Top Gear USA debuted in November 2010 as the States' version of the best car show on television, Top Gear UK. The new Top Gear brings together Adam Ferrara, Tanner Foust, and Rutledge Wood in their attempt to rival the UK show with their crazy challenges, mystery driver, and on screen antics. Top Gear USA has not been met with much enthusiasm from lovers of the original Top Gear, but the History Channel is hoping they can turn things around and make Top Gear USA a force to be reckoned with.
We are almost halfway through the first season of Top Gear USA and we are pleased to say that the show is not a complete waste of our time. In fact, we actually enjoy watching it. The clips are informative, the challenges are funny and entertaining, and the opportunity of making fun of Ferrara will never slide past us. We can’t help it; we don’t really like the guy as the "main" host.
Now that all of that is out of the way, we can move on to the actual show aired. The fourth episode of Top Gear USA takes us through a long review of the Mercedes SLS AMG with Adam Ferrara behind the wheel. Only Ferrara can ruin the Mercedes’ camera time. Top Gear UK has Captain Slow, we have Captain Boring. ’Nuff said.
The more interesting part of the show was the two challenges. The first was a race between the Ford F-150 Velociraptor and a HALO jumper while the second was a jumbled mess of two old beaters shooting out paintballs. And by two old beaters, we mean Ferrara and Wood. Just kidding.
Hit the jump to see details on the fourth episode of Top Gear USA.
Another week, another Top Gear USA episode, and we may be starting to like the show a bit. Don’t give us a hard time; we’re only human. Yes, it’s still lacking the quirks and perks of the UK version, but these guys may just be finding their way.
The funny part about the statement we just made is that this week’s show saw fewer segments than the first two, but that could be what helped it. Everything wasn’t so forced and they didn’t jump to the next topic as if they were actually in a race. Of course, the downside to this was that they did not get the opportunity to review any vehicles and they inserted a brief and odd news segment.
Overall the producers for the show are starting to find a good balance between Foust’s car knowledge, Wood’s comedic randomness, and Ferrara’s dry commentary. Hopefully it will get all worked out soon and maybe people will actually begin to give the show a chance.
Hit the jump for details on this week’s episode of Top Gear USA.
The much-hyped pilot episode of Top Gear USA finally aired on the History Channel where it picked up a viewership of 1.9 million people all over the USA.
By all intents and purposes, the numbers for the first episode of Top Gear USA can be seen as a mixed bag of results. On one hand, 1.9 million viewers is considered solid on a night where it ran into Sunday Night Football – always a ratings juggernaut – as well as a number of other shows that could have taken away from its viewership. The 1.9 million figure is also better than what Conan O’Brien averaged for the entire week – 1.7 million – for his show on TBS, ‘Conan’.
On the flip side, networks usually build up the pilot episode with much gusto to ensure massive ratings when the episode airs on TV. To that extent, 1.9 million viewers falls way short of what we expected, especially considering that 3.1 million viewers tuned in to the pilot episode of one of their other shows, American Pickers, when it made its debut earlier this year. More to that, the first episode usually garners a strong number of viewers because of the hype and the buzz surrounding it with viewership expected to decline once the buzz dies and the honeymoon ends.
One of the main segments of the second episode featured an American shakedown of the Aston Martin V8 Vantage and its V12 big brother. Hosted by Rutledge Wood, the whole segment was very informative, which, you know, is pretty important, so we’re going to give the producers a pat on the back for that. Americans don’t know enough about Aston Martin except that it has co-starred in a lot of Bond movies, so to show off the car in a different light – exotic, powerful, and luxurious - to an audience that lacks knowledge about the car’s history and heritage was a nice touch.
How it all played out on TV though, is an entirely different matter. For starters, it seemed a little too theatrical, which, would have been fine if Rutledge Wood wasn’t such a stiff during the whole ten-minute segment. Watch how he talks to the camera and you can tell that he’s either reading from a canned script or there’s just not appeal there whatsoever. Don’t get us wrong, we like Rutledge, but he should try loosening up a little.
After all, you’re driving an Aston Martin V12 Vantage, Mr. Wood. Act like it means something because it most definitely does. And calling the Brits ’liars’ given the context? We’d be careful the next time around, although it did attract the attention we’re sure it was meant to.
Top Gear USA may have wrapped up the second episode of their very first season, but due to geographical ramifications, many may have missed their first review. In Episode One of Top Gear USA, the boys tested the most powerful Viper in the line-up: the ACR-X .
In this video, you’ll see the USA’s version of the Stig as he whips the Viper around the new Top Gear USA track. The track is 1.6 miles long and consists of several turns as well as a few straightaways for optimal speed.
