This week’s episode of Top Gear USA brought us back to the one segment format. The trio of Adam Ferrara, Tanner Foust, and Ruttledge Wood had the challenge of proving which was the toughest off-roader in America by subjecting three of the best 4x4 vehicles to a series of tests.
Adam opted for a 1994 Ford Bronco with a 351 HP V8 and Ruttledge chose a 1989Chevrolet K5 Blazer with a 350 HP V8. Tanner was the only one with an inline six in his 1983 Jeep Renegade. All three of them were dropped off in the middle of the Mojave Desert to sweat it out for 400 miles as they cruised to Vegas, dealing with the 134 degree weather. By the way, Tanner’s Jeep had no air conditioning. Yikes!
The whole point of this challenge was to find the best 4x4, so to put the vehicles through the test and put the guys through hell, the first 350 miles of the trip had to be made without their tires ever touching asphalt. What happens after this was made known is entirely predictable and grueling.
Hit the jump for details on Top Gear USA: Season 2 Episode 4.
The first test was to determine which of the three vehicles was the fastest and in order to figure that out, the guys took part in a two mile drag race. Adam blew by Tanner and Rutt and, as the winner, was allowed to choose his trailer first. This was an important decision because whatever trailer they chose, they had to drag it along and sleep in it. Rutt came in last place and the guys left him with a very small, Barbie pink trailer.
Their road trip through the Mojave Desert, across Death Valley to Mt. Charleston then began. After traveling for just a bit through the desert, they ended up stopping at a weak General Store to stock up on food for their first evening. After grabbing some canned goods, water, and Burro meat, the guys realized they had no stove and proceeded to stash the food under their hoods for cooking. I think it’s safe to say that ended up tragically for the meal.
After that, it was going just fine until the trio came across some steep canyons. Adam went first and completely destroyed his Bronco by trying to race through a rocky patch, snapping his axle and popping his tire off. Tanner and Rutt made it through cleanly and left Adam behind to deal with his mess. The duo of Tanner and Rutt then hit another snag when the can of beans they had stored in Tanner’s engine erupted and some wires ended up fused into the top of the can. A repair and a hot wire later, Tanner and Rutt set off again. Their night ended with disgustingly overcooked Burro meat and a sleepless night in their small trailers.
After what we are sure was crew intervention, Adam rejoined the other two in the morning with a brace on his Bronco to keep his tire from falling off. His new 2x4 vehicle joined the Jeep and the Blazer to continue with the trip. With mishaps for both the Bronco and the Jeep, Tanner thought it was high time for Rutt to experience a little something, so he loosened Rutt’s trailer and then convinced him to drive recklessly. Of course, Rutt partook in the clowning and ended up flipping and obliterating his trailer.
Now, it was time for some sand dunes. The trip across the sand went rather smoothly for everyone except Adam whose idiotic attempt to climb a sandy hill left him tire deep in the sand. An hour and surely another crew intervention later, Adam rejoined the pack and moved forward.
The first 350 miles of the 400 mile trip to Vegas had to be done without their tires touching asphalt so when the guys met up with a road they could not get around, creativeness had to intervene. Tanner built a makeshift bridge out of wood planks and steel pipes, tricking the other two into pushing his Jeep across the road. Adam’s idea was, of course, more reckless as he toppled his Bronco over to then have Tanner pull it across with his Jeep. The Bronco was left completely trashed on one side and blowing smoke like it was nobody’s business. Rutt’s plan was a bit odd, but got the job done. He "found" three large pieces of carpet that just so happened to be the perfect length and width to fit around his Blazer like a tank track. He actually made it across the road rotating these carpets around his entire car. The materials couldn’t have been anymore staged, but they got the job done.
For the last leg of their trip, the guys were allowed to travel on asphalt, but they only had three gallons of gas to get 52 miles. A quick calculation from Ruttledge revealed they would be about 10 miles short in gas. To try to make it work, Adam chopped up his Bronco, removing the entire roof and any extra accessories that may weigh him down. Ruttledge was even more ridiculous by adding a cardboard "boat tail" in which he fastened to his Blazer with duct tape. Tanner, being the overconfident pretty boy he is, left his Jeep untouched.
In the end, Adam’s tire blew out and he had dumped the spare to save weight. Tanner flew past Ruttledge at a high speed, which wasn’t hard because Ruttledge was driving like an old lady to save gas, and ended up running out of gas and making the rest of the trip by foot. Ruttledge was the only one who completed the trip, earning him the privilege of spending the night in the Presidential suite in Trump Tower Vegas.
Wrapping It Up
This episode actually wasn’t as bad as the first episode when they spent the entire hour trying to prove that pick-up trucks could be replaced by two-door models. It was actually entertaining and funny, which is what this show really needs.
Make sure you check in with us next week as we move on to Season 2 Episode 5 of Top Gear USA. In the meantime, let us know what you think of this episode in the comments section below