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World of Top Gear

Video: Chris Harris talks new Top Gear – and his dream cars

World of Top GearTop Gear presenter Chris Harris talked about the next series of the hit show in an exclusive interview with Motoring Research.

Harris was at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, for the relaunch of World of Top Gear. The exhibition includes many famous – and infamous – cars from the show, including the Ford Transit ‘Hovervan’, Reliant Robin space shuttle and electric ‘Hammerhead Eagle i-Thrust’.

“There’s a lot of history here,” he explained at the press conference. “We’re trying very hard to be silly”.


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Harris: “F40 and a Suzuki Ignis, please”

Asked about working on Top Gear so far, Harris said: “I’m still pinching myself. I don’t think it’ll ever sink in. I’ve basically been around Kazakhstan with Matt LeBlanc, messing about in cars – I think that’s most blokes’ dream isn’t it?”

Of the forthcoming series, due in 2018, he revealed: “I like to think the best thing I’ve done on Top Gear is yet to happen. I’ve been to France and shot an older car and I’ve been to Norway and shot a younger car”. This fuelled speculation that the ‘younger car’ could be either a Range Rover Velar or four-cylinder Jaguar F-Type, both of which debuted in Norway recently.

We also asked Harris – who owns an eclectic collection of cars – what’s next on his must-buy list. “It’s never-ending,” he said, “I wake up on a different day and need a different thing. I want a [Ferrari] F40, but I can’t afford an F40. And I’d like a [Porsche 911] GT3 because that new 4.0-litre engine is stunning.”

Harris also talked-up the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo and Audi RS4 Avant as fast family wagons, but his most effusive praise was reserved for something rather more humble: “That new Suzuki Ignis: doesn’t that look good? I see them on the road and think ‘that’s a funky car'”. 

World of Top GearDrifting with a ‘Driving God’

After posing with the Rodius-based ‘SsangYacht’, the 670,000-mile Volvo V70 he drove in Kazakhstan, and other “absurd motor-vehicle-based objects” inside the World of Top Gear, Harris made his way to Beaulieu’s display area. There, he entertained the crowds with smoky powerslides in a 510hp Mercedes-AMG C63 S Edition 1. 

“Want to join him for a few passenger laps?” asked the BBC PR lady. It seemed rude not to, so we donned our crash helmets and clambered aboard. Chris disabled all the stability control systems then served up a masterclass on how to shred a set of tyres in two minutes. “I quite like my job,” he joked.

We clambered out, dizzy and thankful that we’d postponed lunch. Harris is clearly a hotshot driver and a genuine asset to the Top Gear team. We look forward to seeing what he does next.

Top Gear: all the cars so far

Top Gear: all the cars so far

Top Gear: all the cars so farIt’s back! The Top Gear vs The Grand Tour bout continues, with series 24 of the BBC’s flagship motoring show. Amazon Prime might have landed the first blow with The Grand Tour, but this is the BBC returning with a sucker punch.

The post Chris Evans era feels leaner and less shouty before, with Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris and Rory Reid taking the wheel as the show’s hosts. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be running through a list of all the cars featured in the current series. We kick things off with a rather special Ferrari…

Ferrari FXXKTop Gear: all the cars so far

Choosing to launch the new series with a VIP-only Ferrari hypercar was a predictable if wise decision. This was, if you like, Top Gear sending a direct response to The Grand Tour’s ‘Holy Trinity’ extravaganza and, let’s face it, the format does seem to work.

Chris Harris has probably driven more exotic supercars than most, but watching his childlike excitement and wide-eyed wonder behind the wheel of the FXXK is a high point so absent from the previous series.

Top Gear: all the cars so far

You can hardly blame Harris for channelling his inner ten-year-old. Few people get the opportunity to drive the super-rare Ferrari FXXK – only 40 will be built – and he is being paid to do a few hot laps behind the wheel. Hashtag ‘pinch me’.

The FXXK is a LaFerrari with the volume cranked ‘up to eleven’, each one costing a cool £2 million. Not that deep pockets will provide access to this racing club: if you’re name’s not down, you’re not coming in.

Top Gear: all the cars so far

Harris is the first ‘outsider’ ever to drive a Ferrari FXXK and his sense of excitement – and no doubt a dollop of nervousness – is palpable as he emerges from the pitlane. Power is sourced from the same 6.3-litre V12 engine seen in the LaFerrari, but with a combined system total of 1,050hp.

With power comes the need for control, and Harris is the man best placed to harness the true potential of the FXXK. He concludes the piece with a hot lap in the special ‘Qualifying’ setting. Proper ‘hairs on the back of your neck’ stuff, this.

Volvo V70Top Gear: all the cars so far

Consult the ‘Motoring Shows for Dummies’ handbook and you’ll find two requirements: a supercar and a challenge. With the FXXK ticking the supercar box, it was left to Messrs LeBlanc, Reid and Harris to embark on a challenge. The quest: to drive to a space station in a trio of high-mileage heroes.

What does Chris Harris choose to drive across Kazakhstan? An LPG-powered Volvo V70, of course, which Harris describes as “a minter”. With 570,122 miles on the clock it certainly meets the ‘high-mileage’ criteria, although it doesn’t stay ‘mint’ for long…

Mercedes-Benz E-ClassTop Gear: all the cars so far

Next to emerge is Matt LeBlanc in a Mercedes-Benz E-Class, finished in the familiar shade of ‘German taxicab beige’. As Harris points out, the chances are this E-Class has led a hard life on streets of Berlin, but it looks to be in surprisingly good shape.

The E-Class has covered 800,137 kilometers (497,182 miles), which is an awful lot of trips to the Berlin Hauptbahnhof and Schönefeld Airport. Its final fare: the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

London Taxis International TX1Top Gear: all the cars so far

“You wanna talk reliability, this has gotta be in the conversation,” says Rory Reid as he reveals his choice of wheels for the challenge. That the London Taxis International TX1 is a reliable car is in little doubt, but would you choose one to drive across Kazakhstan?

With 483,222 miles on the clock, the TX1 is positively low-mileage compared to the other cars, but it’s the only one of the three able to claim ‘iconic’ status. Fair play, Mr Reid, this is a terrific choice.

