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Jay Leno Talk Show May Feature 'Green-Car Challenge'

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Jay Leno and the Aptera 2e

Jay Leno and the Aptera 2e

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Jay Leno signed off from The Tonight Show a couple of months back, but he hasn't spent the downtime resting on his laurels. In fact, it's pretty clear that Leno has invested a lot of energy planning his new small-screen venture: an hour-long, prime-time show on NBC, set to launch in September. And as you might expect from Leno, he's hoping to give airtime to his favorite obsession: cars, especially those of the eco-friendly variety.

The program will follow a talk show format, centering on one or possibly two guests per episode, and according to an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Leno may include an auto segment as regular part of the show's mix. Specifically, Leno wants to use his guests in a weekly "'green-car challenge,' in which celebrities would race electric or hybrid cars." 

Leno may have gotten the idea for the segment from the BBC's Top Gear, where Leno appeared in a feature called "Reasonably Priced Car", which features celebs taking a consumer model for a fast lap around the track. (Leno's turn in a Chevrolet Lacetti earned him a second place spot after Mark Wahlberg.) Not surprisingly, Leno was offered the opportunity to host an American version of the show, which he turned down.

Apparently, at least one version of the "green-car challenge" segment featuring Tom Cruise is already in the works. According to the aforementioned interview, "Tom Cruise has already asked whether he could do some practice runs before competing, Leno said. (The host told him practice runs are forbidden.)" Frankly, we'd love to see Tom tossed into an Aptera 2e and put on the track next to his wife and her zippy BMW; maybe then she'd understand how easy it would be to escape. (You know what we mean.)

[Jalopnik, LA Times]

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