Car Throttle’s ‘Transit vs. Car Challenges’ Have What You Miss About Classic Top Gear
Top Gear-esque, in a very good way.
YouTube automotive powerhouse Car Throttle recently posted a video that pitted regular characters Ethan and Jack against Alex in a good ol’ fashion “get to this point first” challenge. It’s a friendly rivalry of public trans versus cars, and it’s a lot of fun to watch.
In this case, Ethan and Jack would take public transportation to reach England’s northern border with Scotland near Berwick-upon-Tweed (the real name of a real place), whereas Alex would try to beat them there behind the wheel of a brand-new BMW M4 Competition. Whichever party reached the border first, won, and the losing party would have to go for a dip in the frigid Northern Sea, a couple of hundred feet away.
If this sounds familiar, old Top Gear was the first to do a similar kind of race back in the mid-aughts, and did it quite well. Their races are some of my favorite Top Gear episodes ever due to cool camera work, shit-talking, and generally comical dialogue. I wouldn’t say Car Throttle is ripping them off, but rather following in these footsteps quite well. Three dudes who do really well together on screen, and excellent dialogue that doesn’t seem scripted is always a solid watch for sure. Some other newer media have tried Top Gear challenge-like content, and haven’t been that good at it. The Car Throttle guys do it brilliantly.
The hijinks that ensue between Ethan, Jack, and Alex are very funny, making its 27ish-minute video not enough. I wish it was a longer challenge that would naturally include more hijinks and hilarious dialogue.
It’s a bit of a nail-biter at times. Partially because Alex’s M4’s range is just under the distance to drive to his destination, making the potential for traffic and everyday highway inconveniences major pretty big concerns. Another is Ethan and Jack have a ticketing hiccup that puts them a bit behind schedule, putting them in a stressful scenario early on.
It’s also a reminder that the UK and rest of Europe have such excellent public transportation, as well as really smooth roadways. I’m forever jealous of them for that.
Check out the video, it’s a good watch for sure!