Top Gear

Going Sideways: The Reliant Robin Road Test

I consider myself a pretty knowledgeable car guy, but I am ashamed to admit that prior to watching this episode for the first time, I had never heard of a Reliant Robin. I didn’t think that any automaker would be bold enough to put a single wheel at the front, but I stand corrected. The Reliant Robin is proof that there are wacky enough people out there to try some ridiculous things.

Throughout the last few seasons of the Clarkson-era Top Gear and the first season of The Grand Tour, one of the major complaints was that the show was “too scripted” and “not unpredictable enough.” Those are all valid criticisms that I mostly agree with, but this Series 15, Episode 1 road test shows that when a scripted segment is done correctly, it can be brilliant.

I expected some mishaps to occur; I just didn’t expect them to occur as soon as Jeremy tackled the first turn, roughly 5 seconds into the segment. The first time I saw it, it legitimately shocked me and I actually gasped, even though I knew that Jeremy knew what he was doing. It was just the suddenness of it all and the hilarity that ensued. Having a collection B-list celebrities randomly show up only made things funnier.

Things got even crazier when Jeremy made an appearance in a BBC News broadcast. Watching Jeremy’s Robin hurtle into a live newscast, as planned as it waS, pretty much made my day. We all knew it was going to happen, but we all couldn’t wait regardless. That’s a good sign that you have a wonderfully produced segment and your audience doesn’t even care how blatantly scripted it was.

Hilarity aside, I actually learned something new from this segment and now have a bit more knowledge on the Reliant Robin than I previously had. If anything else, I now know there is such a thing as a Reliant Robin with a Starsky and Hutch paint job, and that’s something I never knew the world needed.

Tony Hsieh

Cars, the Buffalo Bills, video games, comics, sandwiches, jelly beans, and the shooting star press; these are the things that Tony loves (in addition to his family, of course). When he's not spending his time writing tech reviews for, Tony puts his lifetime love of muscle cars to use on his 2015 Mustang GT. Tony's top three favorite cars are the 1973 Mustang Mach 1, Ferrari 458, and Aston Martin DBS.

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