That’s it; we’re halfway through the first season of Top Gear USA and the guys seem to be coming along quite nicely in their efforts to become a real car show. They’re actually getting some laughs out of us and they’re even getting their hands on some pretty nice rides. We didn’t think we would become full-fledged Top Gear USA fans so early in its lifespan, but, the truth is, we have.
In this episode of Top Gear USA, the trio take on a challenge that leaves them traveling by land, air, and sea to get from Miami to Key West in the shortest time span. Michelle Rodriguez takes on the Top Gear test track in the Suzuki and Tanner Foust hops on over to Britain to check out the Morgan Aero SuperSport .
Hit the jump to check out the full details for this week’s episode of Top Gear USA!
The fact that Tanner Foust could head on over to Britain and make fun of them on their own turf probably sent chills up and down the spines of every Top Gear USA employee. But, more important than the blatant ridicule of the Brits, is the fact Tanner Foust got the chance to review a real classy sportscar. No, this isn’t the typical aerodynamic speed demon; this is the hand-built Morgan Aero SuperSport .
It’s obvious that the Morgan AeroSuperSport has only an inkling of the typical sportscar look, but under the hood, the vehicle carries a 4.8-liter BMW -sourced V8 engine that produces 376hp. Tanner did the math for us and the Morgan has a power to weight ratio equal to that of a Porsche 911 GT3 . Simply remarkable.
Tanner had his way with the Morgan Aero SuperSport on the quaint roads of Britain for a little while, but it wouldn’t be Top Gear without a little more speed. Taking the Morgan to a more reasonable track area - Brunting Thorpe to be exact - Foust decided to test the 170mph top speed the Morgan Company claims the vehicle has. Even Foust was a little terrified of the car’s non-aerodynamic structure as the needle shifted higher and higher on his speedometer. Once he reached 150mph and the front end started moving and lifting, Tanner backed out of his little experiment. We don’t blame you, dude!
gallery: Morgan Aero SuperSports
This week we got a car review and a news segment, which is unusual for their format. Either way, the boys marveled over the $25,000 price hike for the new Chevrolet Camaro Neiman Marcus Edition when the only additions were a different color and a Neiman Marcus logo. Ruttledge also shared some car ads from Craigslist that weren’t that funny and then they gave the Stig a present that consisted of a Lambo tractor. In case anyone thought the tractor would be anywhere near fast, it got a time of 5:22 seconds on the Top Gear test track. Ouch. Guess we don’t expect anything different from a tractor, though.
Big Star Small Car
This week’s Big Star is the spicy Michelle Rodriguez who knows a thing or two about fast cars. Being one of the rebel runners in the Fast and the Furious series, Rodriguez has had some training in that department, making us pretty confident that she would do well on the Top Gear test track. We were wrong. Michelle Rodriguez may readily admit that she receives many of speeding tickets and has resorted to driving around in a Prius, but on the test track, she scored below average. We have to cut her a bit of slack though because it was a wet track after all. Her time? 1:55.2 Well, at least she beat out the old man, Buzz Aldrin.
There was only one challenge in this week’s Top Gear USA episode and it lead the trio down to beautiful sunny Miami , Fl. Their task was to determine the fastest way to get from Miami to Key West. Their options consisted of a sea plane (chosen by Tanner), a Donzi speedboat (chosen by Ruttledge), and a 2010 Lotus Evora (chosen by Adam). Ruttledge and Tanner started out fairly slow with Ruttledge having to endure an idle zone lasting for about an hour and Tanner having to wait 20 minutes for a taxi and then taking 45 minutes to get to the sea plane base. Adam started off in a fury, but got sidetracked a bit when he was pulled over for going 75mph in a 50mph zone. Oops.
It’s no surprise that this race was another close call, but the Lotus pulled ahead of the two with just a split second to spare. Adam barely touched the southernmost point before Tanner jumped off his little moped (rented after the plane dropped him off about three miles from where he needed to be). The fat guy came in last after having to run for a bit before hailing a cab to finish the way.
The Stig has his way with the 2010 Lotus Evora as well. After a little trip around the test track, the Evora clocked in a time of 1:28.4 on a wet track.
gallery: Lotus Evora
Wrapping it Up
That’s it for this week. Make sure and check in with us next week as we move on to Episode Six of Top Gear USA, and remember to leave some of your thoughts on this episode in the comments section below.