought he was going to be holding his helmet, but I suppose...
This is all big news!
But wait, wait...
Well, my best ever celebrity story was, um...
You can't top that!
It was another toilet incident with Gary Barlow which...which was...
-IMITATES GARY BARLOW:
-Absolutely fantastic, yeah.
But now I've gone to the...I've been in the toilet with the Stig,
it's pretty amazing.
It was...presumably, you went out in the Vauxhall Astra Tech Line.
-Many laps, many practices?
Loved it, did a few, quite a few practices, really.
I was giving it some, like, "Come on!" I could feel it.
You know when you get to the end, you're like, "Come on!"
Would you like to see the real, actual lap in a car?
-Here we go, let's have a look.
ENGINE REVS, TYRES SCREECH
Come on, baby.
Purr with me!
You're looking like Val Kilmer in there.
Oh, yeah, that's aggressive turning.
Same line that Ricciardo was using the other day, very good.
# Don't cry for me, Argentina... #
Don't sing that here.
There we are, nicely done through...
Sorry for my language, Mum, I apologise, didn't mean to swear.
You haven't sworn.
-Right, you've gotta
No, you have sworn now. That was swearing there.
OK, that's about as perfect as it comes, that is.
As is that.
No real understeer, that's good to see.
Yep, flat through there.
-Yeah, I felt...I felt good going through there.
I got into fourth gear just as I got to the tyres.
-That's what you...
-This was the bend.
This is the - oh, look at it squirming there,
that is nicely held.
It's a good chassis, that, but you're getting the best out of it.
and that is bob-on as well.
There we are, across the line!
So there we go.
Where do you think you've come, on the board?
My aim was 1.46 - I just wanted to...
You wanted to beat Hugh Jackman.
-1.46 is an ambitious...
Oh, God, put me out of my misery.
As long as I've beaten Jack, that's all I care about, come on.
-Everybody could beat Jack.
-I can't look - tell me when.
Stevie Wonder next week - he's going to beat Jack.
You did a one...
You want me to say "six", don't you?
I'm going to say four.
So actually, you're up there with only Aaron Paul,
-as in Breaking Bad, on 1.44.7.
-He's on a seven.
So if it's lower than seven, you're the fastest ever.
YES! Come on!
You did it!
Get in! Oh, my God!
-That's the fastest we've ever had.
The fastest man in all of the world!
I didn't...I didn't finish runner-up!
-That is the fastest we've ever had.
-Oh, my God.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Olly Murs - the fastest man ever round our track!
Oh, thanks, Jeremy.
Now, there are many truly great car companies,
all with rich, magnificent histories -
there's Ferrari, Jaguar, Lancia, Maserati
and so on and so on.
Yes, indeed, but tonight, James and I
are going to look at the history of the most brilliant,
most inventive car company of them all -
For thousands of years, there was only one way
of crossing this spartan landscape
in the vast, dusty heat of North Africa.
This was it.
It was used by the Greeks, the Romans, the Berbers,
the Phoenicians, the Vandals, the Arabs, the Carthaginians,
the Ottomans, the French, the Tuareg, the Italians
and the British.
But then, in 1968,
the camel's 4,000-year monopoly was ended...
..by the Peugeot 504.
Many people imagine it was Land Rover or Jeep
that brought internal combustion
to the world's most impregnable backwaters,
but really, it was this.
The King of Africa, as they called it.
Yes, it had good ground clearance and parts were cheap,
but what really endeared this mighty Peugeot to Africa
was its rugged dependability.
You regularly hear tales around these parts
of 504s that have done a million kilometres
and which have been to places that no Land Rover could reach
without falling to pieces.
40 years ago, then, Peugeot was a byword for sturdy toughness
and common sense.
But then, in 1983, Peugeot decided
it didn't want to make strong, sturdy, beige cars any more.
It wanted to throw off its sensi-panties
and be sporty and frivolous and fun.
So it completely changed direction.
It employed a brilliant "chef de suspension"
and came up with cars like this -
the 505 GTi, a sports saloon to rival any BMW.
And then there was the 405 Mi16,
which sounded like it was a machine gun,
and it went like one.
But best of all, Peugeot gave us this...
The phenomenal 205 GTi,
a car that was fast...
..even with James May at the wheel.
Was this the best hot hatchback of the '80s?
Well, it was definitely a contender, wasn't it?
It's still good.
It's hard to believe that this was made by the same people
who did the 504 -
made by the same species, even.
But this wasn't the first time
that Peugeot had completely changed its mind
about what it wanted to be.
The company began in 1810 making steel
and it was very, very good at it.
So good that, in 1840,
it decided to start making wooden pepper grinders.
Now, these...they were the best pepper grinders in the world.
So, naturally, in 1852, Peugeot started to make...
And then, 30 years later,
it thought, "No - what we actually want to make
And this is what they came up with.
