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The Chris Evans car collection

The Chris Evans car collection

The Chris Evans car collection

After nine years fronting the BBC Radio 2 breakfast show, car-mad Chris Evans has launched his new Virgin Radio show. “I say, this is very exciting,” Evans said as he greeted his new listeners.

Over the years, he has owned a tremendous collection of cars, with many of his multi-million-pound purchases ranking among the rarest cars in the world. Here, we look at some of the cars Chris Evans can list on his CV.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

The Chris Evans car collection

Evan’s most unusual acquisition was the only working car built for the original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang film. It features a Ford Racing 3.0-litre V6, a dashboard plate from a first world war British fighter plane, a polished aluminium bonnet, a red and white cedar boat deck and brass fittings lifted from Edwardian motor vehicles.

Shortly after buying it, Evans explained how the purchase came about. “My pal had bought the car on his birthday before he went skiing, not realising she is over 17 feet long. Garage problem. No money lost or gained.

“Chitty is now officially part of the Berkshire Automotive Massive. She is indeed Truly Scrumptious. She’s also gone into the workshop for some much-needed road legalisation.”

Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider

The Chris Evans car collection

Chris Evans clearly has no intention of scaling back his car collection. In 2014, he spent £2.27 million on a 1971 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spyder – believed to be a world-record price. It looks stunning in black – a marked contrast to the yellow paint worn by the 1969 Frankfurt Motor show car.

Mk1 Ford Escort Mexico

The Chris Evans car collection

Chris may have a taste for rare and exotic Ferraris, but that doesn’t mean he can’t mix it with the rest of us. Here we see him about to set off from Radio 2 at the wheel of a Ford Escort Mexico. Values of good MK1 Escorts are on the rise, but there’s still a way to go before they catch up with expensive Fezzas.

Bentley

The Chris Evans car collection

And here’s Chris Evans leaving Radio 2 again, this time at the wheel of a Bentley. Looks a bit tight there, Chris. You may want to consider driving something a little smaller.

Daimler SP250 Dart

The Chris Evans car collection

In 2014, Chris Evans had a run in with the law and paid a high price. He bought one of the very last Daimler SP250 ‘Dart’ police cars for a little over £50,000 at auction. The ex-Scotland Yard Dart came complete with all law-enforcing accoutrements, with Chris adding ‘the kids love it; the big kids love it even more.’ Well quite.

James Hunt’s Hesketh 308

The Chris Evans car collection

£230,000 doesn’t seem like a lot of money for one of F1’s most famous cars. But that’s the price Chris Evans paid for the Works Hesketh 308, driven by James Hunt before his title winning season in 1976.

LaFerrari

The Chris Evans car collection

You have to be invited to purchase cars like the LaFerrari. Fortunately for this chap, he’s owned enough Ferraris in his time to be considered a key client. We’re talking about Chris Evans, not Pudsey Bear.

Ferrari 328 GTS

The Chris Evans car collection

This Ferrari 328 GTS was formerly owned by Chris Evans. In 1985, the 308 GTB and GTS were updated with a new V8 engine, hence the new 328 GTB and GTS denominations. Over 6,000 GTS roadsters were built, far more than the 1,345 hardtops.

Ferrari 458 ItaliaThe Chris Evans car collection

This is the 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia that, a few years ago, Chris Evans put up for sale at £189,950 via Auto Trader. It had covered only 5,559 miles since new.

Bentley Turbo R

The Chris Evans car collection

Powered by a 6.75-litre turbocharged mill, a late-90s Turbo R like Evans’ British racing green model can be picked up for less than £20,000. In the past the Radio 2 presenter has also splashed out on a Bentley Brooklands for £102,000 (nearly wiping out his bank balance at the time of £103,000).

1972 Volkswagen Beetle

The Chris Evans car collection

A somewhat impulsive buy, Evans saw this slightly beaten up 1972 sky blue VW Beetle with a for sale note stuck in its window on his way home from work. After a quick telephone conversation the owner met Evans at the car 10 minutes later and the deal was sealed.

Ferrari GTO

The Chris Evans car collection

Evans lusted after a Ferrari 250 GTO for years before he finally bought one similar to this for a staggering £12 million in 2010. One of only 36,250 GTOs ever manufactured, this Ferrari has been called the Leonardo da Vinci of motoring. Evans describes it as the beauty and the beast rolled into one.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class

The Chris Evans car collection

Evans drove and was chauffeur-driven in his W220 S600 in equal measure. This was also the car he chose for his entrance at the Staines magistrates’ court in 2001, where Evans was banned from driving for 56 days for clocking 105mph in a 70mph zone with his Ferrari 550 Maranello.

1961 Ferrari California Spyder

The Chris Evans car collection

In 2010 Evans made history when he bought the most expensive car sold in Britain – paying a cool £12 million for a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO. This 1961 California Spyder, once owned by Hollywood hard man James Coburn, is the convertible cousin of that car and set the DJ back a not insignificant £5.6 million in 2008.

1965 Mercedes-Benz 230SL

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Keen to capitalise on the massive success of the 1950s 300SL, Mercedes-Benz launched the more affordable but equally beautiful 190SL in 1955. Evans sold his classic 1965 Merc in 2004 and it went under the hammer again four years later, fetching its owner at the time a handsome £32,347.

1964 Daimler V8 Vicarage Convertible

The Chris Evans car collection

This is Chris Evans’ 1964 Daimler V8 Vicarage Convertible. The car is rumoured to have cost Chris £135,000 but it sold for just £73,500 when he auctioned it at the Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed sale in 2007.

