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Old 08-15-2012, 04:07 AM   #1
RonDawg
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Top Gear US Season 3 Premiere 8/14/2012 (possible season thread discussion)

Overall, I thought the Season 3 premiere episode was rather lackluster, and reminded me much of Season 1.

However, I naturally wanted to see them do the cop car comparison.

Spoiler:
I was surprised that the Ford actually beat the Dodge and Aussie-Chevy, given that it is a FWD car adapted to AWD and has a turbo. I especially thought that turbo lag would hamper the Ford, but it hit 100 MPH faster than the others did. I would have liked to see them do some sort of real slalom course to test out the handling, and not that crummy "test" involving eating donuts and Rockford u-turns.

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Old 08-15-2012, 08:26 AM   #2
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Meh, had it on in the background. Good filler material.
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:27 AM   #3
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Didn't realize this show was back on. Not a show I love, but I like it enough to watch. Pretty much always fast forward through the celebrity interview and drive around the track. Just not as good as the UK version.
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:28 AM   #4
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No celebrity interview or any of that in the premiere. All one big challenge, though there is a bit at the end that is a somewhat different but related challenge.
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:56 PM   #5
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For the love of all that's holy, put this cr@p to rest!

I HAVE to watch because it's called Top Gear, but it really is nothing close. Third season and it still looks so fake - right down to the cut shots of traffic in among the off-road reality. There is absolutely no chemistry between the presenters and even the open door gag was forced.

BTW, the Taurus IS designed as an AWD car. It's available as an option and, I think the SHO is AWD as standard.
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:29 PM   #6
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As the old adage goes, these guys could screw up a wet dream.

This is really a perfect subject for this show. A legit 3 cars competing in the same market, which one is better. First test actually had some validity to the question. But the rest were crap.

The donut thing was stupid and insulting. And overall, is a dirt road really a major concern for most departments? And the tear gas. I understand the symbolism, but again, is that really a concern?

I think overall comfort and how it manifests itself in fatigue is a genuine, and testable concern. As mention above, a real handling test would have been valid. And finally, it would have been interesting, if not really relevant, to test their winner against the old Crown Vic.
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:59 PM   #7
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I laughed a few times, better than most shows on now (reality shows).
Its season three, if you don't like it stop watching. I am going to scream if I read another comparison to the UK version.

UK Top Gear not coming back until 2013....
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Old 08-15-2012, 09:59 PM   #8
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I still say I'd love to see a Top Gear US with Tim Allen, Jay Leno, and Chris Titus. That'd be an entertaining version.

This version? Watchable, but not all that great.
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:38 PM   #9
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BTW, the Taurus IS designed as an AWD car. It's available as an option and, I think the SHO is AWD as standard.
For that reason alone, many departments are hesitant to buy it, just like many departments (including mine) refused to buy the Impala for patrol work. In addition to the perception that FWD/AWD is not as robust as RWD, there's the real added complexity of AWD and the increased servicing as well.

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The donut thing was stupid and insulting. And overall, is a dirt road really a major concern for most departments? And the tear gas. I understand the symbolism, but again, is that really a concern?

I think overall comfort and how it manifests itself in fatigue is a genuine, and testable concern. As mention above, a real handling test would have been valid. And finally, it would have been interesting, if not really relevant, to test their winner against the old Crown Vic.
The donut thing was stupid, but some perceptions refuse to die. You're far more likely to find a cop at a convenience store than donut shop, and far more likely to find a cop holding a Big Gulp than a donut, but somehow that meme never caught on.

Dirt road performance is a concern for rural departments, but that test was absolutely meaningless, and really wasn't even that entertaining. And while there could be a reason for a sharpshooter to be shooting out of a moving car (our SWAT guys practice it from a helicopter), that's not car-dependent. That's dependent on the ability of the driver to drive smoothly so the sharpshooter can take and maintain a good sight picture.

I hope they plan on replacing the entire interiors of those cars, or those cars were going to be sent to the crusher anyway, because there is no way you'll fully get that tear gas out of the fabrics, foam, etc.
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:36 AM   #10
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As the old adage goes, these guys could screw up a wet dream.

This is really a perfect subject for this show. A legit 3 cars competing in the same market, which one is better. First test actually had some validity to the question. But the rest were crap.

The donut thing was stupid and insulting. And overall, is a dirt road really a major concern for most departments? And the tear gas. I understand the symbolism, but again, is that really a concern?

I think overall comfort and how it manifests itself in fatigue is a genuine, and testable concern. As mention above, a real handling test would have been valid. And finally, it would have been interesting, if not really relevant, to test their winner against the old Crown Vic.
Uh..have you ever actually watched the original Top Gear? It's not a real car review show..well, it was the first and maybe second season but it hasn't been in over 10 years. It's pure entertainment.

