Top Gear drives the Channel Tunnel
While daytrippers settle into train and ferry rides, we’re the first civilians to drive a production car to France...
Posted: 09 Nov 2012
The excavated spoil increased the size of the British Isles by 90 acres. The void it left behind now stretches out in front of us, pouring downhill and around corners. We glide silently out of the airlock, and white striplights paint lines over the Ampera's roof. Gentle on the throttle, creep up to the 30mph speed limit. There might be proper road markings down here, but, at just 4.9 metres in diameter, it's uncomfortably tight. Thick roof wires zap 50,000 volts of French electricity back to Britain, while a giant silver tube supplies water to fire hydrants every few hundred yards. It feels like we've been shrunk and I'm being zipped down a fibre-optic network. The edges blur. White lines smudge. I'm humming. Is that a rat? What would it eat? How many ships are passing overhead? How much does the English Channel actually weigh? Is that a crack...?