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NBC Insider Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge Best Builds

Hot Wheels™: Ultimate Challenge Judges Ask the Ultimate Car Question: Can Vans Be Cool?

The latest episode of the Hot Wheels™: Ultimate Challenge aftershow gets into the details of the Episode 4 winner's build.

By Tyler McCarthy
Best Builds: Breaking Down the Diecast Details of Hot Wheel (TM): Ultimate Challenge Ep. 4

Hot Wheels™: Ultimate Challenge forced the judges in Episode 4 to grapple with a question that’s plagued the automotive community for decades — can a minivan ever be cool? Spoiler alert, the answer is yes! 

Spoiler Alert: This article reveals the winner of Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge, Episode 4

That was proven by winner Arushi when she and her Car Pool in the blue garage took her late father’s old Maruti Suzuki and transformed it into the colorful, mandala-spinning six-wheeler of her dreams. The car, affectionately titled the Jaipur Jewel after the city in India where Arushi grew up and fell in love with the vehicle, narrowly edged out her opponent’s Skater Boy Cadillac, which became a skatepark on wheels. 

RELATED: Hot Wheels™: Ultimate Challenge Judges Reveal What Put Episode 2 Winner Over the Edge

In the latest installment of the series' aftershowHot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge Best Builds, host Rutledge Wood was joined by fellow judges and automotive design experts Dalal Elsheikh and Hertrech Eugene for a freewheeling discussion about the latest episode in which they noted how shocked they were to discover that someone had actually made them fall in love with a van out of all the cool cars to come through the Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge garage. 

“The question I’ve always asked myself is. ‘How do you make a van cool?’” Eugene began in his critique. “Well, Arushi has the answer. You add two more wheels to it, you add a big V8 in the back of it, you paint it wild colors, put a mandala in the back of it and just tell your story the best way that you can, even if you didn’t grow up loving cars.”

Elsheikh agreed that the build was stellar, even going as far as to call it her favorite of the competition so far. However, she disagreed that the Maruti wasn’t already cool before its transformation into the Jaipur Jewel. 

“Hey, I feel like vans have always been cool, I loved that Maruti from the start when it was bone stock, but maybe that’s just me,” she said.

Wood agreed, but noted he came in a little biased since he personally owns a slightly different model Maruti back home. Even still, it was her commitment to using the build to showcase her family and culture that put it over the edge for him.

“When you look at the Jaipur Jewel, I think what’s so cool about Arushi is she brought not only her family and her family’s history but she brought her love of her culture with her. The way she talks about her Indian heritage and culture and how that came through in every corner of this build… I mean, that’s the most color and texture we’ve seen yet!” 

In addition to coming up with a unique and downright awesome Hot Wheels build, the judges commended Arushi on her gameplay. When the Inspirationator 5000 dropped the twist of incorporating the Deora II diecast design, Arushi’s team saw a way to fix one of their biggest design hurdles. She had to add part of another van onto hers, but it was too big. So, she looked at the Deora II and decided to cut the roof of both vans off, which made the build look unique, satisfy the twist and solve all her problems in one fell swoop. 

As a result, the trio of judges anticipates her being fiercely competitive in the finale. However, there’s more to come from a slew of other contestants as the remainder of Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge continues. 

New episodes of Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge premiere on Tuesdays at 10PM ET/PT on NBC. You can catch up the next day on Peacock.