James May Destroyed 11 Wheels During Top Gear's Range Rover Test (UPDATE: NOT REALLY)

Remember how James May tested the Range Rover against a driverless truck and found the Rangie could monster off road driving with hardly a scratch? That's not exactly how it happened.

It turns out, May never would have finished his battle with a giant self-driving robot if he didn't have a support truck and a huge budget behind him, as Matt Farah of The Smoking Tire explained in his own Evoque test.

When I picked up the Evoque, the representative told me, verbatim:

"James May destroyed 11 rims when he made that film about the Range Rover. They cost us a ton of money. If you plan on off-roading, please don't break our car."

He continued.

Top Gear fucks it up for everyone. Every car they touch comes back WRECKED, (and I know, I've now tested 3 cars immediately after they were done with them). Top Gear, especially in James' Range Rover film, implies things are totally possible that aren't possible without a support truck and a massive budget for cracking 11 rims in a single day, which would have left any normal person stranded. It's not that I don't like Top Gear, it's great as entertainment, but it desensitizes the audience to the difference between what is possible and what is not possible in a car if you don't have an entire support team and a dozen backup rims laying around.

We love TG, and we don't want anything different from the show. We certainly don't mean to say that Top Gear is misleading anyone (we're not Tesla), and frankly, it's kind of awesome that May munched 11 rims in a single shoot.

UPDATE: Top Gear responded to us, insisting that May only punctured five tires, not 11 wheels.

James didn't bust 11 rims during filming. In fact, during the actual race when it was run for real as you saw on the TV, he broke nothing on the car at all. During subsequent filming for cutaway and beauty shots the Range Rover picked up a few punctures, about five in all, as did several of the crew cars.

UPDATE 2: We spoke with Land Rover, who also insist that no wheels were broken in the Top Gear test.

I was aware of tire punctures during Top Gear shoot which is not uncommon during heavy duty offroading with standard M&S tires which we always use (we like using customer tires instead of special usage off road tires as its more realistic).
Wheels getting scuffed and gauged by media is a daily occurrence. Saying they were destroyed was simply hyperbole. Nothing unusual occurred with the Top Gear shoot. Much ado about nothing.

Photo Credit: Top Gear