• If You Can Get Past The Language, This Top Gear-Style Testing of Chinese Cars Is a Blast to Watch

Big Crazy Car is the show we didn’t know we loved

The Jeremy Clarkson era of Top Gear will always be the gold standard of motoring shows, but there’s a show in China called Big Crazy Car that should make Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond proud.

The show is in Chinese, obviously, so unless you understand the language, it’s going to be a little tough to follow. But the action — and comedy — are all on point, something we didn’t think we’d get from a show that we had never heard before until now.

If you thought this quarantine hasn’t had a toll on my mental sensibilities, then you’d be wrong. I just spent more than 90 minutes watching a show in a language I did not understand, and had a great time watching it. I don’t want to say that I’ve lost my mind, but it’s getting there.

In any case, the show is called Big Crazy Car. It airs nowhere else but in China, and there are a lot of Top Gear-style elements to it that are both amusing and annoying. But I managed to get through the entire episode wholly entertained about what I had just seen. Perhaps this episode is an outlier, perhaps not. But the “challenge” it had was all sorts of fun to watch.

If You Can Get Past The Language, This Top Gear-Style Testing of Chinese Cars Is a Blast to Watch
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It’s unclear if the show is as big of a hit in China as the Clarkson-era {Top Gear} was, but for at least one segment, the show’s trio of hosts partook in a {Top Gear-style} challenge that had us rolling on the floor in fits of laughter.

The challenge revolved around testing three low-speed vehicles, which are apparently popular in China. None of these cars will win any design awards — they’re mostly cheap knockoffs, including the

looking oddity in the challenge — but the sheer absurdity of their design and function makes them worthy of our time.

Believe it or not, these vehicles specifically cater to the senior market, and there are, apparently, an alarming number of companies that build these tiny rides without any clear cut regulation or safety standards surrounding them.

If You Can Get Past The Language, This Top Gear-Style Testing of Chinese Cars Is a Blast to Watch
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One of the three cars didn’t even have seatbelts because they’re expensive to add to the car, or so I’m guessing. Go beyond the obvious safety concerns, though, and you can totally see these cars in a different — if absurd — light. Most are designed with the grace and creativity of a wallpaper, and those who do get creative often venture into the knockoff route, as clearly shown by the abnormally pedestrian Bugatti Chiron-look alike.

It’s hard to make out what the entire challenge is about because of the obvious language barriers. But what I couldn’t comprehend through language, I most definitely understood in how they beat the living daylights out of their cars. If the objective of the challenge was to see which of the three could hold up the longest, you could say that none of these slow-mobility vehicles actually won.

If You Can Get Past The Language, This Top Gear-Style Testing of Chinese Cars Is a Blast to Watch
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But, in some Top Gear-style irony, I’d like to consider myself a winner for watching this challenge and getting entertained by it despite not understanding a single word they said.

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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