Challenge carsTop Gear: all the cars so far

The scene is set for a gruelling drive across the vast expanses of Kazakhstan, interspersed with a series of mini challenges. Which car emerges victorious is for you to find out.

Needless to say there are a few hiccups along the way, but the presenters show a level of camaraderie notably absent from a certain other motoring show.

Reasonably Fast Car: Toyota GT86Top Gear: all the cars so far

And so to the celebrity segment, so often the weakest part of Top Gear. Thankfully, the show’s producers have chosen to return to a simpler format, ditching the MINI and rallycross track after one ill-fated series.

The new idea: a Star in a Reasonably Fast Car, kicking off with James McAvoy in a Toyota GT86.

Top Gear: all the cars so farWatching a celebrity wrestle with a proper driver’s car is most welcome, although the segment seems needlessly long. The studio pieces feel laboured, although it’s worth remembering that the Clarkson era of Top Gear took a while to bed in.

Sunday nights are great again, with Top Gear following an hour of Robot Wars. Get your homework done before 7pm, kids.

Richard Hammond’s £750 Porsche up for auction

Richard Hammond’s £750 Porsche up for auction

Richard Hammond’s £750 Porsche up for auction

The Coys Autosport sale is billed as ‘an important auction of Grand Prix, competition, touring and rally cars,’ and it’ll set the tone for another year of classic car auctions.

We’ve selected our favourite cars from the sale, which takes place at Autosport International on 14 January 2017. Read on to discover which cars have made our top 20.

Porsche 924: No reserve

“This is a very rare chance to buy a piece of British television motoring history.” That’s according to Coys, which is auctioning this Porsche 924 without an MOT and with no reserve. Fans of Top Gear will recognise this flame-enriched 924 as Richard Hammond’s choice in ‘The £1,500 Porsche Challenge’.

Hammond bought the 924 for £750 and was most excited about the fact that “the lights pop up!” The black bonnet, flames, and numbers were added later, but according to James May they simply gave the car “sporting credentials it didn’t deserve”. At the end of the show, Hammond was forced to admit he couldn’t sell the car. It hasn’t been MOTd since March 2010…

Dino 246 GT: £250,000 – £280,000

The Dino 246 GT arrived in 1969 – a replacement for the 206 GT. The big news was the installation of a 2.4-litre V6 engine, along with steel body panels. It is perhaps most famous for its role in the TV series The Persuaders!, with Danny Wilde (played by Tony Curtis) driving a left-hand drive example.

This is one of the very last right-hand drive models imported between 1969 and 1974, having left the factory in July 1973. At a Historics at Brooklands auction in November 2016, a 1972 Dino 246 GT failed to sell with a pre-auction estimate of £260,000 – £300,000.

Bentley Continental: £90,000 – £110,000

Bentley Continental: £90,000 - £110,000

You could roll around the globe in a 1985 Bentley Continental Convertible, as Sir Elton John so nearly sang in his 1985 hit Nikita. This was the car owned and driven by the ‘Rocket Man’ in the video which accompanied the song, which peaked at number three in the UK singles chart.

In February 2015, this very car sold for £68,779 at an auction in Paris, but is expected to sell for between £90,000 and £110,000 at Autosport International. It comes complete with its original B20 ELT registration mark.

Vauxhall Chevette HSR: £60,000 – £80,000

In standard guise, the road-going Vauxhall Chevette was powered by the 1256cc from a Viva, but it was clear that it could handle more power. Unfortunately, General Motors wasn’t keen, so it was left to the Vauxhall dealer network to spearhead a rally programme. The result was the Chevette HSR.

This is the car driven by Pentti Airikkala, a driver well equipped to get the best from this 2.3-litre, rear-wheel-drive rally hero. Back in the day, the not-so-small matter of 250hp made the Chevette quite a weapon.

Mini Cooper S: £40,000 – £60,000

This 1966 Mini Cooper S made its RAC Rally debut in the same year, with Paddy Hopkirk behind the wheel. He was the leading British driver until a broken drive shaft coupling forced him out of the race. On the Circuit of Ireland, the transmission differential failed, bringing a premature end to a fierce battle between Hopkirk and Roger Clark in a Ford Escort.

In his book on Mini Coopers, Graham Robson described JMO 969D as “not a lucky car”, but with likes of Hopkirk and Timo Makinen listed as previous drivers, it’s not without provenance. It was also used as a publicity car for the use of seatbelts.

Porsche 912 Outlaw: £45,000 – £55,000

Porsche 912 Outlaw: £45,000 - £55,000

Fat Performance is a Californian-based company with over 40 years of history of rebuilding and servicing Porsche air-cooled engines. The company was responsible for rebuilding this 912’s 2.7-litre engine and treating it to a host of upgrades.

The current owner imported it from the USA in 2010 and, according to Coys, “the engine cracks and pops on overrun and will turn heads wherever it goes”. It’s certainly a strong look.

Honda Accord BTCC: £50,000 – £70,000

The Honda Accord – safe, dependable, reliable, worthy. The kind of car driven by your elderly uncle in Eastbourne. Suffice to say, this is not your average Honda Accord. As diehard fans of the British Touring Car Championship will testify, this is a bit of an animal.

Car number 50, driven by Peter Kox, finished 12th overall, with James Thompson in the other works Honda Sport Accord finishing third. The most expensive Accord to be sold in 2017? We’ll see.

Talbot Samba Group B: £25,000 – £30,000

There could be as few as 20 Talbot Sambas left on the road, with half of them being cabriolets. Whatever, we doubt any will be as desirable, not to mention valuable, as this Group B rally car. It many ways, it was the warm-up act for the Peugeot 205 T16, which would go on to enjoy tremendous success.

This example was built by Castelos Motorsport in Group B specification, including the engine, gearbox, limited slip diff, competition wiring loom, hydraulic handbrake and modern brakes. It’s probably one of the rarest rally cars you’ll see at auction this year.

Ford Escort RS1800: £80,000 – £110,000

Ford Escort RS1800: £80,000 - £110,000

Ford was a dominant force in rallying during the late 70s and early 80s, but its success was brought to a halt by the arrival of Audi and four-wheel drive. This car was first used by the Ford works team on the San Remo Rally in 1977, with driver Bjorn Waldegard finishing fifth overall. Two years later, Waldegard would win the Championship in another RS1800.

