Top Gear TV Shifts To Car Crazy China

Top Gear is a BBC-produced automotive TV series that debuted on UK TV in 1977. Since then, the show's high-octane mix of cool cars, witty commentary and pedal to the metal road tests by The Stig have powered Top Gear into a multi-media phenomenon that boasts an estimated 350 million viewers worldwide. Top Gear has spun off international productions in the United States, Australia and (for a short time) Russia, so shifting the show to car-crazy, upwardly mobile China was only a matter of time.

Top Gear China will be hosted by Cao Yunjin (left), a 36-year-old Chinese film star and TV personality with one or more yet to be named co-hosts, as per the UK Top Gear's format.

Don't expect the sort of shocking stunts that helped make the original Top Gear famous to make the cultural jump to Top Gear China, however. “The boys (Top Gear UK hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May) go crazy, like pushing a Maserati over the top of a three-story building and smashing it,” explained host Cao Yunjin. “It may be too much violence for a fun program in China. We will do more localized fun stuff.”

Such as comparing a Cadillac to a donkey, for instance? No joke: in Top Gear China's pilot episode, Cao & company pit a Cadillac SUV against a donkey in a millstone-pushing contest to see which “vehicle” is more efficient at performing chores around the collective farm.

Cao won't reveal who won but regardless of the Caddy having more, er, horsepower, you can bet your a$$ the local favorite won't lose face! (via Global Times and The Tycho)