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Airs
Sundays 20:00 on BBC Two
SEASON
EPISODE

Season 12

Aired 8 years ago - Dec 28, 2008

Arriving in Vietnam, James, Richard and James have to travel the entire length of the country in just eight days. But first they have to buy some suitable transport for the trip, and despite having several million Dong in their pockets, this proves to be rather more difficult than they expected, especially in one of the most expensive car markets in the world. MORE -LESS

Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 8 (S12E08) - 1
Go on. No.
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Over 60 million of those have been built,
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Guys, I can't do that.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 8 (S12E08) - 4
'Jeremy and I had to get helmets made...
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 8 (S12E08) - 5
'If we were to reach our overnight stop in the mountain town of Da Lat,
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Gear box has a mind of its own, there's no suspension, it just wobbles!
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 8 (S12E08) - 8
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Over 60 million of these sold, so if you combine the Beetle,
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 8 (S12E08) - 10
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We've drunk 'em, but we'll get another.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 8 (S12E08) - 12
'But later, we may have made mischief with Hammond's helmet.'
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 8 (S12E08) - 13
Name one upside!
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That rain makes a really annoying noise on my colander...helmet.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 8 (S12E08) - 15
we can't just keep them going with tools,
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I might even get third gear. Wait for it.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 8 (S12E08) - 17
This is where it gets bad. Got to be careful on the downhill bits cos only the back brake works.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 8 (S12E08) - 18
# Nowhere to hide... #
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Ah, this is Chinese brocade.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 8 (S12E08) - 20
Oh, come on, it's like being on holiday with two idiots.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 8 (S12E08) - 21
B52s, here?
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 8 (S12E08) - 22
You getting fond of your motorcycle, Jeremy? No. Are you sure? Yes.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 8 (S12E08) - 23
Check out the lining! Ho-ho-ho!
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 8 (S12E08) - 24
I need some straps.
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'communistical farming, reminders of the war, stunning food,
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It's gone.
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JEREMY CHORTLES Oh, yes!
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The sun rose over another beautiful day in the 'Nam.
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How did you know what she asked?
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We are now licenced. We could have a Top Gear licence, with all our faces on it.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 8 (S12E08) - 34
and the finish line was still more than 400 miles away.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 8 (S12E08) - 35
James was a bit upset that my spare wheel had come through my painting.
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In the accident, we've lost her hand.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 8 (S12E08) - 37
It's not brilliant, mate, if I'm honest.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 8 (S12E08) - 38
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'Hammond didn't fancy any of that and nor did he go for the main course.'
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 8 (S12E08) - 40
I doubt they're connected by a three-foot wide dusty path
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So there we are. It's my first bike crash, so I'm a member of the club now.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 8 (S12E08) - 43
Ha Long City! There it is!
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No, but look on the bright side. No. What?
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James had attached his bike to a traditional fishing boat,
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 8 (S12E08) - 46
'But then in true Top Gear amphibious tradition,
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 8 (S12E08) - 47
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He doesn't usually pitch up on a homemade amphibious scooter. No.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 8 (S12E08) - 49
'But then...'
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 8 (S12E08) - 50
'Eventually, blind luck brought Hammond close to the pontoon
Aired 8 years ago - Dec 14, 2008

James visits California to learn about the hydrogen-fuelled Honda Clarity, and Jeremy assesses the performance of Tesla's battery-powered supercar the Roadster. Richard looks back over 50 years of British touring car racing, and singer Tom Jones is the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.

Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 7 (S12E07) - 1
the racing was incredible.
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that didn't stop them crashing.
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and now fighting his way from the back, drove out of his skin.
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100% of British people want the BTCC to become the Burning Touring Car Championship.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 7 (S12E07) - 7
"I will send the BBC an email and I don't care if they don't read it."
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It's that new helicopter piano removal company that moved in next door.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 7 (S12E07) - 9
I think some people just find this sort of thing comes more naturally to them.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 7 (S12E07) - 10
Earlier in the week, we decided to try them out by seeing how high up the side of the BBC
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 7 (S12E07) - 11
(Laughter)
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As if they imagine that those of us who have had one for years,
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- (Laughter) - No, we are. Who'd like to see that?
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Right, back to it. Actually, can I just make a point?
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- This wizard's sleeve, for instance. - (Laughter)
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It's made in California, it's based on the Lotus Elise...
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The volt head has overtaken the petrol head.
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They are three times more expensive than Elises.
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The first electric car that you might actually want to buy.
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Some say that he doesn't like to get his helmet wet.
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Can't reach. So they have to build up enough momentum in their rocking chair
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and the old lady can effortlessly make Adrian Chiles go away.
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"Oh, Christ!" Blood pouring out my ears and so on.
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Now, you've got a new album out, which of course is why you're here, to tell us all about it.
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- What, when you were a kid? - Yeah, when I was a teenager.
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- You're well to look frightened. - Yeah, I bet.
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- Ooh, I used to have one of those. - AMG.
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Ooh, yeah!
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- (Tom) Here's the fast one coming up. - Are they driving gloves?
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in 1:52.2, which puts you...
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 7 (S12E07) - 37
The V8 bellow of the new Mercedes CLK Black.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 7 (S12E07) - 38
And now the John Sergeant Award.
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Can I just ask, a couple of weeks ago - were you watching when Kevin McCloud came here
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 7 (S12E07) - 40
Aah!
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Jeremy Clarkson interviewing Will Young and here he is.
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The Ford Fiesta.
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Look at the way it corners, this is proper, old-fashioned racing car handling.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 7 (S12E07) - 45
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Ahem!
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Terribly important. If you don't do that you get hydrogen all over your shoes.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 7 (S12E07) - 49
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I'm trying to come up with a bit of a setup like this next to my house.
Aired 8 years ago - Dec 07, 2008

Jeremy asks whether the Eastern bloc countries ever made a good car, and Richard assesses the performance of new German sports model the Veritas. The latest Ford Fiesta is also put through its paces in a stringent road test, and London mayor Boris Johnson is the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.

Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 6 (S12E06) - 1
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The biggest problem by a country mile is the big round thing in front of me.
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Yes. You know Jeremy's wife's got one of these? Ah... Very fond of it, big fan.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 6 (S12E06) - 6
I should add, since I drove the car, Veritas have given it
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 6 (S12E06) - 7
Now we must find out if the Caterham can do any better.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 6 (S12E06) - 8
Quite a heck of a lot faster, because it's up here!
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 6 (S12E06) - 9
Every year, they do a survey in which they ask the whole world
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 6 (S12E06) - 10
Yeah, no... That's just a noise.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 6 (S12E06) - 11
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What's it like on the top of Everest? It's all right.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 6 (S12E06) - 15
work it out. It's...
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 6 (S12E06) - 16
Really, I genuinely congratulate you for your bravery.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 6 (S12E06) - 17
They replaced the excellent disc brakes with drums, which were worse.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 6 (S12E06) - 18
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The Cortina was a whole pound more expensive.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 6 (S12E06) - 20
Elitist! The coils, James, are from a Bulgarian's biro.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 6 (S12E06) - 21
..the Zzzgggz 968.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 6 (S12E06) - 22
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Well, Mr Scargill, a quick canter through some other Eastern Bloc cars will prove you wrong.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 6 (S12E06) - 24
We dropped it from a 23-storey tower block.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 6 (S12E06) - 25
Still, having it here enables us to answer an important question.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 6 (S12E06) - 26
Russian communism is better than British communism.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 6 (S12E06) - 27
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 6 (S12E06) - 28
It does work well as a brazier.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 6 (S12E06) - 29
That's what it feels like. That's unbelievable.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 6 (S12E06) - 30
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Argh!
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 6 (S12E06) - 32
These three cars - Maserati, Lamborghini, Ferrari.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 6 (S12E06) - 33
What you find is that people are far from loving - shout all sorts of hostile things. Who shouts
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 6 (S12E06) - 34
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You cycle, have you not been attacked by a bus driver?
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 6 (S12E06) - 36
But they need to look in their mirrors. Let's move it on.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 6 (S12E06) - 37
"The essence of it is, in my view, not to change up until you hit about 6,000rpm."
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 6 (S12E06) - 38
Can I just talk about the Olympics?
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 6 (S12E06) - 39
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If you believe that cars cause global warming, get a Range Rover and it will warm it up.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 6 (S12E06) - 41
That's lovely. Watch out for the rubber tyres. The rubber tyres.- Yes, missed those. Come on, Boris.
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What I thought I'd do is break the road test down into segments. Hopefully, cover all the bases.
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I got out of the shopping centre and the 'Vette didn't.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 6 (S12E06) - 50
Aired 8 years ago - Nov 30, 2008

