Series 01, Episode 07 - "Buy a Super Car for the Price of a Supermini"

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Series 01, Episode 07 - "Buy a Super Car for the Price of a Supermini"

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 25 Jul 2011 - 21:52

rusty-spring and I were inspired by Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond looking for second-hand bargains for the price of Britain's cheapest brand new car, the Nissan Pixo, in episode 3 of the current series.

[Black screen splits into three horizontal video streams stacked atop each other as the Top Gear theme song, “Jessica”, starts.

The top frame is a panning shot of a black Aston Martin DB9, a yellow first generation Chevrolet Camaro Z28 and a Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione II crossing a low, stone bridge lined with trees. The middle frame is a look-down helicopter shot of a white Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder with the top down driving along a cliff road. The bottom frame is a close-up of the wheel of a Ferrari Daytona.

The top and bottom frame slide off to screen-left, while the bottom frame slides screen-right. Three light blue frames slide in from screen left, with the outline of a woman’s boot pressing down on a gas pedal, followed by three successive jump cuts of black outlines of three girls superimposed over three video frames:]

Kara Michelle Deleroux

Fleda Claes Johansson

Laine Penny Brussard

[Voice over from Kara]

“Tonight, I drive a Toyota…”

[A red supermini lurches forward from a stoplight.]

“Laine drives a Chevrolet…”

[A grey five-door hatchback wallows around a corner, tires screeching like two alley cats in a blood feud.]

“And Laine and I both get to experience some Manlove first-hand.”

[Laine and Kara cringe at something off-screen.]

[As the music builds to a crescendo, the Top Gear logo, in two horizontal parts, slides in from the right, pauses, and then slides off to the left, replaced by a four-part screen with the Gallardo, the Corolla, the Camaro and the DB9 which then jumps to the spinning gear shrinking and “Top Gear Italy” sliding into place as a crowd applauds.]

[Scene opens in the hangar with Kara, Laine and Claes.]

“Here at Top Gear Italy, we get some flack for only testing luxury exotics and high-performance sports cars. In our defense, we know you have a choice in motoring programs on television and we figure if somebody wants to watch horrid little econoboxes, they can catch Hypermilers on Rete 4 and if they crave boring car reviews, there is always Final Drive Ratio on Canale 5.”

“And we’ve received letters and emails from some of our viewers in the more…rural...communes asking us to showcase cars that can actually navigate their narrow streets, which were laid out in Medieval times for use by horses and carts. That’s a boring idea, so we at first dismissed it and planned to test the new Lamborghini Aventador, but Michele’s, er our test vehicle, was delayed in shipping.”

“So we had to come up with something else on short notice, anyway and…”

“…and our advertisers talked to our Producers, who enlightened these two on how television program funding works.”

“And so tonight, dear viewer, we’re going to review two new city cars with a sticker price under €10.000. Well, let’s get this over with.”

[Scene changes to a Roman street. Kara is dressed in the latest summer fashions from Milan and Paris. She is standing in front of a small red car.]

“This little ray of sunshine is the new for 2011 Toyota AYGO. The smallest car sold by Toyota in the European Union, some of you might know it as the car our colleagues in the United Kingdom used for a game of football a few years back.

“This base model AYGO can be had for just over €9500. In comparison, my outfit can be had for just under €9500. Cheap doesn’t have to mean cheerless, but in this case…”

[Kara walks around the car, pointing out various features – or in this case, the lack thereof.]

“For this miserly sum, the AYGO comes with steel wheels, manual windows and no air conditioning. There are higher trim levels and literally pages of user selectable options, but check enough boxes on the order sheet and you can increase the price by 50% or more. All AYGO trim levels include antilock brakes, which might actually be unfortunate as after a few hours driving it one might welcome wrapping it around a pole and using the insurance money to get something else. More airbags than a whoopee cushion factory and a Euro NCAP 4-Star safety rating ensure that should you decide to follow such an option, you’ll be around to collect the check.”

[Kara slips behind the wheel, starts the car and motors off. Fade wipe to inside the car.]

“The AYGO comes with a one liter three cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission. And while the name is pronounced “I GO”, you won’t be going very fast with 51kW of power and 93 N·m of torque. With my right boot pressed firmly to the plastic floor - carpets aren’t included in this trim level – 100km/h arrived in about 15 seconds and unfortunately we couldn’t find a runway long enough to reach the claimed 158km/h top end - and I wasn’t about to take this thing out on the A1.

