It's called Hyperdrive and it's awesome.
American TV aimed at automotive enthusiasts has been caught in a mire of cheap drudgery for a long time. The vast majority are relentlessly formulaic reality shows that might as well all be called Dude Bro' Garage, where an artificial time limitation is inflicted on a restoration or custom car build while scripted drama between employees plays out. On top of that, the shows are typically punctuated by annoying ad breaks mainly featuring chiseled middle-aged men using detailing products on a classic yet vanilla muscle car.
There's been a gap in the market for something that showcases a car and driver's performance while introducing a reality competition aspect for some time, and Netflix has the budget to pull it off. The streaming company's first swing at original car programming is a spectacular show called Hyperdrive, and billed as being like Fast and Furious but in real life.
While the show does have that Fast and Furious vibe, there's also a big dose of American Ninja Warrior in the format as the amateur drivers in their custom-built cars hurtle through the outrageous and specially designed obstacle courses.
There's plenty of burnouts, drifting, stunts, and the real-life stories of the amateur drivers taking part to try and become the very first Hyperdrive champion. It's not pure testosterone either as there is a strong representation of female driving talent on show. The drivers are also from diverse backgrounds all over the world and it makes for a strong and varied mix, particularly when you see their cars which range from crazily built Mustangs and Camaros to Nissan 240 and 350Z models and even the odd but fast British classic.
The show takes place in a 100-acre industrial complex in Rochester, New York, and set up with 10 crazy obstacles, including a six-story seesaw called "the leveler" that gives an advantage to heavier cars on the descent, and a rail slide for cars. There are four presenters for Hyperdrive, with the lineup consisting of two well known professional sports commentators, Rutledge Wood (who we know from American Top Gear and NASCAR coverage), and, for some reason, a British UFC fighter named Micheal Bisping.
While Hyperdrive can be a little hyperbolic and shouty for some, it is something different and exciting when it comes to automotive TV programming. Some of it is dumbed down and there's a lot of table-setting before some of the events, but it ultimately adds to the personal aspect of what's looking like an entertaining reality competition series that car enthusiasts can enjoy.