Top Gear Chris Evans resigns

Chris Evans resigns and puts Top Gear behind him

Top Gear Chris Evans resigns

Less than 24 hours after the final episode of the current series of Top Gear, Chris Evans has announced he is leaving the show. The news comes after it was revealed that the final episode attracted just 1.9 million viewers, lower than any episode during the Clarkson era of the popular BBC programme.

In tweet, Evans said:

It means that Chris Evans has resigned after just six episodes, leaving Top Gear without its main host. That said, over recent weeks, it has become clear that Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris and Rory Reid are more than capable of stepping into the shoes of Messrs Clarkson, Hammond and May.

A statement from Mark Linsey, BBC Studios director, said: “Chris is stepping down from his duties on Top Gear. He says he gave it his best shot doing everything he could to make the show a success. He firmly believes that the right people remain, on both the production team and presenting team to take the show forward and make it the hit we want it to be.

“The new series has so far notched up over 30m views in the UK alone and has already been sold to 130 territories worldwide.”

In an official statement, Chris Evans said: “I have never worked with a more committed and driven team than the team I have worked with over the last twelve months. I feel like my standing aside is the best thing I can now do to help the cause.

“I remain a huge fan of the show, always have been, always will be. I will continue to focus on my radio show and the allied events that it encompasses.”

These ‘allied events’ include CarFest and Children in Need. In a second tweet, Chris Evans posted:

Within minutes of Evans posting the tweet, Chris Evans became the top trending topic on Twitter. Meanwhile, you can expect to see former Top Gear presents rolled out for their opinions on the news. Tiff Needell, former racing driver turned TV personality, tweeted:

There’s already speculation surrounding who will replace Chris Evans on Top Gear, although the resignation of Nigel Farage is not said to be linked to now the vacant position.

Top Gear: our five key moments from the series

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After weeks of being bashed from B-pillar to post as the world and its dog had a say on the new Top Gear, Chris Evans has finally given in to the pressure of poor ratings and media haranguing. He resigned today, tweeting: “Stepping down from Top Gear. Gave it my best shot but sometimes that’s not enough. The team are beyond brilliant, I wish them all the best.”

No sooner had the dust settled on series 23, it was being reported that fewer than two million viewers tuned in to watch the final episode. Not great, especially when you consider that no episode during the reign of King Clarkson dipped below the two million mark.

We hesitate to say you have to feel some sympathy for Chris Evans, because the word on social media street is that the Ginger One is about as popular as a Mustang at the Green Party Autumn Conference.

But given Evans was the first star through the door, he was kind of left as the designated driver as the party’s latecomers enjoy a ruddy good knees-up. Cut through the media noise and you’ll find that LeBlanc, Harris and Reid are being lauded as a kind of Clarkson, Hammond and May 2.0.

And, whisper this, but the disappointing ratings could be a symptom of Top Gear transforming itself into a car show. Although the celeb section feels longer and even more laboured than before, there’s a distinct whiff of petrolhead about the other features.

Truth is, new Top Gear has gathered momentum. After a slow and uncomfortable start, the series gathered pace, enabling us to select five highlights from new Top Gear. This in itself might have been challenge if the other five episodes had been as laboured as the first.

Chris Harris: Tour de Force in a Tour de France

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If the first two episodes felt a bit Missed Gear, episode three is where the show performed the perfect shift. Cenotaph controversy aside, the Hoonigan in London made for a spectacle delivered in the true spirit of Top Gear.

It’s probably no coincidence that this episode coincided with the show’s wider team getting some proper airtime. With Chris Harris and Rory Reid released from the BBC Three broom cupboard, Top Gear seemed to click. And while Reid’s hot hatch feature finished on the podium, the laurels are reserved for Chris Harris and his Ferrari review.

For the first time since #steakgate, we watched a Top Gear segment and didn’t find ourselves thinking: this would have been better with Messrs Clarkson, Hammond or May. An evocative soundtrack, a glorious stretch of French tarmac and a classic Ferrari 250 GT Tour de France: this was Top Gear gold.

It got better. Watching Chris Harris taming the Ferrari F12tdf at the Circuit Paul Ricard was one of the show’s highlights. You listen to Harris because he has driven just about every performance car under the sun. It also helps that he knows a thing or two about driving.

Matt LeBlanc: Top Gear’s new best friend?

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Adding a dash of American into a decidedly British recipe was an international incident waiting to happen. But while you could argue that the Evans and LeBlanc relationship has about as much chemistry as Gove and Johnson, the Friend formerly known as Joey has been a surprise hit on Top Gear.

Matt LeBlanc’s deadpan delivery is a welcome contrast to Chris Evans’ shouty and trying-too-hard-to-impress approach. The Reliant Rialto feature of episode one won’t go down as one of Top Gear’s finest hours, but LeBlanc was a rare glimmer of sunshine in otherwise miserable conditions.

It got better. He was good in the SUV test, delightfully straight-faced alongside Ken Block in London, superb on the Honda Gold Wing, composed in the Rolls-Royce Dawn, and a man of the people in the Porsche 911 R.

In fact, his 911 R feature was one of the best of the series. LeBlanc might not have the ability to drive sideways in the manner of Harris, or the speed of Sabine Schmitz, but he comes across as a man on our level. And that’s no mean feat when you’re a Hollywood A-lister.

In drawing comparisons with the 911 GT3 RS and carmakers’ obsession with lap times, LeBlanc spoke for all of us. Heck, he even missed a gear or two, just to make us feel even more at home. And the great British sandwich was a great American prop. Top work, LeBlanc.