“A footprint of less than five and a half square meters means you can maneuver this vehicle through the narrowest Italian back alleys. However, those svelte dimensions don’t translate into cramped surroundings. The tall roofline and compact dashboard mean interior room is very generous and split-folding rear seats increase the cargo capacity.

“The tiny engine also means tiny fuel consumption and its modular construction makes for inexpensive repairs. So if you didn’t mean to wrap your AYGO around a tree, your rates won’t skyrocket in response.”

[Jump cut to Laine.]

“I drew the short straw, so my lucky task is to review this battleship grey Aveo5. The badge might say Chevrolet, but it’s actually built by Daewo in Korea.”

[Another jump cut to Laine inside the Aveo.]

“This is the Aveo5 model, the five-door hatchback.  It has a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 103 HP, which honestly isn't that bad for such a small, light car.  As you can see from the interior, it has a speedometer, clock, steering wheel, a rear view mirror, and room for 4 ½ occupants.”

[Laine looks at the camera.]

“And that's pretty much it.  In fact, the list of options this car doesn't have is longer than the one of what it does have.”

[Laine looks around the cabin with open disdain.]

“There are no anti-lock brakes, no automatic gearbox, no CD player, no tachometer, no keyless entry...”

15 minutes later...

“ cruise control, no power windows, no power locks, and perhaps the most noticeable during the summer months – no air conditioning.”

[Laine enters a small winding road, and rolls down one of the windows using the manual crank and turns up the vent system.]

“And all this is yours for a mere €10.000!”

[She takes the car down the slightly sloping road as it twists and turns.]

“How about some good things?  Well, it does have surprisingly good handling. Very responsive in that hamster hooked on caffeine kind of way.”

[Laine downshifts as she hits a small hill, then quickly shifts back up.]

“Though this little engine could use a bit more torque.”

[The car's engine whines as the speedometer slowly climbs back to highway speed as she enters a straight portion of the road.]

“This car is capable of 0-60 in 10.7 seconds, which isn't fast, but certainly within its performance class.”

[Viewers can start hear a large amount of rumble within the cabin as Laine's voice raises to overcome the noise.]

“However, another problem arises once you reach that 60 mph.  The cabin noise is simply IMMENSE in this little car.”

[Laine reaches next to her and inserts a pair of orange foam earplugs.  She is now clearly shouting.]


[She turns the radio on and sets the volume to 30.]


[Fade cut back to the AYGO as it pulls into a parking area and comes to a stop. Jump cut to Kara inside the car.]

“In summation, the AYGO is not a bad vehicle for the market niche it addresses. Toyota and PSA Peugeot Citroën worked hard to design a car to be cheap to manufacture without being manufactured cheaply. As such, the usual reliability and robustness one expects in a Toyota is present here, as well.”

[Kara exits the vehicle and walks to her left to another car, its white paint shimmering like the finest cultured pearl.]

“If I was going to buy a small city car designed by Toyota, I’d get this – the Aston Martin Cygnet. As you know, next year the EU starts to phase in fleet emissions standards and with all of their vehicles equipped with thumping V8s or purring V12s, there is now way Aston could meet these levels.

“So why re-badge a Toyota iQ and triple the price to €45.000? Quite simply, Aston owners often don’t want to take their cars into the city on quick errands and would prefer to have a second, smaller vehicle for such duties. But having become accustomed to the luxury and quality that define an Aston Martin interior, having to trade the leather, wood and aluminum of their DB9 for the plastic, cloth and mouse fur of something like the AYGO is unacceptably plebian.”

[Kara opens the door to the Cygnet and the camera zooms in to an interior worthy of the finest coachworks.]

“As you can see, Aston has invested at least 20.000 of those Euros in the interior. Sitting inside an Aston Martin has often been compared to sitting inside a cow and almost every tactile surface is swathed in high-grade hide. Instead of grained plastic, Aston has chosen a piano-black lacquer effect reflective enough to check your hair or makeup in. The switchgear is standard iQ, but it feels more luxurious because of the quality of everything around it.”

[Camera pans to track the Aveo approaching and parking near the AYGO. Inside, Laine turns off the radio, followed by the car and removes the earplugs from her ears. She steps out of the vehicle and, raising a hand to her chin, walks around the car.]

“This is a very boxy car. It probably has the drag coefficient of Saint Peters and I’ve seen kites that catch less air. If you live in a windy area of the country, or a part of the country that receives snow during the winter months, I would suggest that you purchase a nice shovel and coffin because you will get blown into a ditch and die.”

[Laines raises her arms up in frustration.]

