This is the new Top Gear trio. Now will you watch it?
It's the end of an era, as Matt LeBlanc’s last Top Gear series has wrapped up in the UK. It was a short but entertaining series, with highlights including modified Tuk Tuk taxis crossing a river, Chris Harris pushing a Porsche 911 GT2 RS to the limit, and a cheap car challenge with old luxury cars featuring a no-hands drag race that nearly ends in disaster. US viewers will need to wait until next month for the new series to air on BBC America, however.
At the end of the series, viewers were treated to a sneak preview of the next series airing this summer with new presenters Paddy McGuiness and Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff replacing Matt LeBlanc and Rory Reid. Chris Harris will continue to host the show, while Reid will host Extra Gear.
The brief clip shows McGuiness trying to prove that the ultimate used family car is a hearse. Using a 1995 Jaguar XJ bought for £1,300 ($1,700) modified with "lots of power,” "lots of blue paint, ” and a ball pit, we see Flintoff put the custom hearse through its paces on a muddy rally course in Wales, UK.
Because this is Top Gear, things inevitably go wrong as Flintoff approaches a corner too fast, causing the hearse to rollover spectacularly. Luckily, since the accident is presumably staged, everyone escapes uninjured, but McGuiness doesn’t look very impressed with Flintoff’s antics.
We just hope the use of a hearse isn’t a metaphor for the death of Top Gear. Ratings for the show have been falling since Clarkson, Hammond, and May left to host The Grand Tour on Amazon, and reactions to the new presenters joining the show have been mixed. We’ll have to reserve our judgment until Top Gear series 27 airs in the summer. Hopefully, it won’t bring back flashbacks of the ill-fated Chris Evans series.
This isn’t the first accident Flintoff has had in the new series of Top Gear, either. Last month, a video recorded during filming of the new series emerged online showing Flintoff driving a modified Subaru Brat in the English town of Mansfield as part of an electric car race. The presenter loses control after taking a corner too fast, crashing into some hay bales before slamming into a market stall. At this rate, Flintoff will earn a similar reputation to the accident-prone Richard Hammond.