I think you guys are being too hard here. I commented that I thought it was the best episode yet and the end race was very much Top Gear-like and more interesting than any other challenge they've done. Last year they played it too safe..hopefully they open it up a bit more this year.

The big problem with the US version is US television. We get 40 mins of actual content. They get a real hour in the UK so you can fit more things like the "Big star, small car" stuff in where I think in the US it won't be in every episode.
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:21 AM   #11
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I thought this episode was pretty bad. I keep watching because there were a couple segments didn't suck last season, but no evidence of that so far this year. It's amazing how these 3 guys can have so little chemistry going into their 3rd year.
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:40 PM   #12
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Uh..have you ever actually watched the original Top Gear? It's not a real car review show..well, it was the first and maybe second season but it hasn't been in over 10 years. It's pure entertainment.

I think you guys are being too hard here. I commented that I thought it was the best episode yet and the end race was very much Top Gear-like and more interesting than any other challenge they've done. Last year they played it too safe..hopefully they open it up a bit more this year.
This. I don't get BBCA and I've only seen one episode of the UK Top Gear. I'm sure it's a great show. But I don't think everyone should judge the US version in comparison to the UK version. Just view it as a reality/entertainment show about cars and you'll be much happier.

I really wish the original NBC pilot with Adam Carolla rather than Adam Ferrara had been picked up, but other than that, I have no problem with the hosts. I like the playful banter back and forth among them and the way they tease Adam about being a crappy driver and loving American land yachts, and the way they make fun of Rutledge's huge head and always wearing plaid, and the way they crack on Tanner about being preppy and always preferring Japanese cars, etc.

And the challenges rarely have anything to do with the real capabilities of the cars. They're just designed to be entertaining. If you want to complain about a show that should be measuring the real capabilities of the cars but isn't, complain about Tanner Faust's other show, "Battle of the Supercars," with Paul Tracy. That show should be a lot more informative/entertaining than it is.
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:57 PM   #13
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I get what you are saying, but it is hard not to compare it to the UK version when entire episodes/challenges are lifted directly from the UK episodes. You just have to be able to let it go.
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Old 08-16-2012, 02:43 PM   #14
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This. I don't get BBCA and I've only seen one episode of the UK Top Gear. I'm sure it's a great show. But I don't think everyone should judge the US version in comparison to the UK version. Just view it as a reality/entertainment show about cars and you'll be much happier.

I really wish the original NBC pilot with Adam Carolla rather than Adam Ferrara had been picked up, but other than that, I have no problem with the hosts. I like the playful banter back and forth among them and the way they tease Adam about being a crappy driver and loving American land yachts, and the way they make fun of Rutledge's huge head and always wearing plaid, and the way they crack on Tanner about being preppy and always preferring Japanese cars, etc.

And the challenges rarely have anything to do with the real capabilities of the cars. They're just designed to be entertaining. If you want to complain about a show that should be measuring the real capabilities of the cars but isn't, complain about Tanner Faust's other show, "Battle of the Supercars," with Paul Tracy. That show should be a lot more informative/entertaining than it is.
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I get what you are saying, but it is hard not to compare it to the UK version when entire episodes/challenges are lifted directly from the UK episodes. You just have to be able to let it go.
If it looks like a duck...

My argument is precisely this...it's CALLED Top Gear! For it to be a different show, it should be named something else. Otherwise, comparisons are not only inevitable, they are expected!

I could suggest other titles like "Three Completely Unfunny Guys Doing Stupid Things With Cars." or "How To Copy A Successful British Show With Something That Doesn't Even Come Close." and a few others!
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Old 08-16-2012, 02:46 PM   #15
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"How To Copy A Successful British Show With Something That Doesn't Even Come Close."
That one's already been used a couple times...
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Old 08-16-2012, 02:51 PM   #16
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More than a couple!!!
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Old 08-16-2012, 06:22 PM   #17
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I was entertained for forty-two minutes, or whatever it is these days. I thought it was kind of weird they went to the Ford proving ground and all they apparently decided to do there was go 0-100-0. Didn't this place have anything else interesting to do? Certainly there must've been something better than the teargas idea.

The dirt challenge was lame given one of the cars was AWD, but I still found it amusing enough to watch.

In the last segment with the Z06, I enjoyed watching Tanner drive the crap out of that car. These sort of nonsensical "races" are as lame on the UK show as they are here, but I still enjoy watching the driving talent. I thought some of the editing oddly emphasized that there were multiple different "takes" being used.
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Old 08-16-2012, 06:27 PM   #18
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Speaking of the dirt challenge, did Adam actually win on time? Adam skipped eating about 3/4 of a donut, and then finished in 2:12, and they gave him a one-minute penalty, to put him at 3:12. Tanner threw about half a donut out the window, sped through the shooting section, and then when he finished, they told him he also got a one-minute penalty, putting him at 3:33. Does that mean his actual time was 2:33, and that Adam beat him by over 20 seconds? I find that hard to believe.

