The boys from Top Gear USA were back this week and they are starting to pick up a little bit of speed in terms of entertainment value. The discussions still tend to be a little too rehearsed, but we didn’t want to turn off the television as soon as they started talking. Well, except for when Adam opened his mouth, but we’re used to that.
The main focus this week was trying to figure out which truck was the best in America. After spending the entire first episode trying to convince us all that pick-up trucks could be convinced by two-door models, this was a welcome change. Other segments included battling it out between the Local Motors’ Rally Fighter and an airboat, and a trip around the Top Gear test track with actor/comedian Bill Engvall.
Hit the jump to check out the full details on Top Gear USA: Season 2 Episode 3.
Big Star Small Car
There have been many celebrities to get behind the wheel of Top Gear USA’s Suzuki SX4 , but we can guarantee that none of them have accused the hatchback of having "some juice." That is, until Bill Engvall took his turn around the test track. After Adam telling Engvall that he needed to raise his goals because Engvall actually liked the SX4, the comedian admitted that his cars consisted of a restored 1950 Chevrolet pickup, a 1977 Volkswagen van, and a Mercedes S600 that he probably never gets past 60 mph. His wife has the much cooler car; she drives an Aston Martin Vantage .
All in all, Bill Engvall didn’t do bad at all on his test lap, clocking in at 1:44.3. That put him right above Bret Michaels towards the top of the list.
Rally Fighter vs Airboat
The coolest segment of this episode was Tanner’s trip to the bayou for some good ol’ fashioned racing. Okay, so the racing there wasn’t so typical, but it was cool as hell. Tanner got behind the wheel of Local Motors’ Rally Fighter and pitted it against an airboat called the AirBanger through the swamps of Louisiana. It was a six mile long race through gravel, levee roads, farmland, and horse trials with crazy bumps along the way.
Before we go into the race, we need to go into the car. The Rally Fighter was a vehicle designed on the internet during a competition held by Local Motors . The person with the best design (as decided by online votes) got to the man behind the car. What they ended up with was a car powered by a Corvette engine with a Chevy transmission, a Ford truck rear end with Honda Civic taillights, Mazda Miata door handles, and an F150 steering wheel. This is a big melting pot of a car and the 430 HP engine and killer suspension make it one heckuva ride.
The race started on the street - yeah, because this car is also street legal and for the race, so was the airboat. The whole race looked like a roller coaster ride with Tanner getting thrown all over the place and banging his head on the roof more than once. In the end, Tanner beat out the airboat by a slim margin and after all of the bumps and bruises, he deserved it.
Best Truck in America
Most of the show consisted of the trio trying to figure out which truck was the best in America. Adam Ferrara chose the Ram 3500 , Tanner Foust picked the Ford F450 , and Ruttledge Wood brought in the Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD for a series of "tests."
The first test of the trucks was a drag race where Ferrara’s lonely six-cylinder engine left him hanging out way in the back, while the other two trucks forged ahead. In the end, Wood’s 397 HP Chevy HD 3500 beat out Foust’s 400 HP Ford F450 by mere inches. Of course, the Ford weighs a ton more than the Chevy so that explains it.
The second test was a burnout test to determine which truck could put the most power to the ground. Tanner being a professional drifter was a bit of an aid here and he ended up literally doing circles around Adam and Ruttledge, leaving them in a cloud of white smoke. Of course, this little escapade left no tread on his tires, so when they were trying to do the hill climb challenge, Tanner was the only one left shaking his head in defeat.
The last part of the segment was a bit impressive, albeit highly destructive. This test had to do with towing capacity. Right off the bat, Tanner’s Ford is ahead of the game with a 24,400 lbs towing capacity. Adam’s Ram comes in behind with 22,000 lbs and Wood takes care of the anchor with a 21,700 lbs towing capacity. Of course, the guys had to do this with a bit of flare so the test started off with Wood tearing down to telephone poles with his truck. After that, Tanner was able to pull a train engine and coal car weighing in at 280,000 lbs, but Adam was the most destructive, taking down a house with his truck. They all had excuses as to why the others were able to accomplish their feat, but in the end all this segment proved is that these guys like to break shit. No real winner was established and the Top Gear USA guys kept all of the automakers happy.
gallery: Chevrolet Silverado
gallery: Dodge Ram Heavy-Duty
Wrapping It Up
The third episode of Top Gear USA wasn’t all that bad and they seem to be getting better with each passing week. Maybe by the end of the season, we’ll grow to like it again.
Make sure you check in with us next week as we move on to Season 2 Episode 4 of Top Gear USA. In the meantime, let us know what you think of this episode in the comments section below.