Richard celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Ferrari Daytona by taking one back to its spiritual home - the Italian Riviera - before trying to beat James and a powerboat in a race from Portofino to St Tropez. Jeremy tests the new BMW M3 saloon and compares it with the Lexus IS-F. Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud is the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car. MORE -LESS

Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 5 (S12E05) - 1
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 5 (S12E05) - 2
So let's see how the two of them get on in a drag race.
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Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 5 (S12E05) - 4
So what about price?
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There's more.
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Gone in a biblical ball of smoke
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And across the line!
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Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 5 (S12E05) - 10
180 countries you could go to and saying, "Yes, Germany."
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 5 (S12E05) - 11
which is called the Panamera, which sounds like a hat.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 5 (S12E05) - 12
You see?
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 5 (S12E05) - 13
Along with the manhole covers and signposts!
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 5 (S12E05) - 14
using the ultimate crucible of excellence, motorsport.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 5 (S12E05) - 15
we have the Mercedes 0305G.
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To be honest, they're not that good on passenger usage per mile.
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True to their word, the touring car racers avoided body contact,
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 5 (S12E05) - 18
No low floor means poor disabled access.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 5 (S12E05) - 19
which didn't do too well in the "I'm a bus driver
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Just tell the mayor that was a crash test or something.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 5 (S12E05) - 21
- Go on. - Have a seat.
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The blades need a bit of work
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 5 (S12E05) - 23
in as much as you bought a new shiny object
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 5 (S12E05) - 24
I know you're not an architect but design is the same sort of thing.
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A Toyota Prius with its nickel batteries
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(Jeremy) That doesn't look quite as tame as you're making out.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 5 (S12E05) - 27
Normally, people cut the corner or go too far and run wide.
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And, actually... We actually have...
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 5 (S12E05) - 29
There's loads of technical reasons why it's so clever and brilliant
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You're American? Welcome.
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And when you open up the handbook does it go, "Hear ye, hear ye"?
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What?! Whoa, hang on! What, you're saying that's?
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It's just a blue turtleneck jumper.
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The Ferrari Daytona.
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and me in the greatest grand tourer ever made.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 5 (S12E05) - 39
and, for that reason, I couldn't drive it on my own.
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(Paul) About 45 knots so 50mph.
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it just sounds right.
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(Richard) When it was launched in 1968,
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 5 (S12E05) - 43
The technique, apparently, is to relax.
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Situation report: It's becoming very, very choppy
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(Richard) I was, indeed, ahead and as I neared the French border,
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But because the police had stopped Hammond for much longer,
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 5 (S12E05) - 49
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but, you know, modern world.
Aired 8 years ago - Nov 23, 2008

Jeremy, Richard and James are challenged to drive from the heart of Switzerland to the north-western coast of England on just one tank of fuel, with the winner switching on the Blackpool illuminations. James also power tests the Pagani Zonda F Roadster, and the Stig sets a lap time in the Bugatti Veyron. Grand Designs presenter Harry Enfield is the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car. MORE -LESS

Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 4 (S12E04) - 1
And my eyeballs are back in the correct position on the front of my face.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 4 (S12E04) - 2
Pagani is still very much here still today, getting up Ferrari's nose.
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TYRES SCREECH
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Since I'd got my eye in with the Zonda, I took that.
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I wasn't kidding. I do actually mean it.
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I think it was that you stepped out of the Panda, into the Zonda,
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No, really, apart from being given one, I can't think of a reason.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 4 (S12E04) - 9
What sort of band are those kids in?
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Thank God for that.
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It's like people that say you've got to eat natural yoghurt because it's good for you.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 4 (S12E04) - 12
First one there would get their name in the history books.
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Yes, it's a big four-wheel-drive estate, but it has a large fuel tank which gives good range.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 4 (S12E04) - 14
How many miles per gallon...? You see, this is a VW Polo... We know what it is!
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Well, theoretical range, 706 miles.
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But what if you need one of these? What if you need a wishbone?
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looking forward to 17 hours of mental arithmetic.
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but there's fewer hills
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I had to use my brakes, and then I've got to accelerate again, which uses more fuel.
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The only problem was boredom, and that was made worse by a phone call from James.
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So, I'm gonna spend a bit more fuel- to get there on time.
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But now, if you've always fancied a supercar
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 4 (S12E04) - 27
Because that, they've got a supercar, 911 nose on the front,
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 4 (S12E04) - 28
Which is? Which is that when I came- on, I did the round in the car,
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 4 (S12E04) - 29
LAUGHTER
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 4 (S12E04) - 30
Clarkson Island has the greatest number of Clarksons in the world.
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You're coming too soon, Enfield.
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what we want to do and we'll find it funny, and I think it sort of helped our relationship, too.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 4 (S12E04) - 33
Prince Harry, Prince whatever he's called, the other one. William.
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There you go, ladies and gentlemen.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 4 (S12E04) - 37
Jeremy meanwhile had decided the whole thing was impossible.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 4 (S12E04) - 38
as once again we'd all chosen different routes.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 4 (S12E04) - 39
Our man on the ground was preparing by having an afternoon nap.
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Since Birmingham, neither had I.
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How you kept that... I thought, there's no way he can do it.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 4 (S12E04) - 48
OK, I did make the mistake of going too slowly, but nevertheless, I got 63 miles to the gallon out of that.
Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 4 (S12E04) - 49
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Right, now the Stig can really wind up all 16 cylinders, all four turbos, all 987 horsepower.
Aired 8 years ago - Nov 16, 2008

Clarkson, Hammond and James take on the challenge of making an ordinary second-hand car lap the test track as fast as a brand-new, purpose-built sports saloon. James enlists the help of F1 world champion Mika Hakkinen in a quest to discover why the Finns are such good racing drivers. Richard hammers around the track in the outlandish Veritas sports car. Mark Wahlberg is the Hollywood Star in a Reasonably Priced Car. MORE -LESS

Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 3 (S12E03) - 1
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downloading tunes to their iPod from their iReal.
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Because Honda has made an even better car, right?
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Now, Geoff Hoon, OK, is the transport minister, yes?
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- Theresa? - (Man) Villiers.
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"I'm not spending a penny more than L1.2 mil on my next car!"
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Jeremy was not really bothered.
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You can go in with that jacket, well, maybe not.
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As you're getting all hot under your tweed collars about this,
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so before letting him loose on our track in a very fast car,
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One of the reasons for Finnish driving prowess
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Unfortunately, the only person I could find was a retired bloke.
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No, honestly, what's going on now, we are going really, really slowly.
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But he taught me to be quite smooth and fast on a tarmac circuit.
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And then finally...
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What is Finnish courage? Let me give you an example.
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- Is that quite Finnish? - Yes, it is. Very much.
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"I want to buy your car," and he or she has to sell it to you.
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you have to be able to power-slide a car?
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is blend some beef.
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- I'm just worried. - Relax!
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What I'd like to do is whenever my wife puts The Archers on,
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- You haven't! Have you? - Yes!
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No hip-hop. He's not really from "the hood", you know.
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and you go, "Ah, no."
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and we wanted to make sure we could make a really cool movie.
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I was going to say, you did have a... How can I phrase this?
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(Laughter)
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I'm at the one, you know...
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(Jeremy) Here we go! That's an aggressive start.
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Most of whom you won't have a clue who they are.
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Now, in these dark and difficult times,
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He's right. That or the Kia Rio. They were over 20 seconds to 60.
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...Ford Mondeo... - Ford Mondeo. Good one.
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but, no, they fitted it with clever double hinges that they call kinematic
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but we didn't realize how nowhere near.
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we backed the car into a borrowed workshop
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Right, this is the standard front disk of the Avantime.
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and the boffins from the Top Gear technology centre,
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The springs are stiffer and the dampers can be adjusted
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No, look. James, just old-fashioned tuning.
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All our figures have been gained with about 150 horsepower.
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So it had come to this.
Aired 8 years ago - Nov 09, 2008

Jeremy, Richard and James travel to the US to take a road trip from San Francisco to the heart of Utah in three new-generation muscle cars, hoping this time to avoid a mob of angry locals pelting them with rocks. The Fiat 500 Abarth gets a test drive and Will Young is the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.

