“Top Gear” made several changes ahead of Season 24, including moving Matt LeBlanc into the role of lead presenter. Although many fans aren’t entirely convinced LeBlanc is cut out to be the front man, most probably will agree the show’s latest change certainly will inject some life back into the BBC’s former big-ticket show.
In a video posted Wednesday, Top Gear Magazine’s Jack Rix introduced the new car celebrities will use to set a lap time around the Dunsfold Aerodrome: A Toyota 86.
During the Jeremy Clarkson era, “Top Gear’s” celebrity segment was called Star in a Reasonably Priced Car, and featured front-wheel drive compacts such as the Suzuki Liana, Chevrolet Lacetti and Kia Cee’d. Last season, it became Star in a Rallycross Car, and guests drove a slightly modified, all-wheel-drive Mini Countryman. To reflect the new rear-wheel-drive car, “Top Gear” again has renamed the segment, now dubbed Star in a Reasonably Fast Car.
With 205 horsepower from a 2-liter flat-four boxer engine, the 86 isn’t the fastest car around, but its lively chassis still is sure to add plenty of excitement to the show.
Apart from a select few guests, such as LeBlanc, Rowan Atkinson and Eric Bana, most of the stars that come on “Top Gear” have little to no track experience. With a front-wheel-drive car, their lack of experience usually resulted in large amounts of understeer.
However, using too much throttle in the 86 could leave them facing the wrong way even on the driest of days. And considering “Top Gear” is filmed in the U.K., it’s fairly safe to assume there will be one or two days when conditions are less than ideal.
The question really isn’t will we see guests spin, but rather it’s will the first spin happen at Chicago or The Hammerhead?
Thumbnail photo via Toyota