• Oct 26, 2010
Spinning off shows from British television into American programs are all the rage these days. Just ask anyone who watches The Office, American Idol, The Shield or Life on Mars. But the one we're most excited about, of course, is the U.S. version of Top Gear. A long time coming, the pilot is set to air on the History Channel in about a month. And as the date approaches, details have been trickling in. The latest covers the test track that will be the show's playground.

Like its original British counterpart, the Top Gear test track has reportedly been converted from an old military air base: in this case the Marine Corp's former facility at El Toro in Orange County, California – the same location the NBC project was to use.

The track combines north/south and east/west runways from the former air field. Disused airport runways make great circuits, but there's one downside: no elevation changes, the likes of which make tracks like Spa and Laguna Seca the legends they are. The El Toro configuration ameliorates the situation, however, with a ten-foot drop and subsequent climb through an off-track loop on the right side of the map pictured above, giving it what most runway tracks – like Silverstone and the original Top Gear track in England – don't have.

[Source: Jalopnik]


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  • 17 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      hmm... 10ft elevation drop. Seems like quite the drop for a small distance; wonder how many cars will be bottoming out...
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is the track that all of the car magazines use to test cars in Southern California and I am a bit surprised that the AutoBlog guys do not already know that. I have been tasked to test a couple of manufacturer's cars there myself in the past on the skidpad and through the cones because of my former pro racing experience. Road & Track, Car and Driver, Automobile and Motor Trend are there on a daily basis flogging the cars their advertisers promote. Perhaps the top gear america guys are there as well - it is always for rent for television as well and I have seen it on Tommy Kendall's infomercial show Test Drive many times.

      What can you say about Top Gear that hasn't been said.?. In the UK they are long time journalists (read English speakers) and here they are car guys and comedians. The essence of the British show is its literacy. It remains to be seen if people who barely got out of high school will be as good. Notice that it is on History Channel and not BBC America. Both are owned by the evil Rupert Murdoch - as are 21 other channels including Speed and National Geographic...I think he does not wish to have a direct comparison made - for good reason.

      CA
      • 4 Years Ago
      american tv has long copied from the brits... long ago hits like "sanford and son" did the same. It just wasn't as well known back then.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It may not be quite the fun engineering spectacle as the Lotus designed track was, and it isn't as refined, but she's got curves. And to wear a hairpin like that, sexy.
      • 4 Years Ago
      american top gear? who cares top gear without jeremy richard and james? i will definitely stick to british version which i think is both entertaining and petrol-head.

      making a comedian as the host of it won't make it better, just will make it cheaper...
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think the real question that has yet to be answered is what are the names of the turns? I'm interested to see what the American version of "The Hammerhead" is called...
        • 4 Years Ago
        I want to know who TG USA's "Gambon" will be. Morgan Freeman?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Who cares? Why do we have to Americanize everything for our consumption? Tanner Foust is a great driver, but as a host he seriously lacking in personality. They should just play the original on Discovery on Sunday nights at 9.
        • 4 Years Ago
        why do British have to Anglocize everything? why do the French have to Francocize everything? why do the Chinese have to Sinocize everything?

        To suit their market.

        Look, Top Gear USA isn't trying to replace Top Gear UK. It's trying to supplement it. It's going to cover cars that may be of more interest to Americans or cars that are actually offered in America.
      • 4 Years Ago
      man theres been so much complaining that it almost sounds to me like the real fact people don't like the idea of top gear america is cause they don't want to be against the crow of people that are against it, i call em naive fan-boys.

      what they don't seem to get is that if they brought the show (original top gear) most Americans wouldn't watch it because 1 its not based here in america and 2 it shizzz on anything american(for the most part) the people wouldn't get it and the show would flop. but with top gear america the show has a chance too build from the ground up get people more accustomed too top gear and warm them up also too the original top gear.

      and other then what Ive explained up top, whats the freaking problem with having 2 quality car shows now? its like saying ill take that Bugatti Veyron but you can keep the Ferrari 458 when offered both!

      so just enjoy!
      *and my rant is over
        • 4 Years Ago
        damn not crow i meant crowd
        • 4 Years Ago
        Agreed. Worst case scenario is that it's bad, then don't watch it, Top Gear UK will still be there. Best case scenario is that it's great and we have two awesome car shows. I don't get what people are complaining about.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I hear ya! Unfortunately, comment sections of blog sites have given depressed and bored people something to do. They need to get out more and stop commenting on things their not passionate about. I know we all heard as children that "If you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all!"
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