“You want it straight? I’ll give it to you straight. There are tropical diseases more pleasant than driving this car. Really the only thing going for it is the price tag of €10.000, but it is as Spartan inside as the AYGO and unlike the Toyota, the base Aveo does not include anti-lock brakes – even as an option. If you want them, you need to upgrade to the next trim level, which adds another €3000 to the price, and then pay another €500 for the brakes! That higher trim level does add air conditioning and a CD player, but you will need to spend €500 on the ‘Driver Convenience Package’ and ‘Power and Convenience’ packages, which together add steering-wheel audio controls, a Driver Information Center that displays such useful information as the outside temperature and your liters burned per 100 kilometers and power windows and door mirrors.”

[Kara and Laine step away from their cars and onto a large grassy field.]

You’re probably thinking we’re now going to play a game of soccer between the Aveo and the AYGO. Not today. Instead, Laine and went on the Internet and we found this…”

[Camera pans to a collection of used cars.]

“For the €10.000 you could spend on one of these LameCubes, you could purchase a well-maintained, low-mileage used car with significantly more character and fun to drive factor.”

“I first looked at luxury vehicles. There were some mid-eighties Rolls-Royce Silver Wraiths, but then I located this blue 1991 Bentley Turbo R sedan. The interior is crème leather with blue piping, burled walnut dash and door trim and blue lamsbwool carpeting. And it only has 120,000 kilometers!”

“And 120,000 is what you’ll spend in Euro between general servicing and gasoline feeding that 6.75 liter V8.”

“Well this one does have a full service history, which is absolutely mandatory for these cars and if I add up all the receipts I imagine I will be deep into five figures. So next I went with sport and found this 1991 Porsche 928 S4 in white with black leather.”

“A Porsche? How…Hammond…of you.”

“I couldn’t find a Ferrari for ten grand and I did spent three times as much as Jezza did on his, so hopefully I won’t need to drain Lake Como to keep it cool.”

“Is that the special pearlescent white paint they offered that used real pearls?”

“No, because that option was €8.000 in and of itself. You could also blow about €20.000 putting leather on every surface, including the switchgear, but it looks like this bloke went with the standard plastic.”

[Laine shakes her head and walks over to her two cars.]

“I went with a mix of both luxury and sport, but a bit more practical. I know how shocking that sounds, but I like to mix it up a bit.”

[She walks over to a metallic light blue BMW convertible and a Nissan coupe.]

“To my left is a BMW Z3 3.0i convertible in Atlanta Blue Metallic on Beige Leather. Unlike the Aveo, the BMW has anti-lock brakes, air conditioning, alloy wheels, cruise control and power seats, door locks, mirrors and windows. Mileage is a bit over 75,000 kilometers.

“To my right is a 2006 Nissan 350Z Touring in red with white leather. As this is the Touring model, it has plenty of luxury equipment, while the 220kW V6 engine and a six-speed manual gearbox deliver enthusiastic performance.”

[Voiceover by Kara.]

“I did a bit more digging on my MacBook Pro and came up with what I think is a solid blend of both luxury and performance.”

[Jump cut to Kara in a Jaguar XK convertible.]

“Yes, it’s a JJJJAAAGGG. A 2001 XK-R, to be exact, in Mediterranean Blue with Black leather. And that means a 4.0 liter supercharged V8 with 276kW and 515 N·m of torque. The mileage is over 100,000 kilometers, which is frightening for a Jaguar, however the car does have a full service history and even a limited powertrain warranty.”

[Kara comes to a stop and a silver sedan pulls up next to her, the deep rumble of the exhaust barking loudly as Laine gooses the throttle.]

“This is a 2004 Cadillac CTS-V. The V means it has the 5.7-liter LS6 V8 engine from the Corvette pumping out 400 horsepower and 395 torques under the American SAE system. In terms of equipment, this car has everything the Aveo doesn’t twice over. It has over 200,000 kilometers, so I’m not sure how many of those horses have left the barn, but when I put my right foot down, this thing hustles so I think the corral is still pretty full.

“The silver exterior and ‘Light Neutral’ interior screams Geritol and Brillcream, but I don’t care. It has a V8 and I paid less than ten grand.”

Fade cut.

[Voiceover by Kara.]

"It was then time to offer our cars to the experienced crew of Manlove Forensics."

[Kara and Laine stand next to each other.]

"I bet you £100 that your car will have no less than four fast food chains stuck between the stitching."

"Oh har har, aren't we funny."

"And yet you refused to take the bet."

"Shush you."

[The girls leave as a team of technicians begin swabbing and collecting samples from their cars.]