As a reminder, the Viper ACR-X is powered by the same SRT developed 8.4 Liter V10 as the standard super car, except that a set of factory tuned headers and a less restrictive exhaust system give the ACR-X a 40 HP kick in the pants meaning that there is a total of 640 HP on tap. Combine that with a weight savings of 160 pounds, despite the addition of a roll cage, and you’ve got an even more challenging track ready machine. On the market, the ACR-X is priced at $110,000.
Check out the video to see just how the Dodge Viper ACR-X did in the hands of the Stig when put up against the Top Gear USA test track.
Before we even begin to go into the second episode of Top Gear USA, we have to admit that we had to set an alarm to remind ourselves to watch it. That doesn’t exactly say much about the show’s first episode, but we actually did see some sort of improvement with this one.
This episode was a little different than the first one as Adam Ferrara kind of took a back seat to Rutledge Wood and Tanner Foust. That wasn’t exactly a bad thing considering that the actor/comedian was bland and uninspiring during the first episode. The chemistry was better between the three, but the music still sucked.
Enough about all that, let’s move on to the actual meat and potatoes of the show. In this episode we got to see Wood take on the Aston Martin V12 Vantage , Tanner Foust put two skiers to the test while driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution , and all three men learn a little something about drifting in a Nissan 370Z . Yes, Tanner Foust is a drift champion, but that may or may not help him during this challenge. Oh yeah, and some British guy takes on the Suzuki SX4 .
Hit the jump to check out the details of Top Gear USA, Episode Two.
The wait is finally over as the curtains were lifted off of the very first episode of Top Gear USA. Adam Ferrara, Tanner Foust, and Rutledge Wood were all smiles as they prepared to meet their maker in the form of critics and fans alike, who were all prepared to make that fateful decision: to hate or not to hate Top Gear USA.
Before watching the first episode of Top Gear USA, we were very hopeful that the trio of Adam Ferrara, Tanner Foust, and Rutledge Wood would light up our television sets with the witty repertoire we’ve heard so much about. It started out a little rough with some forced playful banter and horribly scripted lines, but by the end of their very first episode, we started to see the chemistry between all three hosts.
Were they able to succeed in winning over their target audience? The jury is still out, but we can only hope that Top Gear USA will pull through for all of us. Let us know what you think after reading the details of their first episode after the jump.
Top Gear USA is scheduled to debut on the History Channel in a few weeks time, which means that execs over at the HC are going overdrive in their attempts at drumming up interest in the US version of the hit show, Top Gear.
Seeing as SEMA was held in Las Vegas last week, it would seem like an ideal setting for Top Gear USA to make its presence felt in one way or another. And true to script, they did.
A number of yellow-clad exotic cars showed up at SEMA looking the part of obscenely expensive taxis with Top Gear promotional materials stickered all over them. The supercabs weren’t exactly available for paid transport, minimizing their usefulness down to about nil. Nevertheless, the cars, which included a Rolls-Royce Phantom , a Ferrari 458 Italia , and a Lamborghini Murcielago all dressed in yellow didn’t fail in their main objective: catching attention and drumming up interest for Top Gear USA.
A good motoring show needs a place where street laws don’t come into play. The original TopGear had a nice unused airfield and it seems like the American version will do the same. Reports have indicated that the base will be the Marine Corp’s former facility at El Toro in Orange County, California, the same site that NBC wanted to use.
The track combines north/south and east/west runways from the former air field. The runways will make great straights for high speeds and it’s easy to find areas for corners. The only downside is the lack of hills and elevation changes, but not anymore, as this track will feature a ten-foot drop and climb on an off-track loop. This should give it a nice advantage over most runway based tracks.
TopGear USA will premier on November 21st on the History Channel, so be sure to tune in a watch. The original version of TopGear won’t return until next year.
By now, you have either heard ofTop Gear or you’ve been living in a hole for the last few years. What you might not have known is that Top Gear is coming to the United States on the History Channel. Top Gear USA will be a spin off of the original series in the United Kingdom, similar to Top Gear Australia and Top Gear Russia.
Before we look into the future, let’s delve back into the past. It was three years ago when the BBC decided to export Top Gear to the US. One of the largest stations in the land, NBC, ordered a pilot of the show that would be called Sixth Gear. According to NBC reality chief Craig Plestis, many different automakers had shown interest in the show.
On June 16, 2008, NBC and the BBC announced the show to the world with Adam Carolla being the host chosen to play the role of Jeremy Clarkson. After the pilot was taped, NBC got ready to send it out in mid-season 2009.