Did you catch the final Top Gear episode of 2007? The Savage X 4.6 was featured on the show! Top Gear staffers contacted Mirage UK, distributors of HPI and Hot Bodies kits and gear in the United Kingdom, about using the Savage on the widely viewed and critically acclaimed automotive television programme.
If you haven't seen the Top Gear episode yet and don't want any 'spoilers', set your recorders on BBC2 for midnight on Christmas Day, when the show will be re-broadcast. However, if you've already seen the show and want to know the background of how the segment came about, plus some behind-the-scenes secrets, read on! Mirage staff members Greg Hill and David Bone traveled from the East Midlands to the Swindon Science Museum for two days of filming with the Top Gear crew, including car and racing enthusiast Richard Hammond and Top Gear's mystery racer 'The Stig'. (No, we weren't able to figure out who The Stig really is!) The G-Wiz used for the original race only had a top speed of about 40 mph, so the effort required to make it win a drag race against a Ford Shelby Mustang GT with over 300 horsepower! In addition to massive 100kg servos on the front wheels, plus several gigantic & heavy 100v batteries, the G-Wiz needed 4 huge electric motors attached to the rear wheels to give it the power to stand tall in a straight-up fight against the iconic American muscle car. A very serious amount of time and expense went into the heavy modifications, and the Top Gear mechanic's shop did a truly ace job getting everything working perfectly for the Stig to drive! Behind-the-scenes secret: The shot in which the Hot Bodies Lightning Stadium 2 Pro was run over by the Stig's G-Wiz had to be shot a few times, and the tough truck just kept coming back for more, just needing an adjustment here or there for the bodyshell or wing, and a restart from time to time. Both trucks used for the Top Gear shoot were brand new and directly out of the box. The Savage X 4.6 was run-in briefly, and then went right out in front of the cameras. What did it have to handle? How about several laps around the full-size race track, with a chase vehicle for the camera crew? Top-speed runs on a long straight of a full-size race track, with no slow track sections to cool the engine, are never good for nitro RC engines, but that's what the Savage X 4.6 had to put up, time after time. There was no down time to fix or replace anything on the Savage, which is important when it comes to filming a television show. Time is money when the crew is standing around and the cameras are rolling! The Top Gear crew really appreciated the consistency and power of the Savage, and the hardy truck ticked off lap after lap without a pause. When it came time to blow up the Stig's mighty electric G-Wiz, Top Gear explosives experts rigged the car with 6.5 kilos (over 15 pounds!) of explosives to make it really kick off. The Savage was hooked up with a special detonator to blow up the car, however the explosives had to be set off with a remote trigger. And does anyone want to guess if the Savage was able to run after being blown up? Apart from a melted bodyshell and a couple of linkages needing to be re-attached, the Savage was able to start up and drive away! Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond couldn't believe how tough the Savage is!
We hope you enjoyed this amazing holiday treat! If you want to watch the RC segment again or even the whole show, check out the BBC's YouTube channel or see the full segment on YouTube here! Remember, you can watch again Christmas night, at midnight, on BBC2!