On Episode 8, Rutledge reviews a four-door Porsche, Tanner and Rutledge try to find the quickest mode of transportation from Hollywood to Las Vegas, Bret Michaels rocks the Suzuki, and Tanner reviews the BWM X6M.

Warning: Spoilers are in the review

Segment 1: Rutledge reviews the Four-Door Porsche

Porsche Panamera

Rutledge starts out by showing the front half of a Porsche revealing the front door. He then opens a sliding gate to reveal the rear of a Porsche with a rear door. He reviews the Porsche Panamera Turbo. He says the four-door Porsche has supercar speed. The Panamera is the first sedan made by Porsche and Rutledge says, “Pretty it is not.” Rutledge is also confused by all the buttons inside the car. He also is confused by the name “Panamera.” Rutledge does say that the rear seats are comfortable and has plenty of leg space and head room. Rutledge says the car drives like a sports car. The car feels amazing to drive. The Panamera Turbo is powered by a twin turbo 4.8L V8 that produces 500 hp and weighs over 4300 lbs. It goes from 0 to 60 in 3.4 seconds, which is just fast for any car. The car has all-wheel drive and has a retractable wing. The Panamera has a stop/start system to save gas when the car is at a complete stop and has launch control. Rutledge gets the sedan up to 167 mph before running out of runway. This car review is the first to be done on a runway and is reminiscent of the way Top Gear UK reviews cars. The show returns to the studio with the guys standing in front of the Panamera. Panameras start at $74,000 for the base model and the Panamera Turbo starts at $134,000. Rutledge says the $74,000 price for the basic Panamera is a pretty good deal. However, Rutledge says he would not buy one. The Panamera is then given to the Stig who drives the car around the test track in 1:25.3.

Segment 2: Car vs. Plane

Ferrari California

Tanner and Rutledge are given the age old question “What is the faster way to get from Hollywood to Las Vegas, flying or driving?” The guys will be travelling 500 miles. They meet outside the Grauman’s Chinese Theater and are given two envelopes. One has keys and the other has a flight ticket. Tanner would drive and Rutledge would fly. Tanner opens the envelope to reveal a Ferrari key and parking ticket for the garage where the car is. Rutledge would have to travel 12 miles to get to LAX, then fly to Las Vegas and get to the Bellagio Hotel and Casino. Tanner gets to the parking garage to find out he will be driving a Ferrari California. He then hits the highway. After waiting 10 minutes, Rutledge finally gets a taxi. Tanner, having been distracted by the transmission of the Ferrari, missed his exit. Rutledge, meanwhile, is stuck in traffic. After 45 minutes in traffic, Rutledge finally gets to LAX. Tanner explains the body of the Ferrari and how some people see the California as too feminine to wear the prancing horse badge. Rutledge finds out his flight has been delayed. Rutledge finally gets on the plane, while Tanner is getting low on fuel. To conserve fuel, Tanner drafts behind a semi, something Enzo Ferrari would frown at. Tanner spots a sign for a gas station that was not on his GPS, but the gas station was abandoned. Tanner immediately gets back on the road. Rutledge is just relaxing in the plane. Tanner eventually finds a gas station in Baker, California. Tanner is nearly out of California and calls to find out if Rutledge had landed. The call went straight to voicemail. Rutledge was still in the air. Rutledge lands in Las Vegas as Tanner reaches Nevada. Rutledge gets his suitcase and informs Tanner that he is waiting for a taxi. Tanner lies that he could see the Las Vegas strip as he is 25 miles away. Rutledge takes a taxi to the Bellagio and yells out “Has anyone seen a little Tom Cruise in a ‘girly’ Ferrari?” Tanner finally gets to the strip. The guys are very close to the Bellagio. Both arrive, but editing won’t reveal who arrived first. Tanner is seen lost trying to get to the final spot located in a lounge. Rutledge is so arrogant. He says he smells victory while walking in the Bellagio. Rutledge walks through the lounge and outside, only to see Tanner enjoying his drink. Tanner got Rutledge an appletini for his effort. Tanner won by 4 minutes Rutledge revealed he had a 50 minute delay. Tanner says there are some benefits to winning. He claps and the Bellagio Fountains activate. The show returns to the studio and Tanner confessed that he enjoyed the Ferrari.

Segment 3: Bret Michaels rocks the Suzuki SX4.

Bret Michaels

Bret Michaels is this week’s Big Star in a Small Car and is interviewed by Adam. Bret says he is happy to be alive after all the medical issues he dealt with. Bret just talks about his life as a rocker and a father. Adam brings up a few of Bret’s cars and Harleys. Bret talks about his issues with his Porsche 944. Adam brings up the Poison NASCAR racer. Bret’s lap is shown and he went around the track in 1:44.4. Since Bret was the last star to drive in the Suzuki for Season 1, Adam gives him a helmet with a bandanna rapped around it.

Segment 4: What Class does the BMW X6M Belong in

BMW X6M

Tanner is given the task to review the BMW X6M. Tanners says that the X6M is a Frankenstein car with the front of a BMW X5 fused with the rear of a 5-Series GT and some angry spark plugs. Tanner says that driving the X6M feels like driving a sports car except you are sitting on a ski rack. He says there is something wrong for sitting so high and having so much performance. The car costs $90,000 and could cost $105,000 with extras. It is huge on the outside and small on the inside. The dash is similar to the X5, but the gear shifter is very confusing. Tanner takes the X6M to the track. The car gets 550 hp from a turbocharged V8. 0-60 time is under 4 seconds. Tanner is surprised by how well the X6M handles. Pressing the M button improves the performance of the car. Tanner says the X6M struggles with its own identity. Tanner says the X6M is definitely not a crossover, an SUV, nor is it a sports car. Tanner is blown away by the X6M, but just does not know what to call it. The show returns to the studio and Tanner asks the audience what to call the X6M. Adam says it is a Fastback Utility. Tanner says it is a Sports Utility Coupe. Adam then says it is a Fastback Utility Coupe. The Stig then takes the X6M around the track in 1:30.0. Tanner also reveals that the Stig drove the California around the track in 1:28.5. Adam say that the X6M is a Sports Hatchback Injected Turbo.

Overall, This was an entertaining show. Two Top Gear UK styled reviews. The Stig was seen twice. The challenge answered an important question, “Is it better to fly or drive from LA to Las Vegas?” The jokes at the end were funny. This is one of the stronger episodes from Top Gear US.

Final Verdict: 7 Stigs out of 10. This episode is available at www.history.com

CarJunkie

Originally written on July 23, 2011

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