Characters: Top Gear (US)
Top Gear is an American TV show about, much like its British counterpart, automobiles and driving.
Tanner Foust ("The Driver")A professional racecar driver, Tanner has four X-Games gold medals and two world records. By far the most skilled driver of the three presenters, Tanner is often the man to beat in challenges. Adam and Rutledge consider him a pain to be around; the fact that Tanner likes to show off to taunt them doesn't help that image. Tanner tends to prefer cars he's familiar with (and thus knows the exact limits of), but failing that will typically go for the closest thing to a supercar he can find.
- The Ace: This is a major point of contention between him and the other two hosts. There was an entire episode of Adam and Rutledge putting Tanner through outlandish challenges to prove he's not such hot stuff. By the end of that episode he held a world speed record and his car had logged the fastest time ever on their track.
- Alternate Company Equivalent: To James May. See Terrified of Germs, and seems to be the most responsible.
- Also see Closet Geek.
- Although he seems to de facto "leader", a trait shared with Jeremy.
- He does sometimes get other very strong Jeremy undertones.
- Catch Phrase: "COME ON!"; "I'm just sayin'..."
- Closet Geek:
- He graduated from the University of Colorado with a bachelor's degree in molecular biology.
- According to Rutledge, Tanner has a habit of trying to describe things by launching into over-the-top scientific explanations.
- The first season DVD extras contain a chapter where Adam and Rutledge mock Tanner for his extensive knowledge of the Peregrine Falcon, with Adam advising viewers to skip the chapter so that they won't have to listen to bird trivia.
- When his cargo during the Big Rig special is revealed to be a set banquet table, he's most unhappy about it being set improperly.
- Fan Nickname / In-Series Nickname: "Race Boy", "Tiny Dancer".
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!
- Jack-of-All-Trades: He competes in rally, drift, ice racing, time attack and rallycross, on top of being a regular stunt driver in movies and commercials.
- Mr. Fanservice
- Older Than He Looks: He was born in 1973.
- Terrified of Germs:
- He has been known to clean the steering wheels of cars used in the cheap cars challenges, as well as preach the superiority of leather upholstery because it is easier to keep clean.
- In the $500 car challenge, when the hosts were instructed to buy stuff to protect them from the absolutely disgusting interiors of their cars, Tanner bought a hazmat suit, complete with a gas mask.
- Verbal Tic: Has a habit of talking a lot and fast when he's lying.
Rutledge Wood ("The Expert")A racing reporter and analyst specializing in NASCAR, Rutledge is a heavyset, bespectacled nerd. That's probably why the other two guys are always picking on him. That, and they find his vehicular preferences laughable. Usually the most sure of himself throughout challenges and prone to bragging, he tends to go for cars that are... unique.
- Ascended Fanboy: Both in his capacity as host of this show and as a racing reporter. He actually has a car that was a gift from Richard Petty.
- Alternate Company Equivalent: To Richard Hammond ironically.
- Bumbling Dad / Makes Sense In Context: Much of what he says and does makes sense once the viewers learns he has young children at home.
- Catch Phrase: Not a phrase, really, but he always gives his used cars a patented heartfelt pep talk.
- Fan Nickname / In-Series Nickname: "Papa Bear".
- Insufferable Genius: He can lapse into this from time to time, except it's more insufferable than genius.
- Nice Shoes: As seen on the website, he has a large collection of shoes.
- Running Gag: The size of his head for Tanner and Adam, his beard for himself.
- Super Senses: According to Tanner, Rutledge "has the nose of a German Shepherd".
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Has a ridiculously weak stomach.
Adam Ferrara ("The Wrecker")An actor and comedian you might recognize from Rescue Me, Adam is described by Rutledge as a "typical New Yorker": brash, loud, and rude. Of the three presenters of the US version, he's the only one who isn't a gearhead by profession, but he's no slouch when it comes to automotive knowledge or appreciation. His taste in cars is largely ruled by aesthetics — when he can, he likes to go big. Infamous for breaking cars during challenges. His comedy skills get a hefty workout in the show.
- Alternate Company Equivalent: To Jeremy Clarkson, judging on how he breaks everything.
- Although he and Tanner show signs of switching places as their presenting styles mature.
- Brooklyn Rage: Although he's actually from Queens.
- During the Big Rig special, he doesn't make it 10 minutes before flipping the others off.
- Catch Phrase: "Aight!"; "Eh?!"; "Perfect!"; "That's not good."
- Cluster F-Bomb
- Deadpan Snarker: Befitting his career as a comedian.
- Drives Like Crazy: Hence the nickname. Admittedly, he's a sensible driver outside of challenges and on regular roads. Still, it's hard to ignore the fact that he's busted nearly all the cars he's used in challenge series.
- Tanner and Rutledge state that Adam's driving style makes perfect sense after having to drive through New York.
- In the last two episodes of season 4, he can't do any actual driving because he went over "a slight cliff" and badly injured his arm.
- The Seventies: A sizable percentage of the cars he chooses for the challenges are from this era. Tanner lampshaded this in the Texas challenge.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: As revealed in the Alaska special, Adam is quite afraid of bears.
The hosts collectively
- Big Guy, Little Guy/One Head Taller: Rutledge is bigger and taller than Adam and Tanner.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners
- Power Trio
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork
- Vitriolic Best Buds
- Universal Driver's License
- Ascended Fanboys