Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc start new era; Dodge Viper ACR, Chevrolet Corvette Z06, BMW M2 and Ariel Nomad confirmed for first episode

Top Gear season 23 will kick off this Sunday at 8pm, marking the start of a new era for the revamped show as main hosts Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc replace Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.

The three ex-Top Gear presenters recently announced that their new Amazon Prime show would be called The Grand Tour, and it’s expected to be the new Top Gear’s biggest rival. It won’t air until the autumn, however, so Top Gear will be the first to set the agenda.

This weekend’s episode will feature a Dodge Viper ACR facing a Chevrolet Corvette Z06 at the home of Top Gun in Nevada, with Evans and Nürburgring expert Sabine Schmitz as drivers.

Le Blanc will also take an Ariel Nomad off road in Morocco, before facing Evans in a UK versus USA battle, and ex-Autocar staffer Chris Harris will also sample the new BMW M2.

Guests will include Jesse Eisenberg from The Social Network and celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.

Evans, LeBlanc, Schmitz and Harris will also be joined by motoring journalist Rory Reid and F1 pundit Eddie Jordan on the new Top Gear presenting team. The Stig will return as the show's faceless racing driver.

Our Verdict

Chevrolet Corvette Z06
The Chevrolet Corvette Z06 cracks 0-62mph in 3.1sec

The brutal Z06 offers more performance than cars costing considerably more, but its refinement leaves a bit to be desired

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Comments
19

23 May 2016
I'm looking forward to this finally coming back. Will it be better? I have no idea. I hope so, because this could be the best of both worlds/ Clarkson & Co later on in the year, this at the beginning.

23 May 2016
Well beginning/mid. I was half concentrating when I posted lol

23 May 2016
Both Top Gear and the Amazon equivalent are just 'entertainment' shows for a mass audience, most of whom aren't really interested in vehicles at all and just tune in for the mindless stunts. They give petrolheads a bad name.

If you want to see something genuinely interesting, which is about the actual machines, then watch 'Jay Leno's Garage' on You Tube.

This is the genuine article - a real car & bike show for gearheads.

It also takes an open minded and eclectic approach, which many will find refreshing after years of the three 'entertainers'. Broaden your horizons - watch 'Jay Leno's Garage'. A car show for grown ups.

23 May 2016
HiPo 289 wrote:

Both Top Gear and the Amazon equivalent are just 'entertainment' shows for a mass audience, most of whom aren't really interested in vehicles at all and just tune in for the mindless stunts. They give petrolheads a bad name.

If you want to see something genuinely interesting, which is about the actual machines, then watch 'Jay Leno's Garage' on You Tube.

This is the genuine article - a real car & bike show for gearheads.

It also takes an open minded and eclectic approach, which many will find refreshing after years of the three 'entertainers'. Broaden your horizons - watch 'Jay Leno's Garage'. A car show for grown ups.

Indeed. It is Chris Harris' reviews I've missed on YT whilst he's been making this series. It is an entertainment show to appeal to many and from the looks of the opening episode, it will be pretty much more of the same stuff albeit with the BBC trying their hardest to make it different and more lively to watch. But the format has had it's day. I understand it's a huge cash cow for them but I don't think they will have done enough to reinvent the wheel. This will make Clarkson's stab at his new series even more interesting as if it's similar to the tired TG format then those guys aren't going to fare much better! I will watch the first episode this weekend to see what it's like but I do expect it to be pretty much the same as the last few years. Shame.

24 May 2016
HiPo 289 wrote:

If you want to see something genuinely interesting, which is about the actual machines, then watch 'Jay Leno's Garage' on You Tube.

This is the genuine article - a real car & bike show for gearheads.

It also takes an open minded and eclectic approach, which many will find refreshing after years of the three 'entertainers'. Broaden your horizons - watch 'Jay Leno's Garage'. A car show for grown ups.

He couldn't review a car to save his life, either written or on video. On the other hand, Chris Harris is leagues ahead if you want to 'feel' how a particular car is without going near one.

24 May 2016
Couldnt agree more with your comment, apart from the use of the word "petrolhead" - "car enthusiast" is much better - there are plenty of decent diesel and electric cars about and you really better wait to watch the new TG before you make your assumptions about it - I fear you may be right, but I hope youre wrong.

24 May 2016
Oops, its already been broadcast ! My bad !

23 May 2016
Dodge Viper ACR facing a Chevrolet Corvette Z06? who is interested in those??? BBC splurging our money trying to make a show obviously aiming for the US market.

23 May 2016
Surely Fifth Gear is a real "programe" about cars & not an entertainment "show" like TG????

24 May 2016
Youre so right, but theres not been a new series for a while.

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