If you would have asked most people whether or not they had high hopes for the new season of Top Gear, dubbed Top Gear America, most would have said flat out “NO”. Now whether or not this is because of the rocky time Top Gear U.K. has had since Clarkson, Hammond, and May’s departure, or because of the overall lackluster performance of the now dead “Top Gear U.S.A.”, the BBC had an uphill battle to climb with TGA.
While there is far from a consensus on Top Gear America, we at AutoMoguls think it was a great effort for their first season. Episode 8, the season finale, was the peak of this effort.
The episode takes us from gas guzzlers of the past, to the electric future. We start off with a trip down memory lane with our hosts as they showcase their very first cars, or in Antron’s case, motorcycle.
We get to see Bill’s 1966 Buick Special 4 Door,
Tom’s Series IIA Landrover (66/67),
and Antron’s 70′ Honda CT70.
Bill also introduces us to his first love as well, the Plymouth Roadrunner.
The final episode of season 1 then takes us on an electrifying journey (too many puns yet?) into the world of electric engine swaps into previously petrol powered (try saying that 5 times fast) cars.
Wookie showcases an electric engine swapped, wait for it, Ferrari 308 GTE.
In stark comparison, Bill takes us down the hippie highway in an all electric 65 Volkswagen “Splitty”. Bill loves the VW so much he even goes so far as to call it his favorite vehicle of the season.
Now if you can personally justify the $18,000 it cost to retrofit the old VW, that’s up to you!
Tom also brings us a truly fantastic, and one of the best segments of the season. Tom showcases a series of brilliant AMG vehicles. From the crazy 1979 500TE wagon, to the all new AMG GTR and GTC, we see it all. Throw in a bit of history and some good old fashion Top Gear hooning and the film is a clear winner.
Make sure and keep an eye out for a cameo by a certain famous racetrack as well.
If the AMG marathon wasn’t enough for you, the episode also has a killer comparison on the Top Gear America track between the electric and a unmodified Ferrari 308 GTE which is a must watch. While the outcome is no surprise, it’s a great way to finish out the season one leader board.
Top Gear America has certainly ended the inaugural season on a high note and we couldn’t be happier about it. While there are some obstacles to overcome and some naysayers to win over, Antron, Tom, Bill, and the BBC have a strong start.
We give the final episode of season 1, a 5 out of 5 stars.
PS: Here’s the terribly embarrassing picture of a young Tom “Wookie” Ford.