Even Google hasn't been able to capture the Rubicon Trail!
If you can't wait for Top Gear's return next month or the beginning of Clarkson's new show on Amazon in the autumn, then perhaps you should check in on Top Gear USA. We know that the show has received some flack for not being the original Top Gear, but the US version had its season premier this past week, and wow, did it impress! On the first of two episodes, show hosts Rutledge Wood, Tanner Foust and Adam Ferrara take three cheap SUVs on the infamous Rubicon Trail in California, one of the toughest off-road trails in the world.
Completing this trail is tough enough, but the Top Gear USA gang had the added challenge off attempting to capture the entire 22-mile length of the trail with a camera. After completing the Rubicon, they would take the footage to Google to use on its Streetview. Top Gear used a high-resolution iStar camera from NCTech that captures 360 degree images. Even after Rutledge Wood flipped over his Toyota 4Runner, the camera survived the intense beating of the trail. Top Gear was able to deliver over 6,000 images to Google, around 2,000 of which will be uploaded to Streetview. Unfortunately, some of the pictures were a bit sideways when the SUVs were climbing over rocks. We told you the Rubicon was tough!
This task was extremely challenging, and NCTech was clearly the right camera for the job. "When we heard what Top Gear were hoping to do, we were instantly interested because the project was a perfect fit for the easy-to-use and rugged capabilities of iSTAR," said Neil Tocher, Co-Founder and CTO, NCTech. "We assisted their team build a mounting plate so the iSTAR could be easily attached to any of their vehicles, sent them some quick instructions on how to use the camera and set them loose with it!" Top Gear USA then followed up this impressive challenge with a showdown of America vs Europe. The three hosts started by driving three cheap European cars to prove their unreliability.
The Alfa Romeo Spider, Porsche 944, and Jaguar XJS all kind of proved the stereotype of European unreliability. The the hosts then took more modern European models to see how improved they would be. Obviously, the Ferrari F12, Porsche 911 GT3, and McLaren 650S were far superior to those older European cars. However, when these cars are put in a final showdown against the Dodge Viper ACR, none of them could beat the American beast! The two episodes are truly worth watching, and we recommend you do so as soon as possible. Get over your preconceived opinions on Top Gear USA, because the show is back and better than ever!