Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Top Gear US Season 2 Episode 10 "Muscle Cars"

On this episode, it is all about American muscle cars and Patrick Warburton does a lap in the Suzuki SX4.

Segment 1: Muscle Car Competition Introduction

2012 Dodge Challenger SRT-8
2012 Ford Mustang GT 5.0
2012 Chevrolet Corvette SS
The guys each pick a current muscle car and meet up at a specific location. Rutledge arrives first in a 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT-8. Adam arrives next in a 2012 Ford Mustang GT 5.0. Adam says he has the only muscle car. His Mustang can go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds and has 412 hp. Adam says that the Mustang is perfect. Rutledge brings up the terrible Mustang Mk. II, the 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder Mustangs. Tanner arrives last in a 2012 Chevrolet Camaro SS with an automatic transmission. The guys ask Tanner if he would by a new Camaro, and Tanner was just silent. Tanner's Camaro has 400 hp. The guys drive 20 miles to the L.A. River for their first challenge. When the guys arrive at the L.A. River, they see classic versions of their muscle cars.

Segment 2: Classic/Modern Muscle Car Drag Race

1970 Dodge Challenger

1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302
1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS
For the first challenge, The guys are competing in drag race. The guys start the race in the classic muscle cars, reach the halfway point, get into the modern muscle cars, and cross the finish line. First one to cross the finish line wins. Rutledge takes an early lead in the 1970 Challenger. Tanner is the first to get into the modern car and drives off. Tanner is the first to cross the line in the Camaro. Rutledge finished second and Adam finished third. The first challenge goes to Tanner and the Camaro. The guys drive 60 miles to a drive-in theater in Riverside, CA for the second challenge.

Segment 3:  Muscle Car Handling Test.

For the second challenge, the guys would test their muscle car driving skills. The guys have to complete a slalom course in the parking lot followed by a 360 degree turn around a flag and race back to the starting line. The guys would also be connected to an electronic muscle stimulator, to give the twitchy feeling of driving a classic muscle car. The one with the fastest time wins. Adam is the first to go. The electrodes were connected to his chest. Tanner and Rutledge waste time as Adam keeps getting shocks. Adams does the course in 48 seconds. Rutledge goes second and connects the electrodes to his stomach. Rutledge does the course in 50.75 seconds. Tanner goes last and connects the electrodes to his cheeks. His time was not revealed, but it was slower than Adam's. Adam won the second challenge.

Segment 4: Tuner Mustang Race

Roush Stage 3 Mustang

Ford Mustang Boss 302
The segment takes place in Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah, where Tanner and Rutledge test two souped up Mustangs. To test the Mustangs, the guys will be racing from Dead Horse point to the Colorado River against two guys on horseback. Rutledge chose the Roush Stage 3 Mustang. This pony has 540 hp coming from a supercharged 5.0L V8 and cost $60,000. Tanner chose the Ford Mustang Boss 302. This pony has a 5.0L V8 that puts out 444 hp. Here are the routes for the races. The horses will travel 7 miles through rough terrain. The two Mustangs will travel on the pavement, which covers a distance of 46 miles and goes around the cliffs. The race is a relay races, cars versus horses. Tanner will start the race of in the Boss 302, and hand off a satchel to Rutledge at the halfway point. The race starts and Tanner is limited to 25 mph by the speed limit sign. Tanner reaches the 75 mph limit road and takes off. Tanners says the Boss 302 felt pretty balanced and composed through S turns. The guys on horseback are first to make the hand-off. At the halfway point, Tanner does a 180 and drives backwards. He throws the satchel at Rutledge, but it ends up on the ground. Tanner gets into the passenger seat of the Roush and the guys are off. Rutledge slows down to 22 mph when he reaches a 30 mph zone. Rutledge speeds up to 47 mph, and the two joke about the speed limit zone. The horse slows down after his gallop and takes it easy on the curvy path. Tanner is giving Rutledge instructions on how to drive. The horses win the race. Back at the hanger, Tanner and Rutledge cannot believe they lost to 2 horses. Now it is time to see how fast the Mustangs will go around the track, so enter the Stig. The show goes to split screen to show the two laps at the same time. The Roush's time was 1:28.9. The Boss 302's time was 1:28.2.

Segment 5: Final Challenge Intro

The guys arrive at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, which NASCAR's home in Southern California, for the third and final challenge. The guys are passed by some NASCAR race cars. The guys pull over to find out their last challenge. The Stig did a lap in each car and set a top speed that the guys must meet. The one who is closest to the top speed set by the Stig wins. The guys modify their cars. Tanner made a front splitter out of garden edging plastic for the Camaro. Rutledge made smiley face out of tape on the grill of the Challenger. Adam put fake sponsor stickers on the Mustang, including "Free Beer" in a few places. Adam is up first and has to match 153 mph set by the Stig. Adam does a burnout and is off. The show returns to the hanger for Big Star, Small Car.

Segment 6: Patrick Warburton in a Suzuki

Patrick Warburton
Patrick Warburton in this episode's celebrity guess. He says he is not a great driver. He is fearless and dumb behind the wheel. He does his lap and returns to the hanger and is greeted by Rutledge, who is a big fan of Patrick. Rutledge brings up that Patrick is the voice of Joe Swanson on Family Guy, David Puddy on Seinfeld, and he was the Tick. Patrick had Chevrolet truck with 44" wheels. He also had a Dodge Viper and a Dodge Charger R/T with a 440 Hemi engine. His time was 1:41.8, which dethroned Arlene Tur as the fastest guest on Top Gear US.

Segment 7: Muscle Car Competition Conclusion.

The show returns to where the muscle car competition left off. Adam was up first and had to reach 153 mph. Adam reaches 141 mph, 12 mph slower than the Stig. Tanner is up next and has to match 151 mph as set by the Stig. Tanner sets off and his splitter fell off. He went back and retrieved it. He tried to set off again and got busted by his own rule. He told Adam that once you leave pit road, that is it. Tanner hit 74 mph before stopping to retrieve his splitter. That is 77 mph slower that the Stig. Rutledge is the last to go and had to match 152 mph as set by the Stig. Rutledge matched the Stig's speed of 152 mph. That gives Rutledge the win. Each presenter won a challenge so the muscle car challenge ends in a three-way tie.

Overall, this was an entertaining episode. The challenges were entertaining. Patrick Warburton was very interesting as a guest, and seeing the guys get tortured by a muscle stimulator was great. The jokes and the interaction among the three presenters were bad. The high point of the presenter interaction was Tanner telling Rutledge how to drive. It would have been great to seen the Stig drive the muscle cars around the track instead of the presenters telling the audience what top speed they would have to match. It is always nice to see the Stig in an episode.

Final Verdict: 8 Stigs out of 10. This was an entertaining episode and I enjoyed the celebrity guest. The interaction among the presenters was weak.

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