One Hour Later...

[The two girls are standing next to each other while John Manlove glances through a clipboard.]

"Right, we'll start with the Cadillac. Your's?"

[He motions to Laine who nods back.]

"First of all, we found traces of dirt and dried plant matter on the floor."

[Laine waves her hand dismissively.]

"Standard run off from an average pair of shoes, nothing to be worried about."

"We also found saliva on the steering wheel..."

"Nothing a bottle of Purell won't take care of."

"...and on the gear shift, climate control knobs, navigation system, locks, and dash. All mixed in with trace amounts of mucous."

"In large amounts or little specks like sneezes?"

[Kara has an amused grin on her face as she digs for more details, hopefully of the disgusting kind.]

"Large amounts."

"You know what this means?  A man was licking his fingers and sticking them up his nose before touching all the bits in the interior, yes?"


[Kara is failing to stifle the giggles as Laine seems more apprehensive about approaching her car.]

"Was that all?"

"No, actually."

[Manlove flips a page on his clipboard.]  

"We also found some fried animal skin within the seat stitching."

"Fried chicken!"

[Kara laughs out loud, much to Laine's annoyance.]

"There were also small pieces of partially digested protein with trace amounts of hydrochloric acid with potassium and sodium chloride."

"In layman's terms, Mr. Manlove."

"Vomited meat."

[Kara doubles over sucking in wind as she chortles. Laine tries her best to ignore Kara, her hands covering her face.]

"What? So after probing the various holes in his face, the driver puked up his lunch into the foot well of my car?"


[Laine quickly deflects the attention towards the Jaguar.]

"Enough about my car, how about Kara's?"

"Right, the Jaguar."  

[Manlove turns a page.]

 "On the preliminary pass, we did't find much. The interior had some dust skin flakes, but nothing really remarkable."

[Kara who has recovered from her laughing fit, pats her car on the hood.]

"That’s because it’s a JAAAGGG."

"We thought that was odd, so we took another run. On the second pass however, we found quite a bit of disturbing material."

[Laine smiles ruefully as Kara's face falls into concern.]

"Wait, what exactly do you mean by…disturbing?"

"Under the floor mat on the passenger side we found a clump of hair, with large amounts of skin material and blood on the follicles."

[Kara makes a face.  Even Laine raises an eyebrow.]

"You mean like it was ripped out?"


[Manlove continues.]  

"Then after vacuuming the air vents we found trace quantities of benzoylmethylecgonine."

"There's cocaine in your car?!"

[Laine fakes incredulousness as Kara continues to look warily at her vehicle.]

"There was also gun powder residue in the interior as a whole, concentrated at the window sills."

[Laine stops Manlove.]

"So let me summarize to this point.  There's cocaine in the air vents, ripped out hair on the floor, and gun powder everywhere."

[Manlove nods. Laine turns to Kara.]

"You're driving a drug dealer's car who used it in drive by shootings and kidnappings."

"There's more."

"There's more?"

"We also found what appeared to be a lubricant smeared over the driver and passenger side seats."

"What? Like 10W30?"

"No it was glycerin based, so a personal lubricant."

[Kara's turns pale. Now it is Laine's turn to laugh out loud.]

"Correction, your car belonged to a masturbating drug dealer who also used his car for drive by shootings and kidnappings."

Fade cut.

“After the forensics review, we were informed by the Producers to bring our cars to the Top Gear Italy proving grounds for a series of tests.”

[The Cadillac and Jaguar both pull up. Kara, who’d previously been wearing a tank top and wrap skirt with ankle boots, now looks more like Laine, dressed in jeans tucked into knee-high cowgirl boots and a long-sleeve knit shirt. She wears leather gloves and her hair is wrapped in a bright scarf.

Laine looks at her and a smirk forms on her face, but holds her tongue.]

“We should see how well our cars hold water! First one to let the water reach the top of the doors loses!”

"I'm driving a convertible!"

"Your top is supposed to keep water out. Let's see how well it keeps it in!"

"Your car was built by Americans, Laine. It probably leaks more than Clarkson’s Rover SD1."

[Rico appears in a white lab coat and hands a gold envelope to Laine and then rushes off, but not before waving to the camera as she’d heard there was a good bit of fan mail on her behalf.]

“Your first test is to see how fast your cars can go and for how long. You proceed to the banked 4km high-speed bowl where your vehicles will each be given 70 liters of fuel. You will then first achieve your maximum speed and then you will drive at that speed until you run out or your car suffers a mechanical failure, whichever comes first.”

