|Created by||John H. Davis|
|Starring||John H. Davis
Yolanda Vazquez, Zach Maskell
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||31|
|Executive producer(s)||John H. Davis|
|Location(s)||Owings Mills, Maryland|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Original channel||Maryland Public Television (PBS)|
|Picture format||4:3 (1981-2008)
|Original run||October 15, 1981– present|
MotorWeek is an American automotive television series. The program premiered on October 15, 1981 and is hosted by respected automotive journalist John H. Davis, who is also the series’ creator and executive producer. MotorWeek is produced by Maryland Public Television and is seen nationwide on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Discovery Network, Velocity, V-me and globally on the American Forces Network.
The half-hour program is presented in a magazine-like format, with reviews, comparisons, news, and features. MotorWeek's original slogan was "Television's automotive magazine", later changed to "Television's original automotive magazine", although the BBC's Top Gear debuted in 1977. The show went into national syndication beginning September 11, 1993, originally syndicated by ITC Entertainment.
Beginning with the 1987-88 season, MotorWeek began taping outdoors rather than a studio.
Each year, MotorWeek puts more than 150 new cars, trucks, and SUVs to the test, providing consumer-oriented vehicle reviews. Its video Road Test segments focus on performance, technology, practicality and dollar value, and feature MotorWeek’s exclusive energy efficient rating system which compares each vehicle’s fuel economy to the best-rated vehicle in its class.
The MotorWeek team includes master technician Pat Goss who brings viewers practical advice for keeping cars on the road and out of the shop. Reporters Yolanda Vazquez and Zach Maskell present timely reports on consumer trends, safety issues and the environment, along with innovative, offbeat stories on the automotive world gone extreme.
Beginning in 1983, MotorWeek launched its Drivers’ Choice Awards which are among the auto industry’s most prestigious honors. The Drivers’ Choice Awards are unique for their consumer focus and represent the definitive list of best automotive picks in the most popular vehicle categories, including the coveted “Best of the Year” award. They are presented annually during the Chicago Auto Show.
From 1981-2008 (Season 1-28), the show was available in standard definition. From 2009 onwards, the show is available in HD.
- Road Tests: Vehicle review segment.
- Goss' Garage: Automotive maintenance segment by Pat Goss.
- Quick Spin: Quick reviews of new vehicles.
- Long Term Test Update: Test results for vehicles previously reviewed by MotorWeek.
- MotorNews: News segment by Yolanda Vazquez
- Over The Edge: Features the automotive industry on overdrive as reported by Zach Maskell
- FYI: Consumer segment covered by Yolanda Vazquez.
- Motor Movie Classics: Automotive film parodies starring John Davis.
From the show's premiere in 1981 until 1988, MotorWeek's original theme music composed by Don Barto was later used as the original theme for The Frugal Gourmet.
Beginning with the 1988-89 season, Mark Roumelis took over as music composer.
During the first six seasons of MotorWeek, the set looks like a styling studio with cars, drafting tools, and stuff on the wall was used from 1981 to 1987.