Top Gear’s Japan Special episode shown on BBC 2 on Sunday obviously captured plenty of interest here at Torque GT featuring our very own Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Tommi Makinen Edition along with a blue 300ZX we supplied to a customer in 2016. Unfortunately what you didn’t get to see was our NSX-R that got pulled by the producers at the very last minute as they opted for a base model for the studio. Proof of which can be found in the video below…
As per the title the episode was predominantly set in Japan with Rory exploring Japan’s urban underworld car culture, ranging from Bosozoku to neon Lambos and a road legal Porsche 962 Le Mans car!
Le Blanc and Harris also went to the renowned USS Tokyo car auctions to bag themselves an iconic JDM car which they’d compete in against one another during a series of challenges. The winner would then bring their car back to the UK to sell.
The episode certainly caused a fair bit of controversy mainly surrounding the destruction of 2 iconic Japanese cars. Some describing the actions as… “stupid” and “pointless”… We have to agree that its never nice to see cars being destroyed, least of all cars we’ve been huge fans of for so many years. However, we have seen an argument the other way. First and foremost this is an entertainment show and the destruction of cars has largely been a part of Top Gear and indeed action films for decades. Whether this is fair reason is still up for debate.
There were further murmurings on social media of a disservice to Japanese car culture. We’re again split on this, for many it offered a taste of a car culture they otherwise knew nothing about but on the flip side offered a lack of depth for those more familiar with this unique and colourful culture.
For example we would have much preferred to see Rory weaving through Tokyo traffic in a Honda Beat, Mazda AZ1, Suzuki Cappuccino or even a Honda S660. And a far better spectacle to smashing up the FD and GTT would have been watching both Harris and Le Blanc attempting to hammer it around Ebisu in a properly set up drift car.
A feature that really stood out and left us wanting more was the visit to Fukishima, eye opening and heart felt this was actually really refreshing from Top Gear.
An additional piece many craved more of was the look into Japanese car culture. Bosozoku and LED clad Lamborghinis hinted at how passionate the Japanese are about their cars. As the Youtube feature below indicates there’s a deeper background surrounding this car culture.
Mistaking an EVO 8 for a 7 was probably the biggest blunder that had even the most placid JDM fan shouting at the television but don’t let this deter you from watching!
Catch it now on BBC iPlayer.
Want to avoid buying a colour changed yellow RX7 or a GTT that has seen better days? Check our 5 step Personal import service video…