[Kara proceeds out first, with the fabric top in place.]

“I don’t know why I’m bothering. With the top up I’m electronically limited to 250km/h and with the top down, there is so much wind resistance I won’t even hit that.”

[Kara plants her foot and the car reaches the electronic limiter. Above her head, the top is fluttering quite violently and the wind noise is quite loud.

Jump cut to outside as Claes, armed with a LIDAR gun, tracks and paints the Jag as it flies past.]

“250km/h on the nose.”

[Laine approaches next, her position on the road roughly the opposite of Kara’s.]

“My car has a top speed of 262 kilometers per hour, which is more. So if my tank holds out, I should be able to put Kara a lap down.”

[The two vehicles thunder along the bowl, pounding out the kilometers. Jump cuts to inside show Kara looking nervously at her roof while Laine looks nervously at the water temperature gauge.]

Some time later.

“Aha! I see you Pagani!

[Through Laine’s front window, the back end of Kara’s Jaguar is visible as the cars circulate. Laine slowly reels Kara in. As she comes abreast, she tosses a jaunty wave and slowly moves on ahead.]

“Now it’s just a question of what do I run out of first: gasoline or water.”

[Voiceover by Kara.]

“It turned out to be both.”

[Laine is parked on the inside lane of the bowl, steam billowing out from under the hood.]

“That’s not gone well.”

Fade cut.

“After topping off our tanks – and Laine’s radiator – we proceeded to the next challenge.”

[The two cars are lined up nose to tail before what looks like a cobblestone road.]

“Before you is almost a kilometer of Belgian pavé, designed to test the suspension compliance and overall ride comfort of your vehicles. You will proceed along the roads at 30km/h with the beverage of your choice in the cup-holders. At the end the run, the volume of liquid remaining will be measured to see how much has been spilt.”

[Both vehicles proceed along the road, their suspensions oscillating wildly, but the chassis looking quite firm. At the end of the run, both girls lower their windows.]

“As you can see, my champagne flute remains full.”

“Nor has my mug lost any of its precious ale. Clearly, Belgian pave is no match for the adaptive suspensions fitted to both of our cars.”

[Voiceover by Kara.]

“The Producers were not impressed, so they filled a bowl with each, put them on our laps, and proceeded to order us to the skid pad – which they had just watered down.”

[Shots of both cars pirouetting in the dampness. Inside, the contents of the bowls slosh all over the girls and the interior. They come to a stop and step out, soaked.]

“Good thing I only spent a fiver on these clothes.”

“Can I bill the Producers for my dry-cleaning?”

[Fade cut back to the studio.]

“So did these tests have any real point, or were they just to embarrass us?”

“The latter. But at least we didn’t need to suffer that embarrassment in a Toyota AYGO or Chevrolet Aveo5.”

“You two nincompoops missed the entire point of this episode, which is why the Producers gave you all these rubbish challenges.”

“Missed the point? We’re trying to show the drivers of Italy that you don’t have to settle for a cheerless econobox when for the same price you could drive a luxury sports convertible or sedan.”

“Both of which drink fuel like a fish drinks water, have annual maintenance bills into the four figures and cost significantly more to insure. You’ll likely be bankrupt inside of your first year of ownership!”

“But they’ve got supercharged V8s!”

[Claes shakes her head.]

“We’ve rendered her speechless! And on that bombshell, we have to end. Next week I’ll be in Montreal for the Formula One Grand Prix, but Laine, Allison and some special guest stars will be heading to the States for some motorcycle mayhem where the buffalo once roamed. Look out for it! Good night!”

[Roll credits]

Last edited by Kiskaloo on Sun 28 Jul 2013 - 23:21; edited 1 time in total


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Re: Series 01, Episode 07 - "Buy a Super Car for the Price of a Supermini"

Post by MP5 on Mon 25 Jul 2011 - 22:14

I laughed so hard at the forensic tests... job well done, both of you.


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Re: Series 01, Episode 07 - "Buy a Super Car for the Price of a Supermini"

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 25 Jul 2011 - 22:16

@MP5 wrote:I laughed so hard at the forensic tests... job well done, both of you.

rusty handled that part. Smile


What? I like donuts! - Betty Suarez
If I die before my time, go on Oprah and tell the world 'I liked kittens'. - Veronica Mars
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Re: Series 01, Episode 07 - "Buy a Super Car for the Price of a Supermini"

Post by rusty-spring on Tue 2 Aug 2011 - 17:59

Awesome work

Great to see the whole episode pieced together. Very Happy


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