Chris Harris: Vulcanicity at Yas Marina

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Episode four was a bit of a mixed bag. Like a product of British Leyland on a damp morning, the Venice cheap car challenge never seemed to get going. It was trying desperately hard to feel like a Top Gear challenge of old, but it failed to hit the mark.

Part of the problem was the lack of jeopardy. The cars were just too reliable for their own good; we want tired Alfa Romeos, ropey Porsches and supercars for the price of a Ford Mondeo. We invested a great deal in willing the old presenters to victory, but here we were simply willing the section to end.

Rory Reid’s Tesla Model X feature was beautifully filmed and expertly delivered, but once again we turn to Chris Harris for the highlight. The Aston Martin Vulcan at Yas Marina was Boy’s Own stuff. The cinematography, the track, the car, the overall package – all tip-Top-Gear.

Chris Harris has an ability to put you at the centre of the action, driving the cars you would otherwise only dream of. If this sounds like a Chris Harris love-in, so be it. We think @harrismonkey represents the future of Top Gear.

The ultimate SUV test

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This had the potential to be a disaster. Three celebrities joining three new presenters in trying to pull off a typical Top Gear challenge. No expense was spared in this feature, with the team of six flown to South Africa to take part in the ultimate SUV test.

Why did it work? Firstly, and in a break from tradition, you actually came away thinking you had learned something about the cars being tested. Like a geography field trip at school, taking the lesson out of the classroom and into the fresh air ensured you’d discover more about the Jaguar F-Pace, Porsche Macan and Mercedes-Benz GLC.

Secondly, against all the odds, the partnerships seemed to work: Sharleen Spiteri and Eddie Jordan as the odd couple, Chris Evans and Seasick Steve as Smashie and Nicey, and Matt LeBlanc and Tinie Tempah as cool and cooler.

By the end, we were willing the teams to the finish post, finding genuine laughs in the border crossing and Eddie Jordan’s inability to operate a four-wheel-drive system. Great stuff and, for us at least, one of the series highlights.=

Rory Reid makes it look easy (which it isn’t)

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Don’t take this personally, Rory Reid, but we hate you. How can ‘somebody off the internet’ make it look so easy? Some people dismissed the open auditions as a publicity stunt, but in giving Reid his Top Gear break, the approach has delivered.

He spoke for a nation when he reviewed the Ford Focus RS, while his Jaguar F-Type SVR drive to Geneva was spine-tinglingly good (although Norman Dewis had a big role to play in this).

As for the Ford Mustang piece, Rory Reid proved he is the master of the metaphor and the supplier of common sense. That he was surrounded by breathtaking Scottish views and big-budget cinematography is neither here nor there. Reid proved that he has the ability to morph from the small screen to the big stage.

With Evans gone, the future of Top Gear is far from certain. But our advice would be to look beyond Evans, beyond the ratings and beyond the outpouring of hate on social media. We’ve seen enough evidence to suggest The Grand Tour might have some competition after all.

10 cars Chris Evans is wrong about

10 cars Chris Evans is wrong about

10 cars Chris Evans is wrong aboutNow that the first episode of the new Top Gear has aired, you’re allowed to have formed an opinion of lead presenter Chris Evans. There’s no denying he’s proving controversial – with some labelling him as ‘Mr Shouty’, and other questions how much he actually knows about cars.

We don’t want to tear into Evans too much… filling Clarkson’s shoes isn’t an easy task, but we can’t help but disagree with some of his reviews published in the Daily Mail over the last few years. Who do you side with?

Fiat 500X

Fiat 500X

Chris Evans rating: 1 star
Motoring Research rating: 4 stars

Chris Evans loathes the Fiat 500X. At best, he describes it as ‘satisfactory’, but complains that it “has no soul whatsoever, which should be illegal for anything bearing the famous Fiat 500 logo.”

We kinda get his point. It’s true, the firm is attempting to cash in on the success of its modern Fiat 500, but describing the 500X as ‘the ultimate car by committee’ is taking things a little too far. For example, the 140hp 1.4-litre petrol engine tested by Evans is brilliant. The 500X is a quirky contender in a competitive segment, with fun looks and a good quality interior. We gave it four stars when we drove it – Chris Evans, just the one.

Besides, Evans likes the 500L. And that proves his opinion on quirky Fiats is null and void.

Kia Sportage

Kia Sportage

Chris Evans rating: 3 stars
Motoring Research rating: 4 stars

Chris Evans described the new Kia Sportage as ‘very blah, blah, blah indeed’, giving it three stars in the process. His justification? It’s a bit dull compared to the new Audi R8 and pair of Rollers he’d been driving the same week for the new series of Top Gear.

Keeping our feet on the ground, we praised it for building on the strengths of its predecessor, and offering impressive value for money. Our biggest criticism? It’s a bit ugly in our eyes…

Audi A4

Audi A4

Chris Evans rating: 3 stars
Motoring Research rating: 4 stars

The new Audi A4 is brilliant. Arguably, class-leading, ahead of the not-quite-there Jaguar XE and ageing BMW 3 Series. Sure, it doesn’t look a great deal different to the old model, but it’s in a different league to drive. The interior, too, is simply the best.

Evans describes it as ‘mediocre’. We have no idea how the new A4 can be described as mediocre. He partly blamed the bright red colour which made him ‘feel like Postman Pat’. There are other colours available, Evans.