Ford sold the car in 1979, but it remained active at the hands of privateers. It was later painted red and yellow, before a British enthusiast traced it to a location in mainland France. Today, VHK 74S is said to have been restored to its original specification.

Porsche 964 Carrera 2 RWB: £65,000 – £75,000

RWB stands for Rauh Welt Begriff, a company known for producing mild and timid looking Porsches. Actually, scrub that, Rauh Welt Begriff – owned by Akira Nakai – is responsible for some of the most outrageous cars on the planet.

This 1989 964 features a “full RWB Type body” and certainly isn’t a car for shrinking violets. Despite being race-prepared and “largely a racing car”, it is road legal and has an MOT until May 2017.

Fiat Coupe 16v Turbo: £15,000 – £20,000

Visit a Fiat dealer armed with a little over £20,000 and you could drive away in a new 124 Spider. Alternatively, take the same amount of cash to Autosport International and you could drive home in an unregistered Fiat Coupe. Actually, the ‘drive home’ bit is a little misleading, as you’ll need a trailer for an unregistered car.

This is one of 15 pre-production cars built by Pininfarina as proof of manufacturer and it has just 825 miles on the clock. Having spent most of its life as part of the Pininfarina collection, it was then bought by an Italian in 2012. While we’d prefer the later 20v Turbo, opportunities like this don’t come along very often.

Ford GT40 Evocation: £45,000 – £60,000

Ford GT40 Evocation: £45,000 - £60,000

One of two Ford GT40 Evocation models at the Coys auction, this one caught our eye. That’s probably got something to do with the Gulf Racing colours.

Genuine GT40s are essentially priceless, meaning a replica is probably the only opportunity to get behind the wheel of one of the most famous racing cars of all-time. Get the Jacky Ickx look for the price of a Porsche 718 Cayman S.

Facel Vega HK500: £90,000 – £130,000

Few cars offer as much charm and elegance as a Facel Vega HK500, a car owned by royalty, artists, musicians and racing drivers. Powered by a Chrysler V8 engine, these French-built beauties were designed with the export market in mind.

First registered in July 1960, this HK500 was delivered new to a shoe manufacturing company in Dudley. Not that there’s anything cobblers about owning one of the coolest cars of the 20th century.

Porsche 993 Cup: £120,000 – £220,000

Is the 993 the most desirable of all the Porsche 911 models? Some would say so, and the values certainly reflect this. Take this 1996 Porsche 993 Cup, which is offered with a curiously wide-ranging pre-auction estimate of between £120,000 and £220,000.

It was built for the 1996/97 Porsche Supercup series and driven by Bernard Simmenauer. It was later sold to a Swiss gentleman.

Range Rover: £18,000 – £22,000

Range Rover: £18,000 - £22,000

Few off-roaders have aged as well as the original Range Rover, especially in three-door guise. In fact, we’d say that only the Jeep Wagoneer can rival it in terms of timeless appeal and off-road credentials.

This is a 1971 car, making it a very early model, and one that just happened to be delivered new to the Goodwood Estate. You could spend upwards of £30,000 on an Evoque. We’d rather buy a classic Range Rover.

Aston Martin DB7: £28,000 – £35,000

Aside from a Cygnet – which isn’t a true AM – the DB7 remains the cheapest and most realistic entry-point to the Aston Martin brand. Forget all the nonsense about its Jaguar origins, because the DB7 is one of the best looking cars ever built.

This 1995 car has covered a mere 18,400 since new.

Bentley MkVI: £110,000 – £140,000

One of the most expensive lots in the Coys sale, this Bentley MkVI special was built in the style of a 4.5 Litre Tourer and finished in British Racing Green.

The engine is from a later 6.75-litre V8 Bentley and mated to the original MkIV four-speed gearbox. According to Coys, “its automotive styling is a guaranteed centre of attention at any of the most prestigious motoring events”.

Mazda MX-5: £8,000 – £10,000

Mazda MX-5: £8,000 - £10,000

You might look at the pre-auction estimate for this Mazda MX-5 before muttering something about crazy classic car prices. And, sure enough, £10,000 is a huge chunk of cash for a first-generation MX-5. But let’s look at the evidence…

It’s a very early UK car. It has covered just 17,025 miles. The MOT history is almost unblemished. And it’s probably one of the nicest examples we’ve seen in a while. Given the prices achieved by other modern classics, you wouldn’t bet against a mighty sale price.

Ford Escort RS2000: £18,000 – £23,000

If the price of the Ford Escort RS1800 was a little too rich for you, this might be the next best thing. The RS2000 was introduced in 1976 and was powered by a 2.0-litre engine. When mated to the Escort’s lightweight body, it became quite a formidable force.

The ‘droop snoot’ ensured the RS2000 was one of the most memorable cars of the 1970s. This 1978 car lived in South Africa until 2014, meaning it will have escaped the ravages of numerous British winters. A snip at £23,000…

Porsche 911 2.4 S Targa: £75,000 – £90,000

In truth, this 1973 Porsche 911 had us at yellow headlights. It was delivered new in Germany and restored in 1990.

Remember, the Coys auction takes place at Autosport International on Saturday 14 January 2017. Admission is by catalogue only.

Driven: James May's Rolls-Royce Dawn

Driven: James May’s Rolls-Royce Dawn

Driven: James May's Rolls-Royce Dawn

If this Rolls-Royce Dawn looks familiar, that’s because it starred in episode three of The Grand Tour. “Captained” by Captain Slow, James May, it was driven around Tuscany where Clarkson tried to convince May that it’s little more than a BMW 7-Series in a fancy suit. It comes after Matt LeBlanc drove the very same car in the latest series of Top Gear.

Our road test of this unreasonably-priced car (£264,000, since you’re asking) is going to be a more conventional affair. No townsfolk will be asked for their opinions and at no point will we elect to “settle this with a race”. That’s simply not the Dawn’s style, as we soon discover…

What are its rivals?02_Dawn

Tell Rolls-Royce its car is a rival for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet or Maserati GranCabrio and be prepared for a withering look worthy of the Dowager Countess from Downton Abbey. Rolls draws a distinction between ‘premium’ and ‘luxury’, with the Dawn falling very firmly into the latter category.

