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Magazine / Motor Week

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"Hello, and welcome to MotorWeek! We're glad to have you with us."

Motor Week (stylized as a single word: MotorWeek) is a long-lived American TV automotive magazine series produced by Maryland Public Television and featured on various PBS affiliates nationally since 1981. Billing itself as "Television's Original Automotive Magazine", it is basically formatted as a car magazine for television. Accordingly, the show features automotive news segments, mini-reviews (the "Car Keys" segments are a brief introduction to the features of a recently introduced model that might receive a more in-depth review in the future; the "Long-Term Updates" are updates on how well a car has held up after the review and many miles of use), a DIY repair segment called Your Drive and most recently a news segment on how automotive technology is catching up with municipal and federal "green" initiatives. It can be considered a Transatlantic Equivalent to Top Gear (UK), at least in its original pre-reboot form when it had a more serious and educational tone. Recently, their reviews and conclusions have been criticized for being "soft" and non-objective in their criticism.

Jalopnik holds a regular introspective feature on the magazine, mostly focusing on the earlier years but looking back at recent episodes as well.

MW has an official YouTube channel here. It's not a complete archive - they add new "old" features one roadtest at a time several times a week.

Compare to Top Gear (UK), Car And Driver and Motor Trend (the latter two now mostly known for its Dead Tree-print products but also having both short-lived television series on TNN/Spike TV and now on YouTube).

Come Trope With Us:

  • The Ace:
    • Lisa Barrow was a highly capable off-road driver and thus was their go-to reporter whenever they covered an off-road event.
    • Pat Goss always has the answer for viewer's car care questions, no matter how difficult or off-the-wall.
  • The Alleged Car:
    • Craig Singhaus was prone to drive these. John Davis once noted that the exhaust note heard at the end of each episode (from the late 1980s through the 1990s) is a recording of Singhaus' Ford Mustang with the muffler rotted off.
    • On that note, Singhaus once presented a segment about the "winter beater".
  • Annual Title: From season 7 (1987-88) to season 12 (1992-93). Since the new fall TV season coincided with the North American car industry's new model year, MotorWeek '89 first aired in 1988 and covered 1989-model cars (for example).
  • Ascended Extra: Craig Singhaus and Lisa Barrow can be spotted as nameless test drivers in the early seasons before they became feature reporters in the late 1980s.
  • Boring, but Practical: The whole reason why they eventually ditched the indoor studio filming was because they outgrew it, and thus it was much easier to simply film outside where they had all the space they'd ever need. Similarly, Pat Goss' Garage outgrew several custom-built sets, all of which were fully-functional garages (save for the one used in the pilot, which was just the borrowed backlot of a local gas station).
    • Many, *many* of the cars themselves. Particularly in the early years which coincided with the pit of the Malaise Era of cars.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Craig Singhaus. While he seems like the kind of guy that you wouldn't trust to pull your car into a parking spot, he's actually a capable high-performance driver and was one of the show's longest-serving test drivers, having been with the show from its very earliest seasons before being promoted to a feature reporter.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Hello, and welcome to MotorWeek! We're glad to have you with us!" (Recent shows, since the early/mid-2010s, however, have John Davis introducing it with "Hi, I'm John Davis, and this is MotorWeek!")
    • "(So) Come drive with us! Next!"
  • Cool Car: There are many cool sports cars throughout the show, like the Dodge Viper RT/10, the Lamborghini Diablo VT, the Lotus Esprit and the Acura NSX.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • During the show's first six seasons in the 1980s, the show had more of a typical "newscast" look with an indoor studio and newsdesk-style presenting. By the start of season 7 in 1987, the show is now presented outdoors with John Davis walking among various cars (used to be the ones actually reviewed in the show, now seemingly random leaning towards high-end, high-performance luxury models).
    • Their review videos didn't have background music until the mid-1990s.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The show is a weekly review of motor vehicles.
  • Large Ham: Craig Singhaus
  • Logo Joke: For a time in the late '80s/early '90s, the fully-formed "Viewers Like You" logo of the time appeared on the license plate of an actual car that the camera zoomed in on as the announcer recited the obligatory credit.
  • Porn Stache: Craig Singhaus sported one of these in the late 1990s.
  • Transatlantic Equivalent: To Top Gear (UK). MotorWeek is arguably an American copy of the original TopGear. In recent years enthusiasts tended to compare MotorWeek unfavorably to TopGear, though this is less than fair given that TopGear was rebooted in 2002 as a personality-driven edutainment program while MotorWeek has been continuously in production with the same staff and presenters and both programs generally have different objectives.