Like everything else from last season, that Mini Cooper rally car was a flop

It seems that the BBC is serious about wiping the slate clean with Top Gear, isn’t it? It feels that way after last year’s tumultuous season, and now, a new report indicates that even the car used in the “Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car” segment will also be new to the show. Yep, say goodbye to that ill-fated Mini rallycross car used in last year’s segment.

For the 24th season of the motoring show, British tabloid The Sun is reporting that the show will revert to the reasonably-priced car segment, doing away with the rally format that was reportedly the brainchild of departed host Chris Evans. Just as important, the segment will also have a new reasonably-priced car in the form of the Toyota GT86.

To be fair, Evans’ “Star in a Rallycross Car” segment had its share of laughs, but it steered so far from the spirit of the original segment that it felt a little too gimmicky, a word that could also be used to describe the whole Evans era of the show, short-lived as it was.

So now, we have the Toyota GT86 that’s reportedly going to be the new reasonably-priced car that the show’s guests will take turns driving. It’s a good choice on paper and an even better one when you consider that its predecessors included the likes of the Kia Cee’d, Vauxhall Astra, and the immortal Suzuki Liana, which to this day is still being used when the guests are Formula One race car drivers.

The Toyota GT86 is clearly a better representation of Top Gear and it can also be described as a reasonably-priced car. Even better, upcoming guests will not only have the Stig as their instructor, but also Chris Harris, who himself is considered a pretty good driver, even by motor racing standards.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

It really is the dawn of a new era at Top Gear

I understand that Top Gear’s “Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car” segment had its share of critics, a lot of whom argued that it was the most boring part of the show. I can see where they’re coming from. But I also know that a big part of what made Top Gear successful back in the era of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, were the celebrity guests that stopped by to talk shop about their passion for cars, or lack thereof in some cases.

Back then, it was fun seeing Hollywood A-listers like Tom Cruise do an inadvertent wheelie while driving the Cee’d or Matt LeBlanc setting the fastest lap time of any celebrity back when he was a guest on the show.

So yes, I’m excited to see the “Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car” segment return to the show, even if there is a little trepidation in leaving behind the cars that we were used back then. Say what you will about the Cee’d, the Liana, or the Chevrolet Lacetti and their lack of sporty appeal; these cars were legitimately reasonably-priced.

The GT86 also qualifies in that regard, even if the description is a little bit of a stretch. But the car is also a sports car, which is good because that’s what Top Gear is all about anyway. More than that, I think future guests of the show will appreciate the fact that they’re going to be driving something that they’re going to look cool driving. Did you ever imagine a guy like Cruise joyriding along Hollywood Boulevard in a Vauxhall Astra? I don’t think so. But a Toyota GT86? Maybe.

Regardless of what people may think about the segment or the new car, I’m just happy to know Top Gear finally has the kind of stability in it that it glaringly lacked during Evans’ disastrous run as the lead host. With LeBlanc now in the helm and joined by Harris and Rory Reid, I’m looking forward to seeing what this new iteration of Top Gear is going to look like. That includes how the Toyota GT86 will fare as the show’s brand new “reasonably-priced car.”

Source: The Sun

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