Recap of Top Gear Season 12 Episode 2 (S12E02) - 1
It's got air-conditioning. It's got MP3 connectivity. It's got a CD player.
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And then they found the only way of keeping it cool was to run with the boot lid open.
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And if you try to drive it with the bonnet open, it doesn't work at all.
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It corners well too.
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there might have been one photograph of him without his father gurning in the back of shot.
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This really is the kind of car you'd imagine would try to make love to your leg.
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Now, that's 0-60, 8.7 seconds, 125mph.
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You would have to have literally no penis at all to buy a car like that.
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and she's the one from the Pussycat Dolls, "You're going to get it tonight."
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"He's holding them up!" No, Richard, that's the parade lap.
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Erm... I am very sorry that I didn't put the GT2's time on the board.
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three brand-new American muscle cars have arrived.
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But immediately we ran into another problem.
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We burbled out of San Francisco,
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...has been round the Nürburgring,
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I wasn't expecting to hear that.
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- It's hideous, and what's the point... - Why do they have that?
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It's ridiculous.
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It's a town with some light bulbs on it.
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(Jeremy) Two revving V8s and the alarms went berserk.
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- Are you... John Lennon or, uh... - Might be.
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I get that, I get... 'cause I do have quite a wide jaw. So I get...
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And I... and I was born in 1979.
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My grandmother had an Alfa Spider. They always had 'em.
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I always think of it like Lego. You could just, you know...
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Jeremy and Will do up Surrey houses.
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But some things the Stig, er... was saying to me, and I just sort of didn't quite get...
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- We've got to do that show. It'll be brilliant. - Yeah...
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But to cheer James up, Hammond and I decided not to use it.
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Look at that road. Look at it.
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This is what this car's for.
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- (Jeremy) Did you leave it there? - No, of course I didn't leave it in the road.
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But despite that, this car has been round the Nürburgring in less than eight minutes.
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How can a car, as docile as this one is most of the time, be this exciting?
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(Jeremy) Meanwhile, back at the front, something amazing was happening.
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(Richard) Jeremy's sincerity wasn't convincing, and his hand gestures didn't help either.
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and we immediately bought some hats so we'd blend in.
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(Man) It's slicker. The surface responds differently to the tires.
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Coast is clear.
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While Richard had found an expert who said he should let some air out.
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- 159. - Oh, God.
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Aired 8 years ago - Nov 02, 2008

Jeremy, Richard and James buy second-hand lorries and set about discovering how easy it is to become an HGV driver. The Porsche 911 and Lamborghini Gallardo are also tested, and Michael Parkinson is the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.

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It's terrifying.
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That's so fast.
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Loud, big grunt...
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which is annoying some of the time.
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As I see it, there's just one drawback to this low-riding Lambo.
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And that he once had full sex with Russell Brand's answering machine.
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Steps out again after the tyres, steady on, you Morse-crazed mentalist!
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I don't know, in the audience flicking people's ears and blaming people... Excuse me. Hi.
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Is it the first time you've heard of it?
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I'm not going to enjoy this, am I? No, do carry on, please.
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From the back of a c...? That's not milk.
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Actually, I have to say, I do feel for the poor bloke who's launched this,
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It's a company in the Isle of Wight that's modified a Citroen by fitting it with a hat. Yeah.
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What have you got then? A lorry.
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You must now demonstrate your lorry driving skills by
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Look at that! That's fantastic.
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You will now drive to Milbrook's High Speed Bowl.
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so bad but at the other end there was an electric fire.
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Why are you doing that? Because I can't see where I'm going.
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Oi! It was just over a mile from the hitching point to the Alpine course,
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Just let the lorry go, always let the lorry go.
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No! It's dying on me. No! No! No!
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I'm a bit nervous about this one. I bet you are(!) When was the last time you were nervous?
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"and paid butcher for permission to come to work," etc.
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By gum. I don't know. Never once. My father was 66 or seven
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Now I know and respect you, more actually than a chat show, as a journalist.
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that the conversational kind of chat show which we're having now, which my show is based on, that's gone.
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It wasn't my fault, no, but I was responsible for it
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What's it called, Jeremy? It's called My Life In Music.
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Oh, yeah. And across the skiddy bit. I love these two bits.
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there.
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Despite this, the producers threw us straight into the next challenge.
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I'm doing 60. Eat my Magnum!
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Brake too gently you won't pull up, brake too hard, you'll lock up
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Our trucks would be placed on a slope and then, to focus our minds,
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No. Sadly though, even before the test began, there was an issue.
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"You must accelerate to 56 miles an hour, drive through an obstacle and then stop as quickly as possible.
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Bracing, bracing.