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.
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 of Top 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.
You know the countdown for Top Gear USA is fast approaching when it seems that there isn’t a day that goes by where you find news about the show that’s set to debut on November 21st.
Today, we came across two new trailers for the highly anticipated – and seemingly overly hyped – show on the History Channel. The first trailer, titled “Theater”, basically gives us a lowdown on what to expect on the show with the hosts describing the feeling of being able to get behind the wheel of so many exotics while getting paid to do so. The second, and much shorter, trailer basically just gives the jaw-dropped faces of Adam Ferrara, Rutledge Wood, and Tanner Foust as they perform their own unique donuts.
While we’re still not convinced that these three can carry the show the way the holy trinity of Clarkson, Hammond, and May can, we’re going to reserve all our judgments until we see at least a few episodes. For now, check out the trailers and try to get geeked up for what promises to be an interesting first season of Top Gear USA.
This has been quite a hectic week in the world of automotive journalism as Top Gear USA is getting close to hitting the airwaves. Now, we finally have a date for when the show will premier on The History Channel. The first episode will hit the air on November 21st.
There is no doubt in our minds that the show will be worth watching, as most shows that involve fast cars usually are. We are worried that it might not be the hit that the original was, as Americans don’t usually take to these sorts of programs, but the popularity of Top Gear UK and the fact that Top Gear Russia and Top Gear Australia are doing okay on their own, leave us to believe that the big name auto show might just make it on this side of the pond.
Okay, so we don’t have the witty repertoire of Clarkson, Hammond, and May, but rumors are suggesting that the American trio have built a good chemistry of their own plus we still get the same secret race driver, celebrity guests, and funny challenges. Our hope is that this show will get the chance it deserves after all of the time and effort has been put into ts production. Basically, watch the first show before you decide if you love it or hate it.
Stay tuned for further updates on the next chapter of Top Gear and make sure to mark November 21st on your calendars as the fateful day where we are sure everyone in America that is obsessed with cars will make their final decision on what they think of America’s version of Top Gear.