'Top Gear' (USA) Recap: 'Taxis'
Being a taxi driver is no easy feat. Just ask Richard Hammond, who attempted to do just that in this season of Richard Hammond's Crash Course. Yet that's not going to stop the Top Gear hosting trio from trying. And earning a disclaimer that says "Local authorities monitored the filming of this show. No laws were broken."
Our heroes Adam Ferrara, Tanner Foust and Rutledge Wood are in Las Vegas, as Tanner tells us that being a taxi driver is supposedly one of the worst jobs in the country, partly because of the cars they're stuck with. It's therefore up to Adam, Tanner and Rutledge to fix this problem - but not before Tanner gives Adam and Rutledge whiplash showing off a BMW M5 in a parking garage. Unfortunately, the M5 is out of the average taxi driver's price range, so what vehicle would feasibly fit the bill?
Tanner thinks it's the Scion xB, specifically one built by his old drift team, so it's got a few tricks up its sleeve. Rut believes it's a 1984 Chevrolet El Camino, and its interesting outside passenger seating. And Adam shows up in..an ambulance. Or "AmbuTaxi," as it says on the side. He plans to make liberal use of its lights and siren. Clearly, they all have drastically different opinions of what a good taxi ought to be.
With the cars picked out and several initial insults slung, it's time for the usual Top Gear series of challenges. The guys' first test takes place at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Tanner, of course, has to arrive in a cloud of smoke. But this task isn't about style, it's about speed: picking up a family (an inflatable one), loading them aboard and getting them back to the finish line in the shortest time possible. Adam takes 1:50, Rut does 1:10 (but may have killed his passengers under their own luggage), and Tanner completely loses the plot. He takes off with his hatch open, causing suitcases and a few people to fall out of the Scion. One of them even ends up under a tire. Definitely not customer satisfaction, and a time of 2:43 besides.
Part two is the taxi-oriented equivalent of an obstacle course, with the two other hosts and some giant drinks along for the ride. When Adam's ambulance brakes, Tanner and Rutledge spill their beverages all over themselves, and eventually decide to just throw the water on each other. However, the drinks Adam has belted into the front seat survive just fine. Tanner's not so lucky in that department, so he elects to just throw the drinks out the door, leaving Adam and Rut to hang on for dear life in the back seat as he slides all over the course. Rut puts everything - passengers and beverages - in the back seat, but the unattended drinks fall onto Adam and Tanner almost immediately, and the guys decide they'll just fight with each other (and the PA system) for the rest of the trip. Tanner even flips Rutledge the double bird at the end of the ride.