As such, its closest rival is the Bentley Continental GTC, although Sir might also consider the Ferrari California T if Sir fancies something sportier.

What engines does it use?03_Dawn

With 571 hp, the Dawn is actually more powerful than Rolls-Royce’s flagship convertible: the Phantom Drophead Coupe. Its mighty 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12 blasts this 2.6-tonne land yacht to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds, plus a limited top speed of 155mph.

“There are a lot of numbers I could quote on this car,” says James May on The Grand Tour, “but I’m not going to because that would be, frankly, uncouth.” Let us be uncouth for a moment: it produces 571hp, will hit 62mph in 4.9 seconds and is limited to 155mph.

Driving the Dawn in rural Tuscany, May describes the Dawn as “serene”. We concur, although our detour through the traffic-clogged lanes of south-east England was somewhat more stressful. It’s difficult to ‘make progress’ (as driving instructors say) when your car takes up more than half the road…

What’s it like to drive?04_Dawn

Inevitably, the Dawn’s sheer size has an impact on how you drive it. Put simply, it’s an incredibly relaxing way to travel… until you have to park. Yes, our car had the optional 360-degree camera system, it’s still no easy task.

The Dawn isn’t as sporting as Rolls-Royce would have you believe. Its strength lies in cosseting comfort, with light controls, effortless performance and a pillowy ride – even on optional 21-inch wheels. The sense of occasion as you follow that – solid silver – Spirit of Ecstasy down the road is unmatched.

Fuel economy and running costs05_Dawn

You do know this is a 571 hp V12, right? Besides, enquiring about running costs seems a touch vulgar here. If you have to ask, darling…

Fittingly, James May made no mention of the Dawn’s appetite for super unleaded in his review. Us? We couldn’t even scrape the official 20mpg, despite a varied test-route that included plenty of motorway cruising. CO2 emissions of 330g/km put the Rolls in the top bracket for car tax, meaning you pay £1,100 in the first year and £505 a year thereafter.

Is it practical?06_Dawn

Rolls-Royce owners typically own seven or eight cars already, so nobody will use a Dawn as their only means of transport (even if there is something delightfully decadent about that idea).

The cabin is faultlessly-finished, although the ‘Arctic White’ leather is hardly the most practical choice. Definitely more Hermosa Beach than Henley-on-Thames. There’s genuinely enough space for six-footers in the back, with easy access through the rear-hinged doors. Unfortunately, the boot isn’t so suited to grand touring. It has a narrow opening and its 295-litre capacity is less than some superminis.

What about safety?07_Dawn

Size matters when it comes to crash-safety, so you’re unlikely to have any worries here. Apart from the repair bill, obviously. The Dawn’s exclusivity means it hasn’t been tested by Euro NCAP, but you have the full suite of BMW safety systems at your disposal, including hydraulic brake assist and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.

And don’t worry about the Spirit of Ecstasy – it retracts quickly behind the grille if needed – or if a potential accident is detected.

Which version should I go for?08_Dawn

So, petrol or diesel, automatic or manual, SE or SRi? The Rolls-Royce Dawn buyer faces none of these conundrums, although they can opt for the fixed-roof version in the shape of the Wraith coupe.

Instead, there’s a long options list, including everything from an uplit Spirit of Ecstasy to whitewall tyres. With enough time and money, you can customise every aspect of the Dawn to your own personal taste – or lack of. To make your job easier, Rolls-Royce also offers a range of off-the-shelf option packs.

Should I buy one?09_Dawn

There’s no rational case to be made for buying a Rolls-Royce Dawn. The aforementioned Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet is a better car in many respects – and at least £70,000 cheaper.

However, for the ultimate in open-air luxury, nothing quite matches the Dawn. It turns heads like a lime-green Lamborghini, yet you can also put the hood up and waft along in isolated silence. And it transforms every journey into a special event, with qualities that transcend its high price.

Pub fact10_Dawn

The first Rolls-Royce to carry the Dawn name – albeit unofficially – was this special edition Silver Ghost. Built in 1908, the ‘Silver Dawn’ was originally the property of one Charles H. Angus, and spent the first part of its life in Australia.

In 2013, after a full restoration, the car took part in the gruelling 1,800-mile Centenary Alpine Trail. It was then put on display at Rolls-Royce HQ in Goodwood.

Driven: James May's Rolls-Royce Dawn

Driven: James May's Rolls-Royce Dawn

Driven: James May's Rolls-Royce Dawn

If this Rolls-Royce Dawn looks familiar, that’s because it starred in episode three of The Grand Tour. “Captained” by Captain Slow, James May, it was driven around Tuscany where Clarkson tried to convince May that it’s little more than a BMW 7-Series in a fancy suit. It comes after Matt LeBlanc drove the very same car in the latest series of Top Gear.

Our road test of this unreasonably-priced car (£264,000, since you’re asking) is going to be a more conventional affair. No townsfolk will be asked for their opinions and at no point will we elect to “settle this with a race”. That’s simply not the Dawn’s style, as we soon discover…

What are its rivals?02_Dawn

Tell Rolls-Royce its car is a rival for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet or Maserati GranCabrio and be prepared for a withering look worthy of the Dowager Countess from Downton Abbey. Rolls draws a distinction between ‘premium’ and ‘luxury’, with the Dawn falling very firmly into the latter category.

As such, its closest rival is the Bentley Continental GTC, although Sir might also consider the Ferrari California T if Sir fancies something sportier.

What engines does it use?03_Dawn

With 571 hp, the Dawn is actually more powerful than Rolls-Royce’s flagship convertible: the Phantom Drophead Coupe. Its mighty 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12 blasts this 2.6-tonne land yacht to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds, plus a limited top speed of 155mph.

“There are a lot of numbers I could quote on this car,” says James May on The Grand Tour, “but I’m not going to because that would be, frankly, uncouth.” Let us be uncouth for a moment: it produces 571hp, will hit 62mph in 4.9 seconds and is limited to 155mph.

Driving the Dawn in rural Tuscany, May describes the Dawn as “serene”. We concur, although our detour through the traffic-clogged lanes of south-east England was somewhat more stressful. It’s difficult to ‘make progress’ (as driving instructors say) when your car takes up more than half the road…

What’s it like to drive?04_Dawn

Inevitably, the Dawn’s sheer size has an impact on how you drive it. Put simply, it’s an incredibly relaxing way to travel… until you have to park. Yes, our car had the optional 360-degree camera system, it’s still no easy task.