-And it is brilliant.
It is a superb bicycle.
But naturally, having made a superb bicycle,
the next logical step was to become a manufacturer
The shells they made were excellent. World-class.
But then the Second World War broke out, the Germans arrived,
and Mr Peugeot decided he didn't want to make munitions any more.
In fact, he didn't want to make anything.
So one night, he laced his factory with explosives
and blew the entire place to smithereens.
After such a varied history, it's hardly surprising
that Peugeot should make this sudden swerve
from building dependable workhorses to exciting, sporty cars
like the 205 GTi.
And nor is it surprising, given the quality of their steel
and their grinders and their corsets
and their bicycles and their munitions,
that they were unbelievably good at it.
A turbo-charged four-wheel drive version of the 205 called the T16
won 16 rounds of the Rally Championship...
..beating the might of Ford, Audi and Lancia
with two back-to-back world titles.
And back in the showroom,
the sporty cars kept on coming.
Peugeot was on a roll.
But then one day, in Paris, there was a meeting.
FRENCH ACCORDION MUSIC PLAYS
The time has come for us to stop making this sporty car.
But what shall nous do instead?
Er...coat hangers? Umbrellas?
How is zees for a plan?
We make terrible cars,
in every way 'orrible.
Maybe tres ugly!
Oh, oui, oui, oui!
And le engine tres 'orrible.
Oh, nasty, unreliable, uncomfortable.
Et l'interior fabrique en...spit et Kleenex.
-Spit et Kleenex. Oui, oui, oui!
-Oui, oui, oui!
C'est une bonne idee, n'est-ce pas? Oui?
Ne regardez pas un cadeau de cheval dans la bouche.
Messieurs, salut la voiture horrible!
And get the chef de suspension up here
so we can fire him immediatement.
This breakfast meeting will put Peugeot on the map
for many years to come - make no mistake.
This is what resulted -
cars like the hateful 1007,
the absurd 407,
the woeful 607,
and the shockingly bad 3008 -
cheaply made, sloppy handling, lacklustre dung, the lot of it.
MUSIC: Take My Breath Away by Berlin
The adverts changed, too.
Out went the burning cornfields and the jumping 205s,
and in came tosh like this...
Buy a car, four wheels and some seats
for just £99 a month
with £1,000 cashback plus another £2,000 cashback.
Easy finance and a free - yes, free -
locking petrol filler cap!
APR 29.4%. Subject to terms and conditions.
You must be able to sign your name to have a car.
Your knees may be at risk if you do not keep up repayments.
The results were immediate.
Sales went through the roof.
Peugeot may have been good at making sturdy cars and sporty cars,
but it seemed they were absolutely brilliant at making terrible cars.
Yes. And to find out just how brilliant,
Jeremy and I are going to do an experiment.
He has bought this mildly fire-damaged 307 CC.
You can see where the fire was just here.
It's out now, so that's OK.
And I have bought this utterly dreary 407.
And now, we're going to test them
as if we're not interested in cars at all.
In these horrible cars, it didn't take us long
to get the hang of being modern Peugeot drivers.
ENGINE REVS LOUDLY
Why oh why do those idiots on Top Gear criticise Peugeot?
I mean, look, six-speed gear box.
This is particularly brilliant -
you've got your light switch here, off, and then here,
So two...two-and-a-half revs, another gear...
Oh, no, you're supposed to press...
GRINDING AND CLATTERING
Soon, James had an accident.
Damn and blast.
Oh, dear, dear, dear...
-You crashed again?
Didn't you crash on this corner this morning?
Yeah. I haven't got round it once yet.
It is tricky. I don't know why they put corners on...
I mean, why would you?
Well, I was going quite fast.
I was in third.
While James's car was being towed out of the ditch,
I took the opportunity to demonstrate
yet another incredible standard feature on my car.
If you want to lower the passenger window,
you can do that from a switch on the driver's door.
But if you want to get it back up again...you can't.
So, you have to go round to the other side, OK,
and use the button here.
But, if you do that, you're going to trap your arm in this gap here.
Now, Peugeot's thought of that, OK? Obviously, you can't open this door.
There's no door lock, that's for security reasons.
So you pop back round here - and this is incredible -
simply pull this switch, OK?
Windows ALL go down now.
The roof detaches, and now...
Now look - I can lift the window
without getting my arm trapped.
Can you see? Brilliant.
With James's car out of the ditch,
we relaxed by tuning in to Radio Peugeot.
RADIO: Jeremy Vine, BBC Radio 2.
"Is Britain full?" is how we started this.
Alison in Warfield in Berkshire texts and says,
"I can't park at Waitrose.
"So, yes, we are too full."
That's very nice of him. He just gave me a little push there
to let me know he was coming past.
I've done it. I'm round.
