A remake of the seminal 1980s series Knight Rider will see David Hasselhoff teaming up with a diesel engine version of his old crime-fighting buddy KITT, according to reports. The global financial crisis, together with skyrocketing petrol prices, has forced producers into a rethink, with catching criminals now considered less of a priority than fuel efficiency.
‘Audiences are going to love it,’ said producer Graham Allward. ‘Whereas the original series saw Hasselhoff’s character Michael Knight typically getting 50 miles to the gallon, depending on traffic, the diesel engine KITT is capable of around 80mpg. A typical car chase can last up to 20 minutes if not brought to an abrupt halt by a passing lorry with a low undercarriage, so in a typical series of six episodes that’s a whole lotta goddamn fuel we’ve saved.’
Although KITT Mark 2 has none of the flashy high-speed action one associates with a petrol engine, the new car has impressed technicians and crew alike with its greater durability and the need for fewer repairs. ‘Some of the criminals’ cars might be quicker out of the blocks in those action scenes,’ said Allward, ‘but 12 months down the line it’ll be them in the garage with engine problems, not KITT. Michael Knight always wins out in the end.’
Things came to a head with the original petrol-based KITT when it failed its MOT due to excess emissions. ‘There’s this scene where we tried sticking a catalytic converter on him,’ said Hasselhoff, ’but he told me to go and fuck myself. We had to edit that bit out.’
Sadly Hasselhoff recalls the moment he was forced to break the news to his old pal that his acting career was over. ‘KITT was very vocal about it and some pretty strong language was used – real personal stuff about my acting ability,’ he said.
Allward, meanwhile, was philosophical about the end of the partnership. ‘It’s real sad, but he has a lot of miles on the clock and is regularly let down by his poor on-screen performance.’
‘Oh sorry – you wanna talk about the car?’