The Dawn isn’t as sporting as Rolls-Royce would have you believe. Its strength lies in cosseting comfort, with light controls, effortless performance and a pillowy ride – even on optional 21-inch wheels. The sense of occasion as you follow that – solid silver – Spirit of Ecstasy down the road is unmatched.

Fuel economy and running costs05_Dawn

You do know this is a 571 hp V12, right? Besides, enquiring about running costs seems a touch vulgar here. If you have to ask, darling…

Fittingly, James May made no mention of the Dawn’s appetite for super unleaded in his review. Us? We couldn’t even scrape the official 20mpg, despite a varied test-route that included plenty of motorway cruising. CO2 emissions of 330g/km put the Rolls in the top bracket for car tax, meaning you pay £1,100 in the first year and £505 a year thereafter.

Is it practical?06_Dawn

Rolls-Royce owners typically own seven or eight cars already, so nobody will use a Dawn as their only means of transport (even if there is something delightfully decadent about that idea).

The cabin is faultlessly-finished, although the ‘Arctic White’ leather is hardly the most practical choice. Definitely more Hermosa Beach than Henley-on-Thames. There’s genuinely enough space for six-footers in the back, with easy access through the rear-hinged doors. Unfortunately, the boot isn’t so suited to grand touring. It has a narrow opening and its 295-litre capacity is less than some superminis.

What about safety?07_Dawn

Size matters when it comes to crash-safety, so you’re unlikely to have any worries here. Apart from the repair bill, obviously. The Dawn’s exclusivity means it hasn’t been tested by Euro NCAP, but you have the full suite of BMW safety systems at your disposal, including hydraulic brake assist and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.

And don’t worry about the Spirit of Ecstasy – it retracts quickly behind the grille if needed – or if a potential accident is detected.

Which version should I go for?08_Dawn

So, petrol or diesel, automatic or manual, SE or SRi? The Rolls-Royce Dawn buyer faces none of these conundrums, although they can opt for the fixed-roof version in the shape of the Wraith coupe.

Instead, there’s a long options list, including everything from an uplit Spirit of Ecstasy to whitewall tyres. With enough time and money, you can customise every aspect of the Dawn to your own personal taste – or lack of. To make your job easier, Rolls-Royce also offers a range of off-the-shelf option packs.

Should I buy one?09_Dawn

There’s no rational case to be made for buying a Rolls-Royce Dawn. The aforementioned Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet is a better car in many respects – and at least £70,000 cheaper.

However, for the ultimate in open-air luxury, nothing quite matches the Dawn. It turns heads like a lime-green Lamborghini, yet you can also put the hood up and waft along in isolated silence. And it transforms every journey into a special event, with qualities that transcend its high price.

Pub fact10_Dawn

The first Rolls-Royce to carry the Dawn name – albeit unofficially – was this special edition Silver Ghost. Built in 1908, the ‘Silver Dawn’ was originally the property of one Charles H. Angus, and spent the first part of its life in Australia.

In 2013, after a full restoration, the car took part in the gruelling 1,800-mile Centenary Alpine Trail. It was then put on display at Rolls-Royce HQ in Goodwood.

The Grand Tour: Clarkson, Hammond and May filming in Yorkshire

The Grand Tour: everything we know so far

The Grand Tour: Clarkson, Hammond and May filming in Yorkshire

Amazon has announced that The Grand Tour will be available to watch on its Prime streaming service from 00:01 GMT on Friday 18th November.

It comes after months of filming including studio recordings in its tent around the world – from Whitby, Yorkshire, to Nashville, Tennessee.

The Grand Tour: Clarkson, Hammond and May filming in Yorkshire

What do we know about The Grand Tour?

For a start, excitement reached fever pitch with the release of the first official trailer. In just 90 seconds, the trailer passes the Mark Kermode ‘six laughs test’, suggesting The Grand Tour might be worth the extremely long wait. In fact, it feels like they never really went away…

There are cars, obviously, but there’s so much more besides. James May has fractured his arm. Jeremy Clarkson is attempting to pull a camel. There’s a tank. Jet skis. Not to mention a reference to Roger Moore and his white suit, in a setting that looks straight out of The Spy Who Loved Me. Excited? Read on to find out what else we know about The Grand Tour.

It won’t be on mainstream TV

Following Clarkson’s ‘fracas’, which led to the trio leaving the BBC, there was much speculation about where they’d appear next. Some expected them to appear on rival TV channels ITV, Channel 4 or Channel 5 – but a clause in their contracts reportedly meant they wouldn’t be able to appear on a mainstream TV channel.

It’ll be shown on Amazon

The clause didn’t apply to online streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, however – which partly explains why the trio will be appearing on Amazon’s Instant Video service.

It’ll be called The Grand Tour…

The Grand Tour: what we know so far

Another point that attracted a great deal of speculation was the name of the show. Many expected it to be called ‘Gear Knobs’ following a trademark application by a firm linked to the show, but Clarkson quickly quashed the rumours. A lawyer reportedly told the trio that it would be ‘unwise’ to use a name so close to Top Gear.

…because it is a ‘grand tour’

So why is The Grand Tour (or GT for short – the reverse of TG) called The Grand Tour? Simple, really – because it is a grand tour. Originally the series was expected to be filmed in countries around the world without a studio segment – but now a studio segment is expected, shot in tents in those various locations.

James May wanted to call it ‘Nigel’ or ‘Roger’

Not everyone approves of the name – with some suggesting it’s a tad dull. Even James May admitted it wasn’t his first choice of name… “I wanted to call it ‘Nigel’, or ‘Roger’,” he said. “We needed a name, and they’re names.”

It’ll be filmed around the world

It’ll be filmed around the world

An episode of The Grand Tour has already been shot in Johannesburg, South Africa, while other episodes are expected to be filmed in the UK, Germany and the USA. As expected, the big green tent has been erected in Yorkshire.

This is what the logo looks like

The official logo was leaked on Reddit in June, with Richard Hammond confirming on Facebook that it was correct. He said: “Right, well, that saves us the bother of thinking up a clever way to unveil our new show’s logo: It has leaked. Not in the way my Landie leaks oil or James May leaks if he laughs or goes on a trampoline, I mean leaks as in the secret is out.