And I totally agree on the Ford Proving Ground footage. I guess they showed some footage of the three cars cruising around on the high-speed test track, but you would think they would have made better use of that facility. A 0-100-0 challenge can be performed on any old abandoned runway. By the way, the 0-100-0 challenge is a staple on Tanner's "Battle of the Supercars" show.
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:38 PM   #19
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Speaking of the dirt challenge, did Adam actually win on time? Adam skipped eating about 3/4 of a donut, and then finished in 2:12, and they gave him a one-minute penalty, to put him at 3:12. Tanner threw about half a donut out the window, sped through the shooting section, and then when he finished, they told him he also got a one-minute penalty, putting him at 3:33. Does that mean his actual time was 2:33, and that Adam beat him by over 20 seconds? I find that hard to believe.
Like so many of their challenges, there is so much cheating and/or sabotaging going on to really determine a winner.
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:05 PM   #20
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Like so many of their challenges, there is so much cheating and/or sabotaging going on to really determine a winner.
I'm not worried so much about the "winner" or whether there was cheater. I'm just surprised Adam's time appeared to be faster than Tanner's, but over 20 seconds. Tanner is never slower in challenges where driving skill is the primary factor.
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Old 08-17-2012, 08:47 PM   #21
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I'm not worried so much about the "winner" or whether there was cheater. I'm just surprised Adam's time appeared to be faster than Tanner's, but over 20 seconds. Tanner is never slower in challenges where driving skill is the primary factor.
There was no way they would have let Adam or Rutledge drive that Z06! The outcome of the challenge was already set in stone before it began. I still enjoyed it anyway.
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:58 PM   #22
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There was no way they would have let Adam or Rutledge drive that Z06! The outcome of the challenge was already set in stone before it began. I still enjoyed it anyway.
Again, I don't think the driving of the Vette had anything to do with who won the cop car challenges. I don't care at all who won the cop car challenges. I'm simply commenting on the fact that it appears Adam drove the course faster than Tanner, and I find that surprising.
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:29 PM   #23
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They cut a lot out..Tanner probably took longer on the donut or something.
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Old 08-18-2012, 03:35 AM   #24
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I don't see any reason to expect the times they announced had anything to do with reality, or that they even drove the course in an uninterrupted lap as depicted.
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Old 08-18-2012, 09:13 AM   #25
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They cut a lot out..Tanner probably took longer on the donut or something.
Tanner spent a very long time doing donuts. Way longer than Adam.
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Old 08-23-2012, 04:28 PM   #26
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Just got around to watching the first episode of the season. I understand they have 3 hosts and there's the Big Three, but I really would have liked for the car from Carbon Motors to be part of the test. While the other cars are police versions of civilian cars they are still versions of familiar cars, unlike the Carbon Motors vehicle.

I got a little excited when they went to the Ford facility in Romeo, MI. I went there for work in the 90s and got to ride around on the high speed oval, straightaway, rough roads, steep hills and over curbs at speed. I spent 3 days there and got to ride around a bunch, but unfortunately some union rules prevented me from driving anything there. ( probably something about insurance too ) Too bad they only did the oval, especially when they mentioned one of the cars being designed to handle hitting curbs at speed.
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Old 08-23-2012, 05:58 PM   #27
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Is the Carbon Motors concept even still in the pipeline? I thought I read awhile back that it had hit some snags and was unlikely to ever be produced.
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:54 PM   #28
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Is the Carbon Motors concept even still in the pipeline? I thought I read awhile back that it had hit some snags and was unlikely to ever be produced.
Yeah, pretty much what I heard. The DoE loan that they were depending on was unceremoniously yanked; they were going through some motions to try and get it reinstated, but last I heard the chances of that is laughable.
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:53 PM   #29
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re: the Corvette

I live in Wake County where that car is. I suspect that the one on the show was a replica, A) because I don't think the Wake County sheriff would let them borrow it for this purpose, particularly completely across the country, and B) it is or was an unmarked car here, whereas the show version had all kinds of markings. Local article from 2009:

WRAL

and confirmed, that is not Wake County's car:

News and Observer
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Old 08-26-2012, 05:25 PM   #30
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Is the Carbon Motors concept even still in the pipeline? I thought I read awhile back that it had hit some snags and was unlikely to ever be produced.
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Yeah, pretty much what I heard. The DoE loan that they were depending on was unceremoniously yanked; they were going through some motions to try and get it reinstated, but last I heard the chances of that is laughable.
The Carbon Motors car is more than just "dead to me." As far as I was concerned, it was vaporware, with lots of pie-in-the-sky promises.

I think even Preston Tucker had more working prototypes than CM did.
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