He also criticised £8,500 worth of options fitted to the car. We’ll let you into a secret: press cars are always stacked with options. Sure, VW Group cars tend not to be as well equipped as you’d perhaps hope, but the A4 doesn’t have £8,500 worth of options just to bring it up to a competitive spec – it’s more so Audi can show off all its features. No real life buyer will opt for all those extras.

Peugeot 308 GTi

Peugeot 308 GTi

Chris Evans rating: 3 stars
Motoring Research rating: 3 stars

“With such an inferior interior,” asks the headline, “does this Peugeot 308 really deserve its hot hatch label?”

Erm. Fair point. An upmarket interior is exactly what made the 205 GTi great. It’s what set the sporty iconic hot hatch aside from the regular cooking spec model. Oh, wait, not that…

Evans tears into the 308 GTi. He finds it hard to get in and out of the bucket seat, while he complains that the aluminium gear knob “takes at least four junctions on the M25/M4 to even think about getting any warmer.”

Sure, the 308 GTi isn’t the best hot hatch on the market… but we feel Evans might be missing the point slightly. We agree on a star rating, but for different reasons…

Alfa Romeo 4C

Alfa Romeo 4C

Chris Evans rating: 5 stars
Motoring Research rating: 3 stars

Laggy power delivery and a flawed chassis means the Alfa Romeo 4C doesn’t cash the cheques its achingly good looks promise. Plastic gearshift paddles operate the dual-clutch transmission (a manual ‘box isn’t an option), while the four-cylinder engine note sounds droney.

Evans admits it’s flawed – but “no pain, no gain,” he says. He describes it as “the runt lovechild of the Ferrari F40 and the Nissan GTR,” and reports that the five-star Alfa 4C is “out of this world.”

Vauxhall Viva

Vauxhall Viva

Chris Evans rating: 2 stars
Motoring Research rating: 3 stars

“There is joy in almost everything we do,” Evans explains at the start of his Vauxhall Viva review. “It’s just up to us whether or not we choose to see it.”

He later concludes that the cut-price Vauxhall is ‘joyless’. And that’s where we’d disagree with him.

Sure, it’s not the best city car out there. But we went to Luton for the glamorous launch of the new Viva and, actually, we didn’t have a ‘joyless’ experience at all. In fact, we found it to be a very likeable car. The 1.0-litre engine needs to be wound up, but there’s a thrill in that – while momentum is maintained by eking every last bit of grip out of its skinny eco tyres. That’s fun, too.

His other criticism is the price. The Viva starts at £7,995. That’s not as cheap as rivals such as the Suzuki Celerio, but if Evans had ever stepped foot inside a Vauxhall dealer, he’d realise no one ever pays full price for one.

Ford Mondeo

Ford Mondeo

Chris Evans rating: 5 stars
Motoring Research rating: 4 stars

Chris Evans loves the latest Ford Mondeo. “Forget your Mercs, Audis and Jags,” shouts the headline, “I really am a Mondeo man.”

For £25,000, the Mondeo, Evans claims, “can do the job of the Mercedes 500S, Audi RS6, Jaguar XF-R and BMW M4.”

Even ignoring the ludicrous claims that the Ford Mondeo can do everything the BMW M4 can, we just don’t think it’s all that. Sure, it’s fairly competitive (or, at least, it would have been if it had been launched several years ago when it was in the US), but there are better alternatives in the segment. The same money will get you a Skoda Superb (which genuinely is superb), while the Volkswagen Passat is a more attractive package.

Four stars? Possibly. The five stars Evans has given it? Pushing it, we’d say.

Toyota Aygo

Toyota Aygo

Chris Evans rating: 1 star
Motoring Research rating: 4 stars

The Toyota Aygo is a quirky city car, offering loads of customisation options (it’s what city car buyers want, marketeers keep telling us), a five-year warranty and low running costs for not a lot of money. We rate it. Chris Evans doesn’t.

“Other people actually like the Aygo,” he cries. “I know, I’ve read their reviews. Some of them even give it four stars out of five. For the life of me I just can’t see how or why.”

That’s because it’s a very good city car, Chris, and you’re not used to driving city cars. He complains about its poor rear legroom (it’s a city car…), its lack of torque (it’s a city car), and how bad it is at dual-carriageway cruising (you get the message).

Interestingly, the Peugeot 108, which shares a platform with the Toyota Aygo, gets four stars from Evans…

BMW i3

BMW i3

Chris Evans rating: 3 stars
Motoring Research rating: 4 stars

Chris Evans is one of the few people who isn’t a fan of the BMW i3. The model he tested in 2014 was the range extender version, which uses a tiny two-cylinder petrol motor to charge the battery if it drops too low. Despite the small fuel tank, between the electric motor and petrol generator, the i3 range extender should be good for a range of 186 miles. But that’s not enough for Evans.

“I found myself in a permanent state of anxiety wondering what was going to happen next,” he said.

As well as being plagued by range anxiety, Evans also had an issue with his test car’s £40,000 price tag. “Do yourself a favour,” he concluded. “Forget about saving the planet – which you really can’t do – and save your money instead.”

We’d have to disagree there, Chris…

Infiniti Q50

Infiniti Q50

Chris Evans rating: 4 stars
Motoring Research rating: 3 stars

Ah, the Infiniti Q50. An upmarket Nissan alternative to the BMW 3 Series. Packed with tech, it promised so much. But its bland image, drab interior and that horrible fly-by-wire steering meant it just hasn’t taken off like the brand hoped.

That’s despite a four-star review from Chris Evans back in March 2014. “She is both fabulous and fabulously expensive,” he writes, “but if you can get over the price tag there’s very little not to like.”

Has he ever driven a BMW 3 Series..?