“Serves us right for trying to secure a European trademark. All things European proving a little tricky this week.”

The Grand Tour’s production company is called W. Chump and Sons

Following the trio’s departure from the BBC, they established a TV production company along with former Top Gear executive producer Andy Wilman. The firm, which is responsible for The Grand Tour, is based in London and features the initial letters of its directors’ surnames in its name.

…and it owns four Reliant Robin company cars

...and it owns four Reliant Robin company cars

Naturally, while looking for offices in London, the company put ‘generous parking space’ high on its list of priorities. It then filled some of those parking spaces with four Reliant Robins, bought as company cars for the four directors. They cost ‘less than £15,000’ and, Clarkson insists, they’re used regularly.

James May hurt his finger during filming

Although not quite as big a deal as Hammond’s jet-powered crash during Top Gear filming in 2006, James May is thought to have hurt his finger during filming for The Grand Tour. Clarkson tweeted that he had a ‘poorly finger’.

Jeremy Clarkson has struggled to find steak

Clarkson was famously sacked from Top Gear following a ‘fracas’ when a hotel refused to serve him steak because the chef had gone home. It seems that nothing has changed with filming of The Grand Tour, as he tweeted this picture with the caption: “People of South Africa. What is this nonsense?”

It will feature a Ford Focus RS

It will feature a Ford Focus RS

Although there’s expected to be the usual amount of ‘messing around’ between the presenters, The Grand Tour is ultimately a car show. We don’t know exactly which cars will appear, but Clarkson tweeted this picture of the new Ford Focus RS and Ford Mustang.

And ‘our’ Rolls-Royce Dawn

He also tweeted a picture of James May in a Rolls-Royce Dawn that looks suspiciously like the one Matt LeBlanc drove on Top Gear (and, more importantly, Motoring Research also drove earlier this year).

As well as the Aston Martin DB11

Aston’s DB9 replacement is expected to be one of the hottest cars of 2016, and Clarkson also revealed on Twitter that he’d been driving it. “It’s going to be a brutal day on the Grand Tour,” he said. “I’m driving an Aston Martin DB11 across Tuscany.”

The Grand Tour cost Amazon £160m

Although Amazon has never revealed how much it paid to bag The Grand Tour, it’s believed to be in the region of £160 million. That’s one of Amazon’s biggest deals ever.

The Grand Tour will be shown in autumn

The Grand Tour will be shown in autumn

Amazon Prime has confirmed the show will stream weekly from 18th November 2016. So you don’t have long to wait.

There’ll be 36 episodes

You’ll be pleased to know Clarkson, Hammond and May are unlikely to ‘do an Evans’ – they’re all contracted for 36 episodes, split up into three series. If they’re successful, Amazon’s likely to extend that.

It’ll cost £79 to watch it

Amazon will be hoping The Grand Tour will be a big seller for its Prime video service – as you’ll need to subscribe to watch the new show. It costs £79 a year, or you can pay £7.99 a month – and new members get a 30-day free trial. Sign up to that closer to the launch date and you’ll be able to watch several episodes for nothing.

There won’t be a Stig

Although the format is expected to be very similar to Top Gear, certain features including The Stig and Star in a Reasonably Priced Car belong to the BBC – so for copyright reasons, they won’t appear on The Grand Tour.

Jeremy Clarkson's The Grand Tour is going to Scotland

Jeremy Clarkson’s The Grand Tour is going to Scotland

Jeremy Clarkson's The Grand Tour is going to Scotland

Amazon has announced this morning that it’s taking The Grand Tour to Scotland – and invited fans to apply for tickets to its tent on the banks of Loch Ness.

It comes after Clarkson, Hammond and May filmed an episode in Whitby last month – returning to the county where the infamous Top Gear ‘fracas’ took place.

“We can’t wait to bring The Grand Tour tent back to the UK,” said VP of Amazon Video Europe, Jay Marine. “The guys had a great time filming in Whitby last month and we’re excited to bring the tent to Scotland. Demand for tickets to all recordings has been phenomenal with applications coming in from around the globe, so get in quick for an opportunity to join Jeremy, James and Richard at this monster location.”

The Grand Tour will be available to watch on Amazon Prime from 18th November, with new episodes being released every week for 12 weeks.

The ex-Top Gear trio have been travelling around the world with their pop-up studio – visiting exotic locations including Johannesburg, California, Whitby and Rotterdam.

Lapland, Stuttgart and Nashville will also be visited by the big tent.

Fans can apply for tickets until midnight on Friday 4th November and successful applicants will be contacted over the next few weeks.

Jeremy Clarkson's The Grand Tour is going to Scotland

Jeremy Clarkson's The Grand Tour is going to Scotland

Jeremy Clarkson's The Grand Tour is going to Scotland

Amazon has announced this morning that it’s taking The Grand Tour to Scotland – and invited fans to apply for tickets to its tent on the banks of Loch Ness.

It comes after Clarkson, Hammond and May filmed an episode in Whitby last month – returning to the county where the infamous Top Gear ‘fracas’ took place.

“We can’t wait to bring The Grand Tour tent back to the UK,” said VP of Amazon Video Europe, Jay Marine. “The guys had a great time filming in Whitby last month and we’re excited to bring the tent to Scotland. Demand for tickets to all recordings has been phenomenal with applications coming in from around the globe, so get in quick for an opportunity to join Jeremy, James and Richard at this monster location.”

The Grand Tour will be available to watch on Amazon Prime from 18th November, with new episodes being released every week for 12 weeks.

The ex-Top Gear trio have been travelling around the world with their pop-up studio – visiting exotic locations including Johannesburg, California, Whitby and Rotterdam.

Lapland, Stuttgart and Nashville will also be visited by the big tent.

Fans can apply for tickets until midnight on Friday 4th November and successful applicants will be contacted over the next few weeks.

Confirmed: Matt LeBlanc will host the next series of Top Gear (without Chris Evans)

Matt LeBlanc will host the next series of Top Gear (without Chris Evans)

Confirmed: Matt LeBlanc will host the next series of Top Gear (without Chris Evans)

Actor Matt LeBlanc has signed a deal with the BBC to host the next two series of Top Gear – without help from Chris Evans, who stood down from the show after just one series.

