Netflix's Upcoming Hyperdrive Looks Like the Best New Car Show in Decades
American Ninja Warrior meets Gymkhana—and the result is surprisingly refreshing.
UPDATE 8/1/19: Netflix has released a trailer for its upcoming show and we've included it at the bottom of this article.
If there's one thing every car nerd can agree on, it's that neither Hollywood nor TV have the slightest idea of how to make good car-centric content. Trash automotive reality TV disappoints us on a constant basis, with its only redeeming trait being that it remind us how worthwhile it is to celebrate a decent car or racing movie, like Baby Driver or Rush.
However, now we have reason to celebrate, because Netflix is coming out with a new original series: Hyperdrive. First announced last August, Hyperdrive will be a meeting of 28 of the world's best underground drivers—male and female—at a 100-acre "proving ground" in Rochester, New York. Here, they'll exercise skills developed across their various disciplines of motorsport to their advantage in a tournament-style competitive series, which will demand that they complete various difficult stunts on their way toward the top. For some idea of what stunts are involved, check out a spy video published on the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.
Unlike the Race of Champions, which is a tournament for professional racing drivers, Hyperdrive's cast appears to be mostly comprised of amateurs with a handful of semi-pros thrown into the mix. Hyperdrive is also differentiated from the Race of Champions by its come-one-come-all vehicle policy, which allows every contestant to bring their own personal vehicle for use in the tournament. Expect to see everything from Ford Mustangs old and new to obscure Japan-only drift missiles, and even a Lamborghini Huracan.
Insiders say to expect Hyperdrive to feel like a mashup of American Ninja Warrior and early Fast and Furious films, which would be promising on its own. And having seen a sneak peek, I can confirm this looks better than your standard reality TV schlock. There's promising dramatic tension due to emphasis on what's at stake for each competitor, but more importantly, it seems to treat the sport of high-performance driving with more respect than anything we've seen in a long time. It's a refreshing change of attitude from a mainstream that typically regards driving fast as a pastime for playboys and simpletons.
Netflix confirmed to The Drive that all of Hyperdrive's 10 episodes will drop on August 21. A trailer's coming early next month, and we can't wait to share it with you.