Chris Evans' Top 50 Cars

Chris Evans’ top 50 cars of 2016

Chris Evans' Top 50 CarsIn case you’ve missed the hype, the new series of Top Gear is set to start on Sunday 29 May, created under the watch of lead host Chris Evans. Ahead of the show, Evans, who’s a regular columnist for the Daily Mail, has picked his top 50 cars of the year so far. It’s an interesting mix of stuff, listed in no particular order (although categorised into car segments), with one car selected as his car of the year…

Family hatchback: Skoda Fabia

So, we start with the family hatchback category, kicking off with the three-star Skoda Fabia. It’s surprising to see it make the cut, as Evans concludes his review by describing it ‘by no means great’. But he raves about the three-cylinder engine and auto gearbox combo of his test car.

Family hatchback: Citroen C4 Cactus

Everyone loves the quirky Citroen C4 Cactus. Evans describes it as ‘funky’, and we’ll go with that. From its retro interior to its trolley-bouncing ‘air bumps’, the Cactus is well worthy of Evans’ four-star review.

Family hatchback: Vauxhall Astra

The new Vauxhall Astra came a bit of a shock when we first drove it in September. Despite its fairly anonymous looks, it’s so much better than its predecessor. Although Evans says he wouldn’t go as far as comparing it to the Volkswagen Golf, it’s good enough to make his top 50 cars of 2016.

Family hatchback: Fiat 500X

Er, we’d class the Fiat 500X as a crossover rather than a family hatch, but we’re big fans of the beefed-up 500 – so it’s no surprise to see it in the Daily Mail top 50. Only, Evans gave it one star in his review, describing it as ‘the ultimate car by committee’.

Chris Evans' Top 50 CarsFamily hatchback: Mazda 3

The Mazda 3 is often overlooked by those shopping for a Ford Focus-sized car, but it’s actually quietly good. Evans says the steering wheel and dials set-up is ‘almost identical to the McLaren 650S’. Why haven’t we noticed that?

Family hatchback: MINI Clubman

This is the car that gets the family hatchback crown, according to Evans. The five-star MINI Clubman, in sporty Cooper S guise, is ‘much more credible than the silly-shaped modern MINI Countryman’ and proves ‘an excellent driving experience’, says the Radio 2 DJ.

Family hatchback: Hyundai i20

The Hyundai i20 is more supermini than family hatch, but who’d argue with the new Top Gear presenter? ‘As dull as ditchwater’, he says, ‘but fairly solid, fairly good-looking and the perfect dog-and-kids, A-to-B mobile’.

Supercars: Lamborghini Huracan

And now for the juicy stuff. The supercars. Of which three make the grade.The first is the £182,400 Lamborghini Huracan, which can hit 62mph in 3.2 seconds and is good for a top speed of 202mph. Although Evans says ‘a pleasure-bomb will explode inside you every time you turn the wheel or dab the throttle’, he complains that the sound system isn’t good enough for a car of this price.

Supercars: Mercedes-AMG GT S

Because of that, perhaps, Evans’ supercar pick of 2016 is the Mercedes-AMG GT S. Although many would rave about the GT’s performance, Evans is bowled over by its looks, finding it hard to believe that it’s a Mercedes. ‘Go online to see how many tyres she can eat in a minute and all the other insane stuff,’ he says.

Chris Evans' Top 50 CarsSupercars: Dodge Viper ACR

The Viper has never been as technically as accomplished as European rivals, but the latest 8.4-litre V10 ACR ticks all the right boxes for Evans. He gives it five stars, saying ‘she snaked and smoked in all the right places, right up to 167mph’.

Saloon: Tesla Model S

Although Evans complains about struggling to get more than 180 miles out of the Tesla Model S (despite its official range of 240 miles), he says he loves the ‘Starship Enterprise vibe’, while it remains his son Noah’s favourite test car ever. He gave it four stars, but it wouldn’t be his saloon car choice…

Saloon: Ford Mondeo

Where else would you find a Ford Mondeo competing with the likes of the Tesla Model S? Evans states ‘this Mondeo costs less than £25,000 yet does the job of the Mercedes S500, Jaguar XFR, Audi RS6…’. Bold statement.

Saloon: Skoda Octavia vRS 230

This is the saloon that grabs the title of Chris’s pick. Even though it’s technically a hatchback. The Skoda Octavia, in hot vRS 230 trim, offers performance to take on the Volkswagen Golf GTI, hitting 62mph in 6.7 seconds.

Saloon: Jaguar XE

Despite driving ‘a lot better than [he] thought it would’, the Jaguar XE only takes three stars from the scathing Evans. He describes it as ‘trying to be a bit too German’, but not good enough to have Audi, Mercedes or BMW trembling in their boots.

Sports: Ford Mustang

There are three things Evans doesn’t like about the Ford Mustang: the fuel economy (‘20mpg was the best average I could achieve’), the location of the drink holders (‘put any beverage in there and it will render changing gear nigh-on impossible’), and the boot space. Despite that, he gives the Mustang four stars, describing it (with the 5.0-litre V8) as ‘as exciting as 99.9% of any of the cars I’ve ever driven’.

Chris Evans' Top 50 CarsSports: Porsche 911

OK, this isn’t exactly a car of 2016 – not in naturally-aspirated GTS spec, anyway. But as a car Evans tested in 2016, it makes the cut. One of the last N/A entry-level 911s before they went turbocharged, Evans is a huge fan of its Sport Plus setting, which blips the throttle on downshifts.