Despite the soothing tones of Radio Peugeot...
RADIO: Do you think you may have the worst-tasting water in Britain?
Do call us if so - 0500 288 291...
..we found the journey very stressful
thanks to badly placed road signs...
..and busy junctions.
Mani...oh, hold on, I think there's a chance here.
ENGINE REVS, TYRES SQUEAL
-You've got Johnny Foreigner coming over here,
they don't pay a penny...
ENGINE REVS LOUDLY
Bloody council not mending the bloody roads.
-James, there's a corner coming up, a corner.
There's a sign saying, "corner". Do take care this time, OK?
To be honest, I didn't notice James's latest accident
because I'd found yet another feature in my amazing car.
If I push this button here that increases the temperature,
and then hold it down for a little while...
-There we go.
Lovely, lovely. Mm-mm, smoke!
Obviously, there's a fair bit of choking you have to go through,
but, um...look at the result!
-People like a...a real fire in their homes.
I've got one in my car.
HE COUGHS AND SPLUTTERS
It's a good job this car has a chimney.
Obviously, that's a very good design feature.
When I met up with James again,
it was at the Peugeot driver's worst nightmare -
a double mini-roundabout.
Dear God. Right, that's clear...
I don't know.
Oh, God - no more double mini-roundabouts ever, please.
After such a terrifying ordeal,
we needed hot sweet tea to calm our nerves,
so we went to a nearby garden centre.
RADIO: Will Hull e-mails, "I suggest we bring back workhouses.
"That would deter people exploiting the state
-"and having as many children as they want."
-A space there, nearly.
I'll have to come in forwards.
A cup of tea. Ooh...perfect.
-Have you seen this, James?
-Carrots stop you getting cancer.
But The Mail said it was toma...tomatoes.
Or was it tomatoes give you cancer?
I thought Diana gave you cancer. Or was it house prices?
No, immigrants do house pr...
Oh, I get confused.
'Afternoon tea over, we got back on the road.'
After a busy day, we were heading home,
and to get there, we'd fitted our cars
with something called "satellite navigation".
Incredible device. It was a present from my children.
It knows where I am on the planet and then it can get me to my house.
All I have to do is as I'm told.
So I go left here...yes...
Right, according to the electric map, I go right.
This is, um...
..overgrown - the council should really do something
about this road here.
It's weird, isn't it? You hear stories all the time
about idiots who, "Oh, I was following the satellite navigation
"and I drove off a cliff or into a canal",
and you think, "What a moron!"
Must be a shortcut. Bloody clever.
And here we are. Home sweet home!
So, there we are - Peugeot.
They were brilliant at making strong cars.
They were brilliant at making sporty cars,
and for the last decade,
they have been brilliant at making terrible cars.
This really is THE perfect car for the world's imperfect drivers.
RADIO: "The simple way to stop speeding is to hand a jail sentence
"to anyone who's caught breaking the speed limit,
"and that will sort the problem."
Jenny in Ramsgate, Kent...
CAR HONKS, ALARM BLEEPS
But here's the worry.
Soon, it will be time for Peugeot to change its mind again
and think of something new.
And who knows what that'll be.
Knowing Peugeot, it could be...
..a type of inert gas.
The Peugeot nine-piece Rhythm and Blues band.
Only time will tell.
MUSIC: Take My Breath Away by Berlin
Worst thing ever on Top Gear, the choking -
I've never, never ever had anything worse
than being choked to death in a car on fire.
-Hang on a minute.
Are you two saying that Peugeot have spent ten years
deliberately making terrible cars?
-Well, yeah - you can't make cars that consistently bad by accident.
No, think about it, Hammond, think about it.
What is the point of making a car
with complicated brakes and expensive suspension
if you're just going to sell it to someone
who only wants Jeremy Vine and easy finance?
Exactly - you make cars as cheaply as possible
and then sell them to people who won't notice.
I mean, think of it this way, OK? Right now, even as we speak,
nine million people in Britain are so uninterested in cars,
they're watching that Midwife thing on the other side.
And you're saying they're all Peugeot drivers?
Yes, I am, and they're all going to be absolutely heartbroken
when Peugeot starts making cows.
And on that bombshell, it's time to end.
Thank you so much for watching. See you next week. Good night!
In this episode of the world's biggest car programme, Jeremy Clarkson and James May encounter artillery shells, corsets and classic hot hatchbacks as they take a nostalgic look at one of the world's most interesting and varied companies - Peugeot.
Meanwhile, Richard Hammond is at the test track to compare the crisp precision engineering of the new Porsche Cayman GTS with the thunderous all-American muscle of the latest Chevrolet Corvette.
Also in this show, James tests the sensational 950-horsepower LaFerrari hypercar hybrid on glorious Italian roads, and singer Olly Murs is the Star in the Reasonably Priced Car.