Chris Harris and Rory Reid will continue to front BBC Three show Extra Gear, while Eddie Jordan, Sabine Schmitz and The Stig will still make regular appearances.

In a statement issued this morning, BBC Two’s channel editor, Patrick Holland, said: “I am thrilled that Matt LeBlanc is returning to Top Gear. He’s a huge talent whose love of cars is infectious. I can’t wait for the series to return to BBC Two next year.”

The show – dubbed Flop Gear by some disappointed fans – saw ratings drop during the last series to an all-time low of 1.9 million viewers.

“Matt was hugely popular with Top Gear viewers last series with his humour, warmth and obvious passion for cars and for the show,” added Mark Linsey, BBC Studios director.

“I couldn’t be more delighted that he’s agreed to come back and do more for us.”

LeBlanc, who is known for playing Joey in Friends, caused outrage earlier in the year when he was spotted doing donuts in a Mustang close to the Cenotaph in Central London.

At the time, Chris Evans had to issue an apology for the stunt.

The show will be taking on Jeremy Clarkson’s new show, The Grand Tour, which is due to air on Amazon Prime’s on-demand service in November.

Top Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

Top Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

Top Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?In November, we’ll finally get to see Clarkson, Hammond and May in The Grand Tour. Which got us thinking: if the relative merits of Top Gear or The Grand Tour were judged on the strength of the cars owned by the current presenters, which one would win? Forget ratings, this is what matters. We selected four cars for each presenter and formed a list.

Jeremy Clarkson: Ford Escort RS CosworthTop Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

“One of my all time favourite cars”, is how Jezza summed up the Ford Escort Cosworth, a car he did “most things in and with” in the early 90s. “Why doesn’t Ford make stuff like this today?” questioned Clarkson at the turn of the millennium. Sixteen years on, it’s fair to say Ford does: the Fiesta ST and Focus RS are up there with the best of them.

James May: Rolls-Royce CornicheTop Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

You might remember James May’s 1972 Rolls-Royce Corniche which appeared alongside Jezza’s Mercedes-Benz Grosser in an episode of Top Gear. “Frankly if you have £25,000 to spend on classic luxury and you don’t buy one of these, you’re an imbecile,” is what May said at the time. And, right on cue, Clarkson wafts into view in a huge slice of Stuttgart.

Richard Hammond: Morgan AeromaxTop Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

The Hamster bought his Morgan Aeromax in 2009 and said “I can’t stop looking at it, driving it and thinking about it.” Later that year, he was involved in an accident in which he drove into the back of a Nissan. Hammond sold the Aeromax in 2011, before it was put up for sale again in 2014.

Chris Harris: Ferrari 512 TRTop Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

Chris Harris has owned not one but two Ferrari 512 TRs, breaking one of his own car-buying rules by revisiting an old motor. Of his second purchase in 2013 – a 56,000-mile 512 TR – Harris said on PistonHeads: “you buy it with your eyes open and, frankly, hope for the best”. This will chime with anyone who has bought a secondhand performance car.

Matt LeBlanc: Porsche 911 GT2 RSTop Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

Matt LeBlanc famously set the fastest time around the Top Gear Test Track, with 1:42.1 making him the fastest star in a reasonably priced car. Strong credentials when you’re in the running to take over as host of the world’s most popular motoring show. In a radio interview, LeBlanc said the Porsche 911 GT2 RS is the best car he has ever owned, but did claim the car scared him. For him, “nothing comes off the apex like a rear-engined car”.

Eddie Jordan: BMW M235iTop Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

In an interview with the BBC, the man with the loud trousers said his current car is a BMW M235i. When asked what car he’d buy to last the rest of his life, Jordan said: “Actually, I adore my little 235i, I think it’s the greatest car I’ve ever had.” Praise indeed.

Sabine Schmitz: Porsche 997 GT3 RSTop Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

As you’d expect, the ‘Queen of the Nurburgring’ has access to some of the fastest track cars on the planet and is a huge fan of all things German. Of all the cars she has owned, we reckon a hot lap in her Porsche 997 GT3 RS would be the most exhilarating. Schmitz admitted that thousands of people have thrown up after being in her ‘Ring Taxi.

Rory Reid: Hyundai Sante FeTop Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

Social media sensation turned Top Gear hero Rory Reid has owned some rather interesting cars, but his current motor is a tad more sensible: a 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe. Reid told us it’s “fully murdered out: black paint, black alloys, black windows”. He said he bought it because he “needed something sensible for the family – I have two young children and a third on the way”.

Jeremy Clarkson: Ferrari F355Top Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

“This is the nicest car I have ever, ever driven”, said Clarkson when reviewing the Ferrari F355 on Top Gear. Little wonder, then, that Jezza spent over £90,000 to order one new from the factory. It arrived six months later and, during an episode of Clarkson’s Car Years he said “it can still electrocute every nerve ending… in my body”.

James May: Porsche 911 3.2 CarreraTop Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

Having decided he wanted something “a bit more fruity” than his Bentley and Range Rover, James May went out and bought a Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera. The screen price was £16,955, although he managed to knock £1,250 off the price and negotiated a pair of new inner arches. He claimed it was the first 911 he saw and buying it “was easy”.

Richard Hammond: Ford Mustang GT 390Top Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

Of his Ford Mustang GT 390, Hammond said: “The thing simply looks good and makes me feel a bit warm in the trousers”. Of the noise, he said “you either love the sound of a V8, or there’s something oddly wrong with you”.

Chris Harris: BMW M5 E28Top Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

“It’s the best money I’ve spent on a car,” said Chris Harris when waxing lyrical about his 1986 BMW M5. He loves the engineering, the fact that it was hand-built and the fact that it feels as quick now as it did in 1986. What makes his M5 all the more special is that it’s “a bit scruffy around the edges” and is certainly no trailer queen.

Matt LeBlanc: Fiat X1/9Top Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

When asked about his biggest mistake he’s made in a car, Matt LeBlanc told Top Gear: “I put the wrong plugs in my Fiat X1/9 and it ran like s**t. Took me a while to realise why.”