Sports: Audi R8

Despite slating the cost of options (£2,400 for Alcantara headlining and £2,950 for gloss-carbon engine bay trim), Evans is a huge fan of the new Audi R8 – giving it the title of his sports car pick. ‘Five stars all the way,’ he says.

Estate: Audi A4

Although Evans is a big fan of the Audi A4’s strobing indicators, along with its ‘punchy engine’, he describes it as a ‘mid-range, mediocre family estate car’, and criticises it for being too expensive. Although it’s not cheap, we think his three-star review is perhaps a little harsh.

Estate: SEAT Leon X-Perience

Despite its silly name, the SEAT Leon X-Perience is actually quite a sensible family car. Essentially a jacked-up Leon estate with four-wheel-drive (ideal for those who regularly drive in the snow or across muddy fields), Evans seems to be quite a fan of the X-Perience. So why only three stars? It’s nearly £30,000…

Estate: Volvo V60 Cross Country

We do hope Evans stops describing cars as females in the new series of Top Gear. Writing about the Volvo V60 Cross Country, he says ‘her charm crept up on me, as did her grunt – she loves a quick run’. Hmm. It’s enough to bag the V60 Cross Country the honour of being Chris’s estate pick.

Chris Evans' Top 50 CarsEstate: Volkswagen Passat

The anthropomorphism continues with the Volkswagen Passat. ‘I was taken with the VW Passat GT the moment I set eyes on her,’ says Evans. ‘I find her quite alluring’. Slightly creepy review aside, we agree with Evans’ inclusion of the Passat in his top 50 – it’s a commendable estate car.

City cars: Smart Fortwo

It would seem that Chris Evans doesn’t test many city cars. That’d explain why only two make his 50 cars of 2016. The first, and indeed the DJ’s pick of two, is the Smart Fortwo. His wife described it as ‘so cool and so fast’, but also praised its incredible turning circle.

City cars: Vauxhall Adam Grand Slam

Powered by a turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engine producing 150hp, the Grand Slam is the hottest Adam you can buy. It brings out Evans’ yobbish side, apparently, launching into a ‘full-on front-axle wheelspin’ after letting out the clutch.

Luxury: Porsche Panamera

‘Like all Panameras before her, she looks stupidly big.’ We wonder how Evans has been married three times with lines like that. He complains that the Panamera has three clocks and three windscreen-washer clusters, but no reversing camera. However, he still gives the four-seat Porsche four stars.

Luxury: Rolls-Royce Ghost

As the previous owner of a first-generation Rolls-Royce Ghost, Evans claims he’s more qualified than most to write about the new model. Only, he struggles to tell the difference. Once his local dealer explains that’s all about evolution rather than revolution (why mess with a winning recipe?), Evans warms to the Series II Ghost.

Chris Evans' Top 50 CarsLuxury: Range Rover

It’s no ordinary Range Rover tested by Evans. It’s a £156,000 SV Autobiography, produced by JLR’s Special Vehicles Operations department. For that money, you get super-soft leather, crystal-effect tail lights and unique 21-inch alloys. Evans is a fan, giving the pricey Range Rover a four-star rating.

Luxury: BMW 7 Series

‘I have no idea what this car is actually like to drive,’ admits Evans, ‘because I got my mate Tim to chauffeur me around for a morning while I sat in the back.’ Only Evans could get away with writing car reviews without actually driving them, but it kind of makes sense for the luxurious BMW 7 Series. He gave it five stars, and awarded it his luxury pick.

Coupe: Nissan 370Z Nismo

The Nismo 370Z looks like something out of Gran Turismo but, as Evans points out, it’s a bit disappointing. The 3.7-litre V6 doesn’t sound particularly special, and the performance doesn’t live up to its looks. We’re not sure why it appears in Evans’ top 50 cars, either…

Coupe: BMW M4

It sounds like Evans is a fan of the BMW M4, comparing it with the Ferrari 488 at four times the price. His mate Tim (the chauffeur of BMW 7 Series fame) described it as the ‘best burnout island doughnut car I’ve driven so far’. Evans gave it five stars, but it’s not his pick of the coupes…

Coupe: Volkswagen Scirocco

“There’s no better-looking coupe – or hatchback – in the world’, writes Evans. Bold statement. Justified, looking at the Scirocco in hot GTS trim? Hmm… we’re not so sure. Evans likes it, though, giving it five stars and awarding it the title of Chris’s coupe pick.

Convertible: Audi TT

The Top Gear presenter reveals that he feels sorry for the new Audi TTS Roadster. Why? ‘TTs will always be perceived as too personal trainer and hairdressery’. He has a point. We were similarly impressed when we drove the new TTS Roadster, which can hit 62mph in 4.9 seconds. It’s a bold look, but if Evans can pull it off…

Chris Evans' Top 50 CarsConvertible: Mazda MX-5

The 2016 World Car of the Year, but not according to Chris Evans. ‘She feels a bit all out front’, he says, ‘like the car is taking you where it wants to go, instead of the other way around.’ That seems at odds to most reviews of the new MX-5, but who are we to argue?

Best of British: Aston Martin DB10

We’re on to the ‘Best of British’ category now, and approaching Evans’ car of 2016. First we have a supercar fit for Bond, the Aston Martin DB10. Chris admits he ‘didn’t really drive it’, leaving the lion’s share of the driving to Spectre’s chief stunt driver Mark Higgins. The experience from the passenger seat alone was enough to justify five stars.

