Fifth Gear Was on Velocity Last Night, and Why You Should Care

British motoring show Fifth Gear aired on Discovery's Velocity network last night. With the presidential debate and a new episode of South Park both on during the 10PM time slot, you'd be forgiven for not watching. I did, and it was great. I say 'great' in the context of "Top Gear USA" being complete shit, "The Car Show" not being renewed by the Speed network, who has had its head up its collective ass since they became the NASCAR-network, and the original "Top Gear" being too much at times. What I'm trying to say is, its a good show, made better by the lack of true automotive magazine TV shows. The show is hosted by former Top Gear presenter Tiff Needell. I've always liked Needell, but he can be a little too animated at times. I'd love for him to tone it down, and just play it cool- if so he could have the demeanor of an aging British rockstar- in the best way possible. Needell is joined by presenters Jason Plato, Jonny Smith, and the lovely Vicki Butler-Henderson. Their chemistry is terrific, and seems quite natural. Playful, yet not over the top. The high-powered metal was there, in the form of Bentley Continental GTC, Jaguar XKR-S, Aston Martin DBS Volante- all pitted against the Mercedes-Benz SLS-AMG. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r15yqy9Xlig&feature=relmfu Johnny then test drove the Audi A1 Quattro, totally throwing it in our face that. He took the car out on the ice with the help of Swedish rally racing legend Stig Blomqvist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GzIYyNjqiw Where Top Gear trades in cinematic epicness, Firth Gear holds its own in terms of production value. 5G is also a more practical car show, doing team reviews on typical road cars. The crew also covered automotive-related smartphone apps, proving that they are actually in tune to current automotive trends. They still have a flair for the dramatic, as Vicki went to an armored vehicle proving grounds, which is downright intriguing. She got to play with a 5.8-ton Land Cruiser. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0GH4oYt0UM The effect is that of a true automotive variety show. Where Top Gear has international appeal from car fans and non car fans alike, Fifth Gear is the show for those looking to actually learn more about new cars…and much like the customer buying a Mercedes-Benz C-Class because there are just too many damn BMW 3 Series on the road, the show can also be an alternative to the sensationalistic antics of Top Gear. The show will continue to air on Velocity, Wednesdays at 10PM EST. We are very curious to see how the ratings do against the likes of TG-USA and the lackluster MotorWeek...

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