The National Geographic channel is set to roll out the second season of Supercar Megabuild. The reality show produced in the United Kingdom can be described as a classier, more expensive version of MTV’s Pimp My Ride. But instead of taking broken down cars and lining the inside with purple fur and disco lights, Supercar Megabuild takes high-end cars such as the Range Rover and the Porsche and rebuilds the automobiles into more luxurious or limited edition models.
In India, actor Saif Ali Khan is being touted as the “face of the show” to draw in local audiences, but Khan’s association is limited to appearances in the trailer. The first episode will air on National Geographic on September 26 at 10pm.
Aimed at serious motorheads, Supercar Megabuild features automotive designer Afzal Kahn working with engineer Ralph Hosier and mechanic Ranen Rudra to transform regular cars into extraordinary machines that will be as much at home on city roads as they would be on a racetrack. “I want it to move like a slippery eel through the air,” Hosier says about his hopes for the vehicle.
What makes it a challenge are the timing and budget pressures (along with Kahn’s slightly condescending personality). Hosier and Rudra, on the other hand, are a quirky duo who like a laugh or two as they build their cars with super powers. Kahn visualises the design and the engineers carry out his vision.
The first two episodes of the new season have them working on creating a limited edition Range Rover suitable for the gruelling Dakar Car Rally and developing a Porsche for the Chinese market that would look like a sports car from the outside while giving the feel of a business coupe on the inside.
The show has been shot in the typical reality TV format, complete with long pauses and dramatic music that help audiences determine what they should feel at specific points. Each episode ends happily despite the roadblocks and arguments with glamorous shots of the finished car. The show manages to keep things interesting for even those with limited knowledge about cars.
The extraordinary competence of Hosier and Rudra is established early into the season, as they accurately determine the functional demands of Kahn’s concept cars. They quietly go head to head with Kahn, who constantly mock threatens to fire them when talking straight into the camera, and let the car do the talking for them. Kahn’s presence is more on the lines of judge Simon Cowell on American Idol – the bad cop whom everyone loves to hate. Kahn actually tells Hosier and Rudra to “not giggle and not make any jokes” while presenting and apologises for their fashion sense.
Supercar Megabuild is aimed at those who know a thing or two about automobiles and will not be completely at sea when words like horse power, suspension and torque are thrown around. The show, however, does simplify and breaks down the jargon for those who know little about cars, super or otherwise.
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