Eddie Jordan: Saab 99Top Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

We know that Eddie Jordan rates the BMW M235i as the best car he has ever owned, but what about the worst? That honour falls to the Saab 99, about which he said: “It didn’t have a brake pedal as such, it had a little ball, and if you put your foot on the ball, it slowed. It was the most ridiculous thing ever.” It’s fair to say he didn’t like the 99.

Sabine Schmitz: Ford Ranger WildtrakTop Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

When Sabine isn’t terrorising people on the Nurburgring, you’ll find her looking after her horses on her huge farm in rural Germany. For this she uses her “very practical” Ford Ranger Wildtrak.

Rory Reid: 1988 YugoTop Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

We said Rory Reid has owned some ‘interesting’ cars. He told us his 1988 Yugo was “reddish orange” in colour and that it “broke down all the time”. It featured a “very loud” Beetle exhaust and, when the car wasn’t working, he simply jumped in his 1984 Volkswagen Polo. His worst car? According to Reid, that would be a 1995 Hyundai Accent.

Jeremy Clarkson: Mercedes-Benz 600 GrosserTop Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

In 1963, the Mercedes-Benz 600 Grosser was the most expensive car in the world, driven by only the wealthiest and the most powerful. According to Clarkson, the Grosser cemented Mercedes’ reputation for engineering integrity. Of all the cars Jezza has owned, this one could be the best.

James May: Ferrari 458 SpecialeTop Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

James May ordered his Ferrari 458 Speciale before the infamous ‘fracas’ led to the downfall of the what we now refer to as old(ish) Top Gear. Having failed to cancel the order when he became ‘suddenly unemployed’, he pressed ahead with the purchase of the last ever Ferrari 458 Speciale, in dark blue. But then, in a last minute change of heart, he ordered it in bright orange.

Richard Hammond: Dodge Charger R/TTop Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

In case you haven’t guessed, Richard Hammond loves a classic American car. Along with a 1969 Dodge Charger R/T, he also bought a 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT-8 during series 18 of Top Gear.

Chris Harris: Citroen AX GTTop Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

You might associate Chris Harris with big, powerful supercars, often accompanied by a cloud of tyre smoke. But he’s also a bit partial to small French cars, owning the likes of a Peugeot 205 XS, Citroen 2CV and a Citroen AX GT. His “completely standard” AX GT was purchased from a fellow motoring journalist.

Matt LeBlanc: Ferrari 360 ModenaTop Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

In a radio interview with Chris Evans, Matt LeBlanc said that although Ferraris are “great cars”, he much prefers to drive a Porsche, claiming the cars are “the most practical, real-world supercars”. LeBlanc bought a 2000 Ferrari 360 Modena and immediately added black five-spoke alloy wheels. Later, he traded it in for a Ferrari 458 Italia.

Eddie Jordan: F1 teamTop Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

Does this trump them all? Why restrict yourself to cars when you can own an entire F1 team? Eddie Jordan Racing was founded in the early 1980s and raced in F1 from 1991 to 2005. In 2014, Jordan sold his collection of racing cars and memorabilia to raise money for charity.

Sabine Schmitz: John DeereTop Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

Sabine Schmitz posted this photo on Facebook, saying: “Warm up for the WTCC on my John Deere, I didn’t use 4 wheel drive today.” Turns out Sabine’s life is one of horsepower and, er, horse power.

Rory Reid: Vauxhall Astra GTETop Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

Rory Reid has owned not one, but two Vauxhall Astra GTEs, including a 1987 Mk2 16v. It was “modified with an aftermarket exhaust”, but the ABS didn’t work, a fact Reid found out the hard way when an attempt at an emergency stop resulted in “me careering straight through a junction”. Fortunately for Reid, he didn’t hit anything.

Jeremy Clarkson: Lamborghini Gallardo SpyderTop Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

Jeremy Clarkson is a big fan of the old Volvo XC90, having owned three of them. He also owned a Ford GT, which he sold to buy a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder.

James May: BMW i3Top Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

James May’s ownership of a Fiat Panda has been well documented and was often referenced during episodes of Top Gear. Sadly, ‘Captain Slow’ has since sold his Panda, and can now be seen pootling about London in an electric BMW i3.

Richard Hammond: Opel KadettTop Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

Richard Hammond fell in love with ‘Oliver’ the Opel Kadett during the filming of the Botswana special. He drove the Kadett A across the spine of Africa, with the only problem occuring when he drove the car into a river. Once filming was complete, Hammond had it shipped over to the UK.

Chris Harris: BMW M3 E30Top Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

Chris Harris has an enviable back catalogue of motors past and present, including a 1990 BMW M3 E30. Other gems include a ‘soft dash’ first generation Range Rover Vogue SE, a Mercedes-Benz W124 E320 convertible and a Range Rover 5.0 Autobiography.

Matt LeBlanc: Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMGTop Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

Quite clearly, Matt LeBlanc likes nothing more than hooning about in a Porsche or Ferrari, and he’s certainly got the skills required to drive them properly. But when a little more comfort and practicality is required, LeBlanc climbs aboard a Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG.

Eddie Jordan: Sunseeker 155Top Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

In 2014, Eddie Jordan took delivery of a Sunseeker 155 for a reported £32 million. The yacht, named Blush, was the biggest project undertaken by the famous luxury yacht builder. It can cover 4,500 miles on a tank of fuel, although you’ll need deep pockets to fill the tank.

Sabine Schmitz: Fendt tractorTop Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

From a yacht to a tractor – the current presenters of Top Gear have eclectic tastes. Sabine Schmitz owns a Fendt tractor.

Rory Reid: Ford Focus EcoBoostTop Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

Rory Reid says the Ford Focus EcoBoost is a great car with a great engine, but is quick to criticise the “terrible fuel economy”, claiming “you’d be lucky to get 30mpg.” Having watched the last series of Top Gear, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Rory Reid behind the wheel of a Focus RS. Or maybe a Mustang. The V8, of course.

The Grand TourTop Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

Which brings us to the end of this Top Gear vs. The Grand Tour special. We’ve selected a small number of cars for each presenter and it’s hard to pick a winner. We’ll let you be the judge of that…

Top GearTop Gear vs. The Grand Tour: which presenters had the best cars?

The Grand Tour will premiere on Amazon Prime on 18th November 2016, while Top Gear will return to our screens without Chris Evans at the helm. Let the ratings war commence.