Best of British: Zenos E10 S

We really rated the Zenos E10 S when we drove it last year, awarding it five stars in the Motoring Research review. Chris Evans isn’t a fan, however, criticising its lack of visibility, complaining about the flimsy roof and awarding it three stars overall. We kind of feel he might have missed the point…

Best of British: Ariel Nomad

The lack of practicality doesn’t seem to concern Evans when it comes to the bonkers Ariel Nomad, however. ‘At times it felt like I was strapped to the wing of a jumbo jet during take-off’, he said.

Best of British: MG Abingdon Edition

The best of British in 2016, according to Evans? A modern-day MGB, the Abingdon Edition is built by Frontline Developments. Powered by a 2.5-litre Mazda engine, it hits 62mph in 3.8 seconds and costs a whopping £95,400.

Chris Evans' Top 50 CarsBest of British: Twisted T80 Land Rover Defender 110

Production of the Land Rover Defender as we know it finally came to an end earlier this year. Tuning companies love to modify the old British workhorse, bizarrely, with Twisted Automotive being one of the biggest. The T80 costs an incredible £93,416 and, in Evans’ words, ‘smells of leather as opposed to actual cows’.

SUV: Honda HR-V

We ran a Honda HR-V for six months and found it a likeable crossover, but Evans isn’t much of a fan. He gave it one star, saying: ‘frankly, the car bored the pants off me’. Unsurprisingly, the HR-V isn’t Evans’ pick of the SUVs…

SUV: Land Rover Discovery Sport

This, however, is. Evans tested the Discovery Sport with the original Freelander-borrowed 2.2-litre turbodiesel, rather than the newer (and better) 2.0-litre Ingenium engine. That didn’t seem to put him off, despite him saying ‘she sounds more like a Land Rover than I expected’.

SUV: Kia Sportage

‘The Sunday Dullster, and then some’. That’s how Evans reviews the Kia Sportage, but he does admit to driving it after reviewing a pair of Rolls-Royces for Top Gear as well as a power test of the Audi R8. He gives the Sportage three stars.

SUV: Volvo XC90

Evans likes big boots and he cannot lie. The XC90 has a boot ‘the size of Perthshire’, as well as legroom, which ‘is more Airbus than omnibus’, he writes. The Volvo XC90 was one of our favourite cars from last year, and a huge improvement over its ancient predecessor.

Chris Evans' Top 50 CarsSUV: Audi Q7

Finally for the SUVs, is the five-star Audi Q7. Five stars because ‘the pin-sharp, colourful graphics… were glowing BBC Radio 2 from the moment [he] started her up’, perhaps?

Hot hatch: Honda Civic Type R

The Honda Civic Type R has gone down a storm, with some reviewers even rating it above Ford’s stonkingly good Focus RS. Evans describes it as ‘a pensioner’s shopping trolley transformed into a marauding beast’, which sounds fairly accurate to us.

Hot hatch: Vauxhall Corsa VXR

Evans describes the Corsa VXR as an ‘Essex boy’s cruiser’, which makes us think more of the Fiesta ST than this hot Vauxhall. But there’s one thing he’s definitely right about: ‘those with a heavy right foot could be heading for the hedgerow’.

Hot hatch: Peugeot 208 GTI

Chris’s hot hatch pick is this modern day 205 GTI, the 208 GTI. He describes it as an ‘absolute zinger’, and claims ‘no one can deny Peugeot has recaptured a sense of what made the original Pug hot hatch the catch of the Eighties and Nineties’.

Chris Evans' Top 50 CarsFamily crossover: Nissan Juke Nismo RS

Back down to earth with family crossovers. Oh, maybe not – as this is the 215hp Juke Nismo RS. Evans gives it five stars for performance but just one for design, describing as ‘the aesthetic motoring equivalent of the entire cast of TOWIE’.

Family crossover: Renault Kadjar

Evans reveals that, once Top Gear finally airs, he’ll have a lot more time for a ‘normal’ life. But, he says, hopefully not more ‘normal’ cars like the Renault Kadjar. To try and make the review for Renault’s two-star Kadjar more entertaining, he slipped in random automotive facts. Did you know that, if a car in Malaysia is too successful, competitors can have its price raised?

Family crossover: Mazda CX-3

Chris Evans takes up about a third of his review of the Mazda CX-3 complaining that it’s not really a ‘supermini’. But we’re not sure why he expected it to be a supermini. Mazda doesn’t claim it’s a supermini. Still, he gives it four stars and the title of his crossover pick.

Family crossover: Infiniti Q30

The final car before revealing Evans’ car of the year. This time it’s the not-really-a-crossover Infiniti Q30, which he describes as ‘a natty-looking motor car’. He admits, like us, he doesn’t really see the point of the Q30 – the car Nissan’s premium brand Infiniti is hoping will be a game-changer.

Chris Evans' Top 50 CarsCar of the Year: McLaren 675LT

So Evans’ favourite car of 2016? That’ll be the Woking-built McLaren 675LT. Praising McLaren for establishing itself as a serious player in a market dominated by Italian rivals Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini, Evans questions: ‘How is that even possible?’

Top Gear London filming March 2016

Chris Evans apologises for 'disrespectful' Top Gear scenes

Top Gear London filming March 2016BBC Top Gear host Chris Evans has apologised “unreservedly” for scenes over the weekend that appeared to show filming near the Cenotaph memorial in Whitehall.

Paparazzi shots showed presenter Matt LeBlanc and stunt driver Ken Block driving Block’s ‘Hoonicorn’ near to the war memorial – scenes that drew immediate criticism with one retired Colonel, Richard Kemp, telling the Telegraph it was wrong to film next to “a sacred tribute to millions of people. Jeremy Clarkson was certainly no saint but I don’t believe he would have ever performed a stunt in such bad taste.”

