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Americans! Coming up in Top Gear USA this Tuesday: small cars, big country…
So, what’s the best tiny car in America? More importantly, does Lilliputian transport even make sense in the United States? To find out, the boys pick the three smallest cars sold in America and head to the Bayou.
Adam chooses the Fiat 500, Rutledge squeezes into the Scion IQ and Tanner stretches out in the Smart Fortwo Passion. The find out how these cars fare in their natural urban habitat, the boys meet up in the French Quarter of New Orleans, and their first challenge has them mouse through The Big Easy’s maze of streets and warehouses.
If you want to find out whether a small car works for the average American, you need to leave the well-paved, washed and exercised confines of the city. The boys head to the swamps, where the relationship between car and owner is just as often about survival and income.
Only locals can correctly pronounce the name of their playground, the Atchafalaya Swamp, where they drive trucks three times taller than the host’s cars are long. The New Orleans natives agree to gives the host’s micro machines a chance by having them help hunt for dinner: Nutria, which are rodents of unusually large size and apparently tasty.
The boys decide that they should make a few modifications to up the cars’ macho quotients before the hunt. Think camo, gun accessories and polyurethane testicles. Hitting the trail with loaded weapons, blood lust, and very small cars, our hosts attempt to impress the locals. No dead nutria result from the effort– only damage to egos and undercarriages.
Failure means having to pick up protein for a BBQ; on offer are local delicacies like dead gators and live mudbugs. After an intimate ride with deceased, large reptiles, the locals offered one more chance for small car redemption: Tug of war with an airboat. Said airboat’s V8 displaces more cubic inches than the engines in all three cars combined.
The loser of the small car challenge, Rut, is given the opportunity or punishment, depending on how you look at it, to drive one of the smallest cars in the world around their hometown. Rut sees the upside and establishes the Peel Trident as the smallest pace car in history.
Don’t miss the action on the History Channel this Tuesday, 8/9c as usual. See you then, and don’t forget you can catch up with all things Top Gear USA on the official History Channel page, and on the Top Gear USA Facebook page.