11th Nov2010

Top Gear USA Preview

by Trent

top gear usaWhile down at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Mike and I had the opportunity to preview the new Top Gear program on The History Channel. The first show airs November 21st, but we got to see some of it last week. Read ahead for my impressions.

This isn’t the British Top Gear…get that out of your head now, or you will never be satisfied with this show. There is no Jeremy, Richard, or Captain Slow. There’s Tanner Foust, Rutledge Wood, and Adam Ferrara.

Personalities:

Tanner has hosted several shows before on Speed, and if you’ve seen him before, you’ve basically seen him now. He’s dry, but he’s getting better. This is the best of I’ve seen him, but that’s not saying much. He can drive though, and every show needs some guy who can drive.

Adam Ferrara is the guy your parents don’t want you hanging out with because he has a sailor’s mouth and will get you into trouble. This makes for entertaining TV however. The only way he could describe the Lamborghini he was driving was “$%#&”!

Rutledge Wood has a background in NASCAR, but don’t judge him based on that, he carries this show. He has a good sense of humor and can pick up where the other two guys fall short and then deliver. He’s who should’ve been hosting ‘Battle of the Supercars’ or something similar. Not because he’s a great driver, but because he can talk without it sounding like an involuntary surgery.

Altogether, they mesh well, they play off each other, but Tanner will have to speak up if he wants to get more than two words in.

The Show:

Is it entertaining? Yes. Is it as good as the original? Was ‘Ocean’s Twelve’ as good as ‘Ocean’s Eleven’? These guys need some time together to develop the chemistry the blokes in the UK have. I’ll still be watching it though. The cars are great, the challenges are familiar, but with their own twists, and the banter is good.

However, considering these guys don’t have extensive experience behind the wheel of exotic metal, how are they supposed to tell you why a Ferrari 458 Italia is better than a 430? I’d imagine Adam would just say the 458 is $%#&ing faster. It doesn’t tell me why. We’ll find out when the show debuts on November 21st how it will all come together. Until then, I’m ready to deem this the best US car show ever…but that’s not saying much.

-Trent Bray

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