Today, Chris Evans responded to the criticism on his BBC Radio 2 breakfast show, stating that he “completely understood the furore” around images of the shoot.

“It doesn’t matter what actually happened, it doesn’t matter what the circumstances were that could explain this away, what is important about this is what these images look like and they look entirely disrespectful – which is not and would never be the intention of the Top Gear team or Matt.

“Retrospectively, it was unwise to be anywhere near the Cenotaph with this motor car.”

Evans acknowledged that there had been some “very incendiary comments written alongside these pictures, and I completely understand this furore, but the Top Gear team would never, ever do that.”

Top Gear London filming March 2016

Chris Evans apologises for ‘disrespectful’ Top Gear scenes

Top Gear London filming March 2016BBC Top Gear host Chris Evans has apologised “unreservedly” for scenes over the weekend that appeared to show filming near the Cenotaph memorial in Whitehall.

Paparazzi shots showed presenter Matt LeBlanc and stunt driver Ken Block driving Block’s ‘Hoonicorn’ near to the war memorial – scenes that drew immediate criticism with one retired Colonel, Richard Kemp, telling the Telegraph it was wrong to film next to “a sacred tribute to millions of people. Jeremy Clarkson was certainly no saint but I don’t believe he would have ever performed a stunt in such bad taste.”

Today, Chris Evans responded to the criticism on his BBC Radio 2 breakfast show, stating that he “completely understood the furore” around images of the shoot.

“It doesn’t matter what actually happened, it doesn’t matter what the circumstances were that could explain this away, what is important about this is what these images look like and they look entirely disrespectful – which is not and would never be the intention of the Top Gear team or Matt.

“Retrospectively, it was unwise to be anywhere near the Cenotaph with this motor car.”

Evans acknowledged that there had been some “very incendiary comments written alongside these pictures, and I completely understand this furore, but the Top Gear team would never, ever do that.”

Top Gear's Chris Evans prangs his McLaren at Carfest

Top Gear's Chris Evans prangs his McLaren at Carfest

Top Gear's Chris Evans prangs his McLaren at Carfest

Future Top Gear host Chris Evans regretted taking his McLaren 650S to Carfest this weekend – as a hapless driver reversed a trailer into it.

According to The Sun, Evans was about to pull away in the supercar on Monday morning when a car towing a trailer reversed back into it.

Witnesses said the television and radio presenter seemed unperturbed by the collision, leaving his passenger to exchange details as he drove off.

Evans is a well-known petrolhead, but is planning to auction off a number of his cars at Goodwood Revival later this month.

It’s not the first time he’s been involved in a prang – in 2005 he crashed a Ferrari 550 Maranello near his home in Surrey, and in 2001 Radio 2 presenter Vanessa Feltz reversed her Mini into his Ferrari 599 GTO.

Top Gear's Chris Evans prangs his McLaren at Carfest

Top Gear’s Chris Evans prangs his McLaren at Carfest

Top Gear's Chris Evans prangs his McLaren at Carfest

Future Top Gear host Chris Evans regretted taking his McLaren 650S to Carfest this weekend – as a hapless driver reversed a trailer into it.

According to The Sun, Evans was about to pull away in the supercar on Monday morning when a car towing a trailer reversed back into it.

Witnesses said the television and radio presenter seemed unperturbed by the collision, leaving his passenger to exchange details as he drove off.

Evans is a well-known petrolhead, but is planning to auction off a number of his cars at Goodwood Revival later this month.

It’s not the first time he’s been involved in a prang – in 2005 he crashed a Ferrari 550 Maranello near his home in Surrey, and in 2001 Radio 2 presenter Vanessa Feltz reversed her Mini into his Ferrari 599 GTO.

The Chris Evans car collection

Official: Chris Evans to present Top Gear!

The Chris Evans car collectionChris Evans will replace Jeremy Clarkson and lead a new Top Gear line-up, the BBC has confirmed.

The BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show presenter and renowned car fanatic has signed a three-year deal, says the BBC.

It reports Evans called Top Gear his “favourite programme of all time” and that he has vowed to “do everything I possibly can to respect what has gone on before and take the show forward”.

Speaking to TopGear.com, Kim Shillinglaw, Controller of BBC Two and BBC Four, said: “I’m so delighted that Chris will be presenting the next series of Top Gear.

“His knowledge of and passion for cars is well-known, and combined with his sheer inventiveness and cheeky unpredictability he is the perfect choice to take our much-loved show into the future.”

Encouragingly, she confirmed that Evans “knows the phenomenal attention to detail it takes to make a single sequence of Top Gear, let alone a whole series.

“He is already full of brilliant ideas and I can’t wait for him to get started.”

Filming for Top Gear Series 23 will begin in the next few weeks, and it will air both in the UK and abroad in early 2016.

Chris Evans and Top Gear: the build up

The star recently revealed he was “making a Top Gear”, explaining to Channel 4 Sunday Brunch presenter Tim Lovejoy that he was filming a sequence with an independent production company.

“We’re going to see how it goes,” he said. Clearly it’s gone well enough to make Evans review his earlier claim that rumours he was to replace Clarkson were “absolute nonsense”.

Jeremy Clarkson was suspended from Top Gear back in March, following the now-notorious ‘fracas with a producer’.

Following a review by BBC Director General Lord Hall, it was decided not to renew Clarkson’s contract: he thus left Top Gear after over two decades on the show.

Lord Hall said it was “not a decision I have taken lightly”.